Category Archives: Art Journal Journey Challenge Blog

in search of the divine…

being out and about recently as noted in my earlier Botticelli post I was inspired by an image of Venus…

using some rubber stamps I got busy layering my pages with lots of paint… gesso… and stamping on tissue paper as well as directly on the page… the stamp on the lower right ended up completely buried but my new cityscape stamp from StampDiva was brand new (a great company with a great stamp selection and very good delivery)…

a snippet of my favorite flimmersterne made a nice halo…

I am joining Yvonne at Meggy’s Way for her Art Journal Journal theme of OUT AND ABOUT...

“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” Henry van Dyke

Family Moments…

my mojo has seemed to be mostly out and about lately partly due to a few hitches in my get along (leg pain) which slowed me down and curbed my creativity…

grateful to be feeling a bit better again I did not want to miss playing along with Yvonne‘s OUT AND ABOUT theme for Art Journal Journey this month…

looking at my journal pages on the computer screen…I noticed that they needed a little something to help anchor them…

so I stamped additional arches using my Impression Obsession, Inc. J4478 Moghul Arch stamp and tore strips to add to the bottom edge…

my spread includes various kinds of paper…deli paper scraps…map pieces…scrap papers from cleaning paint brushes…bits of napkins…stencil with super heavy gesso…grass from a magazine and rubber stamping

Love Never Dies…

this month marks the sixth year since my mother’s passing

magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-wool-pin-cushionin some ways it seems like only yesterday and yet…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-love-love

I am extremely grateful to have had a wonderful relationship with her with so many fun times and no regrets other than selfishly wishing she could have lived forever…magpies-nest-kitchen-stool

still inspired by my mother’s painting on the step stool I shared earlier this week here… magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-beginning-pages

I printed out several copies of photos I had taken doing lots of cutting and layering…magpies-nest-omis-painted-stool

I painted several shades of red on top of the heart I gessoed in the center…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-love-never-dies-art-journal-pages

I am pleased with how these pages came together and am sharing them for Linda’s “Fifty Shades of Red” challenge over at Art Journal Journey…

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” -Robert A. Heinlein

the Passion of Life

John William Waterhouse’s lovely lady in red inspired these two art journal pages that I had originally painted blue with a gold burst…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-passion-progress

I stamped a  Stamp Francisco heart on tissue paper and like how the Matte Medium helps it melt onto the page…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-sharpie-white-pen

then I got busy with my white pen and almost couldn’t stop making marks…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-passion-page-left

I found the Federico Fellini quote that helped complete the left hand page….magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-passion-girl-right  

joining in once again for Linda’s “Fifty Shades of Red” Art Journal Journey challengemagpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-passion-art-journal-pages

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you.  Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision.  So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.” – Neil Gaiman

COEXIST

a couple of days ago I shared the right hand side of my first RED pages for Linda’s Art Journal Journey theme of “Fifty shades of RED”

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it is unusual that I do not finish both sides of a spread at the same time but I confess my creativity has been a little off center so far this year…magpies-nest-left-side-waiting

sometimes inspiration is right over your shoulder as this photo shows a bit of a hodgepodge of things that usually only we see at the top of our stairs…magpies-nest-shepard-fairey-poster

I scanned the  bumper sticker and cut the letters to fit my page vertically (by the way I would NEVER do this if I were going to sell what I made… this is strictly for personal use in my journal)…magpies-nest-coexist-supplies

a few more rubons and a bit of stamping with thanks to Jo of Let’s Art Journal and her great eye for detail …magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-left-page-coexist

she helped me remember with her nice comment on the right side of my spread when she remarked on the fine lines in the background which reminded me I had forgotten to mention I used a favorite Tin Can Mail Inkadinkado rubber stamp to add interest and tie into the black rubons a bit too…

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life moves so fast I see I will be adding a bit of red pencil edging to the left hand page now that I see it on the big screen…

my calling card…

red is a strong hot color…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-paris-snow-people-red

the color of blood and fire…

magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-paris it also represents passion, heat, strength, danger, power and courage…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-love-heart-with-wings

Linda K from heARTfully Inspired is hosting the February Art Journal Journey challenge with her theme of “Fifty Shades of RED” and I am excited to join in the creative fun…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-leftover-paint

this week’s lesson in Lifebook 2017 is about using lots of layers of watercolor and other kinds of paints (hot mess at the moment LOL)… not wanting to waste any paint left on my palette for the work in progress above …magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-calling-card-before-pages

 I smeared the dribs and drabs of paint onto smooth blank journal pages and then played with a new circle stencil and assorted colored pencils…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-gesso-saves-the-day

thank goodness for Super Heavy GESSO I was finally a bit happier with the pages…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-calling-card-love

inspired by words I saw on Facebook along with a few rubons one side of my spread is complete…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-glass-heart-ranunculus

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” -Martin Luther King, Jr

the past is a foreign country…

inspiration for these pages came from some dotted green paper that I ended up not using and a couple of images torn from an old book…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-foreign-land-beginning-pages

J.P. Hartley’s quote: “The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there” really speaks to me…

magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-foreign-country-left-pagewe’ve had so many cloudy days this month I kept waiting for a good time to take some photographs…

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it was nice to see a bit of blue sky again…

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I am joining Erika’s “tell me a story” theme over at Art Journal Journey…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-foreign-country-pages

thank you for visiting …magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-human-rights-first

