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.


Awake at 3am, March


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


Zen Sunset, April


3 Leaves and a Flower, April


A, Started in late April, Finished May 1


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


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!

Art-Xscape 2015 Call for Proposal

I’ve spent the majority of my week, outside of my day job, working on getting Art-Xscape 2015 launched.  Hotel contract signed: check.  Website update: check!  Call for Proposal sent: check!!  Art-Xscape 2015 will be held October 8-11, 2015 at the Holiday Inn Austin Midtown.  That just happens to be the second weekend of the Austin City Limits Music Festival, so there will be a LOT of people in town.  Anyhow, if you’d like to submit a proposal, leave me a comment and I’ll be in touch.  The deadline is March 6, 2015.

The week between Christmas and New Year’s was spent with my baby brother, Andrew.  One of the things I did with him was visit the Hope Outdoor Art Gallery, aka the Graffiti park!  I had planned to go by once a month last year, but that fell by the way side.  Hopefully, I will make it back more often this year.  Andrew and I had fun clambering around the levels.  While we were there, I listened in on 4 gentlemen in work clothes talking about structural changes.  My fear was that they were going to tear the park down.  I checked in with the guys in the check-in booth and they reassured me that that was absolutely not the case.  The guys were from the city and they are working on improvements.  Hopefully, the work that is done will not close the park down for any length of time!  Here are some of my favorite photo’s from this visit.




The shading on Batman is pretty incredible.


My favorite work in the park was by ER.  This Einstein (Think Harder) was amazing!


The turtle was also done by ER.


The light was perfect this day (Tuesday before New Year’s).  The day before and the day after were cold and gray and rainy, but we had this one gorgeous day!

2015: A New Year, New Art


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.


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. 




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!).


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. 


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.


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.

I think this is the finished spread, but I could change my mind still.


“Be There” scanned in to my laptop.


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

An Episode with Paint and Paper


After a successful Art-Xscape, more on that in another post, and a bout with bronchitis, I’ve been alternating cleaning with playing with paint and paper and my art journal.  I acquired a Gelli-Arts plate when I visited Annie in Denver in February, but I hadn’t played with it at all since I returned home.  I rectified that!  Each evening, I’d spend an hour cleaning and an hour playing in the garage (my temporary paint studio) with the Gelli plate.  I will post pictures of my results there in a separate post as well (boy!  I’m racking up the post topics today!).  I printed some pages in my journal, some of which I didn’t really like.  So, I started working in my journal again.

I went to the Georgetown Red Poppy Festival a week ago and looked at arts and crafts with my friend Sarah.  That evening, my brain buzzing, I got out in the garage and started a journal page which ended up being a very happy page, “Spring 2014”.  I love how it turned out.


Next I started playing with a background that was quite a bit darker, collaging some of my Gelli-printed paper on it and trying to lighten it up.  I’ve also been using a bunch of my TCW Stencils (totally in love with these!).  Mostly, I’ve used Jamie’s, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s and Dina Wakley’s.  This page, “Supernova”, ended up much busier and darker.


Sarah and Kathleen came over yesterday to for an Art Play date.  We made paste papers, and Sarah’s favorite color combo, Pthalo Turquoise and Napthol Red, inspired me.  So, this evenings journal pages started from that color combo and a couple of journal pages that I did NOT like!  For step by step photos, see my blog on Tumblr!  For now, I leave you with the start:


And the finish!  The left page is “Harlequin”.  The right is “Convergence”.  I used circles punched from the turquoise and red paste paper!


Words Art Journal Round Robin and Mixed Media Call for Proposal

I finished up my introductory pages for my Words Journal Thursday evening and got the journal off to Mary in NY Friday.  She should have it by Tuesday latest.  I received Susan’s journal yesterday in the mail.  I have an idea for my spread using the word “Imagine”.  I have to sketch it out.

Here are the introductory pages I did for my journal.


I started out with a layer of gesso.  Then I collaged down washi and braille paper.  I went over that with a watered down layer of gesso.  Then I added washed of Quinacrodone Nickel Azo Gold and Quinacrodone Violet fluid acrylics..  I used a round brush to add streaks of quin burnt orange and dioxazine purple and copper.  I covered all of that with strips of wrinkled white tissue paper that I glued down with matt medium.  I painted over that with washes of quin gold and quin voilet again.  Then I dry brushed copper over the top. 


Last, I wrote with pitt black pen. 


The text doesn’t show up in the full on shot, nor does the texture, which is pretty heave.  I love how it turned out.  So much so that I am going to use it again on something else.  Who knows what yet!

Here are Susan’s pages:


This is a beautiful print.


And this is a wonderful drawing of the lunar cycle with various pictures that are revealed as you rotate the wheel around.

Last, but certainly not least, if you are a mixed media artist who teaches workshops, or would like to teach, I’m looking for proposals for a new event coming in 2014.  If you would like to receive the call for proposal, go to the Art-Xscape website and click on the link to request the proposal!