Friday, January 25, 2013

Live, Love, Laugh

I thought I would never get this done.  The base was relatively easy to make.  The background is acrylic pain on watercolour paper.  The heart is made with poured acrylic as described by Debbie Arnold in THIS video.

I don't have gel medium (mine went hard and I wasn't able to recover it) so I used the same purple acrylic paint to adhere the heart.  The result was an unexpected shadow which I really like.  There's a bot of a shine from the iridescent copper/metallic copper paint I used.  This is the same pain I used on the back of the tags.

The pockets for the tags was made with standard vellum.  I initially stuck it down with double sided tape but didn't like how it looked.  The stitching was the best way to cover up the marks from the strips of glue.  I liked how it looked so much that I decided to stitch around the heart as well.

The tags were made with acrylic paint.  I cut them out added the paper on the back and covered that with the metallic copper acrylic paint.  I added the hole protectors on the back and front then used a pen with white artist ink to write the titles.  On the back of the tags, I put stickers that correspond to the three topics.

Here are the tags outside the page.  I haven't made up my mind about adding string to the end of the tags so for now they are going to remain plain.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What Did We Do Before the Internet?

Whenever I'm thin on inspiration (which can be very often sometimes) I look to the internet.  Poetry first lines, writing prompts, challenges & sprints, pictures to give you an idea of what's possible and more recently the joy of tutorials and videos on YouTube.  All these things have added to my creative ability and provide both inspiration and a sense of community.

The internet has changed the way I look at my creative journey.  A teacher in the same location, offering an affordable price was the first and often only choice available.  Books offered a close second.  All that has changed.  Free online tutorials that show the step-by-step accomplishment of a creative task offer reference at the touch of my fingers.  Online courses bring the teacher into my studio and interaction with other creative people brings the community to me.

So if you are stuck for ideas and looking for something to work with check out the's a great place to start.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Is this Love?

I wasn't sure what to do this week.  That's what happens when a good resolutions meets up with bad planning.  It is one of the reasons New Year's resolutions never make it very far.  Carried on the wave of excitement and anticipation I made a decision but didn't put a lot of thought into what that decision was going to mean in real terms.

It is a testament to my dedication that I not only made it through week three but that I have every intention of going froward from here.  But I cannot ignore the fact that I only made it this far with some help.

Stuck for an ideas I went trolling through my favourite source of ideas...the internet.  This weeks page is a reproduction of Limor Webber's mixed media Friday art journal page on YouTube.  You can visit the thread HERE.  This particular page was inspired by THIS VIDEO

I used different colours and since I didn't have the templates she did, I either made them for myself using cereal box card.  The repeated print pattern on the (handmade) envelope was made by pulling stamps from different stamp packs that fit the theme onto an acrylic block and stamping them as a single image.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Music to Inspire

Sometimes music can inspire but most of the time it helps me find the words to say what can't always come out of my mouth.  Knowing this I decided to put together a 'Creative Path Soundtrack'.  Music that helps me see clearly who I am and what I'm worth.  Music that makes me believe anything is possible.  Music to listen to when I can't remember why I'm doing this art journey to begin with. Music to feel by and dance to live.

Sadly, I didn't do a step by step show of how I made the art journal page because I wasn't sure what I where I was going with it until it was done. But here is the final product:

I did the art journal page first using (very watery) acrylic paint then added salt to give it texture.  I spattered black paint with a mask over the main area.  Using a roller I added gold paint over the whole.  I used a credit card to add even more black paint around the main area so it could *pop*.

With a butterfly stencil I painted in the black butterfly at the top then used more of the diluted acrylic paint in the main area to make a brighter/darker butterfly.  I scanned that image into my computer.  Using it as a template I added the text and the veins on the butterflies.

I then used photo editing software (Microsoft Office Picture Manager and Windows Paint) to create the front and back of the music CD.  I added the song tracks and titles then printed them out.  I burned the music on a CD and the final product goes into the binder with everything else.

CD Front

CD Back

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Movie Magic

I think I would have enjoyed being a set decorator in another life.  I look at movie sets and I imagine just what went into making them look so real and I think "I can do that!".  But even though I'm not looking for the drastic change of career that would put me in line to create those sets I admire, I've found that they are an unexpected source of inspiration.

