Mix it up

3 Feb

As I dive into full time studio work, I have realized that creative breaks are vital to the process. These breaks can take on many forms, but for me they still involve the studio and getting messy. I like to pull out one of my art books or find a video on youtube showing a technique or style I haven’t tried before. Something to mix it up.

I love color and tend to use a variety in the pieces I create, so when I saw this video by Jane Davies I knew that a black and white approach would really mix things up.
It was a bit rough going in the beginning. The process didn’t gel with me and I found myself fighting and not loving what was happening on the table in front of me. Before I covered the whole thing with gesso (my favorite “undo button” in the studio), I took a step back, turned the paper 180 degrees, and got out of my head. The goal wasn’t to create a piece or get locked into a composition it was to experiment with black and white.

Once I let go, the whole process came together. I quickly worked on five pieces, jumping from one to the next as the layers dried. I had fun working quickly and using a variety of mark making tools from a paintbrush to an applicator bottle to a charcoal pencil to a white gel pen.

In the end, I have five black and white pieces that have a wee bit of Jackie splashed through them. What will I do with them? I have no idea, that wasn’t the point of the play. They may get cut up and collaged into other pieces or they may get painted over or they may get framed as a reminder to let go and try something completely different. I just enjoyed mixing it up one studio afternoon.

Art Rework

27 Jan

As I shared in this post, 2014 was a time of learning and discovery. I spent the year working with paint and playing with mediums. The result of my time in the studio was a renewed passion for creating art and the desire to turn it into a full time gig. With 2015 in full swing, I am creating and planning, scheming and painting. I have big goals for the year including an online shop, making over 100 pieces of art, and a studio move.

As I began this new journey I realized that I had to make a few changes to feel like the path was all my own. This may not make sense (my crazy head rarely does), but with the memory loss there are times when it can feel as if I am two people. The old Jackie and the new.

We had many pieces in our home that old Jackie had painted and I didn’t really care for them now. They simply didn’t make me giddy happy and ready to dance when I saw them (That is my gauge on whether or not to put art in my home, if it makes me want to dance with joy I find a space to treasure it.). I thought about giving them away or just throwing them out, but luckily the pieces were never sealed, so I decided to paint over them.

A before look (old Jackie art)

And now

The colors, the textures, the scribbles, the numbers all make me giddy happy. Best of all, it feels like me.

These pieces were just the beginning, I have reworked 10 pieces in our home and the new versions are exactly what I need to give me the courage to jump into being a full time mixed media artist.

Shop Time No. 2

13 Jan

After our first successful and super fun shop time I made a board on Pinterest called Dad Project Ideas. Now I have a collection of projects to choose from when we have shop time. I got a half smile and a bit of an eye roll when I shared with my Dad that I have so many ideas waiting for us. Oh yes, run now Dad, because I could have us booked through the end of the year by the time I am done.

Our first Pinterest to Project shop time was inspired by this image. A wooden U-shape to fit over an arm of a couch for an instant table.

Now this was a simple build, right? Well it should have been, but my lack of wood working skills and over zealous ideas made us go down a path that took forever to put these three little pieces of wood together. Dad was great, he went along with my idea and let me explore my way. He let me discover that my way was a crazy, take-too-long approach. When we reached a point where they just weren’t coming together he suggested a new approach and within a matter of minutes (yes, MINUTES) we were done and they were ready to be sanded and stained. So many lessons learned, thanks Dad for letting me figure it out and for knowing the right way to pull this altogether.

I love the end result. Plus it is a visual reminder that I can learn from my mistakes and keep on going.


Playing with RedBarn Studios’ Gather|5

9 Jan

A couple of weeks ago I got the chance to try out a warm up technique/project created by my good friend Grace Howes from RedBarn Studios. She calls it Gather|5. It is a simple process, gather 5 supplies from the list and get creating. In addition to the 5 supplies, Grace has her “standards” that she uses in every project. These standards consist of gesso, a pencil, a black pen, a white pen and glue. Simple enough, let’s try it!

For my project I chose:

You can see how these supplies came together in the following video.


A simple art journal page that was both easy and fun to create. Limiting the number of supplies allowed for more creativity and experimenting and less time searching for what to use.  Give it a try and go Gather|5.

December Journal Complete

5 Jan

Our December 2014 journal is complete.

This year we kept it simple. This year we stayed flexible. This year we moved around activities to make the season easier. This year we added new traditions and welcomed back old.  This year we celebrated our time as a family.

I kept the pages the same throughout the book. The one exception, on the 25th I made a two page layout to accommodate the envelope for our letters that we will open on December 25th, 2015.

The last page of our book holds our Holiday Greeting we sent to family and friends this year.

As I close the cover of the book and tuck it away with our other journals I have visions of the next book in my head. We are going to mix things up a bit for 2015, it is going to be fun. But for now it is time to say goodbye to our holiday activities and hello to a new year of adventures. Bring on 2015!

You can look back at the whole project by watching the video in this post and reading through this post.


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