Sunday, March 31

Sunflowers Make Me Smile Art Journalling

I have been dabbling in my new art journal this weekend a little bit before work, and came up with this cute girl. I stamped her onto the page, and then proceeded to paint with some acrylic paints. I coloured her skin and her in with aquamarkers, and lastly finished it all off with some black pen.

Those words could not be more true, I love sunflowers - they're so pretty and happy :)

I based the colour scheme on this month's unity challenge, using their girl stamp from the "Face the Sunshine" set  and one of the March SMAK stamps for texture in the sky. I followed the colour inspiration below and this page was what I came up with!

I do love teal and red / pinks together, so it wasn't hard!

Saturday, March 30

This week on Instagram

Just a small recap of some of the photo loveliness from Instragram this week. You can find me, here.

Friday, March 29

Happy Easter Weekend!

I hope everyone is having a lovely Easter weekend!  James got me these lovely tulips - so pretty! And a monsterous bag of mini eggs, which he will be helping me eat - I will not be gaining 10 pounds from eating a 1kg bag of mini eggs myself! hehe :) 

I have today, Good Friday, off - but I am working at the hospital evening shifts for the weekend into the week. But that leads me to my first little bit of good news....I got offered a permanent position!! It's great news! I was working contract to contract before, and I have finally worked myself up enough with seniority and taking online courses to get myself a permanent position *grins*

This week also brought a lot of 'happy mail'. I got some of my 'spring' art supply shipments in - lots of new canvases, paints, cleaners, ect...some stuff fun, some stuff not so much fun but needed. I also got in another set of stamps - I have really been enjoying making stamped cards, and so I wanted to build up my stash a little bit, so that I have enough to pull out to make unique cards when occasions arise.

I got a new sketchbook (above), and I stamped it with one of the stamps I received (my favourite out of the lot - loving the nautical theme so, so much this year!)...this particular book I think I will be reserving for my art journalling / mixed media. I don't like doing that in my "true" sketchbook, as it starts making the pages lumpy and bumpy, and hard to draw on. Here in my art journal, I will be able to introduce texture without disturbing the dynamic of my sketchbook.

I got some painting done this week too - all the lovely birds chirping have inspired me to paint an early spring Robin (while all the birds chirping have been driving my dear cat, Oreo, crazy - as he's been running from window to window to see and 'catch' them hehe). I will be sharing the final painting with you later, I just have to scan it in and get it all set for prints and then enter it into my online store.

Well, the sun is shining and it is looking like Spring might actually stick around for a little while! Have a safe and hoppitty weekend everyone! :)

Wednesday, March 27

Best and Most Beautiful Mixed Media Painting

"Best and Most Beautiful" - 11x14" mixed media painting on canvas panel.

I finished up this mixed media painting, "Best and Most Beautiful", earlier this week, but I was waiting for a lovely day to photograph it, and I was graced with that this morning :)

There is lots and lots of beautiful raised texture on this painting. The door, the leaves, some of the wording and a little "Live" plaque. 

The plaque was from Tim Holtz line, and comes in a metal shade. I altered it quite a bit with gesso and paints to get it to look more at place in this painting. It took a lot of experimentation and patience, but I finally got it exactly how I wanted it :) It now has a more 'rustic' look to it than the 'vintage / steampunk' look it had before. 

When I was sculpting the trunk of the tree, with all the little hearts already around, I could not resist putting a little heart engraved into the trunk. This is a little motive that I love doing, and it always adds more interest to the tree, not to mention a lot more character to the trunk and the entire piece in general. There are little bits of gold paint in there too, giving it a rich look here and there.

The leaves were a bit of an issue for me at first - as I didn't know how many I really wanted. So I would add a few, let them dry, colour them in and then take a look back. And then repeat, many times until I reached a point where I was happy. Sometimes if you're not sure about something - and especially when you're using a medium like modelling paste where correcting will be a little more difficult, adding a little bit and then taking a step back will make sure that you don't commit 100% to something that you are not 100% sure about yet. (I have never had to attempt to scrape off dried modelling paste, but I cannot imagine that it's easy!)

