Saturday, April 25, 2015


Gosh!  When we put our collective creative hats on, we can really drum up some craziness, and this week at Artful Journeys is no exception.

Our prompt this week:  CHANNEL PICASSO

Head of Woman With a Hat by Pablo Picasso
I actually love the works of Picasso. His quirky style, the ease with which his line drawings seemed to flow. The vibrant use of color. All things I love.

If you take a few minutes on Google and really LOOK at his collection of artwork, it is truly inspiring. No wonder he is a master!  But what do you think this guy was smoking or drinking?? Was he one of those zany artists that lived for his Absinthe, aka The Green Fairy?  Absinthe has often been portrayed as a dangerously addictive psychoactive drug and hallucinogen.  Maybe this can explain some of Picasso's work, since he was living in France during a time when Absinthe was all the rage with artists.  Did he smoke funny little cigarettes? Was he an alcoholic or just plain nutzoid?  Some of his work is realistic in nature, but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule. Picasso definitely saw the world through a different set of lenses than most of us, but still his work endures, inspires and is emulated the world over.

While searching for some "inspiration" through his work, I came across this image entitled "Head of Woman With A Hat".  I loved the vibrant colors, the bold line work, the quirky-ness of the whole thing.  The basic shape was something I thought I might actually manage. The colors, well, I thought I might could emulate that as well.

 This really was an exercise for me.  I brought my journal to my desktop and studied the photograph and sketched a brief and quick little outline.  I took my journal to the dining room and purposely left the image so that I could just recall the "essence" of the painting from my mind.

When you look at Picasso's work, you think, that looks simple enough.  But in reality, it isn't.  The basic shape--easy.  Where to start?  Poised with paintbrush in hand, I started with the lightest colors, beginning with white and began adding paint to various areas of the image.  Mostly I used my Dylusions Blendable Acrylics in white, turquoise, lime, orange, pink, black and red.  Hmmmm....I thinks that's all the colors just about in that collection excepting purple and the royal blue.  LOL I painted my background with a cameo pink craft acrylic, lightly watered down for a smooth finish.

Picasso's stroke work in her hair is what mesmerized me.  They are strong and decisive.  I was a bit more timid or hesitant I think...not knowing exactly how to emulate this style.

So what I wound up with is this.  My version of a lady in a hat.  The whole image has a very ethnic feel to me when looking back at it, and she looks pretty stern.  Once completed, I got up and brought my journal back to my desk and looked at the images side by side.  Not bad.  Not great, of course, but a valiant effort considering I wasn't "copying" the work or even trying to replicate it. Just using it for inspiration.  This is wayyyyyyy out of my comfort zone, but overall, I'm fairly happy with the end result. Time to move on to something else.

So get out there, get your Picasso-groove on, and channel ole Pablo and see where your art mojo takes you.  Be sure and show us your efforts at Artful Journeys.  We'll be your biggest cheerleaders!

Stay artful!  Until next time.....

Betty aka Arty Auntie

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Artful Journeys Week #16 - EARTH DAY

Earth Day is April 22 and we are asking  you to honor this special day in your own way this week at Artful Journeys by creating a journal page with this beautiful Earth in mind.

As I thought about what I wanted to do this week, I was taking notice of all the beauty around me...really looking at what I was seeing.  There's a new little colt down the road that is so cute on its still-spindly legs, staying close to its momma.  And the little baby goats I saw, hopping around the pasture like the "kids" that they are. And the rebirth of "green" all over the place--flowers, flowering bushes, trees, gardens, wildflowers.  We are having a wonderfully wet spring and growth is everywhere.

One of the most beautiful rewards of spring in Texas are our roadways that come alive with our state flower -- Bluebonnets.  Thanks in part to a big initiative by Lady Bird Johnson years and years ago, the state actually seeded Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush and red Clover on the medians and roadsides along all the interstate freeways throughout the state. And the bluebonnets are spectacular this year thanks to the rains we have been getting.  Nothing makes me happier than a field full of these beauties of the lupine family, with their heads full, standing tall and proud to delight the eyes.

So my spread this week honors our beautiful bluebonnets.  I took a lot of pictures of bluebonnets and other wildflowers blooming along the roadways near my home as I do every year.  But none compared to this two page spread I found in an old Texas Highways magazine in my hoarded collection. It was perfect. It could be anywhere in rural Texas.  It said everything I was seeing. The scene makes you want to stop and linger, evoking memories of springs past.  There is nothing more beautiful than a scene just like this, repeated all over the state.

This spread was collaged in two-page format in my Dylusions journal. Across the bottom, I used Admiral Blue craft acrylic to hold a little journaling and doodling with a white Signo Uniball pen.

My poem is a mostly-Texan thought process.  Being a 5th generation native Texan, we know this saying to be so true. Loving our state and being proud of where we are from is ingrained in  us from the time we have ears to listen.  We KNOW that there is no place better than Texas.  And we promise not to ask where you are from.  But you can come visit us anytime and see all our beautiful bluebonnets.  But hurry--once the heat starts, they will be gone.

So go out, enjoy the beauty around you and show us what is in your corner of the earth that makes you happy.

Betty aka Arty Auntie

Saturday, April 11, 2015

ARTFUL JOURNEYS - WEEK 15 "Found Poetry"

This week at Artful Journeys our prompt is to use FOUND POETRY on our journal spreads.

