The Art of My Gratitude Practice, Step by Step

My Gratitude Practice:

This is my morning gratitude practice.

 

Tonight I will add some art with a plain black ballpoint pen (the same one I journaled in the morning with). I start by doodling on top of my “free writing”. Then I fill in the blank spaces on my guided journaling.

 

 

 

Now it is time to color. I love my Prisma colored pencils. I have so much to learn but I love the gorgeous color and shading!! I loved how the Winged Heart turned out.

 

 

That was fun. And very relaxing.

See you soon!

 

Advertisements

I Am Back

After my last post, I got sick. REALLY sick. I got the never ending flu. For weeks. I think I am finally getting over it but I am still stuffy. It was the kind of sick where I was completely wiped out. I was out from work and all I did was sleep. I was so exhausted I couldn't read or pretty much anything. The third round of medication finally kicked in late last week. So, no more coughing up a lung and my head is a lot clearer.

What does that mean. It means I finally got back to a regular journaling routine. I am working in one of my older journals now that had remained unfinished. It is a smaller journal but has lots of cool stuff in the portion that is finished. It gives me a bit of incentive to get back to it. Even if just a bit.

One of my new supplies… colored pencils. Actually, I never really liked colored pencils. I didn't like the “white” in between strokes. So for all these years, I have not wanted to use them.

In my “new”, old journal, I wanted to have something simple to color my doodles. Kind of like an Adult coloring book of my own making. Markers don't really give shading… and you have to worry about them bleeding through the paper. Chameleon Markers could solve the shading issue but not the bleeding issues (besides they are expensive). So I searched through YouTube and found some Adult Coloring videos to get some ideas.

I saw some beautiful work with colored pencils… and I decided to give them a try. I had some old Crayola pencils that had mainly remained unused so I tried them out. They were okay but didn't go down smoothly leaving some scratchy strokes. I saw the possibilities that colored pencils could have but wanted to find an option that gave a bit nicer result. So I got a pack of Prisma colored pencils.

This is my first try. My journaling routine is to Write a Gratitude Practice in my journal in the am. It includes answering a few prompts and then a page of free writing. Then tonight I doodled in the empty spaces and on top of my free writing. I got to try my pencils and I have to say they are fantastic!!! I am not so good at shading but they did a wonderful job. The color went on easy and smoothly. I really love the results.

Hopefully, tomorrow I can have more of a step by step.

 

Happy Tuesday!

 

The start of a new/renewed practice?

Today I decided to stick with the Knight of Cups but to look at a different deck to see if I can learn anymore about how this card can help me see my life. Today I pulled up an image from Steven Bright’s tarot blog Tiferettarot.wordpress.com. My hope is that he will make these blog images into a deck. I love his simple modern take on the cards.

Here is my sketch:

It is a very simple design. As I added color I thought about this version of the card. It is so interesting how this modern images gives much of the same message as the Rider Waite Smith card. The male figure in the card has paused as if in thought. Behind him is a large body of water and what looks like a lighthouse in the distance. What really gets my attention is the big lovely full moon. Under the silvery light of the moon our Knight pauses. There is so much water all around him…even in his cup. And mystery and questions about these emotional issues are highlighted by the moonlight. Is it as it seems by the light of the full moon or is it illusion? Are these emotions as they seem is he not seeing them “in the light of day?” The Knight looks into his cup. Is he comparing his emotions to all of those going on around him? Or is it that he feels as if his life is filled with emotion? Does the lighthouse help lead his way? I don’t see a beam… Maybe the Knight feels like he is adrift without a guide.

I feel like this image is telliing me that although I feel lost in my emotions that my vision is getting clearer. I can use my intuition to help guide me when I can not clearly see what to do (the moon in the darkness and the unlit lighthouse). Emotions are the focus. And again pausing to look. Into myself (my cup) and my life (the landscape).

