Friday, January 29, 2016

Get up. Get dressed. Paint! Thinking outside the box

Paint Mojo Exercise: Outside the square!
Step 1: Draw a grid on the paper.  Sketch an image that speaks to you on a piece of torn out book paperTrying hard not to put too much thought into it, I drew a tree.

Step 2:  Paint a wash of white paint around your design paying attentions to any words that pop out

Step 3:  Gather collage elements. I went through my folder pulling out more that I knew I would use, selecting patterns and colors that spoke to me.  Moving them around, noticing some pieces that simply didn’t feel right while others had patterns which connected to the tree.   When done a color scheme for the collage emerged.  Then I spotted an envie from a swap I saved with leave postage stamps in copper and green.  My mind latched onto them and a different color appeared.  I changed some of my collage elements, adding a new polka dot paper I love.  Using my favorite leaf stamps and copper embossing powder I created several leaves to tie in with those postage stamps.  Satisfied with the layout I used matte Mod Podge to glue down the collage elements.

Step 4: Paint in the visible grid lines with Raw Umber.

Step 5: Begin filling in your areas with paint “loosely and intuitively”.   I struggled with this; where to put the colors, how to paint them in.  Finally I started adding white and allowed it to mix in with the other wet paint and I could feel myself loosen up.  Then I hit a roadblock; I had to paint around the tree and branches.  Had I sketched an image that was solid like a bird as she did, this would not have been a problem.  Frustrated, I began thinking of a way I could sketch something else and cover up the tree.  Overwhelmed, I cleaned up and walked away.

A week later…
With fresh eyes and more patience, I painstakingly began painting around the tree and its branches.  Using Raw Umber, I painted the tree.

Step 6:  Add a stenciled design and choose a foam stamp to add texture and surprise.  I chose this leaf stencil, tying in with the postage stamps and tree.

Step 7:    Start connecting the areas of the collage with color.   Realizing I still had a ways to go in covering the collage, I grabbed two Tim Holtz stencils, doily and gothic.  Once I started using these two stencils I could feel myself letting go and having fun, intuitively sponging on colors in various places, allowing the stencils overlap and even cover up images.

Step 8: Refine the color placement and add cohesion to the collage.   I wasn’t sure if at this step I was done adding color so I walked away, eating breakfast and doing some chores to clear my head.  Upon returning I spotted a few small areas of solid color which needed more stenciling.

Circling the words to draw them out
Adding circle stamp in magenta to tie in with the polka dot collage paper

Step 9:  Add some metallic for highlights.  Painted in some copper metallic dots, pushed Ferro Special Effects Paste in graphite through a stencil then added touches of Inka Gold Metallic Rub in Green/Yellow.  Done!
The completed exercise

What I learned

·         To work on a piece over a period of time rather than getting a it done in an hour or so.  This is a new experience for me and challenging. Such a different experience from completing a spread in an hour or so.

·         Walking away when I don’t know what to do next works!  Clearing my mind opens it to elements I wasn’t able to see.  And I remember supplies I forgot about using  such as the Inka Gold Metallic Rub.

 Joining Paint Party Friday where having paint under the fingernails is the norm.  What colors are under yours?


  1. Gorgeous journaling pages. Lovely colours and texture.
    Happy PPF ♥

  2. What a fantastic result you achieved, love how you brought everything together. Thanks for taking us through all the in between ateps. Hugs, Valerie

  3. The finished product is lovely! I could use some of your good hints about not trying to finish up in one hour and just walk away for a while.

  4. Amazing results!! Such a beautiful journal spread. I have that stencil too:):) And yes, it pays to have patience -walk away, and then come back - perhaps a few times. Happy PPF and thanks for sharing your experiences along with your super art!

  5. Fantastic to see the stages of your journal artwork Diane,
    Happy PPF to you

  6. Wow! I love this. Thanks for sharing your process along the way and also for mentioning what you learned from it. Sometimes I forget to think about that aspect of art...what did I learn. Beautiful!!

  7. omg how beautiful! I adore your art! So beautiful and I love how you brought all the pieces together into one beautiful piece! Very lovely and love all the texture, colours and patterns. Beautiful!!!

  8. Ooohhh you hit the nail on the head for me! I have art ADD I think (not really--just a desire to finish too quickly) and I will take a tip from you and learn I do not have to finish in one sitting. Lovely stuff. Thanks for the info. xo

  9. Beautiful, it came together just as it was meant to be, with a breather here and there!! Thanks for sharing your process and struggles. I have often stepped away in frustration! Only to see it in a new light later!!

    Hugs Giggles

  10. Great piece of work. I agree with your final comments. Clearing the mind is essential to creativity. I find mindfulness works.


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