Tag Archives: Art Journal 2014

Happy Solstice!


I’ve been spending a lot of time making gifts for others, but art is a gift I give myself: a Mandala to celebrate the victory of light over darkness.

Moonlight (glow in the dark!) gelly roll pens on black bristol board


Tangent #10: Icon Grids (+ Tangent)

Last weekend’s trip to the real art supply store also yielded a new trio of pens: Sakura Gelly Roll, Glaze, and Souffle, all in white.  I really like working in white on a dark background, and had recommendations for all. The latest post in Daisy Yellow’s Tactics and Tangents series gave me the perfect framework — and as usual, I took yet another tangent off of that.  DY Icon Grid + Tangent

On the left, the “pure” interpretation, albeit at a slightly larger-than-suggested grid size– just under a half inch — using mostly typographic characters as the icons. And on the right, my tangent-off-the-tangent, each grid filled with a unique pattern.

The final verdict on the white pens:  Gelly Roll is easy to use, goes on stark white and is in first place as go-to white pen; Souffle starts out transparent/barely visible, finishes with less distinct almost chalk-like appearance, suggesting subtle possibilities; Glaze starts out nearly invisible, finishes white but transparent, not sure when I will use but pretty certain I will.

It’s a Two-fer! Messing Around + Project Project Runway 13, Episode 12

This weekend I treated myself to a trip to the local “real” art supply store in the city and (among other things) bought some Inktense pencils. I’d never been happy with the results with my craft-store watercolor pencils, and had been itching to try the Inktense for a while.  Oh, boy — the color and the possibilities! My only disappointment was that I hadn’t acquired them sooner…


I didn’t have any immediate plans for this page beyond seeing what the pencils could do, but then serendipity struck in the form of Project Project Runway.  This week’s Challenge was to Create a look that is street chic, something  that can be worn everyday of the week, but is fashionable and progressive.

I reproduced my original art print in a reduced scale for the “canvas” short coat, worn over classic street-chic black knits: mock turtle tee, pencil skirt and leggings, and topped off with a cozy tomato red muffler in bulky mohair.  Operetta’s sense of drama gave the look real presence on the runway!

PPR 13 Ep 12 cropped

The judges were all impressed by the original fabric. Zac praised my good sense to let it speak for itself with a simple design; Heidi loved the colors and could see it over other things, from jeans to maybe even a gown; Nina used the word “editorialNo winners this challenge, only “in” or “out” — I think this look would have put me on the IN side of the equation.

Oldie But Goodie

Also recovered, thanks to my recent spurt of workroom organization — my “Mandalas Only” sketchbook, which I found hiding in a stack of pads of art paper.  I used to draw a mandala nearly every day; lately not so much.  I’ve got so much else I want to explore these days, but sometimes it just feel good to get back into the meditative rhythm that mandalas bring to me.

Lost&Found_Mandalas_100514_croppedThis new page of three, once again executed in my favorite black Sharpie pen and colored pencils, is different from those on the earlier pages in the book — more open space, more varied combinations of color.

Messing Around With Stuff I Found

I did some (more) organizing in the workroom over the past week. It’s a never-ending process, but I uncovered some (more) things I’d forgotten I had.

Case in point: a whole box of oil pastels, brand spanking new, never been used — 48 of ’em! I’ve been taking in the Dirty Footprints Studio Art Journal Wisdom workshop, and there it was — Day #4::Oil Pastel Love. Talk about serendipity — a little bit of experimentation was definitely in the cards!


Not sure whether this will ever become anything more than an experimental page, but I learned a lot. I want to do more with oil pastels (The colors! The blend-ability! The texture possibilities!) — and who knows, this could be the start of something…

Tangent #3 (at last) Accordion Book

This challenge took a while between start and finish:  Daisy Yellow’s tutorial for Accordion Book Tangent was posted way back on August 18th. Over the time I worked on it, the backgrounds on each side came out quite differently and I couldn’t decide how or, ultimately, if I’d bring them together.  One side’s Bright, all about Color; the other is Dark and about Process. Both feature squares randomly cut from glossy bookmarks and postcards collected at science fiction conventions I attended this year.

DY Accordion Book Bright Side croppedDY Accordion Book Dark Side cropped

Tangent #5: Beach Umbrella

DY Beach Umbrella cropped

Another 2-page spread in my re-purposed board book journal, sort of a second-cousin-once- removed from the Daisy Yellow’s Beach Umbrella tutorial.  A tangent-off-a-tangent, I guess — bright colored craft acrylic stripes, oil-pastel shading/highlights, over a black gesso-ed background, dip pen and white ink for between-the-stripes text. More thoughts on my relationship with control over the years, as this has officially become my “control” journal, tentatively named “Boundaries, Edges, Frontiers.”