Ain't No Ninny

Where Creativity and Everyday Life Collide


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.

All That Glitters
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: )


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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Art Every Day Month – Day 18

I decided that for the next seven days I wanted to do an art journal challenge that was started by the artist Jenniebellie on her blog . She has accompanying videos to show you how she completed the challenge each day for herself.  It is a 7-day challenge where you work on any number of art journal pages you choose each day for 7 days (I chose 7 pages each day). You decide in advance of starting the pages which six products/techniques you want to use on your pages.  I selected the following, which I often use:


You fold the six pieces of paper up, put them in a bag or a box and pull one out each day.  You work on that technique/product for that day on all of your journal pages.  The next day, you pull a different paper out and work on that technique only for all of your pages.  You continue until all six techniques have been completed on all of your pages.  The seventh day is used to do whatever you have to do to complete your journal pages.

I put all six of my folded papers into a small box on my desk top and shook it to rearrange them.  This is the technique that I pulled out of the box to use today.


Aaargh!  I would normally do the focal image last (or next to last) after the background has been completed and I have an idea for the overall page.  The focal image usually completes a page, creates a place for the eye to rest, and conveys the message you intended for the page. This is a real challenge for me since I have no idea what I want for these seven pages! A focal image can be drawn or painted or collaged or stenciled or stamped . . . whatever works . . .  so I felt free to use different techniques to create my focal image.

Here are the seven pages I did today with a focal image on each. They are all on white 7″x10″ 90 lb. mixed media paper.  Since the pages are white, it will be hard to see where one page ends and another begins.  But, believe me, there are photos of seven pages of the same dimensions.

CCI18112014_7 CCI18112014_6CCI18112014 CCI18112014_5CCI18112014_3 CCI18112014_4
On two of them I used collaged images, four were drawn free-hand with a Micron 05 pen, and one (the seated lady) was outlined using a Donna Downey stencil and embellished with the Micron pen.

Today’s technique took over an hour to complete but the others should take less than that since they will be embellishing the focal images and created a background for them. I am looking forward to the next six days and finding out where this challenge takes my journal pages.

I hope you found some time today to be creative also!


Art Doodle Love in the Afternoon

Okay, this morning was busy.  No time for ‘morning pages’.  So I spent  a little more than 30 minutes this afternoon doodling in my Art Doodle Love journal.  What I love about this journal is that there are ready-made backgrounds and prompts, if you care to follow them, on each double-page spread.  That really helps when you just wish to play and not spend time creating a background on which to doodle or create.

Here are pages 26 and 27 as I opened to them in the journal.  There were a bunch of pink streaks and yellow and pink splotches.  The prompt on the top of page 26 says “What do you see within these ink splotches and drips?  Doodle from them and around them.”  Since I had limited time available, that’s just what I did.

(Double click on the photos to see them better.)


What I saw in the streaks and drips were trees and flowers and little woodland creatures.  So, using a Micron .05 pen, some water-soluble colored pencils, and Tombow dual end markers, I doodled quickly and intuitively.


When I had done most of the doodling, I created lines on the right side of page 27 because I knew I wanted some kind of lettering there.  I googled ‘trees quote’ and came up with this one from Minnie Aumonier: “There is music in the trees in our garden but we must quiet our hearts to hear it.”  I used some whimsical lettering to write out the quote and painted in the cirlces with various color of Tombow markers.  I did this all within the 43 minutes of one episode of True Blood that I streamed from Amazon and that included actually watching most of the show.

This won’t win any art awards but it certainly was an act of Art Doodle Love in the afternoon!  It got my creative juices flowing. I hope you do something creative today too.

p.s. I actually liked the trees better before I colored them in with Tombow markers.  I started with tiny little individual leaves in various colors of colored pencils.  I should have left them that way.  My inner critic speaks. 🙂

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More My Style

A quick and easy art journal  page and one that is much more my style than my last post (colorful and easy!).  This is based on the Art Journal Tangents and Tactics #AJT tutorial #5: Beach Umbrella from Tammy Garcia’s page.  If you’d like to see how to do it you can go to her page and click on the button on the right side of her home page.  It’s free!

Art Journal Tangent 5 Beach Umbrella

The quote comes from the lyrics to “Umbrella Beach” by Owl City.

I hope you have a creative day!