Tag Archives: get messy

Get Messy Creative Team Blog Hop | Season of Color

The newest season of the Get Messy Art Journal program is just about to start, and I’m excited to be joining my fellow Creative Team members on a little blog hop.  You can follow links at the end of each of our posts to a different team member, and get a sense of just how lucky I am to work with such talented, inspired and wonderful artists.

This being the Season of Color (…or Colour if you’re fancy and/or not American), we’ve each been assigned a color for our hop.  Orange is not a color I work with often (you know me: grey and blue and a little more grey… and very few warm colors), but according to a potentially un-trustworthy Internet source

Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.

I can get on board with these orange things (whether they’re true or not).

Get Messy Creative Team Blog Hop | Season of Color

get messy creative team blog hop season of color

get messy creative team blog hop season of color

My creative process lately has been very paired down.  I’ve struggled to carve out large windows of time to paint, or do anything especially involved.  But I often find myself filling ten or twenty minute stretches with these simple pieces– hand cut letters and messages of encouragement.  

Because these are complicated times.  And because I believe we could all use a bit more positivity and kindness and support.

And hey, maybe a bit more enthusiasm, fascination, creativity, determination…. you know, those orange things.  And now, I’m thrilled to send you across the globe to Sasha and her beautiful artwork for the next stop of this Get Messy Creative Team blog hop.

Also On Tap for Today:

What colors do you gravitate toward most often?

 

 

Today: Currently | November, 2015.

The mild weather made this month feel more like April than November, so we got plenty of adventures in.  And I sort of forgot to have my snow tires put on.  Whatever, man.  

I assumed (along with everyone else, I think) that we’d be a family of five by now (counting Clark, obvi… I do not have a secret human child somewhere)… but unless he makes his grand entrance before midnight, we’ll be welcoming a December baby.  All this anticipation is making the days crawl, despite the month having flown.  

And like any month, there were ups and downs — but one of the most wonderful moments had to have been meeting our niece who was born two weeks ago.  She is just perfect.

Currently November 2015 Boston

Speaking of perfect, the weather and view (minus the seagull) could not have been better on a recent stroll along the Harborwalk.

Currently | November, 2015

Reading

  • My copy of the Get Messy x UNHCR charity magazine arrived this weekend.  I am so grateful to have been a part of this collaboration, which supports relief efforts for Syrian refugees, and love seeing everyone else’s art work in print.  You can order a copy here (all proceeds are donated to UNCHR).
  • Still working through: Big Magic and Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me?
  • Reading with Grace: But Not the Hippopotamus 
  • Mostly just looking at the pictures: Vogue, December 2015

Listening to

  • Adele’s 25 (along with the rest of the planet) on repeat.  I’m not ashamed to say, I am obsessed.
  • Christmas music
  • Clark snoring
  • The Undisclosed Podcast

Making

  • An attempt to finish my Christmas shopping in the next day or two.  We’ve done a really fun Secret Santa with my siblings and significant others the last three years and I highly recommend DrawNames.com if you’re organizing a similar swap.
  • Comfort food: Onion tartlets, mashed potatoes, tomato soup, cucumber salad, quesadillas with sharp cheddar and gala apples
  • A top secret Christmas card muhahaha (I hope everyone finds it even a 1/100 as funny as I do)
  • Progress in my sketchbooks and art journals (you can see some recent work on Instagram or here and here)

Enjoying

  • The Christmas decorations I put up (…before Thanksgiving… couldn’t help myself)
  • A fresh bouquet of flowers 
  • Our current routine (while it lasts)

Feeling

  • That Coach Belichick would be my ideal spokesperson right now.  When asked how he felt when he saw Rob Gronkowski get injured during last night’s game, he snapped, “How do you think I feel?”  Exactly.  Except I don’t think I get away with being quite so sassy.  So instead, I’ll just say… okay, fine, impatient, a little cankle-y, hopeful, hungry and tired.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Deleting 900 million Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails
  • 20 ways to be creative when you don’t feel inspired via CoSchedule
  • Trying to keep up with Dishwasher and Laundry Hamper Zero (it’s like Inbox Zero… kind of… but way less cool to bring up in public)

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 | Serenity, Week 2

This season, the Get Messy group (join the challenge here!) is focusing on serenity.  I couldn’t help but laugh as I sat down tonight (eleventh hour, for life) to start another round of pages for this week’s Get Messy Thursdays post.  This week has me craving some serenity.  But hey.  So life goes.

get messy art journal

This photo was taken before the sun set… the others, not so much.  In fact, if I get my act together, I’ll replace them tomorrow with ones less likely to give you a migraine.

