Room In the Red Storybook...



I love illustrating, but lately, I've been feeling the need to go without a plan, and see what comes out. 

This is also a very relaxing way to approach your art journal...put down some paint and see what happens. The color study started looking boring, but the more I played and explored, the more complex it became! 

The right page was me drawing random shapes with one color, then wanting to fill them you some great time to play with colors and mix a few,  One awesome side effect of all my color play spreads is that I have a better understanding of where and how they work.

I really wanted to remember the girl drawing, so I pasted her in. I didn't have a sketchbook at lunch, so my father gwve me the receipt and the Fisher Pen in his pocket (he's had it for 25 years, a present from the guy who invented it! ) . I doodled as we chatted, and when we were about to leave, he slid it around and said, "wow, look at what you can do! When you started, I had no idea where you were going, but this looks great!" 

High praise indeed. But it's's my parents becoming invested in my work, comfortable to give advice. I think they were secretly artists back in the day, because they're really good at helping me out!  

A magical application of messy

Despite not feeling too well in the morning, I crawled out of bed around noon and got ready for the day before heading down to the studio. Tangie is back in town and opened it up for an open studio day, and i knew there was a high probability I'd see people I haven't in awhile. 

This always makes for conversation and geeking-out over new/new to me supplies. We share our pages and how things are going and try each others' supplies. It's great fun. I learned that I'm not the only one behind on The Documented Life project, but turning it into a different kind of planner seems to be the way to go. Having a written record of my emotions and general health would be super helpful right about now.  

I did finally get to making a mess. I decide to try and save the canvas from Thursday and use my smaller journal as an overflow book. 



I told you I tweak something each time I sit down to create; today, I found some complex poses in a copy of In Style and drew them on these pages. Was I intimidated? Hell yeah! But I knew the only way I'd get better as to try...because a "bad" piece of art is loads better than the art you never made because you were too afraid to try. I also gave them cloths, and used the Distress Inks to layer the colors in their hair to create more depth. 

And here's a great tip, and how I stamp larger stamps. Grab some of the new high flow acrylics (or airbrush colors, if your local art store has them) by Golden and brayer it on a piece of wax paper. Then apply to the stamp! I used a foam stamp and the image comes off really crisp and even. Plus, the paint dries and is easier to work over! I'm sure you can use the Liquitex ink! But I have found the Golden to be better. Thinner is better than thick!



And here's some more mess...


and textures...


here's what the spread looked like when I left. I find myself quite pleased because I can see forward momentum...this little journal is filled with experiments. And I often page back to earlier pages to get paint and texture ideas for the current one! How nice and convient!


But what happened to the canvas, you say. How did it come out? Like this. For some reason, I really love it. Not in the gaga way I do, say, an abstract from last week, but just...feel so settled. Rather, calmed. I can look at this painting and calm down and realize that's a type of love, too. And I'd love for someone to look into a painting of mine and feel may be new, but it is most welcome!


I haven't listed it yet, but will probably do so next week. I want to sit for I a little longer (don't you?). 

How was your Friday? What did you learn? Let go of so you could create something awesome? Also, thanks for the tips about the Dollar Store, ladies! I found some great tools there and can't wait to start cutting them up to make pattern shapes! Woohoo! 

Super awesome special newsletter coming out on Monday...make sure to join using the form on the sidebar to get in on this action! 

Scraps from the Studio Floor + extra sweet RAK

Yesterday's post - and my own self-issued challenge to share something small every day - came about in this way: I had bought Show Your Work a few days earlier to prepare for the author's visit to my local bookshop. The talk Austin Kleon gave was funny and insightful, and I loved how he didn't have all the answers....just knew where you could probably look.


One of my questions was this: if I am the kind of artist who has more than one interest or project going on, how will people follow the narrative thread? 

Answer: Watch Pulp Fiction to study disjointed narratives. But more so, that I am the thread that commnects everything I do. A woman in line offered this addition; that I show how the work I did yesterday influences today. How did I apply something I learn painted to how I do my calligraphy, etc. This feels like an amazing idea, and I can't wait to start exploring the interdependent existence of my handful of projects and growing list of interests. 

I got into the studio a bit late today, but found this note on my table of drying paintings: 


Tell me that wouldn't make your day more awesome (especially since she's one of my admired artists!). We got together to chat and brainstorm and work out the plan for the next few months...which all sounds amazing, btw. I have a new class coming out, a video series, and I'll be getting over my fears and teaching in person again! 

After we chatted the day away, I was only able to do a couple of things. One is that I wanted to find easy and cheap solutions to paint with since not everyone can get the Catalyst tools I use most. This is a first idea, made from a stick, Solo cup, and some packing tape. 


