La Tomatina – TT – Gratitude

When we lived in Spain – and we were there over 10 years! – we were always involved in the local fiestas. We were so lucky to have experienced everything from helping to build floats for carnivals, to making costumes for kids, to actually performing (Nick used to be a fire-eater, and I used to work with him!!), that I have super memories of those times. I choose to be grateful that we had those experience which made the memories…

So when I came across a photo of “La Tomatina” in a National Geographic magazine, I had to use it in the Khadi journal. This is a transfer onto watercolour painted backgound, which I have used as the basis for today’s Texture Tuesday entry – “Gratitude”.

Here’s a link to La Tomatina, if you’re curious about this crazy fiesta!

I used Ugg love (sepia), soft light and removed some texture from the central image;

Ladder texture with colour burn, increasing the lightness

The font is aaaiiight! fat with drop shadows, which I coloured to make it look a bit like tomato splats!! The text on the right was altered with colour burn.

So, I am grateful that although we didn’t go to the tomato fight, we got to live a lot of fiestas and enjoy them!


Zombie Revolution

For SPA this week – zombies…

Texture layers courtesy of Kim Klassen;

Che-zombie courtesy of an image from “Zombie shirts”;

Original background layer – me!!

I converted the Che Zombie image into a brush as the complete image was a bit too OTT for the purpose!! Fun all the way today! The sun is shining brightly and would probably sear the rags off a zombie, but hey, it’s only a theme, innit? 😉

Three Muses – Moon

I have written that I have been taking Raw Art Journalling  – working through Quinn MacDonald’s book – and also Shwe Khit’s Sweetened Simplicity digital art course. Up till now, I haven’t really shown any of my coursework from Shwe’s site. If you’ve clicked on her button in my sidebar, you’ll know how talented an artist Shwe is – both in traditional and mixed media and also she’s a phenomenal digital artist. She taught me to create this…

I am so proud of  this painting! It makes me happy to think that I learnt to create this in a few weeks, using just a computer, Photoshop and a mouse… If I can do it, anyone can!

I never really understood the fascination of digital artwork to its fullest extent, nor did I appreciate the pleasure of being able to continually tweak a face, or a shadow, until you are satisfied that it’s “just right”! But now I do and I take my hat off to digital artists – *bows*.

So, this is my entry to The Three Muses challenge this week – Moon.

Now I’m away to continue creating a Merqueen who is lurking in a folder, patiently awaiting me and my mouse!! 😉

Petr and his dreams…

Do you think polar bears dream? What do they dream about, I wonder… Could it be big, juicy salmon or the thrill of a chase? Or maybe they dream of finding a mate? Dreams are doorways into our subconscious, are they not?

The image is a transfer from a National Geographic magazine, into the dreaded Khadi-paper journal! I used 2 shades of Inktense pencils to colour the background, scrubbed with water and brush (or blended, if you prefer, though it was a lot quicker and less technical than that!!); I had to dry the page with my heat gun as I intended to write on it…

However, having taken a liking to hybrid art and being very protective of my transfers and backgrounds, I decided to scan it into Photoshop and play with Kim Klassen’s textures and layers, which I have just learnt to do!

I used Ugg love – changed the colour to blue to suit my palette – and the painted music texture from the Textures in Ten Class. Thank you so much Kim – you have opened my eyes and taught me to play again! ♥

For The Three Muses – Doorways – this week. And for Petr, and all the other polar bears out there, looking for love…

The wagon lit…

Or sleeper car? Mix that with the rhythm of a train travelling through the night and you get a rocking, almost melodic sensation that lulls you to sleep… in theory at least! I found the image, transferred to watercolour washed khadi papers, in an old National Geographic advert for American transcontinental trains. I liked the gentle, caring pose suggesting excellent service, as the man turns down the covers. At this angle, with the staves in the background, he could almost be conducting music!

It’s a mere flight of fantasy, but… I like this way of creating. It’s very enjoyable to paint backgrounds, transfer a few images and then play with them in Photoshop. I am enjoying the “hybrid” experience, whilst I work on my classes, etc.

Lynn, of Celebrate Green and Green Halloween, has asked me to do a blog interview for them, as I still recycle most of the items I use in collages and recycle my own artwork to make collage sheets, etc., so I shall submit that later this week! Busy, busy!! 😉

Word Art…

More from Lessons in the Raw Art Journalling Class/Workshop from Quinn MacDonald. I chose to draw/illustrate “empty” and “shallow” this morning. It was such a strong urge, I had the images of both words in my mind, so I got them drawn straight into the Fabriano journal, where most of my faces are born. I roughed them out and went ahead and posted them to the RAJ gallery.

