Tag Archives: drawing

Today: What I made | 005

So, we know I both fear and loathe Las Vegas going to the dentist, right? And that I semi-accidentally didn’t go for several years?  And that, ironically, I broke a tooth (more accurately: an old filling fell out) while flossing, prompting an emergency visit to that place of fear and loathing?  (If you didn’t know those things, consider yourself fully caught up.)

its a good day to have a good day

Materials used: Pentel brush pen (pink)… and, um… that’s it.

It’s been a year, and I’ve stuck with regular cleaning appointments and approximately 800 other appointments to replace various old dental work and (shame on me) tend to one or two… fine, three cavities.  I have one more visit to go and then I’m done with my treatment plan, which feels mostly good.

The last couple appointments, though, have been especially uncomfortable and annoying.  A temporary crown fell out twice in one day.  Oh, and a dental assistant tried to pull out a permanent tooth instead of the loosening a different temporary crown.  It was all I could do to not flee the office and cry in my car.  Or stress eat an extra gluten-y donut.  I know it’s silly, but I can feel my heart rate quicken even thinking about being in the dentist’s chair.

If you’re wondering what the H the dentist has to do with art-making, welp… Not much. But I did find my mind wandering away from the drill and that annoying suction thing and toward my sketchbook.  I thought about what I would paint or draw or paste if I wasn’t, you know, at the dentist.  Much of what I made in the last week or two was cooked up there.  And that cooking up (along with a pair of noise canceling headphones and some Led Zeppelin) got me through those appointments.

This is a super roundabout way of saying that you don’t need to be sitting before an easel to be creative.   And creative thought can be just as powerful and transformative as the actual act of creating.  You simply need to be open to possibility.  (Dental insurance doesn’t hurt though.)

Anyway…  Here’s what I made.

What I made | 005

rumi quote heartMaterials used: Gifted scrapbook paper, Sakura Gelly Roll pen (white), gel medium (matte), scissors (obvi)

I come back to this poem often.  When Graham (a fellow Get Messy member) sent me a beautiful packet of pink papers, I started snipping and doodling away.  Sometimes pages feel like they make themselves.

I weirdly enjoy drawing hearts and regret not being a better student in biology.  Just think what else I would be able to draw if I had spent more time paying attention and less time being grossed out and/or fainting.

wendell berry peace of the wild things

Materials used: Strathmore Artists Tile (black), Sakura Gelly Roll pen (white), magazine pages (Edible Boston), Winsor and Newton professional watercolors, random alphabet stencil, Micron 01 (black)

This is an old work (and one I’ve shared before, I think),  but it feels sort of like a cousin to the one above.  And I get the same comfort from reading Wendell Berry that I do Rumi, so I thought it worth sharing again.  I recently came across this recording of Berry reciting the poem quoted here.  It’s just perfect.

  • Other writers and poets that I constantly return to: Thomas Merton, Mary Oliver, and Hafez.

this too shall pass

Materials used: Starthmore Artigan paper (black), Sakura Gelly Roll pen (white), gel medium (matte), magazine pages (WSJ magazine).

Another collage, and more evidence that I don’t really know what body parts look like.  For the record: that’s a head.  With ears.  And a neck.

Moving on: How divine are these words?  They sort of stop me in my tracks.  And I have a crush on my own handwriting.  

watercolor pattern

Materials used: Winsor and Newton professional watercolors, round brushes (2 and 6, I believe).

Just some good ol’ watercolor doodling while watching The Americans.  (I am convinced Clark, who came to us by way of Russia, is a spy waiting to be activated.)

root down to rise up

grow up

Materials used: [top] Micron 08 (black), acrylic and watercolor paints, colored card stock, glue stick [bottom] Magazine image (Real Simple), black acrylic paint, colored card stock, gel medium (matte), glue stick

I really love how these two turned out.  They’re sort of half flower show, half yoga class inspired.  

