You Can Draw Anything

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This article was written by Melanie Statnick

Learning to draw the simplest images and save money on stamps

Learning to draw the simplest images and save money on stamps

Hi I’m Melanie and I’m anArtsupplyaholic. I have everything I could possibly need and then some. Recently I went to a craft store to find yet another pencil with a specific led type that I didn’t need. Do you find yourself in this spot often? Too often?  I know the urge to shop for all the newest toys is on your mind the next time you get paid.  However when you’re on a budget this is the worst thing you can do with your already tight income.

As I looked around at all the new papers, canvases, pens, pencils, stencils, paints, brushes the urge to “just get it”…washed over me. As I looked at some of the coolest stamps I’ve seen I thought “What am I doing buying? I can draw this.”And so can you.  I know when it comes to stamps who can resist getting the cutest one or the one that is just perfect. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from students “I can’t draw astraight line”.  Or just plain “I can’t draw”.   I didn’t leave that store with anything because I was determined to learn to draw my own images and save the 20 bucks.

Learning to draw the simplest images and save money on stamps

Learning to draw the simplest images and save money on stamps

The simplest stamp of a snowman, a mason jar, pumpkin and more are some of the simplest stamps I’ve seen and we buy them for convenience. I’m a self-taught artist and I believe that I can learn anything. Over the last 4 months I’ve sat with my journals, pens, pencils, markers and watercolors and have been teaching myself to draw. Years ago I didn’t think I could until I practiced every day. That is all it takes. There are so many books on how to draw and websites that have an abundance of inspiration.  But are you any good?  Yes you are.  We have to get past being perfect, realistic and spot on. It would amaze you to know how many people appreciate the imperfect cute doodle.

Learning to draw the simplest images and save money on stamps

Draw out 6 squares in a sketch journal and get your toes wet.  Be fearless with your drawings and learn to let go of how many Facebook “likes” your photo of your drawing gets. What is most important is that you like what you draw and you can draw a straight line. Practice 6 block drawings for 21 days and watch how amazing you become. Stop buying and start drawing.

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Melanie Statnick is a published artist/writer out of North Carolina. Melanie creates art daily from her private studio. Her style is happy and whimsy. Statnick’s artwork can be found in art galleries and shops extensively in NC with international private collections. Learn more about Melanie view her website at: www.melaniestatnickart.com

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I’m NOT Obsessed with Art Journals! (Am I?)

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This article is written by Vicki Ross

Please note: any snarkiness is directed toward Wicki…not Mixed Media :)

I am by nature a studious sort. I seem to get more pleasure out of figuring out all the ins and outs of a subject long before I experiment with it. Used to purchase software books and manuals (back before information was available online) and attack them page by page before I ever loaded the corresponding software.

I’ve done the same thing with art. Even though I am a retired graphic design professional, I knew nothing about the application of “Fine Art” materials back in 2002 when I made serious life changes that pushed me to learning to paint.

SO, instead of experimenting with watercolors, I studied the chemical formulas and what made some pigments play nice together and that some made mud. THEN I went to the studio (after collecting the vast array of materials I thought I HAD to have). Same with pastels, acrylics, oils, and encaustics. Now, thanks to sites like Mixed Media Art, videos by Terri Sproul, Carolyn Dube, and my fellow writers here, I’m doing the same thing with ‘journaling’. Lurking around, soaking up the wisdom and tutorials, and maybe, just maybe…ya never know where Wicki will be next!

Coming to the conclusion a week or so ago that I really hadn’t crossed over to the dark side of crafting (not that there is anything wrong with that), I could start art journaling as a means of technique experimentation for implementation in my ‘real’ art pieces. Then, one morning a couple of days ago, I remembered a journal I created back in 2004-ish that was intended to be filled with artwork from members of a critique group I was in. Some were happy with a simple spiral bound notebook, but not Wicki!

art journalling journal

Would you just look at this? I spent hours making the journal! Now I’m considering re-purposing/finishing out the pages as an art journal.

