Sunday, 28 October 2012


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Journalling idea - think of an emotion and create an artwork based on it.
Think of things like high key versus low key (i.e. mainly light colours versus mainly dark colours) for communicating emotions, colour versus monochromatic, energetic lines versus controlled line.
If you want to check key values put a copy of your photo into black and white.

Ornamental letters

Thanks to these guys for the amazing letters freely available at

Unpolished creativity

image: O Stempelnce upon a time............

Once upon a time there were two lowly potters chosen by a Person of Royalty for a task. This esteemed personage was of course, used to prompt and complete obedience with drastic results when royal expectations were not exceeded (the castle moats were not filled with crocodiles for petting). One potter was commanded to create the perfect pot whereas the other was commissioned to make as many pots as possible in the time allotted.

 Time passed.

When fanfare's announced the eminent arrival of the Person of Magnificence at a later date in the crammed royal calendar, the first potter dived into hiding within one of his largest pots. Quivering to his knees, he held his breath hoping that his hiding place would not be uncovered, his perfect pot left unfinished  on his work bench. Meanwhile, the other potter cheerfully presented his hundreds of pots - the last pot being an amazing  work of beauty, being the product of all the hundreds before.

Why on earth am I writing this? It's a  little parable written as a reminder to myself (and my kids) to make and keep on making and that in the process you will grow as an artist. I am trying to internally ban the "p" word. The royal personage is like that inner script inside saying "make it perfect first time", and it is something that kills creativity.

This blog is like that second potter's work - I'm hoping that by the end of a year of blogging/creating I will have grown into something that is far more polished but until then, I need to be content with my unpolished creativity.
image: Wood 4

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Cheap crackle glaze for backgrounds

Well, here is today's result from my latest experiment. I read an American book that talked about Elmer's glue and substituted what we call PVA or BIC's white glue or wood glue here down under!
I painted the glue thickly over the page and then while the glue was still wet painted the acrylic over the top. It's taking a while to dry so I'm guessing if you were in a hurry you'd need to use a hair dryer to speed things up. You'd have to be careful to keep about 20cm away from the surface as it might possibly melt the plastic glue? I think I'll make a few of these in advance ( particularly as we have old bottles of PVA that need to be used up around here).
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Sunday, 21 October 2012

Raid your local wallpaper store

Today's inspiration - wallpaper! Visiting our local decorating store to buy paint, I found a free box of wallpaper samples. As the papers were highly textured, I was immediately thinking of using them for printing.
Below is a background made from a wallpaper sample. It was created by using masking fluid painted over the wallpaper and then pressed onto paper. I then did a water colour type wash (if you use acrylics be careful as they can seal the masking fluid to the paper if not diluted enough). The photo shows the masking fluid not yet removed. I was really pleased with the final lacy effect.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Stuck? Take a photo and risk failure!

What to do when stuck? With the journalling piece "Reptilian", I took a photo and then decided to do something new.
 I was not particularly happy with the piece but was scared to move on. Consequently, I took a risk and made a mistake - I forgot that I had used non- waterproof ink that then blurred when I added another layer on top. Lesson learnt (and blamed on a three a.m. wake up). Solution for future works - spray with a fixative layer first!
So - what to do now? Possibilities - 1.start again 2. use this piece as a base for a fresh collage/journal work.
3. Print out a digital copy in black and white or colour and use this as a base to start over from.
All is not lost - I was able to think through and review a key understanding of the brain not working well under stress/anxiety/emotionality.

DIY travel journal continued

Inside back cover .
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Vintage Thermometers link


Links to vintage thermometer print outs posted seperately

Thoughts inspired by Peter Steinke's book "How Your Church Family Works"

DIY Travel Journal

Made this as a gift. After searching the stores and not being impressed with what was out there, I bought an A5 art journal, took the covers off and used some scrapbook paper to recover it. I superglued ribbon to the outside on the front only so that as the journal expands the ribon will be able to handle the extension. With more time it would have been good to spray with a sealant or even book seal but at 11pm the deadline was looming and time was short and the thought of taking a still sticky book and wrapping it was not good.
There are printables on the web for journalling, which I will post if anyone is interested.
It did take a lot longer than I anticipated trawling the net but now I would love to make one for myself!
Internally, on the inside cover, I added some little see through bags for bits and pieces of paper additions, tags, stickers etc.
I was so grateful for the help of our local Papertree art department lady - she was very helpful in suggesting the ribbon and anything travel wise in store.
The good thing about this kind of binding - it will be easy to add more pages from another A5 journal at the end.
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Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Reading Between The Lines with Altered Books

Reading Between The Lines with Altered Books
Article worth reading if you're trying an altered book (I've got one on the go but got stuck. I now have some fresh inspiration after this article).

Friday, 12 October 2012

Recurring symbols

Inspiration to record for future use - what are my visual symbols and why?
In "The Anatomy of Story" by John Truby he mentions having a "symbol web" that ties together  a story. I f you were writing your own story what would be your symbol web and why? Looking at your artworks/journals are there recurring symbols/motifs?

The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller

The "artfull" pause (reason why #1)

"What's the point?" is a phrase I'm sure others have go through their minds at some stage in life. Probably closely followed by "Is this a waste of time? ".
Some days, once you have dragged yourself through whatever life has thrown you, to get to a blank piece of paper and then create is an enormous challenge.
Well, today I can answer that question. That memo about play - it made me stop enough to think, to reassess my life for a moment.
(Having just rescued the muesli from burning I shall continue..) Consequences of that art: when my daughter asked to go ice skating on an outdoor rink, I  agreed and made it into a date together. Stretched beyond my usual comfort zone, we ended up having a lot of fun and great exercise together. Art has it's uses in producing change in me!
 It's encouraged me to continue that "artfull" pause in my daily life.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

How to's for "Garden in my Pocket"

For "Garden in my Pocket" :
1. Filled roasting pan with about 0.5cm of water and then mixed in separate containers about a spoonful of oil and then a teaspoon of food colouring.
2. I dropped the food colouring/oil mix on the water and used toothpicks to mix colours
3. I then put watercolour paper on the top of the water and then lifted it out to dry (with the oil involved I suggest layers of paper and a plastic sheet on work surface)
4. Once dried worked on it with collage pieces
5. Added twink pen

Lessons learnt
 a.the surface needs to be absorbent and thick to create the best effect; of the papers needs to be separate from other papers as oil stains will transfer to other works!
c. If the surface remains too oily brown paper on top and an iron may remove some of the oil? Follow Me on Pinterest

Play memo

Garden in my Pocket

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Once I've got a working camera again, I'll photo post on how to's.
This journal entry was started with stamping some toy mechano pieces. Now I'm thinking - what else do I have about the house I could use as an unusual print start?

working on it

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