Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Technique Spotlight: Mirror Writing

Continuing on from yesterday's theme about incorporating your writing in ways that other people cannot easily decode, I wanted to show something I do on and off to great effect: Mirror Writing.

Mirror writing is formed by writing in the direction that is the reverse of the natural way for a given language, such that the result is the mirror image of normal writing: it appears normal when it is reflected in a mirror. It is sometimes used as an extremely primitive form of cipher. The most common modern usage of mirror writing can be found on the front of ambulances, where the word "AMBULANCE" is often written in very large mirrored text, so that drivers see the word the right way around in their rear-view mirror. (Cited From Wikipedia)

A famous example of this was Leonardo Da Vinci's journals. While no one truly knows why he wrote in this  manner some have suggested it was to hide his ideas from rivals. 

I love the concept of mirror writing and I do it regularly in my visual journals.  Below is a page I did a few months ago.  The mirror writing coupled with gesso gives the text an worn antique text feel..  This is another great way to add journaling to your visual pages when you're not comfortable writing. Tomorrow  I'll discuss another way to add your journaling into an art journal page in a way that isn't obvious.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Build A Rainbow

I am going to be participating as a hostess for Daisy Yellow's Building a Rainbow:  5 days of color challenge. My color is Aqua.  This challenge will be running from December 1st - 5th.  For more information check out her blog: Daisy Yellow.

Technique Monday: Sharpie Ghosting

Well, I'm already off schedule.  Coming back from a long holiday weekend means I walk into work with a lot of things to do.  Anyway, better late than never, right?

I've always been a very private person and never have felt truly comfortable writing my thoughts on paper in fear that someone would  invade my privacy and read them. This steams from my childhood as my husband of many years would never do such a thing. Still, it is something that I still battle with and it is a reason why visual journaling appeals to  me so much.  There are though, ways to hide your journaling and this week I'm going to be highlighting some of those ways.

First, I love this technique.  It makes for an interesting background and it's a great way to journal something out and have it obscured from the general public (including yourself.)

Sharpie Ghosting via Less Herger of

Friday, November 25, 2011

Journal: Ideas Are Plentiful

As I have mentioned in another post, I love weathered, antique looking things.  I hints at an untold story waiting to be heard.  This spread, I was inpisred by this past weeks journal inspiration.

On this page  I prepped my pages with a base layer of collage ephemera covering it with a layer of off-white craft paint. To make the page even grungier looking, I spread flexible modeling paste here and there making sure to allow for uneven peaks where my burnt umber glaze could settle into.I then added splashes of green/blue acrylics around the page and printed pictures off of my android phone (the app I love using is called Retro Camera) which lent itself to that vintage look I was looking for.  I then journaled about my thoughts on how I wanted to be more consistent with my blogging and how I would accomplish that.

When gathering inspiration from somewhere else, ask yourself, "What do I like about this page?" this will pull you out of trying to replicate someone's work and instead have you focus on your own aesthetic voice allowing you to then apply it to your own work.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Zen Out and Color In

11_15_11 by sirens_idyll
11_15_11, a photo by sirens_idyll on Flickr.
This is how I tend to relax. I block out a page and begin to doodle slowly each portion until I am done. I then go back and color every part of it, finishing off with a black pen line draw.

Less Herger from does something called, Automatic Drawings. Which are these quick sketches that she creates by just letting her hand flow where it feels best. It's an interesting process to watch.  This may not be as quick, more of a slow meditative process but it has a similar idea and outcome.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Journal Inspiration: Flickr - Finnabair

I love old weathered things. If you ask me what my favorite color is, I would probably answer "patina," that faded green/blue that hints at crumbling exteriors and stories left to the elements. It is no wonder that I am happiest when my pages lend themselves to their own history - archeology of the mind. The following pages give me that feeling. Muted colors, sepia tones and warped pages that could easily be found underneath a stairwell at the bottom of an abandoned house. The following pages are from Flickr member: Finnabair Journal 04 - how would you like to be remembered? Journal 05 - Daily routine - Codzienność Journal 01 - Siatka

Monday, November 21, 2011

Technique Mondays

My first technique video comes from RubyClaireART over at Youtube. I love masking tape and using it frequently in my journals. She creates a layered and interesting looking background with paint and some good old fashion masking tape.  Enjoy.

Heads up and other words of mystical wonder

I'm going to be trying something new since this poor journal is so neglected it served me with divorce papers.

It is my hope that I can share with you some of the things that inspire me as well as my own work and thoughts on the whole creative process. Currently, I have a number of lovely creative endeavors that make me feel great. Writing (which I never and I mean never do enough of), visual journaling, fine art and crafting (which again, I do not do enough of).

