30 July 2010

"Secret" Spread

"Beautiful girl, what is your deepest desire?" / "I cannot tell; it is a secret."

These are not the first pages in my new art journal, but they are the first finished pages. I'm so happy with this spread!

My new journal is quite a bit like my old one. It is about 9 inches by 12 and is bound in the same style as my other; this one, though, has black pages. It is quite different to build your work on something that has such a dark starting point, but I'll have to do a few more spreads before I can say whether I prefer white, black, or colored pages.

Lots of love!

PS. The beautiful lady's head is a free collage image from here.

26 July 2010

Last Pages

As promised, a few photos of my finished art journal! As I've shared so many pages with you along the way (which you can view through this Flickr set or by browsing my "art journal" tag), I thought I'd share two new spreads - the last two created between these covers. The yellow spread is one of my new favorites; it's playful, simple, and I love the odd and asymmetrical layout.

The mountainous photo above was the last page I journaled on, and felt a bit like a rite of passage to complete. The colors remind me of early evening, a short while after the sun has set - a perfect metaphor to end this art journal!

The covers, shown in detail below, were collaged with scraps of Chinese newspaper and sheet music, watercolors, gesso, acrylic paint, masking tape, and hand printouts. I had originally intended to use the hard covers of an old atlas, but am so happy with the spontaneity and color of these completed ones!

You can view several more photos here, including details of the spreads shown above. And, believe it or not, I have already bound together a new book - a smaller one, as I didn't have enough paper to make as many signatures - and am in the process of working on two spreads! Can't wait to show you what develops upon them.

The Start of Something Beautiful

Woohoo! I finished my art journal! On Friday night I wrote on the last pages, bringing to a close ten months' worth of experimentation, frustration, and discovery. The book was created entirely by me; I bound it, choosing the colors for the pages and how large it would be; I gave it life and color and depth, and I am the one who pushed herself to finish something completely. Yep, I'll admit it: I'm so proud! And though I would have thought that I'd be sad to reach the end of these pages, I'm instead thrilled and terribly excited to continue my journey and unfold my story in a new journal!

So today, my loves, I have something rather exciting to share with you - the first ever videos created by me! I've seen journal flips popping up on all corners of the blogging world, and was terribly excited when I figured out that I can create videos on YouTube. For some reason, the first video cut of early, but I managed to make another video to show the rest. I tried to find music that wouldn't be too obnoxious, but if it really drives you crazy, please put your speakers on mute!

I think there's something so wonderful about seeing an artist's hands turning her own pages; it lends something so personal that still photos can't express. (Though I will take and post photos of the finished journal soon as well.) I do hope you enjoy!

Lots of love,

Find me on here on YouTube!

22 July 2010

Photography Celebrations

Taken July 2010.

Taken July 2009.

Hello, my sweets!

First things first: I have a new header! After playing around with a few different designs, I settled on the one you see above. I figured that, after more than a year, my little blog needed a bit of a new look. Do you like it?

And secondly - today is my camera's birthday! One year ago I got my dear Nikon d50, and together we've shared many walks, creative projects, and travels. (I've taken my camera to New York City, Germany, Croatia, West Virginia, and Holland!) Throughout this year I've become much more comfortable behind the lens; I have a better grasp on which buttons do which things, what light works and looks best, and which compositions make me happiest. I can't wait to see what the next year teaches me.

If you are looking for a fancier sort of camera that is relatively cheap, check out the d50. I found mine on eBay for a cheaper price, and it arrived in beautiful, new condition. The camera's picture quality is excellent, and it can be used as a point-and-shoot until you figure out the different settings. Another of my favorite things about it is the two rechargeable batteries that it came with; I can use one for hours, and when it runs out of juice I can put the other in - no more of that "use six AA batteries until the camera dies twenty minutes later" thing.

Anyway, I'm selling several professionally printed photos here! And if you check out my Flickr photostream and see something you like, I'd be happy get it printed and list it on Etsy for you, just because I love you that much.

Happy Friday!

21 July 2010

Printables - Hands and Flowers

I was searching the internet yesterday for free, royalty-free images to use in my artwork. (It is very important, you know, to make sure that you aren't hurting anyone by using their uncredited copyrighted work in your own projects, including your blog.) I didn't find much, and had the idea to begin making freebies for all my lovelies here to use.

Look! My first set of illustrations, free for you to print out, cut up, color, and use as you like in your personal art. Just click on the image below and a larger version will appear - then you can save it to your desktop. I'd appreciate it, if you share this, to credit it to me!

Click on image to view larger!

