Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Lady's Presence ...

The Pout
I continue to practice sketching lady's faces.  Now, sketching is not my strong suit and the human form is a particularly difficult subject matter for a beginner to sketching. 

I've painted one portrait with Genesis Oils, which I named "The Pout".  My painting was based on a photo offered through Paint My Photo - Ning Group.  I adored this little girl's pout and the shared story behind the snapshot, taken by her grandma.   I laboured over every detail -- she was someone's little darling! -- and felt I'd done a passable job of the endeavour for my first portrait ... ever.

But ... back to pencil sketching portraits and so forth.  BAH!  I'm challenged.  :-(   I want little girl and lady faces for my art journals ... and I'm determined I shall learn them!   So I press on.
My Lady's Presence
Initially "My Lady's Presence" was sketched in charcoal and then I applied watercolour pencil.  When I was fully satisfied with the lay in of the colour, I then applied water.

One of the things I struggle with in flesh tones is that I don't have enough of the key colours in the watercolour pencils themselves.  After researching, it appears  that none of the key pencil manufacturers actually have a full sampling of flesh tones in their kits.  One has to piecemeal from the variety of brands to get them.  It appears Derwent had an Academy kit of fleshtones at one time, but my research did not offer a retail store with them.  :-(

What I will attempt next time, is a lay in of the base flesh tone in Prismacolor Premiere and then an application of the watercolour blending tones.  Perhaps that will give me what I need.  :-)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Five Words

"Five Words" ... just list 5 little words ... was the Challenge for April with Mixed Media Mondays with Tracy Weinzapfel.

Oh sure ... "easy peasy" you say!

Yeah ... but there's a catch.  (Isn't there always a catch?  *sigh*)

These 5 words need to describe you ... 5 words that people will think of when they are remembering or thinking of you.

See!  Not quite so simple is it?!?!

I never give thought to what others think of me really.  A little thought, perhaps, but in the long run, I am more concerned with what God thinks of me and how I'm doing down here.   As a Christian, my role is to emulate my Lord.  Well, as a Human, that takes a whole more work than one might imagine.  I won't even begin to list my faults ... there's not enough time nor blog for all of that.  :-/

I told Tracy earlier this month that I just felt I couldn't do it.   But, as a member of the group, I still felt like I needed to do this.  That's what a membership commitment means to me ... I participate.   If I can't participate because of life events ... that's different.  But, when it comes to something like this, I had to find a way to do it in spite of myself. 

And so I did ... and snuck it in still within the month of April.  O.o

The Life in 5 Words
The fan image was a free digital from Art By Jean
The rest was done with Spectrum Noir Alcohol Markers - a lovely product!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Happiness ...

Happiness Held vs. Happiness Shared
A Mixed Media piece completed today with a William Feather quote that says:

Happiness held
is the seed,
Happiness shared
is the flower.

This piece started as a play date with my set of Oil Pastels.  They are not a medium I've used more than twice and I am pushing myself to experiment and play with different things.  How can one become accomplished in something if one does not take the time to do so ... you know?

I had started with the oils on paper but was finding the oil pastel actually crumbling off so I switched to an 8x10 Canvas Panel (canvas that's been hot compressed glued to a heavy and hard cardboard backing) and that seemed to reduce the crumbling but not completely eliminate it.  I have a feeling its because my set of pastels is very inexpensive and not as creamy as perhaps a more expensive set might be.  As is true in other parts of life, the old adage "one gets what one pays for" applies to art materials as well.  :-(

So, this piece consists of oil pastels for the large flower; watercolour washed background in yellow and burnt sienna then oodles of alcohol ink drips in orange, yellow and greens; Bristol Board paper washed with watercolours and a marker for text and outline; butterfly sticker 3-D embellishment; and a white ribbon holds a Tim Holtz acrylic charm with a glued on sparkly flower die-cut embellishment.

I'm not fond of oranges and strong yellows but am stretching myself with that too. lol

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Beauty ...

"There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness." - Maria Mitchell
This background is a paper scrap that included that pretty doily and lilac to start. I just trimmed the 12x12 down to fit my Memories Journal page and it was one of those "put something on a page" prompts from early on with our group journaling process at art aMUSEment.  So there that page sat - needing finishing. 
I was looking through my images to Prismacolour and found the "lady with the mirror" (a freebee from Papercraft Inspirations) and thought she might do well with this page. I took her colour scheme from the scrap paper. 
The butterfly was a free B&W image that I used the Prismacolours on as well. The flowers at top left and bottom right are diecuts. The quote was boxed in by a scalloped template, done in pink marker and white-out pen. All of the drop shadows in pink were done with watercolour pencil and blended with water.  A Stazon light pink ink was used on a floral scroll stamp to add a bit more interest to the background. That bit of lace was needed on the edge because of over-spill colours from previously painted pages and I needed camouflage. :-)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Little bits of this and that ...

