Printmaking fun!

Creating abstract fun with a Gelliplate

I recently bought a smaller sized 5×5 inch square Gelliplate for abstract and nature printmaking projects. I found this size perfect for my Hobonichi journal. It’s a fun and relaxing way to collect ephemera for future art journal projects.

I usually like to use nature samples for my imprints, like leaves and ferns, but here I cut out my own stencils from file folder cardstock. Part of the fun is learning to enjoy the happy surprises that you end up with, even if you do get a few “not so great” prints along the way. In the end, it’s all about having fun in the process–re-visiting your child-like experience with art.

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Busy art journal days

I need to find a better posting schedule for my blog. I have so many daily art projects happening and a large amount of work each week that I could post and discuss here. Fitting in weekly blog posts hasn’t been my best skill set these past two months.

I was happy to find this app by Diptic that allows me to create a collection of pages for viewing that will help me get caught up with sharing the latest art pages. Have a wonderful Friday and weekend!

Instagram–The 100 Day Project

Painting miniature paintings for 100 days on Instagram…

Another day. Another challenge. If you are a fan or participant on Instagram, you know these types of fun projects come up almost weekly. Someone is always creating another 30 day, 100 day, or year-long project to entice you to sign up and join in the madness.

Some finish the commitment, others have to shorten the project due to various unexpected conditions in their lives. But either way, I always feel that there is value in doing what one can with the time allotted. There is no sense in beating yourself up over whether you finish or not… the joy is in the journey! There is no shame in getting in there and giving it a try.

So, here I am with several daily, personal art journal commitments already, taking on another larger project such as this 100 day challenge. But it’s fun. And I’m chugging along, brush in hand, finding the time in between all the other ongoing art creations and Etsy business responsibilities.

A friend on IG suggested that I list these little painting in my shop, so I made a little section for them. The 100 day project. You can find them here… studio318

If you aren’t participating yet in the 100 Day Project, please consider doing so. It’s a fabulous way to build discipline and maybe try something new. Hop on over to Instagram and see all the creative projects people have taken on. It’s not just about painting–creatives everywhere are weaving, writing, carving–there are no complicated rules–just create something or do something you love for 100 days. Besides, we crazy people want more crazy friends in our lives, so come over and play!

Studio 318 New Art Journal Cards in the shop!

More of my sketchbook images to use in your planners!

Thank you Instagram and Facebook friends who have ordered new art cards this past week. I am so grateful for the enthusiasm you have for these tiny works of art. I can’t wait to see how you use them in your art journals and planners. I currently have 5 different series of art journal cards, or “tip-ins” available in my Etsy shop.

They are professionally printed on 80# glossy (front only) card stock. The colors are very rich–I’m very pleased with the quality, and I’m also ecstatic that I do not have to print them here at the studio. Ya know… painters just wanna paint! Professional printers are a blessing to one-woman shops. 😉

Have a great week everyone!

Calligraphy practice is my meditation

How I use my art journals for calligraphy practice

Every since third grade handwriting class, I’ve had a love affair with letters and making beautiful script. Mrs. Patterson’s class with the letter charts decorating the wall above the chalkboards (no white board then people) was my favorite time of the school day.

Throughout my early school years and then into college, I practiced a variety of styles and kept a keen interest in alphabet forms and the history of calligraphy in general. These days, I blend my art journal images with calligraphy practice in various sketchbooks and planners.

365 days of art journal designs

I currently have four different diaries, or journals that I have committed to practice in daily throughout the year. Most spreads are not planned out and grow intuitively as the verse, or song, or image is chosen. I have a small box of ephemera which contains paper images that I have made, some that have been rubber stamped, and older pieces of my art that have been re-purposed as “collage” material.

Most often, it is simply a process of reaching in and pulling out surprises. Yes, a small pile of bits are often sifted through and more often than not, a page direction is serendipitously created. It truly is a joy to see things come together as paint, paper, and ink are merged into an artistic message.

Simple, slow living–mindfulness and art as meditation. The joys of art supplies and streaming music in my studio, playing with color, form, line, and words. I couldn’t imagine life any other way.

 The art and calligraphy journals of 2017…

Sumi ink with a dip pen in my Hobonichi Techo. Watercolors.

Washi tape. Watercolors. Sumi ink and colored pencil. Moleskine pocket-sized daily diary.

Watercolors and brush lettering in the beautiful Fabriano Venezia sketchbook.

Watercolors and dip pen calligraphy in a Leuchtturm sketchbook.

Watercolors in my daily Hobonichi art and quotes journal. Moon Palace Sumi ink.

I ordered a blank, wooden oblique holder from Paper Ink Arts and hand painted acrylic florals around the base. Practicing curly a alphabet style in my Peter Pauper Press grid notebook.

… and so continues the 2017 art and calligraphy journey.

Printing with craft foam

For many people in the mixed media world, this is nothing new. But I find people are generally amused by the use of simple materials to create impressions and designs in mixed media art journal spreads.

Although I have demonstrated this on Periscope, I thought a quick visual overview on the blog would help you get started.

Any craft foam found in the craft stores will work. I’ve used the thinner foam, and it was just okay. I guess you will have to experiment, but I personally like the medium-thick kind. And of course, I threw out the label, so… ahem–yeah, I can’t tell you the exact thickness in any helpful measurement form. Aaaagh.

Select any stamp pad ink, depending on your personal preference and paper needs. In this demonstration I am stamping directly into my Hobonichi Techo with VersaMagic Gingerbread chalk ink.

Just trim off a little piece to desired shape, and use a blunt, yet pointed instrument to press a design into the foam. I like using a steel crochet hook. Press hard enough to leave a mark, yet not so hard you rip right through to the other side! That’s really all there is to it… tap the finished design onto an ink pad like you would with any rubber stamp and print your original image on ephemera or directly into your journal.

Sometimes if I want to keep my fingers clean, I will use double-sided tape on the back, which makes for a cleaner inking and stamping process. It’s a quick, inexpensive way to add an artsy, one-one-a-kind look to your journals. I store my foam stamps in pretty boxes from Tuesday Morning–beware, it gets addicting. Have fun!!!!

Creative Teamwork at Starbucks

There is nothing more inspiring than working with my daughter on creative projects in our neighborhood Starbucks (we do have the BEST Starbucks ever, and we so love our baristas!). My talented daughter graduates this weekend as a Leadership Scholar with honors, earning an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the Crummer Graduate School of Business–Rollins College. I am so excited to see how her career path will unfold. She has accepted a position at Purple Rock Scissors as a Digital Strategist in downtown Orlando.

With an undergrad degree from Yale in Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology and the fabulous musical skills of a classical violinist who currently subs for the Orlando Philharmonic, she is an intelligent, multi-talented individual. I’m over the moon proud of her, and I am looking forward to combining her incredible writing skills with my artistic projects to create a new literary and art zine together. I will be sharing more about that exciting project in future blog posts.

Her original music can be enjoyed at her Anchorage website. Yes, she writes and sings original songs too–I am so blessed by her many gifts. My time here on earth will never be long enough to soak up all her beautifulness.