The Artful Journey

Exploring my self and the world through art.


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29 Faces: Feb 16 Art Journal Page

She’s done in water-soluble graphite, and I don’t particularly like the way she looks.

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But I think she looks the way she’s meant to look.  And there are some things I like about her and some I don’t.  If I kept working on her, I could refine her more and emphasize those things I like, and ‘fix’ the things I don’t, but she is perfect for doing her job, which is sharing her message.

I’m going through some very intense transitional, transformational death/rebirth/resurrection stuff right now, and I’m being Guided toward working a whole new way, allowing every artwork to be a message I channel through my hands from Spirit.  It’s not about whether the message ends up pretty, it’s about whether it was received clearly.  So I am working on doing things that I know won’t be as pretty, because that’s what is calling to be done, rather than what my mind believes would be most pleasing.

As to subject, I have been taking comfort in the visual of the in-process painting as a metaphor for my life right now.  I am the smudge that is eventually going to be the amazing, well-defined and beautiful focal point in the fantastic painting of my new life, and all around me the Artist is sketching out different possible surroundings, but nothing is set right now.  The Artist is, I suppose, my Higher Self, my Wholest Self, the Self that knows everything I’ve learned in all my lifetimes.  She knows more about how to get me from here to happiness.  And right now, she’s having to build pretty much a whole entire life from the ground up.  And she’s making it more and more clear to me every day that the best way I can be of help to her is to do this kind of art.  Get my messed-up head out of the game and bring the heart in to run the show.

I am the smudge in the unfinished painting of my new life.  I don’t have to have understandable definition or recognizable beauty right now, I just have to be patient and trust that the Artist knows what s/he’s doing.  And I didn’t want to do this face today, but I felt I needed to, and I’m really glad I did.


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29 Faces: Feb. 15 Art Journal Spread

I used Portfolio water-soluble oil pastels, then brush pen ink drawing over that.  I discovered that the ink can be smudged to create interesting shading effects which I’m digging.  I’m working very intuitively with these faces, inspired by Connie Hozvicka’s Total Alignment mini-course, like I mentioned before, and I was so not understanding why those colors wanted to be chosen.  I wasn’t liking this at all at first, but I kept listening and got the message, and it’s a profound one for me, plus I like the unique way she came out.  I’m quite amazed at the power of the Fearless Painting process, and it’s really so cool that Connie is giving it away for free in the Total Alignment course.  It’s really transforming my art in miraculous ways.  My 18 x 24 pad of mixed media paper just got here today, so I’m going to begin truly Fearless Painting big now and we’ll see where that goes!  I’m obviously painting as big as I can in my rather small journal, turning it on its side, and I can already feel a difference, so I’m excited.

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Total Alignment: Opening the Heart Center, 29 Faces Art Journal Spread

Today I started working with Connie H’s FREE Total Alignment Fearless Painting mini-course.  The first assignment is to open your heart center and let your heart guide your hands.  This is what was in my heart.  This is for Shannon.  Happy Valentine’s Day.

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Watercolor on mixed media journal with pigment pen lines and journaling, and the yellow is crayon resist with watercolor, then outlined.


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29 Faces: February 12 Art Journal Spreads

The face is done in watercolor over textured gesso.  I’m loving it as much as the ink wash.

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The second spread started with my new Playcolors, which I showed in my haul video, and went on to incorporate all kinds of stuff.  I don’t know about you, but I’m having one of those days when I really need to remind myself to do this.


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29 Faces: Feb 11 Art Journal Spread

Keepin’ it simple today.  I’ve been reading Journal Fodder 365, and it’s inspiring me to keep things simple.  This is all graphite, which is why it isn’t photographing well.  “Question” is actually erased into multiple layers of graphite, which looks cooler in person than it does here.  But I do love the way 4B graphite sticks slide across the page.

With flash:

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Without:

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29 Faces: February 10 Art Journal Spread

I cut the words out of junk mail and the strip above her head is a tear strip from a cardboard envelope I got in the mail.  I stapled it down because it’s cool, but I don’t know what it is.  I suppose it inspired her hair’s shape.  I drew her with these conte crayon wannabe things that came in my drawing kit from General’s, but wow are they useless.  Like drawing with plastic.  They tore into the paper, scratched up everything, didn’t leave actual color on the page most of the passes…I got a basic face drawn, then flung those things in the trash.  I went over the drawing with a graphite stick, did a background and pencil journaling, a little augmenting with an eraser, and she was done.

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Daisy Yellow Creative Experiment #11: Hand-carved stamps. Lots of ’em.

Okay so yeah, last night, inspired by Daisy Yellow’s Creative Experiments Challenge, as well as Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and Kristin Norton’s super fast youtube video and the ebook she wrote, I broke into my Speedball Kit and made some stamps while Shan watched the Olympics.  I couldn’t believe it when I shot the photos, but I made 14 stamps!  This is SO MUCH FUN.  If you haven’t tried it, DO IT.  I’ll bet you could even start with one of those cuticle trimmers that you can get at the Dollar Store, along with a white plastic eraser you can get at the Dollar Store.  Or you can buy a kit.  I am going to upgrade to the Speedball Linoleum Cutter Assortment myself, now that I know how freakishly fun this is.  It’s like 12 bucks, as opposed to the ten I paid for this kit, and it’s safer, has more tips, and you can store the tips in the handle.  Plus it’s pink.  I really should have heeded the signs and got it first.