These past few weeks have been a bit of challenge as I had to recoup physically from the stress of the trip and just when I was getting back on top of that, I came down with a virus of some sort which took me out of things for about 4 days. However, quiet time means sketching and colouring with my coloured pencils or my watercolour pencils. Its something I can do comfortably in my easy chair and takes little effort ... except when I need to erase the dickens out of what I've done. :-) So today's blog is catching up to share the little bits of this and that, that I've not had time to share. :-)

"eggs have no business ..."
Monday's challenge for April 15th with art aMUSEment  was to use an egg in our work.  I Google'd "egg quotes" and found "eggs have NO business dancing with stones - an Italian proverb" and drew this sketch. I used watercolour pencils and then my aqua brushes to finish it. The virus landed in the middle of all that it wasn't submitted until late Sunday night ... just in time.

Because I was not feeling ready to rock and roll at the painting table just yet, I spent the next few days working some more with my Prismacolor Coloured Pencils.   They are a new (to me) medium and since I haven't played with them since childhood (eons ago O.o) I watched an assortment of YouTube videos to learn the basics.  Then I spent some time playing with Strathmore Bristol paper to get a feel for them -- I was ready to put my knowledge to work!   I found some images in my collections of freebies and began to colour and blend.  Ohhhhhh how completely fun these coloured pencils are!

April Showers
This was done in my pink Smash travel journal for art aMUSEment's Monday, April 22nd's challenge to let a song inspire your art.  I took an excerpt from "April Showers" as it was raining that day.  lol  The background was pre-existing paper within that journal which I then adhered shimmery metallic scrapbook paper bits onto.  Page edges and tears along with general surface areas were distressed with tea stain and golden yellow chalk ink pads.  The chickadee, flower and butterfly were colour pencilled, cut and glued in place.  (The Lion's Head flower image was a freebee gift via FaceBook of Whimsy Stamps LLC.)  I look forward to working with the pencils some more -- they are deliciously fun!

OH -- I should mention that some time ago I had purchased a lesser quality coloured pencil brand in preparation for this kind of fun ... and couldn't get them to work for anything.  Nothing I had seen being done with the Prismacolors could be done with that cheap store brand.  Clearly this is one instance where you get what you pay for ... only I was so blessed to have been the recipient of a RAK and had my Prismacolors gifted to me.  (((Big hugs to that ONE who does these quiet little acts of kindness to others ... like me!)))

And that brings us to today where I'm really feeling quite well again!  And to top it off, we received a text this morning from son, Bryan with dates that he and his family will be coming to spend with all of us in August!   This has been a long time in the planning and we just couldn't be more thrilled to see actual dates set and plans being made to make it happen.  What a wonderful day ... and my heart is full and happy.

This page was done in my big "Memories" journal and was later tagged with a note dated today and the exciting news it brought. Background is watercolour washes of green, yellow and white blended and blotted with baby wipes. Stenciling of stars, butterflies, flowers and hearts. Scrapbook Paper cutouts are from a kit I found on huge clearance at Joann's some time ago called Die Cuts With a View - The Jewel Collection.  It is SUCH a fun collection and I've wanted to use it for some time -- colourful, funky and bling built right in!

And there ... I'm caught up!   I hope life is treating you kindly! God bless!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Tribute to Daddy & Mama

The April Challenge for Mixed Media Mondays with Tracy Weinzapfel was to design a page around 5 words we want people to remember us by.   I've not been able to wrap my head around that for myself. I never stop to think what others think of me, only what God thinks of, and expects of me.

With Daddy being so ill of late and with our recent visit, its placed my thoughts fully around him now that he's decided he will not go back to hospital and will wait on God's call Home.  At 82 years, his serious health issues entitle him to make those hard decisions and we love and respect him enough to support him in that decision.   The time that remains is so precious and with it comes the bitter sweet knowledge that he'll soon be gone from us but will then be reunited with Mama and oh so many other loved ones.   I felt it fully possible to create a page devoted to Daddy & Mama and their memory, rather than for myself.

And so, I did.

Daddy and Mama ... what a duet they sang in life!  So many common interests, yet each had their own as well.   They will be well remembered for their Faith; their love of Family, Friends, Music (they played a variety of instruments and sang), Nature; their Service to Others; and their Artistry - Daddy with woodworking and carving, Mama with China and Porcelain painting as well as all types of needlecrafts.   Heaven will be doubly blessed when they are together once more.

