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 latest Salt challenge is the theme, Believe. The text is John 9 about a blind man whose sight was restored. His response, “Lord, I believe.”

This page is also a reflection of my own experience. When I was blind, my world was colorless, dark, lifeless. Now I feel the blood flowing, and although I can see, sometimes my perception is a bit off, a spiritual astigmatism perhaps. I am in a process, a transformation, but I truly believe.

amanda ∞

Inspiration for Teacher

For our Keepers of the Faith group, I’ve been teaching an altered books class. The kids are having so much fun with the project. To begin, I got some board books from the thrift store and covered them all with gesso. The kids had a blank book to fill. Below are a few sample pages I made to teach them different techniques they could use.

Pencil, crayon, marker:

Crayon, scrapbook and other book paper, cotton, marker:

Stamp ink applied with damp paper towel, gaffer tape, playing cards, tags, photos, stamps, chalk pastels (works great to color the tape too):

I set aside three meetings to explore this project, but they have filled their books up in two meetings. The last meeting is next week and I am praying about what to do. I am leaning toward to teaching about blending colors with acrylic paints, and perhaps using this on a page they will collage. I’m lacking on the details though.

I’d thought I’d share some of my favorite blogs I’ve been perusing while searching for inspiration:

Follow Your Bliss 

Dispatch from LA

Art in the Garage

Thrifty Collage Artist

And if you have any ideas or links to share with me, please comment. I could use some help. 🙂

amanda ∞

Art Every Day #11 – Here Am I, Send Me.

I’ve had an idea for this page for over a year now. It feels good to finally get it out. After I started working on the page, I reread the text it is based on. Mental note, always refresh my memory before beginning. I had forgotten that seraphims are male and have 6 wings.

Isaiah 6:1-8 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. (2) Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. (3) And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. (4) And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. (5) Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. (6) Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: (7) And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. (8) Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. 

This view shows the pop-up effect of 4 of the wings, and I just had to add some glitter.

amanda ∞

Art Every Day #8 – I’ll Fly Away

The topic of my hymnal page is deep. The girl behind bars is my sister in Christ. I first met her in my neighborhood about a year ago. She is not only jailed physically right now, she has been imprisoned emotionally and spiritually her whole life. I desire for her to be free. She is healing now, but I look with hope upon that day when she will be totally free of the bondage.

For more about her:
Where I Am
Recycling & Composting
New Relationships 
Update on my friend, Yolanda

I pray that when you see an undesirable person that you look not on their outward appearance or behavior, but look beneath. Most often there is a person who has been physically or emotionally abused or abandoned. There is a little child inside who desperately wants love, but doesn’t know what it looks like anymore.

This woman has taken up residence in our neighborhood park. How would you react?

amanda ∞

 This hymnal page is not only in response to my heart, but is also a part of the latest Salt challenge, From the Hymnbook. Somehow, when I was completing this page, the challenge seemed so insignificant. My heart is sad.