Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Diva Challenge #363, a Duo-challenge and other artsy endeavors

"Laura's Aura's"

Who doesn't love auras?

My Monday morning cafe set up

This page in my DIY journal seemed like a good candidate for the task at hand. Instead of actually aura-ing sections, I chose some patterns built by aura. I was watching some YouTube this morning and caught this video. I love how she was drawing "Pepper" and decided this could be considered an aura pattern. That's my story and I'm sticking to it;-) Then of course, one of my mac 'n cheese patterns, Sandswirl and then Pixioze.

Then I moved on to this

The Weekly Duo-Challenge

Now and again, I'll tweak Joey's front & center placement slightly to give myself the option to carry it over to the other side later if I want..
Adele's challenge was to do a Zen Button. I've seen so many of these all over the internet and I love them but I've never made one. Adele linked to this great tutorial from Marguerite Samama. I chose not to do the white charcoal pencil highlight thinking it might throw off the balance of the two sides. I know it's the key to getting the 3-D effect and I may go back and do it later. maybe. I can see some 3D potential in the Joey side, but frankly, I'm wiped out. I've been home sick with a cold for a couple of days. It hit me quick and hard, so I've been home drinking turmeric almond milk tea for two days and arting between naps.
I'm headed off to Cheese Camp Sunday thru Tuesday and I can not be sick! I won't be able to go if I'm still sick. Even if I'm mobile and feeling ok, it's a sanitation thing because we're actually going to be touring several cheese making farms and the production rooms so I can't be coughing and hacking all over the place. The cough is what always lingers when I'm recovering from a cold. So, fingers crossed. 

In other art:
My most recent hand bound watercolor journal

I followed this SeaLemon coptic stitch bookbinding tutorial.

a page inspired by this video at CeeCee Creations

another CeeCee inspired water color page

a page of watercolored and brush pen butterflies
inspired by Maremi Small Art

I liked the idea of adding butterflies to my art journal pages and wanted to make my own. I've been working on this page for a couple of weeks. I printed a layout of butterflies from the internet and traced the silhouettes onto watercolor paper. Then using a wet on wet technique, I wet within the silhouette with clean water, picked up a bit of paint on the the tip of the brush and  dripped the pigment into the wet shape and let it spread and feather. When the paint was all dry I used a black brush pen to do all the line work, using a variety of images from the internet to inspire the different details.
I color copied them and did a couple of reductions as well. I'll cut them out and use them in my art journals and perhaps some envelope art.

Travelling Tangles I completed this past week:

My finish... Heidi Whitney's gorgeous start

My finish... this cool start by Angie Lorandos

another finish... Angies start

My finishes...

to these gorgeous starts by Megan White
travelling from Kentucky

I'm happily overwhelmed by the generous starts I've been receiving in the mail. Some of my swap buddies are sending me 4, 5 or 6 pieces. I'm having a lot of fun with them 'cuz  now I start seeing the art journal potential with so many of them, especially those that are not traditional Zentangle.
I always work through all of the pieces in the order that I receive them rather than pick and choose what speaks to me.  It's so much more fun (the more out of my comfort zone the better) but mostly out of respect to the senders that were quick with their part of the exchange. What's that saying? "You can't wait for inspiration, you have to chase it down with a stick".

She's ready for her close up
and she looks so wise doesn't she?

Thanks so much for stopping by. Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me;-)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Weekly Challenges and other artsy stuff

Use My Tangle Monday: "Somnee"

This weeks UMT pattern "Somnee" is by The Diva herself, created from some doodling during a bout of insomnia;-) I LOVE this pattern and it is seriously Zen.
I'm back in the DIY journal and as luck would have it, I actually had my Staedtler Triplus Fineliners out as I was pondering my first return Travelling Tangle tile. I was flipping through my journal and this watercolor page stopped me in my tracks. Circles were down in a matter of seconds. I only meant to contain Somnee to the upper left corner but I was having so much fun with it, I kept on going;-)

Before shading and misting

I like the way the Staedtler's are water soluble so I like to get them wet when I'm done, hence the bit of blur on the finished piece. That's  just my thang;-)

The start
Duo Challenge

This is where I took my first break
I loved the IAST side but had no idea where to go next

This was a challenge and it took me awhile to get back to it. In the interim, I finished some Travelling Tangles from Heidi Whitney. She sent me a bunch of cool stuff.

