Nourishing My Creative Spirit

I have had a very busy and stressful year at work.  My past habit has been to retreat to the escape of fiction in the form of books.  I established a goal for this year to spend at least one evening a week in my studio, and to document that.  I fell short of adding to my accomplishments jar some time in late February, but by then, I had firmly established my pattern of entering my studio and nourishing my creative self.

I’ve played a LOT with my various Gelli Plates.  I’ve collected a lot of paint in my quest to find opaque paints.  Who knew that almost everything I had in my stock of Golden fluid acrylics would turn out to be a transparent color?  I’ve spent a lot of time browsing YouTube for art journalling and mixed media videos.  And, I’ve spent a lot of quality time with my art journal.  I also joined Instagram, where you can find me as @AnLiNaDesigns.  I’m chronicling my art journaling, and my kittens’ adventures, there in pictures.

Here are a few months worth of journal pages, oldest to newest.  You can see that I am getting better the more I practice!  Starting from the week of March 9th and going through today.

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Awake at 3am, March

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A Girl and Her Bird, started in March, finished in mid-April.

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Zen Sunset, April

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3 Leaves and a Flower, April

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A, Started in late April, Finished May 1

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Art is Not What You See, started from a trash page a week ago, finished yesterday, May 3

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Aimlessly Wandering in Circles Forever, started today, maybe finished, maybe not!

Last but not least, Art-Xscape 2015 classes are online and registration is open.  Check it out!  Kelly Kilmer is teaching art journalling in Austin Texas!  Probably partially why I’ve been so motivated to journal lately!

From Winter to Spring in 3 Weeks

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It is the time of year in Central Texas where we look to come out of burrows into the garden.  The days are noticeable longer and the last of the leaves have dropped from the trees.  In my yard, the harbinger of spring is the Bradford Pear tree.  It seems to be budding out before it loses all of its leaves, but I know spring is here when the blossoms start to open.  Next are my bulbs.  Winter may still take a swipe or two at us, but the plants and birds know.  Spring has arrived.

My tree on February 1st, looking west.

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My tree on February 7th, same view.

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My tree on February 14th, same view.

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I have spent my creative free time working on several things, many of which involved printing with my #GelliPlate.  I’ve made a lot of cool backgrounds that I’ve scanned and am using in other pieces of art.  These were all made with TCW Stencils using Golden acrylics and Master’s Touch acrylics.

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One of the things I’ve used them for is my paper doll that I designed for the All Dolls Are Art Winter Swap.  My paper doll is a circus performer – I can only post a sneak peek now though as I don’t want to unveil her before the swap deadline at the end of the month.  If you would like to play – you can check out the guidelines on the ADAA blog or Facebook page.

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A second thing I used my prints for is my Valentine’s card for my mom.  I don’t generally celebrate Valentines, but I did send out a few cards this year and wanted to make my mom a card as she always makes me the nicest of cards.  This card has a gelli printed background, gelli printed scrapbook paper adhered to grungeboard for the heart (a Tim Holtz die) and Gelli printed deli paper for the intermediate layer.  The stamp is my hand-carved “Love” stamp.

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Last – I made a gift for my friend Annie – which I will show later in the week, after she’s received it!

And of course, I have my #StudioCats er kittens keeping me company.  They are so big that they really don’t qualify as kittens anymore, but they still have all the energy and wonder of kittens.

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Cookie – curled up in a basket below my printing table

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Calla giving Cookie a bath in my studio chair.

2015: A New Year, New Art

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2014 was the lost year.  Seriously, I can honestly tell you I don’t have a record of most of what I did outside of my day job.  To combat that this year, I’m leveraging an idea I’ve seen several other places, including Stampington’s Resolutions blog post, to create an “accomplishments” jar.  When I do something that is on my annual goals list, something big from my to do list, or something creatively fulfilling, I’m going to write it on a slip of paper (already have cut up a stack), date it and put it in my jar.  That way, at the end of the year, I will have a way to know WHAT I actually did this year.

One of my goals for this year, as it was for last year, is to post more.  I failed miserably at that last year, part of the “lost” items for last year, but am trying again this year.  I have a few things that I do remember from last year that I never shared.  The first Art-Xscape was a success.  I’m hopefully close to solid dates for the next one.  My beloved Marigold went across the rainbow bridge to wait for me.  The 4th All Dolls Are Art went in the books and the 5th is open for registration.  I went to Barcelona for work.  I adopted two rescue kittens.  I participated in the 2nd annual ATX Artisans Etsy Local market.  I opened a new Etsy shop!  So, I have a lot of catching up to do with you here.