Get Messy Thursdays | Serenity, Week 2

Materials used: Tissue paper (pale purple and black + white striped), alphabet stamps, black archival ink, Mod Podge (applied with an old gift card), black + white striped washi tape, white gel pen, super old magazine clipping.

Today was sort of the ultimate Throwback Thursday.  I spent the morning helping my mom clean out my childhood bedroom and Lord, have mercy, did I have a lot to toss.  There were a few things worth saving (I can’t wait until Grace fits into my kindergarten and grammar school sweatshirts), a few things I understood why I kept at the time (there was a whole box dedicated to things I thought I needed when applying for my first job), a few things I am glad I kept (a paper from a philosophy class I took with like, the worst professor ever…  His comment below the grade was, “but as you know, I disagree with you.” Hahahahaha. Yep.).  And there were things I thought I threw out (literally and emotionally) years ago. Stuff has such a way of bringing up… well, stuff.

I saved a few things that seemed perfect for art journaling, including a few magazine tear outs (including the one used above), photo prints from years ago, and drawings from a studio art class I took during my senior year at BC.  I did not, however, save a piece I drew and titled “4 cups of water: a study.”  More like, 4 pieces of crap.

I love how these first pages came out.  The tissue paper was really fun to play with — I am looking forward to adding a few more colors and layers to future pages.  The white stripes sort of disappeared into the white background, making the black stripes perfect for writing on with white pen.  I quickly listed a few reasons why I am not feeling so serene (a lovely, but teething child…) and a few ways to bring some serenity into my day.

Materials used: The sérénité page from an old French dictionary, an Instax photo taken at Castle Island in Southie, a photo I took years ago of the Brewster flats at low tide, liquid acrylic paint, white gesso, Sakura watercolors, Faber Castel PITT artist pens (sizes XS and 1.5), gold ink, white gel pen, good ol’ glue stick

This turned out a little more scrapbook-y and collage-y than intended, but I think you get the gist: I feel most serene by the ocean.  It must be the mermaid pisces in me.  Also: I just realized I don’t know how to draw a fish.

Materials used: Black gesso (applied with a palette knife), white acrylic paint (applied with a small round brush), white gel pen, magazine clipping, grey paper, vinyl mailbox letters, plastic moon overlay (from a Studio Calico kit, I think), glue stick

I like this quick, little page, but after I finished, I was like… um, gazing at the moon for hours sounds both lovely and… kind of weird.  I do love the moon, though.  I am always excited to see it hanging up there.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s the most wonderful thing you’ve held onto since childhood?

Today: Get Messy Thursdays | Serenity, Week 1

I’m so happy the latest season of the Get Messy Art Journal challenge has begun (I’m also so excited about this season’s theme: Serenity!).  I seem to lose momentum between seasons and realize how much I benefit from the community, structure and accountability of this program (learn all about it here).  I barely picked up my sketchbook at all in the past few weeks, and was tempted to crawl into bed the second I got home tonight… but it’s Thursday… and on Thursdays, we get messy.  

Why sleep when you can doodle?

Get Messy Thursdays | Serenity, Week 1

Remember when I tried out a new sketchbook and it was basically a disaster?  It took some trial and error, but I think I found the one with this Moleskine Art Plus Watercolor Album.  The paper is cold-pressed and so fun to draw and paint on.  The book itself lightweight but still substantial (12 x 8.5 inches), has a simple cover, and lays flat.  I ended up grabbing a second for a painting and sketching class I’m currently working through (Mary Ann Moss’ Sketchbookery class — highly recommend it!).

Alright.  Here’s what I worked on this week (…while watching an inappropriate number of Naked + Afraid episodes… that show kills me, but it’s kind of the opposite of serenity).  The journaling and art prompts were created by Vanessa and focused on divinity.  There was a lot to think about, and I have a feeling I’ll want to revisit this week and continue to work through this spread.  Each piece feels sort of simple, but these prompts were really personal and sort of stirring.  

