My journal is often a reflection of what's on my mind...can you tell what I've been thinking about?
[Dylusions journal, my new paints & stencils & masks, my new Textures stamp set with Archival ink, Neocolor II crayons, Stabilo All pencil. If you have specific questions, let me know, I'm always happy to answer questions. I find typing out supply lists SUPER tedious, my right-brain really resists doing it. But I'll answer any questions you have!]
What I mean by that is that I do what I want in it. I don't aim to have 100% finished or perfect pages (what is a perfect page, anyway)? I just aim to express. No rules. So self-imposed "have-tos." This spread is an example...on the right is just some sketch practice. On the right is a finished page. Sometimes I even write my grocery lists in my journal, or addresses I need to find, or whatever. It's a working journal, and I love it!
For this one, the background was already on the page (left over from my CHA demos, actually). I used a water brush filled with sumi ink to draw on the warm-up tag. Then I bent back the journal covers and sewed the tag onto the page (that's why there was stitching on the page I shared the other day. This page came first!!).
Do you do creative warm-ups? How do you incorporate them into your work?
A few years ago, I made this video for Nat Kalbach's Creative Jump start:
I always have tons of tags around my desk from my warm-ups. Here's a page I made recently with one of my warm-up tags!
Here's how I made it: I had tons of tags on my desk with prints on them from my new stencils. I took one of the printed tags and drew a scribbly face on it with sumi ink in a Tim Holtz water brush. Then I smeared some Blackberry Violet acrylic ink on my page (the stitching and gesso were already there...I pre-gesso as much as I can, and the stitching is from something I sewed on the reverse side of the page). I then poured some Funky Fuschia Dylusions ink on the page and let it run off. I added the circles with my diet Coke cup (seriously, I did). Then I added journaling and glued on my tag.
With a few pencil strokes, you can change your stamps and bend the images to your will. Here's a face from my Scribbly Women stamp set (from my new Dina Wakley Media line by Ranger). The woman has short hair, but I used my magic pencil (i.e. the Stabilo All) to change her hairstyle. Super easy!
This page is in the awesome Dylusions journal. I used my Dina Wakley Media Line acrylics, stencils and masks, and of course the stamp. Her dress is made from a failed piece of art (do you spot the Bubblegum Pink and Funky Fuschia Dylusions ink spray?). I colored her face with Neocolor II crayons.
[Above: drawing in my journal done with a Conte pencil over Dina Wakley Media Line acrylic paints.]
I was recently reading some criticisms of my book and art. I'm okay with that (really, I am), when you put yourself out there you have to accept the good and the bad. I don't expect everyone to like me or like what I do. I just have a few thoughts in response. Not a defense, of sorts, but just thoughts:
What I do is not fine art. I know it isn't, I've never pretended it is. What I do is solely about expression.
I consider what I do "art for everyone." What I mean by that is what I do is perfect for you if you have the desire to create and express, but don't necessarily have art-school-quality skill. I don't have art-school-quality skill. But I do have a burning love for art, I love making it, talking about it, looking at it. I art journal so I can express, play, and improve my skills. I art journal because if I don't pour out my soul, I go crazy. I art journal to leave my mark.
What I do is messy. I like mess, spills, grunge. Yep, I like mess. I'm good with it.
Art is subjective. Yes it is, indeedy. What I do might not be art to you, and that's fine. It's art to me, and that's what matters. One of the great things about art is there are SO many types, kinds, styles. This is why I love mixed-media. The mixed-media community is generous and accepting of different types of alternative art, as well as different skill levels, without passing judgement.
I'll finish with a little story. A few years ago I was at NAMTA, which is like CHA but for art materials. I was in the PanPastel booth watching a demo. The man asked me what kind of art I do. I said, "Well, I'm just a poser." He said, "Honey, we're all posers." I love that.
I'm going to keep growing and playing and expressing because I love, love, love what I do. If you're along for the ride with me, thank you!
