Sunday, January 18, 2009

pretty in pink

Pink is one of my favorite colors to wear and to work with. I used to have such an aversion to all things pink! I was such a tomboy when I was a kid and I rejected all things girly and frilly long into my teens and twenties.

Little by little, pink won it's way into my heart and I went through this total pink phase in my late twenties--I think it was just the pendulum swinging the other way! I had to make up for all those years of being so anti-pink.

Now I'm a little in the middle. I love pink in my waredrobe and art here and there. I'm mostly a bright and bold color gal, but pink and dainty will always have a place in my heart. ;)

Today was the final day in the monochrome journal pages challenge hosted by Misty Mawn. What a wonderful color to end such a wonderful journey! I can't believe how much art journaling I did this week! More than I have in a whole year combined, I think! And tomorrow starts off a whole new week of daily challenges!

Monday - embellishments. buttons, beads, fabric added to the page.
Tuesday - word art. focus on one word... create a page around that word.
Wednesday - altered photo. take one photo of your own, alter it any way you wish
Thursday - crayons only day... nothing else. explore your inner child. ;-)
Friday - create a work of art /journal page inspired by your favorite artist.
Saturday- share your art... make a piece of art as a gift today, give it away.
Sunday - shapes. pick one shape and go from there.

I'm so excited! Will you join in on the fun?

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Made a couple of quick yellow pages tonite...

Yellow can be soft and mellow or bright and sunshiny. Another one of the "least likely colors I'll use" so this was a fun challenge to try to stretch past my resistance to yellow.

Maya joined me on today's color challenge. This is what she has to say: "Yellow is very jumpy and makes me excited. It was really fun to do this."

And there you have it! Tomorrow is the last day of the monochrome color challenge with the color PINK!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Seeing Red

Red was bold and brave and beautiful. Lovely, alluring and luscious.

All shades of red came together just wonderfully: true red, pink, burgandy, ruby, and, marouge (a color name made up by my 6-year-old daughter. When I asked her what it meant, she said it was a pinkish reddish maroonish red).

Red put me in the mood for LOVE! ;) I couldn't escape the hearts and valentines theme in today's pages.

This is where today's adventure began! I love to start off each journal page challenge this way. I love love love to see all the endless possibilities spread out before me. It's a great way to get inspiration before starting.

And here's Maya's take on today's red theme. She was inspired by my green she hulk expressing her anger! The top of her journal page says, "Don't make me angry!" >:(

Thursday, January 15, 2009


White was wonderful! I've never worked with just white before. White is calm and peaceful. Reminded me of a fresh blanket of snow. Or cotton candy clouds in the Arizona sky.

There is something so soft and subtle about working with an absence of color.

I started of today's challenge gathering all of my white paints, pens, papers. It wasn't as difficult as I thought. I had plenty of white and off-white paint, and a plethora of pens--and then I surprised myself by finding I had a lot more white and neutral tone paper and ephemera than I had previously thought.

I didn't get to the writing part of it...I'll save that for another day. Today's challenge was fatigue brought on by being 5 months pregnant! I had to take extra care of myself today and rest and make sure I drank enough water and ate little bits here and there. So I will save these wintry pages for another day.!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Little Green

Today's challenge was all about green. This is a more comfortable color for me. I think I reside in the cool shades of the rainbow.

After I colored the woman green, the Hulk immediately came to mind. I used to watch the show on tv when I was a kid. I loved to see the mild mannered scientist David Banner erupt into a raging, green monster!

I guess I could relate, having a somewhat explosive temper myself! It's the Taurus in me, I guess.

And then there's Joni Mitchell in my head, again, singing...

Just a little green
Like the color when the spring is born
There'll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow
Just a little green
Like the nights when the northern lights perform
There'll be icicles and birthday clothes
And sometimes there'll be sorrow

--Joni Mitchell, Little Green

And Maya's green page.

And this is where it all started! The gathering. I love that part. Focusing on just one color may sound limiting, but I actually find it more liberating. It's one less dilemma I have to struggle with and I can now focus on techniques or composition. This challenge is becoming something of a creative habit! I hope to keep it up long after. I think that's the point. Just to train my brain to believe that art is good for my soul and it is a habit that must be practiced daily. I felt a little resistance today, and I think that's good. I like overcoming that feeling and getting to the creating. Please be sure to stop by Misty's blog and see her work and the works of other participants! It is truly inspiring!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Orange You Glad You Tried Something New?

I sure am! Today was the second day of the monochromatic color challenge...the theme? You guessed it: ORANGE!!

I must admit, orange is not usually my first color choice. But when I emerged myself in nothing but started to come alive for me. I feel a renewed appreciation for this sultry, sunny, marmalade, sunset, tangerine dream color!

I think this will be the way I start off each challenge:

Gathering the materials is half the fun. Once all of the color-cordinated supplies are put together, the inspiration begins!

Photographing the process is also very enlightening. It is also a great way to remember how you got from A to B and then to Q and Z. So, in the spirit of ORANGE, here is a poem that popped up in my head today while being drenched in sunshine colors. It is poem I first heard in the 7th or 8th grade and it was the first poem I read that just made me go, "oooh, I get it!" and started off my love affair with words.