Materials used: Micron (blue ink), Sakura watercolors, white gel pen, gold ink

We were encouraged to learn and share about the goddess or goddesses that we connect most with.  I was going to paint a portrait of Martha Stewart (she is my queen, after all), but I found myself completely consumed by a goddess typology quiz a fellow Get Messy member suggested.  Apparently I’m a Hestia (and as an introvert who craves time at home with my family, the proverbial shoe fits).

I don’t know what Hestia is supposed to look like (and I usually shy away from drawing faces and figures) but I love how this turned out.  Having major hair is a goddess prerequisite, right?

Materials used: Old Christmas card, glue stick, super cheap (and super crappy) glitter alphabet stickers

I can’t think about the divine and what brings me peace and serenity without sharing about my faith and religion, and the grounded-ness they give me.  I’ve been hanging on to this image of the Virgin Mary for ages and knew I wanted to include it here.  Isn’t she lovely?

Materials used: White gesso, another Proust page (sorry, homey), black Faber Castel PITT pen (I think it’s size 1.5), Sakura watercolors, Micron pen (blue), magazine clippings

This Thomas Merton quote has stuck with me for years and years and resonates with me.  Similarly, I’ve always been drawn to the ocean.  I have a feeling water will be a recurring subject for me this season.

Was Hestia a good swimmer?  I hope so.  

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Day 3 of no naps for Grace (insert wide-eyed emoji here)… life is a mysterious adventure
  • 5 art journal must haves from Alisa Burke
  • Swimming!

Which goddesses are you channeling today?

Today: Get Messy Thursdays | Adventure, Week 5

This week I got got down to (messy) business a bit earlier than usual.  Most weeks, I spread out my art journaling over the better part of the week and wrap things up just in time for my Get Messy Thursdays post to go up.  With the holiday weekend upon us, however, I gave myself a time limit (1.5 hours on Tuesday) and let the creative vibes and liquid acrylics flow.

This is where the mess happens.  Believe it or not, all that crap tucks away neatly into a little handled container I found on clearance at Target.  It’s like the Transformers of art storage.  Except less cool.

Materials used: [left side] Sakura watercolor paints and a white gel pen (forever obsessed); [right side] Sakura watercolor paints, water brush, Sharpie pen

I made the right hand page on Friday afternoon, shortly after the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.  I cried happily as I listened to President Obama’s statement on the radio on my way home from working out (and man… later the same day, I would cry not so happily, listening to the President sing Amazing Grace in Charleston, South Carolina) and as soon as Grace went down for her nap, I broke out my watercolors and pens and started doodling.  What a powerful, moving day.  Love is love.

“God wants us to love.  And not a twisted , crabbed, narrow tolerance, which often comes in the guise of condemnations, instructions and admonitions that try to masquerade as love, but actual love… Love first.  Everything else later.  In fact, everything else is meaningless without love.” –Fr. James Martin, S.J.

I added the left hand page on Tuesday.  The quote is from a statement Fr. Jim Martin, S.J. made about the Catholic response to gay marriage.  For me, being Catholic is as much a part of my identity as my (mostly — sometimes I think I am more liberal than I really am) liberal social views– they go hand in hand.  And they’re rooted in a desire to see both God and good in all things, in all people.  So when I read Fr. Martin’s statement, I was like, Yessssssssss.

Materials used: Extra-sharp, extra-unsafe scissors; black gesso; magazine clippings(the letters are from an article about seaweed farming in Ireland… okay); Faber Castel gelatos; waterbrush; palette knife.

So it’s been a month since I left my job, and though they’ve been few and far between, I’m still fielding emails and calls from the office.  The other day it was one about a grant from 2007.  I wracked my brain, but could not (and still can’t) remember the last name of the development officer I worked with on that project.  Part of me was like, “Let it go, that was… how ever many years ago 2007 was.”  But another part of me was like, “OHMYWORD! You are suffering memory loss!  Your brain is disintegrating!  You are not playing enough Suduko!  You spend most of your day attempting to converse with a 17-month-old child and a six-year-old French bulldog!” 

One of this week’s Get Messy prompts was to use hand-cut letters from a magazine, photo, etc.  This seemed like a good exercise for my potentially aging brain.  I free cut them (no drawing letters ahead of time) and let me just say… not easy.  Once I got a few letters down, I tried to switch to my left hand, and managed to almost cut my other hand with the scissors… so I put a stop to that (safety first, brain health second).  

