Showing posts with label art journal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art journal. Show all posts

Monday, February 24, 2014

Pocket Heart Windows

 Hello friends, Gina here. The Sketchbook Challenge theme for this month is "windows" and I thought, why not make cute pocket heart windows to decorate the cover of my sketchbooks!

Truthfully, after making valentine cards for my son's preschool last week, we had plenty of heart-shaped cut outs that were begging for some repurposing.

I began by tearing out several sheets of blank sketchbook paper to be served as colorful abstract backgrounds. My studio assistant helped me watercolor over random pencil scribbles and crayon resists :).

TIP: I often devote the last several pages of my journals for beautiful abstract messes, in which I wipe/clean off extra paint from my brushes or fingers as well as test drive my pens or pastels. I then paint the entire page with watercolor. These pages become a rich cache of personal "scrapbook paper" to cut and collage with.

The transparent sheets I used here were recycled plastic film from toy packaging, but you could use Dura-Lar acetate alternative.

I carefully straight-stitched around the heart (but left an opening on top).

I added sequins and glitter.
TIP: try not to sneeze at this point.

I sewed the heart pocket closed as well as finished off the edges.


These pretty pocket heart windows are ready to glue onto your journal covers.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pushing the Edges

Hi!  Jacqueline here....
Part of the beauty of being a part of the Sketchbook Challenge is that it can push you to the edges of your "artistic" box.  I have to admit that this month's challenge, "Sketching with Collage" was something I wasn't sure what it meant.  So I googled it, looked on Pinterest for clues, and watched what the other creative artists posted here on the Sketchbook Challenge.  Then I realized that using collage with sketches can involve a wide range ideas and variety art and that I have actually being doing this in my watercolor journals for a long time.
For instance, one of my favorite things to do in my journals is to use book pages in foreign languages as a background for my watercolor paintings.

For this page, I started with a page from a French book that my mom used in her studies so it has her notes in the margins of the page.  She was a very colorful French lady and I love being able to use her written words in my watercolor journals.
I started by using a page that I had accidentally started painting upside-down.  Needless to say, I was not happy with this page...

I glued the page out of my mom's book with watered-down YES glue, covering over my upside-down drawings.  I feel better already about this page!
Then I with my watercolors, I painted a pink bouquet of flowers.  My mom would have liked the pink flowers.  Plus her lovely hand-written words still show through the colors of my painting. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Special Celestial Teaser (Happy Thanksgiving)

Hello, this is Gina Kim posting. As most of us in the U.S. are celebrating Thanksgiving Day with friends and family, I wanted to thank YOU for being a part of this community. For it is everyone's creativity that brought us here. 

So, what do heavenly stars...

...and crafty, little hands of a two-year-old want to share today?

Grab yourself a nice cup of coffee or tea, a glass of wine or eggnog...

...and join me over at my blog ( to find out how November's theme of "Moon and Stars" turned into this art journal page! 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sketchbook Challenge Blog Hop - Laura Cater-Woods

Laura C-W here, returning to the Challenge after a hiatus. It's been a crazy time but life is settling down, finally. One thing that has helped me get back on track is my time away from home and studio.The visits to the"treehouse" Hideaway soothe me, inspire me, allow me to quiet down and center. 
Here is the view from the main deck at the treehouse. It is a remote location, completely off the grid, quiet except for bird calls, coyote song, owls and the occasional large cat.

My sketchbook/journals go with me. In my breaks from whatever hiking or "work" I am doing, I collect my thoughts and do a lot of visual thinking. Sometimes new mixed media pieces are planned but mostly the sketchbooks serve as a repository for ideas or  observations. Photos, scraps of paper or fabric, random thoughts collect here. These pages are a selection for you:
I am always interested in spirals, in textures of wood, rock forms and the phases of the moon.

When I come back to my Home from time in the mountains, I am renewed. Eventually the seeds planted in the sketchbooks will find their way into my imagery.
these two little pieces were part of a series of "dreams", houses holding memory.

For a more extensive tour of my mountain hideaway, please visit my blog and leave a comment, you will be in the drawing for a pdf of my workbook, "Idea to Image". The winner will be drawn by random on October 4.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sketchbook Challenge Blog Hop ~ Gina Lee Kim

Hello Friends! Gina here. Welcome to your first stop at our Houses and Hideaways themed blog hop!

Before I fully reveal my final project...


...let's kick things off with a WATERCOLOR BACKGROUND TUTORIAL!! Yay!

Watercolor Background Tutorial from Gina Kim on Vimeo.

I incorporate a lot of this wet-on-wet technique in my art and it's personally a favorite way to begin a painting or fill a blank journal page. I use professional artist grade watercolors from a variety of manufacturers (Sennelier, Daniel Smith, Holbein, and M. Graham).

Note: video is also viewable on YouTube.


So, this is how my Houses & Hideaways project evolved. Since the autumnal equinox is approaching soon, I knew I wanted to work in rich, fall colors.

My sketchbook came in handy to brainstorm color combinations and play with composition.

