Friday, 31 May 2013


Ever had one of those moments of insight when all of a sudden you feel connected to everything else, and just for a millisecond the universe makes sense, and so does your part in it?  Well I did, but it passed and anyway I don't get them often, so this page was to record the blessed event when just for a moment I (sort of) understood.....
This background is PAINTED!  If you're a regular here then you know I do not love paint, but every now and again I force myself to get it out and play with it.  My school art teacher said that orange and pink don't "go", but he was wrong.  They look glorious together, but I've only discovered that in the last decade!  Oh the dreadful things we tell children.

On top of the paint a border - a wobbly double line drawn with black marker.  I noticed how the spaces between the black bits were all different colours, so I accented that later with Promarkers.  The first border then got a white edge done with my white Posca paint pen - which works brilliantly on top of paint, if not anything else.  The rest of the space got filled in with black.  Amazing how different it now looks from the basic paint above?
I had seen a tree of life type symbol somewhere and this was my attempt at imitation - I liked the idea of above and below ground, it speaks to me of my roots running deep in good stuff, and my branches always reaching, stretching out and farther.  I know what I mean even if I'm not putting it very well.  The writing seemed to belong in the middle - in that space between heaven and earth?
Then finally it was down to the fiddly bits I love so much, and more writing in among the roots and branches.  I even added a little bird who seemed to belong there - maybe I should have given him a nest?
I also gave the main lettering drop shadows - interesting how it really lifts it and makes the writing jump off the page?

By the way, sorry if I've not been posting quite as regularly of late, like every 10-14 days rather than weekly.  On top of my other woes I have a frozen shoulder which is making me feel quite sorry for myself, and not much like doing art.  I have been cruising Ebay instead, which is very bad for the bank balance .....

Thursday, 16 May 2013


This page is about something which has been overshadowing my/our lives for some time, which I can't describe for you because it concerns someone else it wouldn't be fair to speak about here.  However, you can see that this was a really powerful way to work through my feelings at the time, and I'm pleased to report that after years of being conflicted about it, resolution came quite easily and suddenly and magically the solution seems to be working for everyone involved.

As so often the page began with a background done with my Neocolour crayons from Caran D'Ache, and then ferreting about in my box of newspaper/magazine clippings produced the dramatic image below.  It really spoke to me because it seemed to be about hiding ... and I felt like I was having to hide my true feelings about the situation, particularly my anger and resentment.  The dramatic element also seemed to fit as we lurched from drama to crisis and back again.
I wanted to get a border around this page - perhaps instinctively I wanted to contain these feelings?  The word "drama" also got pulled out of the box, and I just really liked the number which doesn't actually mean anything but might if you see what I mean!

A lot of people have been kind enough to comment on my lettering - which began as a sincere imitation of Teesha Moore's but I hope has now morphed into something more truly my own.  My besetting sin is to write in straight lines across the page, not to mention making all the letters the same size (its the neat freak/straightist in me) so I was making a determined effort to break out of that.  Look, I even put the word "drama" on the page at an angle!  Bet you're proud of me.
I'm SO pleased with the way the writing curves around and even overlaps an element - why can't I  do that all the time?  Guess it will take practice to persuade myself that random is good ...
But in the end the best part is how this page worked as therapy - expressing that I felt powerless helped me to deal with it, and made it OK to live with it.  If you really can't change something why waste your energy kicking against it, right?  Then having come to that acceptance .... just a few days after I made this the doors I'd been banging on suddenly opened, and everything changed.  Evidence for the existence of God I'd say .... :)

Friday, 3 May 2013


Here's a journal page done in landscape format - for some reason (just habit probably) I almost always do vertical pages.  However, every now and then I go mad and turn the book sideways - just to prove to myself that I'm really a free-spirit maverick rule-breaker .....

What I did here was make a page - a background of neocolour crayons and some bits of collage - just for the FUN of it.  Easy to forget that's supposed to be what journalling is for, the fun and pleasure of it.  Sometimes I know I'm trying too hard to make pages which contain deep wisdom and extraordinary art .... who am I trying to kid?  Its just me reflecting, playing, drawing, getting insights down on paper that I either need to work through or keep for future reference.  That's it.  I don't have to make heirlooms for my children to inherit, and nobody has to see it except me unless I choose to share it.  Working this way you can just relax and enjoy the process ....
I liked those legs from a collage sheet (Cemerony I think) and they went with the pinky background too.  I seem to be psychologically incapable of not using colours that "go".  It took me years to discover that pink and orange together don't clash, they're absolutely gorgeous!

So anyway, I returned to this background at a time when I was thinking about the concept of "enough" which is a bit of an obsession of mine, and I might have mentioned it before (sorry if I have).  In a society obsessed with over-consumption how often do you hear somebody say "actually I've got enough stuff and don't need any more".  Revolutionary concept isn't it, and one I've been exploring for some time, particularly in these recessionary times.

Sometimes my arms hurt a lot so on this occasion I didn't want to get involved in lots of careful lettering, which can make my hand cramp.  Anyway for some reason I can't actually explain, even to myself, I just love old typewriter fonts, and like to use them often.  Try a free site like my favourite Dafont, you'll find loads, and I guarantee you can waste hours on there poring over all manner of delicious fonts.
Obviously it doesn't take long to type your thoughts and print them out, and I often use this technique of cutting the result into strips - I do it a lot in my scrapbooks, or on the Brave Girls truth cards I make sometimes.  It works really well, particularly if you outline the strips a bit to make them stand out - you might notice I've inked the edges of these, but you can equally just draw round them, or highlight one particular word for emphasis.
And then I just doodled around until the page looked finished!  That's one of the parts I like best.  It began with the wobbly white lines - wobbly because its SO much easier to make them deliberately wobbly rather than attempt to get them perfect.  So I drew wobbly lines and then decorated around them with dots.  Easy peasy.

And I do think that the idea of enough is an important one - particularly if you believe as I do that all you have is God's gift.  We spend/waste such a lot of our lives protecting and preserving our "stuff", when half the time we don't actually even need that much of it!  Daft isn't it?