Blog: Mini Motifs

Potential is Scary – Art Journal

Potential is Scary

This art journal page came together in many stages. First I glued down collage paper like old letter pieces and parts of a pattern sheet I created a while ago (with my Mini Motifs and Triangle Love rubber stamp sets) using Gel Medium. I didn’t really know where this page was going to go – and so I just let each step inform the next. Hence the wildness of the page :)

Next I added some pink acrylic paint with a palette knife to tie the collage pieces together. I placed my Santa Fe Stencil on top and scraped some gesso over the stencil with a palette knife. It is raised but very thin, so it still works well in an art journal.

After it dried I used a water-soluble Derwent Pencil to sketch out the face. Instead of going over it with a brush, I used a Faber Castell white brush pen, creating a grayish, brushstroke-like effect. Later I went over it with a green acrylic pen as well. I then used a Posca marker for the journaling.

I finished up the page by stamping my Actually I Can rubber stamp.

This page reminded me how much I love playing with heavy body paints or gesso through stencils- and I definitely will visit this again. It is funny how play can sometimes remind you of techniques that you used to use a lot, that maybe you moved away from as you continued on your path and the next stage in your artmaking. If I pull out my earlier art journals I can definitely say for me it used to be all about actual texture in my journals.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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Do It Anyway – Art Journal

“Strive to create a world you might never live to see!”

I stamped my Row Houses foam stamp with acrylic paint onto the ledger and then added a sketch of the row houses on top. I also used some collage paper – an old letter and old prints of mine.

I had initially painted a lot of the background with yellow paint but I didn’t like it going over the top of the building so I toned it down a bit with a Gesso wash.

Then I added some stamping with my Mini Motifs rubber stamps and speckled some paint.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love this quote. I believe that it’s the only way the world will improve!

    Reply

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Bring it On – Art Journal

“What if things get even crazier from now on… the ride never stops …bring it on.”

This is the first page in my newly bought ledger from 1880/90. I bought 3 and they are not used at all. They came from an estate sale and I bought them specifically for Art Journaling. I have a little weird thing that I am hesitant to fill the first page in any book that I love – when it is handbound or special. I used to be so angry at myself when I messed a sketchbook or diary or art journal up on the first page (meaning I wasn’t thrilled) that I would just burry it in a pile of stuff to not be reminded of it anymore.

Anyway, in order to not fall into that trap here (hahaha) I decided to build up my page on a piece of Grafix Dur-a-lar and adhere that to the first page, so I had a bit of time to decide if I was cool with it ;)

Here’s how I built up the page: I started with a Gelli Plate print with acrylic paints and my Batik and Lily Wallpaper stencils right on the Dur-a-lar. Then I used some collage paper – letters, stamped collage paper (using my Mini Motifs rubber stamps), and a piece from a painting on canvas that I cut apart. Next I made a sketch on deli paper and added some marks with gouache paint and my Triangle Love stamps with archival ink. I layered and adhered it all with double sided tape and a glue stick.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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Pattern Monday 14 – Video from my Ledger

Happy Monday and welcome to another pattern in my big vintage ledger! This time I’m using stamps from my Small Circle Jumble, Triangle Love, and Mini Motifs rubber stamp sets. I love the complexity that this pattern gets just from the complexity of the stamps. Have a look:

Here is the finished page and what went into it:

Now it’s your turn. Here are the supplies I used:

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love the patterns and the bright colors!

    Reply

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What Does it Matter? – Art Journal

“Most people barely know themselves. So what does it matter what they think of you?”

I took this pattern from Pattern Monday 3 using my Floral Tile Small, Mini Motifs, and Fan-Fare rubber stamps – unfortunately I laid my hand into the still pretty wet ink and ruined the white space in the middle. I tried to fix it with some white paint and water color but – mmhhhhh not sure if that actually made it better but oh well… moving on …

I overpainted a catalog image with acrylic markers and then used posca markers for the journaling.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Comments (3)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love the words and the pattern. Did you draw the person or work from an image? Either way I really like how she came out Nat.

    Reply

  • Anne Lawver

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    Thank you for sharing this. Wonderful art and message!

    Reply

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April ArtFoamies Challenge – Day 24 & 25

Recapping Nat and Sarah’s April ArtFoamies Challenge today for April 24 and 25. You can follow along on my Instagram feed daily with videos and photos too.

Day 24 – Castle – Another stamp from my Mini Motifs Stamp set inspired by our fireplaces. This one always reminds me  of a little castle – maybe because it is part of our home. I thought the triangle stamp from the Triple Play set would make a nice addition to the pattern …if only I could have stamped more straight …boy oh boy ..but it is cool- I see this coming up in the future again.

