Saturday, March 28, 2015


The end of March is rapidly approaching and we are getting into the full swing of spring here in north Texas, while some parts of the country are still getting buried in snow.  While our spring weather down here can be quite tumultuous--changing sometimes from one hour to the next -- early signs of spring are all around us.  And talking about weather, many prayers are going out to the folks in Oklahoma who have recently suffered loss and damage by more tornadoes.  Those things are the bane of Oklahoma to be sure.  Tornado season doesn't officially begin until May 1st, but it seems mother nature has her own way of announcing spring, doesn't she?

 I love snapping pictures of the earth being "reborn" in the spring, and this is a lovely Redbud tree that has sprung to life in my brother's front yard this week. Sadly, the blooms don't last very long, but oh they are so glorious while they are here for us to enjoy.  And of course, if we get high winds or hail, that hastens the disappearance of those blooms, so we're enjoying them while they are here.

Weather. Spring.  It goes together like peanut butter and jelly.  This week at Artful Journeys, we are drawing on the weather for inspiration for our journal prompt.  We want you to push yourself to create something beautiful and magical, and inspired by the sky.


One of the most amazing weather phenomenons to me are the Northern Lights, or the Aurora Borealis.  Nothing is more striking, more beautiful, more amazing than those magical lights in the sky, when mother nature is putting on her own spectacular show of light and color in the northern hemisphere.  I would love to be where I could see for myself this mystical show live and in person, but sadly, this happens only in the winter time so it is likely not something I will get to witness in my lifetime.  We visited Alaska in the summer of 1994 and had an amazing journey.  I was sad a little bit knowing it was the wrong time of the year to take that in, but oh the other sights were definitely a feast for the eyes.

My "surprise" media this week is DRYER LINT.  Yup, good old fashioned dryer lint, straight off a load of white towels from my dryer. There it was.  This week's prompt was swirling in my head, and as I scraped that lint off the screen, I really looked at it.  Ding!  This would make fantastic clouds I thought to myself, and that is exactly what some of it became!

Sometimes you just have to look at ordinary things in extraordinary ways.  I have rarely seen images of the northern lights that were without some spectacular clouds and cloud formations.  So I knew I wanted to use this in some way. I carefully unrolled it and set it aside.

I gathered up these other supplies:  Helmar's adhesive glue; Apple Barrel acrylic in Admiral Blue (makes a fabulous night sky) and Medium Grey; Dina Wakely's Heavy Body acrylics in Lime, Turquoise and Violet, Dylusions Blendable Acrylics in Lime, Turquoise, & Magenta, DecoArt's Black Cat black,  a wedged cosmetic sponge and my trusty white Signo Uniball pen and my large Dylusions journal.  I also used a fan brush, a worn out 1" flat nylon bristle brush, a #6 pointed round sable, and a stiff 1/4" flat.

I applied a good basecoat of Admiral Blue using a palette knife, plastic card and some paper towels to the entire two page spread.  Looking at all that dark blue was really inspiring. It WAS a night sky. But of course, I had to apply more paint, more layers.  First, I played around with the lint.  Pulling, pushing twisting into shapes I thought were 'cloud-worthy' and affixed them to the page.  I then used a cosmetic sponge to apply all my other sky colors over and across both pages in thin layers, reapplying where I wanted more defined color.  I brought the color way down into the page. The original idea was that I would have a stream reflecting the lights, but it didn't quite work out that way in the end.

Once all that was good and dry, I started my silhouetted trees.  Getting trees to look something like real trees is a challenge for me, and as I said above, I used an assortment of brushes to get a fir and pine-like tree effect.  The hubs didn't think they looked like trees at all. What does he know? ha.  I "illuminated" a few of the trees with Medium Grey and my Uniball pen.

The poem "The Aurora Borealis" by David Venner I knew was going on this page somewhere. I love that poem.  It reads:

Tumultuous streams of glory gushed,
Ten thousand thousand rainbows rushed

And revelled through the boundless sky,
In jousting, flashing radiancy.
Careering around the welkin's brim
Like bright embattled Seraphim;
Or soaring up to the dome of Night,
Flooding the Milky-way with light;
Or streaming down on the mountain peaks,
On the muirland wastes, and the heather brakes;
On lake and river, on tower and tree,
Showering a sky-born galaxy,
Like a storm of pearls and diamonds driven,
Imbued with the gorgeous hues of heaven!

So here you have it.  I call it done.  It was great fun thinking outside the box. When I look at the finished page, *I* see the Northern Lights as I imagine them in my mind.  I don't care what the hubs sees.

So jump on over and see what Melody, Lynn and Tamie have created this week at Artful Chicks. We hope that we have inspired you in some way and can't wait to see what your mind conjurs up this week!

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