I'm hoping to ride this creative tide and make a few more sheets - do you have any requests? What sorts of printable images would you like to use in your artwork? I've been brainstorming: the alphabet, simple faces you can fashion to your liking, quotes, numbers, more flowers, trees, animals, eyes and lips, journal prompts.. There are so many possibilities!

Oh, and do please share if you've come across any other excellent royalty-free images in your searchings!

20 July 2010

You Vs. That Beautiful White Page

The very first page of my new sketchbook,
part of the Sketchbook Project.


It's a word much, much easier said than done, especially when it comes to art. Behold the dreaded First Page above! It is white, beautiful, smooth, clean, and unmarked - but it is also ordinary, silent, with nothing to say, waiting for you to transform it into something only your mind can imagine and only your hands can create.

Are you intimidated by the White Page? You are not alone! Try this: take a deep breath and close your eyes. Reach around you, and use whatever art supply you first find to make a mark on the paper. It can be small and quickly done, though it will make a bigger impact if you push yourself to make a larger mark. Now open your eyes - and hopefully this mark will break the spell of the First Page and you will be free to explore, play, and experiment! If you find yourself still stuck for ideas, give one (or more!) of these a go:
  • Make a list - things you can see, things you can hear, things you can feel.
  • Splash on some color - use markers, crayons, watercolors, acrylics, pens, colored pencils, or highlighters.
  • Write one word in large letters across two pages.
  • Add some texture - glue in images, scrap paper, receipts, tickets, bits of newspaper, and tissue paper.
  • Drip watered down paint or india ink across the pages.
  • Cover a whole page with your writing, without stopping.
  • Do a blind contour drawing - while looking at an object, try to trace its outline without lifting your pen or looking at the page.
With practice, beginning a page becomes easier and easier, and the battle of starting a new journal becomes easier. Promise! Now go give it a try, and see how brave and proud you feel when the First Page is dripping in color.

15 July 2010

Interview on Art Journaling

Hello, dearests! I wrote this post before I heard the exciting news that Connie was inviting art journalers who hadn't been featured on her blog to share their stories on the last day in July. I've added more visual goodness and at the end you'll find the Short Bio that I hadn't included before. Thanks so very much for visiting - it's absolutely lovely to have you here!

If you want to conduct your own interview, you can add the link to Connie's list here.

July 2010. Blogged here.

There's an incredible celebration of all things art journal over at Connie Hozvicka's blog. All through the month of July, she is interviewing featuring an art journaler each (and every!) day - and let me tell you, there is some gorgeous stuff to be found there!

I asked Connie if I might be featured, but she told me that all the interview spots had been filled. No surprise there, as it's an incredible opportunity to get your name out, share your artwork, and perhaps snag a few more readers. I thought, though, that if I wasn't able to give an interview there I might share the answers to her questions here. Interested? Here we go!

April 2010. Originally blogged here.

December 2009. Originally blogged here.

*How long have you been art journaling?
I'm not quite sure exactly when it was - I began by dipping my toes into something I didn't yet know had its own name, unaware of others experimenting the same way as I. In high school I discovered book altering through (what I think was) this book, and played with the idea for some time before coming across the beauty that is art journaling blogs.
*How has art journaling impacted, changed, or enhanced your life?
Through art journaling I have become much more confident with my art. I have expanded my ability to express inner thoughts and emotion, and have become unafraid to play, experiment, and try new things. It's liberating!

June 2010.

*What are a few of your favorite art journaling materials to use?
Acrylic paint, glue sticks, magazine images, and my own handwriting. Other things I use: oil pastels, crayons, stamps, gel medium, image transfers, found ephemera, string, packing tape, masking tape, hole punches, watercolors, india ink, and gesso.
*Who are some of your favorite art journalers?
iHanna (whose interview with Connie can be found here, and who first introduced me to the term "art journaling"), Juliana Coles, Diana Trout, Samantha Kira, and Erin Kenepp - among many, many others. Go here to view my favorite art journal pages on Flickr!
*What kind of encouragement would you say to an art journal newbie?
Don't give up! It can be so hard to start - especially if you are focusing only on the final result and desperately want to be happy with your work, but haven't had the experience yet to create something you are proud of. Keep trying. Turn the page and start again. Keep painting, keep experimenting, keep working, push through the doubts and the possible disappointment, and with time you will find what styles, colors, and processes work for you!

March 2010. Originally posted here.

*Where can we contact you? Give us some link LOVE!
*Short Bio
Ingrid is a twenty-something living in a city for the first time in her life. These things inspire her; these are the things she strongly believes in. Read more about her and this blog here!

