Copyright

All photos. ©2005 - 2014 : Catherine Matthews-Scanlon / Catherine Scanlon Designs unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved. Please do not use, copy, or reproduce the photos from this website for any reason without my express permission. THANK you!
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My Artful Life Planner

My Artful Life Planner
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Monday, April 30

Welcome Monday!


Last Friday I went as a chaperone on a field trip with my son -- District Three Honors Band practice. The band director didn't really need me -- just just needed to have an extra person in case an emergency or whatever came up and she had to leave. This basically gave me permission to work in my Art Journal ALL dang day. ;-)
 
I was afraid I would get bored with reading and not sure my iPad would have wireless available, so I brought portable art journaling stuff with me.


I threw my watercolor crayons, a few brushes and pens, my journal and a few quotes I had scratched on a scrap piece of paper in my bag and I was ready to go. The lighting in the auditorium was pretty bad, and I didn't have all the colors I wanted. So I had to make due.  I used the cap from my water bottle, which must have looked pretty comical, but hey -- I had water.
I'm pretty happy though, with making due. The brightness of the colors really makes these trillium's jump off the page, and you would never know -- but the green really was a metallic crayon that when I added water too became the perfect yellow-green to accent my purple.

What I wanted to point out to you today is the shadows that I added. Normally you think of shadows as being dark -- grey or even a light black.
For this I used a really watered down purple -- Purple Palette acrylic paint from Claudine Hellmuth Studios paints to be exact. The same color as the purple circles on the border.

With the yellow in the leaves and green -- the purple really looks lovely and the shadows enhance the cohesion of the color and design. Since, yellow is the compliment of purple -- and my green is more of a yellow-green they look great together. When I  painted the red trillium's the page ended up with a  nice color scheme.

As you work on your art and journals -- keep in mind how the colors you use work together -- dig out your color wheel -- or make your own with samples of paint you use everyday (follow this link for a video to make a color wheel)  Learn about color and you will master any piece of art you create.

Hope you have a GREAT day, thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 28

Ins and Outs of Artist Trading Cards -- Swap

I recently hosted an Artist Trading Card Swap with a few students from my Ins and Outs of Artist Trading Cards class at My Creative Classroom. It was a small group this time -- so I thought I would share the cards that came in the mail. I love them all!

 
Chris Vicente -- Trust the Journey. You can't see, but the background behind the lady is all glittery -- it looks amazing and the little photo is hand colored, beautiful details!
 
This is my card! Obsessed with Numbers.
 
Ellen Rohmiller -- Follow Your Star. The stitching on the star and all the little details she added are amazing. Sweet -- and beautiful. Her fussy cutting came out fantastic -- and the wings of the angel are a little dimensional. Super sweet. 

Carol Grant -- Some Like it Hot. oh my this one is super cool. She made the waves of the ocean by building up layers and layers of thick glue -- a beautiful card with lots of cool things -- Marilyn is holding the crown. LOVE IT. 

Pat Lawson -- Fairy Wishes. This one is very colorful with bits of glitter on the fairy -- which really make her pop from the background. Little details here and there that accent the entire ATC perfectly -- love all the detail! 

Martha Richardson -- A Dream. Martha is on the Tattered Angels and Helmar Design Teams --so she brought her expertise with Glimmer Mist and Adhesives to her ATC. The colors of the green are so beautiful in person -- and really make the brass bug jump out. Lots of little details here and there that make this a BEAUTIFUL card. 

So there you have it -- a small group for the swap -- but one filled with some very talented ladies! A heartfelt THANKS to everyone for letting me blog about your beauties, you should be receiving  them any day now! 

Thanks for stopping by and letting me share my student work with you, enjoy your weekend!  

Thursday, April 26

A Little ADD today

I've been working on lots of things this week -- mostly Tuesday and yesterday -- and haven't had much journaling or art time, insert heavy sigh here. I have, though, spent a LOT of time organizing my new stamp storage shelve that my father made for me.

This is what my storage wall looked like before the stamp shelf -- yes -- the bookshelf is just a little bit bowed from all the books and stamps being stored on it. All he had to buy was a $12.00 piece of plywood to make the stamp wall. I painted it the same color as my walls and he made the little shelves for the stamps -- and yesterday he brought it down, ready to install. It is so awesome -- I just keep going in my studio and looking at all those stamps, happy I can finally see them all. 


He also made the smaller wooden stamp "hutch" that's on top of the bookshelf a LONG time ago. While, it was perfect at one time -- I've since gotten a LOT more stamps and they don't all fit. I've been storing them in a plastic bin underneath my counter!  I love this little hutch, and didn't want to find a new place in the house for it. 


