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February 21st, 2016

warmup lesson for Lifebook 2016 I am once again enrolled in Willowing Arts Lifebook. 2016 is my fourth year, although I did not complete the first year.

This picture is my version of the warmup lesson offered in Week 1. It was designed and taught by Tamara LaPorte, the owner of Willowing Arts. The name Tamara gave to the lesson is “Creativity Takes Courage: A Playful Warmup Lesson”.

I deviated from the lesson quite a bit.

The girl’s silhouette was a leftover from a lesson in 2015. I had drawn her on sandwich paper. For this warmup lesson, I cut her out, glued her over my background collage and outlined her with plum colored ink.

The background is a combination of hand writing, collage, stenciling and various paint spatters.

I cut the words “Against All Odds” from a magazine and glued them on. The smaller text reads, “personal courage.”

I think the text and words had some special meaning for me at the time I made this, but for now, I forget what that was.

If anyone is interested in learning more about Lifebook and Willowing Arts, you can find information at this link: Click here to view more details

August 3rd, 2015

mixed media painting showing eco warrior princess Lifebook 2015, Week 26, was taught by Andrea Gomoll. Andrea’s instructions were to do with identifying and drawing our Inner Warrior Princess.

I am not so big on Inner Warrior Princesses, but I have it a shot. It turned out that my Inner Warrior Princess is actually an Eco Warrior Princess. This should not have come as a big surprise, because I am passionate about environmental issues, as most of my friends know quite well.

I am not one of those artists who begins with a concept and paints it. I start out with an extremely vague idea, if any, and see what develops. I am usually as surprised at the end as anyone else. LOL

Anyway, my Eco Warrior Princess has plenty of symbols representing our planet and the life that is on it. The glove itself is obvious — but I have also added stars. animals, plantlife, birds, seashells, stones in the necklace, feathers, birds, a mushroom and ocean waves in the top of the hat.

The o’s and 1’s in the bottom part of the hat represent digital media, since I use social media to publicize ecological concerns, and because I often incorporate digital art into my projects.

All images are hand drawn and painted, except for the stars which are stencils done with silver acrylic paint.

June 15th, 2015

lifebook painting This is another lesson from Lifebook Week 19.  Its called Stamping Shadow and Light, and its taught by Jessica Swift.

In this lesson, Jessica showed us how to carve our own stamps. I did not do this, as I did not have a proper carving tool, nor did I have any rubber or other material that would have worked for the carving. I might have tried if I had found one of those great big school erasers, but I did not locate one.

I did have quite a number of big foam stamps so i decided to go ahead and make the picture using them.


The idea was to have a light and dark image on half of the paper, and a dark and light image on the other. We were to use a monochromatic color palette, mixed with black.

I did pink and plum on one side, with white mixed in,  and plum, black and white on the other side.

I just stamped randomly. Sometimes I just drew the paint across with a stick,  forming lines. I also used as a stamp one of those foam rubber things that women put between their toes when they are getting a pedicure.

I like monochromatic color palettes a lot.

June 11th, 2015

art journal page showing painting of Johnny Cash This Art Journal page represents the spirit of Johnny Cash. I am not a fan of country or CW music — unless its Johnny Cash. Then I’m all for it.

I made this for a swap at Art for the Creative Mind, an online art group that I have participated in for a few years now.  The theme for this month is “SOUND”.

I thought about SOUND for quite a while, and of course, I considered all the obvious images  that come to mind — musical notations, people speaking, ocean waves crashing, trains approaching, birds singing, etc.  None of those images resonated with me.

Then for some reason, the words to Sunday Morning Coming Down started playing in my head.

“For there’s nothing short of dying
That’s half as as lonesome as the sound
Of the sleeping city sidewalk
And Sunday morning coming down.”

I’m learning to do male portraits. I’m not yet very good at it, but unless I try, I will never get better. So this cowboy is not really supposed to look like John Cash — but he is supposed to represent his essence and his particular sound.

I drew the picture with graphite pencil and colored it with acrylic paints and watercolor crayons. The background is collaged. It has papers, paint, stamping and stenciling.

The words to the song are computer generated and distressed with light brown artist chalk.

June 8th, 2015

pen and ink drawings of items from nature This pen and ink drawing is called Field Journalling. Its a lesson from Lifebook 2015, and the instructor is Alisa Burke.

