Friday, January 30, 2009

Making Things Right

In my last post I mentioned that the GellyRoll Glaze pens I'd just gotten were leaking. I'm happy to say that I just got off the phone with Rex Art and they are sending me out a new batch of them!

This was my first time buying from them and I did so because they had the Sharpie Poster Paint pens and the Sakura pens that I love for such a good price. Plus, one day last week I spent over 3 hours going from store to store looking for the Sharpies only to come up empty handed. It is so frustrating when a product that you love and buy regularly disappears for all the stores that use to carry it! Anyway, I had to find a source for my pens and stumbled upon the Rex Art site. They absolutely had the best prices on the items I wanted so I placed an order.

What a bummer it was when I went to use the Glaze pens and they were a mess. All is well though because Rex Art has great customer service and were very accommodating about making things right. Forget the big box chain stores. If you need something and want to be treated well go with a small company. They appreciate your business and know how to treat a person right.

Past Few Days

The past few days have been a bit rough. The pain has been out of control, something that's always a problem in winter. But, I've managed to keep myself busy by working on my art journals while laying in bed. Over the years I've learned that no matter the situation you can always make things better. Or worse, if that's what you choose. I'm not one for having a Pity Party so I choose to make things better. I've learned how to arrange my art supplies so they're within easy reach. Having them arranged this way keeps me from having to move my body too much when I'm having one of THOSE days.

Yesterday I completed 5 journal pages, painted another 10 or so, re-read most of 'What It Is' by Lynda Barry (I highly recommend it!!!), watched a movie with my boy and spent some time laughing over re-runs of Frasier. Not a bad day considering.

The downer of the day is that ALL of the new GellyRoll Glaze pens I bought leak like sieves! I went to use them last night and each and every one of them is drippy, leaking and a total mess. Totally annoying!!!

I tried to get a decent photo of the mixed-media painting I recently finished, but no matter what I did I kept getting a bit of glare. I'll have to get out my trusty Minolta and snap a real photo. But for now, this one will have to do. It's done on a wood panel using acrylic paint, collage, stencils and texturing techniques. The heart image is surrounded by carpet tacks adding another dimension to it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ho Ho Ho

Yes, I know. The holidays are over. But I never got around to posting photos of the Santa's I made for relatives for the holidays so am doing it now. Plus we've got a big snowstorm approaching and that makes it feel like Yule to me.

All of these are based on Old World Santa's and are painted with multiple layers of paint, wiping off in between layers to create more depth and an aged look.

Monday, January 26, 2009

This Is A Shoe

This is a shoe. The Sea Queen's Shoe as a matter of fact. It's made from an old, ugly bridesmaid's shoe. You know the kind. Pointy heeled, too tight in the toes, shiny satin material. Every gal I know has at least one pair in her closet. More if she's unlucky.

Mine had been kicking around for decades. Stuffed into the box they came in, beneath all my other boxes of shoes, waiting around for someone to don them again I suppose. One day I made up my mind to get rid of those shoes once and for all. Why was I keeping them??? It's not like bright red satin shoes went with anything I had in my closet. Was I hanging onto them in case a wedding party walked by my house looking for someone who owned such a pair of shoes to help them out? Not likely.

As I went to toss them inspiration struck. I could make something cool from them! I could cover them with gook, add some doo-dads and paint and make them into ART! Yes! The shoes would live on in a new, much improved incarnation.

Out came the molding paste, shells, crab claws, fish jaws (yes, fish jaws), crystals, bits of broken jewelry and paints. A mad frenzy ensued, molding paste clung to every surface including most of my arm and hands. But that's OK! I was creating something cool. And when it was over, I heard a sigh. The Sea Queen had finally found someone to make her some shoes. (She's still waiting for the other one because I haven't been inspired to make it yet.)

January 26 Journal Page

Just one today, so far and it was done very early this morning (about 1:00 AM in fact). If it had been much earlier I could've counted it for yesterday!

I received another batch of early reviewers books in the mail today. I adore being a book reviewer!!!! It's a great way to feed my addiction to books and helps me keep my writing skills in shape. Sometimes I miss being a columnist, but then I remember the pressure of deadlines and realize I'm much happier without dealing with that!

I added another item to my ArtFire store. I wanted to get some more photographed today but it hasn't happened yet. Today was focused on updating my library catalog and rearranging books, again! Tomorrow will have to be photography day.

