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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Best of 2015

Linda on steps butterfly

Sitting on the Hidden Steps in San Francisco, they are hard to find but so worth it, amazing mosaic steps tucked in between the rolling streets of the city.

SF Steps Steps mushrooms

I Am The Way

Ghost in The Machine Art Show at Commonwheel Artists Coop.  All art was inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe Eloquent Objects Art Show at Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

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It was her gardenIt Was Her Garden, one of my mixed media paintings that was in the show.

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My Friend Melissa..thanks for putting it all together!!!

SOLDSOLD  –  She Blossoms in the Cracked Places…mixed media.  Thrilled this painting sold and has a new home.  Many thanks to family and friends who attended the show, your support touches my heart in the special places.

Art Journaling Classes

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Autumn brings new beginnings.  School starts, the garden provides a harvest, days become shorter, blossoms fade, and football games abound.  It is an ideal time to pursue creative interests.  Virtual classes on the internet are abundant and I have gained helpful information visiting various websites.  Last week I was in Taos for a workshop on painting florals in acrylic.  Being together with other artists, and the learning that occurs in a group, the interplay, idea sharing, and just being together is valuable.  This only happens in a class venue.  So this fall, be brave, venture out and invest in your creativity…take a class!  Anywhere!  I hope it is with me because I would love to connect and Bemis has a rich tradition of art education.  Our new partnership with The 21c Library is a convenient location if you are local.   This is the time for all creatives to pursue their desires and honor that little voice prodding towards expression, the opportunities are endless.

 

 

 

 

 

Botanical Gardens and Chihuly

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The Denver Botanical Gardens hosted a beautiful exhibit of Chihuly glass mixed with the blossoms and greenery of summer in 2014.  It was a serendipitous discovery when I came across these photos on my computer and knew they needed to be posted.  I hope they bring you joy and a little inspiration for your creative journey!

A work of art in Seville Spain

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In Seville Spain, this amazing cathedral stands on solid ground paying homage to Gothic architecture and many skilled hands working together to create this magnificent structure.

It is the largest cathedral in the world with the longest nave.  Construction began in 1402, ended in 1506 and represents a century of astounding craftsmanship.  I visited this place during

one of our recent trips to Europe and wanted to share the beauty and majesty of this special place with you.  Take a peek inside…

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ONE OF MANY BEAUTIFUL STAINED GLASS WINDOWS

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A VIEW OF SEVILLE FROM INSIDE THE CATHEDRAL

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THE COURT OF ORANGES

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THE COURT OF ORANGES

A little bit of Colorado

DSC_0679 DSC_0680 DSC_0689 DSC_0691 Took my camera out today and snapped some photographs around our property.  Yep, took the red Amaryllis outside just to see how it contrasted against the white snow and green bristlecone pine, sort of pretty.  But it was not too happy being exposed to the cold, ugh.   A Colorado postcard from me to you!

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DSC_0011Love the white stuff, at least for the time being.  Come April and May, now that is a different story.  Today the sun was shining bright, causing the snowflakes to sparkle and glisten as the rays danced across the snowdrifts.  Against the cerulean blue Colorado sky, the effect was stunning!  Celebrating the flakes with acrylic paint, splatters/drips, and handwritten words in charcoal pencil. The colors I chose are not those that typically come to mind when thinking of winter and therein lies the beauty of creative expression.  The paint on the page started as a clean up page and it pulled me to transform the teal and yellow into an expression of snow.  The cool colors mingled with red  were a stark contrast, an experiment, an unplanned process of asking…what if?  This is what most of us love about creating pages in our art journals.  The process leads our creativity and we learn along the way.  We begin to trust our inklings, and let intuition bubble up from that place deep inside. The result, an unusual yellow snowflake mingled with greens, violets, red and teal.   Yes, this is my love affair!

Dabbling in Watercolor

Getting ready for an evening of Wine and Watercolor at the Bemis Art School I decided to use pages of vintage sheet music for the substrate.  I happened upon these amazing books of music at a Friends of the Library book sale.  Deciding this was the perfect opportunity to use these pages and not knowing exactly how the watercolor would work, I gave it a try.  DSC_0625

I removed a page and trimmed the right edge to make it symmetrical.  The pulp of this paper is incredible, smooth yet substantive.  Printed in the 1930’s by Charles Scribner’s Sons, the hardbound books themselves are gems for art journals, and removing pages moves me one step closer toward re-purposing these treasures.

