Art Journaling Video with Guest Artist Donna Downey

August 23rd, 2012

We are excited to showcase the work of mixed-media artist and journaler Donna Downey. Today she gives us a glimpse into her creative life and shares a beautiful art journaling video tutorial.

Welcome, Donna! How have you combined your background in teaching with your passion for art?

I think that when you are passionate about something, the greatest gift is sharing it. Being a teacher, it is my instinct to share my creative process with others (including the good, the bad and the ugly). Teaching is not only a way for me to share, but also to make connections with other creatives like myself. Many of the relationships I have made have been life changing. Whether it is via in-person or online workshops, or the Inspiration Wednesday section on my blog, where I share a weekly video of my creative process, the simple act of sharing has inevitably made me a better artist.

You’re a well-traveled artist; what has been your favorite crafting destination?

Culturally, I think that South Africa and Israel are two of my favorite countries, because I came away with such a broader global perspective. However, I really do not think that the destinations are as impactful as the relationships I have made with people I would not have otherwise been as lucky to meet.

What is your go-to mixed-media technique? How have you incorporated it into your projects?

You know, this changes a lot for me. I kind of run in spurts and do a technique for a long while and then change to a new one. Right now I would say I really like layering bold colors of acrylic paint and then accenting with colored India Inks.

What is one material you cannot live without?

Right now, I would say it is Golden Fluid acrylic paints.

You incorporate such lovely words of wisdom into your journals like “inspire and create” and “follow your passion.” What words of advice do you have for aspiring artists?

One of the things I remind myself of when I get into my own creative head is that art is not about skill, it is about the ability to see. If you are clouding your head with too many expectations, you are blocking your creative line of sight.

Describe your studio to us! Is it as bold and colorful as your art?

My new studio is a dream come true for me. It is bright, colorful, and filled with natural light. When we chose this space we knew it would fill all of our needs: a large spacious classroom for our workshops and retreats, a roomy shopping area, and even a gallery space to display my finished pieces. It is fun to see how the community reacts when they walk into the new space. It is perfect!

You incorporate such lovely words of wisdom into your journals like “inspire and create” and “follow your passion.” What words of advice do you have for aspiring artists?

One of the things I remind myself of when I get into my own creative head is that art is not about skill, it is about the ability to see. If you are clouding your head with too many expectations, you are blocking your creative line of sight.

Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

I have several projects in the works, one of which is a collaborative art project happening at my studio called The Altered Brush Project. I would love to share this idea and get as much participation as possible. We also have event weekends at the studio; I encourage artists of all ages and skill levels to join me in creating!

Inspiration Wednesday Video from Donna Downey

A big “Thank you!” to Donna for being here today! Donna Downey creates her art in her North Carolina home with her husband and three children. Her work has been featured in Altered Couture, Sew Somerset, and Somerset Apprentice, as well as the current issue of Art Quilting Studio. To view more of Donna’s vibrant mixed-media creations, I encourage you to visit her (brand-new!) website and blog.

Photo and video by Donna Downey



Sarah Art JournalingHow-To Project Tutorials ,

We are excited to showcase the work of mixed-media artist and journaler Donna Downey. Today she gives us a glimpse into her creative life and shares a beautiful art journaling video tutorial. Welcome, Donna! How have you combined your background in teaching with your passion for art? I think that when you are passionate about […]

DIY Parchment Petal Pots

August 20th, 2012

The process of creating something personal with a color palette that matches our décor always leaves a satisfied feeling. This way, the artwork is displayed and enjoyed, rather than tucked away in the back of a closet (we’ve all been there).

Flower embellishments are useful and versatile, so instead of using them on a paper crafting project, our Shoppe Manager, Vanessa, gave them a three-dimensional spin and used them to adorn old branches. We have seen many inspiring images of similar projects on Pinterest and couldn’t wait to give this idea a whirl!

