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    Color Fun Challenge: Week #1

    The DY Fun Color Challenge is officially underway! Read the introduction to the challenge. This is the first set of prompts. As you can see, we are going to use wild & crazy colors this month! 

    You can interpret the challenge prompts on individual ATCs {artist trading cards} or on a section of a simple accordion book. A best-of-both-worlds approach would be to use ATC sized cards or playing cards to create art for each prompt and then glue -or- staple -or- stitch -or- paperclip your card creations onto an accordion book. I'll leave that up to each of you. You can also add a pocket to each section of an accordion book and slide each ATC into a separate pocket. Lots of options. There's an extra prompt in case one of them doesn't "speak" to you! 

    You pick how many cards you do each week. To "do" the challenge you will need to do at minimum ONE ATC or accordion book section per week. You have the prompts to complete FIVE.

    To get started:

    1. Pick a color from the left column.
    2. Pick a prompt from the right column.
    3. Make your ATC {dimensions 2.5" x 3.5"} or fill one section of an accordion book.

    Keep going, until you run out of art time or color prompts!

    1. Pick a different color from the left column.
    2. Pick a different prompt from the right column.
    3. Make your ATC or fill one section of an accordion book

    To learn how to make an accordion book, see Tangent #3: Accordion folder video tutorial.

    Share your work!

    When you create your ATCs {or start filling in your accordion book folds} for Week #1, 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.

    Prompts for Week #2 will be posted on Monday September 8th. 


    Tangent № 05: Beach Umbrella

    We continue our Art Journal Tangents & Tactics Series by creating an art journal page with wide, wavy spaces for writing thoughts or stream of consciousness. To learn about how the series works, see the introduction!

    For your art journal, remember to work with colors that you LIKE rather than colors that are somehow cool or chic or you think match appropriately. If that means that every page is yellow, so be it. You can do your journal in any way you wish. It's not an assignment. It won't be graded. And you won't get a bronze medal for your work. You'll get the satisfaction and joy of CREATING something.

    Watch the video here or pop over to Vimeo. {6 minutes} There is music throughout the video, and I don't do any speaking, so turn it down if you wish. 


    Cold Press Watercolor Paper, 140 lb
    Neocolor II water-soluble wax crayons {if you don't have these, try another type of water-soluble crayon and let us know what happens!}
    Painter's Tape {I used 3M multi-use painter's tape, the type used to mask walls when you paint a room.}
    Watercolor brush
    Jar of water
    India ink & calligraphy pen with any writing or drawing nib *or* a black gel pen *or* drawing pen, i.e. PITT artist pen.


    1. Start with a piece of cold press watercolor paper, and then test to ensure that your tape is indeed removable. Place a small piece of painter's tape on the paper and then gently remove. If the paper is undamaged, you are good to go. I tried this with cardboard and it did not work properly, as the tape pulled up part of the cardboard and it was a big mess:( To get started, place the painter's tape in diagonal lines to create a masked area. You can tear the tape so that the masked areas are imperfect and irregular. The spaces with tape will later be your journaling areas.
    2. Follow the technique in the video to color in between the paint strips with Neocolor II wax crayons, adding a slightly darker color at one side of each of the colored sections. 
    3. Using a watercolor brush and a fresh jar of water, "paint" the Neocolors with water, rinsing the brush frequently to keep the color fresh. 
    4. Wait about 10 minutes for the paint to dry a bit {so it won't run/drip when you remove the tape} and gently remove the painter's tape.
    5. Time for journaling! Dip a calligraphy pen in black india ink *or* write your words with a black pen. I wrote a completely random bit of journaling that was on the wild & crazy side! Try writing in stream of consciousness or narrative style. Or try a quote or lyrics. This is also a great page to try slow journaling {an exercise in mindfulness... where you contemplate every letter and every word carefully}.


    Find more video tutorials in the Art Journal Tangents & Tactics Series.

    Share your work!

    When you create your page for Tangent № 05, 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 #dyajt.


    Dip Pen Mandalas

    "To do anything truly worth doing, I must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in with gusto and scramble through as well as I can."
    Og Mandino

    Just some paint & ink play in my journal. I started this page by painting mandalas with gouache and added details with a dip pen, a drawing nib and Dr. Ph Martin's black india ink. 