P.S. The next Get Messy Art Journal season starts next week — it’s a collaboration with 30Lists and should be really interesting.  A new season is a great time to join Get Messy, especially if you’re looking to jump start your own creative routine.  No emergency trips to the dentist required.

Also On Tap for Today:

What did you make this week?  Which poems or stories or quotes do you keep coming back to?

Today: What I made | 003

What I made this week: A crappy video.  Olé!  (I’ll embed it below for your viewing pleasure so you can mock me.)  I also made some other stuff.  Mostly all on the same night.  Nick and I caught up on Homeland (by watching 900 episodes), and I was afraid to go to bed since Carrie and Saul’s escapades usually give me ridiculous nightmares.  

So I made a bunch of stuff, and then went to bed.  And had nightmares about the toxicity of acrylic paint.  Whatever, man.  Here’s what I made.

What I made | 003

what i made watercolor no mud no lotus

Materials used: Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pen (blue) and Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors

This sketchbook goes from subdued (this page) to extra jazzy (everything that follows) very quickly.  The quote is from No Mud, No Lotus and the pen is from college.  Those things seem to last forever.  

what i made

Materials used: Sharpie permanent marker, magazine cut-out, the Wall Street Journal, Micron pen (black 01), acrylic paint, glue stick

We recently started receiving someone else’s WSJ.  After three calls to their customer service line and just as many promises that delivery would be stopped, it’s still showing up on our door step (and piling up in our building’s lobby).  

One of the Get Messy Art Journal program’s recent prompts was street art-inspired, so I used a page of our magically appearing newspaper as a background.   I’m quite pleased with the hand lettering and I’m glad I hung onto that random hummingbird cut out (which, I’m fairly certain, came from a car ad).  

what i made

Materials used: [Left side] Acrylic paint, Micron pen (black 01); [Right side] Strathmore Artist Tiles (black), Sakura Gelly Roll pen (white), foil sheets, Micron pen (black 01)

That’s supposed to say “trembling”… not t-r-e-m-f-l-i-n-g.  The b looks like an f… and I meant to fix it, but forgot.  Anyway, you get the point.  

The right hand page is another Get Messy-inspired page.  I loved scrolling through Instagram to see how everyone else used that same quote (hi, Julia).  And I love cutting up my sketchbook a bit so other pages peek through.

what i made

Materials used: [Left side] White velum, Micron (black 1), acrylic paint, Uni Posca paint pen (black); [Right side] Acrylic paint, magazine cut-outs, glue stick

On the flip side, a great quote about happiness and and door… and some of the coral acrylic paint that I accidentally spilled all over my palette, thus necessitating I use far more of it than planned.  (I sort of wish I had spilled the sky blue instead… can’t win ’em all.)  Plus a bunch of windows… and a door.

 

what i made

Materials used: [Left side] Handmade Modern acrylic paint (platinum, from Target), Winsor and Newton professional watercolor tubes (moved around the page with a paper straw), Uni Posca paint pen (black); [Right side] Winsor and Newton watercolor paint (black), acrylic paint, Gelly Roll pen (white)

Some brain wave-ish watercolors, a “good ideas” light bulb and more cut pages.

what i made

Materials used: [Left side] All pink everything… Winsor and Newton pigment markers, Sakura Koi brush pens, Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pen, acrylic paint, watercolor paint; [Right side] Grey acrylic paint, paper scraps (cut into cone flower shapes), white Gelly Roll pen, glue stick

The all pink page is sort of a little sister to something I made earlier this month and the right side is evidence that I can’t stop making cone flowers.

gelli plate what i made

Materials used: Gel printing plate, acrylic paint, string, cardstock circle, gold leaf, Uni Posca paint pen (yellow), Micron (purple, 01… I think).

Lastly, I’m finally starting to get a hang of my Gelli plate (used for making mono prints).  I’ve had one for ages, but never liked anything I made with it.  I think I was over-thinking the process… which is kind of how I roll.  

