Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Ostrich - Journal Page

I was walking in the woods past a fallen tree. I looked at the trunk and there was an ostrich winking at me - adventures in pareidolia.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Cutthroat Trout Journal Page

Pareidolia, I often find what I wasn't looking for. Then starts the task of making sense of it. First I seen a fish. Next I had to figure out what kind of fish it was. I decided it was going to be a cutthroat trout. I wanted something eye-catching. Instead, I found a message for my artistic journey. I was doubting my direction and choice of task for the day. My doubt was removed.

"Trout are known for being very forthright and straightforward usually with a strong reason to go forward...with a "this is mine attitude" they strive for perfection and their set goal in mind." Words found on

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Opossum - Journal Page

I like to prep some journal pages in advance. First I collaged images from Journal Starters:Sampler Volume 1 and my upcoming  Journal Starters: NATURE - Backgrounds, Textures and Collaborations books. Next I applied a thin coat of fluid matte medium. Then I painted washes of Quinacridone / Nickel Gold and a Turquois, Raw Umber Mix. Today I was inspired by the Spirit Animal Totem post, featuring an opossum, on Facebook. I drew an opossum with some leaves and branches. Even though the opossum feet don't show on the backside in the photograph I think that I need to go back and correct this.

I wrote this quote from "Hope is the state of being hopeful. Strategy and action will move you past hope and towards success" opossum

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Reflection of My Thoughts

I started by collaging three pieces, in my handmade journal, from one of my photographic images.

 I had seen an image of a man in the reflection of the water. Not an actual reflection of a man, rather a case of pareidolia. I like how the driftwood in the water suggests a collar bone. I painted around the silhouette with a wash of burnt umber and phthalo blue. I also added to the beginning of a heart shape on the opposing page.  A bit of journaling of thoughts that popped in my head. "Sometimes he appeared a reflection of my thoughts. Then a slight breeze rippled the water and he was gone. When images provoke thoughts without bearing."

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Phoenix Rising

The prompt for Journal52 week #17 is "Rise". Bonus points were given for including a Phoenix. I started with a double page spread from my upcoming book Journal Starters: NATURE - Backgrounds, Textures and Collaborations. Working from the photographic image of texture of torn and weathered wood the phoenix arose. I used Prismacolor pencils to create the phoenix and a white Gelly Roll pen for the journaling.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Journal Page - The Politics of People, The Insanity of Power

This journal page pretty much sums up my emotions on politics.

Ozaukee County 2016 Art Show - Blue Ribbon Awarded to My Visual Journal

I won a ribbon at the 2016 Ozaukee County Art Show! This is what the judge, Alice Struck wrote about my journal " I am drawn to this type of continued, creative work. Personal meaning, courage and emotional honesty enrich the textured pages of this hand created book. Its tactile presence is extremely appealing, hinting of mysteries, hopes, secrets and very human ups and downs. This book seems to prove that "art makes life special." It is always special to win a ribbon, and a bonus to read the interpretation of one's work, by an artist you admire, Thank you Alice Struck!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Fox - When You Can't Find What You're Looking For

First I collaged bits of "Journal Starters" images leftover from other projects. I wish that I had remembered to take step by step photos beginning with this step. The image of the rooster inspired the creation of a fox. Next I added layers of paint and colored pencil. 

I named this journal page "When You Can't Find What You're Looking For".

Friday, February 19, 2016

Stairway to Heaven - She Flew Instead of Climbing

The alternate prompt for Journal 52 week 3 is "Your favorite song/lyrics". One of my favorite songs is "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin. I chose a stairway from Journal Starters: Sampler Volume 1 and collaged it in my handmade journal. I cut away some of the windows and replaced them with sky.

Jill Marie Shulse came over yesterday and we journaled together.  Journaling with a friend always makes the experience richer.

I added the song title and other information.

I chose to add my own interpretation "She wasn't able to climb anymore, so she flew instead."

I drew and added the butterfly but was stuck on what to do next. I spent the rest of the afternoon with Jill collaging with left over "Journal Starters" images from other projects.

The page didn't seem "Arty" enough for me. I came up with the idea this morning of loosely painting the image of a butterfly over the page. A loose interpretation of the sun and another butterfly cut out of paper and it is done!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Rooster Totem

I have been going through papers in preparation for taxes. It is one of my goals to use some of the collage images that I have collected. Yesterday I glued these down in a manner pleasing to me. I also created several other collaged pages.

I have 150%+ size copies of money that was also incorporated. More information on this here:

For some reason I was drawn to study the rooster totem today.

I had already started drawing in the rooster comb and wattle before I remembered to take the process photograph above.

I chose a "Journal Starters" image for a reference photo. Then I drew the outline of the rooster. I applied a wash of paint to the background excluding the rooster. Next I blocked in the colors of the rooster with Golden fluid acrylics. The tail in the "Journal Starters" photo was a similar color to the background wash that I painted. I chose a brighter aqua colored pencil to make the tail stand out more. I also intensified some of the other colors with colored pencil. I am happy with the vibrancy I created.

Finally I journaled some words of wisdom from Rooster found here including "Rooster invites you to assert yourself with aplomb".

Sunday, January 31, 2016

What Are You Saying "YES" to in 2016 - Making Money

I'm saying "YES" to - making money!

Journal52 week 2 prompt "What are you saying "Yes" to in 2016.

