Ain't No Ninny

Where Creativity and Everyday Life Collide


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Documented Life Project (DLP) Week 3: Color Wheel

The prompts for DLP come out each Saturday around noon.  I had planned to put off doing my page/spread until later in the week but it called to me yesterday.  These were the themes/prompts for the Documented Life Project week three:

January Theme
The Blank Page and How to Face It!
January 17
Art Challenge:  The Color Wheel
Journal Prompt:  “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way . . . “    – Georgia O’Keeffe

While searching for something else yesterday I came across an individual piece of mixed media paper, slightly larger than the size of the large Dylusions journal in which I am creating my DLP spreads.  It had papers and paint on it where I had started something a year ago but had not continued.  I decided that the colors were perfect for a color wheel (burgundy, magenta, teal, yellowish green, yellow with coordinating papers).  I started by spreading white gesso around the papers with a palette knife to integrate them with the background.  I scribbled into the wettish gesso with a pencil, leaving several marks that I hoped would peek up through the layers. Then I smeared more fluid acrylics in the same colors with my fingers and through two StencilGirl stencils (‘Angel Circle’ by Kate Thomspon and ‘Spider Flower by Terri Stegmiller). I adhered the Georgia O’Keeffe quote printed onto deli paper onto the top left side and finished by adding sketchy embellishments with a black Fude pen, a black Stabilo Marks All pencil and various Posca paint pens.

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In the photos below you can see the details of the painting, showing the pencil marks and different layers peeking up through from the original paper.

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For the second week in a row I worked fairly intuitively (no plan at the outset for where the page would go) and for the second week in a row I created a grunge-style painting.  I didn’t intend to do that but I am really liking the messy, colorful results of this intuitive experimenting I am doing.  I wonder where next week will take me?  We’ll see.

I had fun creating this and will continue on with more art journaling later today.  I hope your holiday is full of creativity also.  Happy Martin Luther King Day!


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Life Book 2015 Week 1: Beacon of Light

I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately but I’m already a week behind on the challenges in three out of the four art journal workshops I am participating in this year.  It’s not that I’m not motivated, it’s more that I feel scattered and unsettled and can’t sit long enough to finish anything with patience.

For the main challenge on Week 1 of Life Book 2015, we were supposed to draw and paint our own version of a Beacon of Light that we could turn to throughout the year to motivate or soothe or encourage us on our life’s journey.  Tamara Laporte provided both a video and a PDF file on exactly how to create her big-headed, big-eyed whimsical beacon of light figure which was done mostly in taupe and gold tones.  I tried one version and thought the head was too big.  And I tried to paint her in brighter tones so that she was more cheerful.  The problem?  I was too impatient while using a black paint pen on her eyes which blobbed all over her face.  I tried blotting and reworking the parts of the face that had been ruined but it didn’t work. I felt really discouraged and sat without doing anything for several days.

Yesterday I decided to start all over.  I sketched a new girl, not unlike the one I had ruined, but with a head that suited her figure better.  Tamara’s figure had ‘rays’ for a headdress.  I decided to create a moon headdress with a sun/halo behind it since I wanted my Beacon of Light to be both of the day and the night.  I sketched the figure using 9″x12″ 140# Cotman watercolor paper and a 0.5 mechanical pencil.

Beacon of Light Sketch

Then I got scared about painting her face, fearful that I would ruin it again.  I decided to paint the body first, which I did, and the face second.  I was really into the process by the time I was ready to do her face so I proceeded, using a light hand with acrylic paints. I decided to use fineline markers for her eyes rather than a paint pen.  It worked much better.  I used metallic IZink and Liquitex inks in teal, gold & silver for her hair/crown, her dress, and the sun/halo behind her.  I used Neocolor II watercolor crayons for the background & charms and and a dot stamp with gold ink for the tiny ‘stars’. I used silver glitter on the crown but rubbed most of it off. I think it looked tacky and I probably will never use glitter again since I am finding it everywhere around my desk.  I finished by shading and outlining everything with Letraset alcohol markers and a Stabilo All pencil in black.

Beacon of Light PaintedBeacon of Light - Scanned

You can see the shimmer in the first photo above that was taken with a camera & flash.  The details show up better in the second, scanned image.

I’m pleased with how this turned out and plan to adhere the watercolor paper to a 9×12 wood block to hang next to my desk to remember that I am always safe in all of my undertakings.  I can take as many do-overs as needed until I get things right.  That is true both in art and in life.

Now onto Week 2 of Life Book, just as week 3 is being released!  See you soon.  I hope you find time in your weekend to be creative too!


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Holiday Art Journal Love #12.31

Two days after I put together my recycled art journal, I have decided that I am in love with it.  It is so nice to doodle, stencil, paint & spray to my heart’s content knowing that it is just for me, just for fun!  And I love that I am using a non-traditional holiday color scheme on the pages.  The reds are more magenta, the greens more teal . . . and lemons, aquas, corals and violets have crept in there.  It seems less formal and more festive to me than traditional Christmas colors.

This morning, I completed the back cover of the journal.  I gessoed it to cover up the cereal box images and then stenciled snowflakes all over it in acrylic paints using colors that appeared on the front cover (the snowmen page). The stencil I used is called Blizzard by ColorBox.  After the stenciled areas were dry I doodled inside each snowflake with a white Uni-ball Signo Broad pen (except the yellow snowflakes which I doodled with a black roller-ball pen).  I love the way it turned out.  No words.  Just colorful snowflakes on a white background.  I’ll leave the words and images for inside the journal.

