a self portrait

I am going to be honest. I would never have attempted this challenge on my own. I struggle with creating faces and human forms of any kind. When I read the words "self portrait" I felt paralyzed. This month has truly pushed me to, at the very least, TRY these techniques. I do not feel that I am any "better" or any more "comfortable" with faces but I am feeling happy that I put in good effort each week. And while I did not start from scratch for this self portrait (um...that was NOT happening) it was a simple way for me to begin the uncomfortable process of trying to paint myself. 


1. I used this free website to convert a photo of myself into a simple line drawing.
2. I cut my line drawing out and adhered onto a page in my art journal.
3. I created a two tone colored background, journaling in the wet paint.
4. I began adding messy paint strokes to the hair & skin, mixing lots of colors as I went.
5. I used both acrylic and watercolor paints to add color to my face.
6. I layered acrylic paint, blending while wet, to create my blouse.
7. I used oil pastels to create my necklace.
8. I used stabilo pencils to create more details around my eyes, nose & mouth.
9. I let some of the lines of my drawing bleed through the paint to define my face.
10. I used a white gel pen to light my eyes & a white china marker for my teeth.
11. I added some more paper and paint layers around my page for fun.


1. Using a large image with little or no detail helped.
2. Using messy strokes to apply the paint helped create a "painterly" style of art work. I have little or no experience in shading the human face and this helped disguise my lack of skill.
3. Using "almost lifelike" paint colors for skin and hair kept the stress out of making it perfect.
4. Letting the paint go outside of the lines made my portrait more "artsy" looking.
5. This is one of those times that the actual painting is better than the photograph. I think it has lots to do with angle and light more than anything.
6. I thought this would be easy, almost like filling in a coloring book page. It was a little more difficult than that, but a great springboard for learning to paint a face.
7. I would use this technique again to practice painting the human form.
*I am thinking of printing several versions of faces and bodies in this line drawing format and adhering them in their own special journal for practice.*


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Getting Brave & being Happy

ONLY FOUR DAYS LEFT! How excited I am for it to be September!

A quick reminder for those that are wondering... if you are already in Soul School, then you get Brave Girl University and that is just awesome! Don't let the idea of being an artist stop you from joining in on the fun! There are going to be classes of all kinds for us to enjoy! 
Click on image below (or HERE) for more information and to save your spot in line! When you see the teacher line up and the amazing content that going available to you through the Brave Girl University you won't believe it! 

***I want you all to know how important you are to me. I was recently on vacation and as sweet as the time off was, it seemed a little sad not to be interacting with you all. This little corner of my world would be nothing without all of you, and for as little as it is it is important to me. I love to share with you and your feedback and loyalty means more than I could ever express here. I appreciate each one of you that signs up for BGU through my affiliate link so that I can continue to share fun and creative ideas with you here all year long! You are loved here.

mono printing - texture with combs

I am always looking for ways to use my Gelli Arts® Gelli Plate in new ways. I could add paint and pull prints all day long. I have had this stash of combs that I picked up somewhere along the way to use in another painting project. They seemed like the perfect tool for adding lots of new and interesting texture to my prints. *I am always super careful when using tools like this on my plate so that I don't dent it.

I experimented with adding paint to the plate and then gently making marks with assorted sized combs. I also dipped my combs in paint that was on my palette and then tapped it onto the plate. 

I loved the process of creating random patterns and designs simply by using the comb as a drawing instrument.

You can create lots of different texture before pulling a print by layering different marks with both the ends of the comb.

The finished prints are works in progress, but I love the idea of adding to them and using them as foundation prints for even more Gelli Art® goodness! 

Summer Re-Run Series - 15 Minute Favorites

Repost:  15 Minutes of Mixed Media© Post---> from May 26, 2015. Summer Re-Run Series #11.

Better late than never is what I say. This gets more and more difficult each week. Not the creating. Although those have their moments as well. I am talking about the time it takes to share. 15 minutes of clock ticking creating is followed by uploading, editing, researching & retrieving music, taking photos then editing those photos, uploading videos, THEN creating a blog post like this. So yea. There is much more than 15 minutes that goes into one free video share each week. And while I love it and love to share it even more, I will announce here that I claim this summer as my own.  I am grateful for each and every reader, viewer and person that takes the time to comment. I love that when I am absent I hear from you. I just need a little time to re-evalutate how many hours I spend on this stool. With that said- you will see me, you will see these free art share videos, they just may not be every Tuesday at 8 am. 

