CL Art Journal 4 – Freedom

When situations in life becomes overwhelming we look for escape, to be set free. Love how delicate and pretty this page turned out despite such a loaded message.


edit IMG_0233The foundation is a pretty scrap book paper. I covered it with a white tissue paper to give it a hazy effect.


The lace tape is such a great embellishment. you can use not just the actual sticker itself but the backing paper can also be used. I wanted some movement and decided to stick the butterflies  just down the middle so they could be lifted off at the wings.

IMG_0235 Some texture paste through  stencil and gesso makes for a very serene background. I think I would have liked the word freedom to be more dimensional. Some embossing powder perhaps. Maybe I will go back and do that after all.

edit IMG_0233

All in all this page gives me a beautiful sense of calm.






CL Art Journal 3 – Be Mindful

Am loving how one page is inspiring another in this journal! This page carries on from my ‘Love Art’ spread. I was talking to one of my Art therapy mentors about how self-indulgent I have become with my art and she said to me that I need to be more mindful about that. So on the drive home that thought rolled around in my mind and I thought about all the many aspects in my life where it would help to be more mindful…more aware…more cognizant!


I started by laying down some patterned paper with a sort of cog-wheel design. You can see a bit of it along the edges at the bottom of the page.  Gesso over and then painted blue, Added white texture paste through a stencil. The gold was a nice offset and actually shimmers when it catches the light. IMG_0231The text is on strips of some shoe box tissue that was distressed and stamped with archival ink. I pasted only the centre as I like that ruffled texture. IMG_0226The Doily was an afterthought to break the monotony of the page and provide a background for the chipboard lettering. IMG_0227

Another page I am proud of.




CL Art Journal 2 – Love Art

The second page in my book fell into place very easily. My first page evoked so many emotions that I decided to actually base my next page on them.


Deciding on a color scheme is a bit of struggle for me. My mind darts in so many different directions. So this time I decided to choose 3 colors that work well together and shut the color box so I would not torment myself. I did however add some complimentary colors as I went along.

This page talks about how much I enjoy art. That I could be painting all day. How life gets in the way!


There is a schedule from a cable TV magazine in the background. I am on a tight schedule on schools days. Then when I do get around to making time for art I obsess over stuff. The tags describe some of these obsessions.


The cog wheels are turning and I want to set myself free (butterflies)


I LOVE how this page turned out!


CL Art Journal 1 – The Time is now

So I bought a new ‘fancy’ journal!

And waited a whole week to decide what my first page would be….it had to be perfect right. New journal and all. I just could not decide on what I wanted to do for the first page.

What I did know is that i wanted to test the paper first. So I used a couple of the back pages to test for absorbency, reaction to very wet media, dry media and pens and made notes on that. Still no plan for page 1.

Got my gelatos out and started putting down a sort of rainbow color splatters every where. It looked terrible! Bright and ugly. Decided to stencil with texture paste to mute the colors. It was still terrible. With no real direction or plan to go forward or fix this mess, I decided to walk away….telling myself all sorts of negative things about how I think I am so good at this but actually I know squat, how ugly this page was, OMG I have to look at this everyday and its disgusting etc etc.

That night I watched a video, where the artist started with something, could not get it to work , the whole thing went to mud and then out of all that mess she turned it around and there came a beautiful page! The next morning I went back to my journal. Gesso over the colors and got this muted colored background. I sanded off some of the texture to make it brighter and was intent on stamping all those negative words /thoughts from the night before as a reminder that there is no such thing as ugly art!


As I started to write the word Journey I realized it actually has the word journal in it, then came the rest of the words and the arrangement suddenly looked so good. IMG_0214The words were also meaningful and relevant to what had happened to the page and what this journal was all about. It is a journey , of learning, of self discovery and expression through art. I added the time stamps and the map stamp to tie in the theme and there you go my first page of my ‘fancy’ journal was born. Its not the best and I know I could have done so much better if I had not stressed out so much. But seeing it each day reminds me of what not to do in some ways.


The time is now…..



Art Journal 2 – Contemplating life

Art Journal 2 – Contemplating life

After viewing so many you tubers working in purpose made journals I was determined to find myself something suitable. The closest I got to that was Moleskine but they were not available in the type of paper quality I was looking for and were mostly ruled! At my local art store I stumbled upon what was to become my new ‘fancy’ journal.

The book I am using is called Zequenz. It is the classic 360* and of course I chose the red cover…:)))). Read more about it in my post about journals here.

As it turned out this journal has developed a theme. I will name it ” Contemplating Life” or CL for short in the pages that follow.