I really like these two pages though.  I added a bit of leftover gold leaf and some doodling to make the circle look more like the moon.

Ok… now for the video.

Art Journal Flip Through Video | February 2016

Art Journal Flip Through | February 2016 from Elizabeth D. on Vimeo.

I’m looking forward to making a few more of these videos and improving as I go.  I’m glad I managed to paint my nails before filming, though.  That’s got to count for something.  

Also On Tap for Today:

What did you make this week?

Today: Get Messy Thursdays | Magic, Week 3

[So… most of this post was thrown together well before yesterday’s tragic events in San Bernardino.  This is not a post about grief or guns.  But those things, rather than paint and sketchbooks, are what I’m actually thinking about today.]

This week was sort of half-baked, creating-wise.  I messed around a lot, threw out or painted over a bunch of art work crap, and sort of followed the prompts for this week’s Get Messy Art Journal program.  

Semi-related: All of my art supplies now live on this cart, which tucks into our front hall closet, when they’re not strewn about our coffee table.  City living at its finest.

Get Messy Thursdays | Magic, Week 3

This was sort of a warm-up for some of the other things I worked on this week, and an attempt to get a bit more comfortable with the journaling aspect of art journaling.  I used my tiny black Moleskine album for a few quick sketches and projects.  I like not having to paint the pages black (something I often end up doing), but the size (3.5 x 5.5) is not super functional.  I like big sketchbooks… and I cannot lie.  Also, I clearly cannot comprehend measurements… because I thought I was ordering this album.

Another quick one.  Nick ordered a burrito from our friendly neighborhood Mexican/Chinese restaurant (every neighborhood needs one… maybe) and I stole the fortune from his cookie.  Does anyone like the actual taste of fortune cookies?  No, right?  Regardless: your special way of doing things is magic.  Or whatever.

File this under “super random.”  But magic.  If it actually happened.

This page is a work in progress, but it’s supposed to be an abstract of the brain’s hemispheres.  Pretend, if you can, that it doesn’t look like a technicolor bowl of worms. I planned to pair it with another quote (about the power of positive thought) from The Secret Garden, but I got distracted.  By what… I can’t remember.  Probably because these days, my actual brain feels as wacky as this one looks.

And speaking of brains, here’s my attempt at mapping my own insides.  I took some liberties with my silhouette (a slightly less pointy nose and three fewer chins than I currently have), but the things floating around in my brain that make me me are pretty accurate.  I think.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on your mind these days?

 

Today: Get Messy Art Journal | Magic, Week 2

With Thanksgiving this week, I didn’t get much done in the way of creating (except for a plate of super easy, semi-lazy, delicious onion tartlets) until last night.  For the second week of Get Messy Art Journal‘s magic theme, I went semi-dark.

Once I broke out the paint and brush pens, I was on a roll.  I like when that happens.  Unfortunately… it rarely happens.  

Get Messy Art Journal | Magic, Week 2

get messy art journal magic week 2

Materials used: Sakura Koi watercolors and brush pens, Micron pens (black 1, 01 and 03), clear alphabet stamps 

I’m especially happy with the way the crystal ball turned out.  The purple sort of reminds me of a Magic 8 ball.  I wish I had one of those kicking around these days — mostly because I’d like something to tell me definitively when this baby plans to arrive and give me permission to eat another bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream and help me decide between black yoga pants or black leggings.

I’ve always found magicians and that sort of magic to be creepy and my one encounter with a supposed psychic was really bizarre (she thought I was a flight attendant, but knew my grandfather’s name)– but I do think what we believe is our reality.  And that extends beyond card tricks and ladies being sawed in half.  

