From art journal pages to digital collage

Felt I hadn’t done any digital collage for a while and didn’t want to forget how to use Photoshop Elements.  I always like to scan my art journal pages so that I can use them in my digital collage, so that way it is more my own original art work.  I wasn’t feeling particularly creative last week and decided to play around with Elements while watching TV and created this piece using a number of my scanned pages. Not sure if it is finished yet, but decided to share it anyway.

Just a short post ….til next time


Drawing takes a lot of practice…

I love creating art pages, it is a great way to practice various art techniques and if you do something you don’t particularly like or mess up then you can either gesso over it or start a whole new page.  It allows me the space to be fearless and develop my skills as I go along.  The last couple of weeks I have been practicing a lot of face drawing which is one of the skills I want to develop – I have to really work at trying to get proportion right even though I am not trying to create a life-like face but a more whimsical one.  I find I have trouble with eyes so I decided to just draw some faces with the eyes closed  and practice shading and see what developed.  Still need to work on face shapes as sometimes they look a little weird but I am a work in progress and if I continue to practice I will soon find it easier and will be able to create faces with more ease that  I can incorporate into my mixed-media collages.

Here are a few of my recent whimsical type faces I have done in the past few days.

Afterwards I decided to add some collage ephemera to the pages and then added som pan pastels.  I was so excited when I went to Opus the other day and found that they now have pan pastels in the store so I  could not resist buying a few new bright colours.  Next  photos are how the pages progressed into a collage.  I recently watched Pam Carriker`s tutorials on recycle art journal pages which  were a big influence in my face drawings.

Til next time, happy creating


Just doodling through January

Life is Magical

January in the Pacific Northwest can be rather damp and gloomy and sometimes some cold and snow thrown in just to keep it interesting.  Now that January is at an end we are beginning to ge little signs of spring, daffodils starting to poke out of the cold ground, some buds starting to form a few bushes, perhaps they don’t realize it is only the end of January, but it still gives us the feeling that spring is just a few short weeks away.

These past few weeks have been spent indoors and I  have had the leisure of spending them doodling,painting and gluing collages one of the advantages of being retired :).  I have been experimenting with my new pan pastels learning how to blend and mix colours, what I like most is that I can also use watercolours and acrylics with them.  Here are a couple of my latest art pages using an array of mixed media.

Experimenting and trying new techniques is always fun, it’s letting go of the fear of making a mess that is the biggest challenge but once I start laying the initial layers my fear diminishes and the creativity flows, I think it just takes picking up the paint brush and putting down the first few strokes.

Hope you find a few minutes to release your creativity today.


Life is magical and time waits for no one, treasure every moment.

Snowy January day = art day

‘There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.’ Christopher Morley (1890 – 1957)

Living in the Pacific Northwest  we don’t get a lot of snow days but usually there are a few during January or February and today is one of those days.  Actually the snow made its first appearance on Saturday morning and now it is snowing like crazy, very pretty and I am grateful that I don’t have to travel anywhere and can just enjoy watching the flakes fall.  It won’t last long around here by the weekend there is likely to be no trace that it snowed except for big piles of dirty snow in parking lots and along the roadside.

This past week I have been doing some sketching and doodling in my art journal and just playing around with lettering for fun, finding inspiration from January theme “Doodling”.  I have also been checking out other mixed media blogs that offer weekly or monthly art challenges, I like the challenges because the theme gives you a great jumping off point to get the creative juices flowing.  I love checking out other artists interpretations too, they are all so different.  One of the sites I have joined recently is this weeks challenge is ‘dance’and you can do traditional collage or digital, so I am going to do both!  I love using art that I have made by scanning it and then apply it to my digital collage creations.

Seek Happiness

The picture (not on the theme) in this post is a combination of a few different collage pieces I created and then scanned and selected parts from the scanned art as layers for the digital collage.

Until next time try some doodling or sketching it’s a great way to pass the gloomy days of winter.


