The Fear of No – Art Journal

“It’s OK to say no, sometimes it is an expression of respect of the person asking.”

First I primed the ledger page with some light gesso as I did not know how the paper would take water. I used my Batik Stencil and traced parts of the pattern with a Derwent water soluble sketching pencil, then used a wet brush to pick up some of the pencil lines, dragging some grey coloring into the shapes.

I also used my Tokyo Stencil with a brush and watercolor and went over the stencil, knowing that it would not be a defined stenciled image, but liking it.

I added a sketch on deli paper, also done with the water soluble pencil, and adhered it with gel medium.

I finished up my page by journaling with a black Posca marker – a super thin one.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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American History – Art Journal

“American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.” – James Baldwin

I used a credit card to spread some acrylic paint and gouache onto the ledger page over my Fan-tastic stamp. Next I inked up wooden number blocks and pressed them onto the page – as they were wood the image is not very prominent without a press, so I enhanced and outlined a little bit by tracing and coloring on with aquarelle pencils. I left that partly as is, and partly spread it around with water.

I stamped some stars using my Star Fish rubber stamp as a complementary color in red to the green background. I also stamped my Lady Liberty foam stamp with Versafine ink onto a piece of paper, added some marks with Aquarelle Pencils and a journaling pen, then adhered it to the background as well. I finished it up with my journaling.

In addition to my large letterpress wood numbers, here are some of the supplies I used:

Comments (1)

  • Robin

    |

    I love the combination of colors, stamps and lady liberty! This page is so beautiful!

    Reply

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You Matter – Art Journal

“Do not ever let anyone make you feel like you don’t matter.” – Michelle Obama

First I used a credit card to disperse some left over pink acrylic paint for the start of my background. I also stamped with my Central Ave Foam stamp and sprayed grey spray paint over my Circuit stencil.

I stamped my Row Houses foam stamp with black acrylic paint and also added some collage pieces and an old calendar of mine with paintings that I had cut up.

I sketched my figure on deli paper and added my journaling with a fude pen.

In addition to my collage elements, here are some of the supplies I used.

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ArtCollab – #7 Video and #8 Registration

Did you catch the last episode of ArtCollab with Sarah and I? We chatted about how much we, even as teachers, value the chance to go Back to School now and again. You can watch the recording below and then read on about our next episode coming up on October 5th. Registration link is down below.

Here is an overview of the episode:

In this episode of ArtCollab we go Back to School! We discuss how as teachers, it is just as important to take classes too. There are many benefits to stepping into the shoes of a student including inspiration, self care, feeding your curiosity, playing with new materials, opening your eyes to different techniques, and applying new ideas to your work beyond the classroom. The experience can make you a better teacher in the end by allowing you to feel the perspective of a student and the challenge of learning something new.

In addition to recent classes we have taken and other learning opportunities we’ve embarked upon, we also each share a mini lesson in this episode. Sarah presents her techniques for hand carving letters from start to finish and Nat shares an exercise focusing on color theory to demonstrate how colors are relative. Lastly we talk about other artists and makers, some working in wildly different fields and media, who have proved to be excellent sources for learning and inspiration.

Upcoming Episode:

Join us for Episode 8: Get Your Ink On – Tuesday, October 5th at 12noon EDT (NYC time)

October is a popular month for creative challenges and many seem to be focused on the art of printmaking (think Inktober and Printober). We thought it might be fun for ArtCollab Episode 8 to do a little show and tell and share our personal favorite basic printing techniques. Nat will share some ways to use a Gelli Plate for printmaking and Sarah will demonstrate how to use an ArtFoamies StampBuddy to produce multicolored, layered prints. Join the ZoomCast for some inspiring tips and tricks that you can apply to your own artmaking and participate in the chat discussion and the Q&A to have your questions answered live.

Register HERE to attend.

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Creative Squad: Wish You Were Here – Riikka Kovasin

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post and video from Riikka Kovasin who is sharing a touching tribute to her Grandmother. Her beautiful book project uses my Love Knots and Fan-tastic Small rubber stamps and our theme: Wish You Were Here – This time let’s think about those old travel postcards, or someone you are missing or haven’t seen in a while, or maybe a place that you are missing. The message is loud and clear: Wish you were here!