 

Here is a look at April 24:

 

April 25 – Print – My MidCentury Squared Stamp is always reminding me of wallpaper from that time -so I wanted to play a bit with stamping layered on top in different directions and different colors. I really like this- I would take a printed wallpaper like this :)

 

And a looksie at April 25:

 

Follow along with the challenge on instagram  and post your artwork too with the hashtag #artcollabChallengeAccepted

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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April ArtFoamies Challenge – Day 19, 20 & 21

Are you playing along with Nat and Sarah’s April ArtFoamies Challenge ? You can follow along on my Instagram feed daily with videos and photos, and I post updates here on the blog too from time to time throughout the month. Today I’m recapping 19, 20, and 21. Enjoy!

Day 19 – Circle – These Mini Motifs foam stamps are inspired by carvings in our fireplaces. Every one of the four mantles has different carvings. That Dude went all out with the chiseling. He must have known that 140 years later a weird lady from Germany would become obsessed with the patterns on the fireplaces …and there we come full circle.

Here is a look at April 19:

 

April 20 – Stellar – Started out with the Beacon Stamp from the Mini Tile Set as it makes excellent start patterns but then I thought it really needed more and added the Santiago stamp as an accent on top. Stellar decision if I dare to say so …patting myself on the back – LOL

Here is another look:

 

April 21 – Hip Hop – Mixing the very graphic Space Oddity hexagon stamp up with one of the triangle stamps from our Triple Play stamp set created by Marsha Valk, Birgit Koopsen and me. The design for this Triple Play triangle is actually by Marsha and I love how those two go together. Nice fusion.

And another look at April 21 Hip Hop-

Follow along with the challenge on instagram  and post your artwork too with the hashtag #artcollabChallengeAccepted

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Now I have some inspiration for making patterns with my art foamies.
    Love that ledger paper.

    Reply

  • Janet

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    Oh…swoon! I love the mini motifs on that gorgeous old ledger! I have my great-grandfather’s old ledger and have been wondering what to do with it. Now I know! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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Creative Squad: My Creative Playlist – Jordan Hill

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have Jordan Hill sharing with us a guilt free art journal spread using her favorite supplies, my Mini Motifs foam stamps, my Art Deco Empire stencil, and our theme: My Creative Playlist – Your favorite mixed media supplies are like your favorite songs: they lift you up, inspire you and just feel good to groove to. What are your favorite supplies? Use them in a project – YOUR Creative Playlist that always gets you going.


Hey everyone! I’m excited to be back with a new post for this month’s theme of “My Creative Playlist”. I tend to reach for a lot of the same supplies in most of my art journal spreads anyways, so this was a great excuse to not feel guilty about it! With that being said, let’s get into it!

I started off today’s page by scribbling randomly with a white crayon. I then reached for some of my handmade watercolors and did a wash over the entire spread. I used to be more of an acrylic paint person, but recently watercolors have really been speaking to me. Thus, for the theme of “My Creative Playlist”, I thought I would take the time to really combine the two types of paint! Collage is also something that I really love using in my work, so I glued a piece down.

Next up, I wanted to play with Nathalie’s Mini Motifs foam stamp set to continue building the background I had already begun. I decided to use another of my handmade watercolors in order to add these stamps to my spread. I was looking for a bit of a softer effect than what I often get from using acrylics, so using a slightly darker color of watercolor did the trick! In order to do this, I used a large, wide brush, loaded it up with paint, and painted directly onto the surface of the foam stamps.

Using the same watercolor on a makeup sponge, I then used Nathalie’s Art Deco Empire stencil to fill in the rest of the background space!

Next, I started blocking in the face I knew I wanted to add the page. For this particular page, I wanted to draw a new one from scratch, so I started by sketching in a basic face shape. Then I used some matte acrylic paints (another favorite supply of mine!) to block in the base skin tone.

Following the theme of My Creative Playlist, I decided to use a Prismacolor colored pencil in the color Indigo to sketch in the details of my face. This is one of my very favorite colored pencils for sketching faces, and I’m at the point where I’ve used it so much that I’m going to need a new one very soon! I also added another piece of collage in the lower left hand corner to match the one in the upper right.

Using a dark teal acrylic that I mixed from Aqua and Black CraftSmart craft paint, I then blocked in the general shape of the hair. At this point, I also sketched in the general shape I wanted to use for the shirt. Things were still lacking a bit of cohesiveness at this point, but I love how the white crayon I used in my first layer acted as a resist through all the layers and helped tie things together.

For this particular portrait, I knew that I wanted to spend a bit more time developing the details of the face, so using my trusty acrylic paints, I added some shadows, highlights, and general depth to the portrait. Once those details had been added in acrylic, I went back to my Prismacolor pencil in Indigo to reintroduce any lines that may have been lost by painting over top of them.

Finally, I added some finishing touches to the page. I decided that the Mini Motifs stamp in the background wasn’t nearly pronounced enough, so I used the same teal paint I had mixed for this girl’s hair to stamp the design in the upper and lower right of my spread. I also added a scrap of masking tape with a bit of paint on it, and added some additional details in pen to the hair, shirt, and in the form of a short phrase. With that, I was ready to call things done!

