I'm Tammy. 

COPYRIGHT INFO:  All content [words, photos, images, artwork, descriptions, designs] is copyright Daisy Yellow. Please use the contact form if you'd like to use content. Copying art + ideas is not cool. If you pin my stuff, please kindly attribute. Thanks!

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    2014 Reading Challenge

    2014 Reading Challenge
    Tammy has read 0 books toward her goal of 36 books.


    Kick-Start Your Art Journal (11)

    It is about relaxing and being creative, not about what you produce. The key is to get started. It doesn't matter how. This is a series on tricks to conquer a creative block or the desire to hyper-control your page.

    <alphabetized> Draw a HUGE {seriously ginormous} letter in the center of your page, doodle inside the letter, and create an art journal page about a color or pattern that starts with that letter. Here, I did a page about the color yellow. P = plaid. D = Doodle. R = Rainbow.

    <songified> Look through itunes and focus on a song that you frequently play, or a song that goes around in your mind. Choose a song as the muse for an art journal page. You can start with lyrics and create a page around the lyrics. Or create a "mood" that reflects a song. For example, I did a page where I tried to create the mood of Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb. A trippy, hippy, psychedelic feel, with the photo of the open windows providing a bit of a haunting twist.

    <Worded> Create an art journal page which is comprised of words with little if any imagery. To develop the text for the page, consider using a constraint. For example, limit yourself to adjectives. Or three-word descriptions... linen pale blue. Or adverbs. Or a haiku. Or use only words, and no imagery whatsoever. The page above is from my Exacompta journal. Nonsense words in block letters drawn with white Sanford Uniball pen on an abstract acrylic background. The only image is one of my art journal prompt cards.

    <Nib Impact> Write with a much thicker or different type of pen nib than usual. For example, if you usually draw or doodle with 005 Sakura Microns, try the wider, softer nib of the PITT brush marker or the metallic free-flowing nib of a Sakura GellyRoll. Write about how the writing tool changes how you work or the designs you choose to draw. Drawing in my Art Doodle Love Journal with a Faber-Castell Big Brush nib marker, I found my patterns surprisingly different. As expected, they are more bold. But more importantly, the drawing experience felt quite different. 

    See all of the Kick-Start Prompts.


    Some things you don’t need for art journaling

    {a gem from the archives, originally posted april 2011}

    Some things you don’t need for art journaling.
    {100% guaranteed}

    Templates, credit hours, rule books, gallery openings, publisher approval, deadlines, traffic lights, degree coursework, kits, password, violin, erasable pen, certification, encyclopedia, radar detector, noise-cancelling headphones, remote flash, a plan, wide angle lens, cheat codes, documentation, volcano insurance, hall pass, parachute, depreciation, first class tickets, seminars, networking, telescope, badge, GAAP, FASB, skeleton keys, the Cliff's Notes to The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, a golden ticket, a daisy yellow e-zine, offshore manufacturing facilities, FASTPASS, dental floss, blue-tooth connectivity, licensing, spell-check, automatic ice maker, search functionality, transistor radio, archives, an ISBN number, library card, GPS, valid passport, smart phone, #2 pencil, yacht, themed christmas stickers, a train ticket, an art degree or Six ∑ certification.


    Good Enough

    5x8" watercolor moleskine, watercolor 

    What is important is that working in your journal makes you happy.

    That you are growing and exploring and learning.

    Do you enjoy drawing wonky, imperfect mandalas? Keep drawing. Do you love how the colors meet to form new colors? Keep painting. Is your life happer with your art in your days? Keep creating.

    Art is one big category of stuff, isn't it? You can call your work Art or ART or ArT, it's up to you. If I have to calculate debits and credits on T-accounts, that's accounting. So my creative work is art.

    We use words to categorize our world, that's just how it works. And so my thought is that calling your work art is alright. It is not a statement about whether it is melodic or balanced or eloquent or well-composed.

    Call it art, because it's certainly not cross-country skiing or oatmeal. 

    Can you do that? Can you call your work art? What voice is holding you back?


    Four Paintings Group Two

    “Some might think that the creativity, imagination,
    and flights of fancy that give my life meaning are insanity.”
    Vladimir Nabokov

    12x12" wood boards, acrylics

    It's groovy to work on four 12x12" paintings at one time. They are balanced on a rolling island in the kitchen; sometimes I have to scoot the island out of the way and it winds up in the dining room. I use painting tarp to protect the floor below and another to protect the island itself from errant drips and smears. The light in the dining room is lovely in the afternoon in the winter but harsh and hot in the summer. I work on the paintings over the course of about a week and a half to two weeks. I keep going until I "like" all of them and they seem to be in "balance" with each other. Note the "air quotes" because I don't have any definition of what is finished other than I don't see anything else to add, uncover or cover. I never know how they will turn out until they are finished. This is the second set of four. You can see the first set of four that I did this past summer.

