Cities for Everybody – Art Journal

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because and only when they are created by everybody” Jane Jacobs

I used another page of the 2022 Artist Almanac calendar with my artwork – at the time I am writing this blogpost I am not sure if the new – 2023 Artist Almanac Calendar is still available in my store- but check it out if you are interested – I had a lot of fun playing with the 2022 version.

The page is based on this original artwork “Highline”

Acrylic Paint, Spray paint, marker 12×16″ – Available for Purchase
For the background I used my Star Struck Stencil and some Liquitex Spray paint. I filled in some of the grid with green acrylic marker to pick up the green in the collage paper.

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A Look Back – Just Stencils and Words

A Look Back – Want to know a great recipe for an art journal page? Just stencils and words. Yup. That’s it. There are days when I feel the urge to sketch and other days I am in a stamping mood or feeling a layering vibe. And then there are days when I just want to get my words down and I want a background that is straightforward and comes without too much exertion. Not everything needs to be complicated. Let’s take a Look Back at a few art journal pages that use just stencils and words.

This art journal page was part of my Stencilbop challenge and uses two different stencils, Chicago and Exchange Place, along with acrylic spray paints. I love how fast it is to use spray paint with stencils, and shifting them slightly to create a shadow effect is a pretty cool trick. Where to journal on this one? Just follow the lines on the stencil :)

Two stencils work in harmony in this art journal spread that you wouldn’t necessarily think to put together: Art Deco Wallpaper and Circuit. I think it came together because Circuit is “playing second fiddle” in this case and just providing a more delicate detail to balance the assertiveness of the Art Deco fan pattern. BUT the star of the show really is the boldly stenciled words. Play with what takes center stage – it could be a stencil or your journaling.

What is a stencil? In this spread I used my Toledo stencil but also a template to a shrine kit that I had. Think about what you have around that could work like a stencil when you are creating. In this case the shrine shape made the perfect spot to journal in.

One stencil, bold colors, black spray paint, maybe a little paint splatter… Looks pretty sweet, right? When you have a cool pattern (like the Hamburg one here), you don’t need much else. Leave a spot to journal and you have a winner. Check out the original post for this spread here.

Okay I had to sneak this art journal spread in too just because of course you can go a bit further. Maybe you need a little something extra in there and no worries – you’re the boss! Here I used my Chicago and Santiago stencils with spray paint, added a white area and my journaling, but also discovered how nicely my Floral Tile Small stamps fit the stencil pattern. So I added stamps too because some days all you need are just stencils and words… and stamps ;)

Now it’s your turn: make some art journal pages using just stencils and words. Here are some of the supplies used in these spreads:

Look Back is a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)

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Art Stroll – Unstored, Assembly

This October we spent some time in the Catskills and one of the fun discoveries was the Assembly in Monticello, NY. The space originally a Buick dealership has been transformed to an art gallery by artist Bosco Sodi.

For the first exhibition Bosco asked a group of artists from mostly Mexico to “give us your retired, your stashed-away masses yearning to be seen”

Paula Cortazar work on different stone was fascinating! Inviting to stay a bit longer and follow the intricate designs.

Eduardo Sarabia – loved his work which reminded in it’s usage of political statements on ceramics of Grayson Perry‘s work.

The little statue is by Gonzalo Lebrija – basically showing how I feel every day :)

This is also by him:

Bosco Sodi‘s art

The textures on the different materials he uses in his work are amazing
This canvas- made with sand and spraypainted over- I believe!

Tania Candiani created this sound installation:

inviting you to try the bellows out to make those birds sing.

Ugo Rondinone showed a couple of those stone faces – the instagram page makes me want to see even more of the work!

Downstairs was another room with some work by Izumi Kato as well as by Boso. I loved the Izumi Kato chairns- sometimes hidden in the niches.
I enjoyed this exhibition that will be still at the Assembly until May 1, 2023. If you are in the area of Monticello in NY definitely put this gallery on your list!

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Artist Almanac 2023 Calendars are HERE

The page a day 2023 Artist Almanac calendars are here in my shop and ready to ship to you! Supplies are limited, so grab yours as fast as you can :)

The 2023 Artist Almanac, if you haven’t already heard, is a page a day style calendar and each page has different artwork by one of the 19 participating artists:

Nat Kalbach, Birgit Koopsen, DeeDee Catron, Tina Walker, Shawn Petite, Megan Whisner Quinlan, Leaca Young, Tiffany Goff-Smith, Kristin Petersen, Amanda Spence, Lisa Goddard, Arlyna Blanchard, Anna Karena, Seth Apter, LaQuisha Hall, Roxanne Padgett, Denise Lush, Renee Mueller, Ann Barnes

As you tear pages off, they become collage papers, so that means 365 different collage papers for all your mixed media creations. It’s a pretty awesome idea and I was stoked to be one of the artists chosen to participate.

Last year I sold out of those puppies in about 24 hours, so hurry up if you want to grab yours.