Alisa’s lesson involved finding a feather and drawing four versions of it, using Micron Archival Ink pens, which are awesome. I bought a set especially for this and I will not be giving them up any time soon.  The ink is archival and the nibs are in a variety of sizes.  Here is one tip, though. Do not dip the nibs in wet paint or other media or they will die.

Unlike Alisa, I opted to find four different objects.  I went for a walk in Vancouver’s rain forest and I located the four items you see here:  a twig from a coniferous tree, a piece of bark, a feather and a cone.

I thought the bark was the hardest to draw and the cone the easiest.

After drawing her feathers, Alisa added color to get a different effect on each. I essentially used the same technique for coloring all of mine. I went with a rain forest color theme — green, gray, brown and of course, the black of the pens.

This is among my favorite pictures so far this year.

Here is the link to the Micron Pens on Amazon if you are interested: Sakura 30062 6-Piece Pigma Micron Ink Pen Set, Black

April 4th, 2015
heart shaped hand made book, fanned open
heart shaped hand made book, wide open.

This is Week 10 in Lifebook 2015, taught by Tamara LaPorte. Its called Layers of Your Heart.

Should you be interested, use this link to visit the Lifebook site: Willowing Arts Lifebook 2015.
For this one, we drew and cut out a number of paper hearts. I used six.

We decorated each heart differently. Each heart represents something we appreciate or are grateful for.

When completed,k we attached the hearts at the bottom tip using a brad or other fastener.

My favorite is the top one, which is blue and has a circular design made with a brass stencil and modeling paste.

April 3rd, 2015

jar of favorite things, mixed media painting This is called Favorite Favorites, and its a project taught and designed by Lynne Whipple in Lifebook 2015.

If you are interested in learning more about Lifebook, this link will take you to the site: Willowing Arts Lifebook 2015.

We drew a jar and decorated it with whatever colors we preferred.  I used Twinkling H2Os for most of my background.

Next, we used marking pens or colored pencils to wrote our favorite things on the jar.

We finished by giving it a label of our choosing, and decorating the top of the lid as we wanted.

I gave the painting a bit of a border by drawing with a marking pencils along the borders.

February 16th, 2015

mixed media collage with sunshine girl This is the main lesson taught in Week 1 of Lifebook 2015. Want to know more about Lifebook 2015? Click here to view more details.

Lifebook is owned and provided by Tamara LaPorte. Tam typically under promises and over delivers. Don’t you love it when that happens?

Anyway, Week 1 contained a introduction video, a video describing basic color theory, a warmup exercise and the main lesson, Beacon of Light.

This is my take on Beacon of Light. I call her my Sunshine Girl. In real life, she looks warmer than in this picture.

Supposedly, this is my muse, my beacon of light, my sunshine girl, who will guide me throughout the year of lessons.

There is a lot of collaging going on here, plus drawing, painting, stamping, and the use of glitter.

I am very fond of my sunshine girl.

January 2nd, 2015

collage with girl holding a home in her heart This is Week 37 from Lifebook 2014. Its called Artsy Abode, and the lesson was taught by Carissa Paige.

This was a simple enough collage to do and I quite like the way it turned out.

To me, it represents a girl holding her home in her heart.

We did the background using a combination of paints and collage papers.

I drew the girl and decorated her with scraps of paper.

The “abode” was a picture from a magazine that I painted over. It would have worked just as well to have drawn it from scratch, I think.

The wings are clip art taken from a purchased set.

The birds flying in a fee are a stamp from Stampscapes.

For unknown reasons, this simple picture with the uncomplicated background is one of my favorites for the year.

Incidentally, if you are interested, Lifebook 2015 has just begun. Its not too late to sign up. Click here to view more details

December 31st, 2014

mixed media art collage in Lifebook 2014 This is Week 36 in Lifebook 2014, and its taught by Tamara Laporte.
The title is Exploring Intuition.

As you can see by the picture to the left, the whole thing is a hot mess of bright colors, whimsical drawings and general happiness and joy.

I didn’t follow Tam’s lessons precisely, but it is the general idea.

There are several layers. The bottom layer is drawing. The net layer is collage, topped with splatters of ink, more drawing and writing.

I forget what text Tam used in her drawing, but mine was “Be Your Own Best Friend.”


The whole idea behind this was to tune in to our own intuition and use colors and shapes that reflected how we are feeling.

Not surprisingly, a cat showed up in mind. I am still recovering from the recent loss of my beautiful ragdoll, el Gordo0.



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