More snow in the forecast, as if we don't have enough already. My sister, who moved to Florida last October, texts me her beach report almost every day. And now our folks are down there visiting her so I get a beach report from them too! I am so jealous.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

No Time? That's A Load of Bull!!!

It's been busy here. Just few of the things that have been keeping me occupied are the annual Cub Scout Pinewood Derby, breaking up ice on stairs and walkways, cleaning the wood stove, making pizza, taking care of lots of critters and creating, creating, creating! No matter how busy life gets there is ALWAYS time to create. If you have time to make a cup of tea, you have time to slap some paint on a page. If you have to wait at the bus stop, you have time to paste a few pictures in your journal. If you have time to send a bunch of e-mails, you have time to do some journaling or make some ATC's.

Too many times I hear people say they don't have time for art making. Well, yes they do!!! All the time that's wasted complaining that they have no time could of been used to make something. Anything.

So, even though it's been busy, busy here I've still had lots of time to create. I painted a few dozen journal pages, finished a painting on wood I had started and stockpiled a bunch of images for collages. Oh, and finished 5 journal pages too. Not bad for two days that were filled with other "must do" activities.

Oh, and for anyone who's had to deal with shitty, art snobs criticizing their art or making them feel like they weren't good enough, you HAVE to read this: Finding Your Voice Seriously. Go read it NOW!!!! You'll be glad you did. (Thanks Kelly for being wicked pissa!!!!)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Page In Progress

I thought it would be nice to show one of my journal pages in progress. I have many different ways of working, so this example is just one of them. Sometimes I start adding images to a blank page, other times I write or paint first.

Here I've painted the page using multiple colors of acrylic paint:

Next I did some journaling using Sharpie Poster Paint Markers. I turned the page in a different direction each time I changed colors so the text becomes more of a design element than an expression of words. This is a good way to write when you have a lot to say or if you don't necessarily want everyone being able to read what you've written!

I've added my main (focal) image and a few accent pieces of decorative paper to help draw the eye toward the focal:

Finally I add more journaling using a regular Sharpie and a gel pen & create some accents around the focal image. The accents help draw your eye to the focal even more:

And that's it! A completed journal page.

Setting Up Shop!

I took the leap and set up an on-line shop! I've been wanting to do so for quite some time now, but always held back. What if I didn't sell anything? What if nobody liked my stuff? What if....??? I would've done it long ago, I could've done it long ago, I should've done it long ago.......

Obviously, a bad case of the "What Ifs" and too much time hanging with the Would've, Could've, Should've Sisters kept me from doing what I wanted to do.

BUT My creative, EMPOWERED self finally kicked the What If crew and the Would've, Could've, Should've Sisters out and told me to JUST DO IT! So, being the ever obedient person I am, I did it.

A new art selling site, ArtFire, was offering a great deal if you signed up. So I went headlong into the fray and created a space there for me. Yes, me! The site is only in BETA right now, live but with glitches galore. But that's OK. As the site managers get up to speed I'll have time to gather my art, photograph it and get it listed.

I did manage to list 3 paintings today,which is all I asked of myself. A few things today, a few tomorrow and in no time a whole lot of stuff. If you want to check it out, click below. In the meantime I'm going to DREAM BIG and make my art sales a reality.

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell Handmade

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hopeful Journal Page

My pages are reflecting the hope I hold in my heart for peace in the Middle East and the dreams of hope flowing through my own nation. With the Inauguration behind us I think most Americans are looking toward the future with hope in their hearts.
I never expected to be emotionally moved watching the Inauguration on television. Hell, I'm not the highly emotional type. I rarely get all worked up unless something major is going on in my life. So imagine my shock over the appearance of tears in my eyes. You could've knocked me over with a feather!
If my dad, the die-hard Republican, ever hears that I got all chocked up over a Democrat being sworn in as President he'll probably keel over. Either that or he'll assume I was all choked up because it WAS a Democrat and not a Republican.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 19th Journal Pages--Gaza

The conflict in Gaza, in the Middle-East in general, has been on my mind a lot lately. There has been conflict in that part of the world for longer than any of us have been alive. WHY???? Why all the killing over land, religion, resources??? We are all human, we are all the same inside. Acceptance of each other's uniqueness is needed. NOW.

