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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Art Every Day Month – Day 15

I am exactly half of the way through this creative month.  I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.  It will get busy near the end of the month because Thanksgiving is at my house this year (lots of cleaning and cooking and entertaining) so I want to do quick and easy art projects from here on out.

I decided to try to catch up with my art journaling group journal52.com.  This week’s prompt was to use a napkin (or tissue paper or paper towel) in our art journal.  I already had a background that I had created several months ago on which to start.  I had glued down inky paper towels (with a diamond motif) onto a piece of watercolor paper that had been used to mop up paint from a painting I had been working on.  That background sat for several months because I wasn’t sure what to do with it.

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I stared at the background a while and saw a ‘figure’ at the center of the page.  I created an angel since there was already a green pattern I could use as her dress and the inky paper towels had the rough shape of wings.  I used a Stabilo All pencil to outline the angel and her wings then painted the face/hair/wings with acrylic paints.  That was difficult over the texture of the paper towels (especially the face) but I worked with it anyway.  I then partially painted in the black circles with orange acrylic paint.  As a final step, I did some stamping (the word “Grace” under the angel, the triangle pattern at the bottom of the page, and the crown on the angel’s head).

Week 46 Napkins!

Voila!  It seems perfect for the holiday season.

I hope you find inspiration to create something today too!