Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Unleash your Inner Doodler

I created this on a blank sheet of paper and scanned it in.  Ahhh nothing like hand done doodles.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


My son complained the other day, that he liked to draw what was in his mind and he really didn't like people telling him what to create.  I tried to explain to him, that as a student it was important to learn to draw "on demand".  Learn the discipline.  I think working outside of your comfort zone is the same.  We are happiest working with things we are comfortable with. Color, mediums, like paints, or pencils, even techniques.  So how do we begin to work outside of our comfort zone?

Start with a palette
When doing free form peyote stitch, I start with a palette of  colors.  Not being an orange/yellow and gold person,  I found it challenging picking out these beads.  Once  my palette is put on the mat,  additional colors that add a bit of contrast, or enhance the original beads are added.   Greens, pinks and a red luster bead  work with the original beads.  True,  a little more comfort has been added  with these colors so, as I am learning the discipline, these will help calm my nerves.  Eventually, I may eliminate the comfort beads.  But as they work well with the original palette, I won't tell if you don't. 

Paper is the same way.  Pull together a bunch of colors that you are indifferent about or do not like at all.  Or use one of your journal inspirations.  Funny, I found an attraction to many things outside of my "go to" colors.   Have you  pulled together a couple of color schemes outside of your comfort zone?  Now, play around with the sheets of paper until that inner color guru tells you that it is  a good combination.  (Photographs here do not give you a good idea of what I 'm working with.)

Don't be afraid to try something.  That is what the Art Journal is for.  Put the piece in your journal. I like to mark mine with a YIKES!  or UGGGH! when something doesn't work.  But the journal is not just for those "UGGGHS";  Include your successes.   OK; how do I put a beaded piece in my art journal?.  Scan it or take a picture of it and put that in your book.  Until next time. Just itching to doodle....... 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ahhh Color

Color is perhaps one of my favorite tools to use when creating.  Often, I will have people say that they are uncomfortable with working with color.  So let's see how to handle the topic of color in our Art Journal.

For color inspiration, I look at things around me.  The row of yarn in a store, or a box of tapers.  Nature is a wonderful source of inspiration, or most magazines will have great for color combinations. Some of my favorite periodical sources are Coldwater Creek Catalogs, Country Living, and Better Homes and Gardens.   Someone has already taken the journey to put together the photographs and color  combinations, so now, you cut it out and paste it in your journal.  

Now you are ready to find the materials that work with your color combination.  Take your journal into a store or rummage through your stash; using the photographs you selected, pick out beads, ink, paper, yarn, ribbon, or paint to match the colors you see.  It is OK to put a small swatch of paper, a splotch of ink or paint in your journal along with the photo. Don't forget to add the bits of ribbon and yarn you find too.  Now, when you are looking for color ideas, pull out your journal and see what you have collected.

Another idea.  Go to your local paint shop and pull out one of their swatch brochures.  They will have lots of paint color combinations for you to look at.  Hey, color is color, and ideas are all around us.  Once you release the ties that keep you from freely exploring color, then you will find color inspiration all around you.

The Emotion of Color.  Yes, I did write the emotion of color.  Color, for years, has been used to calm, warm, and invigorate.  So, let's think about our own emotional reactions to color.   I say Puce and you say?  Most of us have favorite colors, and many of us have colors that we say "YUCK" to.  Tap those emotional reactions.  Believe it or not, we use color emotion all the time, but are usually unaware of doing so.  Next time you are flipping through the latest copy of Country Living, take a moment to think about why this photograph is appealing to you and that one isn't.  Listen for your inner emotion to the color combinations.

OK, now that you are identifying those combinations that "work for you"  Let us take this another step.  WORKING OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE. 

Well maybe that would be a good topic to explore next time.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A new journey

It is with great trepidation that I begin this blog again.  Life is a series of journeys, and often we have no idea where they are taking us.  Shortly after starting this blog, I found myself on one such journey.  I was suddenly facing the possibility of losing everything that my life was built on. As an artist to be faced with blindness, was pretty scary, albeit I know there are a number of talented artists with visual impairments.  I was also looking at the loss of the use of my hands.   How could I be creative or teach if I am unable to even pick up a pair of scissors?  The lesson is to have faith and wait to cross the bridge when you get to it.  Ha, how many times had I heard my own mother utter those exact words?  So, I waited and endured the treatments for a brain tumor and today I am on the mend.  Eye sight, motor skills, Check and check. 
So what is my purpose here?  For many years I have kept various journals, and I wanted to share with you, my journey of Art Journaling. " What is art journaling?"  That my dear friends is simple.  For me, an art journal starts out as a blank book.  A lot like this blog.  With in the pages of the book I write, ideas, goals, pose questions, and add doodles..lots of doodles.  "Do I have to be an artist to do this?" No, you do not.  An art journal is a great place to try things out,  put clippings from magazines, old greeting cards you love, wine labels, seed packets,or just doodle.  You cannot mess it up.  It is for your eyes only.  Unless you want to share.  Think of it as your creative muse.  "Well, I have Pinterest." Fantastic.  You already have the concept of "art journaling" as far as collecting.  Let's take this a step further.  
I have been a rubber stamp artist for over 24 years.  The post for this Art Journaling blog will resemble my own AJ.  I will explore and share with you, many techniques that I have developed over the years, such as antiqued enameling, and painting with paper.    Please be patient as I become tech savvy, and post doodles and more to the blog.
Until next post, when I will journal about color.