Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Artistic Exploration . . .

"An artist is an explorer. He should begin by seeking himself, seeing himself act. Then, not restraining itself. And above all, not being easily satisfied." 
-- Henri Matisse

Helloooooo! I have a few new Art Journaling pages to share and an update on what I'm calling the world's largest palette cleaner - a huge-to-me 30 x 40 canvas - that has been sitting on my studio floor awaiting extra inspiration or, which is really the case, awaiting any left over paint, bits and/or bobs from my journaling adventure. But I digress. Wanna see my latest explorations? Yay! Here we go:

Days 17 - 18: Inspired by my fav colors and a black-and-white illustration of an octopus

Days 19 - 20: Inspired by the documentary, "Exiled by Choice."

Days 21-22: Inspired by vintage illustrations, ledgers and children's "Word Mastery" lists.

Playing catch up with days 13-14: Inspired by Dina Wakely's new book, Art Journal Courage.

As far as that way-very-big "palette cleaner" I was referring to earlier, here are a few detail / WIP shots of what's currently going on there:

And here she is as a whole:

Thanks for taking a peek!

To love, art and artistic exploration,
Kristin xo

Monday, January 19, 2015

Daily-ish Art Journaling: Still At It . . .

"There have been setbacks, illnesses and other obstacles, so inevitably I've had disappointments. 
But once you realize that things can't always go your own way, you're right on track to being able to handle your own life."
- Diana Quick

Sooooo, yeah. It seems that the moment I declared my joy in having finished the first eight days of consistent Art Journling this year, we all got sick. As in, really-bad-flu-that-made-us-catatonic-for-dayzzzzzz sick. I didn't even have the energy to "art" in bed. Which, naturally, made me question the whole idea of Art Journaling on the daily. Not only do I hate the idea of being "behind," but I also question my ability to get it all done, and in a way that makes me happy. 

Case in point: in last week's post I mentioned that my original idea was to create a page in about 15 minutes per day. Um, ok. How in the world I thought that was possible is beyond me. I take longer than that to gather supplies. Having said that, I truly enjoy playing in my tiny little journal and do want to allow myself the freedom to grow as an artist by doing so. SO, here's the deal: I'm still at it, but the terms are getting looser. In order to keep it up, I realize that I have to be gentler on myself. So, if that means that a page doesn't get done one day, or if a spread is much less detailed than I would prefer, that has to be okay. I have to just move on to the next day if I want to keep it up. So, some days may be fabulous and some may just well, be. 

With that in mind, here's where we are now. "Behind" but still at it . . .

Days 8 & 9: "I was just really sick for days" 

Days 11 & 12: Playing with textures and collage.

Days 13-16 all look like this. Meh. I've moved on out of necessity, but I will do something with these pages (perhaps even adding photos?) by the month's end. 

Having said all that, as far as the creativity begets creativity part, I've started working on a huge canvas (as in, 30 x 40 huge) since the beginning of the year. And so far, it's been the largest palette cleaner ever. I plan to work on this for a while - as it's really being influenced by my journal - but here's a tiny peek at it's beginnings:

And that's it! Back to the studio now for today's page. Until next time. . . . 

To love and Art,
Kristin xo

Thursday, January 8, 2015

So I Have This Idea . . .

(Art Journaling Day 1) 

"Writing the little daily journal is fun. I have to set my usual two pages of writing as the day's work. I don't know if I can keep this up from the beginning, but I will try."
- John Steinbeck 

So I have this idea. In an effort to create more often and really document 2015, I've decided to make a tiny Art Journal for each month of the year. Each book will be about 30 pages and approximately 5 x 5.5 inches. So in theory, by the end of the year, I should have 12 bitty books to show for it. The original idea was to dedicate 15 minutes a page to just play on a daily basis. (Or um, three days at a time if that's what happens). Point is, I'm giving myself permission to create, grow and learn by allowing myself the time the do it. 

Handmade journal made from a single sheet (22 x 30) of Fabriano Artistico paper.

And as I write this, I've actually completed a page a day since I started. Having said that, the whole 15 minutes a day thing has in reality been more like an hour and 15 minutes a day. Hm. So, while there's still some kinks in the plan, I'm gonna keep trying to make happen as often as I can. So, wanna see what I've done so far? Okay, here we go:

(Day 2: Inspired by the documentary, "I Am" by Tom Shadyac).

(Day 3: Inspired by the unexpected loss of my friend's mother. Quick study in oil pastels)

(Day 4: Inspired by the documentary, "Bound by Flesh," about conjoined twins The Hilton Sisters.)

(Day 5: A "mad" portrait)

(Day 6: Altered collage)

(Day 7: Inspired by neon paint pens, vintage children's illustrations and the idea of play)

(Day 8: A painterly little girl)

And there we have it. 8 days and counting. And the coolest part? I've become incredibly productive in the process. Why? Because at least for me, creativity begets creativity. In other words, the more I do, the more I want to do. And the more time I spend on my art, the more my mind seems receptive to other ideas, other challenges and other, well, other ways to express myself. It looks like I'm in for quite a ride. . . 

Wanna join me? I'll post the Art Journals here on a regular basis, but if you want to see the pages created daily (remembering that daily is a loose term), just pop over to my Facebook or Instagram accounts to take a peek. And, if you decide to try your hand at it, let me know! I'd love to follow your progress as well.