I love the little chipboard door that I integrated into the painting. At first the colouring of it stood out, a lot, but after some reworking, it mellowed out a bit more into the back ground. I wanted the tree to be the main focus, and the door just something to the side, so I didn't want it screaming out at the viewer. The little hearts in the tree I find tend to grab the eye and pull it that way at first, before looking around at everything else.

I really like how this piece came together. I won't lie, for the longest time I wasn't quite sure about it, and so I left it to the side and mulled about 'next steps'. Once I got initial layers and textures down, and could move onto creating some harmony with the colours, I got a lot more happy with the pieces and was able to put some serious emotion and thought into it :)

It is available for purchase in my online shop, here.

Violet Eyes Sketchbook Page

This little sweetheart was completed in my sketchbook with a 5H pencil and some violet ink. I was initially going to shade in more with the purple, but those I'd leave it at her eyes and a highlight of hair and then add some abstractly dots along the side :)

Tuesday, March 26

It's a Polar Bear!

I've been working on this picture in my sketchbook on and off for the past month or a little bit here, and a little bit there. I started it off with the warm watercolour hues in the back, and those made me think of the northern lights...which I proceeded to draw, complete with a friendly looking polar bear :)

Monday, March 25

A peek inside my sketchbook...

Yes, that's right! It's a raccoon girl! :) I'm thinking of maybe doing a mixed media piece with her later, but we will see. So much I want to do! :)

Saturday, March 23

Art Journal Video: the key to today

I managed to figure out my camera a little bit - enough to get you a video! Yippie!! It's just sped up, with music in the background; as step one is just getting a video going. :) Enjoy:

After I did the video, I added some journalling and some of my spray inks:

I love how the gold peeks through everything, and gives a beautiful vintage effect.

I am loving  all these cute stamps, and have more on their way to me - so that I have enough variety to make a range of cards (and to have lots of play with), and the April SMAK kit should be released soon too :D 

Materials: Homemade art journal, various acrylic paints, gelliplate, brayer, unity stamps (March SMAK kit and Itty bitty: key to today), white pen, staples brand black rollarball pen - works wonderfully! Homemade spray inks.... and I think that's it :)

Friday, March 22

Enjoying the last few...

Yesterday, James and I went up to Blue Mountain, in Collingwood Ontario, for one of our last snowboarding days of the year. We have had some winter storms lately, which have given us a lot of snow. But, with it being later in the season, the night skiing is we only have a couple days free to go up.

It was a beauty of a day, and spent most of it on the North side of the hill doing the Black Diamond runs (and some double diamond runs for him). I just couldn't believe how beautifully sunny and warm it was. Such a change from the freezing nights we have been up.

I also managed to "rig" a camera over my desk to start video taping the progress of some work, and then maybe some tutorials! I'm still working out some camera seems to only like to record 20 minutes at a time, so I might just have to work around that. But hopefully, soon, I will have something to show you all. :D

Tuesday, March 19

Weekend Snippits

Just a couple snippets from the weekend. I was on night shift, and so I slept most of the day, but when I was up, I still engaged in some creative goodness. I made the little card above. I began the lesson from this week, from Life Book - taught this week by Tim Sally :D I also completed two commission paintings that I had started earlier in the week. 

Now, I'm just sitting here, enjoying my coffee for the last 5 minutes before I head into work. I'm days this week, and I have Thursday off (so far) so I hope to be dabbling in a lot of creative goodies! I also think, that I might look into how to set up my camera to videotape working on my artwork. Just maybe...

Sunday, March 17

A Peek Inside my Sketchbook

I've been stamping up a storm in my sketchbooks, playing with my new stamps. Mostly learning how they respond in different instances, such as inked with an ink pad vs. with a faber-castell marker vs. aquamarkers. As well, as just playing with different stamping combinations. 

I love this finger pointing stamp, especially in front of the layered arrow / chevron stamp.

I think this particular sketchbook will be my 'stamping sketchbook' for now one...I was never really fond of the paper in this particular one for drawing, but it takes to stamps wonderfully! I'm so glad it can now be filled up with goodness :)

Saturday, March 16

March Unity Inspired Challenge

This week I got my March Unity SMAK kit in the mail! I was super excited to try it out, and immediately started inking up the stamps and playing around with everything! I have never been a huge stamper, so this is completely new domain for me. After playing around, I decided to make a card for their Unity Inspired Challange, and above is what I came up with :) I stamped the background, and used some paper accents from the Soho Garden paper pad from American Crafts (the newspaper-flower bit), which I then coloured in with my Letraset Aquamarkers. I used Aquamarine ink for the blue background stamping, and my faber-castell artist big brush pens for the pink - they are wonderful for colouring on stamps, and give great impressions!