    PS. Just announced a new online workshop, Painted Paper Paradise. The workshop includes watercolor/gouache painting techniques with bonus lessons about sewing painted papers.


    Art Journal: Rainbow

    I love these pages. It's totally OK to love your pages.

    This is a spread in the altered hardback book that I started two years ago called The Noticing Journal

    You make all of the decisions about the inputs to your art journal. The type of paper you'll use, the size of the journal, the mediums, the style of art you will pursue between the edges. And the inspiration. You bring your ideas and techniques to the journal page and create something. How it turns out is another story alltogether. You contribute the raw materials and the ideas and swirl them together like a magic potion. I often say that we should focus on the act of journaling rather than the finished page, but we must work with intention. We shoudl be mindful as we work. We should notice our actions and choices.

    The original idea started swirling a few days before I opened this book to paint. A rainbow. Graffiti. Scribbles. Textures in paint. After painting the rainbow I thought of thunderstorms and clouds and thoughts & stress weighing on my shoulders. The rain, the clouds, the rainbows, the chaos... the refreshing gust of cool air through wood-framed windows during a summer thunderstorm. The page includes india ink, hand-drawn papers, gelatin prints, a quote, heavy body acrylics and high flow acrylics.


    PS. There's an article about The Noticing Journal in Issue #10 of the DY Zine.


    High Flow Acrylics {Rapidograph}

    My love affair with acrylics brought me to Golden High Flow Acrylics {the paints formerly known as Airbrush Colors}. Like the artist again known as Prince, they've changed but remained almost the same.

    Although there are subtle differences, they work pretty much the same. 

    Airbrush & High Flow Paints, in 4 oz bottles. The paint containers have nozzles. You can use these paints without an actual airbrush. They are quite fluid, but they are not ink, they are acrylic paint!

    Options for High Flow Acrylics {beyond an airbrush}:
    - Draw with a calligraphy pen.
    - Draw with a rapidograph pen.
    - Pour a small amount into a little cup and use with a brush.
    - Drip quite luciously straight from the bottle using the nozzle.

    They are super cool.

    Mandala drawn on black card stock with Rapidograph, .5 nib, white High Flow Acrylics.

    I bought this set of Koh-i-Noor Rapidograph pens in various nib sizes in the late 1980's. After using them for a few months, didn't touch them again for 20+ years. If I recall correctly, I bought them originally as a gift to myself... to draw doodles + patterns. I was working at a bank as an accountant {in a pinstripe charcoal suit with a faux gemstone pin on my lapel, no doubt} at the time, and I remember the art supply store where I bought them. A place with mysterious drawing and painting tools. Two decades later, three or four or five residences later, I found them in a box.

    I filled one with india ink. And it worked.

    I read on the Golden website that high flow acrylics could be used in technical pens so I was anxious to try it out. They had worked with a calligraphy pen, so I was pretty psyched! 

    Taking apart the Rapidograph. Notice that I am not taking apart the top section, just removing the little container where the ink/paint goes.

    Pouring High Flow paint into the cartridge.

    The clamp attaches the cartridge to the rest of the pen. After you put it all back together you can draw lovely lines. If the ink does not flow, hold the pen vertically and tap the tip lightly on scrap paper until you see a bit of ink. This might take 5 minutes of light tapping, it might not be just a few taps. If it doesn't flow after that, there could be dried ink in the depths of the pen. That's a problem.


    Mandalas drawn with Rapidograph. .5 nib. Sepia {top} and Carbon Black {bottom} Golden High Flow Acrylics.

    Important note! Follow manufacturer instructions for Rapidographs. Be aware that leaving ink/paint in the cartridge can ruin your pens. Trying to clean the depths of your pens can ruin your pens. I learned my lesson by ruining two Rapidographs {I ruined them when I took every little teeny tiny piece apart and accidentally bent something, not good of me}. I've been able to rejuvinate the ink flow in a pen when I left ink inside for a few days by tapping for some time with the pen vertical. I clean my Rapidographs immediately after using High Flow paints. Leaving ink/paint in the pen is not a trivial matter. Proceed at your own risk.

    If you are used to drawing with Faber-Castel PITT artist pens, Microns or Sharpies, the metallic nib might seem scratchy or foreign to you. The tip of this pen is metallic. I've been using Gelly Rolls, Hi-Tecs and Slicci pens with a metallic tip, and although this does not have a ball at the tip, the metallic feel is the same. I like the precision of a metal nib and the fact that it won't bend

    ! When used in the rapidograph in a thin line, these acrylics take a few minutes to dry to the touch... longer to fully dry. They will smear until they are dry. Just like a black Sakura Gellyroll or india ink would smear. 

    Now that's a creative experiment!!!

    PS. Just announced two new abstract watercolor + gouache painting workshops


    Acrylic Love

    My love affair with acrylics started innocently enough.

    Art journal pages saturated with the color.

