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Category: art journaling

The Creative Process

The Creative Process

The Creative Process, A Peak inside my Empty Watercolor Journal

Do you enjoy the anticipation of an upcoming vacation or trip?  Do you practice packing your suitcase with your favorite clothes?  To me the journey begins way before walking out the door, suitcase in hand.  I love preparing my art supplies for my travels.  Planning for my upcoming trip, Painting the Italian light, Orvieto, Italy.  My smaller journal is a Strathmore 400 Field Watercolor Sketchbook.  For years I have had a love/hate relationship with the Strathmore field book.  Every other piece of (crappy) watercolor page alternates with a piece of drawing paper.  This drawing paper is where my mixed-media imagination soars and I have probably filled at least 20 of these journals with art from my travels.

Pages in my journal prepared for the trip
First page in my new journal with inspiring quote.

in order to compensate for the not so great watercolor paper I tear my Strathmore Sketchbook apart.  I kept the metal coil and the black hard covers.  I  filled it with Arches 140 paper alternating with Strathmore 400 series drawing paper.  I prepared the drawing papers with colorful backgrounds and finished the first page with an inspiring quote for my upcoming trip: “To Paint…. to travel…. the combine the two is to celebrate life”  (Jack Brouwer). 

Paint, Finding Inspiration

Paint, Finding Inspiration

Artists can get a little bogged down once in awhile and need the inspiration to paint

Sometimes artists need the inspiration to paint.  Maybe it is because we tend to paint the same subject matter, use the same color scheme, or feel like we are not growing in our art.  One way to get a jump start on the new day ahead is to browse through the latest issue of the Art Journaling magazine.  It is always filled with colorful, edgy, creative art.  I am excited to say that my Baja Journal is featured in the latest issue of Art Journaling!

Paint with Art Journaling
I was published in Art Journaling

This is the cover of the new Art Journaling magazine published by Stampington and Co.  I love seeing the brightly colored orange flower against the powder blue background.  It is so simply painted and with the added splashes of white paint, the artist makes it look loose and lively.  Why not try painting this flower to get you started on a colorful day!  Simple, colorful and fun.

Another idea for finding inspiration is to paint along with an art DVD.  I have several available for purchase with the online shop at the Artful Gathering the online art retreat.  Check it out!

Watercolor Journaling, Part 4

Watercolor Journaling, Part 4

  • Whitespace is a thing of beauty.  When I first started painting, I was told to cover every square inch of the paper with paint.  Now I realize that was not the best advice.  Not placing color on every square inch of your paper leaves some places for things to sparkle—just like the sunlight! Your white paper is your “white paint” so you always want to save some light!
  • Wherever the paper is wet you can bet things are going to spread.  Color will travel when the paper is wet, even slightly damp.  Use this to your advantage!  And learn when to stop.  There comes a time when the paper has started to be drier than your brush.  This is when it is time to set your brush down and go make yourself some tea 🙂
  • Even when a paper appears dry, it may be damp enough for colors to not stay put which can cause color to feather out. Paper that feels “cool” to the top of your index finger still has moisture in it, so if you want that color to stay exactly in its place, let the paper dry until it feels the same temp as areas that have not been wetted at all before applying color.
PAINTING in Italy 2018

PAINTING in Italy 2018

I am very happy to announce that I am teaching again in Orvieto, Italy, September 11 – 16, 2018! Consider joining me on this wonderful journey.  Painting in Italy is offered through Adventure in Italy.  I have very fond memories of our painting workshop in 2014 creating colorful memories in our watercolor journals.  We had so much fun exploring Orvieto – what great food, wonderful wine tasting, friendly people and it was so inspiring to be surrounded by beautiful Italian art!
If you have taken a workshop with Adventures in Italy before, you will get a 10% discount for being a returning artist.

Let’s paint together!
Here are a few photos of our joyous time together:

Painting Ideas

Painting Ideas

Colorful Spring! Spring makes me think of colorful flowers, bright blue skies and birds singing in the yard. What a wonderful time to do some watercolor painting! I have been busy writing magazine articles to inspire you to fill your world with color! Grab your watercolor supplies and join me as I walk you through some fun painting ideas. Watch for my upcoming articles in these magazines:

 Searching for Shapes, April 2014 Issue of  Art Journaling by Somerset Studio

A Day in the Life of – a Photo Story, Summer 2014 Issue of Studios Magazine by Interweave Press

Water-Soluble Pens in Journaling, Summer 2014 issue of Pages Magazine by Interweave Press
Black-and-White Journal Pages, Summer 2014 Issue of Pages Magazine by Interweave Press
The Colorful World of Flora and Fauna, July/August 2014 Issue of Cloth-Paper-Scissors Magazine by Interweave Press
Cover Art for Art Journaling,

Cover Art for Art Journaling,

I was so surprised and honored to find out that my art was chosen to be the cover art for the spring 2014 issue of ART JOURNALING magazine!

