As I continue to explore life through the lens of art journaling and mixed-media techniques, my eyes have sharpened. I see things in ways that I never expected. I seek out patterns, color combinations, and fresh approaches to combining techniques that I've learned from other artist's online.

I am happiest, when I am in the midst of magazine images and colorful mark makers like Crayola crayons, Caran D'Arche Neocolor II, Portraits' Watersoluble Oil Pastels, Gelatos, acrylics or watercolors and a glue stick.

I love sharing ideas and inspiring others, so once a month I gather materials and head over to a local gallery to teach a small group of women. We journey together to discover our created selves, to express our unspoken desires and to SEE how integrating who we are and what we want makes us who we will become.

Our theme this year is "Seeing NEW!" Using various techniques and projects, we are widening our perspective. Today, we worked on accordian books, which we adapted from ideas demonstrated by Daisy Yellow. I had prepared two books before class, and had a blank one, when I arrived home.

After being in the midst of these creative ones, I wanted to play some more. I recently learned a technique from Jenniebellie's Monthly Challenge. In December, she challenged us to embrace a childhood game of making inkspots, using acrylic paints and scraps of paper.

It occured to me that the creases in my accordian book would be a perfect place to create some colorful "inkspots."
We definitely will be applying this technique to a future project in class! That was as far as I got with this book, so it will be fun to see what I add to the other side.

Here are some more photos of the books in progress.
three books from one manila folder
side one of "love" book
side two, I love the blank canvas panel with bird!
opposite side of "models" book, traced the images and then cut out and glued over security envelopes that I "harvested" from the mail
I love adventures. To travel and experience a new place inspires me. But I don't want my adventure to be defined by place only. I long to seek adventure every day.

While away this winter, I recharged my daring soul. I lived on a small boat with my husband and our dog, Kokomo. We explored the gulf shore of Florida. (Panama City Beach and Dunedin) Click here to read more about those adventures.

I soaked my soul in the sunshine, quieted by the crashing surf and relaxed by the warm breezes. I carried my art supplies along to create in unrushed, uncharted, uninhibited ways.

In January, I followed along with Lisa Sonora and her FLOW Challenge. (I made a journal out of greeting cards, which I learned from Jenniebellie.) I glued ephemera and fodder from our daily life into a glue book. And I sketched, doodled and experimented with colors and mixing media.
When I came home, I wasn't sure what my art practice would look like. But I did want to incorporate the new found freedom of making art wherever I happened to be. On our boat, I didn't have a dedicated space. I would spread out my supplies inside the cabin or outside in the back of the boat. Or I would take a few select supplies to the beach, walk to a spot, sit and create.
I was pleasantly surprised with myself when I arrived home. I couldn't remember if my art studio had been left in haste. I found it fairly organized and space on the floor available for creating in a new art journal. I decided to try art journaling in a compostion notebook. I decided to leave my supplies out and just pop into the room between unpacking, household chores and errands.

On Thurday, I woke up early to go get my nieces and nephews off to school. I had fifteen minutes before I had to be there, so I grabbed some paper ephemera, ripped them into pieces and glued them on the blank two page spread. (I had glued two pages together with a glue stick the night before to give the page more stability.) I finished gluing down the random pieces of paper, which included a page from a knitting instruction book, a page from a children's songbook and a page from a vintage clay modeling book.

Later that morning I had another fifteen minutes, so I slapped some acrylic paint and gesso on the pages. In the afternoon, I had the leisure of an hour or so to play. I dug out my oil pastels, graphite pencils and pastel pencils. (I learned from Jenniebellie that pastels can be smooged AND released with water.) I liked the effect of running a wet brush over the marks that I made with the graphite pencil.

I just grabbed whatever supplies were at hand. I made some circles and finger painted with gesso. I glued the word "adventure" on the page. And after awhile the two circles on the right started looking at me. Circles became eyes, and eyes became the owl that is now peeking at us at the top of this post.

I learned that time nor space can keep me from creative play and fun discoveries. (You don't need an art studio or exotic place or eight hours to make art, you just need to start. And having an adventurous spirit helps, too.)

How can you make time and space for your creative quests?