The Artful Journey

Exploring my self and the world through art.


29 Faces: Feb 16 Art Journal Page

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


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.


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.


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.



29 Faces, Feb. 7 Ink wash over textured gesso in my art journal

Today’s face is an experiment.  I wanted to try doing a wash over textured gesso.  I did this in the Blue Book:


I scraped down a thick layer of gesso, scraped some textures into it, let it dry, then did a drawing in brown ink and used a waterbrush to wash over it.  I absolutely love the way this came out.  So much that I went and ordered more of the fountain pens, Preppy refillable ones from Jetpens, in two more colors, black and blue black.



29 Faces, Feb. 6, Blue Book, Blue Haired High Priestess Neela

Ever since I flaked out after face 19 or so last year, I’ve wanted a second chance at the 29 Faces Challenge.  Yesterday, I found out they started it again the first of this month!  So I’m joining in.  Obviously, I’ve already done my other 5 faces, so that’s cool, right?  I won’t link to them as 29 Faces because I did them before I joined.  But this one was done in response to the challenge.  It’s pen and ink wash, soluble graphite, and watercolor in my NEW Global Arts Handbook Artist’s Journal, heretofore known as the Blue Book.  I LOVE this journal.  I love everything about it.  I am going to do a post and a video on just how much I love this journal, but I won’t bore you with all that here, I will just post my Feb. 6 face with hopes that you get a little something out of my sharing it.

I have realized that I have a High Priestess/Guide with me on this art journaling journey, a female with blue hair and golden eyes.  She showed up about a month ago, and she’s with me every day, showing up and talking to me.  Today she talked about her boobs.  She shows up looking different each time, old, young, fat, thin, but always with blue hair and golden eyes, and she always has something to tell me.  I don’t think her skin is this color, so I will have to spend more time with her to learn that detail.  I think she could be my Higher Self.  I was once told the name of my Higher Self is Neela, and when I looked that up, it means Blue in Hindi.  I think she’s showing me her face!  I think I’m going to have to get a streak of blue in my hair again like I had several years ago.  I never felt more myself than when I had that streak.

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The strategic strip of plastic came off the packaging for a new book I got in the mail today, Celebrate Your Creative Self, by Mary Todd Beam, and I loved the way it looked.  Then when the piece was nearly done, I realized how great the gray would go with the graphite and how it would express censorship in an interactive way and I snatched it up and used my mini Hello Kitty stapler with fuschia staples to attach it.

I’ve realized that I like to add something to the page which makes me slow down, like moving this strip of plastic around to turn the page, etc.  It helps me engage more with my work.

Please let me know if she talked to you in any way, or if you’ve ever had a Guide show up in your own work like this!


Art journaling, watercolor sketching, and a whole lotta inspiration link love

I’ve been doing some personal art journaling, although I haven’t gone back into the Better Than Gold book yet.  This last week, I’ve been working in my hardbound black sketch book, which is about 8 x 5 (on the right):


And yes, I do have to label all my plain black sketchbooks as to which is the top, as I always pick them up and start drawing and realize it’s upside down.  Anyway…I’ve been doing new things and playing with mixed media in layers, layers, layers, and as a result I’ve had to thin the sketch book down to half the pages.  Plus the closure I made for it broke already because it’s too voluptuous, so I’m working on another.  Don’t worry, I saved the removed signatures, which came out whole by the way, and I’m going to sew up a second journal with them.  Moving on…this page was inspired by McDonald’s artwork on their bags.


I know, I’m so ashamed.  I hate lauding a corporate giant monster like them, but that color combo and those fonts, the line variation…it’s all evil genius.  And I was feeling pretty grateful for being able to buy fast food when I want to, since I haven’t always been able to afford to do that.  I was inspired to do fast collage by Moira Richardson, literarytease on youtube, whose technique I’ve been studying so I can get fast and loose with my own adhesives.  I watched her video on using punchinella, and that along with others made me hit her Key Lime Supplies etsy shop and buy up her mega uber punchinella set of 20 different unique types.  My birthday was yesterday, so that was my present as it arrived this morning.  🙂  I’ll be sharing my mad experimentation with that later.  You can go there and buy your own set, but don’t buy her clearance red and white tape, because I’m totally kicking myself for not just ordering like…all she had, because I got one roll and it’s *effin’ awesome*.  So don’t buy it.  Unless it’s for me.  Then I’m happy to give you my address so you can send it.

Okay, so I also did a spread to marinate on some advice Juliana Coles gave me in the Book of the Night workshop I’m in.  I ordered a couple of her booklets from her etsy shop, and she tucked in some ephemera with them, so I did a spread using that ephemera and the parts of our conversation that were hitting me the hardest:


The skeleton and the painting of the man on the right are both her artwork. The Book of the Night workshop is all about diving into your deepest, darkest recesses and bringing all your shit into the light, and the current assignment is one that I’ve been dreading and stalling on and whining about, so this was a tiny bit of the wonderful advice she gave me about that.

I also did this spread upon waking up to a truly shitty day:


I really debated on sharing that one, but I want to be genuine here, so well…there ya go.  As with any work I post here, I’m happy to answer questions about technique, but uh…not content.

So yeah, I fell into a depression this week, and like I’ve mentioned before, when my inspiration well runs dry, I hit youtube.  And last night, I followed Les Herger’s blog post links to some great youtube videos on watercolor, and the Journal Junkies one especially inspired me to do stenciling and stamping with watercolor, which I’d never done before.  This morning, I totally randomly stumbled on this video on Pocket Sketching, which reminded me how fun it was to do sketch and wash, and also how uninhibited I always feel when I work in a tiny journal.  She also confirmed what I had suspected but not yet tested for myself, that good quality drawing paper works great for sketch and watercolor wash.  Then, to top it off, I got today’s prompt from A Year in the Life of an Art Journal, which was to draw lips.  I’ve been following them for over a year but have never shared anything.  But I love to draw lips, so I decided it was time to join in.

So, I combined all my inspirations from last night and this morning, and did watercolor sketch and wash, watercolor stencils and stamps, and working in a new pamphlet-bound 4 x 6 journal I made of drawing paper, and did this page, a real departure in style for me:


I really love it.  I couldn’t stop playing.  So I also did some other ink and watercolor wash sketches,



and then did a 4 x 6 watercolor postcard for my grandma, who just LOVES to get snailmail.  🙂


I’m still working on the whole making my own videos thing.  I think it’s going to be a bit more complicated than I thought, especially since I’m living in a very small space and working in a very, very, very small space.  But I want to do it, and I’m not giving up on it.  I figure I can at least do some journal flips.  Those are easy.  I’ll keep you posted as I figure things out!  In the meantime, my old youtube channel, Flighty Artist, has a plethora of public playlists that are particularly play-inspiring, so if you need some muse juice, I recommend you check ’em out.

Thanks for visiting!  Bye for now!