I’ve had a little time since breakfast to work them a bit more:

Nick and Team ROW are coming back to the UK today, hopefully crossing from France before the high winds really hit hard and prevent the ferry sailings. They’ll stay in Dover overnight to rest and then head home tomorow. Yay! I shall once again be whole… 😉

I do realise that given the date today and the significance to those who suffered losses on this day in 2001, my hope and happiness may seem shallow in comparison, but I have just read a really moving post by Quinn which is so profound. I’m sharing it all over and you can read it HERE.

And in the beginning there was Baby!

For fun, another image transfer – I fell in love with the cute baby face and transferred it to my Khadi journal, over the top of some watercolour splash-work, which might have otherwise ended up as flowers. Slightly enhanced with watercolour paint around the image and a little fun with the azalea brush on Photoshop, the journalling reads:

“And in the beginning there was Baby! Innocent. Beauty spot or Birthmark? Cherub’s smile… xo ♥”

I realise Baby looks a bit tatty and grubby, but I really like the flowery headband and the imperfect transfer effect!! Liberating is imperfection!! 😉

For the Three Muses – Words – this week!


In Raw Art Journalling this week, we are encouraged to play with words – favourite words, fun words, words that have a deeper, darker meaning to us, but not the stuff that nightmares are made of (unless they happen to be your fave words, of course!)

One of mine is “story” – the possibilities are truly infinite, aren’t they? A “once upon a time” story? A news story? Horror story? Thriller, or an anecdote… or even a piece of gossip (oops, that’s another word I have to add to the list – gossip!).

So, no “art” as such, or nothing OTT, just a page about STORY – in the journalistic sense. It’s sort of half-poem and half prose. I was prompted by a memory of an old b/w film starring Doris Day and Cary Grant (I think?) about a hack who teaches a journalism class at nightschool. It might even have been Clark Gable… (wow, that is going back in time!). Anyway, he talked about the 6 questions you have to answer to write a newspaper story – just a paragraph, even!

I’m loving Quinn MacDonald’s RAJ workshop – it’s so thought-provoking. It’s liberating and refreshing to simply think about words for a week without having to be super-creative or artistic with them. Me? I can’t help but doodle round them – that’d just be rude, wouldn’t it?!  😉

Of “fierce” and Falcons…

Here’s the falcon image transfer I referred to before. I have lost a bit of his back and some plumage, but his amazing face and eye are still there. I just added a little colour with the Inktense pencils and a charcoal one to the left, and wrote around him:

RAJ this week is all about words and word-play – love it! I am also taking Shwe Khit’s “Sweetened Simplicity” self-study class to learn how to create lovely faces in Photoshop. I am LOVING it… Nick is away to France this week for the World Carp Classic and he has treated me to this great class, because he could see how excited I was when I found it! I am learning so much about Photoshop tools that I never knew, I can’t begin to tell you what a revelation it is! ♥


A little something inspired by Created by Hand this week. I receive the Quietfire Design newsletter – I love the calligraphy stamps and some of the lovely products too! The red+blue struck a chord with me because I use the colour purple quite a lot.

This is the first art journal (book), I ever made thanks to Julie Prichard!! The only thing wrong with it is the Khadi papers. Great texture, too absorbent for me though, but the edges are cool! I use red and blue a lot in this little journal!

The image is a transfer from a Boots the chemist free magazine. The woman was on one of the “agony aunt” pages, with the lead title of “We talked it out…”, etc. She’s a clean image so I decided to use her for a quickie transfer. I’m taking Quinn’s Workshop – Raw Art Journalling – and I have given myself permission to make RAW art – imperfect art, because I can get very hung up on perfection… No, really, really control-freakishly annoying to myself!!

You see how there are a few spots where I rubbed too much of the image away? Not perfect… I can live with that, because it sort of goes with how “smug” I find articles like that! The speech bubble says: “We talked it all out… we felt a lot better although nothing changed.”

I also enjoy writing around an image, just for fun, to see how the words flow, or not! I drew the little flowers with red and blue Inktense pencils and blended them with a waterbrush.  I also bought a very cheap pack of pens recently -2 black and 1 red – simple gel pens, for 99p, and surprisingly, they’ll write/sketch/doodle on almost any surface! They probably won’t last long because they are so handy!!!

Just one little tip for people who struggle to get rid of the white “fuzzies” of paper left over when you have rubbed to the image on your transfer: Using your finger, apply a very small amount of mineral, vegetable or baby oil to the image transfer and watch the image shine out. It’s “magic” and I must give credit to Bev Wauer and Lesley Riley of the Inkjet Transfers Yahoo Group. I’ve been a member for about 4 years and they are so helpful and friendly! 🙂