Friday, October 27, 2017

sketchbook journal - update

I had ignored sketching in my 6"x8" sketchbook journal for awhile. Last Sunday I decided I had to create something...anything. I grabbed a pencil and sketched a quick doodle then filled in with acrylic paint and black pen. This action inspired me to create 5 more sketches in a similar way. One per day. After I finished the last one tonight, I realize that this sketchbook journal is completely filled with art. Yay! Time to make a new sketchbook journal!

abstract #1

abstract #2

abstract #3

abstract #4

abstract #5

abstract #6

Saturday, October 14, 2017

sketchbook journal - update

I'm surprising myself how much I like working in the smaller (6"x8") sketchbook journal. It less intimidating than trying to create sketches in the 10"x12" repurposed magazine sketchbook journal. Here are 4 completed sketches made from the smaller sketchbook journal. Two of the sketches I like, the other two...not so much. I keep saying to myself that's all about the process and journey. It's helping my art brain think of a direction I want to go with my art.

This sketch made with a mandala is the most detailed of the 4 completed sketches. The ground was made days before the mandala was created. I really pushed myself to complete the mandala in one sitting.

I created this sketch from start to finish in between getting ready in the morning for my day job. It's not an amazing piece of art but it serves the purpose of producing something creative that day. 

This sketch is the closest I have come to creating a whimsical piece. It just not a style I'm drawn to. Excuse the pun...and ending the sentence with a preposition.

I adhered the flower cut from a magazine when I first started this sketchbook journal. I wasn't sure if I was going to design around it or cover it up. As you can see, I eventually painted around it. 

Side note: Looking back at all 4 sketches, I see that green was using in all of them. It's my favorite color. It wasn't intentional. Just an observation.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

sketchbook journal - update

Lately, I am continuing to create in the small artist made sketchbook journal that's 8"x6". Posted here and here and here. The size seems to lend itself to quicker sketches. 

This sketch incorporated an used tea bag. I wanted to see what would happen over time if the used tea was kept in the paper. The ground was lightly distressed then hand stitched around the tea bag.  


I wanted to highlight the gesso covered muslin ground by adding thin layer of watered down black paint that reads as grey. The subtle texture gives reminds me of a stucco wall. 

Similar to the used tea bag sketch, this one was created to see what would happen to the leaves over time. I may incorporate real leaves in a larger piece. Time will tell...


It's fun to loosen up with a quick collage using magazine paper. This sketch was created in less than 15 minutes.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

6"x10" collage #09052017

This magazine paper collage was started back in May with the patterned black, light blue and 3 orange triangles papers. Then I stared at it in June, July and August while going through a creative block. Here it is September. I added the pink stripe and realized it is finished. I'm happy with the design.

To learn more about this series, please click here.

#09052017 6"x10" collage
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

sketchbook journal - update

I stayed close to home this holiday weekend to keep an eye on the nearby fire in La Tuna Canyon. The upside was that I had time to finish some sketches. I have been creating in the small (8"x6") artist made sketchbook journal because the size lends itself to quicker sketches. More posts here and here

This 2 page sketch that I posted as WIP here. I added some black acrylic paint around the main circular elements to define the shape and focal point.

This is another sketch posted here as a WIP. It was created out of my interest in using red and green without evoking a Christmas theme. Adding the swipes of brown paint helped. 

This 2 page sketch is a cruciform collage that falls into my comfort zone. The pink acrylic paint was leftover from another sketch. I'm very happy with the way this sketch turned out. Probably due to the fact that it's in a style that I'm comfortable creating and that's okay. 


Now this 2 page sketch is outside my comfort zone. Layers of heavily painted and marked. I still haven't decided if I like it or not. 

Creating in a sketchbook journal allows me to play around with techniques. I have seen this technique of painting a ground, allowing it to dry then painting over the whole ground then scrapping away the top layer to reveal some of the ground. This sketch didn't turn out the way I had hoped because the ground color barely shows. I'm thinking the top layer dried too quickly that's why I wasn't able to scrap enough of the paint. I do like the texture that was created. I'll probably try this technique again. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

sketchbook journals - update

The 3 sketches below were created as visceral reactions to the events of August 12th, going to The Huntington and artist Linda Miller in that order.

