Archives for February 2016

Travel Pages Journal

DSC_0434Take a peek inside my travel journal pages.  This journal was created with ephemera, found papers, and purchased postcards from my trip to Europe.  The countries visited included The Netherlands, Paris, Spain and Italy.  Fortunately we have a family member who was  a pilot for NATO and had a lovely flat in Maastricht, Holland where we had our home base.  From there we travelled to neighboring countries, mostly by air, and a quick road trip to Paris.  It was the trip of a lifetime. 

DSC_0435The first time I saw the Mona Lisa was at The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. It was 1967 and I was in 2nd grade.  Jackie Kennedy was instrumental in bringing the masterpiece to the nation’s capital and fortunately my mother took us to see it.  Even at a young age I found the painting intriguing.  Seeing it again at The Louvre was meaningful and reminded me of how influential art can be at any age.  I loved standing in front of this fine lady fifty years later!

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DSC_0437I am using a chipboard kit by Recollections for Travel Pages.  First I gessoed every page and added a light color of oil pastels.  This helped tone down the white and I used a variety of colors, scraping the pastels over the almost dry gessoed pages.  There is a layer of liquid acrylic paint that coordinates with the ephemera.  LADUREE is a fabulous macaroon shop and restaurant in Paris, the page is made from the bag which held my delicious macaroon purchase.  It was amazing to find a coffee shop in Paris that carried Guatemalan coffee, my husbands homeland, so I had to include part of the bag from the coffee we drank.  These paper treasures are perfect for collage and spark memories of time spent travelling.

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We visited Spain also; Barcelona, Sevilla, and Granada.  I love Cathedrals. They are intricate, and majestic.  The Sagrada Familia designed by Gaudi is unique because of the light which enters the interior space.  The stained glass was abstract in design and there are not enough adjectives to describe this magnificent structure which by the way is still being built.  My travel journal included a background using a stained glass page I drew in another journal.  The black and white photo of the interior of the cathedral was altered using colored pencils.  The postcard was purchased but most of the other ephemera came from bags, brochures and freebies.

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There was a quaint little shop in Maastricht that sold buttons, trays and trays full of beautiful buttons.  This one found its way onto my page as part of a small envelope closure, naturally it is on a page dedicated to the Netherlands.  And how about that great restaurant…Spice of India where we enjoyed a delicious family dinner nestled along a cobblestoned street in Maastricht.

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The Van Gogh museum was filled with the colorful and textural work of a native son of Holland. The museum paid homage to this versatile artist who was way ahead of his time. We spent hours admiring the collection of paintings and I took a bazillion photographs!

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The Anne Frank house in Amsterdam…the words on this page say it all.  A moving and informative tour.  The beauty of making travel journal pages is having a place for creative expression using words and mixed media.

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Sari ribbon to attach ephemera on a page and found papers for collage.  Lots of Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold paint by Golden in this journal.  It is the perfect color for transforming pages.

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This is a inkjet copy of a postcard bought at The Uffizi in Florence, altered with colored pencil.  The background is a cathedral series stencil applied with liquid acrylic paints.  A little Conte crayon applied around the image to help sink it into the page.

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I like to include a few photos in travel pages, here we are by the Arno River in Florence, at dusk.  The Recollections kit came with a couple of photo pockets which I altered with Conte crayon and washi tape.

DSC_0459This page is an altered mailing envelope, painted, stamped with Da Vinci text, Florence stickers and specially made collage papers.  The horizontal accents were created by dissolving the ink of pages in a National Geographic magazine with Citrasolv.  The papers are perfect for adding interest and design.

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DSC_0464While walking on the streets of Paris, my stepson’s friend asked me, “Do you collect anything in particular?” Indeed I do…was my quick reply.  Paper, all kinds from all sorts of places…cafes, museums, hotels, maps, ticket stubs, even rubbings made on vellum paper while walking around the Cathedral in Sevilla near the spot where Christopher Columbus is buried.  And who could imagine the paper pocket which held a warm croissant from a tiny Parisian bakery would be so colorful and intricately made?  This is the composition of stash which has lovingly been put together to create pages of art, and a bundle of treasured memories.

Butterfly Coloring Book

A beautiful gift from my daughter, Vive Le Color – Butterflies – Coloring Book.  This is my first coloring book and now I totally understand the coloring pages craze.  It is a lovely process to take my colored pencils and color in between the lines.  Much of my mixed media art is just the opposite, pursuing creative abstract expression which is all about being outside of the lines.  There is something to be said for working with colored pencils to shade butterflies in a coloring book.  The designs in Vive le Color are exquisite and I love the book size about 6 1/2  x 6 1/2 inches, easy to put in my bag and take it along.  72 tear out pages of butterflies!  2015 was the year of the butterfly for me and this book was a gift oozing with love.  Thank you Laura!DSC_0402She purchased Vive le Color at one of our favorite shops in Denver, Artisan Center.  If you are ever in the Cherry Creek shopping area this is worth a stop.  They carry a unique collection of gifts from around the world, lots of unique items by artisans and creatives.DSC_0420I am using Prismacolor  Colored pencils and have finished one page.  Bright colors, shading in some areas, and being precise by staying in between the lines is a delightful way to spend time.  It is very peaceful to choose just the right pencil for a particular spot and know that however it turns out is OKAY, no pressure.  Just like art journaling, it is a process activity, one that nurtures my creative spirit and let me say, this is addicting!  No wonder sales of adult coloring books are skyrocketing, we all long for creative expression in this digital, analog, age we live in.DSC_0407

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One page complete, and another underway!  With a hankering for spring right about now as the snowfall at my house totals 18″ and winter wonderland abounds, these pastel colors take me to a different time and place.  Such is the beauty of art, all types of art, any type of art.  It transports us back to childhood or takes us on a new adventure.  How fond are my memories of using Crayolas to create coloring book pages when I was young.  Now, with my new Vive le Color Butterfly book I am experiencing a throwback to childhood but with a different twist.  I am using marvelous colored pencils which create a finer line and a different look.  It is a blast.  There are numerous coloring books on the market featuring a variety of themes and designs.  I encourage you to check them out, you might find the perfect one for your creative muse.   Time for me to finish up this butterfly with a cup of tea in front of the fire, oh joy!

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