Monday, July 24, 2017

Arizona Plant - My Art Journal Inspiration

My latest Art Journal Page...

There are several different medias and techniques on this page, let me share some of them with you.

First of all I'm using a Canson Mixed Media ring-bound notebook. I love this because you can use almost any media on it, pencil, pen, markers, acrylic paints, watercolor, ink sprays, glues, almost anything!

My inspiration was the plant in my front yard that I call the Arizona Plant. I've blogged about it before and you can find that post here. But here's the picture I had in front of me while I create the page. I would love to say that I'm a great photographer but it's the flower itself that makes the picture.

I was also inspired by a YouTube video by Nina Ribena where she uses a Salad Spinner to create art! Yep, you heard it here...a salad spinner, one of these! In fact this is the exact one I have that I bought several years ago and use all the time.

Here's the video in case you want to see how it's done. I wish I had thought to take pictures of the samples that I made, but I can at least show you what I made out of them and how.

So I made two discs like the ones above, one using the colors of orange, red, yellow, white and clear glitter acrylic paint and the other with orange, red, brown, yellow and gold glitter acrylic paint. I also made another one using green, blue, yellow and white acrylic paints. 

I then used water colors to paint a blueish-purplish sky and a green bottom for the grass. While that was drying I cut out the petals of the flowers from the discs made with the salad spinner. I know the way I put the flowers together is not exactly the way the real flowers are, but it's just representational. 

I glued the flowers, trying to choose the prettiest petals for the top. I also used the disc with the blue, yellow, green colors for leaves.

I just adore the way the red flower petals came out with the streaks of white! And the different shades of green and yellow in the leaves is lovely as well. The Salad Spinner technique made it so easy. I never could have individually painted them like that, and you can see the glitter in the orange flowers. In real life they are even more amazing!

Once I had the flowers down I painted the stems, first using water color but they weren't noticeable so used a brown marker and then glued down the leaves. 

Then it was time to work on the title of the page which I titled Summer Fun. I used some cute little rubber stamps that my mom bought me for my birthday and an ink stamp with white ink. It was still hard to read so I used a white marker to fill in the letters. 

It was really hard to get the letters all in a row, so go with the flow right? I made them whimsical and not straight at all and then cut out the strip. These were stamped on another piece of the salad spinner paper that was mostly all orange, which is why I didn't use it on the petals.

I felt something was missing on the bottom right so I went through my stash of embellishments and found some hummingbird stickers and loved them because this plant does draw hummingbirds, probably because of the red in the plant. 

I used markers to make the dots in red, yellow and orange and then made a little border around the whole thing in blue and red. I just love putting a border on my pages because it makes it look so finished.

Slowly I am building up my "stash" of things to use in building these journal pages, and I'm finding such peace in doing them, it's so relaxing!

I made a few more discs of salad spinning art that I am saving to use for future projects, so you will probably see a lot more of this type of art...stay tuned!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

My Inner Dominatrix is on Vacation

I’ve mentioned before in several posts that I have an inner dominatrix. NO! Not that kind of inner dominatrix, not even that kind of outer dominatrix! Get your mind out of the gutter!

I mean the kind of inner dominatrix that keeps me on the straight and narrow when I make up my mind to do something. 

Mostly I would have to say that she’s my Weight Control Dominatrix. When I make up my mind to stick to my low-carb diet, she’s the one that cracks the whip in my mind when I look at a bag of Cheetos. Trust me…nothing hurts more that having a whip cracking up against the side of your brain!

(This post is going to be image free because it wasn't a good idea to search dominatrix and whipping!)

Last year around April, my inner dominatrix, whom I’m going to call Trixie took an extended vacation and I’d get a mental postcard from her now and again but for the most part she was MIA, which made it so much easier for me to get my hands on Cheetos and MM’s and Chips and Salsa. So it’s Trixie’s fault that I have gained back quite a bit of the weight that I had taken off.

July 20th was my birthday and I celebrated in grand style and by that I mean with lots of food filled with lots of carbs. Egg McMuffins; Breve Latte’s from my co-workers. Lemon Meringue Pie again from my co-workers and lunch at Mexicali where I share Nachos with lots of sour cream, again with my co-workers…hmmm, maybe I don’t need Trixie, I just need different co-workers? (Just kidding Angelica and both are the best!)

Wait...I found an image I can share. Cheesy smile and all this is me at the office with the gifts from my co-workers/friends.

That wasn’t even the beginning of the end of it because I went out to dinner with my family and they took me to my favorite Mexican food place where I indulged in a delicious frosty Margarita and baskets of chips to dip into their fabulous bean dip and salsa! Then I ordered my traditional Chicken Taquitos served with rice, beans and guacamole alongside.

Once I had waddled myself on home, my son decided to buy toffee bars. But even without Trixie being there, I had the strength to limit myself to just one, but I know the box is in the freezer waiting for me...calling to me! Where is Trixie?

Well I'm putting the Kibosh on Trixie. Vacation over Trixie! I've decided that by my next birthday I'm going to lose 20 pounds. Shouldn't be too hard right? 20 pounds is not a lot. I'm hoping Trixie will jump on board and do her job and whip my brain into shape!

So here's to another year on this Earth and that I make it to next July 20th!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Art Journal - Tougher than you may think

I mentioned in a previous post that I was looking into Art Journaling. I've been trying it out and I have to say that it is definitely harder than I thought it would be. 

When I sit down to blog the words just flow. I just sit and type. I don't worry about spelling or punctuation, I just get the words down. Then I go and search for images that I want to use in the post. I then read and re-read and make corrections. But the words, they do just flow! I often have to delete a bunch of stuff I wrote because I can be a tad wordy.

