Life Book 2017: Warmup Exercise

Mixed Media

Seriously… I promise I will practice drawing and painting animals this year. The animal from my meditation was a cute fawn and what I managed to produce is this:


Ok, I did not try to reproduce it realistically, it is supposed to be cartoonish and whimsical, but this is just… the best I could do at this point [blush].

Anyway… I saw a symbol in my meditation, it’s up there in the left corner, and there is also my word of the year. I have no idea what the symbol means, but I will go with it anyway. It must have some meaning to my subconscious. I quite like the color combination and doodles. I used Ecoline and water-based markers, lots of gesso, black markers and pencil. Ah yes, and some oil pastel in places.

I have started the main lesson this afternoon and I spent at least an hour trying to get the hands on mu girl looking anything like hands. I’ve had enough of painting mittens instead of hands on my girls (Tam also does it, nothing wrong with it, but I would like to learn how to do those fingers). So there is another challenge for this year: learn to draw acceptable hands, not realistic or anything because my faces are not realistic…. But enough about the challenges.

It was the coldest day this winter so far. When I woke up it was minus 17 and around midday minus 8. We did not go to the market, we just went to the mall and had the usual breakfast and coffee and bought out vegetables in the supermarket. Real pity, because the day was actually beautiful and it would have been nice to go out for a walk or skating. But I guess that’s it, I have to accept the cold, or rather to detach myself from it, right?

Have a great weekend people!

Weeks 17-30 August 2015

Art Journal, Faces, Mixed Media

Obviously, I have forgotten to write a blog post last week 😦

I remembered on Sunday, and I thought I would do it then. So it’s Wednesday and I obviously took my time again, so I may as well do the two together 🙂

My last week was extremely busy and emotional, and no wonder I forgot about blogging. I had two visits to the dentist and no visit to Art Store…. And then I met a friend whom I haven’t seen in eight years and that triggered lots of not so nice memories and loads of emotions I needed to work through. But I am happy to report that all is fine and, with a little help of my art making I feel wonderful again.

So, let me give you photos from last two weeks. The first is this one which I did in my small journal. I used some oil based printing paint (white you see on the borders). I was very excited about that because I wanted so much to use white color for stamping and wanted it to be real paint and not ink pad. It kind of works, but it takes ages to dry (3-4 days) which is not acceptable amount of time if you are stamping into your art journal… Seriously…

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Then I did some stamp carving. I am very excited about the result:

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This was done on the front cover of my new big journal with beautiful Fabriano hot pressed watercolour paper. Yum! I started colouring it, then it did not really work, so I keep playing and layering and this is how it ended:

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After lots of layers, I stamped again on top, but this time with the white acrylic paint mixed with some retardant medium. It serves to slow down the drying of acrylic paint, so that you can keep stamping repeatedly for some  15-20 minutes. Just what I needed. Good bye oil paint! Perfect!

The next thing I did was a rather quick painting of Minerva (goddess of wisdom) for Life Book 2015 class. I felt really inspired to do it, so it was happy easy and quick painting:

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After that, I did two pieces for Art Journal Summer School:

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This one with collage birds, which was not really exciting, you can see… I simply do not like doing birds…

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And this one which was really cute and I love it and I will probably do more. It’s quickly done, but somehow looks really funny. I decided to add a little story, somehow felt that it must be their story 🙂

And then, as I said, I met that friend of mine and was filled with emotions to bursting so the following two pages were therapeutic and are extremely precious to me:

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Yes, there is a spelling mistake. Like many other people, I suddenly lose the skill of spelling correctly when writing slowly… 🙂

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This one is my most loved page in my journal until now…

Again, I am amazed at how art making helps with de-stressing and putting things in perspective. I have no idea what happens in the process, but it works. Just listening to your intuition and letting go, without aim and without a precise idea of what you want to create. It’s meditative and it’s healing and it’s so rewarding… Long live art journaling! 🙂

Week 10-16 August 2015

Art Journal, Faces, Mixed Media

The week started badly with a migraine headache from Saturday to Monday. On Tuesday I was just about getting over it and I had to go to the dentist. The dentist visit was hard enough, so I absolutely had to reward myself with a visit to the Art Shop nearby (this makes visits to dentist almost to look forward to…). Er… No! Anyway…

I bought those marvellous Sennelier oil pastels two weeks ago and I tried them in my journal:

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The pastels are great, creamy and they layer so nicely. Amazing. I used a bit of gesso and a toothpick for doodles. When I finished, I realised that I absolutely have to seal it, because it would stick to the previous page. So, as I did not have any oil pastel fixative, I used acrylic varnish. Ugh! It leaked through the paper to the other side and smeared the pastel. It kinda worked for sealing, but was very messy. Then when it dried, it was sticky, so I had to put some talcum powder over it and then it finally was ok. I read on the internet that Sennelier has a spray for sealing the oil pastel, but some users reported that it actually did not work for them. So I decided to save myself from spending money on something that may not work and stick to the varnish, preferably water based.

So you can imagine my pleasant surprise when I saw this in the Art Store:


It’s actually paper for oil pastel plus transparent glossy sheets between them, which makes sealing totally unnecessary, unless you want to tear sheets out of the block, which I usually don’t do. So, happily, I tried it out:

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Amazing! The paper gets some getting used to, actually I realized that I could not smear the thin layer of pastel at all on it unless I put a layer of gesso first. I use gesso anyway, so it did not take long to figure it out. This is obviously unfinished and I haven’t worked on it since, as I started some other projects. But it was a pleasant activity, to be continued…

And one of the other projects is another flowery doodly spread in my art journal:

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I had to place glass on my desk to protect it from paint. Unfortunately I had a painful realisation that the desktop is not smooth, but kind of rough and perfect for getting paint into the ridges and never getting it out. Hence the reflection on the photo… I used an unusual color combination, but it worked and I really enjoyed this. Here is a detail:

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Week 3-9 August 2015

Art Journal, Faces, Mixed Media

Yet another artful week :). I was mostly involved with the AJSS. This is a lesson about flower doodles. I had a background that was already started and I did not know how to continue, so I thought this was just the right thing. But then I started adding colors to flowers and the color scheme was all wrong, so I had to repaint them several times, until I got finally to the point where colors looked at peace with each other. People in the group quite liked it, I must say. People like lots of color 🙂

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This next piece is another lesson, which was, of course, about lettering and choosing a summer message. I was not very inventive with the message, but I though Summer stay forever would do :). I made it over pages where I tested some hand-made stamps, which contributed to texture. I quite enjoyed this.

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And finally the last page I did for the school, which was all about doodling again, but this time the challenge was to do some field journaling. I collected lots of leaves on my morning walks and sketched them in a journal (which was promoted to “my field journal”) and then I copied this particular leaf on this page and voila! The writing is supposed to describe what I am grateful for at that moment. I made it more general (because I did not feel so grateful at the moment to fill the whole page), so I wrote things that I am grateful for in the summer 🙂 I really loved this exercise, and I think I will do more, in my field journal, of course.

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And then I missed doing a face painting 🙂 and I thought why not pull out my watercolour box and play a bit. This is the result:

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And then on Friday I went to the art store and found these beauties:

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So, I said, what the hell, I am having them… All I can say now is that they are AMAZING. More details next time 🙂