This image really does sum up how I am feeling. There is a great deal going on in my life emotionally. I will pause knowing the answers won’t be revealed out right, (by the light of day) at least right now. I will need to feel my way and trust. Trust myself and my intuition.

A good lesson from today’s practice. What do you think? Please let me know. Have a wonderful day!

11-11-15 Art Journaling Practice: More Galato fun – Just Add Water

Today, instead of working on yesterday’s page, I wanted to do another gelato background. Today I am going to use gelatos and water. The water can really dissolve and mix the color making the gelatos look like water colors. I am NOT using paper that is designed for watercolor… or very much water at all. That never stops me (I use what I have)… just know that a paper that is designed for wet media will probably give a much nicer result and be easier to work with.

Happy Wednesday!

 

11-10-15 Daily Journal Practice: Joy, Gel and Gelatos

Today I am starting a new page. I wanted to put down a fun background… so I grabbed a handful of gelatos. What are gelatos? They are similar to water-soluble pastels… but softer and come in a tube (similar to Chapstick). They also come in lots of yummy colors and you can find kid sets that are pretty inexpensive!

 

What I love about gelatos is that they go on like a crayon and can be blended.

 

Today I will demonstrate blending the colors with a liquid gel medium. Why did I choose a liquid gel medium? I am thinking of doodling over the top of this background. Like water-soluble oil pastels, crayons, and any waxy medium it can be difficult… if not impossible to write over the top of them with regular pens (there are very few I have found that will work… and even then sometimes they don’t go down smoothly. So, in order to make penwork easier I like to use gel medium because it sets up a barrier that makes it easier to write on. Also, once the gel has dried, I don’t have to worry about the gelato moving around when I add other “wet” medium to it… maybe brushwork or even penwork from a juicy pen can cause the gelatos to mix and move. The gel isn’t as juicy as water so it doesn’t dissolve and move the color quite so much. (I would also like to try using a wet wipe and see how that moves, dissolves, and mixes color.)

I used a large flat brush and brushed the mixed gel and gelato color into the page.

 

That’s it for today! Happy Tuesday!

 

11-5-15 Daily Art Journal Practice: Pen Work

I wasn’t able to do anything in my work area today, so I grabbed my pen cases and decided to do some pen work. I will work on more of the shading of my main image tomorrow.

I added the Vacation lettering in black and really did not like how it was too bold and dark for the page. So I grabbed my Office Max Metallic pens (Now that Office Depot bought Office Max out I haven’t been able to find them… which is sad because they are my favorite) and went to work on all that bold black lettering. With just the “Vacation” lettering I did not like how the page looked. I felt like I had ruined the page. It wasn’t an artistic page anymore. But I knew I needed to persevere. I had been going for a “Dawn Devries Sokol” kind of page. It is a look I did a lot last year and I had made that style part of my own. When I changed journals, I kind of moved away from a more “doodle” like page and started doing more artistic types of pages. I like doing both but when it comes to documenting day-to-day life, I do prefer a “doodle” type of page. I intended for this page to reflect my week. So I added some doodles with the metallic markers, then added journaling with a small lined black marker.

I still didn’t capture my “old” doodle style to my liking. I guess I am out of practice. I know that the result isn’t the point but right now… the page isn’t bad… but I keep thinking maybe it would have been better if I would have done a more artistic type of page. It is too late now. I just have to move forward with what I have.

 

 

I hope to work on making a Midori-style journal in the last few days of my vacation. I found out that Effy Wild has a class called Radiant that has a tutorial on how to make an Effydori. I have signed up and will take a look. I think I would like to fool around with a hard covered journal to start with. I cut out some cardboard from a shoe box. I am worried that because one side is corrugated that the cardboard may not hold up and bend at a corrugation line. I was going to try to find an old book the size I want and use the covers but I was afraid the covers might be too thick. I look over the class and see what I can see about the Effydori and then see what I can come up with.

 

11-4-15 Catastrophe!