Heidi's start...

I've been noodling around with "Soul star" in my sketchbook

Heidi's cute little Bijou start

I totally swiped the rosebuds from something I saw on Today's Tangles
because I love flowers;-)

Heidi sent me a blank Metaphorist tile
I LOVE these!

 Happy mail is so awesome! I've never heard of these before. I don't know if you can see the texture of the surface but it's like linen. I saw something on Today's Tangles that inspired the design and I had so much fun drawing this. I used a black Staedtler Triplus Fineliner (a recommendation from another swap pal) and I really have to refrain from misting some water on this because I didn't even want to shade it. The black fineliner bleeds out a cool shade of brown that I love...another time perhaps;-)

It's been a while since I've done the Travelling Tangles, but if anyone is not familiar with it you should check out The Travelling Tangles Project on Facebook. We swap partially started tiles and finish them off. It's such great inspiration for getting out of your comfort zone and learning something new and it makes a trip to the mailbox a lot more fun too;-)
Once I've built up a stash of them, I want to start a new mixed media journal using the cards and envelopes as the base to showcase each finished tile. Stay tuned!

More flowers...

In the DIY art journal

This was a page I'd started weeks ago. I was cleaning off one of my watercolor palettes and dropped down some murky circles that I eventually used for flower practice and then left it at that. Yesterday, I felt compelled to add some colored pencil to brighten up the colors, then I deepened some shadows with a Tombow brushpen...then...what the heck, let's do a background. I love what came out of a page that was essentially a throwaway.

"I'm trying to bathe here!"

Thanks so much for stopping by! Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Weekly Challenges and a Travelling Tangles Reboot

"Amanda Day"
favorite organic patterns

The Diva is back this week with her 7th Earth Day Challenge and it couldn't have come at a better time!

recycled bits and pieces

a piece of cardboard 
found bookmarks

I'm in the beginning phases of what I hope will be a massive overhaul/re-organization of my art supplies, mixed media bits, journaling supplies and works-in-progress/abandonned art  so I can more efficiently get on with my "Just Use It" campaign. I'm going all mixed media on everything I can.
I found my little box of pre-painted tiles and ATC's which included the cardboard tile  that I'm pretty sure I made for last years challenge. I also have a bunch of bookmarks I've collected from my cafe over the years. One of my neighbors and fellow cafe patrons is a print artist and constantly refills the book shelf with trimmings from her art. As I completed the artwork on the two bits this morning, I looked over to the stack of coasters and found the perfect frame;-) This was fun!


Joey's challenge started this off with Spoken. I've only used this pattern once. My spokes were wonky and the spacing is off. I almost started over, but thought better of it. This isn't about perfection. Adele's challenge introduces Lily Moon's new pattern "Caracole" and "Mumsy". I've been wanting to play with Caracole and I had a feeling it was gonna show up here. I forget to use Mumsy, but I love it. This one came together much easier than usual. Thank goodness.  The fill patterns in the Spoken side were inspired by something I saw on Margaret Bremner's blog The Enthusiastic Artist.

I was also inspired to work my way through the box of tiles and ATC's, though I rarely use them anymore in my day to day drawing and Zentangle practice. Awhile back, I discovered a several sheets of super cool postage stamps tucked in a Goodwill book I bought ages ago. Serendipity? so, I made a bunch of Travelling Tangle starters, decorated a stack of random envelopes and mailed out some Happy Mail yesterday!
I want to make a Travelling Tangle Mail Art Journal. Stay tuned!

