Spray Bottles With Watercolors & Stencils

It was a fun afternoon with spray bottles of diluted watercolors and stencils. It also was a super fast way to get lots of background pages in my sermon journal. 

Finishing Touch

I added ZenDoodle to a recently "completed" journal page for two reasons: (1) It just didn't look quite "done;" and (2) I kept getting a mental image of myself ZenDoodling in the waiting room of the immigration "detention center" while I waited nearly four hours for the family to be out-processed at (finally) released. A similar pattern to what I'd ZenDoodled while I waited is the finishing touch that tells the story.

Immigrant Detention Freedom Reflection

I've been visiting immigrant mothers and their children from Central America at a nearby "detention center" (AKA JAIL) who are seeking asylum in the US from violence in their homelands. I also help with overnight hosting when families have finally been released on bond with permission to continue on to a family member in the US who has committed to host and assume responsibility. This mother and her two kids spent 3-1/2 months in detention and were released shortly before Christmas. They had a 3-day bus journey (7 different buses) to NYC. I used a photo I'd taken as we were leaving the house and headed out the door to the bus station in San Antonio as the basis for mr belated art reflection.
Put carbon paper under the photo and trace over the picture. 
Re-draw over the carbon lines. I used a watercolor pencil and then blurred the edges of some of the lines. I kept seeing an image of a bus in my mind so I added a line art tracing of a bus. 
Add colors and stamps and stenciling to continue the mixed media reflection. 
Dove symbolizes peace. Names & ages of the travelers. Tio & Madre are the relatives hosting the family. 

Stenciling, Stamping and Random Afternoon Art

I'm into "middles" in my art journaling which (for me) means randomly adding bits & pieces throughout any and all of my current journals. Today's flavor is stamping and stenciling onto what I'd randomly collages earlier. 

I often sign off on my emails with JOY+ so adding this collage piece to a journal page will be a great catalyst for a future extended entry. Flowers are one of my favorite symbols of hope and newness. 
Purple & yellow are commentary on the color wheel and my two favorite colors. I stenciled with watercolors on a page that had been rollered with distress ink. 

Random Tear & Paste Collage

I like to tear interesting headlines and pictures from magazines and catalogs. There's really none safe from my tearing hands, especially when I'm on an airplane. I keep an accordion file folder in my travel art bag for the torn bits. Today I decided it would be fun to glue these headlines and pictures randomly in my various art journals. They make great "middles" and will spark future entries. 
I like torn edges much better than clean and neat from sciss. 
 I mix images. The theme is simply what I find interesting. 

Double-Dipping Background Prep

Mono printing feels like double-dipping but it's a great way to do some mindless art and get backgrounds prepped and ready for future journaling. The mino print produces one (or two) backgrounds and cleaning off the roller, stencils, and stamps produces additional pages.
The pink page was created by cleaning the roller on the left and pressing the 6"x6" gel plate on the right to clean off leftover paint. 
The blue page began with cleaning off the roller. I forced dried the page with a hairdryer and then cleaned off stamps and stencils after someone else had used them for mono printing. I pressed them in random places on my journal page for a very pleasing background ready for the next phase. 

Listing for Lasting Impression

When I asked my chiropractor for suggestions on how to improve my posture he wrote out a list of exercises. I thought it might help to impress them upon my mind (and inspire me to action) if I created a journal entry listing his recommendations. It isn't merely the art journaling that impresses the listing for a lasting impression, but the regular reminder as I flip back-and-forth through my art journal pages which reminds me (again) to work on the exercises and improve my posture.
I prepped the background using tempura paint which is becoming my preferred background media because it doesn't cause the pages to stick together in the HOT South Texas climate.
Tempura paint is perfect for journals "living" in hot climates.
Stenciling for the flower and the lettering. The completed page is simply a reminder list of exercises to improve posture.

Staying Calm with Zentangle

As I found myself on terminal hold (50 minutes; cut off then another 50 minutes) with American Airlines to getting a travel detail corrected I became increasingly frustrated. I sat in my most comfortable chair and started to Zentangle. I love the flourescent color on black gesso.

I thought I'd add a new color with each additional zen session. With the long double-hold I filled my pocket journal with one color before I finally gave up and went to bed. Zentangle is a great way to kill time while also staying centered and peace-filled. 

Impromptu (Travel Bag) Art Workshop

I always take my art travel bag whenever I leave the house for a day trip or an overnight for two reasons; (1) I always hope that I'll have some free time to do art; (2) I enjoy doing art together with others and public places are perfect for discovering who also enjoys getting messy with mixed media art. To ensure I'm always ready for either option, I restock/refill my travel art bag immediately upon return from any away trip so I'm ready to grab-n-go for the next time.
We covered a large table with newsprint & spread out the supplies.
 I've started including a mini (6"x6") Gelli Art plate in my travel bag plus a small roller. I also include small stencils and stamps which can be used to add texture. My mini tubs of acrylic and tempura are plenty for an impromptu art evening with half a dozen people.
I begin by unloading everything in my travel art bag and explaining the possible uses for each. For this impromptu art evening with six women we set up in the common room at a retreat hotel. Some of the women became enamored with doing Zentangle and others made mini mono prints. 
Stencils, mini tubs of paint and a 6" square Gelli Art plate.

The only paper I had was my 6" squares of black.

Black 6" squares and Zentangle

A 3rd press of the Gelli Art plate for a faint "ghost" plus additional (heart) stamping.

Gel pens for Zentangle on black watercolor paper.

A 6"x6" first print on black watercolor paper using white gesso and acrylic.

Mixed Media Mexico Vaca Collage

A mixed media collage is a fun way to tell the story of a great vacation. I began this messy mix by tearing out pictures & headlines from tourist magazines en route home from vacation. While on the plane we also made our (typical) list of vaca favorites. These are combined here to remind me of the wonderful experience of our annual getaway to Cabo. 
The background is filled with collage   It's sealed with clear gesso for the next layer.
The green plant is a mono print of a cactus. I used a B&W print of a pix I'd taken at a cactus garden in Mexico as the guide print for the mono printing. I like the 3-D look of layering & the cactus print reminds me of a great day.
I topped it all wtth the lists of favorites from the trip.

All-Inclusive (Meal) Journal Entry

We opted to do the "all-inclusive" meal plan for the first time ever during a recent vacation.
The art journal captures (literally) the list of food we consumed each day. It is a fun reminder
of how much we enjoyed the week of fine/beach dining.
The background is a line art drawing: view from my chaise lounge.

A "mini menu" card lists the food we enjoyed each day.