Thursday, July 29, 2010


Here's a journal page I finished recently using Zentangles and some other stuff.  Zentangles or Zendoodles are really good for me to do sometimes when I'm thinking too much.  I tend to do that alot and once I start doodling on the page I can get pretty absorbed in it and quit all that thinking and free up my brain to move on the other stuff.  So this page reminds me of one aspect of that and stopping the thinking helps me to be creative so I can always look back at this page when I need to find inspiration.  I like to do the Zentangles in my journal too because my journal is my place to play and experiment and it doesn't have to be perfect.
The bees and the "creativity" is from a big sheet of paper I have.  I use Micron pens for my Zentangles, I have a .03, .05, .08 - various widths.
Thanks for taking a look at my blog!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Journal pages - inspired by nature, of course

It's been awhile since I posted journal pages so I'll do a little catching up here.
 Here's a collage I made using photos I took in my yard and my brothers' yard.  Also used a pic out of a USPS catalog and photo copied a couple stamps I have from the State Flowers and Bird series.  Then I printed the text out on ledger paper.  The small words you can't read (might be able to read them all if you click on photo to enlarge) are words inspired by gardening like sunshine, rain, cultivate, etc.  The background is deli paper painted with acrylic.  I now always have some near me when painting and clean all the paint off my brushes and sponges before cleaning them.  I love how it goes down on a page.  I cover the back with gel medium then stick it down.  It always gets some tiny wrinkles which make for a great texture. 
Here's a two page spread I did of Oregon Grape.  My mom painted a couple murals at an Oregon State Park near Shedd, Oregon this summer.  The park is called Thompsons Mills State Park.  I drove her back and forth to work on the murals and had alot of time to spend there while she painted.  I took my journal and a small bag of art supplies.  I had a sample set of watercolor pencils with me - 5 pencils.  There is Oregon Grape growing all over the park.  So, since I'm trying to work on my drawing skills this summer, I decided to draw a branch.  And since I was using the colors I had on hand it is non traditional colors.  I printed the words for this page out on ledger paper and glued them down.  While I was there I also made a background on the facing page, not having a definate idea for it at the time.  But ,as we were packing up to leave for the day I found a branch of Oregon Grape on the ground and put it in my journal.  A day or two later I made a leaf print from it using Golden Fluid Acrylics ( I'm pretty sure it was Phtalo Green).  Oregon Grape leaves are pretty stiff to start with plus this one was dried out from being on the ground and in between journal pages for a couple days so the print is not real intense.  Because of that I outlined it with a black Micron pen.  I stamped the words on this page with rubber stamps.  I think Oregon Grape is one of my favorite plants and I'm really happy with how these pages turned out.  I tried to think of something else for the drawn page as it seemed sort of plain, but finally decided it showed the "bones" of the Oregon Grape better left that way.
This next is a drawing I did with black Micron pens on a background I painted with acrylic paints.  I used cheap craft paints in various greens.  I had seen some note cards that were stylized prints of Acacia in various colors and liked the look of the plant.  So I looked it up on Wikipedia and found a lot of varieties!  Found an image I liked (it doesn't grow around here) and printed it out and drew this picture from it.  Realizing, of course, that you can't duplicate nature I did go for an exact Acacia but my own version in black ink.  In keeping with the ledger paper theme in this journal I again printed out the title on ledger paper and glued it on.  I think this is one of my fav journal pages so far.  But then, perhaps I think that each time I complete a new page!  Ha!  Well, it's hot here today.  A good day to stay inside and work on art! 
Hope everyone is having a creative weekend!  

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

local color - how could i forget?!?