If we believe in myths or rumors or love stories, they’re as good as real.  That kind of power is magic when it’s positive.  We should believe more good things about ourselves.

get messy art journal magic week 2

Materials used: Clear alphabet stamps, Sakura Koi brush pens and Pigma brush pens, Sakura Gelly Roll pens (white and gold), Winsor and Newton Pigment Markers, magazine cut outs, paper scraps (for the crowns), Elmers glue stick (no need to be fancy)

True Life: I made this while watching a dog show on television.  On a Friday night.  The glamour of my life abounds.  Also, a Frenchie won the non-sporting group (whatever that means) and the little thing was so cute that my out-of-control hormones almost tricked me into reserving a bulldog brother for Clark online… but fortunately (for everyone), my hands were too busy with the cutting and pasting and doodling and stamping. 

get messy art journal magic week 2

Materials used: Magazine cut-outs, Sakura Pigma brush pens (BB and FB), clear alphabet stamps, Golden fluid acrylic paint (Pyrrole Red), glue stick

This one is more fairy tale than magic, but I’m guessing a wolf would need some sort of magical power to talk, right?  And, then like, eat a Grandma and then dress up like her?  Regardless, most fairy tales are dark, dark, dark… and terrifying. 

The trees outside our house have lost all their leaves, so used them as a guide when sketching the background.  I think they turned out sufficiently creepy.  Oh, and red is usually not my thing… but maybe it should be.

Also On Tap for Today:

What did you make this week?

Today: Get Messy Thursdays | Magic, Week 1

Get Messy Thursdays, on a Friday.  A blame my tardiness on the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions and other senior citizen-ish things that have had me preoccupied this week.

The new season of the Get Messy Art Journaling program just started, and the theme this time around is magic.  I keep coming back to creepy magicians and crystal balls and unicorns and Harry Potter (confession: I couldn’t get into the books… but watched all the movies while eating pizza post-marathon training long runs), despite wanting to focus on the magic of every day life.  Like when your daughter somehow knows that it’s a Tuesday or counts to ten aloud when she thinks no one is paying attention.  Or those beautiful sunsets we’ve been experiencing nearly every night (unfortunately, they happen before 5 o’clock).  Or, you know… Christmas everything.  

And yes, I did decorate our condo on Wednesday despite Thanksgiving still being a week away.  I figured if I did all the laundry, hung our stockings from the mantel and folded every last swaddling blanket, this baby might get the hint that we’re ready for him to arrive.  

Meanwhile, back to the unicorns.

Get Messy Thursdays | Magic, Week 1

In the spirit of playing around, I made two pages with a similar process (if you can even call it that).  After sketching with pen, I added plenty of water and watercolor to the center of the drawing.  Once that dried, I went in to color the remaining exposed drawing.  The result is sort of an intentional mistake.

The quote from Ben Okri reads, 

Our time here is magic!  It’s the only space you have to realize whatever it is that is beautiful, whatever is true, whatever is great, whatever is potential, whatever is rare, whatever is unique, in.  It’s the only space.

Side note: Unicorns (and presumably, horses) are not an easy subject for me to sketch.  They have lots of muscles.  And I am clueless about body parts.  So there’s that.

I loved Shel Silverstein as a kid.  Still do. Almost as much as I love Winsor and Newton watercolor in Opera Rose.  That color is divine.

And lastly, a meditative exercise involving cutting out a million letters from scraps of colored paper.  I almost quit seven times, but I’m glad I didn’t.  Then again, I probably should have been emptying the dish washer or something more… normal.

And a special project: Get Messy x UNHCR

I recently had the opportunity to collaborate on a project to benefit the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), to aid in the Syrian refugee crisis. A group of 14 members from Get Messy created a collection of original work, and all proceeds from the sale of this magazine will help provide such necessities as food, water, healthcare and shelter for those in need.  You can find a flip-through of the magazine here.

 

To learn more about our collaboration, or to purchase a copy of our magazine, please visit this link.  Many thanks, in advance, for your support.

Also On Tap for Today:

Which Hogwarts house would the Sorting Hat send you to?

Today: Being responsibly indulgent.

The change in seasons, the end of Daylight Saving Time, and the final weeks of my pregnancy have combined forces to make me, basically, an exhausted grouch.  I had a routine appointment with our midwife last week (and am headed to see our ob-gyn this morning) and while everything is still going great, she told me in no uncertain terms that it’s time to slow down.  