This little hutch is perfect on my punch wall of shame filled with little jars full of chotchky's, Golden Products, and other things. I love having it right behind my work table - all I have to do is turn around to get what I want. THANKS Dad, you're awesome!
I found myself spending a bit of time working on a little secret project that will be revealed next week, May 3rd. Here are a few of my samples and experiments, watch for a cool video that I had a ton of fun making next Thursday. 
 
I also watched a cool video by Alisa Burke Monday night before I went to bed and couldn't stop thinking about it Tuesday when I got up -- so while I was drinking my coffee and waking up -- I decided I just had to try. Now that I've tried it -- I'll do my own thing and make it something more my style. This little sample was enough to know that I really enjoy finger painting. It's very relaxing, offers quick results and -- the best part -- you feel like a kid again getting your fingers all painty and messy. 
Inspired by Alisa Burke


THANKS Alisa for the inspiration! Click on the picture to go to Alisa's blog and see the video yourself. I'm sure you will want to get started finger painting RIGHT AWAY! Next time I will use my own photos for inspiration and do my own thing, with my own spin and my own images -- it will definitely be a thing to love.

It HAS been a crazy week filled with lots of fun things, I'm not complaining -- but so over-joyed to have fun things to keep me busy! Have a WONDERFUL day, thank you got stopping by!

Wednesday, April 25

Variety is the Spice of Life

As I was looking for a photo for a project this morning -- I was struck with the variety of art in the folder where I keep all my art journal pages. Remember yesterday when I talked about finishing those projects that don't feel right some how and then put them away to look at on another day?? Even though I like many of these pages -- it was nice to look back on them and see my progression as a journal-er, artist and woman.
I  created the above page almost 2 years ago. I love it as much today as I did that day. This one felt right then -- and it feels right today.  So, sometimes they continue to feel right. I think this was the REAL beginning of my art journaling escapades. Not sure what took me so dang long, but so happy I got there.
This tiny little page I did right after I took a course from Donna Downey last summer. I didn't like it -- I think I was just starting to find my art journaling style. That style made a little blip on my radar last June -- then disappeared again. Almost fleeting -- I don't think I was ready to cultivate it last summer, my heart was too heavy and my brain too cluttered. 

I'm so happy my heart was ready for it this time. 
This is another page -- that started out wrong -- way way wrong -- that I managed to turn around to something that I love. Still. Colorful and bright -- happy colors.  
I think I made a choice to work hard at being happy --  and to try new things. Things that I have always struggled with and abandoned because they were hard. It's really so much easier to quit or run than to stick with it and figure out what works. in art. and life. It's hard to look deep down inside and pull out the good. the bad. the ugly. the things that hurt. maybe that's why my art is changing -- cause I'm getting rid of the garbage. the baggage that has weighed me down for so long.
I also think it's important to see things you like -- and try them out, like test driving a new car -- and then infuse your own twist -- your own style into it. Make it authentically yours -- even though you were inspired by something else -- not a knock off. Make it spicy -- make it hot -- make it happy.  Make it yours. Copy it first to try the technique -- and then go crazy making it yours.
Another hot mess -- that I loved the day I completed it -- but now I look at it and think -- what was i thinking. ha ha.  This is one of those pages I can see I was definitely in a dark place when I created it. 

Today I encourage you to look back on your journey as an artist -- from the last year -- or the last decade -- and see where you were -- and see just how far you've come! I think you will amaze yourself! Remember this though, make no plans for where you are going -- except to soar!

Thanks for stopping by -- have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 24

I am the Flower...

This page looked better done in pencil.  
The colors of the outside border just didn't work with the ferns. I changed the color 5 times until I ended up with this.
I tried a new product on this page. and I didn't like it at all.  back to the drawing board, next time -- NO gesso. No acrylic ground. Just a bare page and paint.
 The sealant didn't like the acrylic paint. The watercolor paint didn't like the acrylic paint or the sealant. the only thing that appeared to be truly happy was the india ink -- and me when I set it aside to dry, complete in color. In my heart, I am truly happy to be moving on from this page.
I am happy with myself -- because - well -- I finished it. it was hard -- not excruciating -- because I kept trying to see the potential. Kept feeling a little hope, a little confidence that it would become something, that I could bring it around the corner to a...well -- I can't exactly put my finger on the word -- but something. It is SOMETHING, but not what I had hoped it would be. It's not a failure -- because I learned quite a few things -- and I'm still going to do something cool with it -- but I had bigger plans for it. It looks pretty -- in person -- but I was looking for something different. I wanted a different kind of pretty.
It's a success in that I finished it. 

I have -- in the past -- started and NOT finished so many things because I didn't like them. They didn't work. the colors. the design. the product. they didn't work together - or individually for that matter, I got frustrated and abandoned it. I didn't even try to see the potential on those other projects and just left them. alone. unfinished. they never got the chance to be a failure -- because they aren't anything. they are probably in a land fill somewhere. I must not have been practicing hope at that time.

