Thursday, 31 January 2013

Journal Candy Workshop

Over the past five weeks I've been having a great time learning new art journaling techniques with Rachelle Panagarry from Art Eye Candy.

Here's a few of my pages:

Altered Book

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Shells' Six Thoughts on Sunday.

1. Started a new painting, a confetti tree painting with a stencilled background.

2.  Went out with my BFF on Friday - she turned up wearing the same colours - red shoes, denim capris and a red shirt.

3.  I found some mister bottles to make my own spray paint.  Experimented with my glass chopping board to see if it made good prints and the answer was no, not really, I need a Gelli Arts plate. So I used those sheets to experiment with the spray bottles and stencils.  This is an activity to be done in your art studio or outside on an old sheet, in the kitchen is not really a good idea if you don't want to spend half an hour scrubbing little dots off of your lino floor.

4.  I found these papers which I thought would be great for art journalling.  I really like the idea of them so I'll make some of my own to add to my mixed media art for sale. I have cut them all into individual pieces and put them in a bag so I can just grab one out and glue it down.

5.  We had coffee at a beautiful cafe with a gorgeous water feature.

6.  This week I discovered mixed media artist Donna Downey, she is my latest artist crush, I love watching her Inspiration Wednesday videos.  You must watch one if you like mixed media, art journalling or watching artists at work.  Donna speaks her thoughts as she goes along, she often has no idea what to do next - which I love as this makes her real - along with things go 'wrong', and you get to see how she keeps on going and fixes things.  It's awesome to watch her creative process in action, to see how she uses products and her techniques.  Her art is inspiring because one cannot simply copy it, it gives you ideas of what to do and the inspiration to just give it a go. Love, love, love Donna Downey.

Here's the art journal page I created after watching one (ok many) of her videos (better than tv). It's made on watercolour paper so it's curled up a bit...

And here's one of Donna's video - this one has extra footage taken from her computer so you can see her working (not just the journal), she has a puppy purse over her shoulder as she works and her pup pops his head out now and again, so cute and Donna often looks up at the camera and talks to us even though we cannot actually see her doing it.

So those are my six thoughts for Sunday, have a great week.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Butterfly Painting Using Artistcellar Stencil

Here is my latest painting, 'Butterfly in the Moonlight', which I created using the Artistcellar stencils.

I first saw these stencils through the Jill Berry's Artistcellar TEXTures Stencil Launch and Giveaway blog hop. I hopped through the blogs and entered the giveaways but didn't win so I bought some.  Lisa from Artistcellar even gave me a discount on the postage so that was awesome.

This is the stencil I used:

Here are some evolution shots:

Here are some tips for new stencil users - ie things I've learnt in the past couple of weeks about stencils:

1.  Practice and play around first esp with tools to apply paint such as a stencil brush and a brayer.  I used a stencil brush.  I haven't got any small spray bottles but that is next on my list to buy/use/try. And try out reverse stencilling - you will need 2 brayers/rollers and some plastic or freezer wrap to go between the paint down stencil and the clean brayer.

2. Thick paint is better than watered down paint.  Heavy body paint is good, in the finished painting the leaves at the bottom have been made with Golden Fluid Acrylics - so yes they are ok to use.

3.  Use a dry brush or get as much water out of your brush before loading up with paint.  Watery paint will run under the stencil - not a total disaster but it may not be the effect you are looking for. See bottom left painting the square on the top right, so I added another layer over it and a wash in parts too.

4. Decide whether you want those lines separating each stencil or you want them to join up together as I did for the butterfly painting.

The above stencil is from the Cathedral series. I used fluid acrylics which ran a little, on watercolour paper and then put a blue phalo wash over the top.

5. Keep warm soapy water in the sink/bucket to wash and clean your stencil regularly.  Paint will get under the stencil and when you move it to a different position you will have paint in places you don't want.  Keep some old tea towels handy too to dry off your stencil so you can get back to the fun.

6.  Contrasting colours work well - such as darks over light or light on dark. Once again, play around and experiment first.

7.  Research - Claudine Hellmuth has just introduced a new line of her stencils, her blog has some great tips and here is a great video clip from her:

Like all new tools they take some time to get use to, so I'm going to keep playing around with them and having fun.  Are you having fun with stencils too?

Monday, 7 January 2013

Believe in 2013

I have chosen BELIEVE to be my word for 2013.


