Art Journal Page Do-over

Through my experiences teaching, I cannot tell you how many times I run into people who are afraid, or too intimidated, to try new techniques or forms of art.  All too often the response is, “I’m no good at that!,” or, “That’s too hard for me!,” or the most dreaded of all, “Mine would never look that pretty!” Because of these fears they never even try.

I think there is a misconception that artists just pick up a brush or paper and instantly create a masterpiece.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Artists practice their craft, hone their skills, and soak up knowledge like a sponge. We have good days when the art flows like water from a waterfall, and some days it is like pulling teeth.

Obviously, there are crafts that some people will like and not like.  I personally like art journaling, mini albums, cardmaking, canvas, and altered art the most.  I am not a jewelry maker.  I admire and appreciate the process, and the gorgeous pieces that people make.  I tried it, resin and all, and it was not my thing.  However, if you ARE interested in something do not let your fear of trying stop you from giving it a shot.  It might take more than one attempt, but that is okay.  It is all about the process…learning, growing, experimenting.

art journalHere is a perfect example.  I created this page weeks ago.  I had a vision in my head of what the page should look like.  It was not turning out at all the way I expected.  Obviously, it needed journaling, but beyond that I hated the colors, the butterflies were wonky…it was just all wrong.  It did not come together the first try.  So, I put it down for weeks unfinished until I was feeling more creative.

artjournalflowers-1I came back to it, and immediately I thought about everything I hated about it and started fixing it.  I was feeling it!  I  stamped, stenciled, painted, collaged, and it was coming together.  I looked up some inspirational quotes online about friends & flowers.  I hand wrote them around the petals and leaves.  This was more like my vision.

artjournalflowersandfriends-1-4artjournalflowersandfriends-1-3artjournalflowersandfriends-1-2artjournalflowers-1-2This page made me think of my dear friend, Carol Paige.  Last week we took a trip to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden for the butterfly exhibit and lunch in the park.  Here are some pics of our lovely day.  I am sure it will inspire some great project down the road.

Lewis GinterLewisGinterButterflies9-14-1-2LewisGinterButterflies9-14-1-3LewisGinterButterflies9-14-1-4LewisGinterButterflies9-14-1-6LewisGinterButterflies9-14-1-5LewisGinterButterflies9-14-1-7LewisGinterButterflies9-14-1-86a0115711511ff970b017d3e7b87bd970c-pi

Finding inspiration in the everyday

Every artist will tell you at some point or another their creativity felt stalled.  I have days when I go into the studio and spend the entire day and half the night creating beautiful art.  It just flows out so easily.  However, some days I feel like everything I touch does not turn out the way I have envisioned it in my head.  Creativity cannot be forced.  We have to feel it in our souls.  When I am having a day where I am not feeling creative, I get inspiration in the things I love…the everyday.

red sandy leafOne of my favorite things to do is hike!  Taking a nice long hike often clears my head, and I take note of all the things around me that I enjoy about hiking: flowers, butterflies, rocks, leaves, etc.  I always take my phone with me and snap pics like this one that I can later look at for inspiration.  This picture of a blazing red leaf with the textured backdrop of sand makes me want to pull out a bottle of red acrylic paint and pumice gel and create!

waterlilyOne of my favorite spots to sit and relax is my deck.  I have a garden pond there brimming with flowers, fish, frogs, and dragonflies.  There is no better place to find inspiration.  The lemon color of that gorgeous waterlily and poppy would inspire anyone!

rainbowI snapped this pic of a double rainbow on the way back from our last vacation.  We saw one on our way, and one on our return trip.  It reminds me of how lucky we were in having the perfect vacation.  Nature’s beauty is so inspiring.  It is my happy place :)

art journal sunWhile having morning coffee on my deck last weekend here is a little doodle that I was inspired to sketch in the midst of the morning tranquility of the sounds of the garden pond’s waterfall, the birds chirping, and the squirrels waking up to greet the day.

Next time you feel stuck and uncreative, look around you.  Think about what makes you happy.  That is your inspiration.



Art Journaling Therapy for Your Soul

Hi Everyone!  I hope you all have had a wonderful summer!  We have had lots of adventures and quality family time here!  As summer is winding down, that means it is back to school for the kiddies, unfortunately.  Last week was our girls’ first day back.  I miss them like crazy, but the transition back to a routine has been smooth, despite my disdain of rigid schedules.

