Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post from Robin Seiz who is sharing her artsy gratitude with us in one of her art journals, a repurposed children’s book. She is using my Hex Set Small rubber stamps, my Crackle stencil, and my Nightingale bird stamp along with our theme: Gratitude is my Attitude – This month we are playing along with the November ArtCollab: Showing Gratitude – and specifically giving thanks to those who have helped us along the way in our artistic journey. Who was crucial in helping you become the artist you are today? Let’s give these amazing souls a shout out!
Hello everyone. I love our prompt for this month — Gratitude is my Attitude. I must say that I have so many things to be grateful for in my life that it was hard to focus my energy in one area. I love keeping my options open, but sometimes it helps to break things down into smaller, more intentional, pieces.
While the word Gratitude doesn’t show up anywhere on my journal pages, these two pages represent my mixed media journey while honoring those artists who have taught me and supported me along the way. They are too numerous to mention by name. My pages honor them, the process, and the gratitude I have for having the time, resources, and excitement to pursue my passion. These pages also represent what I love most about mixed media – the fluid, grungy, imperfect aspects of this kind of art.
This project started with choosing a journal. I don’t do much art journaling, but when I went to pull a journal, the one that spoke to me was a journal I created for a Creative Squad blog post sometime ago. Inside the book is a beautifully illustrated story about an owl. The pictures are so lovely that I knew I wanted to incorporate some of them in my pages. I felt like this was the universe talking to me. I’m grateful for be a part of this design team and this seemed to bring it full circle.
These pages honoring my journey include some of the many materials that have become my favorites.
I started by covering the pages, minus the pictures and words that I wanted to use, with white gesso. I used a hotel key card to spread the gesso because I can get great coverage and create an appealing texture along the way. I also knew that I wanted some of the page color to peek through so I made some areas thin and others thick.
I have a love – hate relationship with water colors. I find them difficult to use; but honestly, I haven’t given them enough attention to really master their use. They are, however, an important part of my journey. Using this medium, was the first time I really did a study (for one month) using a mixed media product. I followed one of the artists who excels in this area and joined my first on-line community. This community has become a great sense of joy. They are incredibly supportive; I have learned a lot from them and have been given lots of opportunities beyond what I might have gotten just creating in my studio on my own. I am grateful for these artists.
In order to use water color, I applied QOR water color grounds to the top right corner of my page. This makes it easier for the watercolor to adhere to the page. I stamped Nathalie’s Hex Set Small rubber stamp in purple. I always use odd numbers when doing this kind of work, it’s a more pleasing composition.
Some of the words in the middle of the right page were still visible even after I applied gesso, so I moved to acrylic paint to cover the remainder of the words that I didn’t want to see and to break up the white on the page. This also made the words that I chose to leave come to the forefront. These words resonated with me because I feel like this is what I often do — listen and wait for inspiration to come. I used Nathalie’s Nightingale bird stamp on top. They just seemed like the right stamp given there was an owl on the left page. It’s almost like he is looking at the birds. Both of these steps used rubber stamps, another early product that I used on my journey. I’m grateful for the artists who create these wonderful stamps.
Next, I moved to a combination of Gel Printing scraps and sewing. When I first started mixed media, I was really interested in sewing on paper. Over the years, I have incorporated sewing into my projects; I think it adds such a wonderful dimension to a piece. I am grateful for all the artists who I follow who use this combination and who I have learned from. The sky is the limit. It can be frustrating sometimes; my free motion sewing still needs lots of work. After sewing the pieces together, I attached these three strips with gel medium. I could have just as easily stapled them. I love gel printing and am grateful for all the encouragement I have received along the way for my prints.
The left page really didn’t need much. The window, which represents how grateful I am for the rise and fall of each new day, gives such a warm glow to the page. I applied the same hex stamp to the bottom middle and top left (again in 3’s) because it was compositionally pleasing to me.
I also used Nathalies Crackle stencil (one of my favorites) a cosmetic sponge, and Tim Holtz Archival Black ink to fill in where just a little something was needed. This ink is good for use over acrylics and gesso. Again, I have such gratitude for those artists who regularly use stencils and have taught me how to have fun experimenting with them. They are one of the most versatile tools that I use.
The final touches were free motion machine sewing around the owl and the moon to create an interesting border. And because compositionally I wanted sewing in 3 places, I sewed a zig zag for emphasis under the words on the right page.
All and all, I had a loose idea of what I wanted to represent when I started and it just came together as I went. I am most grateful for the process of creating!
