I'm Tammy


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    Get Issue TWELVE #12 [new!] of the Daisy Yellow Zine
    Join the Daisy Yellow Group at Facebook
    Start the 67+ Daily Paper Prompts


    Tangent № 09: Mandala Love

    The Art Journal Tangents & Tactics Series continues! The series includes videos and blog posts that are like sessions of an art journaling workshop, with the goal of prompting you to get out your art materials and play. You can join in at any time. Here's the introduction and links to Tangents #01 through #08.

    This week, a short video prompt to "nudge" you to draw a mandala in pencil, pen, ink, crayon, watercolor, colored pencil... anything! Any mandala. I usually draw in pen or ink, rarely in pencil, but here I used a pencil to first create a "secondary" mandala that was almost the same as the ink version. My plan was for both the pencil and the ink to bleed but it turns out the was not water-soluble! The mandala is painted with a dip pen with J Herbin Perle Noire Ink, embellished with water and a tiny bit of gouache. The surface is an 8x8" Clairefontaine watercolor journal.

    To draw this sort of playful mandala, draw a circle on your page. Keep going around and around until it looks fairly round. Then draw some sort of petals around the circle. Between those petals draw shapes or another petal of a different type. You can add patterns and details inside the petals and in between any of the shapes of your mandala. Add the same thing in symmetrical fashion, all the way around. Keep adding something around the circle until you don't wish to add anything else! If your circle is off-center, part of your mandala will be imaginary and be invisible {off the page} and that is completely fine. 

    To accompany this post, I created a video of drawing this mandala.

    You can watch it here or at Vimeo. {2 minutes, music but no words}

    Have a lovely week ahead, full of vermillion and indigo and lots of time for art. And even if you have just a little time for art, it's always a good choice!

    If you are finding value and enjoying the Art Journaling Tangents & Tactics Series, please consider adding a tip via the button below. I appreciate your contribution and your positive feedback for this project!

    Link-Love for Tangent № 09: Mandala Love.

    Create your own hand-drawn or hand-created mandala {it doesn't need to be in dip pen or ink!} in pencil, pen, ink, crayon, watercolor, water-soluble colored pencil, Neocolor, stitched, or by arranging acorns & shells & petals in the garden... Pop back to this post and share your work in the link-love below! You can link to a specific blog post {please, not your home page} or a specific photograph at flickr. You can also share your work on instagram or twitter with hashtag #dyajt.


    Spotted Photo Theme: Nature

    This month, the theme for Hanna's monthly Spotted Photo Theme Challenge is nature. So that was my "focus" when I searched through gazillions of digital photos looking for nature, hidden or on display.

    Florence, Italy.

    One of the larger trees I've seen in Texas.

    These beauties now reside on the back porch.

    Knock-Out roses in the morning light.

    Flowermarket, Ghent, Belgium.

    Sunflower, Texas.

    Loropetalum, one of my favorite plants in Texas.

    More Knock-Out roses in our side garden.

    Faerie house in one of our japanese maple trees, morning sun streaming in through the fence.

    After a long day with the kids planting a container garden.

    Bruges, Belgium.


    I'm playing along with Hanna's monthly Spotted Photo Theme Challenge and each month the topic will change... check Hanna's blog to learn the themes for the next several months.

    The idea is to search through your gazillion photographs to "spot" photos that fit into a particular category. I love the treasure hunt for photographs.


    Spotted Photo Theme: Floors
    Spotted Photo Theme: Kimba
    Spotted Photo Theme: Animals
    Spotted Photo Theme: Color


    The Daily Paper Prompt Update

    Do you know that there are now 67 Daily Paper Prompts? For those keeping stats, that's a whoppping 10% increase in prompt-value. The DPPs are a series of a gazillion prompts to work through, prompts that focus on techniques and ideas that you can add to your creative repetoire. Open-ended ideas to explore in any way you wish. I've decided to add fresh prompts to the DPPs gradually over the month of October. They can be found in the Creative Prompts section of the blog. You can use any type of paper to do the DPPs - loose paper, a bound journal, index cards, etc.

    But. Actually. You can do them in whatever way you wish. What works in your life?

    One of the contributors to the Daisy Yellow Group at Facebook is Tasha Freeman. I love the whimsical & witty way that Tasha interpreted each of the DPPs on her August & September calendars! How fun is that? So DPP #1 is rainbow, see? DPP #2 is window, how cute is that?

    I love this inside-the-calendar thinking which is quite outside the box, allowing Tasha to work on her art in small increments like inchies. So witty and fun, all of it. 

    Which leads me to this. To explain why the challenges & prompts at Daisy Yellow are open-ended and flexible. I want you to build your creaive muscles rather than follow instructions or imaginary rules. 

    Playing & ideas & juggling & possiblities.

    Constraints add a bit of spice to a prompt. They might limit the size, the surface, the colors or the topic. Thinking and strategizing are GOOD for you! They are part of the creative process, mental exercise. It's not a pre-made, one-size-fits-all kit. There's no rulebook. The pieces don't fit nicely together all of the time. There is no #winning or #failure. Art journaling is not something that someone else designs and manages for you. In my experience, actively participating in the creative design and decision process improves creative thinking skills. 