Layers of Reminiscece 

Moikka! It’s Riikka here today to share my project with this month’s theme “Wish you were here”. While one of the ideas was to make greeting cards from faraway places, I went a bit more personal. Around the time I was making this project was my maternal grandfather’s burial so that effected the way I interpret the theme.

My maternal grandmother passed away when I had just turned 13. While we were close, memories seem to fade, and I can’t remember all the little things anymore. And I really wish she had been here to see her great grandkids, my two daughters, and see me get married. I can remember when I was studying at a polytechnic, I would have wanted to share something with her, or phone when I met my husband-to-be. She was a family person so those things would have been meaningful for her, too. The passing of my grandfather made me realize this even more as he was at my graduation, kept a speech at our wedding, and he adored his great granddaughters. 

As I, and my girls, have fond memories of him, I wanted to do something dedicated to my grandmother. I remember doing funeral candy in the colors of black and purple and I can recall a dress she was wearing sometimes, which looked warm grey further away but when you were close, you could see a multitude of different colored threads making up the pattern. She also had a gorgeous ruby colored ring, which I inherited, and which was turned into a necklace as I couldn’t ever imagine wearing such a ring. So, these little snippets and some more in mind, I decided to make a minialbum or a booklet.

I didn’t want to decorate any existing piece this time but built the booklet from ground up. I love combining fabrics and textiles to paper so I chose my “go to” textile material, felt, for the covers. As I was working with soft craft felt, I used a double layer of the material to make it sturdier. I didn’t want to use an extra layer of the material to avoid the cover being too sturdy. It needed to be huggable. 

While I have one ink stamped piece in the make, I also wanted to use stamps in a bit different way than usual. Instead, I stamped texture to polymer clay. The spine is decorated with “Love Knots”, quite appropriately and I used the “FANtastic Small” set for the embellishments as well as to the paper. As you can see from the video, I used FIMO Leather Effect for the spine as it stays bendable after the bake but choose more clay-like FIMO Soft for the embellishments. I used a black clay and then brushed opalescent purple Mica on top to have a great shine and more dimension to the color.

As I say in the video, the one piece made out of paper was inspired by the dress. So, while I didn’t go as far as the piece looking grey from afar, I did try to capture the overlapping colors and patterns. From further away the piece looks busy and fuzzy, but in closer inspection you can make out the different colors and patterns. Almost like the dress I remember from my childhood. 

I’m still not quite sure how I will use this journal, how I will fill it, but as memories are fading, I’m thinking of jotting down the ones I still have. Like needing to throw away a belt from her dress as the end had slipped outside a car door when we were starting our journey and the belt was unrecognizable after the drive through mud, rain and dirt roads. What better place to store those little things than in a self-made album, inspired by her.

Thank you for stopping by today! I’ll see you again next month.


Thank you for sharing Riikka – I love the idea of creating something so special to honor the legacy of a dearly loved one!

Give it a try: you can find all my Rubber Stamps in my Online Shop and here are some of the supplies Riikka used:

Looking for more inspiration from the Creative Squad? Follow them on Instagram here.

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    This is gorgeous Riikka, especially the dangling pieces. What a nice way to remember a loved one.

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Creative JumpStart 2021 Sale Ends TODAY!

Last Chance Sale ends TODAY – Monday, September 13th at 11:59pm ET (nyc time). This is your Last Chance to join Creative JumpStart 2021 – the Storyteller 10th Anniversary Edition!!! Join the workshop HERE.

This workshop launched in January of this year but you can still enjoy 45 downloadable mixed media lessons from 45 leading artists, 4 recorded webinars, artist interviews, downloadable supply lists, student galleries, and even a bonus lesson for just $59!!! Don’t miss out – learn what it’s all about.

And don’t forget the Exclusive CJS21 Love Story Foam Stamp – available while supplies last:

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Art Stroll: Newark Museum

Visiting the Newark Museum, NJ was long long overdue …in fact it was already overdue when Kim and I had planned a visit in March 2020 but alas …you get the picture. Anyway finally we were able to go in July this year and boy oh boy what a treasure Museum this is. Def. have to go back.

