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Archive for the ‘Past Work’ Category

One of the journals in the Journey of Journals was themed “Journey”. I thought it would be interesting to create a spread that represented my journey of life in the form of a passport.

The first of two spreads designed to look like a passport, starting with my early life. I used PhotoShop to layer illustrations to give the images a stamped look.

A selection of images I created in CorelDraw and by hand were layered in PhotoShop to create a passport collage. I altered the illustrations to look distressed and to give the appearance of being hand-stamped. Once I was happy with the layout of the pages, I printed them out on my ink jet printer and pasted them into the journal. This type of collage can be created using any combination of photographs and images that you may have using PhotoShop’s powerful layers feature. The great thing about doing this digitally is that you can open it and make changes or additions in the future for  similar or entirely new images.

The second spread features the latter part of my life using similar stamped images.

If you click on the photos, you will see a larger version of the image.

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One of the journals in the worldwide journal swap I participated in was filled with nature inspired illustrations.  My entries were of leaves, created with 2 types of markers, Copic Sketch Markers and Tombow Dual Brush Pens. Color blends were used in both images, but the Copic markers produced blends that were more translucent and ethereal in appearance, while the Tombow markers seemed bolder. Part of the difference may be due to the more graphic appearance of the first illustration, or maybe it is because the Tombow markers are water-based and the Copic markers are alcohol-based. Whatever the reason, the Tombow markers seem to produce bolder, sharper looking color.

This illustration was rendered using Tombow Dual Brush Markers. I added water drops to the surface of the paper using a glossy gel medium in small blobs.

The leaves were created using Copic Sketch Markers. The center of the paper was crimped to cover the spiral binding, the left and right sides of the paper was glued to the journal pages. The left side of the leaf in the center was cut out of the watercolor paper so it would pop up when the pages are opened.

Both markers are high quality, professional grade products but you may prefer one over the other depending on your project. The water-based Tombow markers are appropriate for use on paper-based surfaces and can be thinned with water like water colors. The ink is not permanent and will not bleed through your paper’s surface unless you you saturate the paper with too much ink. The permanent, alcohol-based Copic markers can be used on a variety of surfaces including paper, ceramic, glass, fabrics, metal, leather, plastic and more. Unless you are using Copic’s special marker paper, the Copic markers will bleed through most papers, however.

Copic markers are available in a variety of different sets and color combinations in both Ciao and Sketch marker styles in sets of 12, 24, 36 and 72.

Tombow Dual Brush Markers are available in sets of 6, 10 and 96. Primary, secondary, landscape, portrait and other color sets are designed to fit the needs of individual artists.

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Now that another journal has arrived home, I can post more of my journal entries made to Sue’s journal which was themed We Are All Unique. I found this topic challenging because I am constantly finding things I have in common with others and the world around me.

This illustration was created with embroidery thread, glue and tiny bead pearls.

For my first spread, I wanted to express that while we are all unique, we are part of something larger. I decided to use embroidery thread in varied colors to create a tapestry, which included hundreds of individual threads which contributed to a larger picture of swirling spirals. In the center of each spiral, I glued small pearls to add some sparkle and dimension. Since the tapestry was so thick, I stitched it onto the spiral binding rather than glue it to the pages of the journal. I used the pages of the journal as a background to the tapestry. Pan Pastels were used to get a smooth, graduated color and press-type letters were added on top. The type behind the tapestry reads We Are All unique Threads in the Fabric of the Universe.

The tapestry was stitched onto the spiral binding because it was too thick to glue to the journal pages. I used Pan Pastels to create a smooth background for the transfer type.

Using transfer type in your journals is a great was to add artistic text. It is available in a variety of sizes and styles from professional art supply stores.

On the next 2 pages, I continued the thread theme by scratching words and a scribble design into a bold background of oil pastels.

A thick layer of oil pastels provides a great surface for scratching designs and words.

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Another one of the journals I worked on in the Journey of Journals project and returned home and I am able to post photos of the pages I created as well as the few pages that were in the journal when I received it. The theme of this journal was Strength.

Note: if you right-click any of the images and select View Image, you will be able to see a larger, more detailed image.

The journal is handmade with a vibrant fabric wrapped around paper signatures that are stitched into the fabric. Paula, the journal’s creator, did a beautiful job of connecting her imagery to the journal’s design.

The theme of this journal was strength. Paula's intro page included a small envelope for everyone to include their name.

Her first spread is a mixed-media illustration. I love how she used different patterns and textures to create the design. The layering of items gives the pages a sense of depth and history.

Paula's second spread is layered with rich, vibrant colors and images.

