Life Book 2014 – Week 15

This week was another lesson with the totally cool Tamara Laporte! Quirky Animals!

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We started with taping 2 pieces of paper together. The largest paper I had was “Mixed Media” paper, which I sliced in half and then taped back together to make a fold out page. I wish I would have taken 2 sheets of watercolor paper and used them instead because the mixed media stuff started to ball up on me with all the painting. The background is made with a mix of watercolor crayons and spray inks.

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This little lion is the beginning of the animal totem pole.

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I’m in LOVE with this little guy! I love elephants and have collected them since I was little. So this was a lot of fun to paint.

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A monkey with a heart of his shirt… Yes! I think so!

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The bunny was fun to make. I love her ears! The last animal was supposed to be a cat, but I’m a dog person. So the cat was out and the bird was in. He looks very regal with his crown.

The entire piece took me several hours to complete, but was totally worth it! I really pushed myself to make all these guys. And adding the little embellishments to each one was so much fun!

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Can’t wait for Tamara’s next lesson!

Til next time…

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Life Book 2014 – Week 6 – Part Two

I think I’ve fallen in love with ink sprays! But sometimes I wonder if they are in love with me also. Or maybe they’ve put me into the friend zone…

Watching Tamara’s lesson she made using ink sprays look so easy. And they can be… once you’ve got the technique down and your using the right paper. But no matter what, you’ll still end up with fingers that look like this.

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Not a big deal. I’ve suffered for art before. You should have seen my nails when I was working with glass. The grinder was not kind and I usually ended up with nails that looked like squirrels had been gnawing on them.

So here is my girl, with her lovely hair flowing wild and free!

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I love the combination of using ink sprays and a stencil. I did have some issues with the ink sprays though. Speckles would go all over the page. Some so small that you didn’t even know that they were there until you try to add some yellow and you end up with every other color but yellow when the speckles mixed in.

So in order to get some yellow on the page I waited for everything to dry and sprayed some yellow on at the end. But on my next piece I figured out a better technique that eliminated most of the speckles.

I really enjoyed drawing a different type of face. It was a little tough to go over some of the speckles, but I eventually got them covered.

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We were supposed to fold the paper in half and then put our Positive Qualities on the back. The only paper I had that was a bigger size was some Bristol (96 lbs) paper. So I gesso’d it. I wanted to make it thicker and a bit more substantial to work on. But in the end, I really struggled to get the vibrant color I was looking for. I believe the gesso was the culprit. It didn’t allow the ink to soak into the paper. So when I blotted some of the ink up with a paper towel it left a pastel version of the color. Not what I was looking for.

I struggled some more working on the back of the paper (gesso strikes again!) to make my Positive Qualities page. So I gave up and started it on a new piece of watercolor paper. What a difference! Strong, vibrant colors! On this piece, I figured out a technique so you don’t get speckles of color everywhere. Hold the spray bottle extremely close to the paper. Did you hear me? Hold the spray bottle extremely close! So it’s pretty much touching the paper. That’s the key.

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As most of you know I have been loving this art course. I love to learn! But I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy all the love and support from all the members of Life Book and from Tamara herself. It may seem a little self indulgent at first to focus so much on yourself, but that’s not really what it’s about. It’s about encouraging and uplifting you as an artist and as a person. It’s about recognizing that you are good enough and what you create is worthy. I am so very grateful to have found this group and I can’t wait to see how much I’ll have grown by the end of the year. And it will all be there for me to see in my very own Life Book.

Til next time…

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Life Book 2014 – Week 1

I am a proud member of Life Book 2014. I have never taken any art lessons before. Well, that’s not exactly true. I have watched a ton of YouTube videos about mixed media since I got interested in it last year. But I have never had a step by step instruction like Life Book offers.

It’s no secret, drawing/painting faces scare me. I remember doing drawings when I was little. I had all these great ideas of how I wanted it to look, but I could never get that to come out on the paper. I started painting/art journaling in October last year. One day I was determined to paint a face. After I got the head, hair and background done, I couldn’t bring myself to do the face. I didn’t want to screw up this lovely painting with my amateur attempts.

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I am still very proud of this painting. I love it! It speaks to where I was at that point in my artistic journey. But I’m excited about where I am now even after only 2 lessons. (A free lesson and the first lesson of Life Book 2014).

For our first lesson of Life Book 2014, we had a warm up exercise and a main lesson. I had fun with the warm up. Trying new things, learning a bit about color theory and learning to let go a bit. It’s not exactly what I would do next time (given the opportunity), but it was a lot of fun!

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We were supposed to “write” the words. You know… in cursive. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I have a love/hate affair with my handwriting. Sometimes it looks so good and then I screw it up right at the end. So for this lesson, I played it safe. Oh! I also played it safe with the next lesson too, but more on that in a bit.

So our main lesson was to paint our Inner Artist Guardian. This person was to protect us from self doubt, nasty self criticism and just help us on our artistic journey. To tell the truth, I’m not into all that new age type stuff. I’m not even sure that’s the category to put it in. But either way, I’m not into it. After doing the exercise I realized that it’s really nice to have a visual reference when the “critical monsters” show up.

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She’s peaceful and sweet looking, but she’s definitely not going to let the “critical monsters” take over.

Normally, I’m all about color! Bright colors! Funky colors! But this is what came out when I did the lesson and I’m proud of it. Tamara is a wonderful teacher. She’s great at instructing and also at encouraging. Which can be just as important.

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I never thought I could draw/paint a face this beautiful, but a lot if the credit goes to Tamara for showing me how. Although I did have some issues. Like the paper getting too wet and balling up on me. I need to learn to be happy with what I initially do and not try to rework it so much. *slaps hand

My word for the year is Joyful. This past year has been a tough one and I am determined to find Joy in the little things and take on a Joyful attitude in general for 2014. I believe an art course that helps you to focus on a positive word throughout the year is a good thing. Sometimes we get so busy with life we forget to stop and take a moment to enjoy what we have.

I’m really looking forward to what’s coming next. I am determined to keep up with all the lessons and post them here on my blog. I think it will be fun at the end of the year to see the progress I’ve made. I hope you have fun watching me progress as well. And if you are so inspired you can sign up for Life Book 2014 too. Even after it’s started you can still sign up and go through the lessons at your speed. Just to let you know… I am in no way affiliated with Life Book. I am just a happy artist that loves to share. Especially, a great find like this!

Til next time,

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