Creative JumpStart with the Creative Squad – Nicole Watson

Hello again from my Creative Squad! Today we have Nicole Watson sharing her artist super power with us: making messes! Well we are truly gaga over this scrumptious mess that she’s created in her art journal, using my Art Deco Fairview stencil and this month’s theme: Super Power – this month we are joining Creative JumpStart 2020 and exploring our Artistic Super Powers. It could be your unique technique or style, the way you like to use a medium or tool, or maybe your way of approaching artmaking. What is yours and show us how you use it.


I love the idea that artists have super powers! When walking through a museum, one can usually spot a Monet, van Gogh, Mondrian, Cassatt, O’Keeffe, Rothko, etc. without even looking at the information card. The same is true today. When scrolling through Instagram, I can often tell who the artist is before looking at the user name. How cool is it that we all have unique talents!

When thinking about my super power, honestly, I struggled. Circles, dripping paint, color mingling, layers, my favorite weapon the stabilo all, gesso, and book text often fill my pages. All of these supplies and techniques come together to create a mess… a mess that often I over-think, want to gesso over, and struggle with where to take it next. This part you don’t see in my pretty pictures and edited videos. This week as I played in my journal using my “super powers,” the struggle was there. The mess appeared. Thoughts of defeat and wanting to start over filled my head. I’m sure you can identify! However, the thing about an art journal that we often forget is that it’s for exploring, journaling, playing with ideas… and creating messes! Not everything has to be a masterpiece. Often, it’s in taming the mess, that new ideas are formed and discoveries are made. Don’t let that mess stop you from creating. Use it as a way to learn and grow as an artist. I like the idea of turning something negative, into something positive. (Remind me that when I make my next mess!)

This week I decided that though there are several techniques and tools that I might be known for, making messes is my super power! And, here’s how I made this one. Check out my video and then read my how to below:

I used a journal spread where a white (watercolor) paper and a burlap page came together in my Dina Wakley Media journal. Before collaging the book pages, I gessoed the white page and spread a bit of the gesso on the burlap for fun. Then, I began to add some book text with matte medium and used a heavier gel medium to add a piece onto the burlap side.

Next, I chose a cool color palette to play with. I really enjoy the process of playing with color and letting it mingle on my pages. I also added gesso at times. When I was finished layering color on the pages, I pulled out Nathalie’s new Art Deco Fairview stencil.

I wanted to add some texture and dimension with the pattern, so I used light molding paste through the stencil. I decided to color the paste with paint so it would pop even more. I spread a thin layer with my palette knife randomly on both pages. Since the molding paste is white and not clear, my dark blue paint ended up looking more purple (first mess accomplished).

To make the random stencil look a little more intentional and perhaps like it was crackling or breaking off the page, I scraped it here and there with my palette knife and smoothed some out with a baby wipe. I also added extra paste in places outside the stencil.

Then, I needed to think. So, I made some marks with paint and my stabilo all (mess number two). In the process of activating the stabilo, I decided to use one of my favorite techniques that I call the “stabilo puddle.” I scribbled some stabilo on my palette paper and activated it to make a puddle. I used this to shade around the stenciled areas to make it look a bit grungier. Ah-ha! This grunge helped darken the purple molding paste.

Since I liked the direction this stabilo was heading, I grabbed the stencil again and used the stabilo to trace the design. It was easy to put the stencil back on the pages since the paste fit right back into the empty spaces. I randomly chose areas to trace in to add to that worn, peeling look. Then, I activated the stabilo with water.

Several messes later, after adding some more paint, flicking color, gesso and stabilo, I decided to label the pages with my official super power. After sticking the letters down, I used the stabilo to draw circles, shaded them with gesso and then again with a contrasting warm color to make them pop.

Mess accomplished!


Thank you Nicole – we LOVE what you do with messes :) 

Want to give Nicole’s project a try? You can find all my Stencils in my Online Shop and in addition to book page/ephemera, here are some of the other supplies Nicole used:

Feel inspired? Playing along with Creative JumpStart and the Creative Squad? Working on something yourself that you’d like to share?  I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my next  “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

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Silent Friends – Art Journal

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends!” – Martin Luther King Jr.  There are so many powerful quotes to choose from but this one really resonated with me today.

