The Imaginoreaum-a video studio tour

To help kick off my blog and celebrate the return of regular posts here to my blog. 😊 I have done a video tour of my art studio. So you can see where all the creative madness takes place. I also wanted to share how I squirrel away all my tools and art fodder in my little basement studio.

Here are 2 panoramas I took of my studio to give you an overview.

My studio 1

Panorama from the front corner. On the left is my art journal desk and on the right my standing framing desk. My studio 2Panorama from the back corner. From here you can see all 3 of my work stations, left framing desk center my easel and far right my art journal desk. And of course lots of shelves for storage for all my art hoard. Here is the full video tour


Get Messy an Art Journal Challange

So I heard about the Get Messy Art Journal Challenge from one of my great Instagram Art Journal friends and had to check it out. I am so glad I did! 😀  you should check it out here:  I decided to join the group, both the prompts and tutorials have been great so far!

For my first warm up I used the free printable I got from them. I used it for the dust cover for the little book I am going to use as my dedicated get messy art journal.

Here is what the dust cover looked like before I started:

Dust cover before

As the first set of Get Messy prompts are going to be Love themed I thought the book title was appropriate.

Used my favorite color of Liquitex Ink! Deep Violet and my sponge Daubers to swirl it around.

Used my favorite color of Liquitex Ink! Deep Violet and a sponge Daubers to swirl it around.

I also decided to integrate this weeks challenge 5-Using Washi Tape in ways I normally don’t into this cover. So I used Washi tape to cover up the words that I did not want as part of my finished cover.

used my blue Sharpie Stained maker to draw squiggly lines up from the pages then a water brush to spread it around.

used my blue Sharpie Stained maker to draw squiggly lines up from the pages then a water brush to spread it around.

printed on tracing paper

I printed my free printable on to tracing paper (something I am slightly obsessed with in my art journal). I did several different sizes since my tracing paper is legal size and I did not know what size I wanted to use. One of the things I love about printing/copying on to tracing paper is it is so easy to see how it layers with your existing page. I tried a few possibilitys before deciding what size to use:image


I finally decided to cut it apart and make it follow the flow of the book pages:image

I also decided to use one of my other favorite techniques for this cover. Embossed aluminum foil. Which my brilliant Mom found is awesome to make in the SIZZIX machine with an embossing folder. This one is mad with the aluminum top of a disposable foil pan lid. image

I cut out one of the clocks and put it in the center on the bottom.image

After taking a break and coming back to it I decided I did not like the melony color on the top so I used more of the deep violet to cover it.image image

For the back cover I used more of the Liquitex Ink! in cerulean blue and quinacridone magenta on the back cover swirled with my sponge dauber. but the magenta turned out a bit muddy after it dried so I covered most of it with more deep violet.  image

I love all the different textures you can get with the sponge dauber here are some detail shots:image image image

Then I broke out my white Molotow paint pen and did some letteringimage

Decided to cover the back cover of my with #’s written cursive. I am totally loving the how the white Molotow pen pops on the swirly ink background.image

I decided to use the largest version of the printable on the back over the top of the # words. I used washi tape to attach the tracing paper by the corners. Instead of just gluing it down like I normally would. image


Finished dust jacket: 

Here it is on my new little art journal. I think I might touch up the text a bit but over all I am very happy with it: image

Super Easy Stencil Tutorial

Hi everyone,

Sorry it has been ao long since I have posted but it has been a busy summer for me. For most of June I was taking care of my Grrandma after her sugary and she has no internet. So that put me way behind on everything. To kick things back off I thought I would share a super easy way to make a stencil.

For this project all you need is:

1. A craft knife/ or swivel knife [I have this swivel knife from Hobby Lobby that I love]

2. A 4×6 print of a simple graphic image [Both CVS and Walgreens often have their photo prints on sale for 10 cent each]

3. A cutting board/mat

I started with a 4×6 print of this image of stained glass that I took:

DSC_3097 - Version 2I chose to use this for my test stencil because it is super easy design to cut out because you just follow the lines. So that is what I did I just chose one of the colored panels and cut along the black lines:

IMG_8591 - Version 2

In some areas I had to make the lines thicker so that my stencil would be strong enough,you want your lines between the cut outs to be about 1/4 and inch thick.I also tried to leave about a 1/2 inch border around the edges. Where I needed to make the lines thicker I just drew in the print with a sharpie and then cut along those lines:IMG_8576 - Version 2


When you have all your sections cut out your done! You now have a fun new stencil to play with in your art journal and mixed media projects!  The photo print yields a quite sturdy stencil, and it is super easy because the design is already done for you. Using a stained glass pic was perfect for this but anything simple and graphic would work like large flowers of graphic shadows. Even buildings with strong architectural lines, or a skyline would work. Here is what my finished stencil looked like:

Finished stencil

Finished stencil

The back of the stencil:

Back of the finished stencil

After I made my stencil of course I had to test it so I just grabbed a handy magazine add and a sharpie and stenciled away:

the stencil on the page using 2 repeats of the stencil

Detail I embellished the blue sharpie with a white paint pen, I also tried to color match the purple and greens in the image and colored the white text to make the printing in the ad disappear :

IMG_8581 - Version 2


Here is the finished page. I used the stencil about 6 different times a crossed the page. using it bolth face up and face down to get the mirror image of the design:

my finished stencil test page Finished page with stencil

I am very happy with how the stencil held up after use with pens and markers. But the color from the sharpie did bleed on the back paper of the print a bit. So I think I am going to put a coat or 2 of some acrylic satin varnish on the back before I try to use the stencil with wet media like paint or spray ink. I hope you find this tutorial inspiring and I would love to see how your stencils turn out if you make some of your own!




Update: I did coat the back of my photo print stencil with 2 coats of Winsor & Newton Galeria Acrylic satin varnish. I then let it dry over night and then used the stencil with both acrylic paint and brushed on ink. I am happy to report that it worked with both brilliantly, and then was easily cleaned (both front and back) with a damp cloth. I am continuing to be impressed with the durability of this little stencil. Below is my test page that I made, the blue on the right is the acrylic and the green is the ink:


Also if you would like to try and make your own stained glass photo print stencil. But happen to not have any photos of stained glass laying around, you can check out my Stained Glass photos in my smugmug gallery. You can even buy prints of ones that you like right from there and make them in to stencils for your personal use. I would love to see how they turn out if you do!

Pattern Play

Art Journal Page-11/29/2013

My Art journal is about experimenting, practicing, improving and diversifying my skills as an artist; but mostly it is the place I play. Some days I want to collage, some days I want to paint and other days I just want to draw patterns. The day I was working on this spread I wanted to create, but dragging out all my art mess out seemed like too much work. So I just grabbed my jar of pens and started drawing repeating patters inspired by the knitting I was doing at the time. Here is the result:

Detail L page

Detail L page

Detail Left page

Detail Left page

Detail Left page

Detail Left page

I find doing this kind of scale/half circle pattern very relaxing. I just love the way it grows across the page.

Looking across the pages

Looking across the pages


Finished L page

Finished Left page

Details of the Right hand page: Detail R page

Detail R page Detail R page


Detail Right page



Full finished Right page:Full right page, Brush pens over text

Full finished spread

Full finished spread

I did not take process photos for this spread like I normally do as it just me doodling across both pages. It was just simple and easy, but sometimes that is what we need. Play (even artistic play) does not always have to be highly imaginative and elaborate. Sometimes it can be simple, repetitive, and even formulaic. Like playing solitaire or duck, duck, goose, we love the simple order of the process. After all what makes something play is the attitude not the action. In this art journal spread what I needed was mental rest and rejuvenation of simple pattern play.


Swatches Art journal page-10/31/2013

I have done a little of everything in my art journal now. I was getting to know what would and media and materials would and would not work successfully with the paper in my encyclopedia. It has become clear from my experimenting so far that, acrylic paint, pens and markers. Work the best and would be my primary artistic tools from here on. Which is exciting for me because until now I have used a lot of acrylic and watercolor paint, and water color pencils. I am very comfortable using them, I know what I can achieve with them. But pens, brush pens and markers are not something I have very much experience with.

As I embarked on my art journaling adventure to try new media and new techniques. Having to use a new medium as my primary one fits in perfectly with that. I have now amassed a nice collection of pens, markers etc. and thought it would be nice to do a page of “swatches” that I can refer to that shows exactly what all my drawing materials look like on the paper in my art journal. So I left the top half of the page raw and painted the lower half with gesso (I have 3 colors white, gray and cream.) Just because it is practical does not mean it can’t also be pretty. With my basic shape stencil I used the different shapes to differentiate what kind of pen or marker each one is as well as to look pretty. Swatches Page process  1Swatches Page process  2 I used hexagons for the brush pens:Swatches Page process  4

Squares for the Itoya calligraphy markers. Triangles for the double tipped calligraphy markers. Swatches Page process  5I just used diagonal lines for the normal pens so it would easily show the width of the pen nib.Swatches Page process  6For the sake of space I just did a grid over the gessoed part of the page and used 1 box per color. With labeling between the different kinds of pen/markers:Swatches Page process  8 Swatches Page process  10 Swatches Page process  13

I bought some more brush pens later on so I just added more hexagons:Swatches Page process  14

and some more triangles:Swatches Page process  15 Swatches Page process  16Above each pen line I added the name and nib size:Swatches Page process  17Over the white gesso:Swatches Page process  18 The finished swatches spread:The finished swatches spreadThis was a fun and helpful spread to do, it appealed to my german love of order and method.