Materials
Tea Tins Tall (set of three)
Eco Green Acrylic Paint (White)
Parchment Petals
Almanac Journaling Notes from Prima Marketing
Seam Binding Ribbon
Branches of various heights

Instructions

  1. Paint the branches with acrylic paint. Spray paint is a good alternative as well.
  2. Use a few ready-to-alter tins (or even old recycled cans) for the vases. Lightly sand the tins and give them a coat of white paint.
  3. Alter the tins using the journaling notes. Attach the notes to the tins with adhesive, and tie a piece of coordinating seam binding ribbon around the center of the tins.
  4. Insert the branches into the tins, stuffing them with white tissue paper to fill the excess spaces.
  5. Use glue dots to secure the parchment petals onto the branches. Display on a desk or a window sill for a bit of shabby chic floral décor.

For more DIY projects to spruce up your living space, please visit The Studio, and check out the brand-new issue of Somerset Home, Volume 7!

Project and photos by Vanessa Spencer



Sarah How-To Project Tutorials

The process of creating something personal with a color palette that matches our décor always leaves a satisfied feeling. This way, the artwork is displayed and enjoyed, rather than tucked away in the back of a closet (we’ve all been there). Flower embellishments are useful and versatile, so instead of using them on a paper […]

Hot Trend: Layering Tips from Somerset Apprentice Artists

August 16th, 2012

Just like you can layer a tank top underneath a flowing blouse to give your outfit a pop of color, you can layer different materials on top of one another to achieve a blend of hues and textures. From Kraft tissue paper to ink sprays, stencils to gel sticks, there is a variety of tools and media you can use to build an amazing focal point in your mixed-media projects.

Somerset Apprentice is your go-to source for learning about the building blocks of creating art. This publication is ideal for artists of all skill levels; beginners will appreciate easy-to-follow instructions and seasoned artists will enjoy expanding their artistic repertoire with new, innovative techniques.  Each issue boasts detailed snapshots, step-by-step instructions, and tips from professional artists to help guide you in creating one-of-a-kind pieces. Here are a few fun tips from some of our talented artists featured in our current Spring ’12 issue.

 

Good Credit

Layer paint onto the pages and roughly blend with a paintbrush. Use an old credit card to scrape over areas and to move the paint around.

Linda Fazzary

 

Back, Back, Back it Up

To create the background, cut vintage book pages and scanned letters into squares and adhere to the board with matte gel.

Michelle DeFillipo

 

You Tell the Story

Select a phrase or sentence from your vintage book pages that suggests the story, theme, or message behind your composition, and apply with matte medium.

Ivette Newport

 

Just My Type

Using a typewriter, type a title onto a scrap of muslin. Adhere the title over the lower front of the photograph with a light coat of soft gel medium.

Rebecca Sower

 

Observe and Combine

The beauty of abstract art is that you can do whatever appeals to you. I challenge you to look around your workspace and observe what you have laying around and see what kind of things you can combine to make your own piece of art.

Ruth Rae

 

Find Your Medium

I love that [the acrylic paint] dried quickly and is made from plastic and is so durable that you can layer it, sand it, and start over repeatedly! Sometimes I go back into paintings from years ago to freshen them up a bit or completely rework them.

Mati Rose McDonough

Find these artists’ projects and more inside of the Spring ’12 issue of Somerset Apprentice, and get to work on learning a new skill or two! Send us a photo showing off your new trade at blog@stampington.com.

 

Top photo: Priscilla Jones, Autumn ’12 (available September 1st)

Bottom photo: Hanne Matthiesen, Spring ’11

 



Sarah Mixed-Media Art ,

Just like you can layer a tank top underneath a flowing blouse to give your outfit a pop of color, you can layer different materials on top of one another to achieve a blend of hues and textures. From Kraft tissue paper to ink sprays, stencils to gel sticks, there is a variety of tools […]

A Stampington-Style Contest

August 13th, 2012

We’re inviting you to be a stylist for a day and give us your best shot (pun totally intended) at snapping a styled photo of your favorite August Stampington magazine. We highlight our current titles in our Post Script e-letter that is sent to more than 38,000 readers and fans. Are you signed up? If not, join the fun, and start receiving free handmade ideas, exclusive sales, and digital downloads in your inbox twice a month.

