Monday, May 26, 2014

Eccentric Old Art Lady

Most of the images on this page were done as Packing Tape Transfers.  I found the tutorial for the transfers on the Journal Artista  Youtube channel. I thought I'd try a regular transfer before I used a stencil and it was so easy I got carried away.  I've tried this before and had no success. I think the difference is that Paula suggested using warm water and that made all the different.  

All the images are from the June 2014 issue of Oprah magazine. The images come from several different articles.  The reason I began the page is because of the two ladies floating in the inner tubes having so much fun. They seem so happy and content with their age and their bodies. That is what I'm striving for in my life.

I'm not thin like they are but that's OK. I spent years on diets. I felt deprived and unhappy and guess what? I gained all those pounds I lost back several times. I am no longer trying to impress anyone with the way I look. I'm me and you either like me for who I am or you don't have to be part of my life. I will admit I could eat healthier. I'm not advocating being unhealthy at all. All I'm saying is that for me I've decided to be me and I'm short and pudgy.  I'm not in the shape to climb a mountain or bike 10 miles.  Guess what?  Both of those things sound like NO fun at all to me.  If I found my weight was stopping me from doing what I love I'd probably drop a few pounds and kept them off. 

I love that quote by Margaret Atwood. I very seldom feel that age I am. I'll be 60 years old next month.  My hair has grey in it. I earned everyone of my grey hairs. I don't mind them being grey... I just wish they weren't quite so wild.  Oh well, they are what they are.  My truth is I'm way more interested in Art Journaling and Collage than I am in my hair or my clothes. The best thing about 60 is that I'm a year closer to retirement when I can create all day every day if I want to. I plan on being the Eccentric Old Art Lady.. the one with paint in her hair wearing the odd clothes. Until then I have a day job to pay for my art supplies and Scooter's kibble and I create nights and weekends.  I cannot begin to tell you how freeing it is to accept myself as I am at this moment. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Cards and Stamps

Mother's Day was a little difficult this year.  I miss my mom. It was odd not to be getting together with my family this weekend. We are scattered around this country this weekend instead. I guess we each had our own way of dealing with being without my mom today.

I visited my friend, Ann, at Studio 901 (also known as the Art House). Ann has a plethora of stamps and supplies and generously shares them with me when I visit. I decided that since I didn't need to make a card for my mom, I'd make one for her 93 year old mom. The background stripes are made with a Tim Holtz stencil. The Thinking of You is from one of those dollar sets at Michaels or JoAnn's.  I did not get the name of the company that made the flower.  It was a two sided stamp. One side was a solid block which I stamped off on a paper towel before stamping the paper. That is how I got the cool textured background on the squares. That is the pattern from the paper towel. I used Dried Marigold and Spiced Marmalade Distressed Ink. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014


I am spending the weekend with two of my art friends. It is so great to spend time with people who really "get" my love for art journaling and all thing painty. They think being up to our elbows in glue, paper and paint is a fine way to spend the day.  

These weekends feed my soul. I know I'll learn something new. I'm away from all the "stuff" at home.  No guilt about cooking or cleaning. I'm on a mini vacation. I'm spending time with people who enjoy my company as much as I enjoy theirs.  Today... I have way more than enough.

The Art
I love spiral bound journals. I like how they lay flat when I work in them. I find it a bit easier to protect my previous pages in them. This is a recycled book that was originally some kind of investment manual.  The background is painted with Bella Acrylic paint. Ann said she bought a whole set of these paints at Lowe's back in the winter. I really like them because they are nice and thick. The birds are Eggplant Adirondack paint and a Dina Wakley stencil.  The circles are gesso and a Tim Holtz stencil.  

Now to the part I love about this page.  All those lines. I love, love, love those lines. If I wasn't such a good friend I'd pack that Tim Holtz stencil in my bag when I leave tomorrow. The stencil belongs to Ann and I'm having stencil envy at the moment. I used the Bella paints again and stenciled with the Stripes by Tim randomly on the page.

The page is called Enough because I didn't want to do anything else to it. I kept thinking I should add a focal point but I didn't want to. I just couldn't cover up those yummy lines. I decided it's enough exactly the way it is.  That's a good thought to remember about myself too. I hope you will do the same today. You are enough just the way you are.  Happy Creating!!

What have you been working on these days?  I would love to see your work. Feel free to post it on the Art Journal Feel Facebook page

Link to Paint Party Friday, Artist Playroom, Art Journal Everyday

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Put It Out There... aka Vulnerability

Thoughts (if you just want to know how the art was done,feel free to skip this section)
I've been reading, Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown. It's about what we have to do to be our true authentic selves. It's also about shame and vulnerability which we have to understand in order to dare to be great.  This book is really getting to me.  I think I need to hear what she is saying but I'm finding it a bit painful.  I'm only a few chapters in and I already see how not being able to be the real me hurt my past relationships.  

Part of me wants to crawl in a hole and hide because I feel ashamed that I was not brave enough to stand up for myself and say,"THIS IS THE REAL ME!"  For years I felt like I was not enough or I was too much. I felt like the emotional equivalent of Goldilocks. I wanted to feel just right.

I tried to be what I thought I was suppose to be or what I thought other people wanted me to be... and it didn't work.  I spend years being unhappy and depressed. My worse fear was that I would be alone. After years of trying to be what I thought I was suppose to be in order not to be alone... I ended up alone anyway.  The worse thing that I thought could happened to me did happen and guess what? 

I didn't die.  I didn't curl in a ball and die. I found out that under that scared little girl was a strong big girl. I not only survived but I'm thriving!  Today, as I listen the Brene Brown, I'm saddened because I hide for so many years. It's ok for me to feel sad for a little bit. I can have regrets so long as I don't let them rule my life. I'm hoping that this book will teach me new skills about learning to be the real me and to take chances. 