Thanks so much for joining me today on my gratitude journey in mixed media. I hope you create something that honors those things for which you are most grateful. Please post your pieces on Instagram and tag me. I would love to see them. Peace to you, Robin
Thank you Robin, love how you incorporated some of those original book illustrations and text into your page – very cool effect!
Give it a try: you can find all my Rubber Stamps and Stencils in my Online Shop and in addition to her repurposed children’s book, collage papers, and scrap fabric, here are some of the supplies Robin used:
Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a special roundup of Creative Squad Extracurricular Activities that I’d like to highlight for you. My Squad is awesome as you know – so much talent and creativity, and on top of all that they are just really, really good peeps :) And they often post extra stuff they are working on on their social media and It stops me in my tracks because it just shows how much they all love what they do. They can’t stop creating lovely things!
Let’s have a looksie at some of the projects that caught my eye.
What did you do with your leftover Halloween masks? Judi Kauffman connected her trio of Masquerade masks from last month’s project into this nifty hanging decoration that she can bring out for Mardi Gras too!
At the start of this year while Maura Hibbitts was playing along with Creative JumpStart 2021, she created this art journal page with her word for the year, Harmony. Love the botanical background she created using my Art Deco Wallpaper stencil and leaf motifs, a reminder to live in harmony with the Earth, others, and herself :)
Jordan Hill posted this art journal page featuring collage elements, one of her distinctive character drawings, my Space Oddity foam stamp, and a beautiful peachy color to tie everything together. The mix of floral with geometric is really interesting in this spread!
Let’s end with some love and this card from Robin Seiz. I think the muted colors and bit of grunge make this a pretty sophisticated design. She is using a gelli plate and my Love Knots rubber stamp to get her message across.
I hope you enjoyed this roundup of Creative Squad Extracurricular Activities! Please follow our team (their links are above) and also be sure to follow Nat’s Creative Squad on Instagram for weekly content from this stellar group of artists!
A Look Back – Today I’m looking at art journal spreads, projects, and even an old layout from 2009 where specific songs inspired me to create. I have always been a big fan of alternative and punk music but lots of times a song from an entirely different genre will inspire me. Poetic lyrics definitely catch my… ear lol
A 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 :)
I created this art journal spread in 2019 after watching a doc on John Lennon and Yoko Ono. I think this song (“Imagine”) in particular always resonates when we are going through a period of strife. I felt the need to copy down a lot of the lyrics (maybe all of them), filling in the empty space I created using my Hex Set Small and Hex Set Large stamps.
Also in 2019 I joined a challenge by my friend Tina Walker called The Stencilfied Journal and it was a series of about 25 song prompts to get inspired by. The above one was U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” – and as a U2 fan I had no trouble finding inspo in that. I created a background with my Lily Wallpaper stencil and my Fan-tastic Large and Fan-tastic Small stamp sets and then put in my contemplative figure who is wondering, “maybe I should quit looking?”
As you know, I always have my eyes open for architecture and one time in San Francisco I saw this great house, snapped a pic of it, and later put it in this art journal spread as a transfer. The Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young song “Our House” often comes to mind when I see a lovely home so it all came together in this spread in 2017. I added my Manhattan stencil, Love Knots rubber stamp, and my Tread rubber stamp too. Now where are those two cats…?
Time to go back in time to 2012 and this collage I created on an old record, inspired by the German song “Ein Freund, ein guter Freund” – a song that came to my mind when I was going through old photos of my Aunt Margo and her friends on a camping trip in 1949. She had shared some of the funny stories of that trip with me and I loved thinking about her and her good friends going on a rather madcap adventure when they were young :)
And now I take you alllll the way back to 2009 and this layout inspired by “Stand By Your Man” (as performed by the incomparable Blues Brothers) and featuring some ridiculous slippers that my husband had back then. I don’t know about those slippers but I still dig some of the collage elements I brought into this.