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First, I’d like to introduce my new girls, not so little now, Calla (the calico) and Cookie (the Siamese).  They are sisters, and soon will be 7 months old.  They are sweet and funny and definitely brought a blast of sunshine into my life.  Calla is the innocently ornery fearless one.  Cookie is the vocal lover when she wants to be and is more timid than her sister.  They think I’m a softer, louder, more fragile cat tree. 

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Second, I’d like to introduce my new Etsy shop: AnLiNa Mixed Media by AnLiNa Designs.  I have put a lot of my new work there and will be transitioning my art dolls there are they expire on my first Etsy shop.  AnLiNa Designs will remain where I stock my hand-dyed velvet, rayon, cotton and trims.  I’ll be adding digital collage and paper packs in the future.  (speaking of the ornery fearless one, she’s in front of my screen trying to play with the cursor!).

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Last, I’ve been spending more time in my art journals lately.  Yes, that is journals, plural.  I’ve given up on just working in one.  I have one that I’m chronicalling my life and thoughts in and another that I’ve gelli printed in.  The third is my painting journal.  I’ve not gotten very far with it yet, but after spending lots of time online looking at art journalling videos, I broke it in this week.  Here are two spreads, not so well documented in stages as I took some of the in process photos on my cell phone and some with the camera.  This is definitely not my usual style, but I like it. 

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This is the second or third layer on the 2-page spread.  I started with Dylusions spray inks through stencils, then FW inks dripped and spread around the page.  Then a charcoal pencil and Caran Dache Neo Color 2 crayons.  Paint and more marks with black FW ink.  Matte medium over the crayons and to glue two news paper circles down.  More paint.

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This has lever layers of paint on top, white on both sides, an orange on the left outside the bird (which I didn’t like once I got it down, so more white).  Then I started stencilling, painting, drawing with FW ink and a skewer and just kept going.
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I think this is the finished spread, but I could change my mind still.

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“Be There” scanned in to my laptop.

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And “Flowers”, also scanned in.  Very subdued color palette, which is not my usual style, but I’m pretty happy with it.

A Love Affair: Gelli Printing

I am continuing my love affair with paint and a Gelli plate.  I continue to try new color combinations and mutliple layers of stencils or combing.  Here is a look at some of my latest pages, many of which are sure to get more layers going forward.

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All done with Golden fluid acrylics, stencils from TCW stencils via Scrapbook.com and of course, my Gelli Plate (8×10).

Pulling a Gelli Print

I didn’t get out in the garage, which is my temporary printing studio for as long as the weather holds off from getting into the mid to high 90’s, until around 8pm.  I did a lot of running around and spent an hour and a half at my parents showing my mom how I use my Gelli Arts plate to pull prints.  My friend, Annie in Denver, commented on a post of mine to Face Book that she needed inspiration and so here is my step by step instructions for pulling a print or two.

First, you have to pick your colors, obviously, and I did a stint with leaves prior to this, so decided to go with Quinacrodone Gold, Quinacrodone Burnt Orange, Raw Umber, and Carbon Black.

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I learned from watching a video by Jane “Danger” Davenport on Gelli printing to start with a swirl of Glazing medium.  To this I added a squirt of Quin Gold fluid acrylic, a smaller squirt of Burnt Orange, 3 drops of Raw Umber and 2 drops of Carbon Black.

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I use my Catalyst wedge to mix the individual colors with medium, spreading them out a bit on the plate.

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I use a brayer to mix them.  My plate and my brayer are dirty, which adds to the texture.

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I cut up a piece of cabinet liner I got at the store and pressed that into the paint on the plate.

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Next I used a stamp I carved a long time ago and stamped into the paint on the plate.

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I used the TCW Leaf Stencil (sorry, I didn’t get the number off it) and laid that on top of the plate.

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I opened up my journal to a clean page and laid that page onto the plate, rubbing gently with my hand to pick up the paint.

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There was still paint on the plate, so I pulled a ghost print, also in my journal.

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This is really tons of fun!