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.


There were a few things I came across in my email inbox (which was chocker…) that I didn’t want to delete because of my almost paranoid fear of losing a valuable resource. Add to that that this particular blog I am using doesn’t support the categories I used to use, and life becomes a little more complex!

Anyhow, the one way I can think of to “keep” and share these brilliant posts and/or sites, is to put them here in a new post. So here goes!

1. I am getting busier now that I have returned to part-time work – I was retrained on a different department so that I can rest the foot till it’s mended – i.e., sitting and not standing is now the order of the day (look out love-handles…!), so I use a FREE downloadable calendar on my PC desktop, so when my computer’s switched on, anyone in my house can see where I am/should be/will be on any given day that current month. Let’s face it, sometimes I forget to write on the kitchen calendar!! I get my pretty calendar from Billie’s Craft Room. Thanks, mate! 😉

2. I subscribe to Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s blog because she’s great, honest, inspirational, funny and has fab guests. I really like Joanne Sharp’s style, and here is a great post  where she shares her Top Ten Tips for Artful Lettering… brilliant!

3. For those of you who enjoy haikus – I joined Haiku my Heart Fridays, hosted  by the amazing Rebecca of “Recuerda mi Corazon” recently and love it! – Quinn MacDonald has the most amazing post here, about photography, but for each one she has written a haiku… inspiring!

AND, if you’re a keen or “improving” art journaller, like me, Quinn’s running a workshop based on her latest book “Raw Art Journalling”. It’s a great opportunity to take part in a FREE workshop to get your journalling juices flowing and the only conditions are: You have to have the book to participate – ‘cos that’s what we’re working from AND join the (super-friendly) Yahoo Group. Simples! For more info, click HERE!

4. I like a lot of the mini-classes offered here on Leslie’s Art Journalling Group, although I haven’t managed to commit to any yet, because my head’s in the wrong space for that at present. I like her devil-may-care honesty and really loved the Cult of Stuff… If you gather unused “must-have” art supplies, this may be for you!! 😉

5. Although I enjoy drawing and watercolours, acrylics and gels, etc. I still have an enormous, unfulfilled passion for the texture of textiles, the feel of velvets and cottons, painted and /or quilted, embellished or plain. I like the great variety of products and (naturally!), techniques that Jamie Malden and the gang at Colouricious show us. The taster videos and printing blocks are yummy, and would that I had more time and money to go take a workshop with them at the Abbey!

6. For the digital art lovers amongst us, there are some very good places to visit and play in, though my personal favourite is Digital Whispers. I am an infrequent visitor, but always feel welcome when I pop in and I still receive the newsletter so I stay in touch with the peeps. The amazing Rian (Freubel) is a member, for instance, and you know how wonderfully creative and sharing she is!

It would be rude to leave you with no artwork at all, so here’s a little “pretty” from a week or so ago, that I painted in the garden. None of those flowers are in my garden – they all came from my head! 😉

The page was supposedly a “wet on wet” practice piece, once I’d remembered what to do! And then when the lines started to appear later, it went from landscape to portrait (orientation), and I found flowers “appearing”, followed quickly by grasses and leaves… Headspace is a wonderful planet!

Kids’ speak…

I was waiting for DD whilst she took an exam yesterday (Maths!). I had the very colourful fabric journal with me, a big old pencil case and a little ziplock bag with Neos, rubbers and a few more pens in it! (No wonder my bag is always so heavy!)

The composition is mine, but the layout is pure Kelly Kilmer! The writing says…

“The language that kids today use, is as colourful as my pages… They can be so abusive without at all meaning to be rude or give offence. I love talking to kids I don’t know, because we listen to each other & engage, with no preconceived ideas or opinions about each other. It’s merely the subject of our conversation that unites us briefly. Share a thought with a young person TODAY.”