I’m not quite sure if I want to work on the cover as yet. But I do love the bright red (very easy to locate) color.


Ode to inspirational artists – Kelly Rae Roberts – Inner Peace

This piece was inspired by Kelly Rae Robert’s beautiful art. She is the reason I discovered mixed media. And 2 years ago this discovery prompted me to try my first mixed media art work.

Kelly’s style is motivational, almost always includes female images and comprises series of layered collages in beautiful colors and contrasts. See more of her work here. Some day I hope to own one of her works and perhaps get a signed copy of her books.

Onto my project. This is a first in a series of ‘Odes’ to artists that have inspired me. This is also my first experiment with making a slide show video of my work. Hopefully soon I will figure out how to work that overhead camera and have a live demo.

When I started out all I knew was that I was going to make one of those layered collages with a female image. I decided to let her tell me what the quote should be……and she did….That serene face showed her at complete peace with her self.


You can find a video of the step by step process on my You Tube channel.

Material list:

300gsm watercolor paper

Mounting board

Paper scraps

Background tissue

Punched flowers


Gel medium


Water soluble pencil for drawing

Acrylic paints



Bubble wrap




Sharpie pen in brown

White gel pen

Black micron pen

Archival ink in black

Text stamps

Butterfly prints


Some extra stuff that the small text format in the video did not allow me to say:

I used up a lot of ‘scrap’ paper for the collage. Really did not stop to think about whether the papers coordinated with each other or not but I did place them in a repeat format for the most part. Since most of the papers had punch holes the checked background really tied it together nicely. I wanted the texture from the layers as much as the print patterns. As I mentioned in the video I did go a little too thick with my paint so lost most of the patterns from the paper. 😦




The only other significant area to comment on is the face. I sort of got lost in shading land and did not take too many pictures of this part. These were the colors I used exclusively for the skin tones. It does take a bit of play to get the shadows right. This is only my 3rd face in 2 years so I have a lot to learn but maybe this video by Kelly might help.


I did intend to make those soulful eyes like Kelly does but the paper joints interfered with getting a nice drawing so as I started to blot out my pencil markings the closed eye formed and it looked just perfect! I had to go with the flow! The eye shadow was the green paint under neath . See how darkening the two sides of the nose gave it that light ridge in the center? That’s all you need to create an illusion of a nose.


The Butterflies were laser print outs of some free printable stuff from the internet. There are loads to choose from depending on the color scheme you go with.

I really enjoyed working on this project. It took me back to my first mixed media painting and how i struggled not knowing what I was doing, just stumbling along pretty much…:)) It also made me realize how far I have come since then. With that thought also comes an instant prayer of gratitude to the One that blesses me in abundance!





ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE – Step-by-step art journal page

My first step-by-step pictorial for an art journal page I made last week. Luckily had my phone in my craft room and decided to take pictures as I went along. Haven’t quite figured out the over head video camera and video editing thingamajig as yet so pictures it is for now.


Materials used:

Liquid Gesso

Locally bought Plain hearts stencil

Tim Holtz layer stencils

Locally bought large flower & love stamps

Local Wooden block text stamps

Art is stencil by TCW

Confetti Stencil Heidi Swapp

Mister Huey Ink sprays

Texture paste

Red acrylic paint

Distress inks

Chalk Ink

Blending foam

Archival Ink

Step 1: I covered the journal page with gesso. If you are using a thick watercolor paper and want a bright background you can skip this step. I wanted a muted chalky finish.

Step 2: Next I sprayed the page with yellow/ orange and red the inks and blotted off excess with a kitchen paper towel.


Step 3: Using foam dabber and chalk ink I created a contrast in the background with the art is text stencil.



Step 4: Using distress inks in the same tones as the sprays I stamped flowers all over the page.


Step 5: Since i was planning to use a bright red in the foreground i wanted to mute the background a bit more and went over it with a layer of gesso. You can see the change in tone in the pictures below.



Step 6: Next I taped up the parts that I did not want to use on this stencil and then layered a patterned stencil under the hearts stencil to create a patterned heart. Next time I will use just a piece of paper as a mask on the patterned stencil. The paste did smudge with the extra thick layer caused by the heart stencil substrate.




Step 7: I did 3 rows of hearts each with their own pattern.



Step 8: Using this lovely Heidi Swapp confetti stencil I added some hearts with a foam dabber and chalk ink.



Step 9: To add some interest to the border I stamped black flowers in archival ink using the same stamps I had used in the background. I also added the text elements with archival ink. To give the text more prominence I went over some of the flowers with a light touch of gesso to push them into the background a bit.



