My word is “breakthrough” and I think it will fit 2021 nicely, though who really knows what’s coming? There are so many unanswered questions. I choose to look at the new year positively, and intend to make it great, as great as I can!
I made a short art journal video to bring in the new year. Making art is good intention setting.
You can watch the process here:
Reflecting back on 2020 it was a chaotic year for sure. I’m sure we can all agree. I got a lot accomplished in my art studio, and I was grateful to have that space to retreat to whenever I wanted. Not everyone is that lucky. My heart reaches out to those who were hard hit with the economic downturn, and most of all, those who had friends and relatives who passed away.
I wish a lot better year for everyone, and that we can find ways to get along better.
Here are some items I made in December:
The angel shrines are well loved by my customers. 🙂
If you need an angel for someone or yourself, please check out my shop Earth and Faery.
I wrote a blog post earlier this month with several other items I made, you can check out this post if you didn’t already, New Energy Coming…
Mixed media is one of my go-to modalities when I want to experiment and have some fun in my art journal.
There are so many ways to add mixed media elements to your art, as many as you can imagine! 🙂
Mixed media is the essence of flexibility.
I made this art journal spread with some sea-loving flair. Mice are on an adventure and a mermaid is sending them some good vibes.
I haven’t been as busy as usual in my studio this month. Times have been kind of crazy, and my thoughts have been scattered a lot.
But I’m ready for Christmas, and there will be mixed media galore in my Etsy shop, but no art journaling there. 🙂
As you can see, I painted some pictures. I also tried my hand at some polymer clay brooches, which were a lot of fun, and a mermaid pendant. What do you think of these?
I made some more angels since they sell well in my shop.
If you are interested in any of these items, they can be purchased at Earth and Faery. There are about 150 items to choose from. I’m amazed at myself as I keep making stuff. When you’re inspired, everything flows!
If you missed my last post, Altered Pages Just for Fun, here it is. You can watch a three-part video tutorial on how to make altered pages with texture and paint. Then I show how to use them as ornaments and as a journal cover. CHECK IT OUT.
It’s always good to make some art in these crazy times. 🙂
Altered pages are a staple in art journaling, and I decided to experiment using a tub of modeling paste I just purchased. The paste has the consistency of creamy peanut butter and is easy to use. It’s important to clean up your tools quickly before it dries. It dries a lot harder than you’d think.
First, a thought: The best way to discover what kind of art expression you like to pursue is through experimentation. You learn quickly what you don’t like, and it takes you beyond copying others’ styles. I think it’s the best way to discover what makes you tick. That changes over time, so it’s good to be flexible.
Anyway, here are the three videos I made with altered papers.
Part 1: how I actually altered the papers.
Part 2: How I made some ornaments using the above papers.
Part 3: Altered papers make a great journal cover!
As you can see, these papers are very flexible and forgiving too. You can’t mess up the project. Try it. If you buy some modeling paste you’ll enjoy using it in other projects. I made this mermaid picture with a sea background of paste.
I pretty much used the same stencils in all the projects. You can use this technique for some many things!
My word for 2020 is faith. It takes a lot of faith to blaze new trails in the wilderness of creativity. I feel inspired to move on, create things I’ve never done before. First, I have a little inspiration for you, the process of my latest art journal spread:
I started by applying a paper napkin to the bottom half of the pages, using Mod Podge. I separated the two layers of the napkin first, and the top layer was very thin, making awesome crinkles in the paper when I attached it to the page. I then painted the top part an unbleached white and used an old gift card to scrape some green over the dried paper napkin.
You can see the ridges in the napkin well, and where there is a paler area in the white paint where the Mod Podge acted as a resist, adding more interest to the page. I like how the flowers on the napkin shone through, making me think of spring.
I added stems from my stash of paper. Friendship sayings were printed on the paper, and I thought they would add more interest to the art. I cut out flowers from other stashed junk and glued them all down.
I enhanced the stems and flowers with black lines from a ballpoint pen and wrote down my word for the year. Simple but fun!
I have dipped my toes into other media as in sewing. I’m obsessed with textile birds at the moment. Using two Ann Wood patterns that you can find at Annwoodhandmade.com, I made a songbird and an owl. Lots of fun, but also some frustration when things didn’t go so well.
This debonair gentleman is called Sir Percival. He has lots of wisdom and goes his own way, but is always willing to offer a word of encouragement. He has lived a long life, and he likes to read books.
