Art

Art Journaling Idea - Step By Step Guide

Today I have an art journaling idea that you just might like to have a go at yourself…

What’s brilliant about art journaling is that it’s so flexible - anything goes as Amy from the Mindful Art Studio shows in her post How To Start An Art Journal.

Please use the supplies you have to hand, a sketchbook is great but equally a piece of paper with some gesso brushed over is fine also. You don’t need a firm idea in your head what the piece has to look like either…

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Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.
— M. Scott Peck

Supplies I used:

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Sketchbook

Pen for writing out my uncensored thoughts

Grey Gesso

Pencil HB

Golden Fluid Acrylic Paint - greens, brown, yellow, red, white

Winsor & Newton Tear off palette

Black Stabilo pencil (for mark making)

Peel and Sketch charcoal pencil

Collage papers

Brushes/water/paper towel

Adhesive/glue - I use Liquitex matt medium but equally, craft glue would be fine for your sketchbook


Ready for some art journaling? Here we go:

  1. Write out all your stresses, worries and generally anything that’s taking up head space right now - just get it all down and if you run out of space, simply write over what’s already there. Scribbling and scrawly hand-writing with spelling mistakes are all totally fine and - please put perfection to one side!

  2. Next, slap on some gesso - it’s like an undercoat for your work - preparing you for the next stage of painting over with delicious colour. You can use white, grey (this is what I used) or black gesso or, why not mix some acrylic paint into whatever colour you have.

  3. Give a blast with a hairdryer - move it around the piece so it dries evenly.

  4. Grab yourself a photo, magazine image or whatever inspires/touches you - it doesn’t have to be a portrait.

  5. Find some collage items - paper, stamps, fabric, old envelopes, wrapping paper - whatever you like and whatever you have to hand. Place and position them and then adhere them to your substrate with craft glue, glue sticks or matt medium.

  6. Lightly sketch out your main element - mine is obviously a portrait but you could feature a pretty flower, an animal, pattern, or an object that you love etc. Take your time…

  7. Dilute some acrylic paint and start adding darker values signifying shadows.

  8. Add white or lighter values for areas of highlight.

  9. I added a red scarf and decided I didn’t like the shape I’d constructed and so altered it a little.

  10. Start adding some other hues - I added various greens, red and hints of yellow.

  11. Details - I painted in a snazzy earring, a little bird, some foliage and a cute little house. Getting personal with your touches is a beautiful thing - go to town with this.

  12. Mark making - I created some loose marks on the collaged papers which kind of looked like rain and funnily enough I realised when I was finished that it had been raining.

  13. Lastly, I added some more words and this time my words had transformed from being full of angst to feeling playful, relaxed and all with a feeling of gratitude.

 Here’s the finished piece. Art journaling is a wonderful way to bare your soul, get messy + then feel so good after…

Here’s the finished piece. Art journaling is a wonderful way to bare your soul, get messy + then feel so good after…

So, I do hope you’ve enjoyed this art journaling inspiration today. My hope is that this will give you a creative and gentle way to vent some of your worries and make ‘all things new’ by painting over with a different message, one of hope and gratitude.

Lastly, remember, I love hearing from you, so please let me know how you get on in the comments below.

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Online Art Courses - How They Can Help With Stress

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Being busy is the norm for so many of us these days. This in itself isn’t necessarily a problem but when it becomes a way of life and you find yourself unable to relax and de-stress after a full day, things can unravel very quickly - I know, I’ve been there many times. Sometimes, all it takes to break the cycle of perpetual busyness is a little time for ourselves to do something that feels nurturing, relaxing and well, fun!

I know, play seems a potentially shocking word for us adults but I bet the idea of play seems enticing.
— Jane
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Online art courses are a brilliant way to unwind, express yourself and play. I know, play seems a potentially shocking word for us adults but I bet the idea of play seems enticing.

Virtual courses, ecourses, online classes - they all mean the same thing and they can include pre-recorded video (which is what my art courses are primarily made up of). They can also include writing - like a blog post, photos, slideshows, audio and sometimes the facility to leave comments or even start a group discussion (live or not). Sometimes the videos are downloadable (mine often are) so that you can keep them right on your computer too.

My courses are ‘self-paced’ which means that once you purchased the course, you get to create when it’s convenient for you and in my experience, both for myself and my students, that seems to be ideal.

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The other great thing, is that wherever you are in the world, you can purchase and gain access to one of my courses with only a computer and access to a fast broadband connection and you’re good to go.

So how can online art courses help with stress?