    Decadent acrylics on canvas. Painted with my fingers.

    Painted + marked + mixed + experimented + dreamed.

    Of more fluidity + color + intensity + movement.

    Falling in love again.

    With drips + dots + flow.

    Transformed and driven by this need to paint, paint, paint. 

    PS. A post about using High Flow Acrylics in a Rapidograph pen.

    PSS. The Link-Love Mission returns in a once-a-month time slot. Please schedule your blog posts and join the mission to spread the link love to your blogging buddies:

    February 28: Five blog posts that motivated you to try something new.
    March 28: Five informative blog posts that you pinned/bookmarked for future reference.
    April 25: Five tutorials that you would like to try.


    Watercolor Playground Workshop

    Watercolor Playground

    Registration: Open Now
    Resources Available Through January 31, 2015
    Registration Closes: September 15, 2014


    {A little intro from the 21 Secrets workshop 2013... and yes, there's music!}

    Watercolor Playground is a fresh & fun introduction to watercolor painting. In the workshop, I'll teach you how to incorporate watercolors and free form doodles in your art journal. We will focus on learning techniques and the process of watercoloring. The beauty of each color, the texture of the paper, the way the paint flows from the brush. A focus on creativity. A playground for color and words.

    This is an online workshop with materials available 24/7, so you can work at your own pace in your own space. 

    4 painting lessons using artist quality pan watercolor paints
    7 techniques videos
    Full color PDF about the art of watercolor painting
    Private discussion forum at Daisy Yellow
    Private discussion forum at Facebook
    Private Flickr group

    For the tutorials, I use Winsor & Newton half pan watercolors. Here's how I "grew" my set of pans. I started with a Cotman travel set... then as I used up the half pans, I replaced them with Winsor & Newton artist quality pans. You can definitely get wonderful color from pans

    Take a peek at the pages we will create...

    Watercolor Playground focuses on techniques, taking you from absolute beginner to playing comfortably with watercolors in your journal! You'll receive constructive feedback, suggestions and advice as you learn. Start from the beginning and create four beautiful pages with flexible and fun watercolor painting techniques that can be applied to your art journal pages and abstract watercolor paintings.

    Find student artwork from this workshop and the 21 Secrets version and more here.

    The lessons focus on specific painting techniques. When you post your work in either of the forums, I offer constructive advice and respond to questions about watercolor and gouache painting techniques. Please know that we will touch on the "art" of paint mixing but not the "science" involved.

    Watercolor is a calm and graceful medium. The constant flow of water to paint to page, the gentle movement of the brush and the energy of the colors. Watercolor will bring happy, bright color to your art journal pages.

    Note! Watercolor Playground was first taught at 21 Secrets 2013. If you worked through all of the techniques taught in Watercolor Playground, this will be a repeat. If you liked Watercolor Playground, you'll LOVE Painted Paper Paradise!

    Do you need further details about the Painted Paper Paradise Workshop?

    Workshop Pricing in USD

    Watercolor Playground $39
    Painted Paper Paradise $49
    Combination Package $76 {save $12}

    Click this link to register for Watercolor Playground: $39

    Click this link to register for Painted Paper Paradise: $49

    Click this link to register for BOTH workshops: $76 {save $12}

    Full Disclaimer:

    Workshop fees are non-refundable. This is an online workshop taught via video tutorials and a discussion forum where you can upload and share your work. The materials will be available through August 31, 2014. Resources are not available indefinitely because an integral part of this workshop is my constructive feedback to you; by limiting the time frame I can fully commit to the support of this workshop.

    {my paint set-up, filming the playground part of the workshop}

    Comments from the Watercolor Playground discussion group in my last workshop:

    "Tammy, you created such a delightful and fun class for us to learn in and I now have a new "love"!!! Thanks so much for sharing your passion with us all!! It has been so refreshing."

    "I've been intimidated by watercolors since I picked up art journaling a couple of years ago (largely thanks to you and your wonderful web site!) but you did a fabulous job of demystifying watercolor techniques!"

    "Wonderful class that I will do over and over in my art journals!"

    "I have gone watercolour mad! Since your workshop I have used it in my journaling, tried my hand at still life painting, used it on a greetings card and customized some gift wrap."

    "Great Class; detailed techniques; really liked it."

    "I loved this class and this exercise. Thank you so much for introducing me to watercolor, I'm a convert. I think my playground is a little too chaotic so next time I'll make bigger boxes. And I'd like to do more of the flowers and other non-abstract type things. So many ideas running through my head. I am just so enthused by this."

    "Oh, Tammy, what fun you have brought us!!! I am a complete novice with watercolors and your techniques are so easy that even I could do them and achieve good results. "

    "Thank you so much for your detailed instruction it was so fun to watch you paint!"

    "Your class was like no other I've taken. Maybe because I was so keen on learning how to paint with watercolors, and you really instructed us! I learned so much."

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