Portrait of Contentment

While there are often bumps along the road as we travel through life, there are also moments of perfect contentment, if we just pause a moment or two and let everything be still. When things get too busy and distracting, escaping to my studio is a one way I can tune things out and actually feel peace flood over me. Does this mean everything is perfect? Of course not, that is in fact rarely the case, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have perfect moments of contentment in the midst of ‘life’.
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‘Portrait of Contentment’

9″ x 12″ acrylic on museum quality wood panel

When I started painting this portrait things were kind of hectic, we were getting ready to leave for a week and still getting Christmas put away etc. I worked on it for a few brief time periods and left it unfinished until we came back from vacation. I went up to my studio to unwind and reflect and put on some Eagles tunes (a tribute to Glenn Frey who passed away during our trip) and was thinking to myself I’m so glad that we went to see the Eagles when we had the chance. How many times do we put things off until later and later never comes? It made me thankful and content, a real ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’ moment. Sure there are things I wished I’d done but there are a lot of things that I did do and I’m content that I reached and stretched outside my comfort zone to get where I am today.

 

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Detailed view of ‘Portrait of Contentment

I love how working with portraits allows you to see what you are feeling in your work. I hope you find time to create art today and feel the contentment that it brings.

This portrait is now listed on my SHOP page.

Registration is OPEN for Life Book 2016!!!

Registration is OPEN for Life Book 2016!!!

Life Book 2016  is NOW OPEN for Registration!!!

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Life Book 2016 is a year long course with all of these wonderful teachers to inspire you!!!

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First let me tell you a bit more about Life Book in case you haven’t heard about it yet!
Life Book, a celebration and honouring of YOU” is a year-long mixed media art class organized by Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts.

You can find out a lot more about this wildly popular course (it has been joined by over 8700 people in the past!) by clicking HERE

I haven’t fully developed my class idea yet, but I’m excited to be sharing my take on mixed media portraits with you, much like you can see in these journal pages:

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Kicking Off 2015!!!

Wow! 2015 is off to a roaring start!!! The first week was a flurry of getting ready to head to CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) in Anaheim, CA. I taught a workshop there and it was really cool to see several of my mixed media friends teaching as well. Almost like teaching at a retreat only bigger classes and a whole different audience.

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Traci Bautista, me, Mary Beth Shaw and Seth Apter, partners in crime! It’s so great to have good friends that back each other up when doing these types of events. We helped in each others classes, ate together walked the floor together, signed books and DVD’s together and pretty much were joined at the hip lol.

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Mary Beth, Seth and I asked to have our classes back to back so we could each assist the others in their workshops. It was a long day but so much more fun when shared with friends like this!

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At the end of the day I was rewarded with the advance copies of my book being overnighted by my publisher to the hotel!!!

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The really cool thing was that last year at CHA is when I talked to Tonia Jenny  (editor) about North Light publishing this book. I’d been working on it for about a year before that and really wanted to find a good fit in a publisher. I’m so thrilled with how they have handled this book and the amount of input I was able to give. It was awesome to get to see the first copy, hot off the press, with Tonia present!

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The next day it was book/DVD signings for us and walking the floor with some meetings thrown in between. I did a little demoing with the signing alongside Mary Beth.

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Those of you that follow me on Facebook or Instagram know that I love to knit in my spare time, it’s a great way to relax! It was very thrilling to be signing the same day as Vicki Howell from Knitting Daily TV.

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After a whirlwind couple of days, I’m now home and things haven’t slowed down! The first journal spread is from the Documented Life Project I’ve decided to join in for the year. It’s a really great thing if you want to keep on track with your art journaling and there’s a huge following with a great community of artists.

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I also gifted myself with a workshop from Gillian Cox. I never get a chance to take classes and I really want to explore my work in new ways so I signed up and have started her online course, Unearth Gather Create. I believe the class is full but you can click on the link to see what classes she has available.

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I hope your year is off to a great start and that you’re finding time to do what you love!

Ring in the New Year with New Stencils!!!

I’m very excited to announce that my new line of stencils with Stencil Girl Products is now available! 

Gross Anatomy 6 x 6″ Stencils
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Inside My Head

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One Breath at a Time

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These stencils reflect on personal struggles of the past year and will add powerful imagery to your art journaling and other mixed media work.

Here is a stepped out look at creating a journal spread with one of my new stencils

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This page started off on a partially stenciled background using my Acrylic Inks and a copy of a sketch adhered with Mixed Media Adhesive, to give a nice matte finish to the page. Then I traced the stencil design with a Pitt Artist Pen. Using a small sponge dauber I applied Liquid Frisket through the stencil. Let it dry. The Liquid Frisket will mask off the stencil design to preserve the colors underneath.

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I adhered more imagery using Mixed Media Adhesive and chose my color palette for the page. I’m using my Fluid Matt Sheer Acrylics in the following analogous color palette, Turquoise, Rain, Olive, Celedon and using a complementary color to Turquoise, Mustard Seed.

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Because I’ve masked off the stencil design I can freely paint over the top of it with layers of color.

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Using a Liquid Frisket removal tool, I can easily pull off the masking to reveal the page underneath.

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I love how it went slightly outside the lines of the stencil design. This gives more interest to the page.

DSC02187The completed journal page using paints to define the face and imagery.

Here are some more pages done using my new stencils

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Graduate of Sticky U

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I just have to share this new product, Tombow Xtreme tape runner! I was sent this product to try out and I’m very pleased to report that it is awesome! I’ve used it in a couple of workshops as well with great results. The hold is amazing and I’ve found it to be just what I needed to quickly and easily create handmade journals in class, when you want great staying power and no dry time.

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When I sat down to actually make one to blog about I looked right at my journal shelves and decided to tackle a bit bigger project than just making one journal. As an in structor I end up with a lot of  sample journals and some of them you can see here on the second from the bottom shelf. I’ve been wanting to bind several together to make larger, more substantial journals for some time and well, today’s the day!

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So I grabbed a stack and then divided them into groups of three, which seemed about the right size and weight for the journals I wanted to make.

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Because these are all made using the 10 Minute Journal Binding from my first book, Art at the Speed of Life, the outside stitches are all the same, two long stitches on the outside. If you’re making signatures from scratch you can see this blog post showing how I do that.

 

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Next I used a scrap of chipboard to thread some cloth tape through the outside stitches, securing the tape on both sides of the journal stack.

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Next I cut two pieces of matt board to the size of the journal. These are matt board blanks, what is cut out of matts made for pictures. I get them in bundles at Michael’s and they come in handy for many things.

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Using the Xtreme Tape Runner, apply the sticky film to the back of the matt board and then stick right to the first and last pages of the bound journal stack. The trick to using a tape runner is to let it do the work-you don’t need to press hard just maintain an even pressure and speed as you guide the sticky where you want it. Side swipe to break the sticky film.

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Once the covers are attached use some cloth tape to cover the binding.

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Now my shelves look a bit neater and I’m motivate to go through my teaching supplies and dig out the rest of the samples from old workshops and bind them up too!

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