Art Journal Morphing

First Fridays at VERONICA’s Voice are so much fun. The art journaling class has morphed into a general art class due to necessity. I found it difficult to explore new art journaling techniques when so many times the women in class did not have their journals or had not begun one yet. Many times the class was about making a new journal or altered book which did not develop past the cover. There were a faithful few who brought their altered books to add more to their pages, but overall I began to lose enthusiasm. So today we tried something new.

The assignment was to choose an image from a magazine, any image that spoke to them, and glue it on a piece of cardstock. After adding a bit of gesso, I had them add words, words about their day, their feelings, or why this image spoke to them. Then the layers with creamy Portfolio pastels were added. Some were very satisfied at that point while others journeyed on with layers of paints. My favorite part was listening to the stories behind the finished collages. One spoke of her mother, another of her new life, another of her freedom, beautiful stories, eyes lit up with sharing.

So my sweet artist friends, if you have ideas to share for this art class, please leave comments. I need projects that will work as a one-time class with limited supplies, since the audience is different from month to month. Have you experienced a project or taught a class that would work well in this setting? Art = community.

amanda ∞


My daughter, the teacher

While I was away at Artfest filling my head with creative things, my daughter became the teacher for the art journaling class at VERONICA’s Voice. She did a wonderful job leading and teaching and guiding.  Here’s the mosaic collage technique she demonstrated that day:

tree-collage She sketched out the tree for placement, then added the color. The paper is from magazines which she tore and placed with a glue stick. Fun!

The art journal class is going well. While we do bring suggestions and techniques to the table, the women are free to do whatever they would like in their journals. I’ve signed up for the Stencilry Class over at Dispatch from LA and am hoping I can share some of what I learn. Fresh ideas are always welcome.

On another note, I just had to share this hilarious card my mom sent me:

symbol-minded-card The inside reads, “You’re my symbol-minded friend…”

Isn’t it hilarious? My grandmother purchased this card sometime in the 60s or 70s. I come from a family that either saved or used everything, so after both my grandparents passed, my mom inherited a box of very charming vintage cards. I am so thrilled to get them in the mail on occasion. They are my absolute favorite.

Our family will be joining with all of my husband’s immediate family this weekend for the Easter Holiday. It has been years since all the siblings and cousins were together at the same time. We are all very excited for the reunion.

And then next week I’m going to share all my wonderful tales from Artfest as well as glimpses of my projects. I’m still on a creative high. Even preparing tax returns could not bring me down.

Have a meaningful and joyful Holiday in celebration of the risen Savior, and in remembrance of the Passover.

amanda ∞

Up for air

Glimpses of my projects:

I’m almost finished with my latest project. Seems to me the hardest part is knowing when each piece is really finished. I’ll be sure to post full pictures after the church receives them.

And another thank you for a dear friend:

A great experience for me has been learning to juggle homeschooling and project deadlines. While my Latin has suffered, my students are still on track and I will have everything done on schedule. I thought that accomplishing art on a larger scale would have to wait until my students graduated, but am finding that it is possible to do both. And knowing that just fills my head with larger dreams.

amanda ∞

Merry Christmas

amanda ∞

Favorite Supplies

My favorite type of artistic expression is done in altered books or art journals. I move to a canvas on occasion, but have always loved the feel of books and journals and am always drawn back. I also feel very comfortable writing words on my art in a book. Words to me are an important and large part of my creative expression.

The tools I use most frequently for my books and journals include acrylic paints, oil pastels, gel medium, markers, gel pens, pencils, and water colors. My absolute favorite supplies at this point in time are:

  • Set of 48, New ColorsSennelier oil pastels. They are the creamiest, yummiest oil pastels I’ve found. I love their texture. And there are so many wonderful colors available, including my current favorites, iridescent.
  • Acrylic Glazing LiquidGolden Acrylic Glazing Liquid Satin. I’ve read of many artists using acrylic glaze paints, but have found that I love to mix my own colors. I can get the same transparency as the glaze paints by adding the glazing liquid to my acrylic paints. I can soften all those wonderful collage elements with any color glaze I mix. Very fun.
  • Sennelier Fixative. I spray this fixative on my finished pages to keep the oil pastels from rubbing on the opposite page when my books are closed. I learned the need for this the hard way.

One product I wish that I could find would be a pen or marker that writes easily over the top of oil pastels. I typically paint a glaze over most of my oil pastels just so I can add words, but sometimes I’d rather not. I’ve killed several pens writing on oil pastels. If you have a suggestion, PLEASE leave a comment.

One product that I can’t wait to try would be Golden OPEN Acrylics. Check out Regina’s review. They just sound wonderful to work with. This goes on my wish list.

I’ve learned so much from other artists blogs about things to try, what to expect, favorite products, techniques, and good books. So many of you artist bloggers out there have influenced my life. Thank you, thank you!

amanda ∞

The Big 2 oh

Yesterday was our 20th wedding anniversary.

Besides eating at one of the best restaurants in town for lunch, and eating the most delicious cake made by my daughter,

we spent the day rearranging furniture. We have a sleeping porch which we have always used for a dressing room/sewing room. My husband had the brilliant idea that we use the sleeping porch for sleeping since we don’t plan on turning on our air conditioner ’til we melt. He also likes his room very cold in the winter, so it would work as the bedroom then as well. During the one extremely hot month here in Missouri, we will have to use fans to blow cool air to the porch since it has no vents, but I can deal with that BECAUSE now I have an art studio! It just happened. We moved the clothes, sewing machine and work desk that were crammed on the sleeping porch to the old bedroom area. The rest of my art supplies fit easily. And I even can fit a custom soldering table to boot.

The new bedroom with 8 windows:

The door between the sleeping porch and ART STUDIO:

My work space:

Shelves we drug up from the basement:

My sewing table:

My soldering table, an old high school shop class work bench, which my clever husband put on casters, can roll out of way if need be:

Essentials were added:

Treasures were displayed:

God really has a great sense of humor. In the morning, I had been journaling about my lack of personal space. I wasn’t complaining and really was content with how things were working, but had taken notice that all my creative spaces were always shared by others. And then this day just happened. I’m giddy.

amanda ∞


Son of a gun

My dad’s birthday is next week. I’m hoping he doesn’t read my blog before then because this is his gift. The photo is him as a boy. I collaged a 1940 Hunting and Fishing magazine ad page onto an old dictionary cover, 6.25″ X 8.75″. The silver strips are soldered. I was a little nervous that I would burn up the paper with the solder iron, but it worked great. The finishing touch will be adding wire on the back to hang it.

This piece also fits into the Mixed Media Monday theme of Paint, since I painted the paper and around the photo using acrylics.

amanda ∞