Art Journal Sketch Challenge

I made my first art journal page in a long time last night and now I’m hooked.  I used to do art journaling therapeutically, but it’s not something that I’ve felt I needed recently.  I’ve found so many beautiful art journaling blogs that have inspired me to start again.  I found this challenge on a blog that I like and thought it would be fun to enter:  http://liftsummercrafts.blogspot.com/2013/08/challenge7-art-journal.html?m=1

It’s a sketch challenge, and the sketch in this one is a work of art in and of itself.  It has so much interest and detail that the only thing that really makes it a “sketch” is that it’s gray-scale.  Nonetheless, it was really fun to work from.  Here’s what I made:

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I made the background with watercolors and a stamp using yellow ink.  Then I used some random papers from a scrapbook pack I’ve had for ages and some washi tape to make the rectangles.  I still didn’t know what I wanted to put in the “frames” but in looking through my magazines, I found some words that really spoke to me in a catalogue for a spiritual retreat center, Genesis, that I’m going to a workshop at this September.

The photo is of a statue on the retreat grounds and I used pencils to color it in a bit.  I started out with just light blue wings on the angel but then started adding more color, turning them into butterfly wings.  Butterflies are such a spiritual symbol for me- representing beauty, serenity, and resurrection.  I also did some doodles with Sharpies to add some of the dimension that the sketch had.

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I really can’t wait for the retreat.  It is with Jan Richardson and her husband, Garrison Doles.  They’re a poet/artist and musician, respectively, and lead spiritual retreats throughout the country.  This one is called “Mapping the Mystery” (where the work “mystery” comes from).  They are able to approach spiritual life through creativity, which really speaks to me (for obvious reasons).  This is one of Jan’s blogs:  http://www.janrichardson.com/.

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I made a stamp!

I’ve been seeing so many people making their own stamps lately and have been dying to try… so here goes!  I don’t have any fancy carving tools and am not quite willing to invest in them yet.  I also saw a warning on a blog not to waste time with the cheap ones (http://thegiftshed.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/wednesday-wip-26/).  I tried potato stamps recently with my VBC kids, and Dawn gave me the last bit of encouragement I needed with the beautiful eraser stamps she posted yesterday (http://girlunwinding.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/t-tuesday-and-some-art/).

I saw Aaron at Imperfect Impulses make a stamp out of foam using a die cutter (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoIiFTjDYzs&list=UUjU04ybwhaF0OyvQp-4Y1Eg).  Have I mentioned how much I love his YouTube tutorials?  Be sure to check out his blog, too: http://imperfectimpulses.wordpress.com/.  I don’t have a die cutter but I do have an X-acto knife and I’m not afraid to use it.  🙂

I also happened to have saved the spool from my weed whacker last time I changed it (have I mentioned I save everything?) and it seemed like the perfect size for a stamp.  I traced it onto a piece of foam and got to stamp cutting.  I figured I’d start with a sun, because it’s a pretty versatile image to have and seemed easy enough.  On the other side of the spool, I used the scraps from the sun to make a couple little flying birds.  And Ta da!

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A recent tutorial from The Frugal Crafter showed me some neat ways to use markers to stamp different colors at once and then color them in.  She used chalk for color, which I don’t have, but colored pencils worked well.  (http://thefrugalcrafter.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/old-office-labels-and-osa-challenge-235/)

I used my new creations on an art journal page.  I used to do art journaling pretty regularly but haven’t in so long.  I broke out an old journal and decided to use it for experimenting, the way I’ve been using index cards for the past couple months.  And here it is:

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I’m going to submit it to the Artists in Blogland “Color this Quote” Challenge: http://artistsinblogland.blogspot.com/2013/08/color-this-quote-august-challenge.html  

“Seize the Day” seemed like a pretty perfect quote for my jumping into stamp making.  I’ve been thinking about it for a while and there’s no time like the present to start.  I used my stamp press to lay out the words and branches and the “S” is from a new sheet of letters stamps I got from The Stampsmith (http://www.stampsmith.net/).  I watercolored around the stamps for a little background.  Of course, as soon as I finished it, I realized that I spelled “seize” wrong.  What happened to “‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c'”?  Oh well, that’s what my Photostamper app is for.

I’m also going to submit this to Our Creative Corner’s “Words, Words, Words” challenge.  It seems kind of strangely appropriate, given my spelling mistake.  Ha!  http://ourcreativecorner6.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/words-words-words.html

All in all, I’m pretty excited about my new handmade stamp and even more excited to have started art journaling again.