I love using "Found Poetry".  And for those of you unfamiliar with this little art term, 'Found Poetry' is "poetry" or a quote or use of words you create using letters, words and phrases found in magazines or other printed matter.

For this spread, I used a combination of individual letters and two single words, along with a fantastic image of a lady symphony conductor that I snagged from an AARP magazine.  She is the principle Conductor (Conductress?) of the St Louis Symphony Orchestra at 69 years young. This article was all about people in the workforce over the standard "retirement" age.  Yay for her.  I can relate to her all too well! hehe

Isn't she lovely?  I was definitely inspired by the image of this woman and strength I see not only in her face, but by a fully confident aura around her.  At first, I thought I might use the image as a silhouette in some fashion, but ultimately decided that SHE was just too powerful to cover with paint or to mask her out entirely.

I created my background using a yellow Derwent Inktense block and a baby wipe, using the side of the block and making wide swaths of color that I then wiped to smooth.  Then, using the teal block, I added the border edge with the same method.

Following that I studied her and thought about my "found poetry" and what I wanted to say.  I really wanted to embody the power I felt from this image, and decided on my "poetry" and set about going through my already clipped letters that I keep in a bead sorter.  Not enough of the right fonts, so out came a huge pile of magazines and I clipped the remaining letters and got them applied to the page.

The sunflower images are stamped from a Hampton Art Stamps of 1998 called "Willowy Sunflower, stamped with Jet Black Staz On ink pad.

I then added some random black dots using black india ink and the dropper tip and called it done. Yes, I could have added a bunch more, but I wanted it to resonate the power of this lady and the "found poetry."  I think it speaks exactly how I least it speaks to me.

Here is a mandala I created very late on Thursday night before I went to bed.  The house was quiet. The television was off. Just me and the dogs.  Black Sakura Gelly pen with  vibrant turquoise and orange Prismacolor pencil.  In lieu of coloring the whole thing, I purposely left lots of white space, which I rarely do.  It was so relaxing to focus on the lines and just let the image evolve organically.  I needed that.  And, I rather like how it turned out.


Thanks for stopping by!  Go out and make it an artful day!


Thursday, April 9, 2015

10 Day Doodle Challenge

For the last ten days in our mail art group, Artful Mail Groupies, we've had a doodle challenge going on as suggested by Carrol Creech Aizenman.

I finished all ten of my doodles, with the last today.  And yes, I did do one a day.  Most of them are in my Graphique pocket journal that lives beside my chair in the living room or in my purse.  With all my other commitments, I knew I wouldn't have time to doodle up anything big or grandiose.

So here are all ten days worth of my doodles.

DAY 1 - Mandala with Sakura Gelly pens

DAY 2 - Sakura Gelly pens

DAY 3 - Random Doodles. 
No time today. Sakura Gelly Pen & Copic Markers

DAY 4 - Acrylic, Ghost Stamping, 
White & Black Signo Uniball
The white outlines each separate gradation of color giving the unique look to the background. This was more like doodling than I expected, so I called it doodled.

DAY 5 - 12 Ways to Doodle Trees
Background was leftover paint smeared on hurriedly with a baby wipe

DAY 6 - Grateful
Sakura Gelly pen and black Sharpie Marker. Background is more of the excess paint wiped on with a baby wipe from a previous project

Just a few minutes after cleaning up the kitchen. Sakura Gelly Pen & Prismacolor pencil

A little slow journaling practice, with doodling elements. Prismacolor pencils & Sakura Gelly pen.

DAY 9 - Doodles in Grids
A technique learned at Tammy Garcia's Watercolor Playground workshop.  Grids/boxes laid out with Sakura Gelly pen and doodled and one little practice sketch of an Elmer's Glue Stick. Colorized with pan watercolors and a #6 pointed round brush.  This is great practice for fine detail and brush work.

DAY 10 - The Last Day of the Challenge
Sakura Gelly pen, watercolor, Prismacolor pencils & copic Marker

And, while I was waiting on several projects to dry this afternoon, I completed this one in my large Dylusions Journal.  Derwent Inkense & babywipes; Prismacolor Pencils, Sakura Gelly Pen, Signo Uniball pen

It was a fun 10-day challenge. I had to work hard to carve out time to do this every day, but I did it. That in itself is an accomplishment.

Keep it arful!


Saturday, April 4, 2015


Hi everyone!  I hope spring is breaking out at your house. It certainly is here in north Texas.  The hubs has all the garden finally in, the trees are all budding out and losing pollen all over everywhere...driving me and my allergies crazy!  The temperatures have been really great during the day and we're doing our best to enjoy every second we can before it gets hot.  That lasts a LONG time!

This week at Artful Journeys, our prompt is to "Doodle Flowers". You could doodle the borders, all over or however you want, but doodle them we must!

Following last week's color scheme, I went with a dark pansy purple background in acrylic craft paint, applied with a wide flat nylon bristle brush. All the flowers were at least first doodled with a white Sakura Gelly pen.  I then added White, Green, Blue and Pink Chalk paint as fill ins on my flowers and did my lettering with green Chalk marker.

And there you have it. Easy peasy. Bright and breezy.  Enjoy your Easter everyone!