For this part I used collage papers from old prints of paintings of mine, and gouache paints.

To extend the cityscape, I used my Stroll Through the Hood 2 stamps and a skim of white gesso to pull everything together.

I used a Molotow marker for my quote.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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Going Postal – Art Journal

“I breathe in, I go postal…when I am upset and someone tells me to take a deep breath”.  I was inspired by Marieke’s amazing lesson in CJS20 to make this art journal page and …am obviously making fun …or maybe not ;)

The round elements are deli paper printed circles with a gelli plate and my Art Deco Empire and Art Nouveau Wallpaper stencils as well as versafine inks.

The paint in between is goache and gesso. I added marks with a Stabilo pencil, stamped with my Small Circle Jumble rubber stamp set and drew the face with walnut ink.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Join us for Creative JumpStart 2020 and experience tons of creative inspiration from 31 different mixed media artists! Class has begun and there is no better time to sign up:

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Art is Hope – Art Journal

“Art is the highest form of hope.” – Gerhard Richter

I used a round Gelli plate and versafine ink pads. I stenciled on top with my Art Nouveau Wallpaper, Art Deco Fairview, and Art Deco Empire stencils, used deli paper on top, then printed onto my art journal. For some like the yellow ones for example I then added a solid yellow layer to the plate and then pressed the still wet surface of the before printed deli paper back on top and got then the pattern into the yellow – kind of going back and forth a bit.

I painted black gesso around it and used a white signo pen for the journaling.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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Make a Mark – Art Journal

“There! I made a mark for myself!” There is a lot going on in this spread, including marks :)

I used acrylic ink in my background and a mix of black liquitex spray paint and acrlyic paint. Lots of layers and visual and actual texture… and mark-making with my new Tokyo stencil for the pattern.

Then I went in and traced the stencil with a white signo pen.

And then acrylic ink for my drawing.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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Creative JumpStart with the Creative Squad – Maura Hibbitts

Hello from my Creative Squad! This month the squad is playing along with Creative JumpStart 2020 and sharing their Artistic Super Power with you. Here we have Maura Hibbitts sharing hers: Colorful Imagination. Her fun little notebook uses my Signals and Art Deco Empire stencils and our theme: Super Power – this month we are joining Creative JumpStart 2020 and exploring our Artistic Super Powers. It could be your unique technique or style, the way you like to use a medium or tool, or maybe your way of approaching artmaking. What is yours and show us how you use it.


Many wishes for good health, peace, joy and creativity in the new year! Can you believe it’s already 2020? Wow, the time does fly! I’ve been so inspired by all the amazing artists at Creative Jumpstart. I think it just gets better and better every year…now to find the time to play. So, when I started thinking about what my creative super power was, I thought of how much I love color, and that it is often something people comment on when they see my work. I also thought about how much I like to use my imagination, where ideas can come from books, movies, dreams, nature, and the everyday world around me. So, I am calling my superpower “Colorful Imagination.” The outside of my notebook is super colorful, and the blank pages inside are just waiting for my imagination.

I’m using one of my favorite little notebooks by Moleskine (any blank notebook will do).

First step in transforming the cover is to paint a layer of black gesso, and run a Hakeme brush over it to create texture. (An alternative to a Hakeme brush would be to use a small broom.)

The Signals stencil and an array of rainbow colors goes over the dry gesso, starting with red. I really like using cosmetic sponges to apply acrylic paint through a stencil. When I need to change color, I just snip off the end, and have a “new” one to use.

I continued stenciling the colors of the rainbow down the notebook…red, orange, yellow, blue, green, violet…Oops! There goes that rebel green jumping out of order again!

Nathalie’s new stencil designs are awesome, and I had to use the Art Deco Empire too, how could I not? I decided to use white paint and stencil around the sides and bottom.

Final touch is a bit of work with Posca paint pens. I went over the dots with turquoise blue, and hand lettered NOTES along the side with white.

Here’s a look at the array of supplies I used to make my notebook. How about clipping a fountain pen onto the notebook in a matching color…oh yes, in that rebellious green, I see.

