Art Cards 2011 – Week 10

There are signs of hope everywhere, if you just know where to look. That was the theme for my art cards this week.

Even though we got a late snowstorm last week, the recent sunshine has been melting our snow, revealing grass and bulbs coming up around our yard.

I saw our first robin last week, which is a sure sign of spring is just around the corner. The robin is our state bird, so when it migrates back to our neighborhood in March, we get excited that spring is near.

I used my new process on these cards of pencil sketching the idea first and then filling in with color. This week, I spent most of my time painting with watercolor. I used markers and colored pencils to add a few details. I decided to keep the journaling short and simple. You get the message: I’m excited spring is here! Can’t wait to see buds popping out on the trees and more bulbs coming up.

Be sure to stop by our Flickr group to see what Michelle and Sandra have been doing on their amazing art cards.

Art Cards 2011 – Week 8

My inspiration for this week’s art cards came from several sources. First up, I bought a new book to help me with my drawing, especially silly drawing like the cartoony girls I doodled for this week’s art cards, which was helpful for the storyboards I have to draw for my concept development class.

I thought it would be fun to incorporate this adorable paper doll exercise onto my art cards with some fun cartoony girls. (I loved playing with paper dolls as a kid, but I never thought to make my own.)

I’ve had to give a couple presentations in class lately, showing my artwork. I have to muster up all the confidence I can to show my artwork to anyone and even more strength to do a presentation in front of class. So my reflections for this week were to Believe in yourself, and There is a fire inside.

One of my teachers stressed how important it is for us to present our work with confidence. When you believe in yourself, others will believe in you too!

I always find inspiration in music. There is a line in the Hurricane song that struck me last Friday, so I decided to use it as a prompt for my second card. (BTW, I think the line in that song actually has different meaning than what I used it for.)

To me, “there is a fire inside” means there is passion burning inside you. Embrace it and let it shine!

On the first card, I made the firey background with watercolor crayons, and on the second card, I made the firey background with dry-brush stippling of acrylic paint. I drew the cartoony girls on cardboard from leftover cereal boxes, painted Gesso over them, colored in the details with colored pencils, and outlined them with a fine Sharpie markie. They are both dimensional in that I attached them to the cards with puffy tape so they stand up from the cards.

Don’t forget to stop our Flickr group to see what Michelle and Sandra have been doing on their art cards.

Art Cards 2011 – Week 7

We don’t usually celebrate Valentine’s Day in our house (we prefer to save the celebration for our anniversary), but I ended up picking up  a box of Godiva biscuits for Dave, and he bought me this lovely bouquet of spring flowers. It’s been so refreshing to have flowers in the house this past week!

I can’t believe we are in week 7 already for this art card project. Yippee! That means we are getting closer to spring with each passing day.

I decided to sew a little art card using snippets from my tiny Valentine’s Day stash.

We had some problems with our washing machine earlier in the week, with water spilling out and flooding the unfinished half of our basement with a shallow layer of water. Thank goodness everything of value was stored in plastic bins or on shelves off the floor. We had to throw away a bunch of empty cardboard boxes, and hang a pile of rugs out in the winter elements to dry. After testing the washing machine, we think it’s fixed and still working, so we are relieved to not have to spend $400 on a new one right now.

I pictured those adorable mini clothesline quilts when I illustrated a whimsical art card to reflect Wash Day, using my watercolor pencils and Micron markers. You might not be able to see it in the photo but I also rubbed on some glimmer chalk to add a little extra sparkle.

I find it’s healthier for me to focus on the positive and try use such an experience as a chance to challenge my imagination and illustration skills.

Don’t forget to stop our Flickr group to see what Michelle and Sandra have been doing on their art cards.

Art Journal 2011 – Week 6

I am happy to report that I had a better week than last week!

As you know, I have been thinking a lot about coffee lately. I’m working on a logo design for my Illustrator class that has to do with coffee. And I have a fun coffee clutch of fellow students and teachers I get together with everyday in between classes. We talk a lot about coffee and food and other silly things. I look forward to hanging out with them every afternoon, so I thought it would be fun to capture those moments.

I painted the background with my favorite watercolor crayons, doodled coffee words all over the background, cut out the cafe logo from the coffee cup sleeve, and added some white glitter paint over the cup for the creme (which looks green in that photo!).

On Saturday, Dave and I went to the botanical gardens for a shot of green plant life.

The conservatory is a glass pyramid filled with tropical paradise plants, flowers, a rushing waterfall, orchids and free-flying birds. The temperature was 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (between 18 and 26 degrees Celsius) with 60 percent humidity. It was just the shot we both needed! (I plan to share more photos this week.) The conservatory had a special exhibit about coffee, so it seems fitting that I make a card to reflect the day.

Again, I used my watercolor crayons to create a lush green background. I brushed a slightly wet brush in an upward stroke to create a stem or stalk direction. Then I drew the giant palm leaf with a marker, which I ended up going over with acrylic paint for a more dimensional effect, since some markers don’t adhere too well on these crayon-covered backgrounds. I framed the words to symbolize what we are longing for when we look through our windows – green plants!

Don’t forget to stop our Flickr group to see what Michelle and Sandra have been doing on their art cards.