It actually works really well, and I'm super excited to hit the dollar store, then start constructing my own tools to paint with. I get to play inventor for a day! 

Since I didn't get to painting, I thought I'd just share random bits from my work area, like my collage pile and WIP pieces. All the "scraps from the studio floor."  


So that's what I was up to....collaboration, some of the Work, and sharing. What did you create today? Feel free to email me or tag your pics as #jgdailycreative so I can pop in and see you! And don't forget to follow me on Instagram, as I usually post there first!

PS. There's open studio today, Saturaday April 18th, from 10am-4pm. Comment with your email address if you want to come, or grab me on IG where more details are posted. Should be an awesome fun day of art journaling!


showing my work + loving the process

I think seeing the finished product -- whether it's a journal page or painting -- is great and inspiring, I've been obsessed with documenting my process. 

Earlier this week, I picked up Austin Kleon's new book, Show Your Work. To think it took a book to help me figure out how to show my process seems a little silly, but Kleon's a master at distilling complex ideas into simple chapters that become a roadmap to invigorating creativity. 

By doing a little, every single day, your work quickly adds up. I draw and write every day in my Red Storybook, and have already filled an entire sketchbook with my quiet truths and vulnerability laid out on the page. The sketches may be complicated or terrible, but doing one every day has helped me nurture that side of me -- the side that wants to draw illustrations and paint with gouache. 

Anyway, in an effort to not only track my own progress and create a searchable diary as I grow as an artist, but to share the behind-the-scenes workings of an artist, I'll be blogging every day, except Sundays. Less tutorials, and more inspiration, influences, process, and techniques I've discovered or created. I don't want to show you how to copy what I do, rather, I want to inspire you to go out and do art that is true to your own heart. 

You can sign up to get my blog entries via email over on the sidebar. And I'll soon be linking up my Tumblr to use as a digital scrapbook of art and photography and comics and whatnot that I'm finding awesome at the moment (I know a lot of people use Pinterest, but I've found a great community on Tumblr, and cover the intersection of disability & art a bit more there). 

So here it goes! 


I recently stumbled upon the artwork & creations of Kimberly Hodges, aka Goldfish Marmalade

I love exploring new color palettes in my art journal as I work, and was captivated by her combinations of yellows, olives, and oranges, along with delicate pink flowers and aqua whales. I'd reblogged these placemats last week, and pulled them up yesterday when I went in to do a little painting. 

Delicious, right? 

I tried to follow her colors, but had to alter them a little bit, since I'm not a huge fan of yellow, in general. The dark green/teal, however, has been a new color to fall in love with, & I've been using it on a lot of journal pages lately. 

First, I had to prep my surfaces. 

I usually just put on some bouncy, upbeat music and start gluing down collage material, stamping with my hand-carved stamps, and randomly making marks with paint markers. 

I did something a little different this time, though. Instead of thinking up poses on my own, I grabbed a fashion magazine and flipped through until I found images I liked. I wanted to show you, also, that you don't have to perfectly copy a reference image....interpret them through YOUR style and allow them to influence shape and form. Are these amazing drawings? No. But they're how I like to draw, lately (with the thought that I'll fill in the facial features at some later point, except find that they're incredibly expressive as is). 

I also roughed in their hair with some Distress Stains. I've found that, with the backgrounds being random and the colors I add being SO fragmented, that the shapes of the girls can get lost. So I figured this may help them remain strong silhouettes. 

Of course, I work at the same time on canvases. The journal pages are supposed to catch extra paint, but end up being focused on just as much as the paintings! 

And there is before and after! A LOT of stuff gets covered up as I work. Sometimes, I let background elements show through, and sometimes, I keep adding layers until I fall in love with the canvas. I adore this little 8"x8" painting (which is available as part of my garden series!). 

And here's how the journal pages turned out! If you could see me, you'd see me swooning! I just...I can't believe how much I love what I'm painting lately....I've never been this in love & excited before!

...but not everything works out. I kept layering on this canvas and just couldn't get into the right flow. The colors weren't working, the shapes weren't helping, and I started getting frustrated. And that's okay! I know that I can come back later and start painting and still create something wonderful. Just scrape off any wet paint and leave it for another day....

Here's my worktop with drying paintings & a couple of finished ones. And of course, my giant journal catching leftover paint!

I don't do this much every day -- maybe twice or three times a week if I'm lucky, but it fuels everything else I do. This picture makes me happy....I finally am falling into my own style and colors and it's so effortless and hard to do at the same time. 

This post got a little long, but I hope it showed you something inspiring! It'll take me a couple of weeks of showing my work to get the hang of it...and I hope you stick with me!