Art Journaling Class goes LIVE on Creativebug TODAY!

How would you like to learn to add fluid vibrancy to your art journal pages with tea stain dyes? Not only that, in my Art Journaling: Mixed Media on Paper, you’ll learn how to draw everyday objects in a simplified form, document your day or record an observation, create focal points, and finish with doodled details and dimensional elements. Whether you’re new to art journaling or a seasoned mixed media artist, you’ll enjoy this playful and experimental way of approaching art.

This online workshop is about 40 minutes in length and divided into the following segments:

  • Overview

  • Materials

  • Creating backgrounds with dye

  • Observational drawing and mark-making

  • Other examples of mixed media

  • Adding collage and other embellishments

Not a Creativebug member? Wanna try it out? Follow this link!

New members will get their 1st month of Creativebug + 1 class to keep forever for just $1. They’ll also receive 30% off at Jo-Ann Fabric.

When you sign up through the link below you’ll receive a welcome email from Creativebug, then a second email with the coupon code to use either online or in-store at Jo-Ann Fabric.

How cool is that!

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NYC Sketching

Of all the cities I have ever walked the streets of, New York is special. This Memorial Day weekend, Nini and I took the train from Dover to go to the Big Apple. With cameras in our hands we stepped out of the Penn Station and walked all the way to The Ink Pad, a stamp store on 7th Avenue.

After a brief stop for lunch, we walked to China Town. It was not a short walk. But after being cooped up indoors from the cold and rain for months, the cool breeze and the warm sun was such a welcome respite! We walked, we watched people, we had bubble tea, coffee and ice cream. We walked across Canal Street into the busy alleys of China Town where Sunday is market day. There were fresh fishes and seafood, fruits of all kinds, steaming rotisserie chicken, handicrafts and souvenirs and incredible colors and textures all around. The Starbucks was housed in a pagoda like old building.

Just around the corner, we walked into Little Italy. Sidewalk cafes were brimming with people. Tourist groups walked past us in tight lines. We watched the graffiti while enjoying scoops of Lemon and Tangerine gelatos.We shopped till we had no cash left to spare.

We walked more – past landmarks, with our eyes set on catching the details beyond the landmarks – the occasional lion head knockers, the seasonal flowers cascading from a small window sill with white lace curtain blowing in the wind, the peeling green paint on wooden doors, the lights strung outside a Lebanese restaurant where the smell of the smoke was divine. We watched the pigeons whose feather gleamed like rainbow in the afternoon sun, all the dogs that crossed the streets with their people, the photographers who looked disappointed to see our big cameras while I stood in front of the Flat Iron building, the odd painted tiles here and there.

I took photos of buildings because they fascinate me the most as do their water tanks. I knew these photos would be the references for my future sketches. Speaking of which, here are the first two sketches from that day.

With 22,000 steps and about 10 miles on my i-watch, we ended the day with a train ride back home and took Tylenol before going to bed to soothe the aching feet.

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A Coloring Tutorial Video

Hello there! It’s raining outside. Feels like the perfect day for some coloring! Here’s a coloring tutorial for you to enjoy.

The last time I posted a coloring tutorial, some of my viewers mentioned that they would prefer full length tutorials over time-lapsed ones. So, here’s the full 26 minutes of me coloring in my studio.  I do hope it inspires you to pull out your coloring stash.

I used my Printable Coloring Book Farm Fresh: Printable Coloring Book of Produce from A-Z with 14 Bonus Pages of Ideas & Extras. I printed it on regular white copy paper and colored with watercolor pencils. Sometimes, I leave a page without using water to blend the colors. If you wish to watercolor, just print on thicker paper.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts. I welcome your comments!

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Day trip to D.C.

Washington D.C. is always a treat! At every turn is a monument or museum. Statues and gorgeous buildings at every angle of the camera. I can never get tired of this city.

This Sunday, Nini had a recital at Lincoln Memorial. So the rest of us tagged along.

After getting ready, Nini went on to join her company. I snuck away for a few minutes to take a long look at one of my most favorite Presidents. There’s always huge crowds around him and not easy to get a clean shot, especially because I’m so short!

But I found a spot to sit on a ledge that most people avoid for the fear of falling. In my peaceful spot, I sat and sketched the incredible view that stretched before my eyes. Only a few minutes, but blissful none the less.

I walked around some, taking photos around the bridge to Arlington Cemetery.

Once I caught up with the rest of the family, we couldn’t find parking ANYWHERE. So, we drove around and I took as many photos as I could. Blurry or not, I didn’t want to miss a single shot.

We picked Nini up and drove close to the Smithsonian. One of my main goals for this trip was to take Jia to the Natural History Museum, my favorite and her first!

Here are my girls in front of my favorite mammoth. I have photos of me before I was a mother and of all my kids at various ages and stages in front of this mammoth – yeah, it’s one of those family history photo spots for me!

Of course, we love all our primates!

And Jia connected with our long lost relative.

But Nini was tired. We had a LONG drive home. Jia was so excited that she ran from one to the other and we could barely keep up. So, we decided to call it a day. We got home around 11 pm. It was a fun impromptu kind of day!

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Video Tutorial: Art Journaling with Coloring Pages

Did you know?

  • That you don’t always have to color within the lines on a coloring book page?

  • That you can use your coloring book pages in your art journals?

  • That you can print them in reduced sizes to fit your page needs?

I have included several such ideas and step-by-step instructions in my newest printable coloring book Farm Fresh.