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Back cover of my holiday journal.

When I finished the back cover I still had wet acrylics sitting on my palette.  So I picked up a wide brush and used the paint up on the inside of the front cover.  I didn’t bother to gesso.  I merely painted directly on the inside cardboard of the cereal box that forms the cover of the journal.  I like the blocky look of the paints.  When I stared at it for a moment, I saw a cat’s head near the top center so I sketched in a whimsical cat onto the dried paint using a Stabilo All pencil (which is water-soluble).  I decided to leave it for now until I decide what should accompany the kitty on the page.


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Inside front cover of the holiday journal.

I had a lot of fun this morning just playing in the journal.  But now I have to do grown-up chores.  I’ll be back another time with more.

I hope you can find something creative and fun to do today too!


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Stencil It!

It is week 43 of 52 in the year 2014 and the last week in October. That’s apropos of nothing, I suppose, except that there are only nine more weeks in this year to create what I want to create . . .  so I better get crackin’!

In my weekly art journal group journal52.com  the prompt for this week is “Stencil It!” and the instructions were to either use a stencil on our page or to create/cut a stencil.  Well, it just so happens I have a TON of stencils.  I have been going through all of them this week to organize and hang them on a special rod I created in the closet in my craft room so that I can more readily find them when I want them.  The whole pile was just sitting on my desk when I saw this week’s art journal prompt.  So I selected four stencils that I thought I could use together to create a background in my art journal.

I started with a page in my large Ranger Ink Dylusions journal where I had previously cleaned off a paint brush with dark blue paint.  Over that I laid a StencilGirl stencil by Traci Bautista called Circles Circles ( http://tinyurl.com/m3leaz2 ) and dabbed coral pink, light blue, yellow and white acrylic paint through it using a cosmetic sponge.  This is what it looked like.

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I then stenciled over the top of that with the StencilGirl exclusive club stencils by Mary Beth Shaw for October 2014 ( http://www.stencilgirlproducts.com/v/vspfiles/assets/images/1SCOct2014Main.jpg) using the same four colors.  This created a background 3 layers deep with blues, pinks, yellows and whites.

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I knew I would be putting a quote on the page but I thought it needed something more, a focal point.  I saw a ‘girl’ in the page and I sketched her in with a charcoal pencil, using the larger circles as an outline.

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I then painted the girl but decided to leave her eyes closed to go with the quote.  I also used a smaller circle by the girl to paint a cat sitting next to her.  I printed out the quote by Marcus Aurelius and collaged that onto the page.  I finished by outlining the girl and the quote with a Stabilo All pencil in black, smudging it a bit.

Journal52 Week 43 - Stencil It!

Overall, I’m very happy with the page.  I made use of my stencil stash, I used a page in my art journal that had previously just been sitting there with smears of blue paint, and I painted a whimsical girl (something that’s very difficult for me).

I’m glad I created today and hope you’ve been creative too!


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Namaste

I did not create any art this weekend.  It was a difficult weekend for a few different reasons and when my mind or activities are all over the map, I can’t seem to focus on anything else.  However, I was determined to follow through with Connie Hozvicka’s advice in her free 10-day Art Journal Wisdom workshop at dirtyfootprints-studio.com, which is to create art journal ‘morning pages’ — art every day.  Since it is Monday, it seemed a good idea to start the week off right by creating something that could be done within about 30 minutes.

I watched the #artjournalwisdom video for day 5 of the workshop.  It said to limit yourself to just a few elements in order to create quickly and simply.  The three elements that they recommended for the day were:  a) purple paint + some white paint for contrast; b) easy flowing breath (incorporate something that reminds you of that); and c) a little Mother Nature (in the form of something natural from outside).

Art Journal Wisdom 5

I created a 2-page spread in a little over 30 minutes by using Connie’s suggested three elements plus a few other items.  I used cheap purple acrylic paint mixed with white gesso for the background.  At that point, thinking of ‘easy flowing breath’ reminded me of yoga so I chose two StencilGirl stencils to make the page come together quickly:  L233 “Namaste” by Jessica Sporn and an exclusive StencilClub stencil from October 2013 also by Jessica Sporn.  I also gathered five leaves from the rose bushes outside my studio/office window to use somewhere in the spread.

I sprayed Dylusions spray in Calypso through the mandala stencil on the right page, then pounced white acrylic paint through the same stencil once the Dylusions spray dried.  The Dylusions spray activated with the wet paint giving a ‘softer’ look to the design.  I sprayed the same Dylusions spray directly onto the background on the left page.  When it dried I pounced Dina Wakely paint in Night through the yogi stencil on the left page to create the sitting figure and through the hand figures on the right page .  I then outlined the dark figure and the hands with white acrylic to stand out against the background.  Next I stenciled the words on the Namaste stencil on the left page with white acrylic paint and did the same with the word “Namaste” on the right page with the dark paint.  I then adhered the rose leaves in a lotus pattern under the sitting figure on the left.  Finally, I outlined everything with either a black Fude pen or white Uni-broad pen, including hand-lettering the word “Breathe” on the top of the right page, and doodled around the border of the left page.

The step that took the longest was outlining everything so that there was enough contrast in the elements on the pages.  Everything else was completed in about 20 minutes.  Since I didn’t get started on the page until right before noon, my ‘morning pages’ spilled into the afternoon…but I’m okay with that.

What creative thing have you done today?