It will be on in stores available for purchase on April 1, 2014.   My article is about using shape to design journal pages.
This photo did not get into the article so I wanted to share it with you here.  Here is what I write about this page in my Patagonia watercolor journal.

One of my favorite journal pages is one where I painted a meadowlark and a vista behind him.  The meadowlarks were plentiful and darted about the brush flashing their red bellies.  I often heard their melody as we hiked.  Instead of just painting a scene with a meadowlark in it, I wanted to try a different point of view.  I painted him much larger than the vista and had him placed off to one side to help frame the page. He is looking back over landscape as if to say he is the guardian of this remote area.  

I hope you enjoy this new issue of Art Journaling!

Getting Ready for CREATE, Chicago!

Getting Ready for CREATE, Chicago!

I love collecting artistic tools to put in the goody bags that I give to my students.  I love meeting new artistic friends and catching up with old ones.  I love sharing what I have learned over the years about how to paint beautiful, colorful, glowing paintings and filling art journals with watercolor paintings and mixed media.  I love CREATE!

My little suitcase of supplies
Better clean up my palette
Showing off a colorful background ready for journaling

Dripping with color

Busy creating
Looking forward to catching up with Jenn Mason and Sue Pelletier
Stuffing goody bags

A Windy Day to Paint in Roussillon

A Windy Day to Paint in Roussillon

The famous Mistral winds of Provence has followed us to the east as we explore and paint plein air in the little town of Roussillon.  Roussillon is known for its colorful buildings of reds, ocres, and yellows mined from the nearby rocks.  It is also designated as on of France’s Plus Beaux Village de France!  The Mistral has pushed away all the rain and the clouds so that we have a beautiful, sparkling day to paint, if you can stand the gusty wind.  Several of us walk to the outskirts of town to paint the village while others paint in the cute, colorful streets of the village.

I learn that the bell tower of a lot of the hilltop villages are open to allow the mistral to pass through.


Colorful red buildings are found throughout the town.


We explore.


Great view of the town


Barbara and Liz find a sunny spot to paint.


JoAnn shows her beautiful painting in progress.


Ice cream shops are plentiful!
I buy this little ceramic chicken made from the nearby colorful clay.
I visit my favorite store that sells pure pigment in little jars.


More colors of pigment.

Would you like to learn the joys of keeping a watercolor journal?  We are now taking reservations for painting in Umbria, Italy, May 10-17, 2019, Painting in Provence with

Cloth, Paper, Scissors Magazine Issues a Special Edition – PAGES

Cloth, Paper, Scissors Magazine Issues a Special Edition – PAGES

I am excited to have my article: Flip, Flaps and Fold-outs, Adding Dimension to your Art Journals, included in the special edition of Cloth Paper Scissors PAGES.  This is created especially for art journalers and book artists looking for new techniques and inspiring ideas. This 148-page first issue features projects and galleries in general bookmaking, book covers, book binding, inside page decoration, and art journaling.   

 PAGES is avalable at our local Barnes & Noble book store.  It can also be ordered online as a digital file or hard copy at the Interweave online store.  

Here is an excerpt from my article in PAGES: 
Artists are very tactile.  Inserting dimensional objects such as flaps, dividers, pockets, ribbons, or tags in our art can add an element of mystery and engage the viewer.  Index-card dividers open up to reveal photos or journaling, adding intrigue and a desire to explore beyond the flat dimension of the page.  I often include favorite lines of poetry, photos of my family, and little treasures of love inside library pockets.  Shipping and marking tags become the holders of meaningful words and little on-the-go sketches.    
Watercolor Journeys for the Traveling Artist, a new DVD

Watercolor Journeys for the Traveling Artist, a new DVD

I haven’t been able to post much lately because my computer was sent away to get a new mother board.  After many weeks it was finally declared a Lemon!  I now have a new computer and find it does work a lot better than my last computer.

Despite my recent computer problems, I have been getting ready for my trip to Loveland, CO to film my new DVD with Interweave Press.  The title will be something like, Watercolor Journeys for the Traveling Artist and I will be demonstrating some great ideas for watercolor painting while traveling.  Here is a painting I did in my watercolor journal this past May while with the group that I took to Provence, France.  We painted on a book page from a French book.

I will let you know when my DVD is available for purchase!