Sunday, July 27, 2014


My inspiration comes from a variety of places, anywhere between the word of the Lord to a small creature.  I just need to be attuned to my environment and inspiration usually comes sooner or later.  However, life's stressful situations can sometimes keep me from focusing on the wonders of life.  When this happens, I "just do it," and hope for the best.  Sometimes I produce something that I feel is wonderful, but other times just the process of doing it makes it fulfilling to me.

Madonna & Christ Child in the Garden
Marker & Pastels
Dion's Friday Sketches Week #21
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday - Week 134
Illustration Friday - Golden is for Ratio
Denise, Roger & Leslies' ABC Wednesday - C is for the Christ Child
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #269
Eva & Kristin's Paint Party Friday - Week 21 Year 4
Jenn's In the Studio
The two art journal pages above are perfect examples of what I mean with just doing it.  I drew the stylized Madonna and Christ Child after a couple of days of struggling with what to do.  I had been looking through my books on icons, but I just couldn't decide what I wanted.  Finally, I just sat down and started sketching without thinking about it.  The result is not perfect, but it's a design that could lead me to do a painting in the future.  As to the second page, which was inspired by a bat I rescued from my pool this week, it's not one of my best sketches.  However, I enjoyed the process of sketching it.

Sun Loving Bathers
Tim Holtz Dies & Hand Cuts
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Mid-Summer
Tag Tuesday - Summer Holiday
Manon's Paper Saturdays
Happy Holidays
Punches, Scraps, & More
Freshly Made Sketches #146
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Emboss It
Karen's Word Art Wednesday #143
The two paper crafts above are two other examples of what I mean.  Last week, I received the Tim Holtz Gingerbread die.  Since I had the Summer theme in mind, I immediately decided to use it to make this whimsical couple.  All I had to do was design their little swimsuits by hand, use the TH Stamp die to cut the towels, and the TH tiny tags to form the bottles.  As to the Christmas card, I had the Freshly Made Sketch in mind when I saw a Christmas card using a wreath when perusing through blogs.  I immediately decided I would use the wreath in place of the flower.  It worked perfectly!

Judge Roy Bean's The Jersey Lilly Saloon, Langtry, Texas
iPhone Photograph
Bella's 52 Photos Project - Gallery 13 {Refreshments}
Finally, when I saw the "refreshments" theme, I decided to look through my iPhoto collection.  I found the photograph above, which I took when my family and I were on our way to Big Bend National Park a couple of years ago.  Judge Roy Bean, who was also a saloon keeper, was appointed Justice of the Peace in Val Verde County, in 1882.  However, he took it upon himself to be "The Law West of the Pecos," which led him to become a legendary and very colorful character of the "Wild West" here in the USA.  Anyway, I believe that his saloon represented "refreshments" for many travelers in this extremely hot part of the country.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little about my thinking process and inspiration, and would love to hear  about what inspires you.  I also want to thank everyone that took the time to leave a comment last week during my 3 year blog anniversary, as well as all everyone who is following my blog.  Blessings!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Three Years Blogging and Counting!

On July the 26th, It will be three years since I founded this art and design blog.  It was a lonely journey during the first couple of months, but I slowly started meeting artistic bloggers from around the world and developing many blogging relationships as well.  Blogging about my art journaling, drawing, painting, lettering, paper crafting, decorating, and photography has helped me improve my craftsmanship, experiment in new areas, and become more confident in my artistic abilities.  Blogging has also allowed me to share my faith with others, as well as helped me better understand the faith of others, which is highly important for world peace.  Finally, I've had the support of many of my blogging friends during my personal ups and downs.  Thank you for being an integral part of my journey!  I hope the following pieces express visually what I mean.

Ostinato Refrain
Watercolor Pencils, Micron Pens, & Marker
Art Journal Journey - Flower Power
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday #133
Karen's Word Art Wednesday #142
Genevieve Gouverneur (Iconographer) Quote
Marker & Pen
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Jen's In The Studio
Jenn's Artist's Playroom #116
Hebrews 6:19
Watercolor Pencils and Micron Pens
Pia's Mix It Monthly Challenge - Sailboat
Dion's Friday Sketches - Week 20
Eva & Kristin's Paint Party Friday Week 20 Year 4
The 3 art journal pages above are all representative of my faith.  Each of them is like a little prayer that keeps me focused, helps me express who I am, and allows me to explore my creativity, which is a precious gift from the Lord above.  They are also fun to work on and serve as a record of my growth as an artist.

