Somerset!

I don't know about you all, but Somerset Studio and the Stampington family magazines are among my favorites when it comes to inspiration and creativity.  I subscribe to all of their delicious publications and when they land in my mailbox, I set them aside to read when I have the time to relax and devour every word and picture.

One of the best parts is flipping through and finding articles about artists that I personally know!  You can imagine my surprise when I opened up this latest issue and found my own artwork! Somerset did send me a complimentary issue with a letter telling me I had been published - but I didn't see it until after I already opened my own subscription.  I'm glad it happened that way . . . glad I got that giddy feeling when I flipped the page over and saw my name and my canvas art.  It was like, well, it was SERENDIPITY!

If you haven't gotten your copy yet - go get one - It's a beautiful issue - and I'm not just saying that!

Hey Soul Sister

February Theme
Layers You Will Love!
February 14 - Week 9
Art Challenge:  Using at least five layers
Journal Prompt:  Give Me a High Five

For this week's challenge, I really played and had fun and definitely didn't take myself too seriously!  To approach the prompt of "high five,"  I decided to use FIVE manilla tags and layer them in my journal.  I used five sizes; largest to smallest, and attached them end to end with 1" masking tape front and back accordian style.  Masking tape takes paint well and after several layers, you don't even notice it.  I painted the tags and pages of the journal with white gesso to give me a uniform surface to paint on.

I still didn't have an idea of what I wanted to paint on my tags - no inspiration whatsoever!  Whenever that happens to me, I just begin painting backgrounds and textures until something comes to me.  I used a stabilo pencil to scribble around the edges of the tags and blend the black marks with water to "grunge them up" a bit.

Photo Feb 21, 2 19 44 PM.jpg
Photo Feb 21, 2 21 59 PM.jpg

Still no idea . . . so I pulled out my sweet little mini distress ink blocks, some applicators and dabbed the ink onto a teflon mat and spritzed them with water.  I blended the inks together and started to layer color on all of the tags.  STILL no idea as to what I was going to do with the tags!

I decided to start drawing some whimsical faces and characters on the tags . . . just fun figures that are all inspired by people I know in my life . . .

These silly girls started to appear on the page.  I just started laying down acrylic paint and shapes and I realized these are my people--my tribe--my soul sisters!

I loved the colors - it reminded me of a carnival!  Once all of the tags were dry, I pulled out my Inktense Pencils, gold gesso, Montana Acrylic markers and my black and white Signo pens - I got a little carried away, but I just couldn't stop as each "friend" emerged!

Here's a little close up of each "soul sister."

I love the way the journal page looks when it is unfolded and flipped over.  I just used a cute little paperclip at the bottom to hold it all together when the journal is closed.

I hope you enjoyed the challenge this week - I can't wait to see all of your beautiful art journals!  Be sure to stop by the Art to the 5th Blog to see our special Featured Artist this week - Kristin Petersen!




For more information on this week's challenge you can find us here:
Flickr
Instagram: #documentedlife #documentedlifeproject

Looking for previous challenges? click HERE

Visit our blogs: Sandi Keene, Roben-Marie Smith, Rae Missigman


Join us on The Art to the 5th™ Academy™ - a thriving "community" and classroom for "The Original" Documented Life Project™!  Find us on Instagram: #documentedlife


You can learn how all of the Art to the 5th Artists have created their Journal Covers in our new class entitled, "Cover Story."  You can find it HERE.

It's Worth Repeating

February Theme
Layers You Will Love!
February 14 - Week 8
Art Challenge:  Repeating Elements
Journal Prompt:  It's Worth Repeating


I love repeating elements on a page - especially in art journaling and creating backgrounds.  I had a bit of a challenge this week as I was traveling.  I had an idea of what I wanted to make so I did a little pre-prep before I left home.  I knew I wanted to use a carved stamp, so I sketched a little head the size of a Moo Carve block I had on hand - 4 inch by 3.5 inches.  Once I was happy with just a little bald profile, I put it in my photocopier and enlarged it several times.  Then I threw everything in a bag and hopped on a plane to visit my daughter in Grad School.

My trip to Mississippi started with a 2-day ice storm, but at least I managed a few beautiful pictures when I was able to get outside.  The pictures don't show it, but it looked like someone had sprayed the entire town with Silver Glitter!  Luscious!

It was freezing cold, but so beautiful!  Anyway, back to the challenge!  Since we were pretty much confined indoors, we were able to cuddle up, watch movies and spend some time doing art {or at least I did while she studied}.  Forgive the poor quality of the photos as I was in a hotel room with sad, sad lighting.

I wasn't quite sure where I was going with the prompt this week, but I knew I wanted to use the profile image.  I cut out the large head and created a mask.  I held it down on one side of the spread and used my new Schmincke watercolors and my DaVinci travel watercolor brush to spread very wet color randomly over the page.  I am trying to force myself to leave white space in my work, so I purposely left the edges unpainted.