I had a lot of fun putting together the spread for this month’s theme and I hope you enjoyed following me along for this process!


Thank you Jordan – absolutely love to see how you create your figures through different favorite media!

Give it a try: you can find all my Foam Stamps and Stencils in my Online Shop and in addition to her handmade watercolors and some collage pieces, here are some of the supplies Jordan used:

Don’t forget to check out Nat’s Creative Squad on Instagram too: Each week we post projects, ideas, and inspiration for mixed media art.

Comments (1)

  • Robin

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    Jordon thanks for sharing how you created this spread. I love the combination of paints and your drawings are always so expressive!!! Thanks!

    Reply

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Creative Squad: My Creative Playlist – Robin Seiz

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have Robin Seiz sharing her love of layers with us and creating a dreamy background paper who’s destiny is TBD :) She’s using my Mini Motifs rubber stamps and my Art Nouveau Wallpaper stencil and our theme: My Creative Playlist – Your favorite mixed media supplies are like your favorite songs: they lift you up, inspire you and just feel good to groove to. What are your favorite supplies? Use them in a project – YOUR Creative Playlist that always gets you going.


Layers and Layers and Layers

Hi Friends, Happy February — the month of LOVE! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE putting down layers; all that yummy texture and color! It’s so fun see what peeks through in the end.

My studio is overflowing with materials so I wanted to use what I had right down to some heavy 12×12 paper from a beautiful paper pad sitting on my shelf. When I first started out in mixed media, I used my paper pads a lot to make card backgrounds, but now, I tend to make my own papers so all those beautiful paper pads are not being unused. We can’t have that! Pull out the old stuff and infuse new life into it! I started with this sheet of paper:

I put a light coat of Golden Absorbent Grounds on the page because I wanted to mute the background and I knew that I would be using acrylic stains; I wanted the page to have both texture and “tooth”. There were some patterns that I knew I wanted to peek through in the end, so I applied an extra light coat to those areas. 

Most of the materials I used are shown in this picture. I did end up adding a few more materials (who doesn’t when you get going!) I’ll mention those when we get to those steps.

Once the Absorbent Grounds were dry, I randomly stamped Nathalie’s Mini Motifs rubber stamps on the background. I used both the Mission Motif and the Craftsman Motif. I knew that I wanted just a “hint” (or you might say a “kiss” for February) of these to be shown in the background in my final piece.

I love the look of splatters on a page. I think it adds so much and is easy and fun! I used watercolors, (Phthalo Turquoise, Nickel Azo Yellow, and Quinacridone Magenta) although I could have just as easily used acrylic paints. Use what you have in your stash and just tap your brush against your finger to create the splatter.

To create even more interest, next I applied Nathalie’s Art Nouveau Wallpaper Stencil and sprayed Distress Spray Stain by Ranger. I used stains (Old Paper, Mustard Seed, Hickory Smoke) that would pick up the background and would give the page a vintage look. 

Once the Ink Stain was down, I wanted to pull everything back just a little. Gesso is the perfect medium to do that, however, I’m notorious for not letting things dry long enough; that’s exactly what happened. OOPS! But that’s why I said, this project was about layers and layers and layers. I applied a second coat of gesso to the areas that I smeared, and chalked it up to just another layer! I’m not a perfectionist and really like the process of creating as much as the outcome. My motto is, “When all else fails, just add another layer and begin again!”

Now that the gesso was down, I wanted those splatters to show through more — again another layer of splatters! There is something so satisfying about these, so I never mind giving it another go! 

Next, I’m sure you can guess, I applied another layer of the stencils with the spray stain. This time I also used Spun Sugar because I wanted more pink to show up on the page. 

As you can see, Nathalie’s original motif stamps are peeking through the background as I had planned, but I also wanted to use the Jugendstil Motif, giving it more prominence. I used Versa Fine Clair Charming Pink and stamped it on top of the stencil pattern. (I was going to use Purple Delight and Warm Breeze as shown in my materials picture but changed my mind at the last minute. Again, I wanted to pick up more pink.)

And finally, I pulled out my watercolor pencils and a few pastels and went over the butterfly and the flowers where I wanted to bring out the pink. I also used some 100 Proof Press postage stamps at the top, to stamp over what was already there.

I will most likely use this as a journal cover, but it could certainly be used for a background page or journal page. Of course, every time you try this process, you will get a completely different result! Isn’t that the beauty of mixed media! No matter what — have fun putting down layers and layers and layers. Remember, it’s not done until you are satisfied with it… you could go on and on!


Thank you Robin – love all the subtle layering and love that you were able to share your oops moment with us too :)

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

Don’t forget to check out Nat’s Creative Squad on Instagram too: Each week we post projects, ideas, and inspiration for mixed media art.

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