I love all things printmaking, and I added a collagraph printing class in my class rotation. Here's a page I made with my prints (and with the actual collagraph plate itself). I used my new stencils to make my collagraph plate (the tag on the far right is the actual plate, the other two are the prints from the plate).
I have several boxes in my studio where I keep past projects, mini albums, etc. I was digging around in one, looking for something to inspire me, and I came across this little project. I am sure I posted it years ago (thought I haven't gone back to find it). I couldn't find the original pictures I took if it on my computer, either, so I photographed it again.
I love this little book. I love its message, the white space, the colors, the collage. It's made out of watercolor paper & tags, and machine-sewn together. It's all about empowerment and positive self-talk. I must have done this pre-Dylusions, because that yellow you see is Butterscotch Color Wash. I can also spot Stream Color Wash, and acrylic paint. Alphabet stamps are by Stampotique.
I taught this little book as a class at The Creative Quest (now The Occasional Artist) here in Glendale. I think only 3 or 4 people took the class, which is fine. I have it sitting over my desk now, so I can look at it and enjoy it.
I've been fielding lots of emails about my new products, where to get them, etc. I am SO glad you're excited about my new Dina Wakley media line by Ranger Ink!
Here's what I know: stamps & stencils ship in Feb (and stamps are starting to trickle to stores now). Paints & brushes & mediums ship in March.
I won't be selling the line because I don't have a store. So, ask your favorite store to order it! I know that stores will order what their customers ask for. We had a good response at CHA and I met many lovely store owners from all over the country who told me they're bringing in the line, yay!
I am so excited to see what you guys create with my products. Eagerly awaiting your wonderful art!
The gals at Ranger Ink did these wonderful color charts for the last day of the CHA show (kudos to them for doing hundreds of these). They show my Dina Wakley Media line paint colors. I tried to get an accurate photo of the chart, but it's hard...there's still some color cast and all monitors display differently. But, you get the idea!
I've been working myself ragged to get ready for two important events: book photography for my second book, and CHA.
First up, book photography! I always have a wonderful experience at F&W Media's photography studio. Christine is the excellent photographer, and Amy is my illustrious editor. They made the week go so smoothly. The only stressful thing was the polar vortex. Remember I live in Arizona, we don't have clothes for "real" cold, let alone windchills of -24 F! I took this shot of the TV news one night:
Here is the shoot, the paper is all white before I mess it up with paint and ink:
We also filmed some video bonus content...here is the set:
Did you spot my first book, Art Journal Freedom, on the shelf? Yay! My second book will be out January 2015 (or maybe Dec 2014). Excited about it!!!
After a wonderful week at F&W, I hightailed it to Anaheim. CHA is always exciting, but this one was extra special since it was the release of my new Dina Wakley Media Line by Ranger. I'm so thrilled to be working with Ranger and honored to be part of their team.
I was nervous and excited. It was a thrill to be able to demo my new line and show it off!
The talented and sweet Noell & Izzy from Paperclipping filmed a video of the full demo. Watch it here. Here's another quickie demo we did: watch here.
Visit the Ranger blog to see me walk you through the line, and also find videos of the awesome new Tim Holtz, Dyan Reaveley, and Wendy Vecchi products. Plus you'll see the talented Debbie demo her make & take tattered foil flower: Watch here.
One of my favorite parts of CHA is PEOPLE! I love seeing friends and meeting new ones. If you have pics of me from the show, I'd love it if you'd email me! I didn't get as many pics with my own phone as I would have liked, I was too busy talking and demoing.
Here's my little corner of the Ranger booth. I also had two sample boards around the side:
12 colors of heavy-body acrylic paint. I love this paint! It's buttery and smooth, yet heavy enough to hold brushtrokes. The colors are more opaque than other paints on the market, and are all hand-picked by me. If you notice, there's no black (Night is actually a very dark navy). Why no black? Well, I hope to include black in a future release (and for now, black gesso fills in). But Night is such an important color to me (I use it WAAAAY more than black), that it went in the line first.