And here’s a video tutorial to show you what I am talking about.

I hope you enjoy!

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Splash some colors with Make it Artsy Season 100, Episode 106

Catch episode # 106 from season 100 of Make It Artsy. It’s available from 5/5- 5/12 over at makeitartsy.com. 

You wouldn’t want to miss crafty chica Kathy Cano-Murillo  mixed media artist Dina Wakley and hostess Julie Fei-Fan Balzer showing you some fun ways to add colors to your projects.

Here’s a sneak peek into the episode – my segment showing how to create a watercolor painting out of a simple coloring book page by using the principles of light and shadow. You can watch it below. Be sure to catch the whole episode!

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I left my heart in San Francisco

 

Some six and half hours later, we landed in San Francisco around 1.30 pm PST. I picked up a hot sandwich at Peet’s Coffee, called my airport shuttle and settled at the lounge to eat my lunch. The lounge was very cool with vintage or at least vintage-looking swivel chairs geometric side tables. I enjoyed my first view of the sun in days! It was windy but I took a deep breath to smell the sunshine and warm breeze.

The ride to the hotel was not too long but I loved the view all around – stacked houses, bay windows as we drove uphill, downhill and uphill again. We passed by beautiful churches, gatherings of singing people and old, historical buildings. Then we drove into the courtyard of Stanford Court. I checked in and settled in.

A little later, I went out for a walk – sunny, chilly and the air smelled of freedom.

 

I had asked and charted my route to Market Street where Creativebug studio is located. I really wanted to take a cable car. I waited at the stop in front of Fairmont on California Street and when the cable car drove up Nob Hill with its bell dinging all the way, I grinned like a little girl! The ride wasn’t longer than 10 minutes but it was 10 minutes of pure fun and wonder.

However, I got a little lost. I realized that when my phone GPS kept showing that the distance between me and my destination was increasing! I walked into a Dick Blick store and they gave me directions. I was actually walking in the opposite direction! The cable car conductor wasn’t too familiar with my destination I guess. Pretty soon, I was in the right building, in the elevator and up on the 7th floor at the Ellation reception. Signed in, got a badge, and waited at the lounge – another very cool lounge in a very beautiful building, my heart full of anticipation and excitement! I still couldn’t believe that I was at Creativebug. This journey that had started for me back in September 2016 with participating in the draw-a-day challenge for a month and then becoming one of five finalists and eventually the winner of the Next Creativebug Instructor contest feels like a dream. A dream come true. But when I thought about that, I felt a little nervous. What if I mess up? I have not done this before. What if the people at Creativebug think that I was the wrong choice? OMG, what did I get myself into!!! Suddenly the room felt very warm, my legs a little wobbly, what was my name again….

Deep breaths, really deep breaths, think about all that could go right… that was when they came out, Courtney with a big smile and Devlin with a camera. He filmed me while Courtney introduced me to everyone. Suddenly and thankfully, I realized that even though I am a newbie, they are pros and while I have never done this , they do it everyday. I trusted that I was in good hands and I was calm. I enjoyed my excitement to be there and their excitement to meet me.

 

As I walked into their studio, I immediately fell in love! The colors, the textures, the natural light flooding in through the big glass windows took away the last bit of fear and uneasiness I had. I was here. I was grateful.

 

Courtney and Devlin made me feel at home. I was being filmed the whole time – sketching, chatting, making things. It was really cool! They paid attention to every detail. We ate lunch together. There’s something about breaking bread together. It has a way of pulling people closer.

 

Later in the afternoon, Devlin took me on a walk to the Ferry House by the Port of San Francisco. So many wonderful things to see along the way. I would have missed these parts of the city had I not had a tour guide. I enjoyed the fresh air and took photos of my own.

 

I even got a rare chance to draw on location. This seagull was very gracious to me. He waited there while made a quick sketch of him. Then we walked back to the studio and filmed some more.

On my way back, I bought a cable car pass for my time in the city. I wanted to take as many rides in the cable car as I could.

When I got back to the hotel, I ordered dinner from an Indian restaurant called Little Delhi. They delivered and I LOVED their savory Papdi Chat, Samosas and Chicken Biryani. At last, I was home!

 

We filmed my first class on Tuesday. I was done a little early so I took my favorite mode of transportation, the cable car down to the Fisherman’s Wharf. Lots of photos along the way, photos while walking, more photos till the phone battery died down.

 

Then I met this Sardarji. He was so jolly and posed for me happily when I wanted to take his photo. It’s always great to see another Indian in a foreign city.

And then there was Charlie. Here he is fast asleep in Courtney’s arms. Charlie is ADORABLE and was friendly to me – he sat next to me, didn’t make a peep during all of shoot and kept me very happy while I was away from my Brave.

 

We wrapped up shooting with a Creativebug Live session on Thursday. Then the whole team took me to the Samovar Lounge for delicious treats. I had a great time hanging out with these talented people who work so hard to make these great classes we get to watch on Creativebug. It was hard to say goodbye!

But it wasn’t over yet. Courtney was so generous to me! She took me to SFMoMA and I had an amazing time walking through this incredible building filled with art. I had to be quick but it was the cherry on top of this trip.

Friday after a few hours of flight delay, I made it back home around 10 pm EDT. The only feeling I had was of gratitude. For this opportunity, for the people I met, to be able to see them at work. This happiness and inspiration was an incredible reward and I am thankful to be on its receiving end.

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