Archive | January 2016

Background Technique / Prompt 4


In my response to Prompt 4, “Select a Moment to be Present in”, Journal with Mindfulness 2016, a Facebook Group I chose a moment when I went outside my house to feed the birds. There is a tall pine tree where all the small birds live. My favorite is the friendly Chickadee. The Chickadee hopped on to a branch and chirped as I filled the feeder. I thought about how tough the little bird was, to be able to stand up to the harsh winter weather. A lesson in resiliency. The following photos and text describe the background technique I used that combined a stenciled image using white acrylic paint and watercolor.


The photo above shows the acrylic paint I used for the background. It is the Dina Wakley color, Sky. One of my favorite blues as you can see from the outside appearance of the tube! Since white paint will be used to stencil the image cover your whole page with a darker color you like.


After selecting a stencil, use white paint with a sponge to create the image. Move the stencil around the page. Use the center part of the stencil. If you stencil the whole image it will create a blocked appearance. Let only smaller parts of the image show on the painted journal page, leaving some areas blank.


Using watercolor and a larger brush add some shading to your background. Only add a small amount of paint at a time. Your brush should be wet but not soaked with water. If you have too much paint on the brush or background you can blot the excess with a paper towel. I created this page in a technique journal, I use the journal to record art ideas I have, color combinations, images, and notes from mixed media art classes I have attended. I use it as a reference when I am looking for an idea to use in my art. It is the hard copy version of a Pinterest board.



January 24, 2016 Prompt 4, A Moment to be Present in

Prompt 4: Select a moment to be present in. Part of mindfulness is being present in the moment. As you go through your week, stop for one moment, be present, be aware and then record in your journal about that one minute.

“Nothing is more precious than being in the present moment. Fully alive, fully aware.” Thich Nhat Hanh


Gelli Plate and Artist Trading Cards

Artist trading cards are 2.5 inches by 3 1/2 inches (64mm by 89mm). These cards are used with any medium you would like, such as acrylic paint,water colors, or markers. Collage elements can be added to the cards or drawings. The ATCs are small pieces of art that can be traded with other artist. I also think they are a great way to try out new techniques and experiment with ideas. The Artist Trading Cards also provide a place to create some art when you are short on time.

For this article I concentrated on creating backgrounds using an Artist Trading Card sized Gelli plate. This size Gelli Plate is a good size to try to find out if you would enjoy creating prints.

paint and plate

I used Golden Slow Drying Acrylics and Dina Wakley Acrylics. You can use any acrylics you have on hand. The only thing you have to be aware of is drying time. If you are working with an acrylic paint with a quick drying time you will need to have all your supplies ready to make your print, so that the paint does not have time to dry on the printing plate.

rolling paint

I used a combination of two colors. The paint can be placed on a plastic sheet and rolled out before rolling it on to the Gelli plate. You also can put a small amount of paint directly on the plate and roll it out there. You will want to cover the whole plate, but you do not want an excessive amount of paint, as you will not get a clear impression when using stencils.

stencils on geli plate

There are other methods of making a marks on a Gelli Plate, but for this article I will be describing how to use stencils to make a print. You can use one stencil or a combination of more than one as pictured above. You can get two different prints from this set up. The first pull is with the stencil left on the plate. In the second pull you will remove the stencil(s) and then get the next print from the impression that was left on the plate by the stencil(s).

A pull happens as part of the process of placing a paper over the Gelli plate and then rubbing the backside of the paper. The pull is when you remove the paper and see the magic you have created. You can use copy paper, printing paper and watercolor paper when making a print.See the below photo and text for more information.

on top of stencil

The photo featured above shows the type of impression you get when a print is pulled with the stencil still on the plate. The object next to the plate is a Speedball Baren. This baren is used on the backside of the paper to help you get a good impression when you are printing. You can also use the palm of your hand.


The photo above shows the type of print you achieve when the stencil has been removed from the plate.

double print

This print is an example of a double print. One impression is created using the Gelli plate. By placing another stencil on the plate you can then print over the first impression achieving a double impression.

adding panpastels

For a final touch Pan Pastels can be rubbed onto the surface using a tissue or a cotton pad. Pan Pastels also sell special sponges and tools to use with the Pan Pastels.

atc giveaway

These cards were made with the Tim Holtz ATC Sizzix Die. It is a great way to create the ATCs as you can use any type of paper you want for the backgrounds.



Gwen Lafleur will be a Guest Artist February 7, 2016

Please take a look at Gwen Lafleur’s beautiful artwork

Gwen is also a featured artist for Stencil Girl Stencils. Her stencil line is wonderful, it is worth a look.

I had the pleasure of taking one of Gwen’s Mixed Media Art classes at the Paper Craft Clubhouse in Westbrook, Connecticut. She is a wonderful instructor and has endless imagination.

The Journal with Mindfulness 2016 Group (Facebook) and I are looking forward to having Gwen as a guest artist and getting a chance to see her fabulous artwork and her interpretation of the prompt.



Prompt 3: Find A Focal Point?

For this prompt we will be finding a focal point. The theme is concentration. An example of this is shown in Peej’s work, the bamboo plant is her subject, the leaf is her focal point. What do we notice when we concentrate on one object, emotion, or person. The guest artist for this prompt is Peej Lankford. Peej has been involved in art for many years and belongs to two Mixed Media Art groups.

The following are Peej’s thoughts on the process: “The focus prompt helped me to slow down and be more deliberate in my choices of products and subject matter. It caused me to think of the process of vacuuming the living room. When I vacuum I pick up all the small unwanted bits and pieces,leaving the large surface visible. Focus is the reverse of my vacuum example, with focus you leave behind the large stuff to observe the small particles (details). Your concentration causes you to see and understand the relationship between the large picture and the small parts, as you focus on one piece of the whole.”

Peej’s Technique Steps for her Journal Pages:

1. Prepare spreads:use either tissue tape or painters tape to cover the seams between pages; then gesso .
2. Glue assorted scrapbook papers with gel medium and seal with gel medium.
3.  Stencil randomly with white paint to tone down the background paper.
4.Using light weight mixed-media paper cut one large piece for drawing, and one smaller piece for focal point and coat papers with gesso.
5.  Sketch, Paint background and details using Tim Boltzmann distress stain, intense pencils using ranger water brush. When dry do detail work with black fine tip uni-ball pen. Attach pieces to spreads.
6.  Shade and do assorted markings with a pencil…add washi tape and additional stencils.
7.  I kept the mixed-media detail work (marking, outlining and shadowing) to a minimum in order to reflect the restrained color palette and theme.








Member’s Art 2

More fantastic art work from the journal pages of the members of Journal with Mindfulness 2o16, A Facebook group.

Peej2 (1)

Artist Peej Lankford (flowers inspired by a pin post she saw)

Peej2 (2)

Artist Peej Lankford’s Journal Pages


Artist Mara Coyle


Artist Mollie Eaton


Mollie Eaton’s Journal Pages

Anne G-i Art 1

Annie G-i art journal pages

Anne G-i Art 2

Artist Annie G-i art

Pauline Guppy1

Artist Pauline Guppy

Pauline Guppy2

Journal Page by Artist Pauline Guppy

Pauline Guppy 3

Artist Pauline Guppy’s Journal from 2015 and her 2016 Journal waiting to be filled with art.

Jaya color

Jaya Gangum- journal page for Prompt 2, What is your favorite color?

Jaya favorite place to be

Artist Jaya Gangum’s favorite place to be is at her art table. Her response to Prompt 1, Where do I go to just be?