I hope you enjoyed this look back on some artwork inspired by songs. Here are some of the supplies I used:
Happy Monday! Time for another pattern in my big vintage ledger! Today I’m using my Solid Hex Small and one of the stamps from my Hex Set Small cling rubber stamp set. Sound familiar? This is the second pattern I did in a row using just these two stamps and two ink pads (check out last week’s Pattern Monday). It’s pretty cool the variety that is possible if you play around a bit :)
Here is another look at the finished pattern and those stamps and ink pads I used:
Now it’s your turn to give it a try! Here are the supplies I used:
Happy Monday and welcome to another pattern in my big vintage ledger! This time I’m using my Solid Hex Small rubber stamp and a stamp from my Hex Set Small rubber stamp set – the Space Oddity Small stamp. I am really digging the simplicity of this pattern and would actually love to have this as a tile floor at home – although maybe in another colorway lol. Enjoy the video:
Day 12 and our prompt is Brilliant – Sparkly sparkly- well one of the stamps from this Mini Hex Set is called Diamond Hex – can you guess which one? Again it was a bit of a toughy to use the inks on those totally acrylic paint caked up foam stamps. I can’t stress enough how important it is to clean your foam stamps. Mine are used for years in classes so they show you exactly why if you want to use them with other paint media as well, you should really clean them after use. I could have cheated and opened a new package… but I am a frugal person… and I am not that brilliant ;)
Here is a look at that page too:
Follow along with the challenge on instagram and post your artwork too with the hashtag #artcollabChallengeAccepted
Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have an art journal spread from our new member Jordan Hill. Jordan is creating collage papers with my Mini Santa Fe and Mini Hex Set foam stamps, and pulling elements together in her art journal page inspired by this month’s theme: A New Day – Let’s try something new today :) Although these are tumultuous times and we never know what each new day will bring, it also seems like the perfect time to throw caution to the wind and just jump into something new with both feet. Try a new material or technique or approach. Why not? Today is a new day… and tomorrow is too!
I am so incredibly happy to be here as one of the newest Creative Squad members; I hope I am able to inspire you in the time I spend here!
When I was first presented with the theme for this month, “A New Day”, the first thing that came to mind was the concept of creating a variety of new collage materials to use in my work. I really enjoy the process of painting my own papers, since I feel it adds an element of originality to my art journals that I might not get from store bought patterned papers.
The first step in this project was to pull out my gelli plate to use in combination with Nathalie’s Mini Santa Fe Foam Stamp as well as the Mini Hex Foam Stamp Set. Though I can see potentially infinite uses for these foam stamps, using them to actually remove paint from my gelli plate was the method I decided to use here.
In order to achieve this result, I simply added some Blick Studio Acrylic in Bright Aqua Green and CraftSmart Ivory paint to my plate, then used the foam stamps to stamp into the wet paint. I then used the paint on the stamp to create an entirely new design by stamping onto a blank sheet of paper (shown in the photo above).
Once the paint has dried on the plate, you can then add another color (in this case I used Fluorescent Green) to pull another print! This gives you multiple different designs from the same stamp, and is a lot of fun to play around with.
I spent a while working with my foam stamps and my gelli plate to create a good assortment of papers I would be able to use in the future. Above you can see a few pieces from the final selection I had to choose from! As you can see, you can get quite a variety from just a few stamps and a couple different colors of paint.
Once I had a handful of painted papers, it was time to actually incorporate them into an art journal spread! The first step in doing this was to select a page in my journal, then tear chunks from the painted papers. I did this randomly, without thinking much about what the torn pieces looked like. Then I glued a couple of these randomly torn bits onto my page with an Uhu glue stick.
Next up, I added a couple of different collage elements and some Pale Blue CraftSmart acrylic paint to the background, just to give myself a base to work off of. After the background color was down, I began the process of adding a figure to add to this spread. Personally, I love adding faces and figures to my art journal spreads, and they tend to make their way into most of the things I create.
In the photo above you can see that I added quite a few more layers to this girl’s face. I did this with a combination of Natural Beige and Espresso CraftSmart acrylic paints. Natural Beige is quite a light color and Espresso is quite a dark one, so combining them in different ways gave me a good variety of colors to use as shadows and highlights.
This was also where I started to use some ink to define the details of the face. I used the Zebra Fude Sign Brush Pen in Extra Fine to add these details, which is my favorite pen to use in my art journals as of late.
To finish off this art journal spread, I added a quote to fit with this month’s theme inside of the figure’s dress and accented the right hand page with some more stamping with the Mini Hex Foam Stamp Set. This tied everything together nicely and gave both pages a more cohesive feel.
After adding a few finishing touches to the face using a handful of Prismacolor Premiere colored pencils (Aquamarine, Henna, Black Cherry and Nectar), I was ready to call the spread done!
I hope you enjoyed this little look into my process and use some of the ideas I discussed here to create some projects of your own!
Thank you Jordan for sharing with us your process! Love your unique style with creating figures.