Your mission: take a picture of any August issue (Artful Blogging, Altered Couture, Art Doll Quarterly, Somerset Home, GreenCraft Magazine, Where Women Create) in an inspiring setting. Here are just a few ideas of how you might style your magazine:

Surrounded by art supplies

In your inspirational retreat

Propped up against a colorful wall

On a coffee table

Wrapped up in a bow

In your favorite coffee shop

While you have creative freedom to style your photo as you wish, we ask you to note the following guidelines.

  • The magazine should be the focal point of the photo; the title should be clearly readable
  • Please exclude people in the foreground of your shots
  • Photograph the magazine face-on (No shots of the spine or back, please.)

Send your photo (at least 580 pixels wide) to blog@stampington.com by 8/20/12. We will choose our favorite snapshots to include in next week’s Post Script for our crafting community to see, and one grand prize winner will receive an issue of their choice. Best of luck! We can’t wait to see what you snap up!

Photo by Vanessa Spencer

 



Sarah Artwork SubmissionsContests and Giveaways ,

We’re inviting you to be a stylist for a day and give us your best shot (pun totally intended) at snapping a styled photo of your favorite August Stampington magazine. We highlight our current titles in our Post Script e-letter that is sent to more than 38,000 readers and fans. Are you signed up? If […]

Style Your Photographs with a Vintage Spool Tutorial

August 9th, 2012

Place your cherished photographs in the spotlight with this simple décor project that features an unlikely use for wooden spools. With a quick wash of paint and romantic decorative tape, you’ll be able to showcase a favorite family photo for your grandmother’s birthday; she’ll beam at the clever use of this classic sewing accessory. Kick it up a notch with personalized handwritten names for an unforgettable baby shower favor, or how about creating place card holders for a backyard wedding? Impress your recipients with this unique spin on a classic tool from our Shoppe Manager, Vanessa.

Materials
Wooden Spools (or alternatively, our White Painted Spools)
Fabric Tape Sets – Greeny
Acrylic Paint – White
Wire
Old photographs

Instructions
Give spools a coat of paint and let dry. Wrap a piece of decorative tape around the center. Take approximately 5″ of black wire and shape two circles close enough to each other to create a small space to insert a photograph. Wrap the middle portion of the wire around your pinky or a thin pencil to create desired coiling. Double up the bottom portion of wire, making it thick enough to push inside of the spool to secure it.

Want another reason to pick up these wooden spools? Vanessa created a tic-tac-toe game board using spools as the game pieces. This project is also a winner, doubling as a fun pastime and a fantastic piece of home décor. Checkmate! For more creative living ideas, pick up a copy of Somerset Life.

Feel the need to express your love of spools through poetry? Compose a poem (see mine below) in the comment section for a chance to win a 5-pack of spools to get you started on this project.*

“Ode to Spools”

Darling wooden spools
All standing in a line
I’ll paint and then distress you
Then wrap you up in twine!

Project and photos by Vanessa Spencer

*This contest is open to residents of the U.S. and expires at midnight on 8/20/2012. Update: Congratulations, Ella! You are the winner of our poetry contest. We will be in touch with you in regards to your prize. Thank you to all who participated!



Sarah How-To Project TutorialsMixed-Media Art ,

Place your cherished photographs in the spotlight with this simple décor project that features an unlikely use for wooden spools. With a quick wash of paint and romantic decorative tape, you’ll be able to showcase a favorite family photo for your grandmother’s birthday; she’ll beam at the clever use of this classic sewing accessory. Kick […]