Friday, August 17, 2012

Art Journaling: Carousel Dreams

I was completely floored by the positive, encouraging responses to last week's mixed media collage & art journaling post. Everyone - thank you so much! I truly appreciate it. I'm starting to realize (again) the value of art for enjoyment (as opposed to only making art for a business-related purpose). I've vowed to myself that no matter how busy I get, I will always make an effort to make time for art.

As soon as Jenny posted her and Aaron's first art journaling class, you can be sure I devoured it all. It may have been close to midnight (in Seattle) and I had to wake up early for work the next day, but I couldn't help it. Watched the video, read every word, and thought about what I wanted to do with my journal. Decided on a theme: dreams. And a color scheme: pastel.


After work on Thursday, I immediately started drawing a carousel. I wanted it to feel fun and hazy, like a sweet midsummer dream. I started drawing in pencil from the top. Added detail, then some of my favorite animals - some fantastical, others real. I realize now that for proportion's sake, I should have started with the animals, because as it turns out, I had a hard time drawing them smaller. Ah well, dreams don't have to be proportional, right? =)

Several hours and a black pen later, the basic outline of my carousel was ready. Of course, it was really late by then... so I waited until another day to start piecing it together, but I was excited to have finished the first part. I called Jacob over, and a slightly depressing conversation ensued.
Me: "Can you tell what the animals they are?"
Jacob: "Yes, I see a dragon, a horse? Wait, it has a horn, so it's a unicorn... a flamingo, a shark... and either a sheep or a pig."
Me: "..... a SHEEP or PIG?"
Jacob: "Yeah, I don't know! What is it supposed to be?"
Me: "Try a cat? Panther, to be specific."
Jacob: "That was my next guess."

Yeah, sure. Either I need to brush up on how to draw a wild cat, or Jacob needs some animal flash cards. Possibly both. To be fair, my panther didn't have whiskers yet. Initially, I had intentionally left them off, seeing as it was a dream panther and it didn't feel right for some reason. But you bet I added the whiskers in after that conversation.


Cut my design out with an X-Acto knife to prep it for my page.


We spent most of the weekend packing for our move (instead of visiting family and friends in Portland as we had originally planned, sadly). In the evenings, while Jacob played video games, I retreated to my creative space to continue working on my journal. I colored in my carousel with a set of gorgeous colored pencils Jacob's mom gave me. I mixed up my pastel paint colors, lightening some further with white paint and adding a tingle of shimmery silver or gold paint to others. Following Jenny and Aaron's tips, I also watered the paints down a bit, which really helped the colors flow and gave it a dreamy feel. Then for the fun part. Loose "stripes" of paint in various colors, some of it overlapping and blending, with strokes of shimmery metallics lightly brushed over parts of the surface.



 I let that dry and then used Mod Podge to attach and seal my carousel. Painted on two fluffy clouds.


A few days went by while I took care of more business preparation and moving-related tasks. Finally, tonight, I had another chance to sit down and finish my piece. Added dream/thought bubbles made out of glittery white-ish scrapbook paper. I had also thought up a quote earlier in the week, while contemplating carousels (yes, I really just said that), so I included it in my spread. Per Jenny and Aaron's class suggestion, I added a decorative faux stitching border to the bubbles.


Made one of those adorable mini banners that I seem to see everywhere these days (no complaint from me!), using buttercream baker's twine from The Twinery and little triangles of patterned paper.


Lastly, two mini hearts. Finally a reason to use my tiny heart-shaped hole punch from the $1 bin at Michaels!


Have you done any art journaling lately? I would love to see it! I have been having so much fun checking out the blogs that are linking up to the art journaling classes. I love how Jenny and Aaron are starting this little blog movement, encouraging art journaling and providing guidance. I love seeing people participate, overcoming any fears they might have about their own art abilities or about posting them for the world to see. This kind of art is truly for the artist, which is possibly why it speaks so strongly to me. It is just so genuine. If you are on the fence about wanting to start your own art journal, I really hope you check out their classes and just go for it. And leave me a link here if you do! After all, what's the worst that could happen?

=)

24 comments:

  1. That carousel is so amazing! And the colors, wow! If artwork like this is what results from losing sleep because of our Art Journaling class, then by all means keep staying up late. We're so thrilled to have even spurred you on a tiny bit. We both thought that your illustration is so Doe Deere (of Lime Crime fame). This is so so pretty!
    Thanks so so much again for everything!
    xo, Jenny & Aaron

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    1. Thanks, Jenny & Aaron! I am so sluggish in the morning... but as soon as 10pm hits, it's like a light switch turns on in my brain and it's time to create, create, create! I'm having so much fun checking out your classes and I really loved that little faux stitching idea. =) Now I need to get some gesso so I can prep my journal appropriately... hehe. The right page wilted a bit.

      Also, you're right. It's totally Doe Deere, although I didn't think of that before!

      <3

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  2. Kelsea, I just looooove this! Wish I could draw like you :D
    Seriously, thanks for sharing!

    Ow and your cat totally looked like a cat even without the whiskers ;)

    xx

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    1. Thanks, Susie! I'll tell Jacob and get him some animal flashcards immediately. =D

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  3. Oh that carousel is so pretty! I wish I could draw like you!

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    1. Then your drawings would be disproportionate! Haha. =) I really can't draw well. I just spend hours and hours until it looks semi-decent.

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  4. The carousel is so dreamy! Your style is beautiful and I love the colours you've used! I totally agree about the value of art for enjoyment.
    I haven't drawn in a long time and I think I'm going to start again :)

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    1. Thanks, Claire! I do hope you start drawing/making art again!

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  5. Your pages are lovely and so dreamy! I adore carousels, especially ones with whimsical creatures and not just horses. The colors you have used are so pretty and I like the quote you used!
    Michelle xoxo

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    1. Thanks, Michelle! I agree - I mean carousels are all about fun, magical, ornate, and dreamy. Why just use horses?

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  6. you draw like a pro, kelsea! the carousel looks so amazing! keep on drawing! :)

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  7. This is so so beautiful. LOVING the color choices :) I am SO putting this on my next Things I love thursday!

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    1. Thank you!! I am in love with pastel rainbow schemes right now. =)

      <3

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  8. Gorgeous!! You are such a good artist.

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  9. I adore your journal pages. Beautifully done and the palette is so magical and perfect for the carousel.

    xo Tori

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    1. Thanks, Tori! I love this color palette. =)

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  10. Anonymous9/04/2012

    These keep getting better n' butter. I love the dragon escaping the circle of carousel-life! - J-No

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    1. Haha "J-No" very nice. That dragon is escaping huh?

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  11. Hi Kelsea! I found out about your blog through Jenny and Aaron's art journaling classes (as I'm trying to take it too). I've fallen in love with your carousel! ...your background colours is something incredible! - I literally couldn't take my eyes of your spread! It made my day - thank you ))

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    1. Thank you so much - you are too sweet! I checked out your page as well and it's very cool. =) I had so much fun with the paint background on this page!

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