I filled in the gelato circles with a few adventurous bucket list items.  Is it weird that I really want to visit Mount Rushmore?

Materials used: Magazine clipping; Scotch masking tape with a ruler pattern (love this); Sakura watercolors; Micron pen

As sort of a foil to making plans and keeping a bucket list, I made this quick page using a photo of a man praying and a teaching from Buddha about dwelling in the present.  I could stand to work on being more mindful.  Like… a lot.

Materials used: Papernerd cutouts; Golden high flow acrylic paint; palette knife; white Faber Castell oil paint pen; blue Micron pen

This last page was really fun to make.  I used cutouts from Nina’s printable (she shared a little challenge on the Get Messy instagram account) and threw together an abstract background in response to one of this week’s art prompts.  I love how beautifully liquid acrylics blend.  I almost never use red (I once had a flaming red rental car and was all, Everyone is staring at me!), but really like how it turned out here.

Oh, and… red, white, blue… Happy Birthday, America.

Also On Tap for Today:

What colors (if any) do you avoid?  My wardrobe is black-on-black-on-black if that tells you anything.

 

Today: Get Messy Thursdays | Adventure, Week 4

On Wednesdays, we wear pink.  And on Thursdays, we get messy.

I tried to tackle, in some form or fashion, each of this week’s prompts from the Get Messy Art Journal program (it’s never too late to join!) while limiting the supplies I used– a couple pens, some watercolors, a few stamps and some old magazines.

After last week’s go at a new sketchbook, it’s clear the pages weren’t holding up to all that paint and water.  I decided to use up the last few pages in my original sketchbook… and then light a candle or sprinkle some crystals or maybe just search Amazon for an hour in search of a thick bound book of watercolor paper that can lay flat– preferably one that doesn’t have a spiral binding and isn’t ugly.  I’m putting that out into the Universe and will report back on whether or not the so-called Law of Attraction applies to paper.  On to this week’s pages (and… this week’s jams!).

Get Messy Thursdays | Adventure, Week 4

Materials used: Watercolor paper, Sakura watercolor paints, Sakura white gel pen (my favorite thing, like, ever), magazine tear-outs, a map from a recent Audubon sanctuary visit, tracing paper, glue stick 

So one of this week’s prompts called for writing a poem about wanderlust.  The last time I wrote a poem, it was in memory of my parents’ deceased parrot.  It was sort of a morbid joke, and it was really funny.  (I am the sort of person who ruins being funny, though, by being all… I’m so funny, right? Right?!)  Needless to say, my poetry skills are rusty, at best.  And I can’t say I’ve been feeling especially wanderlusty (not a word, going to use it regardless) lately.  So I wrote about that.  

If I end up growing very serious, wearing a beret and performing this piece of crap at the world championship poetry slam… you can say you knew me when.  Or whatever.  The accompanying page was in response for the prompt that called for no scissors + at least 5 piece of paper.  I started out by following the rules, and then carefully cut out a Taj Mahal and tucked it in between the rip-outs.  I sort of love how it turned out.

Materials used: Magazine clippings, washi tape, letter stamps (small letters are from the Dollar Spot at Target, larger letters are from a Studio Calico set), Micron pen (black, size 01), tracing paper, Sakura watercolors, 3M self-laminating pouch

I was sort of on a roll when it came to ripping pages out of magazines and quickly threw together this collage.  The stamped words are lyrics from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s “Teach Your Children.”  I read somewhere that Graham Nash wrote the song after seeing a photo of a child holding a toy grenade, and thinking about how susceptible children are to messages about violence and war.  And so as happy as this page feels, I wasn’t feeling especially happy when I made it.  Earlier this month, a sixteen-year-old in Dorchester was shot and killed while riding his bike — a sixteen-year-old and a fourteen-year-old have been charged with his murder.  These are children.  Even if we disagree about the need for gun control, I hope we can at least agree that enough is enough.  Our children deserve so much better.

When I think about what I want to teach Grace, I think about how I could be a better role model for her.  I think a lot about how I hope she will view and treat other people.  Above all, I want her to be compassionate.  I want her to have a generous spirit.  And I don’t want her to be afraid.

