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.

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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
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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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:


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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.


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Monday, July 24, 2017

sketchbook journal - update

I'm working daily in the sketchbook journal that is made from a repurposed magazine. I first blog at it here. Most of the designs are loosely made, which is helping me work through my creative block. It's interesting to me that when creating these designs; other project ideas are coming to mind that are not related at all. By giving myself permission to play, my art brain loosening up.

The designs below are for all intensive purposes finished in their current state. I'm ready to move on to the blank pages in my sketchbook journal.

This designs didn't go as planned. My initial idea was to comment on my personal conflict between commercial vs fine art. I like the elements but the layout is awkward. There are more elements that I wanted to add but the composition wasn't well thought out. Time to move on without finishing

I had fun creating this design with the colors and whimsical theme. It's not my usually style but it does make me smile when I look at it and that's a good thing. Again, the composition is a bit awkward. If the individual elements overlapped a bit then it would be more interesting design.

After staring at this design for a few weeks, I decided it was finished when I first created it. I envy artists who can add layer upon layer to their art. That's not me...yet...or maybe never.

If you read my initial post, this design was created because I like the technique created in the ground. I added purple in random areas and calling it finished.

Crazy mess! That's what I think when I look at this finished design. And that's okay. This design served it's purpose of getting me to put something down on paper...anything.

I have to admit this design could fall into the "Crazy Mess" category but I like it better than the design above. To me, it looks like more of a composition. Messy composition but still a composition.

Now I'm off to create more free flowing, creative block busting art!

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Photo(s) Friday

Here are this week's Instagram Photo Layouts from my neighborhood walks. To follow me on Instagram, please click on this link:

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Photo(s) Friday

I really enjoy posting on Instagram.You can find me on Instagram by clicking on this link: I can post a photo or more and add a few hashtags and that's it. It's especially easy on my neighborhood walks. I have been playing around with the different layouts. Here are my morning/neighborhood walks' photos from this past week.

 Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Creative Block and Playing

I haven't posted new artwork on my blog going on two months. I was in a creative slump. It has happened before and I'm sure it will happen again. I realize that stressing about it doesn't help. I decided to share because reading about other artists’ struggle with creative block has helped me. Maybe I can help someone going through it.

To try to kick start my creativity I looked at my list of fiber art projects to create and projects that were WIP. Nothing caught my interest. I looked on Facebook and Instagram to see what other artists are creating. Read about other artists working through their creative block, which was helpful. I tried to stay clear of Pinterest because it seems to be a black hole for me that I can spend hours perusing.  

Then I realized that I was over thinking it. I remembered what gave me joy as a child. It was sitting in my bedroom drawing and painting...for hours. Not for a deadline. Not for a specific project. Just for fun. To play. To explore. No judgment. No rules. No expensive materials. I realize that creating in a repurposed magazine gives me a chance to play and explore without the guilt of using up "good" paper and materials. Each design doesn't have to be perfect because that's not the point. To reiterate that point, I'm showing my sketchbook journal pages in the beginning stages. Works in progress. Imperfections. Not social media perfect. I'm working on multiple pages at once. I'm jotting down ideas that I will build upon in no specific order or time frame. My hope is that by freeing myself by playing, it will recharge my art brain. Pushing my art. Adding layers to my art. Adding dimension to my art. I will post updates to my art journal as the designs progress.

Here is the cover of the 10" x 12" repurposed magazine. I decided to keep it simple by painting black onto of a layer of gesso.

The first two pages started with the Warhol's Elvis art clipping from a magazine. This design is slowly developing.

The next pages started with the yellow-orange motifs. I wanted to remember it for a possible stamp or screen print. 

Continuing on with the next two pages. This design started with the mauve-y color paper from a fashion layout in a magazine. I wanted it to be messy. Not my normal style. My instinct is to stop at this point but I'm going to push myself to add more layers and possibly more colors.

I have to admit these next pages were created because I was pushing myself to leave some marks. Any marks. "Just put something on the page, Bloom!" I started by painting black over the whole ground. Once it dried, I took an old credit card and scrapped white paint randomly. I liked the technique and didn't want to cover too much of it up. I'm not sure about the design that's developing on top.

These next pages are falling back into colors that are in my comfort zone but the messiness of the overall design is not. Similarly to the design with the mauve-y color, I would normally stop at this point but I'm pushing myself to add more layers, marks and colors.

Like the design above, the colors in this design are in my comfort zone. More pushing myself to add layers, marks and colors.

Do you get in a creative slump? How do you get yourself out of it?

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