Daddy & Mama - a Tribute

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Our morning began with cold temperatures and loud booms from thunder and lightning ... heavy rain immediately followed.  We lost power with the biggest of the bangs and later learned that it struck the Pet Smart (where Max's puppy, Jango, was to be housed while we all head up to Michigan tomorrow).  They were without power and did not know when or if they would get it back within hours to possibly weeks.  Papa will be staying home with all the furries instead - bless him.  :-(

Anyway, the Monday challenge at art aMUSEment, was to design with "Spring" as our theme.   Perfect timing to help boost my spirits.

The background of my journal page was made with washes of acrylic paint in light green and ivory yellow, allowing some areas to be darker while other areas were lighter in both colours. 

I used my Plaid Decorator Block Stamp - Ivy (this line of stamps have been discontinued for some time now but occasionally will pop up on eBay) to add the ivy leaf impressions in a darker version of the green. 

I next used an ivory/white acrylic with my home-made diamond patterned foamie stencil.  This stenciling was placed on the diagonal of the page to emulate a trellis pattern.

When making foamie stamps and stencils some time ago, I had created a stamp of three little flowers, chained together.  I next used that stamp with the ivory-yellow acrylic to create random flowers.  The centers were dotted with a mixture of Quinacridone Red and Burnt Sienna.

Springtime - Textural Elements View
To give the page more texture, I used some of the silk leaves that my friend, Andrene from art aMUSEment had sent me for use with stamping texture on my backgrounds.  She was extremely generous with her gifted silks and I have plenty to spare for the original purpose as well.  :-)   The large flower, butterflies and "spring" letters are diecuts.  The letters were painted with the same colour as the chained flower dots.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Have Journal - Will Travel

I was talking with Papa on Sunday and he was questioning if I was ever going to paint in Genesis again.  After spending all of Saturday getting some new storage bits and revamping the painting desk to accommodate all of my mixed media and journaling stuff, I can see why he was wondering.  :-)  I assured him I surely would but that right now, I was especially entranced with this art journaling and mixed media.  He asked why that was.  I had to think on it for a few moments and finally realized it was because it is something so easily portable.  Its awkward to lug a canvas and easel and the paints and palette and brushes even to go sit on the back porch and still have to look for the electrical outlet for heat set when needed. 

Snapware Snap'n'Stack
Saturday, since I knew then that we were planning to visit Daddy and sis and family, this coming weekend, I had picked up, at Walmart, a little Snapware Snap'n'Stack container for $8.97, shown and linked on left.  I thought would be helpful for taking some art supplies with me.   I loved the snap side enclosures and the carry handle on it. 

Travel Supplies
I was correct. I was able to get all that you see on right (except journal book) into that container! That supply list includes my Prismacolor Coloured Pencils as well as my watercolour pencils, a set of Aqua Flow Water Brushes, a few drawing supplies, a 2 oz. bottle of decoupage, dual-sided stick tape dispenser, little pad of scrapbook paper and matching washii tape, a few of the 6x6 stencils, a small set of stamps, 6 of my small StudioG coloured ink pads, small scissors, a couple more markers and a liquid Glue Pen.

Ready to Travel!
It all fit so nice into that little stacking case!

Walmart also had those larger SMASH books red-tagged for $12 each and thought the pink one might be nice for travel as it has a built in dual-sized pen with a marker at one end and a gluestick at the other.  The book is already filled with sturdy decorative pages inside.  :-)

It will be nice to journal at night after I'm tucked into my hotel room.  As well, since Daddy is in hospital, I can tuck my journal into my purse along with some coloured pencils or watercolour pencils and the water brushes to create while at the hospital during quiet times. I can't wait to see Daddy and everyone!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Happiness is a Butterfly

"Happiness is a butterfly,
which when pursued,
is always just beyond your grasp,
but which, if you will sit down quietly,
may alight upon you.
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne ~

Happiness is a Butterfly

The background is a slip-slap of acrylic paint mixes of Ivory (White with a little bit of Burnt Umber).  Then I added some of that Ivory to a mix of Burnt Sienna and Quinacridone Red to match the large red floral tones and used a slip-slap striation on the background which was done with a specialty brush - Royal Langnickel's Aqualon Wisp Flat Brush. The border at bottom and left is stenciled with the same ivory/red/sienna mixture.  As well, the lace was stenciled with a paper doily and that same mixture.

The florals, bottom left, were fussy-cut from scrapbook paper and decoupaged in place.  The large butterfly was from a vintage digital image resource. printed and just the body attached in place with wings lifted for texture.  The upper left flower and butterfly is a diecut embellishment. I tinted the flower with marker to coordinate.  The band of butterflies on right is a diecut embellishment as well, which has the butterflies lifted in 3-D and glitter ... just a special little bit of fun. The tag was done in my graphics design program and then decoratively corner punched on 3 corners.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

No Act Of Love

No Act of Love

Sometimes, as I flip through my Journal, I find a page I've put "something" on, that is just sitting there waiting to be continued.  So it was with this page of pink stenciling with a white paper doily.