My journal page this week was not what I had hoped. Some days 15 minutes seems like too much pressure and I overthink it instead of just putting brush to paper and turning my thoughts off.  I was distracted and had a hard time focusing on what was in front of me. I wanted to start over. Badly. But I didn't. It seems like I have said that more than once in the last two weeks and I know why. These past few weeks have been extra crazy. I have shed tears at a funeral, then at a wedding. I have the end of the years programs, recitals and field trips to attend with two kids. I have two grand babies coming and going at all hours of the day and night...and yet... believe it or not- THIS is the stuff that I live for. Maybe not the tears, or the sadness, but the real life stuff. If I can have that AND create, I will be happy. And I hope you will be too! 

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the happenstance collection - project 5

Welcome to Project 5 - Art Journaling Page 

Using stencils in art journaling has exploded to a new level over the past few years. Artists everywhere are incorporating them in new and interesting ways, layering them and combining them to create even more unique art pages. I used six different stencil/mask sets in this art journaling page. I love all the color and abstract feel to this layout. 


1. Layer color with dry brushes & sponges through stencils. 
2. Create large shapes by piecing together stencils.
3. Layer stencils using paints & inks.
4. Add text & collage papers and stencil over the top of papers.
5. Apply paint through stencils using fingers to create raised images.
6. Use stencils as templates & trace designs with water soluble pencils. 
7. Dip your stencil into wet ink and transfer to your page.
8. Layer staggering sized of stencils.
9. Use only portions of stencils as creative shapes.
10. Use contrasting paint colors with stencil/mask parts and layer.

Don't be afraid to play with stencils. Test out different mediums while incorporating them into your work, and don't limit yourself to a canvas or art journal when using them either. I have created miniature canvas magnets, notebooks, canvas pouches, faux Project Life™ cards, tag art and more with stencils.

Visit the Launch Post HERE to view a WATCH THE PROCESS VIDEO on using these stencils and masks! See the entire project series here

I will be sharing more details on these projects over the next few weeks, so be sure to stop by often.  Visit StencilGirlProducts™ to see all the new designs in both collections.

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expressive layering

Layering is one of my favorite techniques when it comes to art journaling. I love the chunkiness and texture that all the different coverings lend to the page. Normally I would incorporate lots more papers and mediums to a page like this, but was limited to what I had with me while I was traveling. I had a lot of down time while I was away. With the anniversary of my son's death this week I thought ALOT about life and how unexpectedly short it can be. So if I could rewind and tell my younger self a few things, one of them would be this- "Go explore. Take your family and do EVERYTHING you can together. Don't think about when it is convenient or how you will juggle your overflowing calendar. Just go while you can. Experience new things and gather new knowledge and LOVE LIFE. Time is short. Enjoy it while you can."

 a few simple steps for on the go creating

1. Adhere an entire magazine page to your art journal page.
2. Add strips of collage paper to the top and bottom edges.
3. Fill in any white spaces with inks & paints
4. Mix gesso with paint to soften the colors & paint over your focal point.
5. Add details with water soluble crayons, pencils, & paint.


1. Use your fingers to apply paint and ink.
2. Apply stick type glue under your paint for even more texture.
3. Layer several kinds of paper.
4. Scratch into wet paint to add journaling.
5. Apply paint through stencils with fingers.

*** I mentioned here that this was my month "off" for challenges- but this month proved to be one that I needed MUCH practice with, so here I am. I will share more in depth how to's and step out's again next month! ***

DLP challenge supplies 2.png
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21 Secrets Fall - and a little early bird special

21 Secrets is always an amazing series and I am honored to be part of this awesome special event this fall. TEN 90 Minutes workshops FREE ! Plus the teachers & classes  this fall are going to be wonderful! You can see the complete line up of amazing teachers and all the yummy details HERE

***Thank you for being such faithful followers & readers. None of what I do would be possible without you all. I want you to know that I receive an affiliate fee for this class and appreciate your linking through me above. When it comes to affiliates, I never post anything that I don't believe in 100%.***