Saturday, December 29, 2018

Flying Forward

Continuing my Summer Journaling Play
  This page came together in many layers and different media. I began by covering both sides of my journal with free writing in magenta ink- I created this page just before Solstice so my journaling was all about releasing the pain and struggles of 2018 and there was quite a bit to release I chose the magenta on a whim but it suited my passionate wording. 

Next, I used some colour shine spray in sea foam, I love this soothing cooling colour and as I sprayed I was intentionally calming those emotions and used a couple of discrete but symbolic stencils. Green means water and growth and abundance and calm to me -
 I am welcoming all of that into my new year.

As its all about the sun right now I also wanted to bring in that energy and burn off and release anything still hanging around so I covered the page with more colour shine sprays in the orange and yellow tones and added sun rays in white gesso across the entire spread.

Next, I turned to my collage bits and found some garden photo strip pics in suitable colours, I kept looking through the collage and found a photocopied sun so I did a transfer in the middle of my gessoed sunburst, once she had a face she needed a full and abundant body.  I painted her with a little bit of gesso and using my paintbrush in the colour shine bottles.

Once she was dry I got out my trusty black pens- a posca and a signo and doodled and journalled another layer. The bird is symbolic of me and I am at a point where I am very much flying forward into my own life, burning off the ties of who I was before and embracing my new. 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Summer Journal Play

The three birds is a recurrent theme in my artwork, they have often appeared in my art journal and also in my paintings and my eldest son has requested I design him a tattoo for his 21st birthday that is based on a fig tree and the three birds, I have a year to come up with it and we will collaborate on the design together. My 15yo son has also expressed interest in having the same tattoo. Personally, I am not overly keen on tattoos but they are very popular with the younger generation.  

I have been pondering the passing of time a lot as we navigated this past Solstice. It is the second Solstice since the passing of my boys' father and although we were separated and I really did raise the boys as a single mum most of the time he was still a very loved family member and his absence is always felt- particularly at this time of the year. 

I feel this page that was created with intuition and spontaneity is symbolic of the privilege of watching them grow and sharing that part of their life journeys.  In many ways that part is finished but they will always be my little chicks.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Approaching Solstice 2018

There is something about summer that finds me breaking out a new art journal every year and playing in it every chance I get. I don't know if it is the heat or the end of the year. the beginning of a new one or the energy of solstice but here I am again. 

I welcome this creative and cleansing burst.
It is a great opportunity to reflect on the year that was and begin setting some intentions for the new one arriving. I Shared this as a prompt on the Australian Art Swap group as well.

As we approach 2019 
I would love you to do a double page spread 
focussing on the year we just had and the one we are about to begin.
Some things to ponder -
What were the highlights/ lessons learned/ major events?
What do you want to change/ leave behind/ let go of?
What do you want as your focus for the new year?
Do you have a word for the year?
What do you want to nurture in yourself/ your family/ your home?

My page quickly filled up in cathartic release and whilst my journalling is not really earth-shattering, it has been a really tough year and I am not open to sharing this page. Plus there are some really cool photo apps out there.

May the brightest of blessings shine on you and your loved ones this solstice,
what ever side of our beautiful planet you are on .

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Playing In Janie's Exotic journal.

Janie's Exotic arrived the other day and I was determined to get to it early this month, so I had thought about the spice markets and wonderful tiles and colours of Morocco as being about the most exotic thing I could imagine- however the lovely Lisa Jones already took Janie's journal to Morocco so the pondering continued.

Thinking back over my life - what have I done that is exotic, I mean I love gardening and herbs and trees and art and making compost-  There was that time the circus came to town and I raced down there as they were leaving to collect the elephant poo to make my most exotic compost heap ever!

Hmm - maybe not- there are already elephants in Janie's journal and the other images, well nothing exotic came to mind, however the kaffir lime tree and the lemongrass that eventually got that compost loved it. 

Oh well, I had some time to play today so bugger it I will just jump in and let it unfold.  

I started with a magenta oil pastel - that is pretty exotic, right?
and I scrawled the word exotic across the double page.

Looking around my desk I spied the stencil I used for Alice so I grabbed 2 warm and 2 cool 'exotic' colours. I love pink and orange together, it makes me think of Indian sari's and teal is very exotic, as well as my favourite colour, next I picked ultramarine.  I played with the stencil to cover the page and my word.