I am sending Peace ♥ Love and Light your way…

Another Tea Time…

inspiration is everywhere and I marveled at how nicely my choice of drinks happened to match the colors I selected for my background for Erika’s “Tell me a Story” challenge over at Art Journal Journey…

img_0525blackberry and cucumber flavored sparkling water … 0-calorie  0-sweetener   0-sodium = Innocent! as written on the front of the can…img_0526

I am enjoying getting reacquainted with my water soluble crayons scrubbing after scribbling randomly with a damp brush to blend the colors (the book text also had some white gesso on it)…img_0008

Mano Svanidze’s brilliant photo “Another Tea Time” of the lady with her tea cup and tea pot inspired me along with pieces of corrugated cardboard  and heavy gesso…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-t-pot

for the left hand page I used one of my photos layered with artwork using iPhone apps along with some words I had jotted down…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-trust

I am also joining everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover for T Stands for Tuesdaymagpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-savor

“The Universe has your back.   Instead of trying to control the outcome, just enjoy the journey.” -Dawn Gluskin

pulled by the stars…

magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-simplicity-backgroundmy pages were inspired by Tamara Laporte and her first lesson on Life Book 2017magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-simplicity-colored-pages

this is my first time joining in this popular online course and it is already wonderful (when I saw that one of my favorite artists and teachers, Misty Mawn , was teaching that sealed the deal for me)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-simplicity-gesso-layer

using colors I don’t often use was a good exercise but my background pages sat for awhile until the other bits presented themselves…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-girls-with-stars-in-her-hair

then the girl sat waiting on the left hand page without stars or words until the perfect quote found me (forgot to get a photo of her unadorned)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-simplicity-heart

I knew I wanted to use my word for the year on the right hand page along with the Paper Parachute stars that I stamped on tissue paper…

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I spent a good bit of time gluing the tiny stars down with Matte Medium which was fiddly but fun…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-left-hand-page

I am joining Erika’s “Tell me a Story” challenge again over at Art Journal Journey and the “Love” theme at Moo-Mania & More…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-pulled-by-the-stars

“I’m restless …Things are calling me away … My hair is being pulled by the stars again” -Anais Nin

take your broken he♥rt …

since 1999 … January has been a challenging month with the anniversary of our son’s death… he was killed exactly one month before his 17th birthday…magpies-nest-turn-into-art-left-background

this year I wanted to create a January Art Journal to help me through this bumpy time… turns out I am feeling like I’ve turned a bit of a corner with lightness and joy and many more bright days than dark (extremely grateful for that!!!)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-turn-into-art-right-side

losing a child is every parents worst nightmare…  even I have a hard time finding the words to comfort friends that have lost a loved one…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-heart-closeup

it is not my intention to look for sympathy by mentioning Alex but rather to share that there is hope for joy in life after great loss as I’m sure some of you have also experienced… somehow we keep on going…
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what I would say to anyone suffering from grief and loss is be gentle with yourself… there are no rules… seek healing in ways that feel right to you and know that it will get more bearable over time…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-take-your-broken-heart-turn-it-into-art

I am joining Erika’s “tell me a story” challenge over at Art Journal Journey…

and thanks to Susi’s invitation to join the L♥VE theme over at Moo-Mania & More

“It has been said, ‘that time heals all wounds.’  I do not agree.  The wounds remain.  In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens.  But it is never gone.” ~Rose Kennedy

when snow falls…

img_0414we had a “conversational” snowfall on Saturday which was just enough to add a sheer white blanket to the garden…img_0413

the birds got extra excited at the suet feeder even over just a few flakes…

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I am joining Erika’s “Tell Me A Story” challenge at Art Journal Journeyimg_0417

the story behind my two page spread is simply my Love of snow with the special hush and purity it brings…img_0005

a couple of images torn from The Washington Post along with the words “drift” and “snow” were added to book pages that I had brayered with gesso…  I printed out the rest of the quote using our laser printer… the font that I chose happened to match perfectly… the finishing touch was some splatters of gesso…

“When snow falls, Nature listens” -Antoinette van Kleef

Grateful and Hopeful…

Erika’s theme of TELL ME A STORY over at Art Journal Journey this month is wide open to interpretation…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-ranunculus

back in 2009 I created a December art journal that is still fun to look through (my angel cover below)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-december-art-journal-2009-cover

since then I have wanted to do a January art journal so here I go (this time I glued some pages together in an old book as I found working in a spiral book not that easy by the time I got to the end)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-various-papers

as it happens my first January spread has a couple of kinds of tissue included which also fits the theme over at Try it on Tuesdaymagpies-nest-right-page

I used Matte Medium to adhere the newspaper photo of trees to my painted pages and it worked nicely for the tissue papers too helping them melt into the surface…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-grateful-2016-hopeful-2017

everything has a story…

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” -Eckhart Tolle

darkness to Light…

I have missed art journaling and playing along with my favorite challenge blog friends over at Art Journal Journeymagpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-progress-1

Valerie’s brilliant theme this month is “Light and Darkness” which is something I think about quite a bit having experienced a fair bit of darkness in my life (mostly in the form of loss)…

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we all have to face it at some point (I used a fine tip black Sharpie marker for highlights around the gold)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-dark-to-light-closeup

I have also been blessed with so much beautiful Light (couldn’t help but notice the difference in the Light in my photos)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-progress-3

this journal page began with what was left from a sheet of Christmas stamps (those little snippets always seem too nice to throw away)…

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“Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.” -Madeline L’Engle