I first wrote "Travel and discovering new paths" because for some reason that seems more humble than asking for money. Sure I would like to travel and discover new paths. I'm not sure why I have such a hard time justifying the money-making part of business though. I'm happy and willing to do the work, just asking for monetary compensation is hard for me. When I added the seagull, he first said something clever "Where's the beach?" Then I had him say what I really was thinking "Don't forget to include making money."  After 35 years of marriage and being supported by my husband I want to help. I want to "Make the Money!" All my life I've saved money, I've thought of doing things, so it didn't require a lot of money, I've even found things for FREE on my wish list just because I was willing to wait for them. I have everything I need so it has felt greedy to want to make money. But now I want to earn a "good" income. I want to take the burden from my husband. I want to make some money! So I am saying "YES" to making money.

This page was made using a "Journal Starters" image from my book Journal Starters: Sampler Volume 1 (My intended "money" maker.)

Perhaps I should make another page with my intention loud and clear...

Added 2/19/2016 Second page with intention clearly stated -

I decided to make a second page. While at first glance it is not a "showstopper" page, I had a marvelous time adding only collaging bits of photocopied of money. For rules on using images of money look here.

Look closely and you will see faces and words from the 150%+ bill incorporated into the forest. The feather and inkwell is also pieced from the photocopied money.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Detritus Project - Assemblage - CORN ROAST

Mel Kolstad, curator for the Langdon Divers Gallery in the Fond du Lac Library issued a call-to-artists to create original artwork for the "Detritus Project" to be be displayed at the library gallery February 3 to March 2, 2016. Artists were to use materials library staff found in returned books, which Mel refers to as detritus. The opening reception will be Thursday, February 11 from 6pm to 8pm.

The box of detritus was pretty picked over by the time I stopped at the library. I chose these two pieces. I was attracted to the "Corn Roast" raffle ticket as the event occurred on my birthday. The sticker on the left side remains unused.

I cut out the portions of the ticket that were of interest to me and collaged them with a "Journal Starters" image from my book. The inspiration of the corn roast date prompted me to draw my face with colored pencil.

As I am coloring in my face I am thinking of all the herbicides and GMO's that are now so infused into our countries corn production. How many acres upon acres are planted in corn...and why...

I placed the collaged image in an old wooden box and added more bits from the ticket around the sides of the box. Finally I rolled up some corn husks and glued them around the edge.

This piece is titled CORN ROAST.

For more information on the "Detritus Project" click here

Mel Kolstad is one of the contributing artists for Journal Starters: Sampler Volume 1!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Journal Starters: Sampler Volume 1 - Now in Stock!

Journal Starters: Sampler Volume 1 - Is now in stock!

This message is brought to you by Ziggy!

What are You Saying "NO" to in 2016 - Self-Doubt

 I am saying "No" to self-doubt in 2016. I started with two leftover pieces of the driftwood image from my "Word of the Year" journal page. I placed the "Journal Starters" image parts on the upper right and lower left corner of the journal spread. I often find I am more creative when I have less to work with. I mixed a blue color to mimic the blue in the water. I extended the design with paint. Then let drips flow through my self-doubt.

I found the bear in the paint and driftwood image and coaxed him out with colored pencils. The bear is a symbol for confidence.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Strange Word of the Year - LUMINARY

Journal 52 Week #1 alternate prompt - "Strange Word of the Year 2016" I was looking for a word that I didn't know the meaning for this prompt. While I was familiar with a luminary as a light I had not heard this definition - One who is an inspiration to others; one who attained success in a chosen field. I hope to be a LUMINARY to others!

I started by cropping a "Journal Starters" image to fit in my journal. I added a vertical piece for design interest. I like write in various spaces following the shape of the photograph. I chose a crow for contrast and as the messenger.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Word of the Year - PERSEVERANCE

I joined a wonderful Facebook group named Journal52, there is also a blog that you can follow
Every week there is a prompt along with an alternate prompt. The prompt for week 1 is to choose your "Word of the Year" and create a journal page to express it. 

I started with a "Journal Starters" page. Since my handmade journal is 10" wide x 7" tall and the "Journal Starters" image was 8" x 11" after I cut it out of the book I had to choose how I was going to use it and the resulting layout is above.

I chose the word PERSEVERANCE for my word of the year 2016. Perseverance - Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. The letters are cut from one of the "working" covers from the book. The white strip was a good place to journal. I was content with the page as it was...

until I thought of googling "animal totem perseverance" and this catches my eye "If seagull has flown accross your path" from this website I also covered the white space with blue sky to add a pop of color to the spread.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Journal Starters and Handmade Journal

I have been working directly in my Journal Starters: Sampler Volume 1 proof books directly for the past months and have been itching to apply the "Journal Starters" pages to one of my own handmade journals.

My new journal is made with two 5" x 7" canvas boards, 90# watercolor paper and coptic binding.

This journal provides for a 10" wide by 7" tall spread. Working with "Journal Starters" pages of different dimensions gives me more opportunity to problem solve different layouts by cropping images.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Journal Starters: Sampler Volume 1 - Is now available!

I am proud to announce that my book Journal Starters: Sampler Volume 1 is now available!

For a signed copy you may pre-order the book here buy clicking on the "Buy Now" button on the sidebar.

For faster service it is available from CreateSpace at
The title access password is *journal*

For a preview of this book and for more information click on the tab above or