I called upon my Creative Jumpstart Super Power – Colorful Imagination – to make my notebook. Every color of the rainbow (yes I know, not in order…that must have been my imagination playing with me) is dancing across the cover with the Signals stencil. Those blank graph papers are calling to my imagination to fill this with ideas and sketches…I can’t wait! Why not find your own creative super power by checking out this year’s Creative Jumpstart 2020? Wishing you a creative and imaginative year! – Maura


Love your colorful notebook Maura and how you mixed up the patterns – very cool!! And definitely a super power of yours! Thank you so much !!!

Want to give Maura’s project a try? You can find all my Stencils in my Online Shop and here are some of the other supplies Maura used:

Feel inspired? Playing along with Creative JumpStart and the Creative Squad? Working on something yourself that you’d like to share?  I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my next  “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

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Dare to Err – Art Journal

“Dare to err and to dream. Deep meaning often lies in childish play.” – Friedrich Schiller. I love this quote and it’s great motivation to just play when you are creating and see what magic may happen.

For my vibrant background I used Gouache, Gold Gesso, and White gesso.

Then I went in with my Art Nouveau Wallpaper and Art Deco Fairview stencils for some subtle pattern elements here and there.

For my mark making I used a fude pen and a white signo pen.

I put a light coating of white down before adding my quote and framed it with some more quirky mark making.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    I love the colors and the message Nat.
    Happy New Year!

    Reply

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Art Stroll: MoMA Betye Saar

During the holiday season my husband and I want to a MoMA evening with Jazz for members. There is nothing better than the word Jazz to get the man out – LOL- just kidding ;) I think because of some snow right before we went the museum was empty- it was awesome. We finally also saw the Betye Saar exhibition. Betye Saar is known for her assemblage and collage work. Saar explores both the realities of African-American oppression and the mysticism of symbols through the combination of everyday objects. “I’m the kind of person who recycles materials but I also recycle emotions and feelings,” the artist has explained. “And I had a great deal of anger about the segregation and the racism in this country.”

The Wounded Wilderness, 1962 – Etching with relief printing.

She became interested in printmaking when she was studying design. It became her segue from design to fine art.

In the Dell, 1960 – Etching.

Her pieces were fascinating!

The Quick & the Dead, 1964 – Etching and collagraph with hand addtions and embossing with stamped ink

Mystic Window for Leo, Assemblage, etching

Saar found this window and used images of the leo and sky charts as this is an important symbol for her. I loved this so much!

Black Girl’s Window, 1969, wooden window fram with paint, cut-and-pasted printed and painted papers, daguerreotype, lenticular print and plastic figurine.

A silhouette of her head with floating moons and stars; an etching (her own) of a lion, her birth sign; a tintype of a woman who could be her Irish grandmother; and, at the center, a novelty shop Halloween skeleton alluding to her father’s death when she was a child, a loss she says she still lives with.

“Even at the time, I knew it was autobiographical”, Saar said of her now -iconic assemblage Black Girl’s Window. “It is like a diary of my life”

Saars printing materials – it was so interesting to see those and then try to find them again in her various prints.

Phrenology Man Digs Sol y Luna1966, Etching with relief-printed found objects

“Phrenology, a pseudoscience that has been definitively debunked, links portions of the human brain to different character traits and capacities. It gained popularity in the nineteenth century and was cited by proponents of slavery and segregation as proof of the inferiority of African Americans. That a black woman adopted this motif in her work may seem subversive, but according to Saar, she was attracted to phrenology as a map of the unknown, in keeping with her interest in astrology and palmistry. Her own Phrenology Man, who appears in this print and several others, has the words “SEX” and “HATE” tumbling through his mind, together with animals, flowers, and astrological signs.”

The Phrenologer’s Window II, 1966 – Wooden Window frame with cut-and-pasted printed paper, acrylic paint, and found objects on board

“You can make art out of anything.” Betye Saar

The Palmist Window, 1967 wooden window frame with cut-and-pasted printed paper and fabric with charcoal and acrylic paint

Comments (1)

  • chrissie

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    loved this

    Reply

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