Remember, the flower had hope. I am the flower. :-) 

Have a lovely day -- thanks for stopping by.

Monday, April 23

Seen with the Heart

I'm spending a lot of time in my journal lately. Another one of those habits that I'm working hard to make a part of my life. The drawing and painting really make me happy -- and the color too. The photo below shows what this page looked like before I added any color to it.  Now if I could just make the treadmill part of my life again, my fat pants might not be so tight ;-)

And now, the big reveal -- a sweet mix of watercolor and acrylic paint. 

As I work in my journal each day, I try to be mindful of keeping my pages fresh -- through color and design. Fresh for me, too!  The last thing I want is to start having everything I do look the same! I want to look back at my art journals and smile when I think about the different things I was brave enough to start, fail -- and complete even though I thought they were failures. There's nothing like a little time and distance to change your perspective -- what is a failure to me today might turn into a thing of beauty in the future.

The last few days I've been thinking it's time to do something a little different -- while I'm not bored with this style AT ALL -- I see a lot of artists do the same pages week after week after month -- you can only make a circle and paint drip look unique so many times before they start to get boring -- I don't want to look back and think gosh is that ALL I could do? really? Where's that creative spirit?


oooops on the big black blob of india ink. 

I REALLY don't want to get bored, nor do I want to get in a rut.  Ruts are really hard to break out of. I'm thinking of adding some collage bits to these little gems -- some vintage papers -- maybe an image transfer here and there in the background -- to keep my heart singing and my experimentation process going in new tracks. The fact that my instinct is telling me to move on to try new things means it really is time. remember, I need to listen to that ;-)

Are you in a artistic rut? What do you do to get out of it? Are you listening to your intuition? What's it telling you today?

Thanks for stopping by -- hope you have a WONDERFUL day!

Friday, April 20

Acadia National Park


Northwest Harbor
 
 

Our favorite beach combing spot -- on Northwest Harbor
 

 Tom Kha at our favorite restaurant on the Island -- Siam Orchid
 

 Collection of Heart Rocks
 

 
Favorite Tree in the Harbor

 Big Rock near the Bar Harbor Inn
 

 The air was warm and the water was frigid!
 

 Cool texture and pattern, love the seaweed hanging on the rock!
 

 My cute boy at our favorite spot that has so many tempting rocks but it is illegal to take any.
 
A little balancing act on our favorite pebble beach!
 
 
 I stuffed all those rocks inside the hole in the tree trunk -- it looked kinda cool.

 
We hiked up to see the Glacial Deposit on the top of Bubble Rock -- WAY cool!
 
And played around with shadow dancing photos. 

If you have never been to Acadia National Park -- I highly recommend booking a visit at the Bar Harbor Grand -- wow we had a great time! 

Have a great weekend, thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 19

On Creativity


We had a glorious 3 days in Bar Harbor -- hotel was fantastic -- weather was better than fantastic -- food -- company -- Acadia -- it was wonderful to get away from the hum-drum of home and get some Mom time with my boy.

I worked on this page a little -- mostly the inking part -- while we were away and did some drawing on a few more pages -- so all I need to do for them is add the color -- the magic part.
 
I tried really hard to stay off my iPad and iPhone -- except when we were settled into the hotel at night -- and when I woke up in the morning -- I also took a few minutes here and there to post pictures on Facebook for my husband to see since he couldn't come with us.
I am a firm believer in time away from art doing other things is great for creativity. While I don't often take the time to do other things  -- I have a tendency to over-commit -- I still believe it is good to take a break and do something different once in a while.
Everyone needs to re-new and refresh -- and what better way to do that than in a beautiful place like Acadia National Park with great company like my kiddo??

 

 We laughed, relaxed, I didn't spend any time worring about impending deadlines or the endless to-do lists -- I had a great time. Exactly what I needed since I've been REALLY busy the last several months.
 
I'm home now and ready to get back down to business -- get that to-do list scratched out -- I'm already planning our next little re-new and re-fresh time away! 

On to the business of art, I really love the way this art journal page came out -- bright and colorful with an inspirational message. The perfect combination! 


Hope you had a great week -- thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 18

Oh What a little Black Ink Can do...

Faber-Castell Pitt Pens.

Are my idea of a little piece of perfection.

So are Sharpies -- but they give me a headache and make me feel all whoozie and strangely happy.

I think it's amazing what a little black ink can do to art. 
Thought I'd share a few before and afters.
I told you Black Ink was amazing. I don't think I can live without it. 
I'm still enjoying the April sun in Maine with my sweet #1 Son and kid-let. Be back next week with tales of art, the Maine coast and MORE!