Paint brushes! These are fun because they have a stiff bristle and good spring, both of which work great with heavy body paint. Notice the cool color-coded ends, too!
Gessos and mediums. You know how I can't live with gesso and matte gel!
Palette knife. Versatile and inexpensive. Those of you who have had classes with me know that I rarely apply gesso or gel with a brush (b/c then you have to wash said brush, and cleaning things is not my strength). I always apply with a palette knife that you can wipe clean on your apron.
Six sets of stamps. Cling-mounted red rubbah, baby.
Six stencils and four sets of masks/stencils.
Check back this week, I am going to share some of the samples I have been making with my new Media Line products.
I know I haven't been sharing much. December is kicking my booty, as usual...two of my fellas have Dec birthdays, as does my hubby. Our anniversary was yesterday. Oh, and a little holiday called Christmas. ;) Plus lots of deadlines (finishing one today, actually). So excited for CHA this year and the release of the Dina Wakley Media line by Ranger. Yay!!
What you'll get is all of the classes from Art Journaling Live...a fantastic event created by Cloth Paper Scissors. I joined three other talented and awe-inspiring teachers, Pam Carriker, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, and Traci Bautista.We each taught a 90-minute class, lots of fun!
I've been getting together with some friends and new acquaintances to do some life drawing. I like it but it's frustrating, only because of my own lack of skill. I really need a class with a teacher to give direction and instruction. I am getting better, though. Because when it comes down to it, consistency and devotion are how you get better.
This drawing is just a bunch of drawings super-imposed on each other.
I'm excited to announce that I'll be participating as a JumpStarter in Creative JumpStart (CJS) 2014, run by Nathalie Kalbach. CJS is a one-of-a-kind community event designed to inspire your creativity.
Need help getting your creative mojo going in 2014? CJS can help. Throughout January, participants get 23 videos from 21 featured artists. I'm proud to be one of those artists. You will learn new techniques, discover new materials, and connect with other mixed media artists and scrapbookers.
Still sketching...this one is with the Dermatograph china marker. The blue is also a Dermatograph (I bought all the colors I could get my hands on!). The background is acrylic and my Spilled Hearts stencil from The Crafter's Workshop.
I love printmaking of all types, and wanted to branch out and try something new. Recently I taught a local class on collagraph printing. It's more difficult than Gelli printing and gives a different look...and oh my, it is fun!
On this page, I glued the actual printing plate itself (the heart is the plate):
This page has one of the prints I made from the above plate:
I recently treated myself to a set of Conte pencils (and a pad of kraft paper), and now I've been using them on everything. Love, love, love them! They're hard to sharpen, you need to sharpen them with a knife or you blow through the whole pencil b/c the lead is so fragile (like a pastel pencil).
Jenni's lovely December kits arrived on my doorstep, and it is full of Christmas goodness and cheer. I opened the kits and pulled out the stencil...and then my mind went cuckoo and the stencil was all I could think about. I made about 8 backgrounds with it, I love it SO very much. So my pages this month focus on that awesome star stencil. Be sure to check out the galleries for wonderful inspiration!
Whew. Well, I've been teaching so much that a lot of what I have to share right now are samples I made in class. I really need some art time of my own. Hoping to fit that in this week. I did do some life-drawing on Monday, which was fun. It was uncomfortable, not because of the live model, but because of my own lack of skill. I saw improvement in just the few hours I was there, though...proof that practice helps!
Here's a class sample journal page in my Dylusions journal...
Things have been so busy here. I feel like I can't think straight. I've been teaching so much, working on big mega deadlines. I'm almost at a breaking point, honestly. I need to take some time and make art for me, art that has no purpose other than expression. I haven't done that in ages.
The gelli print below started as a "cast off" print--one that I used just to clean off my plate. It ended up kinda cool, though, don't you think? Feather stencil is by Jenni Bowlin Studios.
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