Journals VS. Diaries

I've been a journaler for as long as I can remember. Even as a child I would add paint, drawings, images, etc. to my journal pages. Other girls kept a diary, locked with a tiny lock and opened with a tiny key. Not me, I had a journal. What's the difference? To me the difference is what goes on the pages. A diary is a written account of daily life. A journal is an expression of emotions & thoughts visually then enhanced with text. The text in a journal can be a design element, can be simple, bold, small or large. It's the images that help convey the meaning.

Is a journal better than a diary? No, they're just different. just as summer is different from winter, night is different than day and the ocean is different than the desert. They each have their unique qualities. Each is just as important as the other yet they are not the same. Different is a wonderful thing.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Shitty Art

I've seen & heard of some pretty bizarre creations that pass for art, but this is just too frickin' much! Sotheby's is auctioning off a piece of shit. Literally. It's called CLOACA FAECES by the Belgian artist Wim Delvoye and is included in their February 6 sale taking place in London.

Estimated price is 2000-3000 GBP. Not sure what that converts to in American, but no matter what it is it's way too much to pay for a piece of crap in a box!!! Check out the auction listing if you don't believe me. You too will shake your head & wonder why you didn't save all that dog crap or baby poop to use in your art since it goes for so much at Sotheby's!

Catching Up

I wasn't able to get on-line yesterday thanks to the weather. We were having a snowstorm and kept having power surges so I decided it was safer to keep the computer turned off.

I ended up spending the day on the back porch collaging & adding text to a bunch of journal pages. The day before I'd painted 15 or 20 pages & spent several hours going through magazines looking for focal images. I have a huge stack of National Geographic back issues that are my main source for the images I use in my work. The paper is high quality & the images unique. Most of the images in these journal pages came from Nat. Geo, the rest are from fashion magazines or decorative paper packs.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gaza Cease Fire!

It's only for 10 days, but it's a start!!! Let's hope the cease-fire continues and peace is restored. A long shot, I know, but one can always hope. And pray, and focus on spreading inner-peace to one and all so the madness ends!

ABC NEWS: Gaza Cease Fire

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I picked up a couple of new art books today & have been visually devouring them all afternoon. I love seeing how other artists work, finding out what inspires them & being inspired by their creations. Both books focus on collage, painting & mixed-media, but offer two totally different styles and a whole bunch of varied techniques.

The first, which I've wanted since it first came out, is Collage Unleashed by Traci Bautista I've admired Traci's work for quite a while now so am thrilled to get an insider's view of how she works. I love the way the book is set up. Lots of eye-candy, cool fonts used throughout and enough techniques & project ideas to spark anyone's creativity.

The other is Taking Flight by Kelly Rae Roberts. I've been seeing a lot of Kelly's work in Cloth, Paper, Scissors the past few months and found it full of lighthearted spirit. when I saw she had an inspirational book out I had to have it! It's as good as it looks and definitely worth picking up.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

January 10th & 11th Journal Pages

These two pages are the ones I did for Jan. 10 & 11. I've had both focal images in my collage fodder bins for quite a while but hadn't decided how best to use them. The image on the left intrigued me because of the masks. The one on the right because of the bear standing up & wearing a veil. It's funny what catches your eye & prompts you to cut it out and save it for later use!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Yet More Journal Pages

Lots of journal pages being completed the past week. Over the weekend I painted a bunch of pages, then moved on to the collaging & journaling them. I've been creating art journals for as long as I can remember & really love how emotionally expressive they are.

Monday, January 12, 2009

More Journal Pages

Some more journal pages finished. The majority of the ones I've posted are from the A Prompt A Day group. Every day we're giving painting, collage & journal prompts to spark our creativity. I highly recommend the group, offered by Kelly Kilmer.

Because it is a paying group, an on-line course in reality, I won't share what the prompts are (it wouldn't be fair) but I don't mind sharing my completed pages!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Today was a nice, relaxing day. We had snow again so I didn't venture out. I'm pretty much a home-body in the winter so don't go out unless totally necessary. When it's snowing I like to stay in and enjoy watching it fall instead of going somewhere & dealing with messy roads. I often wonder why I live in such a cold climate since I'm not a fan of the cold!