Finished art journal!

And there you have it! Do stop by Connie's project when you have a few spare minutes, and be prepared to be inspired. She will be interviewing new artists throughout the rest of the month, so be sure to check back often.
Lots of love,

11 July 2010

Appreciation of the Here and Now

I love coming home to visit the tiny town where my mama and brother live. I love the sounds of summer, uninterrupted by the sounds of traffic: the hundreds of birds, the cicadas, the wind in the trees, the occasional train rumbling by.

I love the smell of freshly mown grass and hose water on hot pavement, and seeing the golden afternoon sunlight drench the world into lazy happiness.

I love being able to walk barefoot on the sidewalks.

I love the abundant nature - the canopies of stretching trees, unfurling flowers, gurgling streams, and squirrels and rabbits bounding away from my approach.

And I love that living in a city - being away from all of these things for months at a time- reminds me to fully appreciate every sound, sight, and smell of this place and to recognize the preciousness and beauty in every moment.

09 July 2010

Envelope Tutorial

Hello, my loves!

It's been hot hot hot here - true summer weather with temperatures in the high 90s. Today, for the first time in what feels like years, I awoke to rain making the trees outside my window dance. I do love rain; it's so soothing, quiet and steady, and makes the world feel cozy and calm. I hope that this indicates that the heat will recede a bit, for though I love summer, I prefer not to feel like I'm melting into a puddle.

Back in May, I had several giveaways to celebrate my blog's anniversary. When I shipped the gifts, I included a letter to the winner sealed in a handmade envelope. I received many compliments on them, and was asked how they were made; today, I'd like to share that with you!

The process is very simple and an envelope can be made in a matter of minutes. When you've finished several envelopes, you can use them in your art journal, make an envelope journal, or leave sweet notes for strangers or friends!

1. Print out (or sketch by hand) a template for your envelope on stiff paper. You can find many online - this is the closest to the template I used.

2. Trace around the template onto the paper you wish you use for your envelope. Cut along the outer lines.

3. Fold along the tabs, and use a glue stick to secure the bottom flap to the side tabs. Let it dry for a few minutes - and tada! Done!

Tomorrow I head home for an annual family reunion; Sunday you'll be able to find me excitedly watching the World Cup final. What are you up to this weekend?

06 July 2010

The Sketchbook Project

The Sketchbook Project: 2011

My sweet friend Brandi showed me something called The Sketchbook Project a short while ago, and I pulled some money together and signed up just this weekend. It's such a great art project! Here's what the website has to say about it:
"Thousands of sketchbooks will be exhibited at galleries and museums as they make their way on tour across the country. After the tour, all sketchbooks will enter into the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Art Library, where they will be barcoded and available for the public to view. Anyone - from anywhere in the world - can be a part of the project."
Amazing, right? For $25, your art will be on display around the country! When you sign up, you get to choose a pre-listed theme and will receive a brand new Moleskine with a colored cover of your choice. You can sign up through October, but note that while there are many choices for themes and covers, fewer choices will be available the longer you wait.

I'm terribly excited to get mine and start experimenting. I hope to finish up my current art journal by the time I receive (and start working in) my Moleskine, so I can dedicate all my time and energy to it. It's a realistic goal, as I'm very close to finishing what I consider my first "real" art journal!

I know that my friend Ashley over at The Paper Phantom is thinking about signing up for The Sketchbook Project; do let me know if you're going to take part, too! I'd love to follow your journey and inspire and be inspired by your work. I'll be sure to share with you my pages here, and I encourage you to support Ashley if she takes the leap.

04 July 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

Wishing a wonderful day to my sweet readers, Americans and non-Americans alike!

01 July 2010

In the Midst

Welcome, July, with your hot, lazy days and cloudless skies! Now begins the first full month of summer - and already the year is half over! I began a list this morning of the things I've accomplished thus far and all those things that I hope to complete by the end of this year. What is on your list?

The new word of the month - well, I'd like to hear your thoughts on that, too. What will be your focus this month? What are you working towards? What do you need to be aware of and reminded of? What word do you choose? Personally, I need to focus on trusting that I am exactly where I need to be at this moment; I also need to pour some energy into my dreams and do a little searching to see what I truly hope to do and become.

Yesterday I had a lovely art session with one of my close friends. We painted, collaged, and got lost in color (see photo above). It was wonderful, and a reminder of what art can mean for me if I pour myself into it. Let's start of this month with lots of creativity, pushing ourselves to explore, discover, experiment, and play!


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