There are going to be days when Grace doesn’t nap (payback, perhaps, for my own unwillingness to nap as a baby) or when my car needs to have its actuator replaced (and don’t worry, I called it an actuary… like the person who provides actuarial services… when speaking with the mechanic #whyme), and slowing down is just not in the cards.

But I’m quickly seeing just how many opportunities I do have to take it easy (or easier).  And while this often feels a lot like being indulgent, I also know it’s downright important.  I’d like to avoid getting sick or overly run down or more grouchy during these last few weeks, and ensure that I’m enjoying as much time as possible playing and reading and dancing and drawing with my silly, precocious, thoughtful and fun only child.  While she’s still our only child.

Ideally, I’d nap when Grace naps… but not only is her nap schedule unreliable, I can rarely sleep during the day.  I can, however, curl up on the sofa with Clark (and leave the dishes and laundry and writing projects and whatever else until later) and the baby monitor.  And that’s got to count for something.  I like to think of this hour or so (and any other chance I have to put my feet up) as being responsibly indulgent.  Here are few other ways I am indulging.

Being responsibly indulgent

Rethinking what constitutes exercise: I finished up my last outdoor bootcamp class last week and did not renew my membership or by a class pass for the new season.  While I absolutely loved the workouts and getting together with the other women and their kids, I just had the sense it was time.  One thing that has been different (and I am so grateful for this) the second time around, is that I am less inclined to compare myself to other pregnant women.  I’m much better at trusting my own instincts.

Instead of going to class, I’ve been making sure to get out of the house for walks (albeit, slow ones — and I’ve stopped wearing my fitbit, for now, because… welp, my weekly step count was getting depressing) with Grace.  We’ve made two trips to the Trailside Museum in the last week.  We’re getting plenty of fresh air, plus bonus points for improving our mental health by walking in nature.

Poodle doodles Being playful: We’ve got enough serious business to attend to as adults.  I try to draw or paint every day, which is usually very restorative, but sometimes I take even that too seriously.  I was recently inspired by one of Grace’s favorite books (it’s so, so good)– Gaston, written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Christian Robinson— and cracked open a new sketchbook and doodled some poodles.  And Frenchies.   Happy, playful, and not at all serious.

Making “down time” appointments: This is more of a big indulgence, but sometimes we just need to treat ourselves.  The spa inside Whole Foods Market South End recently rebranded and when I saw they were offering prenatal massages, I jumped at the chance to book an appointment.  They were offering a 10% discount during the spa’s relaunch, but their prices are really reasonable… plus, you can get your grocery shopping done while you’re there.  Multi-tasking is (usually) responsible and (definitely) indulgent when a massage is involved.  The massage with LaToya was absolutely blissful and I am definitely looking forward to going back.  I wish scheduling in down time came as easily as scheduling in the necessary stuff (like last week’s dental cleaning… woof).  

Reading more, watching less:  Our midwife had all kinds of suggestions for (attempting) to get more sleep.  Unfortunately, I’ve been super uncomfortable at night and barely logged two hours the night before my appointment.  We’ve heard it all before, but when the woman you’ve entrusted with nine months of care for you and your child speaks up, you listen: limit screen time, don’t watch murder shows, don’t watch the news, don’t read anything upsetting, ease into bed and let your brain know you’re winding down.  Old habits die hard.  I sleep with my phone next to my head, the baby monitor cranked up to “can be heard on Mars” level, and you know I love a good true crime story (which is not to say that I love when crimes happen…).  But with the help of some new reading material, I’m making progress.  I’ve been watching less TV and crawling into bed as early as I can.  I’m currently working through Food Gift Love, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, and the current issue of Yoga Journal.

I could get used to this whole being indulgent thing.

Also On Tap for Today:

How do you (responsibly or irresponsibly) indulge?