I took this photo while waiting for the first watercolor layer to dry. And yes, I have twinkling lights above my table. They make me happy and more productive. At least, I think so :).

 I chose a delicate wash of orchid pink and golden yellow as my background sky. Does it look like dusk or dawn to you?

Years ago, I bought these cute house-shaped chipboard pieces (made by Maya Road). Today I am so happy to finally use them. I added yellow washi tape behind each window to make the houses glow from within. Maybe the whole neighborhood is up crafting in their art studios!

There you have it: my portrayal of Houses and Hideaways.

And finally, I wrote a poem--a blessing, really--for each and every one of you.

Thanks for visiting!

p.s. a special thank you to Jill Berry for designing beautiful stencils that I've used repeatedly in my art, and to Jacqueline Newbold for elevating my work to the next level. You both are incredible teachers I hold in deep gratitude.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Patterned Paper Watercolor Journey

Hello. I'm Gina Kim and as a new TSC host, I am thrilled and honored to be here! Thank you.

This month's theme--Journeys--was truly a fun and creative excursion for me. I played with juicy colors and turned on my sewing machine to make a special art journaling page.

Watercolor is my go-to medium and these are the colors I love. The paper I used here were pages out of my Strathmore Mixed Media Visual Journal. I used water-based Sharpie poster paint pens and acrylic Montana markers to doodle whimsical patterns.

Two projects were happening simultaneously. As my patterned papers were set aside to dry, I started a moonscape painting on an 11" x 14" Arches watercolor cold press paper (I own a binding machine and have pre-punched my watercolor be assembled into a book later).

With the background, middle-ground and foreground complete, I wanted to capture a beautiful starry night with a winding road.

I added some birches and an inspirational quote: “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ~ Ernest Hemingway  

After everything dried, I trimmed my patterned papers down to create four foldable flaps on my art journal page.

Each flap was anchored by Japanese washi tape and a zig-zag stitch. I used washi tape because of its thin, transparent, yet highly malleable quality. This creates smooth opening & closing of the flaps rather than bending the patterned paper itself.

When all the folds come together, there is a perfect square opening, adorned with a tiny embellishment at the center.

It's a hide-away form of art journaling.

Bonus: I now have an expanded surface area to do more writing, doodling and/or painting.

Below is my sketchbook where I planned out my ideas for this project and practiced my doodles :). 

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bowled Over

Old bowls, new bowls, handmade and art bowls. I am bowled over by them. I love drawing, painting, sketching, creating and collecting


Our May theme is
brought to you by

I love containers of all sorts, but the openness of a bowl signals a readiness to receive and that puts them at the top of my love list.

I am not quite sure when my love of bowls began. What I do know is that I have been collecting them for years. Sure I have had a large family to feed, but really, my bowls far out number my family members.

Stack of Bowls. Sketch filter added to my photograph. TAP (Transfer Artist Paper) transfer into sketchbook. Texture added with Golden Crackle Paste. Stenciled, collaged and painted with acrylics and Pan Pastels.

Two of my favorites are shown above: an old blue-striped farmhouse bowl that I found at a barn sale here on the farm last summer. The other is a Target find a few years ago. I instantly fell in love its the color and texture.

Another treasure in my collection is the berry bowl my mother commissioned from an artisan to commemorate her 40th wedding anniversary in 1988. (We just celebrated our 42nd last month!)

One of my most cherished is the bowl I bought many, many moons ago for a future grandson. My maiden name is Jackson., my father's nickname, Jack. Seven granddaughters later, I'm still waiting for a grandson. Chances are good - there are three children yet to marry.

I collected bowls long before I read Sue Bender's books Plain and Simple and Everyday Sacred. Bowls play a significant part in these two memoirs. Reading Bender's thoughts and experience with bowls gave me some insight as to why I am so drawn to them.

"The Zen monk's begging bowl is the pervasive image in this author's continuing spiritual journey she began recording in her bestselling Plain and Simple, in which she described her time living among the Amish. Here, she tells how, back home amid the more mundane experience of her daily life, she accepted the challenge of finding meaning by daily proferring the beggar's bowl to be filled with the sacredness of everyday life. The lessons and stories that fill her bowl are related to Bender's life-ordinary events seen with fresh eyes and offered as simple ways for busy people to incorporate reflective periods into their lives. The simplicity that made her earlier book appealing is also evident here." From Publishers Weekly via

Bowls are welcoming containers. They are open and ready for whatever you want to place in them - food, trinkets, yarn, memories, wishes, hopes and dreams.

To sketch them requires an openness in itself. For a truly graceful bowl, you must employ your full arm to get the true circular shape and feel of the bowl. It's hard! That's why I often resort to manipulating photographs. But there's a bit of quirky magic and charm in a hand-drawn bowl. 

Bowls I thermofax screen printed and hand-painted on fabric

Mixed Media Bowl created with image transfer and fabric collage shaped and sealed with  polymer medium

So now over to you! What is it about bowls that bowls you over? I'd love to know so please leave a comment. Fill my bowl.