Well my students tell me (and I know from personal experience) that there’s something about tapping into our creative side that helps us put to one side the stresses and strains of our busy lives. Creativity can help us connect with our inner lives and reduce stress. I’m a firm believer that we are all creative and that we don’t tend to the creative part of our lives nearly enough. After all, if we take care of our own needs, we are better able to be present with our loved ones - you can’t fill someone else’s well if you feel empty. I also believe that our ‘creative muscle’ gets stronger, the more we engage with it. This article from The American Public Health Association shares clearly how beneficial creativity can be in all our lives.

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Recently I listened to the brilliant SuperMum podcast hosted by Lisa York (Mum of four). Her guest was Dr Pragya Agarwal of The Art Tiffin and they discussed How Can We Support Our Mental Health With Creativity - a must listen!

Finally, I hope this has inspired you to think about pulling those paintbrushes and paints out of the cupboard and perhaps taking one of my online art courses so that you can start tapping into your creative self and park that stress!







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Picasso Online Course - Offer Ending Soon

Piccaso Online Course - offer ending Sunday

I just wanted to give you a quick reminder that my early bird offer of £35 on my Picasso online course will end on Sunday at midnight (GMT - London) - it will then increase to £49!

Would you like to take a closer look and paint in the style of Picasso in his Rose Period?

Join me in this online course as we look at the colours and style he worked with and then paint in ‘his footsteps’. We’ll be creating three beautiful portraits along with a bonus piece and warm up, all with the essence and flavour of Picasso.

There’s always so much to learn in art and I just had to include a bit of the background to Picasso’s Rose Period - I promise, it will make his art come to life when you know and understand the back story.

This course will immerse you into some of Picasso’s paintings like never before…

The classroom will open on Wednesday, 26th September 2018 with full and instant access.

Let’s get started!

Jane x

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Early Bird Offer/New Class - A Painterly Jaunt Into Picasso's Rose Period

Early Bird Offer For New Online Class - Picasso's Rose Period

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I'm excited to share that my latest class, A Painterly Jaunt Into Picasso's Rose Period has opened up for registration and is available for purchase at an early bird price of £35 (this will increase to £49). The classroom is due to officially open on or before Wednesday, September 25 2018.  

The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.
— Pablo Picasso

Why this new class on Picasso?

Well, we've all heard of Picasso but not necessarily his 'Rose Period' which in French, 'Rose' means pink. This comparatively short time was from the latter part of 1904 until 1906 and came right after his Blue Period which marked a particularly difficult time for Picasso after losing a very good friend of his.  

The Rose Period saw the beginnings of a new relationship for Picasso and happier times, hence the change of palette to brown, oranges, red ocher and rose together with the change of focus/subject in his work. After delving into his paintings and being captivated by what I saw and painted, I couldn't wait to share this with you!

Who is this class for?

This class is for anyone who would like to explore Picasso and be inspired by the way he used colour and evoked mood during his 'Rose Period'. Enjoy creating paintings that feel tender and intimate, with warm colours and self expression. Take Picasso's lead and then 'go your own way, with me as I guide you.  

There's so much to share with you and I hope you'll come paint with me...

Jane x


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9 Ways To Reduce Stress By Creating Art

If you're feeling the symptoms of stress or anxiety, you're not alone...

We live in a fast paced world and when we don't take the time to restore ourselves, we can feel overwhelmed and unable to relax even when we need and want to.  This can all to easily lead to feelings of anxiety, restlessness and in some cases depression.  

Today, I want to encourage you and say that we can ALL create art that feeds our soul.  If you can pick up a brush and apply paint, you can make art!  Please don't think you have to be an 'artist' in order to create art that lights you up or nurtures YOU.  

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There are many therapeutic benefits of creating art and reducing stress is just one of them.  It has also been proven that making art reduces high blood pressure and helps us to examine our feelings in a sub-conscious and non-threatening way.  Creating art also slows breathing (how amazing is that!) and is beautifully restorative and life-giving.
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If you're feeling overwhelmed and in need of de-stressing, look no further than a set of paints, paper and some brushes.    

You don't need to be a professional artist to make art and to see the benefits that making art can have on your life. 

Art helps you to slow down and put to one side feelings of anxiety, internal chatter and worry and instead put your attention to really seeing what is in front of you - it's very meditative.