When I looked at this image, the page came together in my head.  I used graphite paper to transfer the image to the Moo Carve block and then began to carve away with my Speedball Linoleum Carving set.

I stamped the images all over the page using a Dove Grey Staz On ink pad, facing the larger face.  Then I began roughing in the larger head with a charcoal pencil.

I filled in a few of the heads with a prismacolor pencil to make them stand out, then deciding they were too bright, rubbed white gouache all around them to tone down the color a bit...

I used alternating black and white uniball pens to journal inside the smaller heads - I wrote things that were important to me - like little voices in my head repeating things I needed to listen to - things that were worth repeating!

I'm excited to see how you all approach the challenge this week - I am blown away by the creativity in our group - you are all amazing! XOXO

PRODUCTS USED IN THIS CHALLENGE


For more information on this week's challenge you can find us here:
Flickr
Instagram: #documentedlife #documentedlifeproject

Looking for previous challenges? click HERE

Visit our blogs: Sandi Keene, Roben-Marie Smith, Rae Missigman


Join us on The Art to the 5th™ Academy™ - a thriving "community" and classroom for "The Original" Documented Life Project™!  Find us on Instagram: #documentedlife


You can learn how all of the Art to the 5th Artists have created their Journal Covers in our new class entitled, "Cover Story."  You can find it HERE.

A Conversation with Connie at 21 Secrets

After working with Connie Solera at Dirty Footprints Studio for the past several months through emails and blog posts, I was finally able to "meet" her through a Skype interview!  It was wonderful to place a face {and a voice} to Connie as she instantly put me at ease!  As of this writing, I haven't seen the interview but all I know is that we laughed a lot and I felt like I knew her for years!  I can't wait to see it myself and I hope you will join us HERE for our live conversation via Skype!


Don't miss the opportunity to join  2015's 21 SECRETS - an incredible art journey that starts SOON.  21 Artists and 21 classes all in one place at the same time!  Click on the image below to find out all the details and sign up! 

Going Undercover

February Theme
Layers You Will Love!
February 14 - Week 7
Art Challenge:  Covering up good stuff
Journal Prompt:  Going Undercover

Art Journaling for me has always been a way to express myself in a private and creative way.  I use my journal as a diary of sorts, chronicling and documenting what goes on in my life and in my heart.  I use it as a workbook, a study guide or just a place to "play."  When we started The Documented Life Project, I realized that a lot of my art work would go from being private to very public {cringe.} Today I am sharing a way that I use my art journal to pour out emotions that are for my eyes only.  I have done many, many pages over the years this same way...heaven forbid some day some anthropologist uncovers my work and decides to X-ray what's underneath the paintings {as if!}

I begin by writing.  Everything.  Whatever comes out of my head.  I let the words just flow onto the page in a mindless way, most do not make sense, and I don't worry about penmanship, punctuation, or spacing.  I write large and illegible.  I use a waterproof pen.  Then I take a paintbrush and and dry brush white gesso over top of the words.  It doesn't completely cover them up, but hey, it's all about layering, right?

Before the gesso is even dry, I put random drops of Dr. PH Martin's Bombay India Ink and Daler Rowney Artist Acrylic Ink all over the page.  Now the fun stuff!

I lightly brush some of the ink to cover the page, then I just tilt the journal in all different directions and let the ink run all over the place.  I even got some ink onto the next two blank pages of my journal, so I will have to incorporate those ink blobs into my next two challenges - LOL!  I blotted with a paper towel, which left some accidental and awesome dots on the page!

I began to sketch a face on the background.  It is hard to see {intentionally} but the pencil marks aren't that important at this point.

I added a little white gesso with my finger to cover the skin area and once dry, I went in again with my pencil and gave some more definition to the facial features - blending a little here and there with my fingers by smudging.

Next it was time for some really yummy color with my Caran D'Ache Neocolor II water soluable crayons!!!  These are so amazing - you can use them like a crayon to color, or you can wet either the crayon or your marks on the paper to paint with beautiful pigment!

Below you can see some of the luscious color from the crayons blended into the face and hat of my sketch. 

And below is my finished piece.  The words are still visible, but unreadable - they now just appear as a textural element on the page.  And because I still felt very vulnerable by having my words out there on the page for all to see - I decided to sketch my girl with her head tipped down and the brim of her hat covering her eyes . . . she's gone undercover!


Here's a list of the products used in this week's challenge:


For more information on this week's challenge you can find us here:
Flickr
Instagram: #documentedlife #documentedlifeproject

Looking for previous challenges? click HERE

Visit our blogs: Sandi Keene, Roben-Marie Smith, Rae Missigman


Join us on The Art to the 5th™ Academy™ - a thriving "community" and classroom for "The Original" Documented Life Project™!  Find us on Instagram: #documentedlife


You can learn how all of the Art to the 5th Artists have created their Journal Covers in our new class entitled, "Cover Story."  You can find it HERE.