I tried to find a good photo of figures to trace for one of this week’s art prompts, but um… why are most magazine photos of people so awkward or provocative or weird?  There was a spread on bathing suits in Marie Claire that should have been perfect… but the models all looked mad.  And I got distracted by that.  And then I ate a bowl of popcorn.  After that, I quickly traced these eyes (from an article about adult acne products, of all things) and filled them in with some watercolors.  I didn’t really have any place to stick ’em, so (I am sure you know where this is going), I laminated them and made a bookmark.

Materials used: Gold vinyl stickers, green watercolor paint, magazine clipping, glue stick

My last page was fast and simple (and not fueled by any underlying rage against America’s gun lobby).  I’ve been making a running list of things I want to do this summer, places I want to visit, and projects I want to take on.  This was a little (metallic) note to self.  Just go.

This week’s jams

Oh, and because music is a key part of my creative process (alongside giant bowls of popcorn), I though you might like a peek at what I was listening to while making a mess:

If you’d like to see what my fellow Get Messy Thursday ladies are working on this week, you can find their links here.

Also On Tap for Today:

Where do you most want to wander these days?

Today: Get Messy Thursdays | Adventure, Week 3

So, I decided to crack open a new sketchbook this week.  I was running out of pages in my old one, and everything that I loved about it (namely, the scraps and things spilling over the pages and spiral binding) was sort of driving me mental.  The binding was making it difficult to create full page spreads, so I went after something that would lay flat.  

I love the minimalist cover (I added the E for good measure) and the page size is perfect.  Buuut…. as you’ll see, the paper’s not holding up well with all the paint and ink.  I’m tempted to try making my own with loose watercolor paper.  Trial and error, my friends.

Speaking of trial and error, I accidentally used a “u” stamp instead of an “n” stamp for my first spread.  And I’m strangely okay with that (Look! I’m becoming a reformed perfectionist!).

Materials used: Bubble wrap used as a stamp, with ink and watercolor paint (applied with a brayer); letter stamps from Studio Calico with black StazOn archival ink; Sakura white gel pen; black fine point Sharpie pen; Sakura watercolors

One of the Get Messy prompts this week involved our biggest or greatest or most adventurous (I can’t remember the specific wording) adventure.  I listed a few that immediately came to mind in the bubble wrap circles.  Some adventures would revisit in a heartbeat.  I loved swimming to the back of a dark, sort of creepy, fish-(and who knows what else) filled cave off Cooper’s Island in the British Virgin Islands.  I would marry Nick and become Grace’s mother again in a heartbeat.  I’d even climb a bunch of waterfalls wearing gold leather sandals.  

The whole skydiving thing?  I’d probably skip that.  The more I thought about that absurd day, though, the funnier it became to me.  Like, to the point that I was in tears laughing.  And so, I feel like that one’s worth sharing.  If you’ve already been skydiving, we likely watched the same terrifying training video, wore the same hideous leather helmet thing, and possibly experienced the same life-changing, harness-induced discomfort.  Seriously.  I could barely enjoy the view, because all I could think was, “I survived free fall, and will come back to Earth only to die of the world’s worst wedgie.” 

I decided I needed to make a conscious decision just to relax (this would be a once in a lifetime experience, after all) and enjoy the ride, but apparently I relaxed so much that the instructor I jumped tandem with thought I had passed out, and he started sort of slapping me on the cheek.  So that was weird.

Also, I went on this whole “adventure” with an ex-boyfriend (it was all very fresh… like… I think he dumped me a few days before we went).  That seems like an important detail.  After the slapping thing happened, the instructor tried to make small talk while we circled back toward the ground.  

It went something like this:

  • Instructor: So, what do you do?
  • Elizabeth: I am in college.  Um… what do you do?
  • Instructor: I am a skydiving instructor.
  • Elizabeth:  Right. (Duh.)
  • Instructor: Is that your boyfriend (pointing to parachute a bit ahead of us)?
  • Elizabeth: Ex-boyfriend.
  • Instructor: Whoaaaa, skydivin’ with your ex-boyfriend!  That’s a new one.  You must really trust him.
  • Elizabeth: Yeah.  No.  Not really.

Add 20 minutes of awkward silence between me and the person tethered to my back.  And then cut to the part where I forgot the most important segment of the training video (pull your legs up at landing) and tripped us both, causing me to be flattened like a pancake into the ground.

