all the groovy ideas together

"Abstract artists tell their stories with shapes, color, edges, movement, and value - just like when one is painting a beautiful scene. The difference is, of course, there is no scene. The scene is within the artist. I often get asked, 'How do you know when you are done?' I am done when the story is told."
Gwen Fox


These pages are some of the wildest I've done in like, forever! A mix of freestyle stitching, india inks & gouache. I painted these pages in January, at the same time I was working diligently on a huge abstract painting that will be a gift for a very close friend. I'll reveal that when I'm finished but it will be a mystery until then. So after working with acrylics on canvas for a few days, I started thinking about creating something similar on paper. Not similar in the way it looks, but more in the freedom. But I wanted to do this with something which would allow the texture of the stitching to remain rather than be covered up. How to translate acrylic to gouache? I wanted it to have a sort of graffiti, urban vibe, really crazy, like spray paint. So interesting how one project informs another, and back again, until it's an infinite loop!

a creative approach to recuperation

a creative approach to recuperation

5x8" watercolor moleskine {digitally altered to add background} 

This is going to be a little different than my typical posts. thank you for indulging my tangential topic today. Then we'll be back to art. 

I'm 3 weeks out from my foot surgery and can look back with more objectivity at the first two weeks.  I've been thinking about how art & creative thinking have helped me get through this challenging period. This would be relevant to many types of surgery where you must rest but can still think clearly and maybe write/draw/type part of each day. 

Days leading up to foot surgery. 

  1. Prepped a rolling cart with journals, pens, a bunch of Sudoku puzzles, the iPad, water, a check-list of medications, fresh clothing, TIVO remote, etc. because I would need to use that as a base of operations. It could be wheeled to a different room if needed. Added a stack of books, including fiction and art books. Set up a phone and iPad charger within reach. I didn't have to stay overnight in the hospital, but if I had, these would also be good things to bring along.
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Getting Words on acrylics & layered Art Journal Pages


The most challenging surface scenarios include dark/black paint, floral or wild patterns, grungy, rough or uneven acrylic paint, fiber paste and thick layers of collage & acrylic paint. That covers about 74% of our art journal pages.*

Tools for Getting Words on Acrylic Backgrounds

a) Ordinary pencil. Sometimes when nothing else works, a #2 pencil does the trick.
b) Sanford Uni-Ball Gel UM-153 gel penWhite and other colors. 
c) Sakura Gelly RollFor dark backgrounds {including black gesso and black acrylics} try white, neon, metallic silver and gold. For light backgrounds, try the medium nibs, neons and darker metallics. 
d) Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens are permanent and dry quickly.  The M nib & brush nib & Big Brush nibs provide thick lines. Try dark gray, black, navy & sepia for light backgrounds. Lighter colors won't show up on dark backgrounds; they are not opaque. 
e) Rapidograph technical pen. You can use with Golden high flow acrylics or india ink. There's a bit of a learning curve, so do some research before jumping in.
f) Dip pen -or- calligraphy pen. You can use with india ink, i.e.  Dr. Ph Martin's Bombay White ink of J. Herbin inks. Also try Golden high flow acrylics.
g) Sharpie water-based Poster Paint MarkersThe name is odd because they are thick nibs. Work quite well on uneven, rough surfaces.
h) Opaque acrylic paint. Fluid acrylic paint. Golden high flow acrylic paint. India ink. Apply with a brush or through a stencil.
i) Alphabet + number stamps. Stamp titles, words & phrases.
j) Hand-carved stamps. Carve words or symbols into erasers or linocutting material. Use an x-acto knife or lino-cutting tools. Stamp on journal pages. {tutorial}
k) Stick ordinary white correction tape on the page. Write on the surface. 
l) Write words on separate piece of paper. Glue to your journal page. Works like a charm!
m) Cut words from magazines and found papers. Glue to your journal page {example}.

* Maybe an overestimate. But scientific research has not yet yielded more precise findings. Yet.

Tip: Don't forget to let your pages dry!

If your page is dry you can add words {symbols, etc.} directly to your page with a pen, marker, stamps, paint or ink. OK, almost anything!

If your page is not dry {like really dry, not just the tippy top surface}, try "writing" your words with a brush and acrylics. Pens and markers get gunked up and might {or might not} be salvageable. To give you a frame of reference, I might be able to write with a marker/pen on a page with a watercolor or gouache background after 15 minutes to an hour.... but it might take a day to a week for my highly layered pages {papers, heavy body acrylics} to dry enough to use a marker/pen. It depends on the volume of acrylic paint, the layers, to humidity, the temperature, etc. A good number of variables impact drying time. More scientific stuff here.

More art materials reviews & lists:

Art Materials for Art Journaling
Favorite Pens for Writing, Sketching, Doodling & Drawing
Art Materials to Take on Vacation
All About Sakura Gelly Rolls
All About Caran D'Ache Neocolor IIs.

Prompt60 #41

Pistaccio bread, Venice

Pistaccio bread, Venice

Writing Prompt. Write about food. 

  1. Describe a new recipe that you would like to try. 
  2. Discuss a meal where there was an interesting conversation {perhaps overheard at another table}
  3. Talk about a food you recently tried for the first time, and your reaction.
  4. Write about heirloom tomatoes, harvesting carrots each fall or 
  5. Describe a happy memory related to a food-related scent. Sushi with ginger. Tollhouse cookies. Vanilla beans. Sweet white corn. Fresh challah bread.
  6. Document a recipe and decorate with food-inspired doodles {or handmade eraser stamps}.

Open Thread: 36 hours

Let's shake things up a little bit! I miss the interactive nature of blogging, so it's time to turn the tables and hear what is on your mind. For the next 36 hours, I'll take your questions in the comments and respond {in the comment section, which is now interactive, so I'll add the response just under the question}. It may take a few days to respond to everything, but I am looking forward to the challenge. Please pop back in a day or two to see the response, as I won't be able to answer personally via email.

Plus I needed an excuse to post a few photographs from our Italy trip a few years ago.

Barga, Italy

Barga, Italy

Ask questions about art journaling, mandalas, doodling, sewing paper, watercolor, acrylic, collage, etc. I'm also open to topics like creative prompts, perfectionism, getting started, storing journal pages, books, photographing art, blogging, doing art with kids {up to age 15, that's my knowledge base}, montessori, organizing art materials, doing art without a studio, index card art, doing art while traveling... whatever else you think I might be able to talk about!

lucca, italy

lucca, italy

I'm also curious to know what you would like to "see" at Daisy Yellow. Blogging continues to change. It seems like readers are interested in "how" to do things and not so much in my ramblings and random bits of art that I post. Without comments, it is very difficult to gage interest. 

lucca, italy

lucca, italy

Please know that I am not qualified to discuss inquiries about sunglasses, disco music, astrology, religion, making blintzes or anything requiring coordination.

For Photoshop questions, I suggest Scott Kelby's Adobe Photoshop CS6 but I can try to respond to basic PS questions as long as screenshots are not required.

You'll find info about getting started in art journaling at Art Journaling 101.

The thread closes late Thursday night and I'll respond to as many questions as I can. I reserve the right to delete any question too personal, obnoxious or irrelevant...  or stuff I don't feel comfy writing about. 

Editor's Note: I am having so much fun responding to your questions. They are challenging me to think about how I do stuff, about my art, and about my process... in different ways. Keep 'em coming!  By the way, you can "respond" back to me by hovering your mouse at the top right corner of the comment box where you'll see three little icons. There's a flag {to flag inappropriate comments for me to review}, a heart {to like the comment} and a curved arrow {to reply to the comment}.