Monday, 31 August 2015

A whim

This is a ten minute page made just following a whim.

Brayered background (red) with a watercolour fill-in (yellow). I had a piece of gelli-printed card sitting on my desk so I stuck it down on the page. As I contemplated it for a minute it felt like it was crying out for a rose. Hey, who knows where these whims come from :) I just followed and here is the page all finished.

Just shows there's no excuse for not being able to fit some art in to your day.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Tag swap

Lovely tags in the mail! I never fail to be impressed with what people can do on the small canvas of a tag. I'm finding it really difficult to work this small at the moment, but these tags from Felicia show me that it is possible to create a tiny masterpiece.

Not only did she send tags, but they were all wrapped individually in patterned deli paper - which, of course, I will use on some journal pages at a later date :)

Thanks, Felicia!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Accidental and deliberate

This page started with some of my work-top paper - that paper that you put down under pages to pick up spills, clean off stamps etc.. A layer of gesso toned everything down a little and made it feel more 'all of a piece'.

The blue circles came next. I used the leftover paint in the top right corner and along the bottom. By this time I was liking the white space, but I wanted to add a 'pop'. Orange is opposite blue on the colour wheel, so a little of that just adds a zing to the page. A bit of doodling and I felt it was time for the journalling.

The 'accidental' elements that were already on the paper that I stuck down, and the colour and shape I placed on the page deliberately made me think about how life is like that. There are things that happen to us that we have no control over, and there are deliberate decisions that we make.

It is up to us which things we allow to dominate.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Feeling the distance

Most of the time, living on the opposite side of the world from your extended family is fine. After all, in this world of instant communication, Skype, Face Time, etc, it is easy to 'see' each other and keep in touch. However, when something sudden happens and you can't just drop everything and be there, you really feel the distance.

This week I've been feeling the distance in another way, too. Even if physical distance is not a factor, when someone is in pain, there is a distance between you that cannot be bridged. You cannot do anything to take away the pain. You can only offer a listening ear, a hand, a hug.

Thankfully, that is often enough.

Knowing that you have been heard; that you are not alone; that your pain is recognised, somehow lessens it.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Busy is easy

It can seem that the pace of life in the 21st century is super busy. If you haven't scheduled your time to the minute, every minute, you can feel like you're not doing enough.

Well, I say, 'Busy is easy.'

It isn't a badge of honour.

It is easy to over-burden yourself; to say 'yes' to everything; to fill up your time so you don't have to think. There are so many possibilities.

It's much harder to be still and quiet; to have slack in your schedule so you can take up those unexpected opportunities without having to rearrange everything else you're doing; to contemplate and take stock.

Yes, we only have a certain amount of time in this life, but life is not about ticking all the boxes. There are some things that, although good in and of themselves, are not the best for you right now. I like to think of it like this: If there has been an accident and there is someone with a broken leg and someone else whose heart has stopped, do you help the former or the latter? Now, helping the person with the broken leg is a good thing, but in this situation it isn't the best thing.

Saying 'no' is hard, especially if you're not sure how that answer is going to be received. But putting a bit of breathing space into your timetable is essential.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Dream bigger!

A lot of my pages just recently have not turned out as I would have liked, but this one I am happy with. I particularly like the flowers and the tag.

Dreaming is easy. Keeping the dream big is the hardest part for me. I tend to downsize to what might be possible - one small step further than I am at today. It is easy to forget that God is in the equation, and His dreams for me are much bigger than my own. He is able. I need to remember to dream bigger.

This page started with a few bits of collage covered with a layer of gesso on black paper. The pink and yellow paint is Golden high flow acrylic - I treated myself to a starter pack. The flowers were built up using the tip of brush-tipped Sharpies.

At first, when I stamped on the black circles, I thought this might end up being a monochrome page, but then the flowers sprang up and the page took off.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Ready for spring!

I am so over this rain! Open fires are all very nice, but it's so wet outside the lawn is like a swamp.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

It takes time...

The theme over at Art Journal Journey this month is time. A recent blogpost at (in)courage reminded me that patience is a fruit and not a gift - it takes time to grow it. So plant the seed, nurture it, and, with patience (!) you will see your reactions to certain situations change over time. Let the fruit grow by giving it time. 

And with only a little time at the moment, I pulled together this five minute page in my junque journal with a few strips of washi tape and a white-out pen.

Friday, 7 August 2015


There is often a lot going on in a person's life that we don't know about. Sometimes we are on the receiving end of another's frustration, pain, or anger because of an innocent remark. If a reaction seems unwarranted, ask yourself what else might be going on, and react with compassion. There can be things going on beneath the surface that we are unaware of.

Take my friend J. You wouldn't know it to look at her, but she has essential thrombocythaemia - a rare blood cancer in the group of myeloproliferative neoplasms or MPNs - that causes her bone marrow to make too many and imperfect platelets. This disorder requires constant chemo treatment. There is no surgical option. She lives with almost constant headaches but still holds down a stressful job leading a team of people. J was diagnosed in her 30s although ET usually affects people in their 60s. There isn't much research into MPNs because of their rarity. Most people have never heard of them, so we're trying to raise awareness.

Check out this website for more info on ET.
Or, if you like something more visual, this video is very informative.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Run your own race

Continuing with my word for the year - flourish.

One sure way NOT to flourish is to try to run someone else's race. When you see people going past you, running fast, 'getting there', how do you react? Do you encourage them, cheer them on, and celebrate with them? Or do you harbour resentment?

The thing to remember is that their success does not mean that there is less to go around. They have not stolen anything from you. You are running your own race, at your own pace. Their destination is different from yours.

Stop trying to get to where you're not supposed to go, and run your own race.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Triangle stamp

I borrowed a book from the library - 2000 Pattern Combinations by Jane Callendar - that looks at the way to build up pattern from blocks. I was inspired to cut some stamps and have a little play. So inspired that I have put it on my birthday list :)

The book looks in depth at how shapes fit together, how to piece them with rotation, drops, mirror images, and combinations. With a little simple geometry, it also shows how to turn your motif into a border and turn corners with it. There is an investigation of colour and tone, size of motif, and simplifying elements to use as joins. Lots of fun things to investigate...

Saturday, 1 August 2015

A workshop!

Just a quick post in case any of you are in the neighbourhood :) I'm leading a workshop in September here in Adelaide. My first one that isn't based at home or in church, so a big step for me.

So, tried to load the image. It was here when I posted and disappeared somewhere in between! So, here are the details without the pretty pictures :(

Art journalling requires no previous art experience or special skills and encompasses all sorts of media including painting, collage, stencilling, stamping, doodling, drawing, writing. Anything goes! There is no right or wrong way to do it and I encourage people to embrace their own style and to have fun.

Where: Eastwood Community Centre, 95 Glen Osmond Road. 
When: Thursday 3rd September, 2015. 10:30-2:30
Cost: $50 (all materials included)
To book: 8373 2225