Creativity Is...

"Creativity is Risk-Taking" ~  Sting

Many things can prompt a page
in your Art Journal.  If I see an interesting
 image or hear a snatch of phrase that 
gets my attention, I grab a bit of 
paper and write it down. The 'notes to
 self' get slipped between the pages of 
my art journal until I decide how to 
use them in my art. 

In this case, I was listening
 to a National Public Radio
broadcast about creativity. I hadn't
really thought about what creativity
actually IS, but these quotes
rang true for me.

To roughly paraphrase 
Elizabeth Gilbert, author:
We've often heard the phrase,
"follow your passion," but that puts
a pretty strong sense of intensity 
(and perhaps stress) on the individual. 
Curiosity is much more doable.
It gives us 'permission' to work our
 day job and follow our curiosity where
 it leads us without the pressure 
of having to become
a tragic figure or 'starving artist.'

Another place I've found art journal
fodder is on blogs.  Julie Fei-Fan Balzer
does pod casts with her mom and
 a guest artist. They are full of gems of
wisdom and laughter. 
"Creativity is about exploring possibilities"
is a remark from Julie.  When I listen
to a pod cast, I take notes!
  It's fun and informative, plus I can doodle!
Where have you found inspiration lately?

Linking up with Julie's
Stop by for some inspiration!

  •  ♦  •  

Morning Coffee and Collage

Starting my day with some coffee
and sketching is a winning combination.
Linking up with Bleubeard and Elizabeth

I thought I'd share this double page spread
with you, and try to arrange the scans
side by side in the post.  Either the limitations
of Blogger, or the limitations of the blogger (me!)
will not let me arrange them that way.
Some days things just don't work out the
way you had hoped.  And sometimes a 
bit of a 'shake up' is good for the
variety of life! 

The entire two pages will not fit onto

my scanner at once. Above you can see

how the pages fit together.  I am actually
rather pleased with the 'empty' space on
the left, (shown in the first image on the
 left) which allows the layers of papers
and colors to show through. It is so
 difficult for me not to fill up every
inch of space with images! Click on
any image for a closer look.

The days are getting cooler.
 I've been enjoying the gorgeous
blue skies and temperatures in the
70's and low 80's F. this week.
I remind myself to appreciate being
able to walk outside. It won't be long
before it will seem too cold. Perhaps
this will be the year I bundle up despite
the cold and walk outside in the winter.
Maybe. In the meantime, I love to 
see fall color emerging.  And I do
enjoy the Halloween season.
Stay tuned for some fun Halloween
projects and decorations next month!


Tutorial: Art Journal Page

Last week I shared an art journal page. 
I had originally planned to post a tutorial
for making that page, but when I got the 
paintbrush in my hand and started 
creating, I completely forgot to take
 scans of the steps to complete the page!

I also realized that not everyone likes 
their own handwriting, or wants to take
the time to draw fancy letter styles.

So here's an Art Journal Page Tutorial
  with a variety of ways to add text, 
other than writing in your own handwriting...

"GOOD DAY" Art Journal Page Tutorial~
  • Art Journal of your choice; mixed media or watercolor paper is good, but not essential
  • Permanent (waterproof) marker or pen, in medium and fine point sizes
  • Watercolors and water
  • Paintbrush: 3/4" flat
  • Highlighters
  • Your choice of text - words/phrases
  • Scraps of a variety of papers: scrapbook, book text, painted scraps
  • Scissors and adhesive (I used Aleene's Tacky Glue)
  • Ideas for wording to be added to the page
•  •  •
My first step was to think about what
words or phrases would be included on 
the page, and determine the number of 
sections into which I would divide the page. 

I drew a border around the page: a
variety of wiggly lines, curlicues, 
marks and dots. I didn't try to be
necessarily balanced or 'even.'
I used a medium point permanent marker,
 over which I can use water media
 without smearing the ink.
I divided the page into the number
of phrases in 'my list' for a Good Day,
again making different little patterns
that are easy to draw. You could 
also just use 'straight' or wavy lines
as dividing borders.  Those who like
to Zentangle could really showcase
their abilities here!

I applied light watercolor washes to
the page,and chose to vary the colors
from section to section.  This is a Canson
sketchbook, so the pages aren't intended
for water media.  Some buckling of the 
paper occurred, but I just tried to use as
little water as I could. After it dried, just
closing the book flattened the pages again.
I used Prang pan watercolors--the kind
you can buy for elementary school kids,
and a 3/4" flat paintbrush to fill in
 the areas quickly.

For the lettering, there are a variety of 
ways to add text on the page:
  • --Your own hand-written cursive
  • --Your own hand-written printing
  • --Letters cut from magazines or newspapers
  • --Computer generated words or phrases
  • --Stamped text using rubber stamp letters
  • --Words cut from a book, or junk mail
  • --Lettering from scrapbook paper
  • --Letters from sticker sets or rub-ons
  • --Stencil lettering
  • --Use a typewriter to type words on a separate paper, then cut and paste the paper to your page
I didn't have any stencils small enough
 to fit on this page, but I did have some
 scrapbook letters that I cut out, and 
stickers--used in the last line.

This is a place where you could 
call your art journal page 'done.'
But I find that adding doodles, shading,
and decoration is my favorite part of
the process!

A view of the Bic highlighters I used,
and my morning cup of Mocha coffee.

I added highlighter (above) to some areas
to brighten up the page, add shading
and accents.  I also decided I needed
to clarify what I meant by
"accomplish something,"  so
 there is now another line in parenthesis
below it. Keep in mind that housework is 
the last thing on my daily 'To Do' list...ahem!