I am starting with this beauty by NJ-Artist Bisa Butler– The Warmth of Other Sons, 2020.

It was stunning to see her work in real life. The piece is based on a photo of an unidentified family traveling north as part of the Great Migration. In the original photos the boy in the foreground had no shoes, she gave him shoes on purpose – taking care of him as she stated in this interview.

Bisa uses fabrics sourced from Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa to create live sized quilt portraits.

Also in the Museum was a piece of Bisa from 2011- Flowers of Faith – I love seeing how the idea for her work has been consistent but how it evolved so amazing!

Such a powerful piece! Lady Walking a Tightrope, 2006. Yinka Shonibare. Nigeria.

  • Man with Bicycle – Mid 20th Century but an unrecorded Yoruba artist in Nigeria.

Moccasins from the late 19th – early 20th century but a Lakota artist. So modern and amazing.

“Many Came Back” by El Anatsui, Ghana

A wonderful wallhanging made of liquor bottle tops and copper wire.

The following pieces were part of a room about Pop Culture and Religion in Contemporary Art. “The varieties of religious experience run wide and deep in America, and yet we are bound together by our shared democratic values and a common culture of material consumption. Far from comprehensive, this installation brings together works from the permanent collection that explore intersections between spirituality and pop culture. Using diverse materials – including yarn, cigarette wrappers and discarded clothing – and sources a disparate as graphic novels and Buddhism, these works tell stories and contemporary parables in styles that range from documentary to abstract, from handmade to high tech.”

Top Cross by Edrick Jenkins made with Camel cigarette wrapper paper and the bottom cross by Jon Bok made with bottle caps and saw blades

Millennial Guardian Angel by Newark Artist Jo-El Lopez.

The Newark Museum is also a really beautiful building by the way – we didn’t get to sit down in the hall but in non Covid19 times I might.

YEAHHA!

Domestic Shield V by Willie Cole – Scorched Canvas mounted on wood and ironing board. In the 80s “…Willie Cole became pre-occupied with the steam iron as a domestic, symbolic, and artistic object, and began using iron scorch marks in a series of works to evoke human faces, masks and boats. In Domestic Shield V, these scorch marks reference African ritual scarification and branding practices, while the ironing board itself alludes to the work of African American domestic laborers.”

Slave Rape Story Quilt – Faith Ringgold 1985″The Slave Rape story was very hard to do. There is so much we don’t know about black women during slavery – it simply hasn’t been written. I read a lot and I simply made up the rest from what I thought to be true. The facts I researched, but the events are manipulated in order to bring a message of the sheer horror of slavery for black women in America.” Faith Ringgold, 1985

Girl Skipping Rope by Hale Woodruff 1959

Danza Ritual (Ritual Dance) by Carlos Mérida, Guatemala 1962

The abstract treatment of the figure in this painting refers directly to the motifs of ancient Mayan art. He was also influenced by Cubism and Surrealism.

Joseph Stella – The Voice of the City of New York Interpreted” 1920- 1922

This Multi -Panel Painting is reminiscent of altar pieces – Stella portrayed American Engineering and technology as a kind of new religion, an association reinforced by the deep, saturated colors – like stained-glass windows.

King Kong and Fay Wray ca. 1933 by an unidentified artist. This sculpture was likely created to decorate the lobby of a movie theater to celebrate the opening of the film King Kong

Fright by William Henry Johnson – a Serigraph on Posterboard ca. 1985

The Sole Sitter – another piece by Willie Cole, 2013. ..Look closely

“I surround myself with images of African sculptures…these images get embedded in my subconscious and re-emerge almost effortless in my work.”

I hoped you enjoyed this art stroll as much as Kim and I did. Timed tickets, masks, vaccination proof and a temperature check made sure we felt safe and sound and could enjoy the art – We will be back for sure!

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Flowers of Faith is gorgeous. The John Deer one could be seen in my neighborhood IRL during the summer and fall, Sole Sitter is so so clever! TFS your art adventure Nat.