    This & That

    PS. Tangents Series: Bad news - skipped the Tangent last week. Good news - filmed an art journal page in-process, so I'll edit & post later this week. 

    PSS. The ever-fun Mary of Uncustomary shares 70 ways to celebrate autumn including "Come up with pun based costume ideas."


    Doodle Update

    “Colour is a power
    which directly influences
    the soul.”
    Wassily Kandinsky

    Overlapping mandalas. I love the texture and fluid movement of glaze pens.

    Overlapping mappy lines.

    A southwestern feel to these squarish quasi-mandalas drawn just before bed. 

    Flying mandalas in bold lines... including a black blob.

    Talk about mindless doodles? What about drawing when you can't see your work? I drew these lines|doodles|scribbles while watching a movie, in the dark. It seems that your hand {brain} remembers the movements required to draw letters and shapes, and the movement of the hand that allows space between one letter and the next. These things fascinate me.

    Collecting in one post a bunch of pages that I've drawn in my Art Doodle Love journal using Sakura Gelly Rolls and Glaze pens. Finished over the course of a few weeks. I like the fact that there are abstract backgrounds on each page of this book/journal, allowing me to pretty much do anything I wish. The backgrounds provide a contrast or balance to whatever I feel like drawing. I'm not really a good prompt-responder, as you can see. So the words add texture to the abstract work.


    Tangent № 08: Paradise

    “Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards,
    for they are subtle and quick to anger.”
    J.R.R. Tolkien

    We continue our Art Journal Tangents & Tactics Series with a new video showing how an art journal page might bloom and grow. It's not really a tutorial, but rather a peek into what can happen when creating an art journal page, when you let the page flow without planning ahead. 

    Click to read more ...



    3x5" index cards, gelly rolls and glaze pens galore

    Last Friday I was the lucky recipient of dental surgery with a round of bonus anesthesia. My family has been taking good care of me as I indulge in sorbet, yogurt, fresh mozzarella, pudding, bananas & polenta. Along with antibiotics & pain & nausea meds & resulting intersections of naps & insomnia... I'm catching up on creative reading, doodling, and lettering quotes from the books on my bedside table. 

    I drew these wacky mandala doodles sitting up in bed on lots of pillows... between naps and movies. And until I looked at them all together I didn't realize that most followed a sort of sunburst template of sorts. 

    Now it's Tuesday and I'm off the pain meds and back to regular kid-commute and life stuff. Between naps, I'm working on the next issue of the Daisy Yellow Zine. 


    Fun Color Challenge: Week #4

    Jump in! This is the last set of prompts for the September Fun Color Challenge.

    Here's the introduction to the challenge and the earlier prompts: Set #1 + Set #2 + Set #3.


    Select a a color from the left column, then pick a prompt from the right column and interpret this combination by making an Artist Trading Card {also known as an ATC, dimensions 2.5" x 3.5"} or fill one section of an accordion book.

    Share your work!

    When you create your ATCs {or start filling in your accordion book folds} for Week #4, pop back to this post and share your work in the link-love below! You can link to a specific blog post {please, not your home page} or a specific photograph at flickr. If you are posting to instagram or twitter, you can use hashtag #dyfuncolor.


    Fujifilm Instax Play-Time

    I've been thinking about getting a toy camera for quite awhile, something that would take imperfect, maybe lomo, maybe holga, desaturated photographs. This Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Film Camera had generally good reviews at Amazon so I splurged on the camera and a box of film.

    I whipped through about 30 photographs in two days. The kids whipped through another 10 shots of Kimba and yes, I had to pull the camera away from them. Art journalists and creatives will like this camera because you don't know exactly what you'll get when the photograph spits out the top!!! You get IMPERFECTION, soft focus and desaturation galore. 

    Did I mention that the glossy photograph pops right out the top of the camera? Or the memories of the Polaroids of the 1970s? Or the excitement while waiting for the photo to develop? Or that the kids though it was the coolest thing ever? And it comes in a bunch of pastel colors? The photographs above were all taken on the same cloudy afternoon. So results are inconsistent. You cannot turn off the flash, so until I figured out what conditions worked best, a bunch of my shots were way over- or under- exposed and I burned through a lot of film before it all "clicked" with me. Pun intended.


    These three instax photos were taken indoors adjacent to a window with good light flowing in. Be sure to take photos at least a few feet from your subject... with good light... to get decent photographs. 

    The official review!

    5 stars for usability*
    5 stars for the novelty/fun factor
    2 stars for quality of photographs

    * It's extremely light and easy to use, just one nob to turn to set the exposure {exposure is an exaggeration, sorry}. One button to snap a shot. Switching out the film pack is easy peasy. The cost of film is about 75 cents/shot. The film does not need to be taken anywhere to be developed, which is a major plus! 

    I find the photographs engaging and intriguing with a sprinkle of retro wonkiness that works for my style of art journaling and documentation.