To love, art and the dedication to our crafts, 
Kristin xo

Monday, December 29, 2014

Make Mistakes in 2015!

"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something."
- Neil Gaiman 

I know I say this every year, but I can't believe how fast the time has gone. To think that a New Year is only 3 sleeps away is as crazy as it is exciting. Crazy because in some ways I'm not ready for it and exciting because in other ways I'm like a giddy school girl impatiently waiting for what's to come.  

The most adventurous journey I'm about to embark on is as an instructor for Life Book 2015. This is honestly a dream come true for me, as I have been a student of the class since it's inception. I've personally experienced the impact it's had on myself and others, and to think that I will now be a part of that beautiful, soulful and artistic inspiration is just too much to describe. Suffice it to say that my eyes are welling up as I write this. . . . 

And I hope that Life Book is just the beginning of more to come. I'm going to pursue more teaching opportunities this year and have gratefully been invited to conduct another workshop in Palm Desert, CA this April (all about big-eyed Mixed Media girls - more to come!). In addition to that, I will - as in, I. Am. Going. To. - begin posting process videos on my newish YouTube channel. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time and I just need to get off my tushy and make it happen. 

So I guess more than anything, I'm going to take the clean slate that is a New Year and write all over it. Write my dreams, my goals and my desires so it's out there for all to see. The older I get the more I understand that in order to get what I want out of life, I'm the one that's going to have to make it happen. I steer the boat and I can take it in any direction I want. We all can. As long as we're willing to make mistakes along the way. . . .

To love, life and dreams come true
Happy New Year with Love,

Kristin xo

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Art of Teaching . . .

"The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery." -- Mark Van Doren

Last week I had the opportunity to do something that I hadn't done in nearly 10 years: I got to teach again! 

In my former life as a retail Cosmetic Education Director, I conducted makeup artistry classes on a weekly basis as part of my job. And to be honest, I loved every bit of it. I loved sharing my passion for the products, supplies and techniques as much as I loved seeing the smiling faces of those I was working with. I always attempted to make the classes I taught educational as well as fun. I mean, as adults, if we're going to spend time in a classroom again, I figure it should be an adventure. So while my peers would get down to business in their regions, I was known to have classrooms full of singing students playing with play dough (not kidding - it's a great way to introduce color mixing) and chomping on ring pops. The lessons always came through, they just came by way of antidotes and whimsy. And although it's been a decade since my early career, I've always known that I would get back into teaching - in one form or another - one day

So the idea of my one day coming around - and teaching something that I'm completely and utterly in love with - is honestly a dream come true. Not only did I have a class full of lovely ladies eager to play with me and explore the world of Art Journaling, but I personally received so much from their excitement and enthusiasm. Really, the entire experience - 10 years in the making - was pure bliss. . . 

Of course I took process shots along the way so that I could share with you our day of play. Ready? Okay, here we go:

Student "Goodie bags" full of vintage little pretties

And lotsa fun supplies to play with

Here we are prepping with Gesso

And making our own painted papers

And decorative tapes

In bold, poppy colors

Painted by Sweet Hearts

Playing with paint chips and image transfers

And several Art Journal pages in progress

Full of whimsy


And FUN!

Thank you friends, for sharing your art and heart with us all!

And thank you, for taking a peek into my exciting adventure in teaching. And the best news?! The venue has asked me to teach again in 2015! So I'll be back in Palm Desert, CA in April conducting a class on Mixed Media girls in all their drippy, sparkly fun. (More on that to come).

Speaking of drippy, sparkly fun, I hope you'll consider joining me and 25 fan-tabulous teachers for the biggest Mixed Media adventure of them all: Life Book 2015! I. Am. So. SO. Excited to be a part of the line up, and am anxious for the whole thing to begin in what is now less than a month away. If you're looking for an amazing gift to give - especially if to yourself - I hope you'll consider it. Having been a part of Life Book since it's inception, I can personally attest to it's powers of community, joy and education. It is honestly one not to miss. 

Join Life Book by popping over here

To love, art and the joy of teaching,
Kristin xo


Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Bitty Book!

A Bitty Book
{Altered Composition Book Cover}
3.25 x 4.5"

"A mighty flame followeth a tiny spark"
- Dante Alighieri

I was out with a girlfriend recently when she pulled out the tiniest little composition book you ever did see. Well okay, maybe you have seen one before, but I had not and I loved it! It was just like the old-school black & white books that come to mind, but only colorful. And itty-bity. And I knew right then what my next project would be. . . .

As luck would have it, an accidentally-on-purpose trip to the dollar store (where I had heard such tiny things live) shortly thereafter found me beaming over 3 little books bundled together. SO cute. And at 33 cents each, a guilt-free substrate to alter. 

I took my little books and some limited supplies with me during an outing with the family last week. And in case you wanted to see it, I took a ton of process shots along the way. Ready? Okay, go:

Protect composition book with wax paper and painters tape

Apply several coats of gesso and then sand for a smooth surface

Sketch girl and spray with workable fixative

Begin defining her features with watercolor and acrylic paints

Add heavier acrylic, gouache paints and black ink.

Final details include oil pastels, shimmer ink and plenty pops of white

And there you have it! A little bitty book. And now that she's done, I can't wait to try my hand at more. . . . 

Happy Friday, Happy Weekend and Happy PPF!

To Love & Art,
Kristin xo