Every paid attention to the art in movies?  Paintings on the wall, sculptures on display, pictures in frames and the projects that characters embark on right there in front of you begging for your notice and never getting it because they can't compete with what you're really there for; the movie, the story, the drama.

Every once in a while they will make a movie about art or an artist and push this visual inspiration right at you but most of the time, it's in the background.  Part of the whole (like the soundtrack) making the movie richer and more enjoyable yet not really upfront and centre where you might sit up and take notice.

But the next time you have no clue where to begin on your next painting, drawing, collage or art journal your favourite movie and take a look at the art on their walls. You might be surprised by what you notice and where that attention to detail could take you.

Perhaps paying that extra bit of attention to something you already love will give you yet another level to enjoy it on..  That's the magic of the movies.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Creative Path - Cover

This is the first page of my art journal for this year.  The step to create it were relatively simple.

I used a piece of cardboard-box card (can't remember where I got it from but it was 12x12in).  I covered the back in fabric to reinforce it and give it some interest.  Once that was dry, I trimmed the whole to be an A4 size (8.25x11.75in) with an additional 1in tab.  I'll be using A4 sized paper for most of the projects.

I covered the front with gesso primer and let that dry completely.  I drew my image with pencil and painted it in using acrylic paint.  I finished by adding the silver embellishment with "The Creative Path" embossed with a stylus, punching out the three holes on the side and putting in the three binding clips and adding the lettering.

The final product...and the start of my creative journey:

Friday, January 4, 2013

Red Cars in Traffic

This is the first of my "Where Does Inspiration Come From?" posts because other than the motivation to get started...finding the inspirational ideas to bring forth into reality is one of the most common problem/question people have about creativity.

The truth is...ideas are all over the place.

The best analogy I can come up with is based on traffic.  If someone stopped you and asked how many red cars there were on the road, there is no way you could tell them.  That's how most people live.  Inspiration passes them by like red cars in traffic.

When you choose a creative life (and I think it is very much a choice!) ideas begin to show up out of the commitment to creativity.  It's a lot like realizing that there are not only red cars around you but there are plenty of them just whizzing by every few minutes.  Sometimes they go by so fast you haven't the chance to get a good look at them, other times a red car will stop right next to you and you get to see not only the sheen of the paint job but every detail of model, make and manufacturer.

Each 'red car' is an idea that might be suited to something you want to create, other times just a pleasant thought of what might someday be...maybe even be for someone else. 

I see red cars everywhere.  Books, movies, music, those daydreams I sometimes fall into when I'm standing in line at the checkout counter.  There are a lot of times I think I have more ideas than I will ever get to use.  So I figured I'd share some of my sources...and let others find a little more inspiration too.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Creative Path

I'm back!

It's not as impressive as it sounds.  I got distracted by *stuff* and found that doing my blog posts was no longer a priority.  It doesn't mean I haven't been doing my art or writing.  In fact I've been doing lots more of both...and plan to do lots more this year.

NaNoWriMo was a blast and because of that I'm interested in doing Camp NaNo this year - twice.  I haven't totally given up on Illustration Friday but I have gone in the direction of the Art Journal/Smash Book for now.  I bought a couple of moleskin journals and with the help of a lot of YouTube tutorials I'm learning the tricks of the trade and loving every minute of it.  I hope to share the flips just as soon as I learn how to make them :-)

Which brings me to the plan for this year: THE CREATIVE PATH.

The Creative Path is a 52 week creative challenge that I am embarking on so I can remain true to my creative development but also so that I can use that creative walk to improve myself as a person being.  To live, to love and to share and grow and remain accountable to this creative journey.

The creative work will revolve around my art journal/smash book and a monthly theme.  I intend to include writing as well.  This blog will have at least one weekly post featuring the art work for that week.  I will write no less than 2,000 words of fiction as either a part of a longer story or as a short complete story.  I will probably share a few of the short stories (especially flash fiction) when I can.  I will work on at least one article for my personal magazine/newsletter which I hope to start sharing as well. begins.