Today: Get Messy Thursdays | Words, Week 5

I don’t have much in the way of actual words to share this week (which… let’s be honest… you’re likely 900% okay with this).  I stuck to basic materials (scissors, paper, magazines, glue and a few pens) and made some equally basic pages.  Sometimes basic is good.  I think.

Oh.  The one about cats?  I don’t know why I made it.  (You know I am prejudiced against felines.) It just happened.  And I stabbed myself in the finger while cutting out the word meow.  So.  There’s that.  Life as a grown-up.

Get Messy Thursdays | Words, Week 5

And a random feather I drew this week

True Life: This took ages.  I wasn’t expecting that.  And I might have avian flu from touching a real feather in the name of artistic research.  I’ve been trying to teach myself a bit of patience and discipline by changing up my subject matter and focusing on just plain ol’ pen and paper.  Unfortunately, I keep getting distracted by popcorn.  

Can’t win ’em all.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Prenatal massage (Hallelujah!)
  • Um… being obsessed with the new emojis (cheese!  chipmunk!  tornado!)
  • To learn more about the Get Messy Art Journal program, click here

Cats or dogs? (Or unicorn emojis?)

Today: Get Messy Thursdays | Words, Week 3

This post is a day late.  I mention that simply so you don’t fear that I’ve entirely lost track of days (though… some days…).  If you’d like to learn more about the Get Messy Art Journal program, click on over.

Get Messy Thursdays | Words, Week 3

Materials used: Hot pressed watercolor paper (loose), purple watercolor, “found” words from a photocopy of a random book page, glue stick, velum, stapler/staple

I dip-dyed a few pages of loose hot pressed (which means it’s smooth and has essentially no texture) watercolor paper a few weeks ago and really liked how this sheet turned out.  I wish I had spent more time on my found poem — it’s definitely something I want to try again.  I covered the page with velum to give it a bit of mystery… and to hide the fact that it’s… not much to look at.

Materials used: [Left side] Photocopied book page (with holes where the “found poem” words used to be), Sakura Pigma Brush Pen (black, MB); [Right side] A whole mess of Golden High Flow Liquid Acrylic paint, neon yellow craft paint, Sakura Pigma Brush Pen (black, MB), Sakura Koi Brush Pens (yellow and turquoise), Sakura Micron pen (black, 01), scissors.

I tucked the original book page from my found poem on the backside of that page.  It’s good to know where you come from, even if you’re a poorly crafted poem.  The mess of paint is supposed to be a nod to Jackson Pollock (may he drip in peace).  I had grand plans to actually throw paint onto a large sheet of paper (if you have a chance to watch film of him creating, take it) from my own adorable, mini paint can (which I planned to create from a soup can).  But then I got lazy (no one is surprised) and did my best to drip, splatter and splash… without dripping, splattering or splashing on our white sofa and white rug.

I stumbled upon the quote I included while perusing Instagram the other day in the middle of the night while up wide awake thinking about baby stuff.  I cut the corner (story of my life) to give a little peek at the next page.

Materials used: Strathmore Artist Tiles (black), Sakura Gelly Roll pen (white), scissors, glue stick, vellum, random magazine page

I was feeling serious and grouchy when I made this page, so my goal was to create something un-serious and un-grouchy.  Mission accomplished.

And a few other projects

I wasn’t the only one making messes this week.  I put together a little paint set for Grace on Wednesday, complete with brushes and (supposedly) washable paints.  I’ve really enjoyed painting with her — she has her own ideas about what should go where, and when it’s time for a new color.  Also: She loves the brown paint.  I do not.  I am trying to be okay with that.  

Materials used: Moleskine Watercolor Album, gold tissue paper (applied as background with matte gel medium), Strathmore Artist Tiles (black), black gesso, Windsor + Newton Artists Watercolors (Opera Rose), magazine cut outs, Sakura Pigma Brush Pen (black, MB), Sakura Gelly Roll pen (white), glue stick, pieces of gold leaf sheets (left over from other projects)

This is my favorite creation from the week (and in a long time).  I love all the layers and fall colors that are not strictly brown/orange/red.  Also: Wasn’t Hafez just a genius with words?  