A few of my swap pals have asked about the backgrounds. Here are a couple of links:

my watercolor tutorial
Susan Rink Olsen's Art Tissue Paper technique
The blue soapy bubbles from this YouTube video

I have  a very large collection of mediocre and just darned ugly tiles from over the years. I never throw anything away.

Upcycling yucky old tiles...

...into mixed media envelopes...

...oh...I think not.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

A Duo Challenge and Other Artsy Stuff...


I had fun with this one...once I got over the hump of Frames. I love how it turned out but I am the worst at complex grid patterns. Not gonna lie...I did it in pencil first;-)
Adele's challenge offered up some super fun accompaniments to Frames with Flukes, Cubine and a new fun fave Elirob and her string flowed pretty well from my Frames set up.

Mixed Media art journal
One of my cosmic garden Diva Challenge pieces repurposed

Since The Diva took a break this week I thought I'd share a couple of  pieces I worked on with past Diva art as my jumping off point.

I finished off my set up from last weeks Duo-tangle challenge
playing more with last weeks IAST patterns Tupuk and Flec

Napkin Doodlin's
Platinum Preppy 05 fountain pen
Izirozuki Kon Peki blue ink

I love the gradation of bleeding

Here's one of my DIY hacks for making my own components for my mixed media art journals. I do this at the cafe when I'm watching YouTube videos. They're super quick and it's a good way to get a bit of detailed line work on top of heavily textured and acrylic surfaces.

My Cheese Art

Where's my cheese?

Thanks so much for stopping by! Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me:-)

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Diva Challenge #360 and the Duo-Challenge

Duo-Tangle: Shattuck & Tripoli
"All of your Art is practice for more Art"-The Diva

I'm really enjoying the DIY art journal for these challenges lately. I started out thinking of the watercolor background as a stand of trees, then I saw feathers. Feathers and trees. Why not?
Tripoli is one of those patterns that took me  the longest time to wrap my pen around  so I was quite pleased with myself at being able to corral it into that oval whereas in the past I'd always been so intent on getting the triangles consistent that it went off the rails and frustrated me. Now I know better;-)
This quote came back to me while I was working on the shading. I was remembering what Laura said while she was finishing up her YouTube video of last weeks finger string challenge about having an art practice. Wise words;-)

The start

The Diva's quote could not have been more relevant as I struggled worked my way through the duo-challenge.

Duo Challenge

Duo Challenge
I got stuck

Joey starts this one off with "Relly Telly One" Front and Center. Adele's curvy/loopy string brings "Tupuk", "Flec" and "Fassett" into the mix and flowed quite nicely from the point of  RellyTellyOne which I'd drawn on Monday. I ended up partially using the loops in Adele's string to inspire the curved and wavy lines I eventually built Tupuk on.
It started off so well because all of the patterns were either ones I've enjoyed before or in the case of Tupuk, a new-to-me pattern that not only fit into my wheelhouse, but it's creator Ria Matheussen is one of my ZenPals (as is Jem Miller, the creator of "Flec").
Then I got stuck. It happens all the time with these and I've learned to take a break or two. This one vexed me more than usual, but as soon as I recalled The Diva's wise words I reminded myself that these Duo-Challenges are meant to be exercises in balance and contrast. It's busy and a bit cluttered  but that's ok.
I procrastinated a bit over at the Zentangle Mosaic app and saw one of Maria's tiles where she "Orbed and Aura'd" Crescent Moon. More wise words "When in doubt...Aura! " So there ya go;-)

Other artsy stuff:

Abstract botanicals
DIY art journal
brush pen

Blue Botanicals
DIY art journal
Platinum Preppy fountain pen
Iroshizuko Kon-peki blue ink

Multi media art journal

She cracks me up when she does this
in the midst of grooming she'll suddenly freeze
and stare into space 

Thanks so much for stopping by. Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me;-)