The Art
The background is yellow because I wanted to finish that bottle of paint sitting on my table. The flowers are made with background paper I bought from The Angel Company years ago. Yea! I used some of my stash.  I used my new favorite stencil (a piece of plastic canvas) and a stencil by Dyan Reaveley. The title was written with a Liquitex paint marker. I really like the angle tip on this marker. 

I used that quote because of Daring Greatly. Brene talks about how innovation and creativity don't grow if we don't take chances.  In my opinion, this is not my best work. That's ok because I tried something a little different. This page has given me experience with using background paper in a different way. I have learned things from doing this page. It is part of my art journey so I'm putting it out there. I won't grow if I don't try new things and have a few pieces that I feel "meh" about. It's important that I tried something different and that I'm brave enough to show it to the world.

Art Journal Everyday

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Circles of Thoughts

How the Art Was Done.
Gesso the page and follow with a coat of blue paint.  I used a couple of different stencils and a baby wipe to remove part of the blue paint. Doing that gives it a soft look.

I've been seeing people on The Documented Life blog doing circles so I gave them a try.  They are simply circles of paint on two different backgrounds and then black circles drawn around the color. 

When a person is in recovery..( whether that recovery is from co-dependence,depression, drugs, alcohol, eating disorder, physical/emotional abuse or anxiety to name a few) we meet people walking along that same path.  We help and support each other on our journey.  Sometimes we find people who we can finally trust enough to be who we really are.

One of the most magnificent things I've ever experienced is being loved and accepted by someone who knows all my warts and quirts. Being accepted when I'm being selfish, controlling or just wacky as a bed bug.  Having friends who look at me and see all the good in me as well as all of my baggage and love me. I have meet people that I love that way too.  It's amazing to see I can be that accepting and loving toward others.

It's amazing to have someone love me until I can love myself.  I have done that for others too.  I know people I love and I will love until they can love themselves. It's difficult to watch those people struggle along their path.  The co-dependent part of me wants to help them or "fix it" for them.  That doesn't really help them and it feeds my belief that I can "fix" everything.  That is one of my defects of character.  My belief that I know what is best for other people... I don't really. I just think I do because if I believe that, I feel less helpless when someone I care about is hurting.  "Fixing It" is usually a huge control flag for me.  If I'm all about fixing something for someone else than I am feeling the need to be in control.  

Monday, May 5, 2014

Hands of Love

The hands you see here belong to my dad. My whole life those hands have worked hard to take care of me and my family.

My dad likes to work with wood.  I have so many memories of things I've seen his hands do. They painted our house.  They helped me learn to swim. They made kites for all the kids in the neighborhood. They made so many sets of blocks for small children that we've lost count. They helped me make a science project about magnets and they helped me letter posters for school projects. They taught me how to make neatly wrapped Christmas packages. They made many, many cool gifts to sell at craft fairs.  

The last huge project they did with me was help me put quarter round down in my home. They taught me how to use a compressor and nail gun.

The hands are older now but they still makes things.  They make craft kits for all the children at Plant Camp every year.  They grow vegetables.  In these pictures they helped me make a bulletin board out of recycled wood and chicken wire.  They are ture hands of love.

The background is wine colored craft paint and a stencil someone gave me.  I printed the photos on a laser copy machine..  All my artsy, crafty talents I get from my dad.  

Link to:  Journal 52 hands prompt.  Artist Play Room

Friday, May 2, 2014

Feelings is Not A Dirty Word

Welcome to my new blog. This blog will be part art and part thought.. I will endeavor to explain how I made my art and what I was feeling. I hope you'll want to play along with me on this journey in how we feel and express those feelings through art.  

This is the first page in my new feelings art journal. The background is a coat of heavy body Liquitex blue paint. I used a bar-b-q rack as a stencil.  The white was made by removing some of the blue paint with a baby wipe.  The other colors were stenciled on using a child's paint brush as a stipple brush.

The blocks are pieces of background paper and the person was drawn with a black sharpie and cut out.

Off Center is how I've felt emotionally at different times in my life. Yesterday I actually felt off center physically.  I woke up ... almost dizzy, almost queasy... physically off center. Food and caffeine didn't help so I stayed at home and it took all day before it passed. I don't know what caused it. Maybe vertigo..maybe I was just tired and needed a day at home. The why is not as important to me as the fact that I listened to my body and spent a day doing nothing but reading and sleeping.  I let myself rest and today I'm feeling much better.

Why This Blog?
Many people think feelings is a dirty word. Ignore how I feel. Pretend I'm not sad or lonely. Pretend I'm someone I'm not. Don't be too happy or too unhappy... that makes me too much or not enough.  I did that for many years and now I say NO MORE. I'm not saying I tell everyone I meet exactly how I feel because I don't. I have learned to choose safe, caring people to talk to when I have something I really need to sort out.

I won't tell you I have all the answers because I don't.  I am not a therapist. I have gone to therapy and it was the best thing I ever did for myself. I do know that acknowledging my feelings has helped me become healthier physically, mentally and spiritually. 

Feeling my feelings is very important. Stuffing my feelings in the past has lead to me being sad, depressed and very down on myself. Stuffed feelings are like a festering wound. Ignore them and they grow and get ugly inside of me. I have read that depression is anger turned inward. I found that to be true for me. Finding constructive ways to express my feelings has been a tremendous help.

One of ways I've learned to express myself is through Art Journaling. I have gained confidence in myself as a person and as an artist.The purpose of this blog will be to express and explore how we are feeling through visual art. That art might be painting, art journaling,water color, sculpture etc. I hope that you will share your art and your thoughts with me as we go along. 

Please feel free to post your art and thoughts on our Facebook page: Art Journal Feel