When I paint with Acrylics, I usually find an image or a tutorial that I want to paint and paint it. I find that predictable and easy to do.

But with mixed media art journals, you are supposed to let your creative juices flow and just do what comes naturally. Experiment, using different tools, think outside the box. Yeah...I'm not really an "outside the box" kinda girl. In grade school I always colored within the lines and then boldly outlined the lines!

But I'm I wanted to share some pages I've done. This is the first page I did. I've been dating them and this one was done on 6/18/2017.

The background was done using Oil Pastels which I rubbed on with my fingers. I loved blending these. The paint brushes I sketched myself and then painted them using Acrylic Paints. The Believe is a chipboard that I rubbed with purple oil pastels, the flowers and dots on the left are Gemstone stickers that self-glue to the page. then I added splashes of white again using acrylic paint. I used 4 different mediums. I was pretty happy with this one.

Now that I look at it, I see things I want to add or change, but my inner dominatrix that makes rules for me has already told me that once I date something, it's changes. Poo!

This next one I was also pretty happy with and thought to myself, " are one heck of an Art Journalist!" On this one I did the background using Dylusions Ink Sprays in Turquoise and Crushed Grape. I loved using this product and plan to start purchasing several other colors. 

I know that because I do the Iwanna Wednesday posts now and again, ya'll think I just run around willy-nilly buying myself whatever I want. But actually I'm pretty frugal and what I have I buy one at a time using the 40% off coupon from Michaels which means that I stop by  Michaels on my way home almost every day and buy only one thing, but you would be surprised how quickly things add up. (I also buy tons of things at the dollar stores!)

I also used Liquitex Modeling Paste and a Folkart Dot Stencil to create some dot textures. The dots reminded me of flowers so I added petals to them and the butterfly looks like he's flying through a field of flowers.

I was pretty proud of the butterfly too. I printed a butterfly on regular printer paper and then I took Washi tape and taped strips on the butterfly in a random design overlapping the edge of the butterfly and then just cut around the edges and Voila! Added a coat of Modge Podge to seal the top and it gave it a bit of a sheen. I did this one on 6/24/17. The little "Just Be" wording is actually the packaging on a pair of earrings that my mom purchased somewhere and the "Believe in Your Dreams" is a stamp from Michaels from their dollar bins when you are standing in line to pay.

So there's several mediums going on here, ink spray, modeling paste, stencils, stamps, marker pens, washi tape, Modge Podge. I can't even begin to count.

This next one was actually just me practicing along with a video tutorial on how to paint roses using water colors. First I prepared the page as I always do using white acrylic gesso. Then using modge podge I randomly glued some recycled cardboard packaging and gessoed over that to make it the same color as the background. 

then I tried to do a watercolor drip technique which didn't work well for me so I just water-colored the whole thing and then used this background to practice the water color roses, which came out more red than I wanted them to be so I tried to lighten them up with white acrylic paint and then finally just painted on some gold acrylic glitter paint. 

I added stems and leaves and then outlined the recycled cardboard with a graphite pencil and used my fingers to blur it to look like shading and added the black stamp on the side. I love the black stamp!

This next one I really don't like...yet... so I haven't put the date on it because I want to fix it, but don't know quite how.

I used a beautiful paper napkin from several that I bought at the Dollar Store. I modge podged it on to the paper in strips of what I liked. Strips of the musical notes, the butterflies and the roses, and I left the right side of the page white, intending to do a quote or something. I don't know why I didn't do the quote because now that I look at it I can see the quote there. 

Instead I took some Paper Mate Ink Joy pens and doodled circles, which I had hoped looked like roses...I don't like them. I think I will just gesso over them and then I'll add a coat of unbleached titanium acrylic paint to cover the ink over and then I'll add a quote. I think that will make me happier. I'll also remove the stickers that say Blossoms and Bloomin'. I didn't like those either, too small. I'll probably have to add some more butterflies as I outlined the stickers in a black markers.

I have a couple more I want to share, but as usual this is getting wordy, so I'll stop for now and try to do another post over the weekend. I just want to say that trying to think outside the box is kicking my butt, but I think in a good way.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Reign of Terror

Last night I spent a most miserable night during the annual Reign of Terror. I liken it to the terror all the children from the age of 12 to 18 and their parents faced in the book and movie The Hunger Games.

My little girl just looked at me with sheer terror in her beautiful little eyes and my heart broke and there was nothing I could do because it was out of my hands, the terror that was taking place. I could hold her as close as possible but I still could not save her.  I felt like those parents in The Hunger Game.

I’m talking about Chorizo. My daughter’s Shih-Poo dog that I’m taking care of for the time being. 

Fireworks are what were terrifying her. It’s been ongoing since July 1st when they open up the “Safe and Sane” fireworks stands. Sane? I almost lost my sanity myself; I can’t even imagine Chorizo’s mental state!

Every single night from about 5pm to midnight you hear the popping and crackling of legal and illegal fireworks. 
Our small town celebrates with a fireworks display on July 3rd at the football field about 2 miles from my house. That night was bad but nothing compared to last night!

Last night was a true Reign of Terror. She wouldn’t eat or sleep, I would take her outside to do her business and she would just claw at my leg to try to climb up into my arms. I would have loved it if she had calmed down once she was in my arms but instead she trembled and shook uncontrollably with her tongue hanging out and her eyes almost bugging out of her head. Nothing would pacify or soothe her…nothing!

I hate this holiday, I truly do.

Update*** While listening to the news this morning I heard that Kern County Animal Shelter took in 119 lost animals that are not only traumatized from the noise and chaos of the past 5 days but now are homeless and missing their families. Last year they took in 179. It's just madness!