I spent the better part of the day on the back porch, wood fire burning to keep me warm & painted journal pages. I managed to paint 20 pages. Not a record amount, but a decent days efforts. Five are for the Prompt A Day on-line class I'm participating in, the other fifteen are in a large, spiral bound journal I've just started.

In between painting I sipped hot tea, soaked in the hot tub to ease sore muscles (it was brutal walking outside to get to the tub but so worth it once in there!), snuggled my boy & the critters, watched hubby install the new dishwasher and just enjoyed life in general.

Tonight I'm working on collaging the pages I painted & getting completed pages scanned in so I can share them. Nothing terribly exciting, but for me it's one of the best ways to spend an entire day: Creating, relaxing and hanging with those I love.

Friday, January 9, 2009

New Journal Pages

Not feeling my best because of a slip and fall on the ice and the storms we've been having. Been busy working in my art journals though.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Art Journal Round Robin-FULL

I have 12 for the art journal round robin I am doing. Thanks to all who contacted me! I'll be sending you all the link to our journal area ASAP.

Update: 1/30/09--If anyone would like to be included in the next art journal round robin I do (US only please) feel free to leave a comment here, with a way to get in touch with you, and I'll let you know when the next one is organized!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Another Journal Page

This page depicts some of the sadness I feel over the loss of my beloved Nana. She passed away in early Oct. 2008. We always loved sharing a cup of tea together so when I found the picture in a magazine of an elderly woman holding a cup of tea I knew I had to use it.

Many of the hearts seen in my recent work have to do with the pain in my own heart and the healing it is going through. Every time I make a page while thinking about all the emotional turmoil of the past 6 months (not just Nana passing over, but other things as well) my heart heals a bit. Eventually I know my art will help it heal completely.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Art Journal Round Robin

I've decided to host an art journal round robin. I've done them in the past and they are a whole lot of fun. The rules are pretty simple:

1. Limited to US artists only. Sorry all you folks in other countries, but limiting it to the US saves a whole lot of travel time & postage fees.

2. Number of participants is limited to 12.

3. Each artist supplies her own journal. It can either be hand made, store bought or a book you wish to be worked in. the journal should be sturdy and easy to work in. In other words don't choose a vintage book as your journal because the pages will be brittle and hard to work with.

4. Each artist gets to pick her own theme, but it must be clearly defined in the journal what that theme is & you have to be open to each individual artist interpreting the theme in her own way.

5. A sign in page should be in the journal. It can be in the front, back or on a cover but it has to be there. You'll want to know the names and contact info for each artist so having it is a "must".

5. You'll receive a journal in the mail and have 1 month from the date you receive it to mail it off to the next participant. No exceptions on this one!

6. Delivery confirmation must be used when mailing off a journal. Using DC limits a whole lot of problems!!!! Also, you need to let us know when you receive a journal, when it is sent off & the DC#. Again, no exceptions!

Interested? Then leave a comment here with your e-mail address and I'll get in touch with you!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Journal Pages

I didn't get a lot of art done today because I was cleaning up the mess a leaking dishwasher created, but I did manage to make a journal and finish up some pages I started last night.. I also went and picked out a new dishwasher to replace the ancient, 1971 model that conked out. I'm sure we'll notice a big difference in electric & water usage with the new Amana versus the dinosaur we've been using all these years!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Collate: A Paper Collaboration

After seeing this on Kelly Kilmer's blog I just had to check it out. Sweet Jessie is hosting this totally awesome paper collaboration where each participant sends in 50-70 pieces of paper and for a small fee gets a bound journal of mixed papers in return!!! Being a total paper whore I joined immediately.

My pile of 6" x 9" papers were cut last night, put in an envelope this morning and will be mailed off tomorrow. Now I just need to wait (impatiently) for the day I receive a bound journal in return. Can't wait to get it in my hands and make those first entries!


A friend of my mother's gave me a bunch of masonite scraps quite a while ago. They've been in bags at the back of the studio closet for ages, gathering dust. While looking for a certain tool the other day I came across them and decided it was high time I did something with them!

After applying a thin coat of gesso to a few pieces I started in with the glazes, paints & collage. A few of them are still in progress, but this one is finished. I think.....

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Few Journal Pages

Last night I managed to do 7 journal pages. I'd planned on doing 2, but once I got going I just kept at it for hours. A very satisfying feeling to get so much done in one evening!