Learning Curves

“This is your LIFE, do what you LOVE and do it often.  If  you don’t like something, change it!…”

I was very fortunate  and excited to receive Photoshop Elements & Premiere 10 for my Birthday from my daughter and son-in-law. Once I got it loaded onto my computer I started to try out some of the features – but after about an hour I had become frustrated because I was just not getting the steps you had to take to get the effects they were illustrating.  So I decided it would be better to leave it and try again the next day. 

 I recently bought a book  ‘Digital Expressions – Creating Digital Art with Adobe Photoshop Elements’ by Susan Tuttle, (a self-taught artist and photographer) wanting to learn more about creating digital art, but it ended up my Photoshop Elements 3 was not going to allow me to do the projects in the book because my Elements was a bit to archaic, lacking the tools in the latest versions, but I was able to get started with my Photoshop CS3, even though it is pretty old as well.  So now I am happy to have the latest version of Elements so I should be eventually able to do all of the projects with ease or at least that is my wish :).  So I have been referring to the techniques and tools that Susan Tuttle illustrates in her book and have been applying them to my digital art  and voila I have had some success and am now feeling more comfortable with this new program and my frustration has diminished. 

We often forget. I know I do, that there is a  learning curve when you are try something new, and it can be so frustrating when you first start out, trying to figure out how to use the tools correctly to get the desired effects you are striving for, it takes a lot of patience and practice but it becomes easier as time goes by – you have to crawl before you learn to walk. 

I was excited when I completed my first collage on Elements 10 the other day, all the layers are

Open your heart, take your soul by the hand and let your spirit fly!

my own scanned art pages and then I added this great quote about living life that has become viral on the web ‘THE HOLSTEE MANIFESTO” ©2009 WRITTEN BY DAVE, MIKE & FABIAN DESIGN BY RACHAEL WWW.HOLSTEE.COM/MANIFESTO. This quote really says it all and made me take a long look at my life and how I really need to start dreaming and  living my life – be more adventuresome, be fearless and start taking action and do the things I love and dream about doing and stop over analyzing – after all we are only here for a short time and might as well make it the best it can be.  

Until next time

Take your soul by the hand and let your spirit fly.


Another Birthday, another year to look forward to….


Be Your Personal Best Birthday Art Journal Page

“Be Your Personal Best”

Another year has flown by, is it just me or is it the older you get the faster time goes.  Remember when you were a child and you were anxiously waiting for your next Birthday and you would say that you were 81/2 and now as a mature adult you don’t say you are a year older or 60 and a half you wait until the day of your Birthday before you flip over to the next number.  Funny though even though I am now 62 I still feel like I am in my 30’s inside and in my mind, except when I look in the mirror and wonder why my body does not reflect the youthfulness I feel inside.  I am trying to take aging gracefully, and enjoy the laugh lines, etc. and think of them as character lines but sometimes I wish that I could just take an eraser and rub them out so that my exterior reflects how youthful I still feel within.  Regardless of what age I am, I am very grateful for the wonderful year that has just passed and look forward to all that is coming in the year ahead. 

I created this digital collage as if I was doing an art journal page and the quote that kept jumping out at me was ‘Be Your Personal Best’ so that is the caption that ended up on the finished page.  So that shall be my mantra for this upcoming year.  Cheers to another year, looking forward to a lovely dinner with my daughter and her husband this evening, and some lunches with some of my lovely friends over the next few days.  Life is great!

Try to find a way to be creative everyday, til next time


Whimsical Digital Collage – Just For Fun

Just for fun 

Believe in Your Dreams

I decided to play around with a scrap-book page of whimsical house images – scanning them so that I could select each house individually to create this digital collage.  I wanted to make it look like the houses were flying through the sky so I skewed them so they were distorted a bit.  I then added some background layers from my own hand made collages which included some lettering I had done a while back.  I loved the fact that the houses had blues and pinks because they are some of my favorite colours to use in my art. 

Til next time try to find something creative to do in your day.

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