Monday, 29 April 2013

Happy in my play

Oh to have a day when I can puddle ... and today is that day.  No appointments, nothing that I have to do, just a day to be ... so I did.

There is absolutely no rhyme or reason for what is on this page, I just wanted to play.  I have used gold paint around the edges and to create the honeycomb effect using a TCW stencil - chicken wire reversed (The Crafters Workshop).  There is a little bit of Twinkling H2O pewter in the corners and a wash of gesso over the entire page.  The words "joy" and "play" are chipboard alphas which have been painted and then done over with nail polish (gold and then black crackle).  The 'leaves' were cut from an old story book, inked around the edges and then the paint dripped down, spritzing it with water to make it splay out everywhere.

Jemima Puddleduck, that's me.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Creativity takes courage

When I was studying Art Therapy one of the phrases that struck a chord with me was "Trust the Process".  It was the title of a book by Shaun McNiff, a well known and well respected art therapist.  It takes courage to put yourself out there - art reveals your innermost thoughts and feelings and you really have to trust what is being put on the page.  As I started art journaling the significance of trusting the process became even more evident.  

When I open my journal to a new page I have no idea of where I am going to start nor what shape my art will take.  Apart from some seepage from previous pages, I really have a blank canvas.  I start with gesso - it's almost like that is getting me "in the mood" so to speak.  Then I see what jumps out at me from the supplies on my desk.  Sometimes it is paint, sometimes ink, sometimes texture - and then I just start playing.  At some point I feel like I am finished and I add the sentiment, give it a final coat of mod podge and I am done.  The sentiment sometimes comes to me as I work or once I have finished - however it happens, it is usually relevant to where I am at and what I have created - I have found that they usually go hand in hand.

When I look at what I have created I can see that there has been a process.  There are layers upon layers, sometimes ugly layers, sometimes beautiful layers, but all those layers make up the whole.  A bit like life really, isn't it.  Food for thought?

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Scrapfest by the Sea Recipe Challenge

Another Scrapfest challenge.  This one is a recipe challenge - it can be a layout, a card, off the page or whatever but it must contain all of the following items -

1 piece of cardstock (any size) white 

At least 4 pieces of patterned paper (any size) text, music, floral & chevron   
At least 5 flowers check - double layer daisies
A piece of thread/string/ribbon seam binding ribbon dyed with distress inks 

Some texture paste gel medium with bubble wrap impression 

Some paint/spray paint, spray and ink 

A tag (any size) hiding under the ribbon (with a piece of the chevron paper attached) 

Something sparkly flower centres and each petal has kindy glitz (doesn't show up too well in the photo) 

And 4 photos filmstrip with photos - special effects added to change the colour

This is my interpretation -

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Afraid of failure???

As always, my art journal seems to always end up reflecting what is hiding/lurking in my sub-conscious and this one is no exception.

When I was diagnosed with Lymphoma, someone suggested I write a bucket list - things I wanted to do, things I wanted to achieve.  This was not so much of the "having to get them done before I die" mentality but really having something to look forward to and focus on living.  Some of them terrified me, like skydiving, something that fascinates me but scares me at the same time (I've always joked that this one was just pencilled in).  At the time I figured that if I was going to die then I must as well give it a go as I had nothing to lose - right?!?!   

Anyway, I have always wanted to be a model but, of course, did not have the right physique or looks for that, and definitely did not have the courage.  A couple of weeks ago I plucked up courage to answer an ad looking for 'normal' people - so I applied (what was I thinking).  I got an interview and last week got a call back for a photo shoot.  As it gets closer I have had second thoughts - is the company legit? can I afford to do this? will I be able to find the time?  All these things have been running through my mind.  As I was playing around with different techniques and paints in my journal, this quote was playing around in my head - "don't be afraid to fail; be afraid not to try".  So that is what I am going to do, I am going to try.  I have no idea where this is going to take me but I will never know if I don't try.  My photo shoot is this Friday and we will see what happens from there.

The background is a textured handmade paper from Paperzone and the stencil is from The Crafters Workshop collection - it's called Butterfly Meadow.  The pink flowers are my own creation.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013


Well, this page certainly went through a transformation.  This is nothing like it started out as - the base coat was blocks of colour that had been taped off.  When I took off the tape I was left with bright white strips which I tried to diffuse by spritzing with glimmermist - that just left a horrible muddy puddle.  From there it was all downhill with each 'layer' getting muddier and muddier.  I put some torn paper on and cover the entire thing with a light layer of gesso and started again.  This is what evolved and the quote is just so appropriate.  This page could have ended quite badly but by persevering with it I like what it has become.  Just like the caterpillar, each layer in it's own right was lovely - my problem was that it just didn't all come together cohesively - until it turned into the butterfly.

That's a bit like life lately - there seems to be a lot of things happening which, in their own right, are challenging, interesting, sometimes confusing, but they are still separate entities - having to wait patiently for it all to come together before I can see the big picture.

Hmmm, wonder what will come out next week ...

Tuesday, 2 April 2013


In the southern hemisphere we are moving through autumn and with the slightly cooler days a chance to clean up my art studio.  It has gotten a little out of control of late and was well overdue for a tidy up.  In the process I found products I had forgotten I had - things I used to use when I did glass painting, ceramics and the like. 

This page just started out as playing with what I had found to see what would happen.  The quote, by Leonardo da Vinci reads "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - seemed appropriate given the simplicity of the artwork.  However in pondering this further I have come to the conclusion that, for me, it is more about simplifying life rather than art.  How often do we complicate our lives and in the process put barriers in the way of being able to move forward.  Time to simplify - what do you reckon?