[bih-leev] verb, be·lieved, be·liev·ing.
verb (used without object)
1. to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so: Only if one believes in something can one act purposefully.
verb (used with object)
2. to have confidence or faith in the truth of (a positive assertion, story, etc.); give credence to.
3. to have confidence in the assertions of (a person).
4. to have a conviction that (a person or thing) is, has been, or will be engaged in a given action or involved in a given situation: The fugitive is believed to be headed for the Mexican border.
5. to suppose or assume; understand (usually followed by a noun clause): I believe that he has left town.

I love this quote by Christian D Larson:

“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” 

In 2013 I will believe in:
~ my self
~ my worth
~ my talents, abilities and creativity.
~ my family, friends and community to support and encourage me
~ my choices and decisions
~ my hopes, dreams, plans and goals
~ love and faith 
~ the path I take and the course I choose   

I decided on believe mid-way through 2012 when I found that people did not believe in me as an artist.  Just because we believe we are artists does not mean that others think the same way I found out.  And later in the year when I spoke the truth to a friend they did not believe me.  I needed to believe in myself and not let others bully me around.

One Little Word started with Ali Edwards and here's a quote from her blog:

About One Little Word®

A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow.
In 2006 I began a tradition of choosing one word for myself each January – a word to focus on, mediate on, and reflect upon as I go about my daily life. My words have included play, peace, vitality, nurture, story, light, up, open and thrive. These words have each become a part of my life in one way or another. They've been imbedded into who I am and into who I'm becoming. They've been what I've needed most (and didn't know I needed). They've helped me to breathe deeper, to see clearer, to navigate challenges, and to grow.
I hope you'll consider joining me for the next One Little Word® workshop in January 2015 here at
Check out all my blog posts regarding One Little Word® here.
Click here to read a FAQ and more details about this project.

If you have chosen a word for 2013 and blogged about it then pop over to the Fly Tribe Word Hop blogpost and leave a link to your blogpost and I'll pop by in the next week and see what exciting word you have chosen.

Friday, 4 January 2013

I'm Not Crazy...

I'm not crazy,
I'm just a little unwell, 
My husband likes my hamster cheeks 
As my lymph nodes swell.

So, yeah, this is me, this is who I am, a 'selfie' pic I took a couple of days ago with huge, swollen and extremely painful glands.  And a white tongue - nice hey?

I went to the doctors a week ago with a swollen, painful lump by my left ear as the swelling had increased over night and moved under my ear.  I wanted to get it sorted out before New Year's .  The doc prescribed antibiotics but the swelling increased and a lump appeared on the other side that began to swell up and become painful. And the glands at the back of my neck were unhappy too.

Here in Perth we were experiencing a heatwave with temperatures reaching 42C/108F, I was getting very little sleep and becoming a little dehydrated and spent New Years Day on the couch doing nothing with no energy and in a lot of pain and feeling nauseous and headachy.  On Wednesday by the time I finally get in to see the doc I was beside myself and in tears, poor man.  He sent me for some blood test, one included Glandular Fever/Mono/kissing disease!!! The first results have come back normal and ok...I'll find out the other results later today.

But in the meantime.....this morning the swelling has decreased, I've discovered Nurofen/Ibuprofen is great for the pain but without the pain I tend to overdo things and really need to rest and delegate and ask/accept help.  My husband said that my body is fighting off a little infection and I laughed and said with little infections the glands don't swell so obviously there's some big battle going on in there and hopefully all the bad viruses will be destroyed soon and I'll be back to my regular programming.

My arty plans for January are taking part of Rachelle Pangarry's ArtEyeCandy's Journal Candy class which I've been looking forward too for a month and will hopefully feel well enough to get into it today whilst I rest (lol).

Over the weekend I played around with my new Artist Cellar stencils - Aussie friends do not be put off by the postage as Lisa the owner sent me a partial refund.  These are going to be great fun to play with and I've made some fun back grounds/painting already:

I've also been busy thinking about my word for 2013 and writing my blogpost in my head and playing around in pixlr with images and words.  I'll write my blogpost soon and schedule it for Monday when the FlyTribe Word Hop is scheduled - so looking forward to hopping round and reading about your word for the year.

I hope your New Year has gotten off to a much better start than mine.  Stay safe, keep well and take care,