I had this vintage rose image in my collection that I thought was so lovely and would go well with the background.  It became the starting piece for the page.  I cut slits on each side of the rose's stem to feed the ribbon thru before tying the bow.

The soft and delicate diecut floral border has been waiting for months and months to find its home.  Its so, so feminine!

A little bit of Momento Soft Pink and "faux lettering" stamp added a little more interest to the background.

A $2.00  Love2 Foam Stamps set was a wonderful treasure to add to my page with its scrolls and open heart stamps. (Happy Scrappin.com webstore is closing and I took advantage of those close-out prices to get several stamps sets as well as Crafter's Workshop Templates and more.)   I finished off the open hearts with a white & gold pearl heart button and a pink & gold flower button.

The lovely, vintage lady was gifted to me, courtesy of Free Vintage Digi Stamps blog).  Behind her, I added a small bit of cheesecloth, which I tinted with my pink and white spray acrylics and then dried.

The stamped quote came from a Valentine's stamp set in Joann's (clearance aisle and priced at $1.97) and says:

No act of love, however small, is ever wasted.
- Aesop -

Friday, April 5, 2013


Yogurt Cup Stamping

Some time ago, I made a background page in my large journal with a wash of pink.  I then used two types and sizes of yogurt cups to stamp with white acrylic.  I finished it off with a liner brush to add swirls in white.

I love finding objects that can be used in my journal and don't cost me anything other than the intitial investment ... like for its edible yummyness, in the case of yogurt. :-D


Today, I wanted to make a page and flipped to that stamped page that was waiting so patiently to be played with ... and so I did.  

Taking black markers, black acrylic and black inkpads, I used stamps and stencils and freehand chain doodling to add to it.

I like this colour scheme of white, black and pink ... it just makes me think of the 50's for some reason and that was a good era!   Perhaps I should have put a poodle on it!

Happy Weekend Everyone!   :-D

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Will Work For Bling!

Will Work For Bling!

The Monday Challenge with art aMUSEment seemed fitting since it was April 1st -- Kelly directed us to "Let FOOL be the inspiration".

What could be more silly and better than a little girl clown who "will work for bling!"  :-D

This is also paying homage to my friend Jenny of Jennibellie Studio who posted a picture the other day on her FaceBook page. The photo showed two bottles of Gesso and a new package of pens -- and she said "I got new Gesso, I got new Gesso, and new p-ens, and new p-ens, na aaah ah ahhh, na aaah ah ahhh' :D" !!!  LOLOLOLOL!!!! As only another art journalist and mixed media artist can understand -- we prefer new art tools and toys every day of the week over any new clothes and shoes and such!

Love my arty friends who can appreciate how easily foolishness and fun can be shared and appreciated!

And, I have an order of a few toys on the way too!  ,-)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Girlie Girls!

Girlie Girl #1
We are getting ready to go to Michigan for a weekend to visit my father who has been in hospital since last Thursday.  Daddy is 82 and has so many serious health issues, that we know his time grows shorter with all of us, and especially with aggravated issues like now.

While there, I know I will have a little quiet time in the hotel room so I want to bring a little travel kit of journaling supplies to take with me.  As you know, I've several (many, actually!) journals and was trying to assess which one might be better to take.  I remembered I'd scored two different sizes of Ikea scrapbooks, that were on clearance the last time the kids took me there, because they were a seasonal item and have snowflakes imprinted on the fronts.  (Any good journaler knows that a snowflake is easily done away with after we put our materials to work!)  I decided to test one for journaling.  The paper is very thin, like inexpensive copy paper really.  That isn't a problem though as a test page of gesso to both sides took very well or, alternatively, I could decoupage several pages together for added strength.   But I wanted to see how far I could push the paper itself ... and so I did.

Girly Girl #2
I have been wanting to do little girlies for my journals so they were my subjects for my Ikea book test.  I'm not using the correct medium for these girls but one uses what one has and the watercolour pencils are good enough for now.

Girlie Girl #1 is just watercolour pencil unwatered and Sakura black marker 01.

Girly Girl #2 is once again, watercolour pencil and markers (01, 05 and Brush) but with added stenciling, embellishments and water -- I applied water to the pencil colouring behind her head.   Again, the paper held up well with just a very mild bit of warping.   Girlie Girl #2's quote says:  "Sweet memories are a rare jewel which time polishes to perfection",

This little journal will work fine for my needs.  And so I have a little shoebox of "stuff" to take in my suitcase.   It probably has far more in it than I need, but its my first travel-kit.  I don't get out much, you know.  ,-)