Art Journal 2011 – Week 5 – February Arrived

February arrived with Snowmaggedon – a blizzardy winter storm leaving us 15 to 17 inches, 2 to 4-foot drifts, and shutting down the city for a couple days. My classes were cancelled two days in a row, which gave me a good chance to get caught up.

I decided to experiment on one of my art cards with some sewing to capture this time of year when I start to feel cabin fever creeping in.

Life always brings ups and downs. Lately, I haven’t been very good at dealing with the downs. So I reflected on the ups and downs with some spiral journaling on my next card, which made me feel better. Kinda like releasing the worries so I can move on. In short, I’m glad last week is over!

I used watercolor crayons for the background because they give a nice saturated color, Micron pens for the center journaling and doodle, colored pencils for splashes of brightness, and then shiny blue and silver beads to add some pizzazz to the outer borders.

If you would like to see what Michelle and Sandra have been doing on their art cards, we set up a Flickr group to share photos of our cards.

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Related Posts:

Weeks 1 and 2

Week 3

Week 4

Art Journal 2011 – Week 4

I’m a bit late in getting my art journal updates completed, since I was out of town last weekend, and have been keeping busy with homework and shoveling from the Snowmaggedon we’ve been in lately.

In the beginning of last week, I knew what I was going to feature for my next art journal pages, even though the event hadn’t happened yet. I have been looking forward to Linkin Park perform live for quite a long time.

I made a copy of my ticket so I could use it as ephemera on my card. I layered some cool rock-n-roll paper, zipper trim, and metal studs from my stash.

I was going to illustrate the next card with a scene from the concert, but these cards are so small, and I didn’t like how it turned out. Instead, I used my concert t-shirt for inspiration, painting the background blue with black edges, adding the band’s logo, and stenciling some of my favorite song names that would fit on this little card. I added some sparkly rhinestone bling to represent the suns and stars.

Yes, I can be a bit of a groupie. But in the midst of snowy storms and winter doldrums, it’s good for the soul to have such cool events to journal about!

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Related Posts:

Weeks 1 and 2

Week 3

Art Journal 2011 – Week 3

Last week, I introduced you to my new art journal project. Here are my newest pages:

Our weather has been so cloudy and grey the past month, making it fun to get a snow storm last week to freshen things up.

And then, cause for celebration – the sun came out!

I had fun experimenting with watercolor crayons and illustrating with my Micron markers. There were a couple other techniques I wanted to try on these pages, like glitter on the snow drifts, but I couldn’t find any glitter in the house. I’m hoping to stock up on a few more supplies over the next few days. I have to admit I was also a little short on time because I have so many homework projects due this week!

Be sure to check out Michelle’s awesome new journal pages – she is SO good at this. I am always inspired by her art, making me realize there is a lot I can learn from her. I find it interesting that we journaled about the same topics this week!

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Related Posts:

Weeks 1 and 2

Art Journal 2011 – Week 1 and 2

I’ve always wanted to make an art journal, but I never knew where to start. As usual, I found just the right inspiration from Michelle to get me started! We have committed to work on our pages “together” on Saturday evenings. (not really together because she lives in England, I live in the US!)

The idea is to use a deck of playing cards for your journal. Then you just make a page every week reflecting whatever topic you want. Michelle is doing a Little Book of Joys, which turning out so adorable! She is so good at this! I’m going to do things that stood out that week that I want to record.

I did some searching on how to do art journals, and found this excellent resource! Check out Anna Denise’s amazing journal pages! I’m not a scrapbooker or a stamper, but I want to be an artist, so my goal is to illustrate and paint on my pages as much as possible.

So far, I have a cover:

And an inside cover:

To get caught up, I made pages to reflect my first week of the year.

A new year of looking forward, living dreams:

That week, I helped move my aunt MaryAnn into an assisted living room in her retirement community. It reminded me of a cool dorm room, so I did a interior designer-style layout of her room with fun papers in the colors of her furniture and area rug.

This past week, I started a new semester of design and illustration classes, so it will be fun to show some of the projects we will be working on.

In Illustration class, we are working on The Sketchbook Project where we are going to be illustrating a subject we are passionate about all semester long (more on that later). For this journal page, I drew a mini sketchbook with silly thumbnail sketches.

On Friday night, we went to a fun pizza party with new friends I made at school, so I illustrated the food and the mood of the evening.

Here’s what my little art journal looks like so far:

There are always good moments and bummer moments in each day and each week. True to my style, I am going to focus on what was positive and what was important to me. Such a cool way to practice illustrating and journaling!

Swapping and Trading

I’ve been having fun swapping fabrics and scraps and handmade goodies back and forth lately with a couple good friends.

When I posted my tutorial for making a simple makeup bag, a bloggy friend commented that she missed her sewing machine, so I offered to make one for her, which is the bag pictured above and below.

In turn, she offered to swap one of her goodies for mine. This is the package she sent me. I wondered how she knew that I have always wanted a cigar box!

Inside I found this amazing lavender leather journal! Isn’t it beautiful? I love the feel of the soft leather, and the arrangement of cool buttons along the flap, and the fabulously stitched binding. I encourage you to stop by her shop to see more of her wonderful work!

I am definitely going to cherish it, and use it. (don’t you hate that when you give someone a handmade gift and they are afraid to use it?!) I can’t wait to fill it up with sketches and illustrations. Thank you Shari!