    Reply

  • Andrea R Huelsenbeck

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    I lived in New Jersey for the first half of my life and never knew there was an art museum in Newark. Next time I go back, this is on my list of things to see. Thanks, Nathalie.

    Reply

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Last Chance Sale – Creative JumpStart 2021

Did you join our Creative JumpStart workshop in January 2021? If not, now is your Last Chance to join this 10th Anniversary Edition!!! Sign up today for just $59. Sale runs through September 13th at 11:59pm ET (NYC time) so hurry hurry!

Are you getting back into the groove of life now that summer is ending? Are you looking for some artistic inspiration and learning? Creative JumpStart is designed to JumpStart YOUR Creativity even if you have a busy schedule – videos are about 10 minutes in length and cover a broad range of mixed media techniques and project ideas. You can download the lessons and jump into one any time – play along, pause, take your time, and take what you’ve learned to your own projects as well. See what it’s all about HERE.

For our special 10th anniversary this year, we celebrated with our BIGGEST Creative JumpStart EVER – 45 different mixed media artists each shared a unique lesson with the theme Storyteller. Join CJS21 while it is still available: The workshop includes 45 downloadable video lessons, 4 recorded webinars featuring CJS21 artists and Life Coach Karen Auld, downloadable supply lists, student galleries, artist interviews, and a bonus lesson too. Join TODAY.

Although CJS21 originally launched in January 2021 and you won’t be able to play along daily, this workshop is still an excellent resource for Inspiration, Artistic Exercise, Mixed Media Techniques, and Creative Enjoyment. And it’s all brought to you by 45 of the leading Mixed Media Artists out there. I bet you recognize some of these faces:

Sign up today for just $59 and be prepared to Jump into a workshop like no other.

Remember, this is a Last Chance Sale as the CJS21 classroom will close on November 15, 2021 – you can download all the videos and supply lists that you want to by this date and save them forever …and we highly recommend doing so! These lessons can be revisited again and again whenever you need a boost for your creative mojo.

Creative JumpStart 2021 Last Chance Sale

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Spill your heART – Episode 7 and Upcoming

If you didn’t catch our Spill your heART Episode 7, you can watch a recording below. I was joined by some of my Creative Squad members past and present – Emilie Murphy, Nicole Watson, Robin Seiz, and Riikka Kovasin to discuss what it’s like to be on a Design Team:

Here is a little overview: In this episode of Spill your heART I was joined by panelists Robin SeizRiikka KovasinNicole Watson, and Emilie Murphy from my Creative Squad to talk about Design Teams. I began by explaining why I started a design team, and we quickly moved on to discuss how the team has since grown and evolved to be so much more for both myself and its members. Joining a design team can be a big commitment, and our panelists spoke about the challenges they faced including technology hurdles, time commitments, meeting assignment criteria, facing possible rejection, and battling self-doubt. The rewards were even greater though and our panelists shared how design teams have helped them grow as artists, tell their stories, create bonds within the community, develop their style, and try products and techniques that they wouldn’t have otherwise. If you are interested in joining a design team, it is important to remember that it should be a fun and joyful experience that you do for yourself, to help you on your own unique artistic journey. Watch the webinar to learn more!

And join us for the next one on September 24th:

Spill your heART Episode 8: Artists in Residence – Where are they now?

2020 was the beginning of unprecedented challenges and changes to daily life around the world. When the pandemic forced us into lockdown, I was inspired to find a new way to connect with my artist friends and I dreamed up an interview series called Artist in Residence. Suddenly all artists were “Artists in Residence” in their own homes and I was curious how they were coping, continuing their craft, adapting to their circumstances, and generally getting on in a very different world. In this I am revisiting Natalya Khorover, Rhian Swierat and Mario Robinson to find out: Where are they now? We will chat about any long term changes, project updates, and future plans. While there are still massive issues to overcome with regards to the pandemic, some aspects of life are returning to what we once knew and it will be interesting to hear some perspective from these artists.

Friday, September 24th at 12noon EDT (NYC time) – Register here to attend

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