Step 10: My page was DONE!…:))))

I hope you enjoyed my first tutorial. Please leave your comments for any improvements I can make for next time. Or post pages you might have made after being inspired by this post on the facebook page http://www.facebook.com/creatifeksperyans.






When I was starting out with Art journaling one of the most difficult decisions was trying to decide what to buy. Primarily because I loved every tool and medium and paper I saw but also because a lot of these items were not available in local stores or just way too pricey. Supply being erratic I found myself buying one of what I saw simply because It was unlikely it would be available again. But this also made it all the more important to improvise. So by trial and error (and great expense) I finally got my act together.

To help some of you along and avoid the confusion I experienced here is a list of what I would buy if I was starting out:

1. Journal – Well of course if you want to be an Art journaler you need a journal. You can buy a purpose made journal, use loose paper or make your own hand bound version. See my post about journals here

2. Paints – Choose what you are most comfortable with first. Acrylics dry quick and are easy to work with on most surfaces. Watercolor is very versatile but might need a specific absorbent surface. Then there are a plethora of mixed media and journaling specific paints, inks, sprays, pens, etc. Good quality water soluble pencils are a great investment as they can be used to draw on your page and wash away while building up or you can actually paint an entire picture with them. Again there is a choice for every pocket from student grade cheaper options to artists quality which are more expensive but definitely worth their price.

3.Stencils & masks – choose a few different patterns. Borders, backgrounds, florals, geometric, shapes etc. these are really useful when building layers and to add texture to the page. You will get a lot of use from generic patterns. You can even create your own. Either hand cut with a craft knife or using one those popular die cutting craft machines like a cameo, Sizzix, Cuttlebug, etc.

4. Stamps & Stamp pads/inks – Stamps are great for adding interest to your background, adding motifs, printing text, borders, to name a few, but can be used for a variety of applications in journaling. Stamping inks can be braodly categorised intot 2 categories. permanent (water resistant) and semi-permanent (water soluble). Archival ink is an absolute must have with stamps! My favorite brands are Stazon and Archival ink by Ranger. Distress inks can also be used for stamping as can gesso, Artists big brush pens, paints and almost any fluid wet medium. Like stencils, choose a variety.

5. Tools – My favorites were palette knives, make up applicator foam, credit card or applicator for texture paste, Brayer, water mister/spritzer bottles, distress ink blending foam, brushes in varying sizes, bottle caps, bubble wrap, old crotchet doilies,……use your imagination and you will be able to add to this list in no time.

6. Mediums and Grounds – For starters a good quality liquid gesso, Gel medium (you can decide between matt and glossy or both) and texture paste will get you through plenty of projects.

The above is pretty much all you need to get started but by no means all you will ever have in your stash ….:))) Supplies are an addiction of sorts with art journalers.



RESIST (Technique)

Resist techniques in art use the incompatibility of two mediums to create layered effects with color and texture.

 It is a type of art in which a medium is used to block out certain areas of a surface that the artist does not want to be affected by paint, varnish, acid or another substance.

One of my first experiences of resists was what I called ‘magic painting’. A white crayon was used to draw a few fish on a sheet of white paper. Then we washed the paper with a mix of blue and green watercolor to create an under the sea image. The white crayon being was based repelled the water color pigment and remained white.

Artists create designs with pastels and watercolors, scratching out the pastel once the watercolor has dried to reveal the paint-free paper beneath. Other mediums can be used in similar resist techniques.

Acrylics with their plasticky finish can work as a resist to watercolor or inks.

Embossed images using embossing powder resist inks and paints.

Glue is another popular resist medium. Hot glue used with inks makes for some really nice paint pooling effects. See the video by Frugal Crafter below where she makes her own home made resist fluid with glue. Gel medium or mod podge will also fit this category.

Gesso can also be used with stamps and stencils to create a differentiation in surface level. When you ink a page and wipe of the excess the gesso surface being raised presents as a resist. Technically if you were not to wipe of the excess gesso would absorb the color as it is porous.

Isopropyl alcohol and even vaseline provide interesting resist effects.

Here are some of my favorite links to resist techniques:

Split coast Stampers –http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/resources/tutorials/gessoresist/

Scrap Time Videos – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKSvhCT2ZYk

Frugal Crafter – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4anDsf9XUWk

Nurse Tara 04 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEj-qSXFj8E

Contadina K – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WklG97ctCyU

48hlc48 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUgNm5VVQMU

ContadinaK – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7oAKcZ5HmU

Einat Kessler  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBL53kTVlDU

I will keep coming back to edit and add more information and links to these technique pages so remember to keep back to read updates. If you try any of the techniques please post a picture to our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/creatifeksperyans. Ciao for now.