Listen to Who I Am – Hear ME ….. Look Beyond My Attitude…. See Me

I got a few curious looks (as usual), as I sat there writing, drawing, pens in mouth, waterpen dribbling into my top!! But hey, I was in the “zone” and I stopped when I felt I was finished – about 15 minutes before DD!

In explanation of the above, DD took her exam outside school, in a Skills Centre where they run full-time and part-time educational courses for kids who don’t fit the “norm”. Listening to them, we got chatting, briefly, before they all went off to class, and I found it so interesting. So enlightening… and I listened to them and saw who they are – briefly.

Maybe one day I’ll be in a position to work alongside kids like those teens… who knows? 🙂

Of Divas and so on…

I spent what I earnt last week on new art supplies. It feels good, very good, to be honest… because I have been lusting after some more of the divine Inktense pencils (by Derwent) for the longest time. I was so lucky – shopping online at Jacksons Art  early in the week, with just a bit over £20 to spend, I found an absolute bargain – a set of 18 Inktense pencils, with a portable pencil stand for £13.79!! I clicked BUY! I also bought some white acrylic ink for journalling with the dip pen, another black Posca pen (fine nib this time), and a Brush Pen which holds water or ink.

So, after getting the chores and an Etsy listing out of the way, I have had a little play with them…

My colourful Diva!

Oh they are such pretty colours! If you have been watching what I post here, you’ll have noticed that I am really into colours at the  moment – big, bold and bright!! In all their hues. Yes! Yummy, juicy colours, which I have been using to create my own collage sheets. So, here’s one I created yesterday and finished this morning. It has 29 different elements (phew!) and lots of those bold colours! I wanted to make an assorted sizes sheet, so that you’re not restricted, when printing these out, to just one thing – like all dominos, or inchies, etc. On this one, you get some of each and they are all fabulously colourful!

Beautiful + Bird Printable Collage Sheet

So that was my latest listing in the Etsy shop and my reasoning behind it!! All the elements are taken from an original piece of my artwork and I’ll tell you a secret – Gizmo has a test sheet hanging on the tall fridge to the right of her cage. She has made a lot of noise since I put it there… not sure if it’s the colours or the warmer weather!! 😉

Fingy to the rescue!

Meet Fingy Finnegan, friend to the Little Folk… I drew Fingy a while ago, at the same time as Saffy Valentine and he was languishing in my desk drawer till I was motivated to finish him. Well this morning, someone told us there was a fluffy kitten wandering about, obviously lost, so Fingy flew off to rescue the poor mite. If anyone knows whose kitten this is, we’ll be happy to return it!

Fingy Finnegan finds a kitten...

Created for fun – and Theme Thursday animal!

Kitten – courtesy of Google images.

Hey there, Delilah!

For Songs in my Heart, I love this song and sing along whenever I hear it (much to DD’s disgust!!). It’s one of those songs where you can hear and understand the lyrics and it has a really easy, catchy chorus – win-win as far as I’m concerned – so let’s hear it for the Plain White Ts!

This is one of those altered book art journals where I let loose with the watercolour paints… I had the most trouble with her mouth! You’d think she was singing the flippin’ song! I drew and painted her on Saturday evening in front of the telly… No wonder I had to keep asking what I’d missed!

Nick’s page!

Today I did my first art journalling and watercolour sketching in public! Yes! Defiantly, I got out my “Everything” art journal that my friend Barbara sent me a couple of years ago to encourage me to be an art journalist and made a page about Nick. That’s my husband – who was sitting his driving test today after having driven for over 40 years. He had to retake the test because his European/Spanish driving licence dates back to the age before computerisation and there is no longer a record of it! The Examiner says that it is not uncommon for Spanish Nationals who lose their licences (as in mislay them), to come to the UK to retake and then go home and swap the UK licence for a Spanish one!

Whatever I dream, I can do...

Anyway, I digress… So, I sat in the waiting room, with a Driving Instructor who was waiting for his pupil, and journalled. I felt so brave… and defiant as I thought, “Well, I am an artist and this is what I do when I have time!”

