Art Journal Pages, Creative JumpStart 2016

My winter vacation ended with a lovely brunch on the Sunday before I headed back to work.  It is always difficult transitioning to working and meetings after being on my own schedule with much less human interaction (unless I choose to of course), no conference calls and limited screen time.  I decided to join Nathalie Kalbach’s Creative JumpStart 2016 workshop as a way to stay accountable to my goal of working on my art journal each week.  It’s been fun to see what each contributing artist (JumpStarter in Nathalie’s vernacular) comes up with for the focal artist each week.  I’ve not been responding to each day’s video, but have spent time each day that I didn’t have an evening commitment in my art journal.  I’m getting close to finishing the journal I started last year.  It’s kind of exciting!  I’ve also been keeping track of my days in my words journal.  It’s a journal that I just write in, no art in it, other than the gelli-prints I did on the pages before I bound it.  So far so good, my practice in journaling over the last year is continuing to thrive and to sustain and energize me.

First, from New Year’s Day, a page which is collaged from gelli-prints, copies of previous journal pages, painted, and pen- and marker-work: “Artistic Vision”.


Next, I finished “Light, Bright Light” on the 4th.  It started with inky underpaper and gelli-prints.  I worked with some of the resulting lines and elements that I saw as a result of the collage and added paint, stenciling, and pen and marker work to finish it off.


Next, my first #CJS2016 page, inspired by Rae Missigman’s video interpreting Matisse.  I stamped on this page, painted, drew, stenciled, painted and drew some more.  This page is much more pastel than I normally produce!


Another #CJS2016 inspired page, Three Circles is sort of inspired by Birgit Koopsen and Tori Weyers who were both intepreting Jean-Michel Basquiat.  I finished this off Wednesday and started my next page.


And my last one for the first two weeks of January was finished this morning.  “Fantasy Garden 2016” started with a page I’d wiped brushes on from the previous page.  I am trying to work with different colors and combinations than I’ve gravitated towards lately.  I also tried a bit of intuitive painting here.  I started by stenciling over the painted page with some of my new StencilGirl Stencils, then started working into everything with various opaque and transparent paints and FW Inks.


Happy Art Journaling!

Art Journaling with Kids

I have a tradition with my nephews and my niece.  It started with my oldest nephew when my niece was born.  We’ve done it every year but one since then!

We play in my art journal together.  The tradition starts with tracing hands; my hand, my nephew’s hand the first year, when my niece was born, in 2008.  He scribbled, I scribbled.  It was fun.


We missed the next year.  In 2010, we added my niece’s hand to the collection, so now there were 3.  My niece joined in the scribbling.  My nephew practiced his letters.  We played with water color crayons and Nijii water brushes.




In 2011, 3 more hands.  My niece scribbled.  My nephew drew very small pictures with great concentration.  I colored on his page drew flowers on his monster.  My niece wanted to play with the water colors again.  Circles and color.



In 2012, we welcomed a new baby to the family and I added his hand to my growing collection, along with his older brother and sister.  Both the older two wanted to play with the water color crayons and water brushes.  My nephew drew small tight shapes on his page.  My niece drew Easter Eggs shapes.  I bought both of them art supplies for Christmas!




This last Christmas, I again brought my art-journal over.  My niece, on the phone, said “Auntie Amy, can we craft?”  “Yes, sweetie.”  “Are you bringing your journal?”  “Of course”.  The first day they were there, my niece and I sat at the Ikea kid’s table in my mother’s craft room with my journal and the water colors, this time a travel kit with pans of colors and the brushes.  I started tracing our hands.  My youngest nephew wandered in and wanted to play, so we traced his hand.  His mom, my SIL, came in, “Can I trace my hand?”  “of course!”. My oldest nephew came in – “You are going to trace my hand, right?”  “Of course!  It’s a tradition!”.  Oldest nephew’s hand was traced, and he wandered back out.  He’s at the age where video games are the ultimate in entertainment and is not as easily enticed to play in my journal.


My niece and I played in my journal almost every night they were visiting.  We drew, we doodled, we stamped.  My youngest nephew often joined us, but used the eraser as a toy car – chasing crayons off on the floor.  I did get him to scribble a bit, but it’s so hard to see, that I can’t photograph it.  I still haven’t convinced my brother to trace his hand yet.



I made a quilt for my mom in 2011 – from the hand-prints and scribbling in my journal.  She wants me to add the baby’s hands to it.  My sister-in-law wants a copy of the page from my journal.  Perhaps she will get a quilt as well.


Spring Fever and Imagine!


I fully planned to write this post last weekend, but I wore myself out, then got hold of some bad shrimp which resulted in food poisoning.  On top of that, work has been a time-consuming affair since I came back from San Fran.  But that’s enough excuses.


Last Saturday, I dug in 5 more bags of compost into the low bed in front of my sewing room.  I say dug in, but the ground was soooo hard, there wasn’t much digging.  I planted more plants in the berm and the raised bed next to the driveway, some santolina in the berm, some daylillies and verbina in the raised bed. 


I added Oxallis and Dianthas to the low bed and then I went back in and planted thyme to start creeping along the raised bed.  I built a walk way with some of the left over stone from my patio between the raised bed and the bird bath. 


And last, but certainly not least, I hauled 1/2 a yard of mulch over the low bed and got the other 1/2 yard out of my Dad’s pickup.  I worked from 8:30 to 4pm on Saturday and completely wore myself out.  My front beds are almost done, though!


The cats really enjoyed working in the yard with me.



Prior to all of the yardwork over the weekend, I did my Imagine entry in Susanne’s Word’s Journal.  I wasn’t sure were I was going initially, but I really liked how it turned out.