The first time I walked
With a girl, I was twelve,
Cold, and weighted down
With two oranges in my jacket.
December. Frost cracking
Beneath my steps, my breath
Before me, then gone,
As I walked toward
Her house, the one whose
Porch light burned yellow
Night and day, in any weather.
A dog barked at me, until
She came out pulling
At her gloves, face bright
With rouge. I smiled,
Touched her shoulder, and led
Her down the street, across
A used car lot and a line
Of newly planted trees,
Until we were breathing
Before a drugstore. We
Entered, the tiny bell
Bringing a saleslady
Down a narrow aisle of goods.
I turned to the candies
Tiered like bleachers,
And asked what she wanted -
Light in her eyes, a smile
Starting at the corners
Of her mouth. I fingered
A nickle in my pocket,
And when she lifted a chocolate
That cost a dime,
I didn't say anything.
I took the nickle from
My pocket, then an orange,
And set them quietly on
The counter. When I looked up,
The lady's eyes met mine,
And held them, knowing
Very well what it was all

A few cars hissing past,
Fog hanging like old
Coats between the trees.
I took my girl's hand
In mine for two blocks,
Then released it to let
Her unwrap the chocolate.
I peeled my orange
That was so bright against
The gray of December
That, from some distance,
Someone might have thought
I was making a fire in my hands.

--Gary Soto

So Sweet!

So sweet! Jenny of All Roads Lead Home was kind enough to bestow me with my first blog award! The award is for blogs with "Great Attitude or Gratitude" and she wrote the most lovely and kind words about me and my blog. (This is where I blush and get all bashful!) ;)

As part of receiving the award, I'm to nominate 10 other blogs for the same award (I'm still new at this, so I don't exactly know 10 different bloggers well enough...yet!!). Well, I'm going to do a tag-back and nominate the sweet and talented Jenny herself! Her blog is so full of life and love and kindness and joy! When I visit, I feel right at home. She invites you in, gives you a cup of cocoa (or lemonade, if it's summer) and before you know it, you're chatting and telling stories and making art! Her art is so heartfelt and endearing and reading her posts is like chatting with an old friend. She has a great, down-to-earth attitude and her artful journey is one of gratitude for the delicate details in life. Thanks for the inspiration and joy, Jenny!

Another blog I'd like to award belongs to the talented and spunky Catherine Witherell of Happy Day Art! Her blog invokes the spirit of this award and she certainly has a great attitude! Her blog is a mix of personal snapshots of her artful life and of her exquisite jewelry. She wears many creative hats and it is always a pleasure to read her blog and follow her on her many artisitc adventures! Her blog also inhabits the spirit of gratitude--being grateful for a life full of art!

If you'd like to participate in giving this award, simply do the following:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate blogs which show GREAT ATTITUDE &/or GRATITUDE!
3. Be sure to link your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love & link to this post & to the person from who you received your award.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Blue...songs are like tatoos...

I couldn't get that Joni Mitchell song out of my head all day as I worked on some journal pages with a BLUE theme. Inspired by Misty Mawn's journal-page-a-day challenge, I worked on three separate journals today.

This week's theme is working in monochrome, or just using one color.

Blue, songs are like tattoos
You know Ive been to sea betore
Crown and anchor me
Or let me sail away...

...Blue, here is a shell for you
Inside youll hear a sigh
A foggy lullaby
There is your song from me

(from Blue, by Joni Mitchell)

I gathered all my blue paint, paper, ink pads, pens and spread out over the dining room floor. I alternated between each journal, adding the backgrounds with diluted Adirondack re-inkers, then stamping and adding collage. I kept jumping from one journal to the other, trying not to over-think each piece.

The raw materials by themselves were a work of art! (Couldn't help snapping some photos of the supplies while waiting for layers to dry on the pages!)

Here are some of the pages in earlier stages:

I cut out some words that felt BLUE to I collected them, they kind of just fell on the page that way and that's how they were glued down.

My blue maiden started off mostly blue to begin with...I added a blue butterfly bow tie. I added more collage elements and dry brushed some light blue acrylic paint around the edges of each piece.

This color is so dear to me. It has always been my favorite color. I am always drawn back to it. It is always my first choice. Blue holds so many possibilities for me. An endless sea. It is the color of life, sky, ocean, deapth, loss, hope.

You can jump in any time! Visit Misty's blog for details and inspiration and a list of other artists who are joining the challenge. These are the week's color themes:

monday ~ blue
tuesday ~ orange
wednesday ~ green
thursday ~ white
friday ~ red
saturday ~yellow
sunday ~ pink

And here is Maya's blue journal page:

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Happy New Year!

This will be the first post for, a whole new year full of adventure, art, love, life...I can't wait to see what this new year will bring.

I've been journaling a lot lately...been crazy into it since I received my copy of Somerset Studio's Art Journaling magazine. I am determined to submit some journals for their next issue! I started off last year signing up for a lot of art swaps and challenges to boost my confidence, learn new skills and to make more art! This year, I plan to send off a lot more of my creations to magazines and to submit ideas for articles. I know I want an artful life, so this is what I will do and in the meantime, my brain will figure out the rest! ;)

Change seems to be the big theme for 2009. I'd like to make art every day, even if it's a few little doodles or photos or something. I'd also like to get an Etsy shop up this year. I'll be taking creative classes this year, too. I'll be a mom to a little baby pretty soon...I should probably try to get in as much un-interrupted art time as possible before then! ;) It will be interesting to see how I can balance art and baby...I'm sure many mothers have done it before me, and I did it, too, not too long ago when my littlest one was, well, a lot littler. Here's wishing everyone a wonderful, creative, inspiring, lovely, artful new year!

Happy 2009!
The Austin-Gonzalez Family


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