Thursday, July 30, 2015

In My Home

It's been over a year since I've worked on canvas. It's not that I don't like working on canvas or the normal canvas medium, the acrylics. I've been enjoying the art journal format and working on looser drawing in my Fauxbonichi (my daily journal). And this piece is actually a reproduction from one of my daily pages .

I have been wanting to reproduce a few pieces from my daily journal. Why? Partly because I enjoy mixed media art and the daily format usually does not allow for mixed media (and waiting for things to dry). 

I used acrylics, inktense blocks and pencils, tissue paper (for texture), and music sheet. I don't usually use bright colors and I'm not quite sure what made me use them, but I like it. 

And today is my kids' birthday, at least the first two! Yes, my son and my daughter have the same birthday and they aren't twins! 

I can't believe they are 16 and 14! I hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Organic Tangle Patterns

One of the first things that attracted me to Zentangle and all the patterns is how patterns can be used to represent natural things like rocks, flowers, leaves, etc. and when I saw this week's Diva's Challenge, I was excited.

I have done several pieces that depict 'nature'. The one you see above was done a year ago. 

And here is one from my Tangle Journal.

And here is one I did last night using Tagh, Jetties, B'tweed, and Featherfall. I have a difficult time using Festherfall, I think it's beautiful but just can not grasp how it's done.

Hope you have a great Tuesday!!

Monday, July 27, 2015

What Do You Think?

Does it seem brighter in here? Do you see all the new tabs? And look, a new name! And I have my own store! OMG! It may not seem like much, but it took me all weekend to change things up. learning far more about blogger than I wanted to. And if I hear one more person mention SEO (search engine optimization), I'm going to scream. To all of you who use WordPress for your blog, congratulations!  It is the choice of many bloggers who like to customize their pages.  I considered seriously to change from Blogger to WordPress but ultimately, I decided to go with the cheaper option. 😊

The quote above, with my art piece I created last September resonates with me now. My friend and fellow artist, Thorny Sterling, has been encouraging me to sell my art for months, probably close to a year. I had been thinking about it, so many friends and family encouraging me. But you don't move forward until you decide to try. Starting my blog was really my first step in this process. And it was another friend, Felicia, who actually got me to start my blog. It was her ever so gentle nudge that got me going. 

Last December, Thorny wrote about his process for setting up his art business in this post. And though I've done my own research, I've decided to go with many of his recommendations. I am using Big Cartel as my online storefront mainly because it's free to use if you have 5 or less items to sell.  And Im using to print my art. I'm also going to check out Costco Photo Center as soon as its online ordering opens again. And by the end of the year, I will make sure to give you an update on how things are going.

In the upcoming weeks, I would like to offer a weekly (maybe monthly) techniques challenge for people to try in their art journal and post their work on a common Facebook or a Google+ group. I'd like to learn to video my process and share on my blog. I have ideas. Hopefully, I can make some of them happen. And just in time, the kids start school in two weeks! This is the first year I won't have a child in elementary school. How crazy is that!

So let me say, thank you! Thank you for your encouragement, your support, and for believing in me. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Last Week's Journal Art

It's amazing to me that since my children have been out of school for the summer, I've been able to create in my journal every day. School starts in three weeks and I'm not sure how much time I'll have to create. 

For the page you see above, I was supposed to draw knick knacks. Since I collect elephant figurines, I thought I'd draw one of the sets I have. This one is from the Netherlands that Ken bought for me. They are porcelain and quite frankly I'm surprised they aren't shattered yet only because my youngest used to love to play with them. I'm told that you should only buy elephant figurine with the trunk pointed up because that brings good fortune. Well, I'm not big on superstition so I have quite a few whose trunks are down.

On Tuesday, the drawing prompt was to draw my favorite pen. And if you recall from last Tuesday's post, the patterns I used here should be familiar to you. My favorite pen to draw with is Platinum Carbon fountain pen. It is ultra fine and very smooth. It is an inexpensive fountain pen (under $15) and the ink is waterproof!! I drew my hand holding the pen drawing the zentangle pattern. 

On Wednesday, the prompt was to draw magic. I have done something similar in the past using PearlEX over black gesso. I love how shimmery the PearEX powders are. It's hard to see the shimmer on this photo but they are pretty!