Testing times!

I remember Julie Fei-Fan B. talking about her “everything” journal and I carry Barbara’s little journal in my bag all the time lately! I also took one of my own handbuilt art journals with me and fell in love with Fabriano watercolour paper all over again! How daunting it is to begin a brand new EMPTY, virgin art journal. And, intimidating too – these books that I bound and built and painted and stitched myself – are so precious to me. So here’s what I did:

Untitled... unfinished...wip

About 2/3rds of the way through the book I started this sketch. It’s been some days since I drew a face! I had a few watercolour pencils, a waterbrush (must get a newer and more efficient one though…) and one of my 3 Inktense pencils; some HB and B pencils and a rubber. I think she’s going to be so pretty when I’m done! Here’s a photo of the cover of this journal:

So, I stopped working reluctantly because Nick was due back soon – he’d been gone about 30 minutes – and got chatting to the chap waiting for his pupil. He was great fun (ex-Forces – like us, not from Cornwall – like us!, etc.) and the next 10 minutes passed quickly in the sunshine outside the centre till they returned.  Oh and Nick passed, so yay!! 🙂

The prompt “Empty” was from Tammy’s site and she has the most gorgeous coloured penwork up today, aswell as a list of experiments and stuff for fun,  for freeing “blocks” and to get your creativity flowing. Go pay a visit to Daisy Yellow, go now… just go!

Safflower Saffy Valentine

From playing too much Sacred 2 Fallen Angel this week and concentrating on home and Accounts, I was very productive last night. I heard from my online pal Billie (very clever, very talented lady) and she has fallen in love with the Flowerpot girl, so we are doing an ATC swap. I decided to draw her again and along came 4 other characters, all vying for attention. I drew each one in my watercolour handmade journal, working from the back towards Blue & the Jesterbird.

This morning I scanned them all into my PC and then I printed Saffy off onto a different art journal page where she became colourful, vibrant and “loved up”!

Anyone can catch your eye...

I haven’t tweaked the colours in Photoshop, all I did was add the words. I’m happy with her!! This is my entry to  the Three Muses “Quotation” challenge and Theme Thursday’s “Words” this week…

I wonder why we have these bursts of creativity? I am not feeling the writing part of journalling at the moment, but I really am enjoying the drawing! So grateful for small mercies! 🙂

Slack Alice and the flowerpot girl!

Where do these names originate, I wonder? I remember the comedian Larry Grayson had some characters like Everard and others whose names elude me at the moment, but maybe Slack Alice was one of his? I seem to be creating characters lately – maybe because it’s quicker to draw them than write them… Since I scanned this page in this morning, that song, “Here come the girls…” has been running through my head.

Flowerpot Girl and friends...

(Maybe I should have called it “Here come the heads!”) The last time I got the Kelly Kilmer watercolour journal out, I created ‘Blue and the Jesterbird’ with heartbreaking emotion behind it. She’s now on available in T-shirts, etc. as is Do you ever feel out of “synch?” I chose to zazzle because I received a mug and a mousemat from friends for Christmas and I was really impressed with the quality of their merchandise.

After carving the Woodcutter’s daughter from the “nearly Naomi” sketch, I realised that I am enjoying my character creations immensely. I have ideas for a book featuring Blue and the Jesterbird, using the whole story behind her invention, but that takes time to develop.

In the meantime, I shall continue to sketch and draw ‘people’ like the Girls. I give credit for the fact that there are 5 on the page to Milliande – she used a circles template in one of her art journals last year to draw multiple simple faces on a spread and I did that (using a spaghetti measure!!!) last night.

The flowerpot girl is my favourite – pretty, slightly Zetti and I think she’d make a cute card! If I offered these drawings for sale as digital stamps, (like Lily’s Octopode designs), in a PDF format for you to print out, would you buy them? I’d put them up in my Etsy shop… Just asking!