March 31, 2011

Journal Page

And just like that we are at the end of March.

Winter seems to refuse to let go. We've got an April Fools winter storm on tap for tomorrow. Remember the year we woke up to 2 feet one April Fools Day. Am hoping for a little less this time around.

March 28, 2011

Recent Reads

1. The White Woman on the Green Bicycle
Got a reco from my sister about this book. Had never heard of it before and found it an enjoyable read. The setting is Trinidad around the time the British left, and how things never quite turn out how you expect.

2. Face Off
I'm learning how to draw faces and this book is really good at breaking the process down into little steps.

3. Water Paper Paint
A good book if you are an absolute beginner to watercolors. A little too low-level for me, though the pics are lovely.

4. The Pact
Just finished this book last night and liked it. Classic Picoult style. Which would be harder to deal with: the murder of a loved one, or a suicide?

March 24, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor

I was saddened to hear the news yesterday that Elizabeth Taylor died. They just don't make great dames like that anymore. Here are some of my fave quotes:

  • I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I'm not afraid to look behind them.
  • I've only slept with men I've been married to. How many women can make that claim?
  • People who know me well, call me Elizabeth. I dislike Liz.
  • The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues.

Journal Page

You might know that I am working on getting better at drawing faces this year. Hence, all the face pages I've been posting.

While making a fire last night saw a photo in the NYT that caught my attention, so did a quick sketch. Really like how it turned out, and am now realizing how much I do not know about color mixing. Well, I guess when you know everything there is to know you die, so gotta long way to go there.

March 23, 2011

Journal Page

After our play date last week, my nephews gave me a couple of their Pokemon toys to play with - not to keep mind you, to borrow.

Here is a quick sketch of the creatures currently visiting. The page already had the background paint on it - leftover from other projects. Used ink and markers for the toys. Fun way to capture the little moments in life.

March 22, 2011

Journal Page

I love the line that I get with the Koh-I-Noor Rapido Sketch pen. My only complaint is that the packaging has no instructions on how to refill the ink, so that took a bit to figure out.

This page was a test of the pen after the refill, and captures a memory of Mexico. I am so looking forward to some upcoming trips.

March 21, 2011

Welcome Spring

While it does not feel like Spring outdoors, it certainly feels that way inside me.

Did you celebrate the equinox yesterday? Such a lovely day in these parts. The night before we loaded up big mugs of tea and went to the local park to watch the huge, yellow moon rise. An auspicious start to the new season.

March 19, 2011

Recent Movies

1. Iron Man 2
Why does Hollywood even bother making movies like these? Such a good cast of actors but such a crappy movie. Guess the more pertinent question is why I watch bad movies till the bitter end.

2. Temple Grandin
If you have not seen this movie, you simply must do so. Loved everything about it.

3. The Inheritance
Based on a short story by Louisa May Alcott. I the movie a little formulaic, but entertaining nonetheless.

4. Babies
Thought provoking documentary film that follows 4 babies for the first year or so of their lives. No dialogue, yet it draws you in. Lovely.

March 18, 2011

A world apart

Have been thinking about juxtapositions lately.

Was at the mall to change my watch battery and saw a long long of people outside the Apple store. Some were in chairs and spread out on sleeping bags. What for? The iPad2 release. Came home and looked through some of the heart breaking photos from Japan. One photo was a long line of people waiting in line. What for? Water. Puts things in perspective no?

The news from Japan is that the radiation levels are under control. BBC reports that it is another 3-mile island scenario. Somebody is lying.

March 16, 2011

News from Japan

The news from a friend in Tokyo is that the nights are chilly with no way to get warm. The pantry is getting close to empty and there is no food to buy. They are down to 2 pounds of rice. There continues to be aftershocks. There is concern about the nuclear reactors. She is sleeping with her shoes by her pillow in case they have to evacuate the house suddenly. And this is in the city. What must be the plight of others with even less access? So very scary.

March 15, 2011

Spilling Over

The sketchbook theme this month is Spilling Over, and I gotta tell you that these were the first two images that came to my mind! So here they are - Muffin Top and Beer Belly.

March 14, 2011

Journal Page

Love silhouettes. The background was created using wet acrylics and plastic wrap.

It feels like spring - in spite of the quick snow squall this afternoon. Daylight savings always messes up my internal clock. Love watching the animals scamper around. The delicate buds are a promise of a new beginning.

March 11, 2011

The day the earth shook

Woke up this morning to hear about the 8.9 earthquake in Japan.