At the end of August 12th, I was drained emotionally from the events in Virginia but I wanted to at least work on one of my sketchbook journals for a few minutes. I have been spending most of that day creating gelli plate prints for collaging. I'll blog about that at another time. This sketch is made in my repurposed magazine sketchbook journal. I started by adding similar magazine pages to the right side to mirror the image on the left side. After reading a few pages from Jane Davies' book "Abstract Painting: The Elements of Visual Language" earlier in the day, I was inspired to mark up  by painting the yellow open squares and small blue squares. I was getting angry and frustrated at what I thought was the lack of cohesion and creativity. I took a large brush and swiped black acrylic paint a few times across the pages. After I stared at what I had done, I realized why I felt this way. This sketch was my way of letting out the emotions from the events in Virginia. I stopped at this point because it was done. I had experienced a moment of art therapy.

Before the events of August 12th happened, I had scheduled earlier in the week to visit The Huntington with a friend on August 13th. The timing was perfect. We spent 2 hours walking around the peaceful gardens. It was a much needed relief. This sketch was made in response to that visit in my small artist made sketchbook journal. I painted using Golden Fluid Acrylic in Green Gold, torn pages from "To Kill A Mockingbird" and a black Sharpie.

Still on the peaceful mood from visiting the Huntington, I created this sketch on August 14th. It was heavily influenced by the brushstroke artwork of Linda Miller. I used Golden Fluid Acrylic in Naphthol Red Light, used tea bag paper and black acrylic paint.

Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, August 11, 2017

sketchbook journal - update

I'm continuing to work daily in one of the sketchbooks journals that I made. To see the other sketches, please click here and here. Most of the designs are loosely made, which is helping me work through my creative block. It's been fun so far creating outside my comfort zone. I'm pushing myself to go beyond minimal style. The sketches are from my repurposed magazine sketchbook journal.

With this finished sketch I had an idea to use torn brown paper with torn scenic magazine pages. The left side I decided to paint the brown and beige paper for contrast while the right side is the paper untouched. I prefer the right side. The contrast of the brown paper with the cool colors of the magazine pages is pleasing to my eye. What do you think?

This next one is 4 pages - the two colorful grounds plus 2 cutout top layers. I was going to add marks to the top pink layer but I realized that it should have been done before cutting out the shapes. I usually don't use bubblegum pink in my art. This sketch is finished.

Here's a look at the design underneath the pink cutouts:

I realized as I painted this sketch that I wasn't happy with the main design shapes. After staring at it for a few weeks, I decided to add the words from #100wordsin100days challenge from earlier this year. Not sure if I like it any better now but it's finished.

The next four sketches are in the early stages. It's hard for me to resist the urge to consider all 4 sketches as finished. Again, pushing myself outside my minimal style. I'm thoughtfully evaluating the next marks to make.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

What I am reading

"A History of God" by Karen Armstrong - buy it here

"Fifty-five, Unemployed and Faking Normal" by Elizabeth White - buy it here

"Abstract Painting: The Elements of Visual Language" by Jane Davies - buy it here


Friday, August 4, 2017

Photo(s) Friday

Here is this week's Instagram Photo Layout from my neighborhood walks. I was focus on enjoying my daily walks then taking photos except for one day. I kept noticing the amazing textures in nature and what nature does to man made structures. To follow me on Instagram, please click on this link:


Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Artist Made Sketchbook Journal

While waiting for artwork to dry in my repurposed magazine sketchbook journal (here and here), I got the wild hair to make a smaller sketchbook journal. This one measures approximately 8"x6" closed and 8"x12" open. It's made using gesso coated muslin. There are 3 groups of 3 "pages" sewn on the inside of a painted fabric cover. Very raw, handmade looking.

I see why artist, who work in sketchbook journals, have more than one going at a time. It helps keep the momentum going when you're in a creative groove. 

This artwork started with 3 images torn from magazines and adhered to the gesso muslin with gel medium. The pages are in the upper left, right of center and bottom center. 

This WIP artwork started with the magazine page in the lower left. Unfortunately, the gel medium covered paper did not dry smooth. Note to self: take a few extra minutes to smooth then smooth some more.

I'm not at all happy with the cucumber shape in this WIP. I didn't notice it until I took this photograph. Other than that shape, I like the direction this artwork is going.


This WIP is a style I have wanted to develop for awhile. There are a few more details I would like to add but I'm letting this artwork rest for a bit before finishing.


I love incorporating bleeding tissue paper in my artwork. These pieces are leftover from other projects. With the addition of asemic writing, i consider this arttwork finished.


Thanks for stopping by!