Journal Friday #102


I completely forgot to post the last Journal Friday here, so I’m catching up now. I’ve already posted the video to social media, but I wanted to post it here as well.

This spread really came out of nowhere, and I wasn’t of any of it when I started, except that I new that I wanted to start with collage. As I started the spread, I got a phone call from my brother saying that one of our uncles had passed away. It wasn’t unexpected. He had suffered a stroke a few months ago, and had been in the hospital ever since. He hadn’t really recovered, and I wasn’t surprised with the call. But still it was sad, and my heart hung heavy as I worked on the spread. The news did help dictate the direction of the page, and it became a way to process the feelings and emotions.

I did a variation on blackout poetry once I glued the book pages in, and I searched out rather heavy words as I began to string together phrases. But as I looked outside at the leaves beginning to bud on the bushes and trees, I knew I had to incorporate inspirations of spring despite the sad the news. As I worked through the page, I allowed my thoughts to churn and turn. Though the final spread seems to bear little to no semblance to the sad news, it was a great help in allowing me to process my feelings.

Journal Friday #80: Animated Journal Spread


For this week’s Journal Friday, I just had to make an animated video of a journal page. Using Stop Motion Studio, I created a short video that shows the evolution of a spread.

I began with using Prang watercolor paint. These inexpensive paints are bright and vibrant, and are perfect for the journal. I then used purple Prismacolor watercolor pencil to add some rectangles on top of the dried paint. Next I used a black uni-ball Vision pen to draw rectangles and straight lines, and I outlined the shapes with watercolor pencil. Then I added some cut paper collage using Daler Rowney Cranford paper. I wrapped up the video with red ink spirals and a stylized face in black ink.

This was only my second attempt at animating artwork, and I am quite pleased with it. I hope that you like it!

Animated Art Video

Last week, I was in Richmond, VA for the Virginia Art Education Association’s annual conference, where I presented two lectures and a hands-on workshop. I was also able to attend several other talks and workshops, as well as catch up with colleagues and friends.

The session that had my mind buzzing the most was a workshop by Greenwood Elementary art teacher, April Barlett. This simple workshop was all about using stop motion animation with elementary students, and it really had the ideas popping.

More than 20 years ago, I took an animation class as part of my education at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, but back then, it was all done with traditional film cameras. You were never certain how it turned out until the film was developed weeks later. It’s amazing that there are apps now that you can download to you phone, tablet, or computer.

I played around with the app on my iPad during April’s session, and though I no longer teach public school, I couldn’t help thinking of a variety of ways that I could use this with my kids classes at the Round Hill Arts Center. But more excitedly, I couldn’t help think of ways that I could use it in my own studio. So, I made this short film using Strathmore mixed media paper, Prang watercolor, Prismacolor watercolor pencil, and my uni-ball Vision pen.

I can’t wait to try it out with other art.

Layering The Journal Fodder Junkies Daily Challenge


When I began writing the ebook series for The Journal Fodder Junkies Daily Challenge, I had envisioned people printing out the pages in a way to create individual Challenge Cards. Since the ebooks are PDF files, it's pretty simple to print them out with four pages per sheet, and it's easy enough to cut them up to make individual cards. By printing on card stock and laminating them, the cards can last a long time. If you're not certain how to print four pages per sheet in Adobe Acrobat, check out the video at the end of the post.

In my latest video, I share the beginning of a two-page spread in one of my smaller journals using six randomly chosen challenges. I talk about creating the Challenge Cards, and using them in a random manor. Check out this how-to video to see how easy it is to layer the various ideas.


Not sure how to print the ebooks so that there are four pages per book? Check out the video below.


What is The Journal Fodder Junkies Daily Challenge?

I feel that some people might not know exactly what the new ebooks and the Journal Fridays are all about, so I made a video. Later in the week, I'll be sharing glimpses into my current journals where I've been working on the daily challenge, and I'm hoping to put together a few videos of how I use the challenges. I hope you find the video informative.


Luminous Liquid Layers

Yesterday I filmed a glimpse into the process behind my paintings with Golden High Flow Acrylic. It only shows three techniques, and is only the beginning of a more complex painting. I plan to continue with other techniques, and I'll have share more later.

I share these techniques and more in my Luminous Liquid Layers workshop. I taught it first last month in Galax at the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts, and I'll be teaching it again next Saturday, April 22 at Larkin Arts in Harrisonburg, VA. I'll also be teaching a more in depth workshop at 310 Art in Asheville, NC next month.

Check out the Events page to see a listing of all workshops. In the meantime, check out some of the student works from the Galax workshop below.

I'm on a Mission!

I have always loved making art and sharing it with people. Growing up in Washington, PA, I couldn't wait to share my latest drawings with family and friends, and I always lugged a sketchbook or drawing pad nearly everywhere that I went. That hasn't changed much over the years, but now with computers, the Internet, and social media it's easy to share not just with friends and family, but with the world.

Though I may no longer be a public school teacher, I will always be a teacher, and I will always look for ways to share my art, my techniques, my thoughts, and myself. To that end, I have rededicated myself to making videos and helping people tap into their creativity. I threw together a short video announcing my mission. Check it out below, and look for more videos to come soon.

New Work and a Short Video

A change of plans yesterday meant that I was able to spend some time in the studio working on a 24"x24" painting. I had started the background a while ago, and I had planned to create one of my radiating line designs on it. Yesterday was a perfect time to dive in.

It was daunting to draw on such a big surface. All of my previous radiating designs were on much smaller paper, but once I got into it, things began to roll. I didn't finish it, but I got a good start on it. I was even able to take some video of myself working.

A Couple of Videos

I've recently been honored with a couple of videos posted by others that I wanted to share. If you follow the Journal Fodder Junkies on Facebook, you may have already seen these, but I wanted to share here on the blog.

The first video (above) is a conversation that I had with Connie Solera of Dirty Footprints Studio. Connie is creator of 21 SECRETS - a mega-online journal workshop that features 21 different artists presenting 21 different workshops. David and I were fortunate to be part of the Spring 2015 21 SECRETS.

Our conversation covered my art making, my journaling, and my motivations. It was a joy to talk with Connie, and I hope you enjoy the video.

The second video is from Dan Fisk. Dan is a Virginia singer and songwriter, and he invited me to be part of a recent Painting the Music event in Leesburg, VA. I had to paint Dan's song "Little Things" as he and other performers did their thing for two hours. It was a fun challenge to marry my style with Dan's song. It was also a fun challenge to try to complete a painting in just two hours, but I have a feeling that I'll work on this painting a little more before calling it complete.

I hope you enjoy the time lapse video of the painting process. It's interesting to see the painting evolve.

I want to thank to Connie and Dan for including me in their endeavors.