I tried something a little different on this day. I was drawing a summer day and I just decided to paint the entire 2-page spread. It turned out really pretty. I used watercolor for this. I suppose I can share the actual spread. Nothing too private in my writing portion. 😊

On this day, I was also to list some of my favorite words...chaos, create, mellifluous, mensch, and crescendo.

On this day, I was to draw a storm. Many of you have probably seen a picture of something similar with the elephant holding the umbrella. In the ones I've seen, there is always some other animal sitting under the umbrella. But for mine, I drew a little girl (me). Is there an elephant spirit? Because I swear sometimes I feel it's presence. This was done using Inktense blocks and watercolor.

This is a quote I've used in my art before. It's what I thought of for drawing tools. Done with Inktense and colored pencils.

And finally for Sunday, I was to draw a notebook. You can tell that I've been thinking about planning. I've watched YouTube videos and read articles all weekend about different planning methods. As I mentioned earlier, school is coming up soon and I need an analog method of keeping track of schedules and to do's. If you recall, I was using my journal (Fauxbonichi) as a planner too.  But I'm liking my journal format now where I find an inspirational quote and illustrate it on one page and journal on the other. I don't know if I want to add my todo's and schedule on this too. So I've been looking for a planner or a planning system. I think I found it. It's called bullet journal. I'm naturally a very unorganized person. I have to write things down or I'll forget. And during school, I have to use my phone alarm to pick up the kids because well, Im usually distracted. I need a way to keep me focused on things I need to do versus things I want to do. It's a balance. So more about planning later. How do you keep yourself organized? Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Today's Diva's Challenge is all about simplicity. The guest blogger, Katie Crommett asked us to choose two or three patterns in the traditional zentangle squares.

The tile above has more than three, but it is done in the traditional tile size square. One of the things I love about zentangle patterns is how certain patterns can be transformed into another fairly easily because they begin the same way.

I had made this chart a few months ago that shows this. So here is another Diva tile I did for this week.

I have done a bigger one before..

Do you have a favorite transforming pattern pair?  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Why I Journal

A simple answer to that question can be found in the Einstein quote above. I've always been a reflective learner, which means I learn best when I can make personal connections to what I'm learning.  It doesn't mean that I can't learn for the sake of learning, learn by practice, or learn by trying to apply the knowledge in new situations. (If you are interested in learning more about learning styles or find out yours, visit the 4MAT website here). When I was a teacher, I was involved in a month long summer program in which I was learning about learning and one of the things I was supposed to do was to keep a journal to write my daily reflection. The facilitators that worked with us collected the journals on Friday and made comments and returned them on Sunday evening. In the beginning, I just wrote what happened, but that really wasn't being reflective and I wasn't actively trying to learn about how I learned. Over time, I begin to ask questions, started to wonder, writing down information and data. That's probably when I got the title, "Queen of Reflections" by facilitators and other teachers. For me, journaling is a great process, not only for mind dump but also to challenge my own thinking. And unfortunately, I lost the art of journaling over time. 

As many of you know, I have a daily journal (Fauxbonichi) that for the most of the year serves as my planner/organizer/art journal. But over the summer, not much is happening and I have been lost about how to fill the spaces. There are daily drawing and writing prompts I can use, but those felt disconnected from my thoughts and feelings. At one point, I quit sharing my pages because I had to think about how I wanted to journal. I didn't know it at the time but I was trying to get back to doing my reflection journal. But in order for me to share my pages with a group (Fauxbonichi Journalers on Facebook), I had to figure out a way to separate personal thoughts and those thoughts I can share publicly. I finally decided to add additional pages that would allow me to write privately and remain hidden and still have pages I can share. 

Today, I wanted to share some of my pages and my thought processes. If you follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or on Google+, you see the art page I do almost every day like this.

As I mentioned, we have two drawing prompts we can choose from. For this day, we were to draw a trash can. So I searched Google for quotes about a trash can and found the quote by Audrey Hepburn. And this is the main process for my daily art page. And as you can see, there is a blank sheet next to it. That's my journaling page. I usually share the 2-page spread on Fauxbonichi Journalers.