The two page spread doesn’t appear to be tied together, but I used the same colors in the Imagine page (right) that I used in the Excavation page (left).  I added a bunch more colors on the Imagine page though.  I used very different techniques between the two pages.


I started with Excavation, applying a very thick layer of gesso to the page.  I stamped into it with a gothic calligraphy stamp, then stamped off on the Imagine page.  I wiped my gesso brush off on the Image page center. 


Once the gesso was dry, I used a wash of Bone Black fluid acrylic over the texture on the Excavation page, which I then wiped off the raised parts.  I used successive layers of fluid acrylic in Permanent Violet, Quin Gold, Bright Copper, and a bit of Quin Burnt Orange.  I used some of these same colors in washes on the Imagine page.


As I got color down on the Imagine page, I decided I wanted to use a stencil of dragon flies and butterflies spiraling up concentric circles in the center.  I needed a way to set it off, so I used very light washes of Naples Yellow, Quin Crimson, and Permanent Violet in the opening I’d left from stamping off.  I laid the stencil down and misted Pthalo Turquoise over the stencil.

Imagine_top I went back in with white to highlight the circles.  About this time, I figured out that I was creating a sunset and added clouds in Dioxazine Purple and Anthroquinone Blue, highlight with white.  I added a sun using Bright Copper, painted over with Quin Burnt Orange and Permanent Violet.  I used a white crayon to write Imagine and then wiped paint off so it showed.



Next up is Debbie’s Journal and “Believe”.  I didn’t realize that I knew anyone in the RR besides Naomi, the organizer, but Debbie is my friend Debbie G from St. Louis!  She comes to All Dolls Are Art and silk screened my bags last year.  Her journal is lovely.  I’m going to get it photographed and will post on that later in the weekend.

A Beautiful Fall Day, A Review or Two and Coming Soon!


We had hopes of a cooler and wetter than normal winter, but, unfortunately, those hopes have evaporated (pun intended).  We will be warmer and drier.  My daisies are certainly confused, blooming this late is very unusual for them.  I wonder if they were inspired by the metal daisy I purchased at EAST the weekend before Thanksgiving which I planted in my front flower bed where I can see it in the morning coming out my door. 

EAST was much less busy than I expected on its final weekend, mostly due to the “doom and gloom” traffic forecast for Austin’s first Formula 1 race.  The traffic was as close to non-existent as you can get in Austin, but most of the locals were scared away.  I found a few new galleries and generally had fun.  I spent the rest of my weekend and the first 3 days of my vacation scrubbing my house and trying to catch the mouse which Marley brought in and let go.  Grrrrr, I am a very unhappy camper with the mouse, but my house is MUCH cleaner than before.


I bought Melanie Testa’s newest book, "Dreaming From the Journal Page", yesterday and read it cover to cover this evening.  It’s luscious and filled with beautiful pages from Melanie’s journals and her quilts.  She provides clear instructions and just enough prompting that you will want to find your journal and your art supplies again, not to mention quick instructions for dyeing fabric and soy wax resists!  I highly recommend adding it to your art journaling library.

I have some odds and ends in the news department.  Artist Interviews of our ADAA 2013 faculty will be coming in the next few weeks.  We have a fantastic line-up and I can’t wait to introduce the artists in more detail!  All Dolls Are Art has a newsletter.  You can sign up on the ADAA website.  The first issue went out the week of Thanksgiving.  The second issue should be out by middle of December.

Speaking of newsletters, I’m going to start another Newsletter covering a gamut of topics in the areas of art media that I focus on.  It’s still in the early stages, but if you would like to sign up, you can do so Subscribe to our newsletter’ target=_blank>here.  If there is specific topics, you would be interested in, let me know.  I’m still working out the details, but have some ideas gelling right now.

I’ve also joined the world of Twitter.  You can follow me by going to my “About page” and clicking on the “follow @AnLiNaDesigns” link.  I’m slowly finding my way there!

Bookbinding Finished, Journaling and Beading


I finished up the 3rd soft cover, long-stitch book this evening.  I’m very pleased with the way it turned out.  It was a good thing I prepped it last night.  I woke up with a head-ache that stayed with me all morning and the ibuprofen left me very groggy the remainder of the day.  Darned allergies.  The downside of getting rain is getting mold afterwards.



I continued to play in my journal this evening, which I spent part of on the phone.  The sound track for this evening was Train’s “Save Me San Francisco”.  I’ve been a Train fan since they hit the national airwaves and get each one of their albums as soon as they are released, but I have to admit that Save Me San Francisco is my favorite.  Not only that, but I’m hearing it EVERYWHERE I go.  I heard a track from it in Hobby Lobby this weekend!  Anyway- ‘nuff about music.

I continued to add paint to the two pages I’m working on, and decided to tone both of them down, as they were very bright.  I then started adding more texture, in the form of dots on the left page, and lines from a hand-carved stamp of mine on the right page.  Then more paint.  The left one was screaming purple cone flower to me (which I have blooms on my plants in the backyard again), so I drew one in with sharpie and then painted it.  I stamped “Hey Daisy” in black paint and am now going to add pen and ink in black and white.  The left page needs a focal point, but I don’t know what/where yet.


I also have been beading on the crow outline.  It’s not really exciting picture-wise, so I’ll wait until I get more done.  I’ve got about 3 inches to go on the outline, then I get to do his feet and bead his body.  Yippee!  Tomorrow I should have a picture of him to show.

Art really is the best medicine.  As long as I’m in the studio and focused, I can ignore all sorts of unpleasantness, including a headache and gritty, sandpaper eyes.  Once I stop focusing, though, I remember what hurts!  Go make art!  It’ll make the world a much nicer place.