Studio insights, classes and tutorials

Monday, August 31, 2015

Every Adventure Requires a First Step

We just returned from a four day adventure to San Antonio, Texas, the river Walk.   A much needed vacation for me and my husband.   
We walked miles each day to see the sights, sounds and the people.  A very interesting area with lots of history, good food, drinks and colorful people.  The above photo is the amphitheater, taken from the other side of the river.  Our hotel over looked the river and I enjoyed visiting the ducks and geese each morning.  August weather in Texas can be quite toasty and it was.  High nineties to 100 degrees each day.  Luckily, the heat doesn't bother either one of us.  My favorites were the Briscoe Western art museum and LaVillita village.  The little village was the home of a small museum and a row of artists shops and cafes.
Resting along the way, right outside of the art museum.  Love the little gift shop inside the art museum.    There I found some wonderful Frida Kahlo inspired stickers, sayings and cards.
After my return home, I wanted to add my thoughts and Frida inspiration into my vintage ledger journal.
This is cut out from a brochure of the art village.  I decided to transfer the image to my journal page.  First, using gesso and allowing it to dry.  Take the image and add DecoArt Matte Medium to the image and the journal page where it will be transferred.  Using a flat tool,  secure image to area and make sure all the bubbles are gone by pressing down.  Allow to dry.  Then, using water and your fingers, gently wipe away the top layer and your image should appear.  
I then decided to try Americana Decor Chalky Finish (Primitive) paint to the remainder of the two pages to cover up more of the writing underneath.  Using washes of color, charcoal and a pen to add text, I added my Friday Kahlo portrait.  
"I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you."  Frida Kahlo
This will remain in my journal and always remind me of the great time and memories that were made.
Amor, Ursula

Monday, August 17, 2015

My Journal Pages

              "One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began."  
Love this quote from Mary Oliver.
This is a page from my vintage ledger journal, dated 1919.  A great find at a local flea market.

I adore how the old pages look against a finished painting.  Each page is prepped with gesso, adding text, doodles and quotes appropriate for each piece of art.  I have also experimented with oil sticks on these pages, adding it to the finished piece and page.  I am a little obsessed with it, I know.

Beginning stages and the quote reads; " Always keep your beautiful imagination and exquisite sense of humor."  I thought it appropriate to add a vintage girl!
Finished by adding layers and washes of color before adding the oil sticks.
She is the first one, Journal girl #1.  I added texture and antiquing to her background.  "The essence of joy and wondering".
I have many more pages to fill, some have text and numbers on them, and some are just blank.
The first photo, above, is my interpretation of a John Waterhouse painting from 1908.  "My Sweet Rose"  
Eleven years before the date stamped inside the ledger
I hope you enjoyed peeking inside my journal and are inspired to create your own, whether it be in an old ledger, notebook or home made papers.
Enjoy the process.
See you soon.

Friday, August 7, 2015

New Beginnings

I am ready for this next chapter of my art journey to unfold.  As I have said once before, I was away from art for a while and only did an occasional art project. I did not know how much I really missed spending time in my studio.
Two years ago, I bought my first art journal and I remember telling my husband that I was going to paint something on a daily basis.  Sometimes it was just a doodle and other times it was a little more. All the while learning as much about mixed media art as I could find in books and on the internet.
Here is a collection of some of the journals I have collected.  Notebooks, old books, and hard back art journals are among a few of the journals I have made.  Using them for inspiration, thoughts, and learning new techniques.  A little peek at my take of a Joan Brown painting.  The floral was created for an on line class I had.  The nice part of a journal is that no one else needs to see what was created within it's pages.  As I look back at my first, I see the progress and what I have learned along the way.
Some are small enough to tuck into your purse, or take along when you travel.  Here is a little travel kit I have made.  Sometimes adding a few more supplies, depending on where I am going and for how long.  Koi watercolors, an idea notebook, charcoal, pencils, marker and water brush.

I prepared my background with both white and black gesso (DecoArt media), art papers (Americana Decou Page Paper), pencil markings, a quote and washi tape.  Lightly gessoed over the prepared background, and it was ready to take along with me.  I sketched her out with charcoal and adding values.  Watercolors layered on top.  Added the words, "New Beginnings to her shoulder.  Flowers, doodles are on the other page.   The quote reads; "We have to dare to be ourselves however frightening or strange that self may prove to be." May Sarton

Look back at your older drawings, musings and journals.  A fun way to see where your life and art journey are headed....Wishing you new beginnings,  and happy journaling!