Here are just some ways to start getting creative and making some art just for you: 

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Paint Outdoors - bring a small bag of supplies including watercolour paints, watercolour reservoir brush, art journal, pencil, eraser and paper towel.  More tips here... Begin by drawing something small like a wild flower, some clouds, pebbles, your dog, a person or a tree.  Next 'colour in' using your paints or coloured pencils.  Above is an example of a watercolour sketch a did at an RHS garden nearby.  The sculptural bench was both a challenge but also meditative as I couldn't not give it my full attention and by doing this, it puts aside the things of life for a little bit (which sometimes feels a relief...)  

Clay - air drying paper clay is brilliant for creating a little pinch pot.  Clay is so tactile and lovely to work with, you can't help but slow down and feel the cathartic benefits when you devote a little time. 

Colouring In - if painting your own scene isn't for you, there are so many beautiful colouring books out there and they are a lovely way to do a little creating in front of the television (or not) and enjoy the meditative benefits. 

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Colour - as we all know colour is very emotive - just think of a red dress versus a pale blue one.  Ordinarily red, orange and yellow are warm colours and usually associated with happiness and joy but equally may represent anger.  Try 'feeling' your way with colour on paper.  For instance you may ask yourself, 'Do I resonate with dark blue, light pink or violet today?'.  Whichever colour you choose, paint it on your paper and sit with the colours, close your eyes and take a deep breath.  

Paint A Face - the process of painting a face never ceases to amaze me.  It's difficult to put into words but when drawing faces, it's like you're looking at a part of yourself and this allows you to self reflect and get to know yourself and your feelings better. 

 
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Collage - use torn bits of magazine paper (see photo to the left), old books or any other papers you have and enjoy creating a simple scene, flower, a bird or a torn paper landscape. I also have an online class on the topic of collage called Fragments Of Joy and a personal project I'm mid-way through called Heads Up 50 (see photo above).

Pattern - the creation of repetitive shapes can be very calming and satisfying.  The process becomes a meditative act and can help you to reduce feelings of anxiety by using repetition ie. circles, triangles. 

Create With Friends - you can do all of the above and more with friends.  Gather some materials, some tea and with good company you'll be creating all sorts of things before you know it!  Think quilting bees and the camaraderie from creating together.

Soulful Release Art - when I'm struggling with overwhelm or worry, I like to write out what's on my heart without any sensor and then I simply paint over it after having taken some time to pray and reflect.  The idea is to 'cover over' the 'rubbish' and instead replace it with goodness, truth and beauty.  I might listen to some relaxing music, drink some tea, sit out in the garden or just close my eyes before covering over what I've written.  The process is always sacred, restorative and heart-felt (see right).   I may write out a bible verse, quote or poem that also helps to bring about calm, comfort or wise words. 

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Lastly, I do hope some of these ideas bring you a little bit of comfort and a chance to rejuvenate.  As always, please say 'Hi' over on Instagram or email me if you have any questions...

Jane xo


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Instagram Spotlight - Eugenia Loli Collage Artist

Today I'm sharing just some of the amazing work of collage artist - Eugenia Loli via another Instagram Spotlight

I'm continuing to explore all things collage whilst revisiting my class Fragments Of Joy and just had to share Eugenia's work with you.  Not only is Eugenia a collage artist but she is also an illustrator and film maker (her background is technology).  Eugenia is from Greece but has lived in California for many years. 

I find her work to be inventive, entertaining, intelligent and well, brilliant!

This is what Eugenia says about her work:

It’s important for me to “say” something with my artwork, so for the vast majority of my work there’s a meaning behind them. I usually do this via presenting a “narrative” scene in my collages, like there’s something bigger going on than what’s merely depicted. Sometimes the scene is witty or sarcastic, some times it’s horrific with a sense of danger or urgency, some times it’s chill. I leave it to the viewer’s imagination to fill-in the blanks of the story plot.
— Eugenia
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Below are just some of my favourites:

* The 'Cosmic Ballerinas' are part of the 'Worshipped Women' series and I love them!  

* The Farscapes series includes Rising Mountain (top row, middle) and Sea Poppies (third row, far left) aren't they brilliant - love the vintage feel to them too. 

More Titles:

Unconscious Experiences (second row, left). 

Let me get that for you (second row, far right)

Element 115 (third row, middle)

The Oh, L'Amour series is fun and I've included one collage from that series (bottom row, far left).

As an aside, I also love the titles of the collages - they make you think...  

So, I hope you've enjoyed that burst of inspiration from collage artist, Eugenia Loli - please visit her and thanks for visiting me.

Take care,

Jane x

 

Where to find Eugenia:

Eugenia - The Cargo Collective - Website

Instagram: eugenia_loli

Shop: Work for sale

Note: All images are copyright of Eugenia Loli. 


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