Sunday, December 22, 2013

Exciting news for the new year for you and your art journal!

Anyone who's been reading this for a while knows I have a deep connection to the work of Carl Jung, and the idea that the archetypal world of myth and storytelling is a very powerful way to understand ourselves and the world.  Well, guess what?  There is an on-line mixed media art class being offered called "2014: The Year of the Fairy Tale."

The teacher, Carla Sonheim, is a very fine illustrator and online art instructor known for using innovative exercises and techniques to help students of all levels embrace a more playful approach to creating art. She is the author of "Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun" and "The Art of Silliness: A Creativity Book for Everyone."

Her work is really magnificent, and here is a chance to learn some  of her techniques that will help your art making rise to a new level.  I am taking the class myself, so you will see lots of her inspiration here in my pages as the new year starts.  Letting mixed media loose on the page, and allowing playfulness and experimentation in our work is really a key element to unexpected surprises, joyful work, and exuberance in our journals.  I know I tend to just settle into doing the same thing over and over, and boredom can overtake me easily as I work in my journal.  I am so happy to have this opportunity for some inspiration and direction from someone who does such creative, playful work.
copyright Carla Sonheim

Here is a link to Carla's Blog:

and here is info for "Year of the Fairy Tale" Online Class:

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Yesterday I showed you a series of steps to get from a doodle or painting to a collage in your journal. Here is a bit of that page with some stamping and penwork added.

Media used includes:
gel pen
copic marker
inktense pencil
carved rubber stamp

It's very relaxing to put on good music or a documentary film on youtube, and just make swirls and dots and marks. Because why not have fun with your journal? 
"I never did a day's work in my life – it was all fun." --Thomas Edison

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

something to try in your journal

Here's a little tutorial if you are wondering what to do today in your journal.  (We all need a kickstarted some times.)  Start off painting or drawing a little picture.  I did a couple of watercolors of birds.
Scan the paintings, and print a bunch, you can put them on different backgrounds if you want, and print them in a few different sizes.  This will give you a bunch of images for collaging.
Cut and tear the images in several shapes and sizes.  Get out your spray mount!
Here I have cut and torn some of the birds, and arranged them in my journal. I like mixing square images and torn images.  I used some scrap from the tearing outs to make a bit of a border.
Now spread out an old magazine, and spray the back of the larger images first.  Attach them to your page, then turn the magazine pages so you have a clean background to spray on for the next set of papers.  Spray the smaller images and attach them to your layout.
These are my inktense watercolor pencils, I LOVE them.  See the spray bottle?  Once I get some color on the paper, spritzing with water really makes the pencil work pop.  This is why I journal on heavy watercolor paper, it can take lots of punishment.

I drew around this bird with red pencil, then activated the ink with water.  It holds the images on the page nicely.  I also tend to dray parts coming off the torn paper onto the background, and stamp over the edges.  All these help blend the images so they sit on the journal page nicely.
Next will be some penwork, words and doodles and detailing.  Maybe some stamping.  I'll post a photo when the whole page is done.

Happy journaling!

Friday, December 13, 2013

risk taking

"Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take risks." -Mark Rothko

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


It's a busy month, December, with craft shows to get ready for, making, wrapping, and mailing gifts, increased sales on Etsy, and all those holiday get-togethers.

I just spent about 6 days in bed, punctuated with a one day sitting at an art show I HAD to attend. Sales were good, and comments were so positive and encouraging, that I'm glad I did it, even if it meant a few extra days recuperating after. One thing I am learning as I get older, that it is the right thing to take good care of myself, even if that means saying "I can't" to some things I wish I could do. We tend to take care of everyone else so much that we lost sight of taking good care of ourselves. I recently initiated with a Crones Group, 8 fabulous women who celebrated being older, being in a wiser phase of our lives, letting go of the time of caring for others to focus on building our own visions and personal wisdom.

I am coming out of 25 years of raising kids, and it is a wonderful gift to be able to put my work and my health first. Journaling will be a part of this, even though my journaling takes a bit of a back burner to my December obligations, I am looking forward to some real solid journaling time to start the New Year.

I also teach a workshop in February, so I am looking forward to sharing some of those pages and techniques here. Hope you have a blessed Solstice, Yule, Christmas, Kwanzaa, etc. (or that you already had a blessed Hannakuh.) The time of darkness leading us into the New Year is a blessed time for reflection.

Your journal is there to help you with this.

"The upheaval of our world and the upheaval in consciousness is one and the same. Everything becomes relative and therefore doubtful. And while man, hesitant and questioning, contemplates... his spirit yearns for an answer that will allay the turmoil of doubt and uncertainty." --Carl Gustav Jung