Art is the Filter

Art journal page from October 28-30th 2013
One of the objectives that I have set for myself doing this altered book art journal. Is to use what is existing on the original encyclopedia page to my advantage. To take what is there and amplify it, or use it as a jumping off point for my art work. I don’t want to just cover up what is there, I want to use it as a vital,component of my final work of art work. This page in particular really exemplifies successfully meeting that objective.

As soon as I saw this page I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I wanted to take the existing shapes on the page and continue them out across the page turning them into a larger pattern. When I first saw this page I was immediately drawn to the simple geometric shapes around the fluid flowing blue. The original page was a diagram of different kinds of filters they use to reduce air pollution, with two columns  of text underneath:creating the pattern(I of course forgot to take a pic until I had drawn my lines over the text, silly me.) As you can see in the pic above, first I took my black ITOYA Doubleheader Calligraphy marker and  drew my geometric framework from the existing uiilstration down to the bottom it the filterThen I used my dark blue Stained by Sharpie, brush pen to draw in the blue fluid swirly-ness. The Stained brush pens are intended for fabric but I have found that they work great on the paper in my encyclopedia. The blue was a great match for the darker blue color that was in the original illustration. I also added the yellow accents, with my ITOYA Doubleheader Calligraphy marker, color Dijon. Which was an almost perfect match for the yellow in the illustration.

Duplicating the existing illustration to create the pattern up to the top of the page:Duplicating the existing illustration to create the pattern.

Continuing the patter up to the top of the page.

Continuing the pattern up to the top of the page.

art it the filterAfter I put in all the blue on the bottom of the page I felt that is needed some more yellow to balance it out. So I added the yellow radiating curves around the far right column.Art is the filter page  9Art is the filter page  4The Bottom section. After all my pattern was drawn I also decided to cover the surrounding text on the bottom of the page with gray to help visually “knock it back”.

Details of the finished page:art is the filter art is the filter Mechanical Collector

the top section

Finished top section

the original illustration with embellishments. I added the dark blue over parts of the existing illustration. as well as made some of the black lines thicker to match the parts I drew:

Art is the filter page  3

Art is the filter page  4

Finished bottom section of the page.

and of course I like to sign and date each page when I finish it.I like to sign and date each page when I finish it I started the page on October 28th and finished it on the October the 30th.

The full finished page:the finished Art is the Filter page

This is one of my favorite pages because when I set out to make this encyclopedia in to an altered book art journal this is what I wanted it to be. taking the already great illustrations that it contained expand and enhance them. Taking what was an outdated and cast aside relic of the pre-digital age and reincarnating it into a fascinating, enduring and beautiful work of art that will withstand the test of time. So this page is one of my favorites because with this page at least I feel I have successfully met those goals.

Enter the Dark Forest

Where do I start my pages? Sometimes I start with a color, or an Idea of what I want to draw. or I start with a collage image, or a page in my encyclopedia that inspires me. For this page I started with a collage image:

Which measures about 4″ square, as soon as I saw it I could see in my minds eye the black and white forest growing up, moody and mysterious, around it on the page. Starting from that inspiration I went flipping through my encyclopedia to find the page it should go on.

This is the page I chose for my, enter the dark forest spread. I chose it for 2 reasons:
1. On the left hand page I thought the many small columns already were creating the blocked out forms of trees for my forest.

2. The picture of the shoreline on the right hand page already created a natural horizon line for my spread.

Here is how I used the shape of the columns to create my trees around:20140416-184810.jpgAfter I drew in my major tree shapes I went to collage on my inspiration image, but could not help myself and copied it on to tracing paper first:

inspiration photo copied on to tracing paper

Then added it to my page:

Enter the Dark forest art journal spread


To match the black and white image for my page I decided to use only gray and black so I used three of my Faber-Castell brush pens and a black and grey ZIG clean color real brush pens:


For the large tree that was going to attach to the branch that the girl in my inspiration pic was walking on. first I drew the outline for the tree then wet the page inside the tree before adding in my “bark” lines for a softer watercolor look:

wet the page then used my Zig real color brush pen


This is the first time I have used this black Zig brush pen and it looked more purple than I expected when watered down but I am still happy with it.

girl out on a limb.jpgI love how the text underneath shows through the tracing paper.


After I was finished with all the trees on the Left hand page. I finished out the right hand page, as I try to use what is existing on the page, I made england and the coast of europe in the map into trees.  I also made the water in the picture into a pond in my forest.

Turned the places on the map into trees

I like the balance of the collage image with the image that was printed on the opposite page. Here is the finished spread:

finished enter the dark forest spread


I enjoyed the simplicity of using only the blacks and grays in this spread.