END SCENE

After that little trip down memory lane, I’ve decided that my greatest adventure is yet to come.  

Materials used: Magazine clipping (how gorgeous is that matte black place setting?); turquoise ink; Sakura watercolor paint (black and grey); Sakura white gel pen

As for adventures (hopefully) never to come, the list looks something like this:

  • I will never be an adventurous eater.
  • I will never get my nipples pierced (this is probably an overshare, but really… it only takes being bitten once while breastfeeding to know that even if I had an overwhelming desire to get pierced… this ain’t gonna happen) and I probably won’t get a face tattoo.  
  • I will never go bungee jumping.  
  • I will never get a cat.

Materials used: Magazine page; washi tape; glue stick; black Micron pens; Sakura watercolors; white acrylic paint

I didn’t have much in the way of “craft trash” to use for this week’s art prompt, but I did have this lovely tear-out from the most recent issue of Domino.  I painted in what was missing and added a quote (often mis-attributed to Audrey Hepburn).

“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone.” – Sam Levenson

Materials used: Black Pitt pens; mirrored geometric patterned paper from Studio Calico; Faber Castel gelatos; Sakura watercolor paint; bright pink ink; white acrylic paint; glue stick

And for my final page, I got a bit personal (because wedgies are so impersonal…).  I came across the expression “Your vibe attracts your tribe” at like, 4 in the morning earlier this week.  Grace was up and I was mentally willing her to go back to sleep, while simultaneously busying myself on the Instagram.

It struck a chord (mostly because everything strikes a chord when you’re overtired) because I feel a little bit tribe-less lately.  Being home with Grace has been such a wonderful change, but I’m finding myself really needing to make an effort to build new connections and fight my introverted desires to keep to myself all day.  We’ve got a few things lined up that I am looking forward to, and that I think will be a step in the right direction.

In the meantime, I am not totally sure what my vibe is… because our current tribe consists almost entirely of old men wearing Red Sox hats, enjoying the beautiful weather at Castle Island.  Bonus points if they’re walking dogs (Grace’s vibe is 900% “Bring me your puppy!”).  Making friends is an adventure.

Welp, that’s it for this week.  To check out what the rest of the Get Messy Thursdays crew is up to, you can find their links here.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your tribe looking like these days?

Today: Get Messy Thursdays | Adventure, Week 1

The new season of the Get Messy art journal challenge started this week, and this time around many of us have committed to posting pages from our art journals each Thursday (hence the Get Messy Thursdays).  You know I love a deadline, so count me in.

Rather than sharing a whole bunch of pages at once, I’ve got just one to share today.

Get Messy Thursdays | Adventure, Week 1

Materials used: Small sketchbook: Faber Castel Pitt Pens (1.5 and XS), Sharpie pen, Liquitex Professional heavy body acrylic in light blue violet; Art journal: Golden liquid acrylics, Winsor & Newton gouache in permanent white, Le Pen in periwinkle

This new phase of life (like any other new phase of life) feels like an adventure of its own.  I had a mini identity crisis earlier this week when updating my LinkedIn profile.  I’m not what I used to be before (in terms of a job title, at least), so what the heck am I?  I felt much better (and less melodramatic) after taking a nap.  

Anyway, I felt like that internal adventure was a good place to start, so I grabbed my paint and brushes.  A quick sketch of the human body resulted in some webbed hands, a wonky knee and an arm shaped like an hour glass.  On the upside, I think I captured my broken toe quite beautifully.  If you can’t tell, it’s the one that looks broken… in other words, it could be any of them.

I’ve been doodling in my mini Bison Bookbinding and Letterpress sketchbook, and thought this page was a nice compliment to the art journal page.  So hey.  There it is.

The quote is from one of my favorite Mary Oliver poems, 5 AM in the Pinewoods.  I like the idea of swimming inward.  I’m sure I’ll get around to actual adventures (and real swimming!) in future weeks.  Until then, happy Thursday, friends.

Want to see more of my art journal? Love, Weeks 1 + 2 | Love, Weeks 3 + 4 | Love, Weeks 5 + 6 | Love, Wrap Up + Blog hop | Brave, Weeks 1-3 | Brave, Weeks 4-6

Also On Tap for Today:

Got any adventures planned for the summer?

