Monday, March 31, 2014

Journal Play- It's for Me

Music can be so healing and moving.

This spread came from a wonderful song by Western Australian songstress Mama Kin

Her words are her personal story but I can identify with some of them 

I used some collage, inks, paints, stencils and doodling 

This is the song- in case you have not heard it.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Term 2 Youth Art Classes at the Grafton Art Club

I am a local artist offering my unique and fun art classes at the Grafton Art Club.
Making art is fun and relaxing and in a life where we can so often get it wrong, there are no wrongs in my art classes, just wonderful experiments we can learn from.
 I am offering a colourful, creative, relaxing and nurturing space for kids from 8 up.

I am aiming for your children to find success and pleasure in our art time and at the end of our 8 week terms they will have gained  new skills and ideas
and come home with something uniquely their own.

Next term we will be focusing on mixed media and art journaling. Students will be working in a visual art diary and completing one or more pages in each class. We will be using many different media including acrylic paints and mediums, water colour paints and mediums, artist pens and inks, sprays, stencils, charcoal, gesso, collage and more. The materials we use we will play with, but they will learn as much from the art materials themselves as they will from me.

This is an ideal class to experiment with different art materials
and see what supplies really suit your child without having to purchase all the supplies first.

You can have a peek at me working with other young artists
on my facebook page River Girl Art in the Art with Kids folder.
 Please like my page to keep in touch with what I am doing and where I am.
  I offer many different classes in different places locally and afar.

Classes will be held at the Grafton Art Club
between 3:30 pm and 4:45 pm on Wednesday afternoons.
Dates for the next term are Wed April 30 – Wed June 25.
  Cost for the full term is $150 per student this will cover all of your materials and hall fees,
plus annual art club membership of $10.
Please speak to me if you would like to pay in 3 installments.

 If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me
or message me on my river girl art facebook page.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Art makes me Happy

Having Janene's lovely journal here I just had to have another play.

Janene's journal is themed
"What Makes You Truly Happy""

Art makes me happy-
I can usually lose all of my worries and cares in the play with colour and pattern. It is my own personal therapy at times and it is just an expression of joy at other times.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Teaching in a Little Town

I have spent the last 15 years home with my kids, we have done loads of things in that time and as I have always homeschooled them, we have had a lot of freedom to travel and explore and do so many things together. My boys are 15 and 10 now though and much more independent so I am trying to do more for me and trying to make more of a financial contribution to our family. I don't want to have to work full time hours though as I am still homeschooling and I would love to work in the field I love so I started up my business River Girl Art.

I am quite lucky that I do get so much teaching work, I am working for the local council in an out reach program called Out of the Box, I also work in the local regional gallery and I teach at the local art club. The contract work for the gallery is a blessing I get paid regardless of how many students I have but the art club is challenging. 

I have tried teaching adults art journalling and had a fabulous small group of women last year but it petered out when life changed for these ladies so I switched to kids classes. We had 2 nice classes last year one for homeschool youth and another after school, however in the new year all the kids seem to be so busy with sports and dance and choir and all the other lovely things that take a childs fancy and I am wondering once again what I can do with the opportunity I have with the art club. It is such a great venue.

Meanwhile the wolfs at the door so I need to amp up art sales and online teaching opportunities. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

What makes you truly happy?

I have had a play in Janene's journal in the Australian Art Journal Swap.
What Makes you Truly Happy.

Its funny how the different themes can really challenge us, I am going through a period of darkness in my life and being truly happy seems almost impossible but there are always those little moments when happiness finds you- moments of laughter or beauty or joy or love- these do make me truly happy so thank you Janene for helping me remember. 

I worked in layers on this spread, layers work well in moments.

A moment to tear the old book pages in readiness, a moment to do the collage.The next day when it is dry and beckoning I can do some washes of joyful inspiring colours and keep fiddling with washes when ever the moment strikes. Then a layer of journalling about what being truly happy means to me, but in a tonal pen, so I can leave my heart and soul right there but it wont be very easy for anyone else to read. Another moment on another day and I sketched in the flowers  then later that day I added a bit of white for its opacity  and to bring the flowers forward also covering up a little more of my journalling. Finally another moment with some spray inks and some inktense pencils to finish the page and bring it all together. 

This is the first month our journals are out in the big wide world, they are collecting their first input from our fellow artists- I can't wait to see what everyone else shares in our blog and look forward to some feed back on this spread. 

As I have a fortnight before our next mailing day and Janene has lots of pages I might even find another moment or 2 to play on another spread and I do know that art play does indeed make me truly happy, as does connection with like minded people and working collaboratively with my fellow artists in these travelling art journals. 

Friday, March 14, 2014


Busy , busy , busy, busy- gahhh

 How did life get so busy I am homeschooling, mothering, single parenting, maintaining a home and family, handraising a baby bird,  building, teaching, arting, promoting and I am sure there are other hats in there as well.