Went in to work on my page and what did I find? A completely waterlogged art journal. It seems my cat knocked over a quart jar of water all over my work area where my journal with the painting from yesterday was drying. My journal sucked up a great deal of the water… to my distress. I am trying to dry it out now… but I am really concerned about the finished pages sticking together… and all the blank pages ending up being water warped. But I will have to be patient… and wait and see.

So I have no entry for today. I hope that my page will be okay to be worked on tomorrow.

Happy Wednesday.

11-3-15 Daily Art Journal Practice: Adding Paint

I decided I would actually use acrylic paint on some of the image, at least to start. First, I used white to go over the portions of the image I was not going to use. Just so I could get a better idea how the “new” image was going to look.

I used a bit of water to blend the Stabilo pencil in. The “graphite” color didn’t dissolve quite like the black one I have does. It is okay.

I was going to paint the over-leotard black… but I couldn’t find my black paint anywhere. So I grabbed my metallic blue (the tutu became history – I had thoughts of changing the small puffy one to one of the longer floatier toole ones… and I still might… but I kind of liked the leotard as is). I actually grabbed my watercolor palette and added some color to the face, legs and hands. I am totally unsure what that will look like when it dries but heck, it’s all a big experiment. Then I added brown to the hair. The hair was another quandary. I originally planned to make her hair long and flowing… but when she turned into more of a ballerina type… long hair didn’t seem to fit. I didn’t want the hair to be too severe… so I went for a looser short look. First I painted in a dark brown and then, once it had dried a bit added some metallic gold to give it some life.

Lastly I added stripes back into the areas I had whited out in order to change the image. I didn’t spend a lot of time trying to get the lines… widths… etcetera… perfect. I just wanted color back… The colors were not quite the same… but I didn’t worry about that either. I added a bit of the paint color to the entire stripe. I may add more color over the stripe later, anyway.

Happy Tuesday.

 

 

11/1/15 Daily Journal Page: Taking a Chance

So, it’s the start of a new month. I have decided to be brave and throw caution to the wind… and white wash my focal image. The thing is, once it is done it is done. There is no going back. Some things that you do in your journal can be recovered from… but the image will never be the same after I white wash it. It also means, I will have to do something with it. Me. I will have to make the image my own and make it back into a focal image.

The white wash didn’t go down so smoothly. I painted it down and it started to bubble after a second or two. Even as I brushed over it to smooth it out it would re-bubble up. I decided to white wash over the tissue then used a crumpled up paper towel to pat off some of the white wash on the tissue. It is hard to see but it makes a nice kind of textural design.

My plan was to draw/paint over the image… but then I think of Teesha Moore… and I think about cutting out new and different eyes and glueing the right as left and left as right… Maybe a funny hat? Am I in that funky kind of mood?

No, not today. Tomorrow, I will decide.

 

Holy Guacamole, Batman… Do I Have An Idea!: An Amazing Art Journal Cover

I have had an epiphany… a light bulb has flashed on in my head… It is a doozie of an idea… A truly inspired idea. A fabulously amazing idea… if I can only figure out how to do it!

What am I ranting about? The merging of two fabulous tools into one. Homemade art journal pages and a Midori-like cover.

So what is the big deal. Well, first off, I like journaling in one book. But it never ends up that way. I always have extra paint and need to slap it down somewhere (other than the current page I am working on in my current journal) or start a new class and want a separate place for that, or don’t want to wait for current project to dry so I work in another  journal… The point is, I always end up with many partially filled or newly started journals lying around. I hate that. I happen to like keeping my work in a pseudo-datelike order.  Having so many  different journals makes keeping similar dates together almost impossible. I also do not like having partially filled journals all over. It is more a mind thing, so many partially filled journals makes me feel like I can’t complete anything (yes, I know… I am doing the work, why does this matter… but it does in my brain).

Second, making an art journal can be a pain! When I started out art journaling, I just knew I would NEVER be interested in making a journal… certainly not when I can just buy one. Years have past and I have made a few journals now… but the fact is I do not like fooling around with binding – which most of the time seems to be the main part of making an art journal. I don’t like the sewing and the awl poking and all that fooling around. I have done it but I don’t like it.