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Online Workshops – Holiday Sale Ends Dec 4

All Online Workshops are 30% right now for my big annual Holiday Sale. Just use the coupon code holiday30 to save. Sale ends at 11:59pm ET tomorrow, December 4, 2022. Sign up, save, and start a new artistic learning adventure!!! Shop my Online Workshops here.

All my Artful Adventure workshops are included:

Also available are some collaborative workshops that I created with Birgit Koopsen and Marsha Valk:

For super value I recommend the Best of CJS mini bundles:

Learn some bookbinding techniques or image transfer techniques:

Bottom line is there are a lot of different ways that you can feed your artistic soul with the learning and inspiration that an online workshop can provide. Sign up for one today and enjoy a very special art experience.

Don’t forget, the Holiday Sale ends tomorrow, December 4 at 11:59pm ET. Save 30% on almost everything in the online shop! Coupon Code is holiday30 and cannot be used on gift certificates.

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Maximum Impact with Mini Fans

Looking to make an impact in your art journal or current creative project? Think bold pattern! I love a strong pattern element as a background when I really want to grab attention. I like pattern so much in fact that a lot of my stamps are designed with that in mind. My Mini Fan foam stamp set is one example and a pretty fun set to play with.

The four different stamps in the set each have a different design inspired by historical architecture and interior motifs that have caught my eye through the years. (My Stroll Through the Hood series is where I get a lot of my inspiration for these types of things.) The set gives you choices and the chance to mix things up too. But first, let’s talk about pattern.

The overall shape of the Mini Fan stamps is designed to fit snugly together and make a continuous field of pattern. You can get wild with color and using all the stamps in the set.

You can also use just one for a bit of intricate pattern in a page. The above stamp is a sinuous, Art Nouveau style that it is just the thing when you want something lovely in there.

Layering the Mini Fan stamps in a more complex way is another approach. The “more is more” technique is a lot of fun to create and is very impactful with different patterns and colors peeking through. When to stop? LOL that’s the hard question ;)

When you do keep things simple though, these Mini Fan foam stamps are very effective. It’s not an instant pattern like a stencil, but it’s a methodical, zen-like building process that can be a refreshing creative break. And for a project like these Koinobori wind socks, you can’t deny the Mini Fans resemblance to fish scales!

I hope you give some of these ideas a try. Here are some supplies used in these projects:

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Videos from the Creative Squad – Part 3

My Creative Squad has made some really cool videos for their projects through the years (what a talented bunch indeed) so I’ve been doing a little 4 part series sharing some with you. Also I encourage you to check out the Creative Squad archive of projects as an excellent resource for serious artistic inspiration.

Let’s get started!

Today we have one of the sweetest project ideas from Riikka Kovasin using one of those mini billboard kits (50% off now while supplies last – use the code nowsave50 ) and my Fan-tastic Small stamps. The theme was In the City – let’s reminisce about a time we traveled to another town or city. Think about the flavor of the place and let that guide your color and design choices.

Here is the link to her original post and here is the video she shared of her process:

I love how she created a distressed look to the whole thing and that flower pot fits perfectly to scale. Such a cool way to use the billboard!

Here is a lovely little mixed media piece from alum Marsha Valk using rubber stamps from my My Home Is My CastleEmbroidery, and Cardboard stamp sets. She was working from our theme: This Must Be the Place –We’re all on a journey to somewhere or something. Sometimes we’re just making preparations for simple things like dinner or weekend plans. Other times we’re aiming for bigger goals, bigger places. Whether it’s a location or a state of mind, you’ll know when you get there. Where are you headed?

Here is the link to her original post and here is the video she shared of her process:

I love the little textural details Marsha adds by using the stamps in her piece.

If you had fun watching these videos, be sure to tune in next time for a couple more from the archive.

Here are some of the supplies used in these projects:

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  • Sue Clarke


    Riikka, I LOVE that mini-billboard!!!


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Artwork is on Sale!

As part of my BIG Holiday Sale in the Online Shop, all Artwork is 30% off too! Artwork is one of those very special and personal gifts and maybe you were thinking about someone on you list or maybe just yourself ;)

I have stuff at each price point including Giclee Prints of some of my paintings like:

…a winter scene that I call 1.25.2016 because it was the day of a big blizzard, and also This Too Shall Pass, a local scene with one of my favorite murals of a wave in it.

I have original paintings like Hamburg Harbor and Tacheles, both scenes from my native Germany.

Highline and Swapped are both scenes from NYC and both original paintings on canvas.

As you can see, buildings, the cityscape, and my neighborhood are huge sources of inspiration for my paintings. In the layers I create I am both playing with media but also suggesting a lot of history and change that these places have seen. Painting them is so important for me and I am planning on exploring all of this with a much greater focus in the months to come. Stay tuned :)

In the meantime though, shop the sale! It is a great time to get something to hang on your walls for a nice price indeed.

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