This is one of February’s Creative Experiment Challenges:  CE #11: {up to 4 points, 1 point per stamp} Make hand-carved stamps to use in your art journal.

I totally earned my 4 points on this one, baby.

I started with a star, my number one symbol.  Then I put a simple box on the back of that.  I did this page in my journal, first stamping with watercolor paint, which I wasn’t thrilled about, then using a Distress Ink pad in Worn Lipstick.  I did a quick wash with some watercolor paint, then I just did journaling with black pen and black brush pen.  About how now I need ink pads.  I’ve never been much into rubber stamps, because they were too generic, and all I have is Staz-On ink, which will ruin these, and a couple of Distress Ink pads.  So I need normal, non-solvent-based ink pads.

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Then I decided I wanted to make my most desired stamp, a key, so I sketched out some ideas.  Then I realized my tool isn’t sophisticated enough to do that fine work, so I did a simplified version, with the teeth spelling TRUTH.  I.  Love.  This.  I can’t wait to get the finer tools to make finer keys.  Anyway, so yeah, then I did 11 more stamps.  Here is a spread in my journal where I stamped each design and numbered it.

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Omigod how in love am I with that chain link?  It’s my own idea and it totally works!  I love love love chains!  That and my truth key are my absolute favorites.  Here are some of the pages and papers I used, including the Evidence Journal, where I planned and tested the designs:

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And here is the spread, but with the actual stamps on the right.

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Wow these are some funky-looking stamps when they’re done.  Most of them are two-sided, so you can only see one design.  And that pink is actually even MORE pink in real life, life chewed bubble gum or sunburned baby flesh.  I told you, really freaky.  I’ll be relieved to move on to carving white erasers, I think.  But I still have a chunk of this stuff left to use, so more freaky-awesome pink babyflesh bubblegum stamps are on the way.


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Daisy Yellow Creative Experiments Challenge, January Catch-up

I’ve decided to add another project.  My life is all about art right now, and trying everything to figure out what to keep and what to toss, both supply and idea-wise, so I’m dabbling in all sorts of inspirational offerings right now.  I decided to do the Daisy Yellow Creative Experiments Challenge, which started last month, so I’m a month behind.  Each month has a list of Creative Experiments designed to infuse your creative life with organization, focus, preparation, and inspiration.  I may be behind on joining, but I’ve also been doing a lot of this on my own, so I’m claiming the points for it!  Yes, you get points for each of the activities you complete.  I’m not a ‘points’ person, but it’s crazy, because I feel guilty about focusing so much on art, buying art things, reading art books, making time or space for art, doing art…and now this is giving me POINTS for indulging in what feels like a guilty pleasure.  So I figure, what the hell, let’s see how this might change the energy around it all for me and get those points!

Creative Experiment #1: {1 point} Make a plan for making art this month.

Well, I’ve been organizing, re-organizing, shopping, organizing again, and basically my whole life revolves around my art, so yeah, I’ve definitely spent the last month planning for some serious art-making.  I even bought a great new art desk a few months ago which is my altar to what I consider my sacred creative practice.

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Sometimes it even looks that neat.  No, really.  Just…not right now.  Anyway…making time is not an issue for me, since I’m living with chronic illness (bipolar disorder and severe anxiety, or first-wave ascension symptoms, whichever you prefer) and at least for now, am pretty much disabled, but space is THE issue.  I’m living in a small 2-bedroom apartment with my partner and daughter, so my planning is ALL about making my current space meet my needs.  And I have done that and continue to do it, so 1 point for me!

CE #2: {2 points} Do a new-to-you creative technique or project.

I have totally been doing this and have even blogged about it.  From watercolor crayon backgrounds to ink wash over gesso, and last night I embarked upon the world of hand-carved stamps!  But I’m saving that one for another point because it counts later on.  In any case, I’ve been trying new things, so 2 points for me!

CE #3: {2 points} Make something to use “in” your art journal or mail art.

This is where I’m counting my carved stamps, especially since it was this prompt that finally kicked my butt into gear and made me sit down and try it!  Last night, I broke out my new Speedball Stamp Making Kit and made some truly awesome, amazing, magical hand-carved stamps.

OH how I love this.  I love the carving, I love the personalization, I love the EASE, I love doing a craft that has a very practical purpose afterwards.  I don’t actually love and recommend this kit, though.

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I’m going to buy one with more tips.  They’re not anymore expensive, they just don’t come with the rubber, but it’s the same stuff those erasers are made of, and you can get those anywhere.  This one is too simple, just two big blades,  and they just stick in the wooden holder through force, which isn’t safe.  For ten bucks, it was certainly worth it to try, and I got a block of Speedy Carve rubber which is worth more than half that, so I’m not exactly complaining, but I wish I’d gotten a bigger kit and then just bought erasers to carve.  Anyway, I’m going to do a post on this separately, but I’m sure as hell gonna claim my points now, so 2 for me!