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Outdoor workout with the Mama Beasts (it feels like it’s been ages)
  • Sorting out plans for apple picking
  • Semi related to my last sketchbook page: This TED article about loneliness really struck me

What’s On Tap for your weekend?

Today: Get Messy Thursdays | Words, Week 2

September was one of those months where I wrote 45 posts in my head… but apparently that’s where 41 of them stayed.  In my head.  

Here’s to a fresh month, a fresh start, and a fresh opportunity to have the best of intentions, only to get distracted by things like doctor’s appointments and laundry.  

Although… if I’m being honest (something I try to be), I’ve done more imaginary loads of laundry than actual loads of laundry lately.  Whatever, man.

Last week I shared a quick (and likely boring) peek at the altered book I started for the Get Messy Art Journal program’s new season, the Season of Words.  I’m completely enamored with the mostly messy gold leaf, and am really happy with the plain cover (for now).  I scrapped my original plan to bind my new pages ahead of time, and have decided instead to wait until the end of the season.  I’m excited to have a little flexibility with regard to what paper and surfaces I use each week.

Here’s what I came up with for today’s Get Messy Thursdays.

Get Messy Thursdays | Words, Week 2

Materials used:  [Inside cover/Author’s bio] A magazine clipping that I’ve had tucked in an art/inspiration folder since my senior year of college (Why? Lord only knows.), gold decoupage accent from Martha Stewart (which is to say, from her line of craft products… this was not a personal gift from my Queen… but I can pretend), black Sakura Pigma Brush Pen (size MB), matte gel medium; [First page/Dedication] Old Combray page with a velum overlay, white gesso, Windsor + Newton gouache and watercolor (gold and Ivory Black).

I loved this week’s prompts and the opportunity to set up our art journals like “real” books, including an author’s bio and dedication.  I’m toying with making a little Table of Contents, too.  This season feels surprisingly personal for me, to the point that I feel sort of weird sharing some of this.  I kept the bio short and concise, though.  I am a regular person.  This should compel precisely no one to delve any further into this piece of crap book.

I put the dedication first, but when it comes time to bind this thing, I’ll put a blank page before it.  Old (and irrational) habits die hard, but I have to keep the first page of any sketchbook or notebook blank.  In fact… I need to go tuck a blank page in there now.  It’s bugging me.  Speaking of things that are bugging me, I like the cover… but I kind of hate the dedication.  Perhaps that will get reworked.  After I (finally) fold the laundry.

I’ve been pinning all kinds of hand-cut paper lately, and decided to break out the exact-o knife for a quick cut-out quote page, backed with some Proust covered in Opera Rose (doesn’t matter if it’s watercolor or acrylic… when it comes to this color, I am obsessed).  “One wave at a time” is sort of a hippy-dippy mantra of mine, and a reminder to wait until the present crisis (or um… regular moment) has passed before worrying about the next one.  You know the ocean is my True North (side bar: I didn’t realize the baby’s actual name was North West until last week… so there’s that), so thinking about waves always calms my frayed nerves.  At least a little.

Materials used: [Left side] Sakura Micron pen (black, size 01), Windsor + Newton Professional Watercolor Tubes (Opera Rose, Yellow Ochre, Permanent Sap Green mixed with Green Gold), Sakura Pigma Brush Pen (black, size MB), Sakura Koi Brush Pen (pale blue shade from the 24 pen set); [Right side] Watercolor paper, exact-o knife, a trusty ripped out page from Combray, Windsor + Newton Galeria Acrylic paint (Opera Rose).

I love that quote from Hafez, and it seemed appropriate for the Season of Words.  The hand-lettering was inspired by Karen‘s tutorial on the Get Messy blog.  I’ve been on a real florals kick lately, and while that flower has nothing to do with the quote… it looks pretty.  And that’s got to count for something.  I think.  