If you look at my journaling side, there is not much there. This is when I was ready to give up on this journaling thing. I wasn't gaining anything from this process except perhaps to practice my art. So I decided to add more pages to my day, so I can add meaningful journaling that can remain private while I still have things I can share. It's been working well for me. 

This was the day I was to use the quote and use to practice hand lettering. I immediately thought about one of my daughter's friends who just did a release move on the uneven parallel bars for the first time and I thought it would be perfect to illustrate the quote. I wrote a bit about the passing of my sister and her family losing their family dog. I was able to write more and include some photos of my kids with Chief on the private page.

The drawing prompt for July 4 was a bench so I loosely drew one in a park and colored with watercolor. We had gone to Flagstaff for the day and I was able to describe and draw part of the day.

This day's drawing prompt was everyday carry. Not quite sure what that meant so I chose a handbag. Searching for a quote about a handbag led me to this quote. It seemed perfect for me as I'm trying to lose weight and be healthy. I have been doing yoga almost everyday. As you can see, I'm writing more now.

For this day, I was to draw what I'm currently reading. I even used my youngest to be my model for this art. If you look closely, you can see the titles of what I'm reading. And on the other page I describe a house issue we encountered. It was a stressful day, but it helped me to draw and to journal.

For this day, I was to draw a clock. I wanted to include coffee so I found the quote and drew. This day, I wrote almost two pages worth of observations and deep reflection. It really did help me deal with anxiety about going to see the doctor.

And finally, this was my page from yesterday. It's very different from my normal art.. But I feel like I'm learning again. So yes, I'm enjoying the process. I think it's important for everyone to have an outlet. For some of you, it's talking to your spouse, your best friend, your siblings. For others, it's writing, or other creative outlet. For me, my art and journaling help me to process my thoughts, feelings, observations and beliefs. I hope you have an outlet too.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Color Play

Today, I'm sharing three new pieces of art and one zentangle inspired art (ZIA) that I did awhile back. They are all different, different techniques, different media, but each was conceived with a certain technique in mind. Let me explain.


Last week when I created the rainbow tulip, I had seen a YouTube video on using a watercolor technique called prisming. It involves drawing random lines through certain parts of the drawing (in my case the lilipad and the background). You begin coloring and when you reach a line, you change either the color's value or change the color. It's an interesting technique and though I didn't achieve the look I wanted in this piece, I still like the way it turned out. I probably should have used a watercolor paper instead of the Tomoe River paper in my daily journal.


This is a technique where you randomly paint colors and then draw a figure on top. You then paint the background in different colors so the drawn part only has the original colors.

As you can see, I began this piece by coloring the page in yellows, oranges and reds. I drew the turtle in white and used colored pencils to accentuate pieces of the turtle. I then colored the background in blues, purples and greens which are the complimentary colors of the original colors. I've done this technique with acrylics before but I used Inktense blocks this time. It is ink-based so once dry, you cannot re-activate the colors even when wet. I was afraid my background would be muddy since complimentary colors produce different shades of grays.  But I think it came out fine. 

The next two pieces are my entries for the Diva's Challenge. Please check out other entries here.

Lately, I've been enjoying using a black tile for my tangled pieces. As I mentioned before, It's a challenge to tangle without using a pencil first. I used the pattern called Loops to create this piece and used my Recollections brand opaque markers to color. I didn't even attempt to shade here. I think I'm going to use this pattern again for a zendala. 

I'm usually good about picking colors, but Immshaking my head on this one. I can't recall how I chose the colors. Purples, pinks and greens are colors I use often but adding orange, ultramarine, and tan to that just doesn't make sense. I do like the contrast of the black lettering against the colors. Perhaps some day, I will redo this one in different colors. 

Do you have a favorite color combination? I tend to use lots of secondary and tertiary colors, but hardly ever the primary.  Currently, I'm loving teal and purple. Have a great Tuesday!

Friday, July 3, 2015

June Art Video

Nothing like an email from Apple that reminded me my iCloud storage is almost full to get me to clean up my files on my phone and iPad. It's been since February since I made a flip video of my art. So here is a video of all the art created in June. I hope you enjoy it. Have a safe and wonderful 4th of July! We are headed to Flagstaff to watch the fireworks tomorrow evening!