Ain't No Ninny

Where Creativity and Everyday Life Collide


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More 12.31 Holiday Art Journal

I’m on an art journal roll lately.  In the last two days I finished two pages in my hand-made holiday art journal and started on another.

The photo below shows a page in my journal that I drew and doodled using a black Micron 05 pen.  My objective was to capture a small close-up section of a Christmas tree.  This particular page is half of a 11×15″ piece of Bristol paper.  A few days ago I placed a stencil that had been covered in yellow iRESISTable paint face-down onto the page to use up leftover paint from the journal cover. Nothing goes to waste in this re-cycled journal!  When I started drawing on the page, I noticed the yellow texture in the background but forgot that it was a ‘resist’ product.  Yesterday I decided to use watercolors to color the page instead of using markers or gel pens or acrylic paints.  And whoa! The yellow iRESISTable paint spray surely did resist the watercolor!  That made for some interesting texture.  Because there was a significant amount of yellow on the top-right side of the page I went ahead and used a yellow watercolor wash for the rest of the background.  I’ve never seen a yellow Christmas tree but, then again, this is MY fantasy world and in MY fantasy world Christmas trees can be any color in the rainbow.

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I really liked the page when it was just a black drawing on the white paper with yellow peeking up through the decorations.  But I’m not unhappy with the watercolor page.  It gave me the opportunity to practice painting with watercolors since I am still a little uncomfortable with that medium.

The next page was done on the outside portion of a Toasted O’s cereal box in my journal. First I covered it with white gesso, using a catalyst tool. I left a lot of scratches and lines in the gesso for texture and let it dry over night.  I decided to use Dawn DeVries Sokol’s 12.31 Holiday Art Journal Workshop video prompt for 12/09.  The prompt was to doodle picture frames on the page and then fill the frames with people/pets signifying who I would like to spent Christmas with). I combined the video prompt with her prompt of the day: To write out all that I am grateful for this season.  First and foremost, I am grateful for my family so they take center stage on the page.  (You can find Dawn’s free workshop prompts here:  http://www.dawnsokol.com/1231/ )

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As you can see, I decided to make this a grunge page.  The texture I left in the gesso was a good start.  Then I used complementary colors of Dina Wakely heavy body acrylic paints spread on top of the gesso with a palette knife, making it even more textured.  I scribbled into the wet paint to allow the white gesso to show through.  I resized three photos of loved ones (including my pets) and copied them out, collaging them to the page with matte medium. I found it interesting that the complementary blues and reddish-oranges could be found in the photos I chose (completely unplanned!).  I drew picture frames around the photos with black and white Posca paint pens     and journaled my gratitudes around the page using a black Fude ball pen and a white Signo Broad pen.  I do not often use grunge techniques in my art journals but I really enjoyed doing this one and I like how it turned out.  I will try this again in the future.

Making time in my day to be creative relieves the stress of the holidays and allows me to focus on my own needs.  I hope you can find time in your own busy schedules this season 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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Art Every Day Month – Day 21

Wow!  This month is flying by!  It will be New Years before we know it.  Yikes!!

Today I got back to the Jennibellie challenge (7 art journal pages in 7 days, each day a different technique or product).  I am on day 4 and this is the technique I blindly drew from the box on my desk:

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Finally!  I’m glad I got paint/ink sprays this time because the remaining two techniques (ephemera and pens/doodling) don’t make sense before the pages are painted.  That’s the good news.  That bad news is that at least one page really didn’t lend it self to either painting or ink sprays but I did my best.  Here are my seven pages after I applied paint or ink:

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Oops!  I guess I forgot to crop this one.  I water-colored this using Ranger Distress stains instead of watercolor paint.  I really loved this after Day 2 when it was all black and white but now I’m not so sure.   We’ll see where this ends up after Day 7.

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This page really didn’t call for paint and I think I screwed it up trying to add gesso and some blue paint around the face/braids.  I may have to fix this in the final step.  I did change her lip color to be consistent with the colors on the page and painted the whites of her eyes to stand out more.  I liked this page the best after Day 2 and now I like it the least.

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I’m really liking this one right now.  I water-colored the dog and some of the stencil pieces with autumn-toned Ranger Distress stains.  I have no idea where I will go from here on this but I love it as it is.

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I used water color paint on this for the towel, her hair and a yellow wash around the body.  I wanted the body to remain untouched because I might doodle on it or add words later.  I love the soothing but bright colors on this page.

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On this page I started with the sky and decided to use a complementary color to the art-deco blue washi tape that was on the page.  Watered down orange/yellow acrylics seemed to make it stand out and is consistent with a fiery sunset skyline.  I do wish, however, that I had not highlighted the swirls in orange. The buildings I did using cheap watercolors in pastel colors, much like what you would see on the art-deco buildings in Miami along South Beach.  I still have to meld that bright sky and those pastel buildings.

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I love how this turned out with her bright hair and pale eyes & skin.  I used soft body acrylics and gesso for her face/hair/lips/eyes.  I gessoed the rest of the page, over the collage/stamps, then sprayed Prima Color Bloom spray in Summer Sky over that.  It was a coincidence that it matched her eyes.

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I couldn’t figure out what to paint on this page so I used a guache watercolor the same color as the ball to outline the feathers, the stamped words and all of the circles.  I also touched up the areas on the girl’s body that had torn when I glued them with a glue stick and tried to make the tears less noticeable.  I painted the sky blue with an acrylic wash and then went over it with gesso to tone it down some.  I think I will end up liking this page after I finish it up on Day 7.  Right now I’m a little ho-hum about it.

I spent a lot more time on these pages today than for any other step and I’m rather ambivalent about them right now.  Most are in that in-between ugly stage.  I’m hoping the next three days will fix them up and I’ll like them all in the end.

I am glad I created and I hope you got to be creative today too!