The book was a post system binder filled with handmade paper. I carefully took it apart and added a sheet of glassine between each page.

The cover looks like tissue paper attached with mat medium. I don’t think I used stamps (didn’t have any). A laser print of one of my graphics projects was collaged on, then a ribbon and wad of copper wire.The inside covers are collaged with mulberry paper.

To add to the obsession, I took a placemat with beaded trim and attached it to the back of the book. Add ribbons and beads and it folds and ties over the cover to protect it.

mixed media art journaling coverNow the fun part! Switching the books between the artists in the group, the idea was to get it filled. The group drifted apart as these experienced artists transitioned into senior centers and they lost touch with their art experimentation. My train took a dirt road about that time as I ventured into soft pastels.

Imagine my pleasure as I opened the book and out fell some cards from art friends…one from Anita from Germany we met on a watercolor workshop with Charles Reid in Salzburg and Prague in 2006. A delightful original watercolor with a note on the back from Jan in Australia. Another card from a good friend, Jodie from Texas. Then a few pages from the critique group…and an ATC card from friend, Erika from Bentonville. Another page revealed a detailed pencil drawing of a design I was working out for a painting. I was experimenting with pencil as an art form, not pencil for sketching or guide for painting.

So, what do you think? Should I throw caution and frugality to the side and pick this bad boy up for art journaling? OR, put it back on the shelf and save it?

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Vicki Ross is focused on sharing her journey to art and how life events can shape us through creativity www.Axully.com. Vicki has always been involved deeply in the creative arts, from professional soft crafts publications (knitting/crochet/needlework) to French Hand-sewing, stenciling to macramé, oil painting to encaustics. Whatever your leaning, she believes in the healing power of creating.

You can see more of Vicki’s work at VickiRossArt or via blog posts at Axully – Solid. Useful. Beautiful

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Chosen Moments Art Journal

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This article is written by Tamara Dinius

Purple circles feature in Tamara Dinius mixed media art journal layout

These videos (Part 1 and Part 2) show the process of completing an art journal layout start to finish. The layout was completed using Dylusion Sprays, Liquitex Acrylic Inks, stencils, papers, gold leafing, as well as other items.

Follow along and complete a layout in less than 30 minutes.

Part 1

Part 2

“Chosen Moments” art journal close-ups:

Purple circles feature in Tamara Dinius mixed media art journal layout

Purple circles feature in Tamara Dinius mixed media art journal layout

Purple circles feature in Tamara Dinius mixed media art journal layout

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Tamara Dinius lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and chocolate lab. She has two grown daughters who make her life meaningful. They support her, ground her, embrace her, and are amazing people in their own right.

Her love for mixed media has taken over most aspects of her creative journey. She believes mixed media allows for a broad range of styles and anyone can find success in this form of artistic expression.

You can find more of Tamara’s work, and on her website www.countrycraftersusa.com or via her Etsy Store.

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“It Takes Courage” Art Journal Page

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This article is written by Tamara Dinius

The videos (Part 1 and Part 2) show the process of completing an art journal layout, start to finish.

Mixed media art journal layout with Dylusion sprays, stamping and collage

The layout was completed using Dylusion Sprays, Liquitex Acrylic Inks, stamps, stencils, papers, paper napkins, as well as other items.

Follow along and complete a layout in less than 30 minutes.

Part 1

Part 2

Here are a few close-ups of the layout elements:

Mixed media art journal layout

Angel in art journal by Tamara Dinius

mixed media ephemera hearts

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Tamara Dinius lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and chocolate lab. She has two grown daughters who make her life meaningful. They support her, ground her, embrace her, and are amazing people in their own right.

Her love for mixed media has taken over most aspects of her creative journey. She believes mixed media allows for a broad range of styles and anyone can find success in this form of artistic expression.

You can find more of Tamara’s work, and on her website www.countrycraftersusa.com or via her Facebook

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