Need inspiration? A challenge?

Looking for inspiration/ A place to start? Here are some creative things you can do for yourself in the new year. I am either partaking in these myself or I have in the past. They are all FREE! 
  • Strathmore 2012 Online Workshop Series: 3 free workshops. Doodles Unleashed (mixed media technique) Watercolor Sketching, and Force Drawing Technique, with 3 different instructors.
  • Book of Days with Effy Wild: art journaling with videos on how to create your own art journal and inspiration to fill it. This is a year long project with a Flickr group and a facebook group.
  • Green Pepper Press Street Team Challenges: Michelle Ward leads wonderful monthly art challenges for you to do in your own art journal and share as you wish by posting on your blog or flickr or wherever, linking via comments on the GPP blog.
  • Creative Jump Start Summit 2012: Hosted by Nathalie Kalbach and featuring I believe, 22 awesome artists and their "jump starts". I just watched the Jump Start #1 video with Dina Wakely and it was really so good! I look forward to more from the other artists.
  • Creative Every Day: with Leah Piken Kolidas. Inspiration and a place to share your creative activities, based on a theme if you wish. This is a "low pressure challenge with the idea of bringing more creativity into our lives." There is a flickr group for sharing as well.
  • Tag Tuesday: Hosted by Carolyn Saxby. Create a Tag on a seasonal theme that will be posted every Tuesday. Keep and use the tag yourself, but simply post a photo to Tag Tuesday. 
  • Art Journal Every Day: with Julie Fei-Fan Baltzer. I can't say enough good things about this project/challenge where the idea is to try to do a little (10 mins) art journaling every day. Lots of inspiration from Julie and fellow art-journalers on the accompanying flickr group.
  • Green Paper: with Mary Green. Every month Mary provides both images and a challenge to use them in any way you like, then share a link on her blog. The January challenge is here, and you have up until January 8th to upload yours. I often do these challenges and always enjoy. Mary has a wonderful bank of Vintage images which she so freely shares with us for this monthly challenge.
  • Penny from the Linen Shelf is soon to start an ATC challenge. Her idea is that we will make an ATC based on the calendar month and we will keep the ATC but add a link to her site, by the end of the month so we can all enjoy. My friend Joanna in the UK told me about this and it looks promising! 
  • Creative Swaps: hosted by me -but usually not free! (the only one in the bunch) There are no art exchanges running currently, but you will find creative swaps up and running again in the near future. You may sign up for the Swap Participants Newsletter - this will alert you to any NEW art swaps hosted by me. 

Of course, this is not a complete list. Just things I am interested in or involved in. I hope you find something intriguing here . . . . and go do something creative!! 


Welcome in the New Year well! : ^ ) lenna

GPP: What's your Hang-UP?


Michelle Ward has wonderful monthly creativity crusades on her Green Pepper Press Street Team blog. I am just starting to partake of them and love them! Moving house kept me away from participating last month, but this month I can participate at least once. ; ^ ) The November crusade is: What's your Hang-up?  Michelle gave us the challenge to frame and hang our own artwork in our home and also said, "If you already have your own art adorning your walls then show us!  Let's motivate each other this month to express ourselves as the artists we are by hanging our cool stuff on our walls."

I have started to put a few things up on the walls of my studio -both my own artwork as well as the work of others, but most of our artwork we usually have up on the walls has not come out of the packing boxes yet. Except for this one, which is very special to my husband and I and is always one of the first pieces of art we hang, no matter where we live! 


This is a collaborative painting Steven and I did together (taking turns) in 2006. The story and progression photos are here on my website -look for ColorPLaY (the title of the painting) a couple of paragraphs down the page. We hung this painting in our Kitchen this time, in our new home in Bradenton, Florida. 


Colorplay is about 30" x 24", not including the frame. Steven & I had a really great time collaborating on this painting and I love having such a huge piece (for me!) that I did with my husband up on the walls. In fact, I insisted that we hang the painting in our new kitchen so I could see it a lot. I also am more of a mixed media collage artist and I enjoy that Steven and I did a painting together! 

Thank you Michelle, as always for the creative crusade!
; ^  ) lenna 

found typography (in my sketchbook)

I decided to try Michelle Ward's Green Pepper Press Street Team challenge again. This month the theme is Text messaging or you could say ~ found typography: words and phrases as a background for your page. Pretty cool! I don't usually do this type of collage or background so I decided to try. My 5.5" x 8.5" moleskine (theme: this is not a sketchbook!) - the one I'm using for the sketchbook project 2011, seemed like just the right place to try this technique out -click on the scan for detail.  


I started as Michelle suggested and browsed through magazines, grabbing (snipping) lines of text. Actually, I only used 2 magazines, one current 2010 and one circa 1971. That was fun! I wonder if you can pick out which lines came from what year . . . . I arranged the words quickly once I had gathered them and used a glue stick to secure them to my moleskine. Then I got out my watercolor crayons. Let's admit it, I rarely put them away!! I filled in the spaces in between and around the edges and when I was done with that decided my background needed just a bit more - a bit of rubber stamping. Done! fun!

strip ease in sketchbook

close up of one of my sketchbook pages
For the third spread of pages in my 5"x 8" moleskin for the sketchbook 2011 project, I took up Michelle Ward's Street Team Challenge #42 ~Strip Ease: let go and rip! This is the first time ever I have played in Michelle's creative challenges, although I have been wanting to for a while. The challenge says it is due August 1st, so I think I might have just made the deadline. I only learned about it yesterday from Mary Green! It was in Mary's online class, Your Vintage GlueBook where I ran into this idea of ripping paper for a lovely background. Great class, check it out! Here is what I did . . .

I covered my spread of pages with brown water color crayon
and ripped some leftover strips of paper, found some fabric strips.

I stamped over the crayon with VersaCraft ink (heat set for permanence).

getting started with placement of the strips -I play with  them
until they look right.

more added, almost done. I have spritzed the crayon with water
and sponged it to blend in with  the paper.

photo on vellum of me in CT 1984 on left and discarded photo -FL 2010 printed
on watercolor paper on right. It was for the 4x4 swap I hosted this spring
and I could not throw it away. Now I see why -it is perfect for this!

close up water manipulated photo on water color paper


Thank you Mary and Michelle! I so enjoyed this creative exercise!!