The rewards are wonderful 
but keeping all of those balls in the air gets so difficult at times.

I have just had a huge declutter - it was a side affect of knocking down a few walls to open up space for the new open plan kitchen/ dining/ lounge area but I am looking for all the secondary bonus's these days and the big purge of unwanted, unneeded stuff cleared space in my head and our home. 

To get the most benefit from this I wanted to get really organised in all the new areas of our home as they become ready to be lived in. I am so sick of having to move things constantly for the build to progress. 

All the boxes I use for carting my supplies for all the various classes and workshops I teach now reside neatly in a big shelf unit in the entry. All of my own art materials are now sorted and stored in my little bedroom corner studio and the boys have all of their stuff sorted and stored in their rooms. Sounds pretty obvious but when I think that 12 months ago the kids were living in a tent and most of our stuff was in boxes in storage it is huge. The way we had to access stuff when we needed it but still keep most of everything out of the house so we could have space to build led to a state of chaos really and so much time wasted trying to find things. 

The home school rego came up at the same time so that was another encouragement to overhaul and reorganise that part of out lives both physically and for time management as we have been so busy building some areas had slipped. The really good part of all of that organising and planning is I am feeling much more on top and in control of all areas of my life.

Now I just need to find time for me to art for me, I just had a whole day on Saturday and that was therapy after everything that has been going on here lately. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Favorite Art Materials

Someone asked me the other day what are my favorite art materials to use and oh my goodness, what a question, that is like who is your favorite child- I love them all.

Deeper pondering and a look at the desk in my bedroom corner studio revealed my favorites, the ones I use the most right now. Acrylic paints, spray inks, inca gold, modelling paste, impasto gel, gesso, posca pint pens, stamp pads, stencils and gelli plates- and a realisation I can pack a whole lot of stuff into a little space and still work here.

I also have collage elements, paint brushes and pallet knives, baby wipes, paper towel, art journals, tapes and oil pastels on my desk right now and my laptop. 

My top drawer in my desk has a selection of my favorite pens. Right now I can not get enough of Sakura Souffle, Glaze and Metallic gelly roll pens- I love them. My other absolute favorite pen of the moment are the posca paint pens- they write on anything and come in a great selection of sizes and colours.

Next drawer down has a selection of handy tools.
Brayers, scissors, pencil sharpeners, tweezers, knives, stapler etc. Other drawers hold receipts and paperwork, stationary etc. 
 Embellishments, paper cutter, corner cutter and assorted other cutters.

In close reach I have a stack of drawers filled with spare pens and pencils, pastels, scissors, glue and book binding supplies. Other drawers hold needle felting equipment, beads and jewelry making gear. The box on top hold a good supply of gelli prints, some odds and ends and the essential radio so I can listen to RN.

I have a wonderful set of shelves right beside my desk jam packed with all sorts of goodies. It has a shelf of art journals I am working in and books I am making. A shelf of stamping stuff- ink pads, stamps and my hand made stamps.

This box is one filled with my hand made stamps.

These shelves also house lots of paints and my larger stencils, paper and magazines I keep. 

I also have this lovely big shelf filled finished Art Journals and other supplies I use less often.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Cut Out Page

My mermaid princess-
she was OK but I felt the page needed more, I also wanted to include journalling. 

These are a couple of lessons from soul food,
and today I started to play with my mermaid page.

It had lots of amazing translucent texture for water 
and I loved that but I could not write on it, I also felt there was just too much water around her.

So I cut a little hole out of the page to draw the eye forward, to see what was underneath and I made it all part of her space. I then collaged on some lovely wispy sea grass to give some dimension and also to offer a protective layer to the delicate leaves I used in my tree sprites hair.

I lined up the hole so she could peek through and then added more sea grass to the other side to frame her face and add to the mystery. I just love how the green watery page totally changes my autumnal tree sprite, now she looks like another mermaid peeking through.

I added my journalling to this page and the page on the right is just crying out for some watery creature to appear- it will be peeking through the hole as well and will appear behind my mermaid princesses shoulder. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Australian Art Journal Swap

I am so excited- today is the day finally when I and my fellow artists in the Australian Art Journal Swap  send our lovingly crafted little journals our on their maiden voyages.

There are 13 of us covering really different themes- 

1) Nicole - Out of the Box
2) Jan - Just Three Words
3) Roz - Oriental
4) Pam - The Music in You
5) Janene- The things that make you truly happy
6) Louise - The Art of Transformation
7) Reniet - Laughter in spite of Pain
8) Monika - Grimoire
9) Wendy - Reveal- Your True Self
10) Mary - Memento Mori
11) Deb - Natura
12) Sharon - A Touch of Alice
13) Danielle - Book of Mirrors

 Wont you follow along on our blog and share our journey with us?  It is going to be so much fun working with this wonderful group of women, getting to know them and getting to work in their journals- Hooray