Speaking of florals, I thought I’d share one of my favorite sketchbook pages from the week.  Unless I am too tired to function (which happens quite a bit… this time around the third trimester is no joke), I try to draw or paint even a little something each night after Grace has gone to bed.  It’s become a really good unwinding ritual for me.  

Watching Jeopardy! usually does the trick too… except that this week’s returning champ gives me anxiety.  I’m still recovering from him yelling, “BOOM!” after last night’s Daily Double.  

On that note… toodles, friends.

Also On Tap for Today

What’s your go-to wind down ritual?

 

 

Today: Get Messy Thursdays | Serenity, Week 6

This week’s pages are sort of wacky.  In a rare moment of organization and clearheadedness, synced with a sleeping child, I prepped a few surfaces ahead of time.  And then I realized this was the week (the last of this season/theme) we were to use our materials from the Get Messy swap (those who participated sent and received materials to and from fellow Get Messy members).  

Jessica sent me the most wonderful package (from Australia!) of beautiful blue papers, some of which she hand painted, a water color map, white doilies and more.  The package arrived a couple of weeks ago, and I’d been holding onto each item, trying to figure out how to best use them.  One piece of hand painted paper in particular felt too precious to use– instead, I’ve been starring at it.  Not very productive, but certainly inspiring.  Two of the pages below incorporate materials from Jess, the other two were prepped in advance but, per usual, came together at the last possible second.

Get Messy Thursdays | Serenity, Week 6

Materials used: Hand painted paper from Jess,  paper doily  white acrylic paint, washi tape, vinyl mailbox letters, white gel pen.

I usually try to save my favorite page for last, but the others are sort of weird… so I am starting with the one I like most.  How gorgeous is that shade of blue Jess used for the paper?  I used one of the doilies she sent as a stencil of sorts with white acrylic paint.  I love how that turned out.  The quote from Lao Tzu is about letting things flow in order to be serene.  I realized I was short on B’s and Y’s once I had already started laying down the mailbox stickers… but I let it flow.  Or whatever.

Materials used: Map from Jess, white gesso, Micron pen (black 01), magazine cut outs, washi tape, clear stamps (thank you, Kelly!) and black archival ink.

This is my tribute of sorts to the Get Messy community.  I really am just crazy about these talented, supportive, creative, wonderful women.  I only wish I had happened upon the group sooner.  The beautiful map background is from Jess; I love that members are (quite literally) scattered across the globe, but connected by our art making community.  If you’re considering joining, I couldn’t recommend the program more.  You can learn all about it here.

And yes, that’s a badly drawn moose.

Materials used: Magazine cut out, washi tape, Micron pen (black 01), smudges of gold ink from the neighboring page.

Simple and to the point: I can’t be serene if the bed is not made.  I can survive among a troubling amount of clutter and stuff and heaps of laundry (something I am working on!), but if the bed is not made… Lord, help me.

Materials used: Black Strathmore artist squares (adhered with a regular old glue stick), magazine cut outs, random metallic birds from a Martha Stewart decoupage set, gold ink, white gel pen

How perfect is this quote?

“We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds.  We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil.  Serenity is contagious.  If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back.  And a smile costs nothing.  We should plague everyone with joy.  If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing?” –Swami Satchidananda

A couple weeks ago at the beach, a seagull literally LANDED ON MY HEAD and tried to steal my lunch from my hands.  It was traumatizing.  And it kind of hurt.  Like, a lot.  I’ve been weary of anything with wings since.  This page may have been a subconscious peace-making with the bird community.  

On that note, I’m off to go plague some people with joy.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Visiting my sister and brother-in-law in their new house! Yayayay!
  • 7 tricks to boost your creativity via Blog Clarity
  • Frantically cleaning before the cleaners arrive (ya feel me?)

What’s your relationship with the birds like these days?