He’s fashioned from soft materials, but he’s not a toy. He’s an art doll enjoying lording it over other dolls, but he’s kind.
These two birds are for sale in my Etsy shop. You can find the owl HERE. The songbird is available HERE.
Apoxie Sculpt is of the most difficult materials I’ve worked with. I like the incredible hardness when dry, but it tends to be too soft, and if you wait, it gets too hard to work with. You only have a couple of hours of work time with the clay. I haven’t found the sweet spot yet.
I finished the bird I made a couple of weeks ago, painted two layers of paint and fixed the wobbly leg. It came out ok, but the turtle I made with the amethyst crystal did not end up as planned, but I’m learning. The clay is so different from polymer clay or paper clay. Since the end product is so much stronger, it’s worth learning how to handle it correctly.
The main thing is to have fun!
I hope you’re having fun this week. Make sure to add some creative practice to your day. Every day is a gift. Make it juicy!
If you missed my last post, here it is: Person or bird? I made some molded faces with Apoxie Sculpt and sewed them to fabric bodies. What do you think?
Color basics came to me as I mixed colors and saw the results. I never took any classes in color combinations, but I can see how the need is there for someone just starting out.
I went to YouTube to investigate and found several tutorials on how to mix paints. I didn’t feel like making my own, so here is one video by Kelly Eddington Watercolors. It’s a good one! Check it out if you’re unsure how to mix paints.
I recommend using scrap paper and experimenting with your primary colors. Mix them up and see what happens on paper! Practice until you understand the basic combinations and variations.
You can’t mess it up!
I was busy this week doing some art journaling, using paper I created for my online course Life’s Song. It is all about making your own papers from scratch, well, not the paper itself, but the altering and embellishment. I had lots of fun with the papers that resulted, and I will make some more. They become more authentic than the paper you buy in the stores. Take a peek.
The burnt paper became a face. I teach how to make that kind of paper in Life’s Song. Added embellishment from magazines and other papers, like the star tissue paper on the right. A gift from a friend on Christmas.
It’s all about balance and fearlessly charging into the unknown. It can be scary!
Gratitude has been a big focus in my life lately. Every day, every breath is a reason to be grateful. I feel I live in a magical universe despite the craziness going on in the world right now.
Humans need to wake up and smell the roses!
As artists we can inspire.
It has been a good week and I look forward to my next foray into art journaling…
Now I have to go and clean the bathroom…
Have a great, creative weekend, all!
Lots of love,
P.S. Life’s Song is a great way to create unique art. Check it out! Very affordable too Here is another blog post I wrote about paper, Paper Madness.
Long journey of art is what you do in life as an artist. So many things change, but expression is something that calls from within. Have you felt the call but also the resistance?
It’s in human nature to procrastinate even though we know better. But you’d better begin because the journey is long as I said, yet, you can make a piece of art today!
I have gone through many incarnations as an artist in this lifetime.
I copied pictures from magazines, had a stint as a primitive country artist, a longer stint as an abstract painter, mosaic artist, many years of art journaling and mixed media. I still do that, but I also feel a pull towards something new, which can only be a deeper expression of who I am. I don’t want to copy or do a particular style any more.
I had a lovely chat with local artist and friend Joanna Mazurek
She went the traditional way of attending several art schools, and then left it all behind after twenty years as an artist. But, once an artist, always an artist…
I love to hear other artists’ perspective and get inspired by their inner drive to express themselves.
You need to express yourself. What else is there? As you go deeper into the art, you also go deeper into yourself.
If you’re expression is something else, go explore it.
The pull to express yourself is your God-given gift to share with the world and with yourself.
Take the long view. You don’t have to be a sprinter. There is no competition or anyone standing over you with a stop watch.
We live life like that, rushing from one thing to another, and I have come to understand it’s so wrong. I spent so many years living other people’s dreams.
Even tiny baby steps towards expressing yourself is worth weeks of conditioned living. You can’t measure the impact on a grander scale, but the impact can be great.
A tiny flame starts a forest fire. The more tiny steps into exploration become a great sucking pull to express wildly, freely, and happily.
It’s worth finding your life. Find the mystery!
It’s also necessary to go through the “ugly” stages to get to a place in the process where you look at your art in wonder. It takes courage.
I will probably make art for the rest of my life, but as in the past, there has been ebb and flow.
The meandering long journey of art, oh how you challenge me, but I do love you! 🙂