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What better image for the new year than a butterfly!  New beginnings, even in the heart of winter, says butterfly to me.  Besides we could use a little springtime muse since it is a whopping 6 degrees outside today.  I had this sketch of a butterfly but decided to tweak it a bit for the image to be used on the sheet music, a few more curves on the wings, more whimsical and this is what I came up with…..

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I drew the image in pencil, using the music staff as guidelines.  Then painted around the image with Reeves watercolors.  The sheet music worked beautifully and took the watercolors without buckling.  Usually I paint with oils or acrylics so this was a NEW experience.  A little water, a lot of color, simple really, yet fun and satisfying.

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Here are my tools, an inexpensive brush and affordable watercolors from the craft store.  The star of the show is the sheet music.  If you are a paper junkie like me, keep your eyes open at estate sales for book bound music, you will not be disappointed and there are a myriad of uses for it; collage, journaling, or a stand alone piece like this butterfly.  Looking forward to teaching this technique at Wine and Watercolors and glad I found a way to use my vintage pages of music!

New Beginnings

As the new year approaches, it is a good time for reflection and anticipation.  I love to write down my goals for the new year because having them in writing keeps me focused.  Otherwise I find myself floundering in a sea of ideas without any purpose.   Here is to the list and NEW BEGINNINGS!!!!

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In 2015 my focus is going to be on using supplies and ephemera I already have on hand.  So many times a paint color, an image, a special button or clasp, texture tool or book of ideas finds its way into my studio only to be stashed away in a bin for future use.  Well, the future is here and I plan on using up what I’ve got!  Hopefully this will push me in new directions, out of my comfort zone, into the place where….the magic happens.  This powerful concept of movement, from working on a journal page, to a canvas or even creating layers on a three dimensional object is a bit scary.  I have been camped out in art journaling for several years now.  In 2014 I created a couple of pieces for “Pikes Peak Busts”, an art show for increasing breast cancer awareness and raising funds for a local research foundation.  Both pieces SOLD, so thankful, and the process pushed me into a magical place…out of my comfort zone.  Looking for more of this in 2015, movement….from the journal page to canvas and beyond.

KICKSTART

Time for my first post, a kickstart to my blog, jumping in with both feet and sharing my first ever lino carved stamp.  It was the same process, grab the tools, and the lino block, create a design on graph paper, transfer to lino block….and carve.  Here is what I came up with.

First imprint

Designing the stamp

 

Tools

Tools

Brayer with black acrylic paint

Brayer with black acrylic paint

Print on Deli paper

Print on Deli paper

Deli paper print.

Deli paper print.

Garden Pages

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Inspired by the wildly popular PBS series, Downton Abbey, Garden Pages is a journal compiled of contemporary and Edwardian Era imagery.  Butterfly wings for a gentleman, teabag flower motifs, copies of journal pages transformed into blossoms, and yesteryear images grace the pages.  By repurposing a children’s board book, sanding down and coating pages with gesso, texture is at the forefront of taking this book back in time. 

We have a fascination with this bygone era.  A time when women wore fancy plumed hats, flowing gowns, and carried parasols.  Good bye heavy wools, stiff silks, all things Victorian, and hello corsets, Louie Tiffany, and Art Nouveaux!  Well, two out of three isn’t bad.  Motifs were inspired by nature, and patterns reflected vibrant color with unique design.  The French owned this era and referred to it as “The Belle Epoche”, the beautiful era.  Leave it to the French, their words sound as lovely as the translation.

I just happened to have on my bookshelf Edith Holden’s “The Country Diary of An Edwardian Lady”; a treasured keepsake from my mother who passed away many years ago.  I remember looking through the pages after mom died, reading Edith’s observations about nature and admiring her botanical style of drawing.  Here it was poetic words for written expression, and Edwardian era imagery, the perfect ingredients for my Garden Pages journal.

Something magical happens when we say yes to the signals of creative inspiration.  Whether it is imagery, words, experiences, or a feeling, by allowing our creative intuition to sort it out and reflect it with mixed media on a journal page, true” mojo” happens….the French aren’t the only ones with cool words, we have ours too.

As the teabags transformed into blossoms, bakers twine into swirls, splashes of acrylic inks and paints, and phrases from Edith’s poetry landed on each page, I realized the power of art journaling.  It is a journey unlike any other, one of heart and soul proportions as a page becomes expression.  I caught a glimpse of my creative intuition making Garden Pages and thought of my dear sweet mother along the way.  These are the mojo moments in the life of yours truly, an artist looking for the “belle epoche”….today.   May you find those moments in your creative life when the signals blossom and the flower bud opens to fuel your expression.  Grab your art journal and let the magic begin.