Hopefully I will keep this up and then my poor blog will be happier for it.  So, keep on the look out as it is my hope to begin a certain pattern of posting that will allow me to do so with more frequency. Then again, you just never know, I might fall on my face and you'll get to come along for that ride as well.

I remember when I first was introduced to the world of visual journaling I was hungry for information. I scanned and viewed every youtube video, read every blog post, joined creative artjournaling communities on livejournal and tried to gleam from every journal "process" video all in an effort to learn and grow as I embarked on this creative journey. At the time there wasn't as much information available as there is now. There were no on-line workshops and in order to experience it you would have to have the time and money to attend on in person. This made for a lot of experimentation, exploration and discovery on my end. Eventually, people figured ways to make their teaching ability pay online and before you knew it, workshops were popping up everywhere. Now, do not get me wrong, I'm not anti-paid workshops. I believe they can be a great way to expand your knowledge in a nurturing environment of like-minded people. I just feel that we need to remind those who are just starting out on this journey or whom may not have the resources to shell out 30-60-90 dollars for a workshop that they can do it on their own too. There is a plethora of free information out there that will start anyone who is curious about this type of journaling on the right path and keep them there for a good long time. So, this is where you will see the bulk of my posts going to.

So, if you're new, welcome. If not, welcome. At the end of the day my house is open to you and your curious mind.

I hope I don't disappoint.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Personal Creative Style: How can I get it?

Today’s blog post is brought to you by the letter C for cranky repressed creative person. I’m drinking some delicious pumpkin pie liqueur as we speak so I’m sure we can dump the repressed crank in a tick but while I am here in the land of pucker face, I’d like to make a disclaimer: This is only my opinion. It is not the only one on the topic and there is a possibility that it will not even be the opinion you agree with. I’m okay with that. Take what I say with a grain of salt.

One of the things that I continue to see over and over again in the small little art circles I currently frequent (and for those of you not in the, “know” this circle would be of the art journaling aficionado type) is a concern about having your own style or as I like to call it, “uniquism paranoia” How do I find my own style, how do I retain the knowledge I may learn from others and yet not have it make what I do a replica of their creative voice? Well, these are all very good questions my fine creative flock of creatives and I find it is not a topic talked about at length.

First, let us get this out of the way: You’re going to make art that looks like someone else’s at some point in time. This is inevitable. It is part of the learning process, it is the part of the discovery and in all honesty, it’s perfectly normal. Perhaps it is even something that you will enjoy doing for a long while before you move on to other things. That’s just fine and as long as you’re happy and if it brings you joy, then you’re doing it for the right reason. This post is not for you.

On the other hand maybe you’re wondering how you can make your pages a little more authentic, something that is easily recognized as yours. That can be hard, especially if you filled your head with the teachings of every type of art journaling/mixed media guru out there with a book, product or philosophy to sell. So how do you assimilate all of this information and visual stimulus without going into technique overload? Here are a few ideas that may work for you. Try them out and sleep on it for a good week. If they’re not a good fit, throw them out and start over again. That’s the fantastic thing about art. You can always smack some titanium white (or gesso) and begin again

. 1. Try things out without reading up on how others are using it. 
            A good friend of mine who happens to be a successful fine artist use to say that he was inspired by    those who had no idea what they were doing because they were uninhibited and free. Trust your instincts, sometimes being educated in a technique can inhibit you. Personal style for the most part is distinct quirks and imperfections that are unique to the individual. Embrace them, they’re yours.

2. Step outside of the community box. 
            It’s easy to see what people who share your interests are doing. It’s also easy to fall prey to the nasty inner critic who tells you that whatever it is you do will never be as good as what you’re currently seeing in the community. Venture out and find inspiration in other areas of art. Ask yourself questions as to what you like or dislike about what you’re viewing. This will help understand your aesthetic and inspire you to try new things that appeal to that creative eye.

3. Learn and technique and then forget it.
           This was something I left as a response on to someone new to the community. Supplies, techniques and community can easily overwhelm you. Take whatever it is that you've gleaned so far and throw it out the window. Just don't even think about it. Then open your journal and picking a few things that immediately call to you and do something -anything. I assure you, all the stuff you've been soaking up is in that mind of yours ready to be used but slightly altered by your memory so that what you found important stays with you. That’s the true secret to doing your own thing. It’s learning and filtering that education through the soft gauze of memories.**   That way the heart of the technique is there but it has been altered to meet our needs.

There you have it folks. Nothing earth shattering or mind altering but I hope it is helpful nonetheless. The point of the matter is there is plenty for you to do and say without having to following anything currently out there. A little confidence and trust will take you a long way in the road of self-exploration and creative endevors.

** Of course this might be difficult if you have a photographic memory. To you my snapshot minded friend, I am not sure what to say. If you have any ideas of your own, I’d be happy to hear them.