Today: Get Messy Art Journal | Blog Hop

The first season of the Get Messy Art Journal program is wrapping up, so I’ve been catching up on missed prompts and pages before the next season starts.  

I love all the mess um… character my sketch book has developed over the past six weeks.

Recent Get Messy posts:

New pages

This week there are no new prompts to tackle, so I’m sharing a few pages (as well as some previously shared favorites) I worked on lately while playing catch up, as well as links to fellow Get Messy members’ pages for added inspiration.

Materials used: Black tempera paint, pink washi tape, a magazine clipping, watercolors and a nearly dead Sharpie.

This was my take on the 5 Love Languages prompt.  I had never heard of this before, but after taking the quiz, it seems I am all about words.  And I hate gifts (bahshashdhahdha).  I picked up a set of Crayola tempera paint for another project (bubble painting!) and couldn’t resist throwing a bit of black down on these pages.  I tried to follow this tutorial for plastic bag printmaking from Alisa Burke… but halfway through Grace dropped an entire bowl of peas on Clark’s head.  So.  That didn’t really pan out.  Nevertheless, I like how those inky smudges turned out.

Oh, and I had by sketchbook upside down when I was working on these pages.  By accident.  Not in some irreverent, artsy way.  Can’t win ’em all.

That semi-go-with-the-flow-ness?  That’s new.  And it’s good.  It’s probably the most valuable lesson I’ve learned during this first season — that creating something is better than creating nothing.  And that perfectionism can be a real barrier to art making.  And, like… life in general.

Materials used:  Red paint pen from Blick (a freebie during one of their sales), bubble wrap with black and pink ink, white gesso (which got all mixed up with the black ink when I dragged it across the page with some cardboard), washi tape,  pre-cut watercolor paper, black ink spray, black Micron, magazine clippings and… even more pink ink.

Clearly, I was on a pink kick.  I really like the ink splatter on the right hand side (I used a straw the expedite the splattering/dripping process) and had fun experimenting with layers and starting with pre-made (by myself, like a day or two before) backgrounds.

Materials used: Strips of scrapbook paper from a Studio Calico kit, grey watercolor and and a grey sign pen, yellow and gold watercolors and a set of alphabet stamps from the Target Dollar Spot (that special, special place), and half a random envelope.

I love secret hiding places (in our future home, there will be a secret door covered with a old timey looking bookshelf) and tucked little love notes to Nick and Grace in the envelope.  This has been a year of soul searching and prioritizing and making tough but good decisions.

I’m still working on finding a balance between crap everywhere and sufficient white space.  I think it’s the claustrophobic in me, but I crave lots of white space… but I also crave an end product that looks like I actually made an effort.

Materials used: Faber Castel Pitt pen, blue watercolors with a waterbrush, magazine clippings… AND LAMINATED GLITTER (can’t stop, won’t stop).

This is my favorite of the four pages.  And not just because of the glitter.  But that helps. I’ve had that quote kicking around for ages (it’s from an old issue of Yoga Journal, I think), but this page felt like the perfect place for it to land.  On the surface, it’s kind of depressing… but I think it’s also really empowering.  When you find your place, you know.  Stick with it, my friends.  Anyway, the quote is:

Each of us feels some aspect of the world’s suffering acutely.  And we must pay attention.  We must act.  This little corner of the world is ours to transform.  This little corner of the world is ours to save.

–Stephen Cope, from The Great Work of Your Life

While the subject matter this week isn’t exactly light and fluffy, I’ve been all about playing.  Playing with new materials, playing with new techniques, and playing with new messes all over our condo.

A few favorites from the Get Messy Art Journal Season of Love

But wait… there’s more…

Get Messy Art Journal | Blog Hop

I’ve loved learning new techniques and really appreciated the motivation that comes with weekly prompts.  Best of all, though, is the community of members.  My favorite thing to do lately is scroll through all the #getmessyartjournal Instagram posts and swoon over what everyone else is creating.  

For more Get Messy Art Journal pages and all kinds of inspiration…. hop on over to the following blogs:

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Making a spring bucket list… and a spring cleaning list
  • Yes, please: Key lime pie on a stick from The Kitchn
  • My bracket is official busted 

What’s on your must list for your amazing, imaginary dream home?