Third, sometimes you just want to work with journals with different size papers… maybe an entire journal with smaller pages, or a journal with all sorts of different size pages (which generally you can’t buy and have to make). So you are left having to start another journal — one you had to hand make  to get  the  paper  and sizes  you want.

Fourth, sometimes you would like to keep a lined notebook (composition book) journal along with your art journal for  notes  and such  – especially if you are taking a class.

Fifth, sometimes working in a bound journal is a real pain. You have a  gutter between your two spread pages to deal with… and because it is bound you are limited as to the page order. By this I mean, once it is down it stays were it is. It is not like a loose leaf kind of notebook (or even a spiral one where you can take the spiral off and then reinsert it once the journal is done) where you can take pages in and out.

The answer to all of the above is a Midori-style cover that can fit  all  your journal books, lined notebooks, and art paper pamphlets.

If you have never heard of a Midori journal, it is a cover that has two or three elastics running from top to bottom inside the middle “binding” area. You slip a journal or pamphlet under one or two elastics and that holds it in place inside the journal cover. Typically they are pocket-sized and used for written journals, appointments, planning, and sometimes art journaling. What makes them unique is that you can buy or make all different kinds of pamphlet inserts. Now if you could get a really big Midori… one that would fit your art journal and/or art journal paper… with lots of elastics…. you could have a cover that would fit all our journals and journal paper inserts. You could put several all in one bound type book. All you need is a Midori-like cover that will fit your biggest journal or journal paper inserts.

 

This is a Midori-style cover I made for my Written Journaling.
This is the inside with the four elastics running from top to bottom.
This one has a pamphlet insert and a Moleskin elasticized inside.
The pamphlet pages are just nested, not bound together at all. The elastic does all that work.
I attached the Moleskin with one elastic in the front cover and one in the back, that held the big book in nicely.

 

If I could figure out how to make this, I would make at least two covers from the start. For my first Midori-like cover, I would put in my Journal Page Jumble. It is pages from multiple journals that I have three-hole punched and bound together with three silver binding rings (my past answer to the above problems – and not a very satisfactory or pretty answer at that). Then add one or two of my other journal as would fit.

For my working journal, I would use the Midori-like cover for art journal paper pamphlets. Pamphlets similar to the ones made in Teesha Moore’s “How to Make An Art Journal” videos on Youtube: Click to go to Teesha’s Video. Her Art Journal is super easy to make out of a big sheet of art paper (she uses a specific type of paper – but I have experimented with all different types and have had great results). Use each of your Teesha Moore journals as one pamphlet. What is the best is that you don’t need to sew it together. Stick half the journal under one of your Midori-like elastics to hold it not only in the cover but also “binds” the nested pages together. That allows you to move pages at will. You still will be somewhat limited by the pages divided by creases but you will have lots more flexibility to move pages and work with individual pamphlet pages (without being nested together with the rest of the pages). The Midori-like cover would hold lots of those types of journal inserts. Or you could make your insert out of many types and sizes of paper. Or even buy a pad of art paper and fold the pages in half using those nested pages to make your inserts. And if you wanted to keep notes, you could also add a lined composition book too, if you wanted.

Here is a stack of Teesha Moore style pages.
Each piece of paper makes three insert pages that are nested together to make one art journal.
Here are two insert pages getting ready to be nested.

Here is a stack of two art journals, each made from a stack of three of the page inserts.

 

Hmmm. Now all I have to do is figure out the easist way to make one. I have some treated canvas that was supposed to be used to make a painted kitchen floor mat. I could make one pretty quickly using that. But I would like to figure out how to make a Midori-like cover with simple to get materials with as little sewing as possible, something super easy to make.

I will give it some thought. And experiment a little. I will let you know what I come up with!

Do you like this idea?  Let me know, in the comment section!

Happy Saturday!