Now that the girls are back in school, I have been back in the studio more.  Last week I was having some very strong emotions…feeling very introspective.  I have so many wonderful things in my life: a loving husband, adoring children, wonderful family, amazing group of friends, and career opportunities doing what I love.  I am very fortunate!

Life has it downs, too.  Our family, like most, has suffered great loss and pain.  However, it is those life experiences that shape us into the individuals we are.  We can face adversity head on, get knocked down, dust ourselves off, and learn, or we can give up and let the darkness overcome us.  I am a fighter.  I always have been.  It is sometimes extremely difficult, but I choose to see the good that can come from a bad situation or experience.  It is so easy when faced with great loss to only focus on that loss.  I am learning to be grateful for everything before that loss, and embrace the turns my life has taken since.  I truly am blessed.

It is often difficult to understand when someone is going through a tough time in their life.  It may not be something they can talk about.  On the outside they may be smiling, but they could be dying on the inside.  Certainly, we have all had this experience at some time or another.  Having  a personal art journal is a great way to release these emotions.

When I sat down in my studio last week, I wanted to pour onto an art journal page all of the emotions I was feeling surrounding loss in my life.  This is what art journaling is all about, expressing yourself!  I didn’t just want to make a “pretty page.”  I started with a completely black page using acrylic paint.  In the middle of the page I used gesso to create a big white circle.  From the middle of the circle outward I layered paints, inks, ephemera, modeling paste, and gelatos.  I cutout pretty flowers from cardstock to add to the last layer, and crackle painted over them.  I cut out and inked butterflies, and made them look like they were flying out of the middle of the page.

art journal crackle flowersThe black paint represented darkness.  The white circle represented light shining through the darkness.  All the pretty layers on top represented the beautiful things in life.  See, sometimes all those pretty things break through the bad, and you no longer even notice the darkness…or the darkness is transformed into a part of something beautiful.  However, sometimes, all the pretty things just disguise the darkness that is beneath.  I have experienced both, as I am sure everyone has.  I would guess it is a function of where you are in the healing process.

artjournal-blackflowers-1-5art journal pageart journal book art journal textureart journal layersart journal butterflies art journal It felt good, I mean REALLY good to express this mix of emotions onto a page.  I felt a sense of release when I was done.  Art journaling is an amazing thing.  So, good or bad, pull out those journals and pour those emotions onto a page.  xx


Anniversary Card – He Has Always Had My heART

It is hard to believe, but Bob and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary yesterday!  We met in high school when I was 15, and we immediately fell in love, however cheesy that might sound.  When I first saw him I knew nothing about him, except that he was different than any other person I had ever met.  The whole you know when you find “the one” is completely true.  You really do know.  I was fortunate enough to find him early in my life, and am grateful.  I found my soul mate, partner in life, best friend, lover, confidant, great protector, and most amazing person on the face of the planet.

The wonderful thing about our marriage is it has not always been rosy.  We were teenagers when we got married, and against all odds, made a life together.  We had our ups and downs, but through it all, at the end of the day, we still loved one another…true, unconditional, pure LOVE.

I know, I know, enough mush!  Sorry :)  Here is the card that I made for Bob for our anniversary showing him how much I cherish our relationship.  He has always had my heart.

Fairy Card-1-4 Fairy Card weddingHere we were in 1991 (poofy hair was in style then!).  We were just two crazy teenagers in love.  What a wonderful journey it has been.  I look forward to another 23 years!

Video Classes Archive – “Gypsy Journeys Portfolio” Travel Journal

Hi Everyone!  As I announced last week, I am converting my old Ustream Channel classes and workshops into YouTube videos and archiving them here on the blog under the “Videos” tab at the top of the page.  The kits for these classes are no longer available due to discontinued product, however I hope you will still enjoy the projects and techniques.  Archiving them here on the blog will hopefully make them easier for you to find and enjoy.  These videos are live recordings with real-time chat.

Today, I am sharing with you this super cute vintage-inspired traveling portfolio book video workshop that is packed with little tricks and techniques.  I had so much fun teaching this class online and in person.  I know, I always say that, but it is soooo true!!

Vintage Portfolio Folder Book

Vintage Portfolio Folder Book-1-4

Vintage Portfolio Folder Book-1-6 Vintage Portfolio Folder Book-1-5After the class I did a blog post with a little twist using a Tim Holtz small ring binder in the spine.  Curious?  Click here to read the post.  I guess you could say, I kicked it up a notch :)  Enjoy!

Thanks for watching!  I hope to have more projects archived soon.