 This could be another 
point where you could call it 'done.'
but I want to create some
simple flowers for filling in some
spaces, so let's keep going...

I made some 'flowers' from
a book page. You could also use
ledger paper, scrapbook paper, or
any painted paper scraps.

Draw simple oval shapes with the
medium point permanent marker.
Then add color using watercolors,
or highlighters.  I used highlighters.

Be sure to draw your flowers in
a size that will fit your journal page.
Using highlighters, overlapping colors
can give you additional colors. I didn't
have a purple highlighter, but overlapping
pink and blue gave me purple. You can
add more details with a fine point
marker now, or later when you've 
adhered the flower to the page. 

Cut out the flower heads with scissors.
I cut several 'outside' the outlines, letting
the text create an additional border.
Adhere the flower heads to the page
where you like, draw in stems, and
accent stems with green highlighter.
At this point you could also draw leaves, 
but I drew leaves on the text page
scraps, cut out, and adhered
them also.

Beneath the top flower heads,
I didn't feel there was enough room
for leaves, so I drew in some 
curlicues and dots.

Another option for adding a decorative design is
to add some stamping. Since I am not confident
with my 'stamping abilities,'  I usually just draw
or doodle where I want to add designs.  It's your
Art whatever you like best.

 For additional decorative motifs, research symbols in the assorted fonts of the word processing program on your computer. Look for symbols that might be fun to use on your journal pages. If you have any version of 'Wingdings' you can find a wide variety of symbols to use as 'fillers' or design elements. I printed out a page full of assorted motifs on white card stock, so I can have them on hand for future projects.

I chose a leaf design in Wingdings 2. (above)
 I made sure to include the reverse design 
in the motifs I printed out, so there would 
be a mirror image on opposite sides. I chose
to leave these uncolored, as I felt the black
and white went well with the striped scrapbook
paper on which I mounted these words cut
from an old book.

I rather wish I hadn't added the highlighter
to the word 'Art'...but it will do.

When I was looking for words to cut from
an old elementary school Health textbook,
one of the things it mentioned for the children
was being safe.  I rather take that for granted.
But I really shouldn't. Not everyone feels
safe...even in their own homes.  So
I decided it was a good reminder to 
include on this page.

Once I go to bed, I usually sleep fairly
well. But I am notorious for staying up 
late.  I've discovered, though, that 
many people don't feel as though they
get enough sleep. So again, I am fortunate.

Lastly, sign and date your page.
It's a helpful step in seeing 
your art work progress and change
over time.  Also, it's important
to have that signature to signify
your copyright of the work.

It's a good day when I finish
a blog post, and actually create
the tutorial that I had intended! 
Linking up for T Tuesday
with Bleubeard and Elizabeth.
Join us for a beverage...

What makes a "Good Day" for you?

Listen To The Page

Do you listen to the page?
That's what  I  had in mind for an
Art Journal page.  But today it just
wasn't happening.  Probably because
the materials in front of me call out
to be used, reacted to. What was
laying out in my work space was scraps 
of complex doodles. Responding to the
shapes, colors, movement of lines,
texture of motifs and the spaces between
the must listen to what the
page is telling you.  There is always
the next piece for minimal. 

Marblehead Lighthouse, Lake Erie, OH

There are also
drawings and collages in my 
Sometimes I make sketches about
what we did or where we went...

sometimes there is a general impression
of a hectic, chaotic day. Regular
 visitors to this blog know that I
have several journals in process
 at the same time.  How about you?

Above is a sneak peak of a tutorial
for an Art Journal page. I will
post it on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015.
Stop by for step-by-step instructions
on how I created the journal page!

Linking up with
Art Journal Every Day
What makes a Good Day for you?

Tell Your Story

Tell your story...whatever it may be.
It doesn't have to be travel to
exotic places, or perfect scenery.
Your art journal can have words
 on the page, doodles,
ordinary things, people and
 places in your life.
It can be anything...

I went to a praise band concert at
the Fulton County Fair in Ohio, to
hear my daughter play the djembe'
drum.  I sketched this baby while
we were waiting for the concert to
start.  The drum sketches were done
from some photos I took with my phone.
The baby was sketched with pen, then
watercolor pencil was added later.
Unfortunately I didn't get to sketch 
any animals that day, but enjoyed the
concert, even though it was 'competing'
with the roar of the tractor pull!

Linking up with Bleubeard and Elizabeth
for T Tuesday. Stop by and share
a beverage with us...

Reading and Drawing

A thrift shop tea cup, and
some books...


I've been re-reading Ann McAffrey's
series about the dragons of Pern.
It's like visiting old friends...

I stuck a few sprigs of
lavender in a bud vase...
then realized they were calling
to me: "Draw me, draw me!
Can't you see we're waiting?"

I will be visiting 
Bleubeard & Elizabeth for
T Tuesday, and I'm
joining in for the about you?

Mind Map Reprise

Here's a second post
of one of my most visited blog posts~
on the second day of September, 2015.
It was originally posted on
April 24, 2009.
Stop by Elizabeth's blog hop
Technically, this is not a true
 mind map,(above)
but a creative interpretation!

Map for the soul...
Personal Map Making challenge for
True North Arts group...

showing priorities and 
precious things in my life.
Art journal page, mixed media using
pastels, watercolor, colored pencils, and
Sharpie marker. This came out looking
a little like a cross between Peter Max art
and the green heroine in "Wicked,"
but that's makes me smile.