My spread was created by altering a photo of a wolf I took at the International Wolf Center in MN. The image was printing on plain paper using an ink jet printer. I used a translucent, white, iridescent paint on the photo to give the image an otherworldly glow. Inks were added to the dark areas to increase contrast.

Another photo from my visit to the wolf center was used for my second spread. Multiple paint and gel medium layers were used to give the photo a painterly effect.

You can view the Strength journal in its entirety at the following link: Paula’s Journal.

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The completed journal from a recent journal swap.

I was fortunate enough to be a part of a worldwide journal swap that took place between the members of CoachCreativeSpace.com. Not only did I start a journal that was sent to 6 other artists, but I also had the privilege of creating pages in those 6 artists journals. The results were awesome and I feel like I really got to know my artist friends by working in their journals and seeing the work they created in mine.

My journal was themed Connected. I chose the theme because eventually, we would all be connected by our work. I used a large Moleskine Accordion Journal (Japanese Album) to enhance the theme because its pages are connected, zig-zagging throughout. The only request I made to my artist friends was that they somehow found a way to connect their art to the previous artists. How they did that was entirely up to them.

The first 2 pages included the front cover ilustration and a note to my fellow artists.

For my illustration, I sketched a marker illustration of a distant treeline with a lone, bare tree.

I created my illustration using my Tombow Dual Brush Pens. Since the markers are water-based, I didn’t have to worry about them bleeding through the paper. I ended my illustration diagonally, half way through my page and the next artist’s page with the hope that she would start on the empty space on my page, which she did.

Nita's connecting images used the same colors that I did to make the transition. Her images were more abstract at first, but morphed into the image of a jet.

The images following the jet were created by Sue which perhaps were inspired by the journey of this particular journal which traveled to the UK and Canada before making its way home to the US.

Sue's post box illustration blends fluidly into the next 2 images by Nancy. The page on the right is the last page of the front side, so Nancy had to continue her illustration on the second side.

Nancy had the task of having to create something that flowed in the middle of the book. She had to illustrate the last 2 pages of the front side of the accordion and the first 2 pages of the back side.

This is the continuation of Nancy’s artwork from the front side.
The next spread shows the journey the journal made, highlighted by tiny rhinestones for the location of each artist.

Jean illustrated a map of the journey the journal took to the various artists. You can see more of Jean’s work on her blog, A Joyful Spirit.

The next spread continued the dotted graphics from the previous spread, blending with images and names of all the artists involved in the journal swap.

Lotus, created an illustration, connecting all of the artist in the swap. You can see more of her creative journals at her blog, WhymsicalLotus.

The final spread in the journal ends with more travel inspired images.

Finally, the final spread in the journal features birds in flight illustrated by Paula in New Mexico.

An overall view of the completed journal and its zig-zag pages.

Once the other artists journals are finished, I will be posting some of the artwork I created, so be sure to check back for more art journal images.

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I’ve been dabbling in photography as an adjunct to art journals and sketching. I struggle with creating technically correct photographs, but a recent experiment yielded some interesting images that didn’t require me to be technically perfect. The subject was a dull, winter, Kentucky landscape, that would be boring, even if taken by a professional photographer. With a little help from Photoshop, I was able to transform these lifeless photos into something artistic.

These landscape blurs were created by moving my camera while exposing the shot. Using Adobe Photoshop to edit the images, I pumped up the color to enhance the otherwise dull images and the results are more art than photography. The real surprise was the rich textures and colors that appeared when I pushed the colors beyond safe levels.

I can see using this technique to create rich colorful backgrounds in future art journals or as a base for a collage or mixed-media art. If you have used this technique in one of your art journals or artwork, I’d love to know more about your project.

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I have had a series of images floating around in my mind involving the beautiful environment that I live in. Inspired by this, my daughter and drove through the local countryside with our cameras, capturing anything that caught our eyes. We took a lot of photos, most of which we didn’t like, but looking through my images, I noticed a trend. Nearly every photo I took was included vivid blues and greens.

I decided to create a quick  illustration to sum up my  experience using oil pastels in my trusty Moleskine A4 Watercolor journal and this was the result.

I used oil pastels in the Moleskine Watercolor journal to capture the vivid colors on my photo shoot.

Oil Pasts in Moleksine Watercolor Journal

I underpainted the illustration using purple watercolor so it would show through the blue. I like this effect better than effect of white showing through.

The final result is not an exact duplication of the photos I took, but a simple expression of my view of the experience. To give you an idea of what the illustration is based on, I have included a few photos from my outing.

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