Here are some closer looks at this months SMAK kit:

These stamps are huge - perfect for my canvases! I put a quarter in the middle of them all, so you can see how big they really are. This set came with over 40 stamp pieces - so excellent value! This particular kit is based on 'Chalk Board Elements' there is a lot of words for this particular kit. But looking at other kits, there are so many texture stamps. I just cannot wait to see what I get next month!

Just a wonderful close up picture to show the quality of these stamps. Now, I know in the beginning I admitted that I'm not much of a stamper - so maybe my opinion on quality is not very relevant. But, so many artists talk about how wonderful these stamps are, and how the red rubber holds up to mixed media goodness so, so well!

I've already stamped a few onto a couple canvases in progress as well. Just love playing with these!

Friday, March 15

Inglis Falls

James and I decided to go see Inglis Falls, where we live in Owen Sound, this week while we were waiting on pizza at our local (and much loved) momn'pop pizza joint. I had gone last year, during the summer and it was so pretty. But this time, with all the snow and ice - is was a completely different waterfall!

There is that huge chunk of ice on the right that is just waiting to break would be amazing to see.

Just to give an idea of just how much water was flowing and how fast, here's a picture of the falls from the hike with my mom and younger brother this past summer:

 We might just have to hike back to it this summer (instead of driving right to the falls) - it's a longer hike, but a good one.

Thursday, March 14

Mixed Media Progress

I have the beginnings of a small mixed media painting that I have been working on here and there the past little while - yes, I know I have a bazillion things on the go, but that's just how my mind works me options when I'm just not sure about another piece ;)

I started out collaging some various papers - book pages, patterned paper, mini-cards (Tim Holtz). 

Then I added more interest to the page by stamping, doodling and adding washi tapes. I like to do this because I find that it 'blends' all the edges of the papers together. I focus on adding these bits inbetween paper edges, or over multiple paper edges. You don't notice them as much as seperate paper pieces here as much.

Next I added some true texture with modelling paste and stencil, and tinted it with some paint (golden: quinacridone magenta, Liquitex: Light portrait pink)

And finally, I went over everything with glazes of pale colour (except for a specific focal point that I wanted reserved). I mixed glazing medium with lots of white, and the light portrait pink and light blue (there is paint all over the tube, so I cannot see the name). I put especially opaque paint in some areas, and a more clear glaze in others so that parts that I wasn't so fond of, or areas that have a lot of other stuff going on are more covered than parts that I really liked and wanted to show through. 

...and that is where I leave you with this piece, for now. I sort of hit a 'block' with it - I know parts that I want to do, but I need to know how I want the rest to go before I proceed. I might end up just 'winging-it' and proceed that way. We will just have to see how I'm feeling when I get back to it :)

Wednesday, March 13

Old mattresses and Oreo

I just loved how this picture turned out - Oreo was just sleeping on the top of an upright mattress (an old one, we just got ours replaced...this one must be 10-15+ years old, so we were due!). How he gets up there is just as entertaining as watching him contemplate how to get down...those familiar with Oreo know that he's got some pudginess to him ;) But when he is up there, I swear he is in heaven. He just looks so utterly comfortable. I think his body fits perfectly into the worn and slouchy mattress sides hehe. What a mean sweetheart... :)

Tuesday, March 12

Life Book Week 10

Last week's Life Book lesson, which I completed last night after a very busy day at work, was taught by the host of Life Book, Tamara Laporte. It was celebrating our heart connections. It was such a fun, messy project that I thoroughly enjoyed creating this piece to add to my collection of Life Book pages!

I created the background last week, right away after watching the video and then 'sat on it' for the rest of the week, not sure what to do next. The background is predominately reds and oranges, which is a little unusual for me - I tend to go to the blue, green and purples more (love, love, love green! ;) Here are some juicy detail images of all the texture and layers!

I just watched Week 11's video too - but I first must answer some emails, pack some orders and work on some commissions before getting into's another fun one though!