CE #4: {2 points} Create a series of 5 mail art postcards and mail to artsy friends.

Okay, so I’m nervous about this one because I haven’t really done mail art except for some craft swaps on Craftster, but I want to do it.  I followed the links on the page and joined Mail Me Some Art, which has a list of addresses of artists who will send mail art to you if you send some to them, so I’ll start there.  If you want to exchange mail art with a newbie, please leave me a comment and we can exchange contact info!  I can’t claim any points here at all yet, but I’m working on it.  I’m even picking up new postcard stamps today, since postage rates went up a couple of weeks ago!

CE #5: {1 points} Make a list of creative books that you plan to read in 2014.

Well, I have a huge wish list on Amazon, does that count?  I’m certainly going to buy them as I can afford it, so I think it should!  If they were all here with me now, I’d totally read them.  I need NO encouragement to buy art books.  None at all.  I’m obsessed with them.  Giving me a reward for wanting to read more is like rewarding me for craving Oreos.  I just don’t need the encouragement.  So I think I deserve this point!  This is the one I’m reading right now:

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I have no real verdict on it yet, though.  I am planning on doing a bunch of book and supply review videos, so I’ll include this one when I do.  For now, I’ll say that I paid a PENNY plus $3.99 shipping from Amazon, so I can’t possibly complain anyway, and so far, I’m really enjoying this book and getting some new perspectives and inspiration, which is what I look for.

CE #6: {1 point} Make coffee, tea or espresso stained papers.

So I stopped writing this post and went and did this one with this morning’s coffee and tea.

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I had black tea, English Breakfast to be exact, and I rubbed the tea bag over the left page.  Shan had coffee, and I took my favorite, super-ugly mug whose handle fits my hand “just right” that I got at a yard sale, and I dipped the bottom in a plate with some coffee in it and made the rings on the right.  It’s a subtle effect, but I’m LOVING it.  It makes me want to drip coffee all over the place, but I’m so far abstaining.  I think I am going to journal with my brown fountain pen which should be COOOOL.  1 point for me!

CE #7: {2 points} Start a journal or notebook to capture colors, ideas, patterns & images that inspire you.

Yeah, so I totally was inspired by this prompt and did this yesterday and blogged about it!  Yay me!  2 points.

Thank you thank you thank you Tammy, aka Daisy Yellow, for the wonderful encouragement and inspiration.  As you can see, I truly made use of your project!  Now on to February’s list…

Oh, and just so you know what I mean when I mention living at the foot of sacred Mt. Shasta…this is what she looks like this morning, photographed out my bedroom window:

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Just…whoa.  Ya know?


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29 Faces: Feb 9 Art Journal Page and Evidence Journal

She is a scribble sketch done without lifting the pen from the paper, in colored ball point pen.  I got a set of a dozen in all different colors at Staples for $2 during Back to School, and I love them.  They write like Inkjoy, but they are stick and have no caps.  Not sure what’s up with that, except that they were selling next to the colored pencils, so maybe they figured colored pencils don’t have caps, so if we leave the caps off these, people will buy them for their kids instead of the colored pencils.  Anyway, they’re weird and wonderful and I sketched this chick with them and then did watercolor over them and some journaling.  Doing heavy watercolor on this paper just wrecks it, but the color still moves, so I just let it dry and brush off the paper bits and thank the muse for extra texture.

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Here is the Evidence Journal I set up today, that I talked about in the journaling.

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It’s basically an inspirations and ideas notebook for art.  It’s a $5 sketchbook from Michael’s, Artist Loft brand, about 5 x 8.  I made simple pockets out of the front two pages and back two pages, since they were glued together along the spine anyway.  I’ll keep inspirational notes, bits and pieces, etc. in there.  My identifying info is on the left, protected by my new timer, Eggbert, that I use to do fast, intuitive collage, journaling, and painting within short time limits.  On the right is the table of contents key to the tabs I made.

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I just used the ‘magic’ Scotch tape to make ten tabs with numbers written in brown Sharpie.

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I also cut a little scallop shape out of the front of the pocket so I can open it easier.  I did that on both the front and back pockets.  Lastly, I put a clip on to hold a pen.  I don’t like this yellow one, but it’ll do until I find one I like better.

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Eggbert looks on in the background as I show you it’s just a regular ol’ clip, but it’s quite genius for adding a pen to any book.  I do love these things.

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And lastly, yes, as the journaling also says, I did join The Artstronauts Club, a membership site for art and art journaling tutorials run by Teesha and Tracy Moore.  It’s dirt cheap at $5 a month (for now anyway) and promises new video tutorials all the time, plus has a plethora of pre-video’d tutorials, as well as articles, printables, a current blog, links, forums, and all kinds of other stuff.  I don’t see how I could regret this.  I’ve already learned or been inspired to the tune of this month’s $5 just today.  I can see how it would be a wonderful way to be able to just offer whatever is inspiring you without thought to how it will pay, because the site itself brings in a steady income, just taking a tiny bit from a lot of people who are being inspired by your work while you just follow the muse and make stuff and teach about it.  I LOVE it.

With that intention, I advise you to go check it out!