It was wonderfully vivid, but all those blank spaces! Grab another exotic stencil and some black paint and work in strips to cover some of those spaces and I am loving it.

 Then I scratched off the acrylic paint from the oil pastel to re-expose my word and outlined it in a white posca paint pen.  And in all of that exotic- maybe even chaotic background what would be more exotic than a calm white egret.  He looks like the page was built around him- pulling the whole thing together.

 So I went in without any idea of where I would end up simply following my impulses and intuition and I am very happy with how it turned out and it was lots of fun.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Louise in Wonderland

Alice blew into Grafton is a whirlwind of crazy activity, I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do so I gessoed my spread in black and Debs gorgeous little journal sat patiently waiting for me to find the time to play day after day and suddenly- its the end of the month!

Deadlines are great motivators, I had a day off today and besides the other million things, I needed to do I made sure to put some time aside to play- and play I did!

I wanted a grungy background with the iconic image of Alice stripped back to a silhouette and the harlequin diamond pattern distinctive but grungy. Where to next? I was lost and then I remembered the quirky wrapping paper I picked up at IKEA recently so cut out some collage pieces to add.

The flower faces and the mushrooms were rather Alice-ish and as it's my wonderland the funny little woodland creatures came along too. The Magic of Alice is Deb Stephens travelling art journal from round 6 of the Australian Art Journal Swap.
We are mustering for round 7 over at the Australian Art Swap Group on fb. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Destination Egypt

What an mind boggling place, it conjures up so many images and thoughts and is one of our most documented and most studied ancient places- so many ideas were present for Annabelle's amazing travelling art journal. 

We are a homeschooling family and when my lads were little my eldest was obsessed with ancient civilisations, especially Egypt. We had some dear friends spend time there and we followed their journey from home and they bought us home a stack of goodies on their return. I raided some of these for the center of this spread, all of those wonderful places to visit.

One needs hieroglyphs for Egypt  and they are great graphic journal fodder too :) I have no idea what I was talking about up there but I like the way they look.

I also had the lyrics of this old song from Mental as Anything that insisted on being included so I squeezed them in too and my page came together. It is a really fun journal and Annabelle I am sure you will enjoy your journey through it on its return. 


Egypt, I saw you 
On the television
I saw your name 
Written on a wall
I saw your picture
In a magazine
Egypt, can I ask you 
To lend me your blue sky
And your dreamy
Virginal tenderness
I don't know you very well
But I really like you
Egypt, I'm a gonna 
A, see you soon
Said I'm a gonna walk on 
Your foreshore
Egypt, won't you hold me
Like I held a map of you
I learned your location 
From a travel brochure
Egypt, I need your 
Sophisticated silence
Egypt I'm a gonna
See you soon
I'm a gonna walk on 
Your foreshore
Songwriters: Chris O'doherty

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Life is a Circus

Some times I think my life is a circus,
 there are certainly enough dare devil occurrences
and no shortage of clowns.  
This month has been very circus focused
 as I live near the show ground 
and the Rio circus from Brazil 
has been there performing 
so I have had their lights and tent viewed from my window
 and some folks from work also attended and enjoyed it. 
However aside from my own very dramatic family circus 
I have had the pleasure of playing in 
Sharon Rogers's lovely Vintage Circus
 travelling art journal from round 6 of 
the Australian Art Journal Swap. 

I have been super busy but had my vintage circus radar peculating in the back of my mind and nothing was grabbing me. I was in a shop though and there was a notice up from an old news paper story about a long ago flood that had a circus stranded in town and Samson the strongman was assisting in the rescue efforts and also put on a benefit show to support the town. 
He must have loved our dear Grafton as he then stayed on and became a shop keeper or maybe it was a publican. 
We almost had a strongman theme  but unfortunately I didn't make the Vintage Circus connection at the time so went on my merry way and can not remember the shop or all the details beyond my curiosity in that moment and googling gave me no answers either, meanwhile time was ticking so I went back to good old google and started looking at Vintage Circus images for inspiration. While looking I didn't want to use any animals and I don't think animals in circuses are a good idea even though they could have been a great page and of course once I go going I just had fun and played and I think they fit the theme ok. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Book Week - Beautiful Books Display

Our lovely librarian has been after me to do a display at our local library for a while  and we have finally managed to get it happening. 