Blueberries!  July in Oregon is all about blueberries!  These are all from Anderson Blues in Corvallis Oregon.
But they are closed right now waiting for more to ripen.  Today I got 10 pounds from Springbank Farms in Lebanon Oregon.  Not much compares to a fresh picked blueberry!  Yum!  We are quite spoiled around here.
What's the best local crop for eating where you live?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Local color

Today I'm sharing some art that nature helped me out with.  Some photography.  I was into photography long before paper arts and journaling took over my life.  I'd say it was my first artistic love but really it is nature that inspires it all.  So here's some of natures' best from around the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
These hydrangeas were all growing in front of a medical plaza.  A dozen bushes or more.  They were so beautiful!  I started out to get a few shots of the blue ones for a page in my color inspiration altered book but there were so many and so many color variations I just kept taking photos.  I have lots more but I won't go on and on and on anymore than I have with hydrangeas today!
Next we have Oregon Grape - the Oregon state flower.  They have yellow flowers in the spring but I missed those...maybe next year!  The first is in early June when the grapes are still green.  The next two are later in June when the grapes are turning purple.  Lovely bushes with the shiny green leaves! 
Last photo to share today - this varigated holly from a bush here in my yard.  I love the dark green of holly and the light edges add a nice contrast.
Hope you enjoyed the tribute to some of the wonders of nature.
Thanks for taking a look!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Repost of a favorite buried treasure

Seth at The Altered Page is hosting a collaborative project giving readers of his blog a chance to choose their favorite past blog post on their own blog.  His project is to list all those with a link on his blog under Buried Treasure.  This isn't his first collaborative project and in addition to his wonderful art you can find a whole lot of interesting information by checking them out on his blog.

I wanted to participate and since I'm sort of new to blogging it wasn't too hard to go back through and find my favorite post.  It's about INSPIRATION.  I do like the journal page alot, but the subject is why I chose this one.  I'm always interested in sources for inspiration.  And I always hope I'm being observant enough to see or hear inspiration around me. I think, as artists and art enthusiasts we tend to be a pretty observant bunch of people for the most part.  Do you agree?  Surprises me some of the things that inspire me sometimes.

So, here's the post again - I hope you all enjoy it!
(it was originally posted here)

Lot's of different things inspire my art - nature is a big inspiration, colors also spark many ideas. Something I like to use for inspiration is song lyrics.
I just completed a journal page inspired by the Shinedown song - The Crow & The Butterfly. (lyrics can be found here)

The background is acrylics. I turned the journal on it's side and put the colors of Golden Fluid Acrylics along the binding and sprayed it with water and let them run down. Once dry I wrote the lyrics with a white pen. The crow I drew and cut out of black paper and glued on. The butterfly is a rubber stamp (that I recently got out of the $1 bin at Michaels-pretty nice, huh?). The title I printed on ledger paper and cut out (ledger paper is sort of a unifying theme in this journal. It's along the bound edge of all pages and used somewhere in most of the pages). The dandelion at the top I painted over the top with golden acrylics. I'm really happy with how it turned out. I love the bright colors in the background, and the white writing, and the bird, and well, I guess I like it all! I enjoy the song too...I'm sure you can find it on YouTube if you want to give a listen.

Here's some tags I created in the past using song lyrics for inspiration:

Think about some of your favorite songs or lyrics, look up the lyrics online if you aren't sure of what all they say. What does it make you think about? How can you use that as inpiration for an art project?
It's alot of fun to think about!
What else inspires you? I'm always interested to hear about inspiration...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Nurture Nature Journal Page

Here's a collage I made in Carmen Torbus' Spill It Revisited online class.  I used Golden Fluid Acrylics and Golden Gel Matte Medium. It was a great class and I learned so much about fun ways to use acrylic paints!  You can check out Carmen's class here.  I highly recommend it if you like to play with acrylics and want to learn a fun technique for using them.  I really enjoyed it!
Once I got the torn paper, mesh and acrylic paint portion of the collage done I did a leaf print using Golden Fluid Acrylics in Phtalo Green and leaves from a Japonica Pierias shrub in my yard.  And added the Nurture Nature words which I had printed out on ledger paper.  The original collage was 9 x 12 but I cut it down to square to fit into my art journal and glued it to an existing page.  I think I'll use some antiqued brads in the corners to add a little interest.  Just haven't decided on the color yet.  I have some small square brads I think will be just right. 
I hope you are staying cool wherever you are!  It's been pretty warm here in Oregon.
Thanks for taking a look.  Go create something!

Monday, July 12, 2010

GPP Crusade 42 - Strip Ease

This month the theme for the GPP Crusade is Strip Ease.  You can read all about it here.

