Saturday, 26 July 2014


With this page I really wanted to be quite wild and free, especially in the colour department!  It was one of those times when, as quite often happens, I had no idea what I wanted to say until I got around to saying it. Below was the painted background I started from - it took me a while to realise that these could be as messy as I liked, since most of it will be covered up anyway.
Interesting how different colours can look in varying lights - the above picture was taken in the evening under electric light, but the others in the daytime, where you can see the true red and oranges more clearly.

I'd found these bits of doodly scrapbook paper left over from another project, and just loved these scribbly shapes, so cut some out and just plonked them down.  By the way I use PVA glue (Anita's) to stick down everything, I buy a big bottle and then decant it at need into little fine top glue bottles - cheap and easy.

I've recently discovered the joys of printed tissue paper, which I put on with gel medium - if you see any grab some, it makes great collage, and I like the transparency of it.  I've got some plain tissue and plan to try printing my own using stamps - yet another item on my long list of things to get around to ....
Next I used a fine liner pen to sort of extend the wiggly lines a bit, but then I just went for it with a Promarker and drew huge squiggles as well. The page had got to this stage when it suddenly came to me what I wanted to say, so I wrote it in grey Posca paint pen - I get these at my local art materials shop.
And after that I just did my usual pleasurable squiggling and doodling, mostly using the Posca pens.  These come in different nib thicknesses and buying a few at a time I've now got a nice selection of colours.  The general loudness of the page (I was thinking fireworks and names in lights) made me realise that I don't want those things any more, if I ever did.  Fame is over-rated it really is, not that I seem to be at real risk of having any!!  That's the way I like it, burbling along in my own little corner of the world, with occasional travels to broaden my mind.

We've just done something totally out of character - which is to impulsively bring home a stray cat which had been hanging around a place we visit regularly for a week.  Now he (newly named William) and Stanley appear to be good buddies after less than an hour's acquaintance, and have taken themselves off upstairs on a voyage of exploration.  How nice is that?  And we'll overlook the deep scratches on my arm from trying to stuff a very frightened little cat into a carrier .... he didn't mean it.  Note to self, do NOT fall head over heels for this little chap until we've checked in at the vet's on Monday and established whether or not he's micro-chipped.  Hmmm, might already be too late on that one.

Saturday, 19 July 2014


Just a quick post because I've been away this week and am still tired.  This is a page I was particularly pleased with - I've seen some black and grey pages that intrigued me but didn't want to do without colour completely, so told myself I could have just one!

Unfortunately I was so absorbed in what I was doing that I forgot to take a picture until I got to the point below, but I think you can probably see its evolution anyway?  The background is Caran D'Ache crayons as usual, and I added a grey border with Posca paint pens.  I've made myself some collage sheets using Modigliani images (now out of copyright), and when making copies I accidentally pressed the black and white button instead of colour.  Great result, talk about serendipity, and I've loved using the black and white images, and of course the lady bottom right is one of these.

The glasses are the top are a stamp by Stampers Anonymous - a Memento ink pad works well over the crayons as long as they aren't too thick and waxy.  Then as you can see I let rip with the writing, except for the drawing of a life plan page, and some Posca Paint decorations in the top right corner.
The little panel in the bottom right is another home-made collage sheet - I borrowed an idea from Teesha Moore and made colour copies of some of my pages and cut them up to make collage images for future use.
Not nearly as much doodly drawing on this one because I actually like the spaces here.  Luckily I took this photo of the finished page BEFORE disaster struck!  I had used a very soft pencil to add shading around the figure and noticed it was coming off onto the facing page, so decided to seal this one using Mod Podge.  I THINK that what I'd used for some of the writing may not have been totally dry, so to cut a long story short the black lettering got smeared.  Aaarrgghh.  I've cleaned it up as best I can but the result is nowhere near as clean and crisp as in this picture.  Lesson learned.  I just love these colours though, and can't wait to use them again!!

And as for being more clear sighted ... well that's a work in progress, but I am trying not to be someone who is just swept along by things but to make and implement decisions to achieve the things I'm after.  Its all a bit hit and miss, what with the brain fog, and I don't have much control but I do have a BIT.  And that helps.  I'll keep working on it!

Saturday, 12 July 2014


Here's another background done with Neocolour II water soluble crayons by Caran d'Ache - I am amazed how much more vivid they are when put on over a gesso base - how come I never knew that before?  I loved how these colours came out so much that I forgot to take a basic picture until after I'd added the foliage, doodling and Modigliani lady!  I used Posca paint pens to colour the leaves because they give an opaque colour over the background - I was just doodling and drawing here because I didn't immediately know what the page would be about.
But when I looked at it again, the point of the piece was obvious - I just LOVE these colours and they make me smile.  Simple as that.  So that's what I wrote, and then I doodled some more in the spaces.  Job done.
We can easily make art journalling into something which seems complicated and difficult, but it needn't be. Just throw down some layers in intense colours that make you smile, add some collage elements you like, do a bit of doodling, then write whatever comes to mind!  Don't let the idea that you have to write something profound and deep stop you from just having a go.  If you don't have words of your own you can always use a wisdom saying or quotation that strikes a chord.  Personally I rarely do that because this is my journal, my diary if you will, so I like the writing to be authentically my own thoughts and words, but you can do whatever works for you.

Now I must go and iron some stuff as I'm going away for a few days ... a change is as good as a rest, and I WILL be taking my basic journalling kit with me!

Saturday, 5 July 2014


Quite recently I was talking with a friend who said - you've messed up quite a few times in your life haven't you?  I agreed this was sadly true, and also that it was highly likely to happen again, because its what we human beings do. You try not to, and you do get better over your life at making fewer mistakes, just as you grow in self-knowledge of what you are and aren't good at.  Some of the most important things I've learned have come through the painful lessons of getting stuff wrong, but I choose to embrace that rather than allow myself to be forever haunted by my mistakes.

I must acknowledge a very strong Teesha Moore influence here - these flower garden shapes were outrageously copied from a piece she did, and I was impressed enough to give them a go.  I still like them but don't think they'll find their way into my journals regularly, they're just not authentically "me" somehow, but you only find that out by experimenting.
The flowers (or are they cactii?) are done with Promarkers, as is the background below.  The markers aren't the best medium for covering a large area, but they sort of workm and I wasn't too worried about getting a perfect finish on the page because I knew I was going to write over this.  I do absolutely love lime green and blues together but maybe that's just me?
So then came the writing - which as I've explained came directly out of a conversation with a friend.  Then as ever I laid down the basic lettering before going back and fancying it up.
And all that was left to do was add doodly dots and so on ....  which of course, I did!
The result is interesting but as I said, probably not something I would revisit just because it owes so much more to Teesha than myself, and that's not the way I want to make art.  Some techniques - like the wormhole doodling also learned from her - become part of you because it instinctively feels right and/or you just LOVE the effect.  This process of self discovery and sincere imitation is all part of learning and growing, and you have to try things out in order to know what works for you.  I'd be pleased and proud if anybody copied something I did - as long as they credited me with the original idea!

Anyway, like I said, we all mess up sometimes, some more than others, but the main thing is to LEARN from what we do, right or wrong.  And I have.  Just don't ever think that I can't make lots of new mess-ups because I can and do .....

PS My stats show that 260 visitors looked at my last post, yet only a handful commented.  This is just to say that it means a great deal to me to know that you're out there and that my blogging is helpful to you .... especially on the days when it seems like too much effort to keep going with it.  So please, say hi now and again just so's I know I'm not talking to myself.  Tell me what you like or what you might want to see more or even less of!