Could not drag my eyes away from the footage. There is something that shakes us to our reptilian core when the ground beneath our feet moves. Yes, we intellectually understand that we are on a little piece of land floating on this huge hot ocean of magma, hurtling our way through space, but at our core, we simply do not believe it. The intellect that understands this crazy notion developed so much later, and is not as built into our DNA as what we know at our core: moving earth = bad. And if that is not bad enough, the tsunami - such a lovely name for something so scary - comes roaring through swatting all man-made objects out of its way like we swat at gnats. And then there was that whirlpool in the ocean - simply could not believe my eyes.

I've held the people of Japan and all affected in my thoughts today. May you and your loved ones be safe.

March 10, 2011

Recent Reads

1. Writing Down the Bones
If you write, this book has some fab ideas and things to think about. Loved it.

2. Olive Kitteridge
This is my book club selection for the month, and while I enjoyed the stories, was left with what I am usually left with after reading short stories - fun but not satisfying.

3. Globejotting
As I was putting together my latest travel journal decided to read this fun book. Some excellent ideas and tangible exercises that I'll incorporate. Loved it.

4. Washington, DC Free & Dirt Cheap
Am reading up for an upcoming trip - so much to do so little time!

March 9, 2011

Journal Page

An example of how a page is made around a quote. Was listening to Madeleine Albright who said, " there's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other". Love that and quickly jotted it down. The woman was inspired by Modigliani - love his work. Quick and easy page - total time about 20 minutes.

March 8, 2011

Happy Mardi Gras

Loving playing with masks and beads from Mardi Gras season. Loving crazy March. Loving sun kissed skin. Loving the return of the Robin. Loving the chipmunk who does his sun salutations each morning on the front stairs. Loving reading by the fire. Loving mugs of hot tea. Loving playing with paints. Loving planning trips. Loving being over-excited.

March 7, 2011

Journaling with kids

Love time spent art journaling with my ns. These 2 spreads are from my 2010 travel journal that I created with my nieces. I love hands, and the girls were delighted when I traced their hands and they got to select their fave colors for me to add to the outlines.

The kids are always bringing me little stuffed animals to draw. This is Germany. The other pages were created by alternating playing with stencils and lines. Faces by Sophia (7).

Journal Page

A quick sketch during a fun art journal discussion on Saturday. The page already had the music scraps pasted down. Added color at home. Quick and easy and captures a moment in time.

March 5, 2011

Art Journal Tutorial

My local art journal group had the prompt HOME for this month.

I do not normally sketch out an idea when I play with my journal. In this particular case, I happened to be writing in my everyday journal and an idea popped into my head, so jotted it down. Went back several days later and used it as my inspiration. I love understanding how something is created, so thought I'd make a short video to show my process on this page. Love how it turned out.

You can see a brief tutorial on how I created this page here.

March 4, 2011

Journal Page

Really delighted with how this page turned out.

I had the background painted already - using up paint from a different project.

Spent some time at my local B&N with a cup of tea and a scone (this seems to be the magic combination that inspires me), and flipped through several mags and books. Saw an image in this book that snagged my attention. Did a pen sketch and wrote the text at the store and added the color and stamps at home.

March 3, 2011

Art Journal Flip

I am exploring how to make a video and already know more than I did a couple of days ago. Such fun. My second attempt is a video flip of one of my finished art journals. You can see it here.

I love these 6x9 size journals. I use 9x12 watercolor paper folded in half. Each journal has 3 signatures, and each signature has 6 sheets. I bind the signatures using a simple long stitch. The spine is made of fabric samples. My journals are only precious to me once I fill them. They are like dear friends who have traveled with me for a while. They hold so many memories.

March 2, 2011

Journal Page

March already. A new month, a new start. Love that it is staying light longer. Feel the sap running. Been exploring many new things. So much fun.

I realized that I did not have black and white pages in my journal, so decided to create one. Then could not resist adding a burst of color.

March 1, 2011

Travel Journal

I made my first ever video yesterday - a journal flip of my latest travel journal - made for an upcoming trip. You can see it here.

Journal details:
After considering the various book binding options, I decided to go with a simple ring bound book. I've used this style before and they are wonderfully easy to use while traveling. The book opens flat. It is easy to add and re-arrange pages. And the book can expand as much as needed. For this book I'm using four 1.5 inch book rings.

I made the covers using recycled cardboard and wallpaper samples. The inside of the book contain watercolor paper (pre-painted and blank), cardstock, wallpaper, scrapbook paper, vellum, stickers, writing paper, grid paper, envelopes, stamps, paint samples, staples, watercolors, etc. I decided this would be a good book to use up some of the scraps left over from other projects.

Love fat and juicy journals just waiting to be filled.