For my contribution I took some printed papers and tore them into strips.  I had these hibiscus flowers I had cut out of a piece of scrapbook paper that I wanted to use for a journal page but I wasn't having any luck figuring out what to use for a background.  Then when I was thinking about the Strip Ease idea I thought that might work so picked out some papers, tore them into strips, glued them down and gave it a try.  I played around with where I wanted papers torn with a white edge (thinking that went well with the white edge on the flowers) and where I didn't.  I like how, just by accident, the words "WIN WIN" ended up showing up so well. 

I had the following page in an altered book that I did last month so thought I'd share it also.  The theme for this book is color and for this blue page I tore strips from magazine pages and glued them down.  I tore these strips so the white edge showed for more contrast between the blues.  The middle of the page had part of a fuzzy butterfly body which made me think of big hairy moths which give me the creeps so I had to cover it up!  I punched one inch circles out of the magazine pages and covered the partial body with them.

There's still plenty of time this month to check out the Crusade and participate yourself.  Go here for all the details.  Then see what you can come up with.  It's a great way to spark your creativity and move your muse into action mode , plus it's alot of fun!
Thanks for taking a look!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tags for swap and journal page from leftovers

The Yahoo Mini-Books Group I belong to had a swap I participated in with the subject "Things That Fly".  Each person was to make a 3x5 tag for all participants and then mail them directly to each participant.  I made my tags out of watercolor paper.  I coated both sides with gesso, then used acrylics and a spray bottle and painted on an orangish backgound.  I then used punchinella/sequin waste as a stencil to add the blue dot design.  At that point I cut the paper into 3x5 pieces and made them into tags. Then rubber stamped the image and words.   Lastly was to add the blue hole protectors to the hole I had punched (white ones bought at an office supply store and dyed blue with ink pad) and then add the yarn.

Once I got done with the tags I had all these strips of watercolor paper with the orange paint and blue dots on them.  I just started playing around with them and kinda started weaving them together.  It was looking pretty cool so I though I'd put in in my journal.  I had this blue background I had made by rubbing a colored pencil over the page while it was resting on the rough wood of an old picnic table and got a wood grain design.  I decided to use that as my background for the weaving.  And as long as I was sitting there with all the leftovers from my tags I decided to glue a few of the holes around the edges.  Then I decided I should use the little triangles left over from cutting the top corners of the tags off.  Those and gluing a few more of the left over holes around the weaving, as well as using a bird paper punch on a scrap and adding those completed the page for me.  It was pretty fun to use up my leftovers like that!
What do you do with your leftover pieces from a paper project? 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Creating with texture

I came across this video on You Tube for creating textured art and really liked what I saw!  I decided to give it a try.  I'm on this use what I have kick (in part because I am a supply junkie and have ALOT of stuff) and found a jar of spackle so decided to give that a try before I go out and buy joint compound.  I used a 5 x 7 canvas board.  Once I spread the spackle and let it set up a little I used lids and the stick end of a foam brush to make some circles.  And then a square chopstick to add some designs as well as a rubber stamp.  Once it had dried overnight I sanded it down to where I wanted it and coated with clear acrylic medium.  I had also seen this video by the same artist and painted my piece once the acrylic medium dried using this technique.  I used Golden Acrylics - Fluid Green Gold, Heavy Bodied Quinacridone Violet, and Fluid Phtalo Green.
I didn't really like the piece much until I got to the third color - that made all the dif in the world!  So, if you don't like what you got just keep adding another layer until you do!
I wish you could see it in person and touch it and feel the texture!
Pretty cool, huh? 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Zendoodle ATCs

Here's some ATCs I made for a Zendoodle Swap at Milliande Art Community for Women on Ning.  I haven't participated in alot of swaps lately but I'm kinda missing them and getting fun art in the mail!  So I've tried to sign up for a few lately.  I got off track meeting deadlines for awhile so quit taking part.  But I just need to discipline myself cuz if I don't send any fun mail out into the world I'm not going to get any showing up in my mailbox - and I want mail art!
Thanks for taking a look!
I wish you all a happy and safe 4th of July!