    {Watercolor} School!

    Workshops now open through March 31, 2015
    Get started with watercolor or gouache paints. Add fresh colors & patterns to your art journal pages.

    Registration closes September 15, 2014
    Resources available through January March 31, 2015

    Click to read more ...


    The Fun Color {ATC} Challenge

    Welcome to the Fun Color Challenge.
    I hope it will be, er, fun. 

    A fresh challenge starts September 1st! We are going to work through alternative, intriguing colors not necessarily in rainbow order. And we're going to work small this month. For the Fun Color Challenge you can choose to make Artist Trading Cards {ATCs = 2.5" x 3.5" cards} *or* make an altered accordion book {tvideo tutorial in Art Journal Tangent #3: Accordion Book} and follow one pair of prompts {one color + one phrase} on each section of the book.

    On Sunday August 31, and Monday September 8, 15 and 22 I'll post the prompts for the week ahead. You'll have a full week to interpret the prompts. There will be 5 colors and 6 words. Just pick a color, then a phrase, and get to work. There's an extra word prompt in case one of them doesn't float your boat.

    Here's the twist. You choose how many ATCs {or sections of your accordion book} you do each week... 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. This is a very flexible challenge that you can *fit* into your week in some creative way! If you've got one great art day, cram it all into one fun, messy session. And if you've got a relatively leisurely week you can parse out your cards and do a bit each day. 

    As with all Daisy Yellow prompts, YOU get to pick how you interpret the prompt. Literally, figuratively, mysteriously, ridiculously, wildly, etc. Each week, I'll share my work too! I like the idea of working en masse on ATCs, picking collage items and words and things that bring them together in some cohesive way. 

    My favorite reference book for artist trading cards is Bernie Berlin's Artist Trading Card Workshop. It's one of the first mixed media art books I purchased when I started doing art and it helped me "see" the possibilities in ATCs. They seemed so much less daunting than a full art journal page.

    Fun Color Challenge Prompts #1

    Fun Color Challenge Prompts #2

    Fun Color Challenge Prompts #3

    Fun Color Challenge Prompts #4

    Share your work to the Daisy Yellow Facebook group, the Flickr group, instagram and/or your blog, if you've got one. Hashtag for instagram/twitter: #dyfuncolor


    Grid Collage {Expansion Pack}

    Let's talk about how we can loosen up on our art journal pages!  

    This Grid Collage is the starting point for our discussion. You can learn how to create this type of page by watching the video tutorial Tangent #4: Grid Collage. To give you a little history, I decided to pull out some of lessons from my previous workshops and share them instead of letting them languish on my computer. The video is from my workshop Museum of Simple Things {2012}. The background is a irregular grid painted with acrylics. It's not a precise or measured grid; you'll note that the block sizes are uneven. Most of the collage items are similar in shape. There are a few oval stickers and a wider rectangular item at the top left and right.

    You know how people are always saying generic, confusing stuff like, "You'll find your own unique style!" I think this equates to taking a technique you enjoy and allowing it to evolve, morph, change & transform so that you let your SELF come out and play on the page. More YOU on the page!

    Let me show you how you can allow a concept to evolve using variations on the theme.

    Fast forward to my second experiment.

    I like to take an idea and then go about it with various twists and turns and see what can happen. Let me walk you through the concept. The background technique is exactly the same as the first page. So I'm keeping most of the variables the same - the type of paper, the paint, the grid, the little collaged items. But this time after making the grid I dripped paint on the pages and added collage items in a bit looser fashion... and I've included more papers that I painted myself... more uniquely ME. A bunch of the collaged items overlap the boxes of the grid, but they are still within the grid concept. I've allowed a bunch of the items to cover 2 or even four boxes underneath. Neocolors and washi tape highlight some of the boxes and add a bit of contrast and interest. 

    Time travel to my third experiment.

    The background technique is exactly the same as the first two pages. Yes, the colors are different! Yet most of the variables continue to be the same. This time, I dripped a few paints and made random marks using a thin brush and Golden fluid acrylic paints. I think the collage here is very different and much more loose, free, unique and TAMMY-ish than the first or second pages. I'm still following the grid, but allowing even more items to overlap, using fabric and a variety of textured items & papers I painted by hand. For example, a tea bag, stitched painted papers, index card art, stickers I made from my art, etc. I edged some of the graphics with neocolors and even doodled some words in white marker. I skipped the washi tape on this page.