I included a selection of hand made books by me and also others I have swapped with. 

This one is on cultured foods- 
strange Brews. 

They all look pretty lovely sitting in the cabinet 
and hopefully I will get some feedback from our community. 

If you are in Grafton, do pop in and have a peek. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Creativity Prompts

Are you looking for a friendly supportive space to share your creative projects and be inspired?

I have a new little community on my River Girl Art Healing fb page where I post monthly prompt lists. Everyone is very welcome.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Mixed Media Art Patches

I remember years ago seeing the amazing Teesha Moore on youtube making these gorgeous little patches to make journal covers and bags and things and it was something I always wanted to do but never got around to it.

I finally decided the time was now and started a swap on the Australian Art Swap Group to help keep me on track and motivated and I found I was not alone there are quite a few who were inspired by Teesha and also needed the extra motivation.

We are into our second month and I am so keen for bthe patches in the mail to arrive here. I am planning to make a messenger bag with mine

Monday, June 25, 2018

Looking for Wisdom

 The travelling art journal
Words of Wisdom arrived with winter, things were insanely busy with trying to sell our house and homeschooling and just family life.

I wasn't too concerned as I can usually create a reasonable spread in our allocated month fairly easily and incubation time always takes up the begining of the month for me.

I love the arrival of a new journal.  I love the anticipation and excitement and I love that first perusal over a cuppa. 

I tend to put it on the shelf then and let my ideas brew. Sometimes I will look through the journal a few times in this process until my idea starts to form. 

Sometimes I dont get an idea at all!
I just start playing and let it happen.

And this page is one that evolved on the page, intuitively.

 After 6 days sick in bed I was desperate to art despite have no wisdom on what I would create.

I just doodled all over the page with intense pencils then activated with watered down white and a tiny brayer. Looking at what came out made me think of pebbles on a beach and away I went.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Flying Fox

I am the last artist to work in Roz Willoughby's lovely silhouette travelling art journal.

My page is inspired by the 20 000 flying foxes we have on Susan and Peanut Islands in the mighty, mighty Clarence river in Grafton NSW. 

They are such a magnificent sight filling the sky at sunset, swooping down to the river to skim the surface wetting their furry chests so they can get a drink after a long hot day sleeping in the trees before dispersing for their evening of foraging and pollinating.

These colonies are native to the east coast but innocently inspire quite a bit of contention in human communities. Personally I admire and appreciate them and I am a keen gardener and fruit tree grower and spent 2 years living right next to a huge colony further down river. I like to live and let live and tread lightly upon this earth. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Funky Town

Robyn's cute little journal from round 6 of the Australian Art Journal Swap has been sitting on my desk just waiting for me to play.

I have been trying to remember what I dreamed of as a kid and I think it was living in a real community. 

My Mama had a really cool friend who homeschooled her kids and I had a girlfriend down the road with an exotic hippy extended family. I so wanted to live in that funky imagined utopia.

My page is created using home made stamps, acrylic paints, gel pens and posca paint pens.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Gypsy Journal

I, like quite a few of us took a while to find my mojo and create my journal for round 6, but once I did it was so much fun.

My theme is Gypsy.
To me this word brings so many images to mind but the beautiful horse drawn gypsy caravan and a fortune teller were the strongest.

I used my favourite Stonehenge paper and bound with leather.  My pages are created with inktense pencils, acrylic paint, serviette, lace and scrap book paper.

Im ready to hitch up the horses and send it travelling and watch it gather beauty here on our blog, you can follow along

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Tea Bag Art in Lisa'a journal

My first journal to play in, in Round 6 is our fabulous Lisa Jones's Music and Lyrics. Lisa is such a gorgeous artist and one of the things I admire is her incredible tea bag art! So I was always going to do something with tea bags in this journal.

I had to find a song that had tea in it and what could be more iconic than "A home among the gum trees".

I painted my page with tea and used some inktense for the green leaves, the plums and the dark browns.  Tea bags are collaged onto the trees and the house.

I was quietly chuckling when I saw Joans dot to dot this month  on AASG is all about tea bags!