    And even more weird ideas ➸ check out Grid Collage {Fast Forward} to see something else I did on the gridded background. 

    So here's what is interesting!

    It's easy to start a page by following a "core" technique. Then take an idea and devise variations... your pages evolve in unexpected ways! 

    Tell me about your experiments! 


    Grid Collage {Fast Forward}

    After you "finish" an art journal page you can continue to allow it to evolve even years later. Any consideration that the page is finished can be changed at any time. As long as there are blank pages to fill and unfinished pages, anything else in the journal is fair game for paint, stitching, words, etc. So to clarify, I don't go back to journals that I feel are truly finished and I've moved on. But if a journal is still in-progress and I am opening it to art journal, all of the other pages are available. Even if they've been photographed and shared and blogged and whatever! Remember.... NO RULES.

    So here's the grid from Tangent #4, from the Art Journaling Tangents & Tactics Series. It actually took two major twists before it was officially finished. 

    First twist. Here's the left page after adding freestyle stitching a few months after doing the original page. A bunch of the pages in this altered book {called the Noticing Journal} ultimately fell out and so I was able to use the machine to sew on them. If you are working in a bound journal you can still stitch the edges of a page or hand-stitch or hand-embroider your page.

    Second Twist. Months after adding stitching, I painted a girl and words to the pages with high flow acrylics. Why? I felt like it! I was not feeling well at that time and exhausted and having trouble keeping my thoughts clear... the words on the right say, "but i cannot focus..."

    I dare you today, to take a risk in your journal. I believe that taking risks in your work leads to learning experiences.

     DISCLAIMER: I cannot promise that you will like the results. There is a strong chance that you will mourn the beautiful page underneath and regret your steps or alterations, your layer of paint. Remember not to get too married to your results. Too attached. 

    "Only those who will risk going too far
    can possibly find out how far one can go."
    T. S. Eliot

    Sometimes experiments turn out muddy, gloppy messes! And sometimes you get the biggest surprise of your creative life! This is the way that art journaling works. That's what makes art journaling so different and unique ➸ the goal is not to wind up with a perfect end result but to "work" in your journal.


    Tangent № 04: Grid Collage

    We continue our fresh, shiny new Art Journal Tangents & Tactics Series by creating a collage in the form of a grid. To learn about how the series works, see the introduction!

    There are TWO videos for this Tangent. There's also a full-color PDF with instructions!

    In the first video, I share a very easy peasy way to create a background with fluid acrylic paint by simply mixing the paints as I go, on the paper, rather than on the palette. The result is a very random hodge podge of colors and color combinations.

    Remember that it's the DOING that matters. Use colors that you enjoy! You aren't investing in interior decorating services but rather choosing colors for a page in your journal. You will see that the colors in my grid are strange and definitely weren't selected from Martha Stewart's Panama Collection. Or colors from the Gregorian Arc Color Wheel. Don't bother googling any of that as it's all made up. 

    In the second video, I walk through creating the grid and ramble on about all that.

    Watch the first video here or pop over to Vimeo. {7 minutes}

    You can hear me do the play-by-play in both videos with a little music at the beginning. 

    Watch the first video here or pop over to Vimeo. {17 minutes}


    Golden fluid acrylics
    Neocolor I or II wax crayons
    Images from magazines, paper ephemera
    Adhesive {Fluid Matte Medium or Mod Podge}
    Brush for adhesive, brush for acrylics, scissors

    Be sure to grab the full-color PDF with instructions from the tutorial section of the blog.

    Plus! See these related posts... Grid Collage {Fast Forward} and Grid Collage {Expansion Pack}.

    When you create your own collaged page for Tangent № 04, 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 #dyajt.


    Link-Love for Tangent № 04: Grid Collage

    Spread the word!

    If you like the tutorial, please share a link on twitter, FB or your blog. The series is freecontributions to the tip jar are very much appreciated and will drive future video tutorials for this art journaling series.

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