Dragonfly Mobile & Tag
Origami, Die Cuts & Organza Ribbon
Carolyn's Tag Tuesday - Bugs
Order of the Opus Gluei Challenge #187 - Picnic
Moo-Mania Challenge - Anything Goes
Dream Greeting Card
Mixed Media & Hand Lettering
Freshly Made Sketches #145 by Narelle
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - About a Face
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Spots & Dots

The 2 projects above are reflective of my love of paper as a creative medium.  The first one features my love of origami and nature, as well as my love of gift wrapping.  The second one features my hand painted paper, on which I did some mono-printing, stenciling, and spraying, as well as my hand lettering.

My Girls
Black & White Digital Photograph
Bella's 52 Photo Project - Year 4 Gallery 12 {Happiness Is}
Art Studio Shots
iPhone 4s Photography & ComicStrip App
Lorik's Mandarin Orange Monday #102
Denise, Roger & Leslie's ABC Wednesday B is for Bountiful Art Haven
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #268
Maria's Orange You Glad It's Friday #100
Manon' Paper Saturdays
Finally, I have some of my photographic compositions.  The first one depicts one of my major sources of happiness, whom are my daughters.  I took the photograph during the 4th of July weekend.  The photo montage shows different areas in my "Bountiful Art Haven."  I chose to share my reading area, a couple of my storage units, and the top of my drafting table.

This brings me to the end of my post, so I hope you enjoyed it.  Thank you once again for your support and all your constructive comments during the first 3 years on my blog.  Blessings!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I'm Back Home!

After almost 2 weeks of being on the road all over Texas with my family, I'm back home - thank you, Lord!  During the trip, we picked up my oldest daughter at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport when she returned from Spain; we participated in several family celebrations; we did some shopping;  we did lots of walking; and we registered my youngest daughter at Texas A&M University.  Although we had a marvelous time, I was truly exhausted during the second week.  Therefore, I had a difficult time getting much artwork done.  I was not able to write any posts in my blog either, so please accept my apologies.

USA's Uncle Sam
Mixed Media with Tim Holtz Products
Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2014 - July
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Start From Scratch!
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Let's Be Clear
Japan's Samurai
Acrylic Paint, Micron Pens, Origami Paper & More
Tag Tuesday - Japan
Rhedd's Creative Spirit - July
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #267
As some of you may be aware of, I've been designing an original "Soldiers Around the World" tag series, in which I've used the Tim Holtz Toy Soldier die as my base.  To make the current two soldiers in the series, I altered the various die pieces; re-purposed some of them; created new pieces; and/or illustrated them accordingly before assembling each of the soldiers.  The USA tag's background was inspired by the techniques of the Tim Holtz July tag, and the Japan tag's background features an original illustration I did of a Japanese dragon.

Birthday Cards
Paper & Plastic Scrap Piecing
Keep It Simple! #44 Take A Bow
Happy Birthday, McCabe!
Pen Sketch and Collage ATC
Try It On Tuesday - Colors of Summer
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Denise, Roger & Leslie's ABC Wednesday - A is for Artist Trading Card
Eva & Kristin's Paint Party Friday - Week 19 Year 4
Jen's In the Studio
Manon's Paper Saturdays
Jenn's Artist Playroom $115
Several family members and friends of mine had birthday celebrations lately, hence the cards above.  I designed the feminine set using Freshly Made Sketches #139, which I really liked, but hadn't had an opportunity to use.  I made variations on each of the cards to make them a little more unique.  As to the ATC, I designed it during my trip, so I had limited art supplies.  Fortunately, I had colorful Smash products, which were the perfect accent for my miniature original portrait.  Using a paperclip, I attached the ATC to a gift card which had a complementary print.

Psalm 46:10
Digital Photo Alteration
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday #132
Lorik's Mandarin Orange Monday #101
Bella's 52 Photos Project - Gallery 11 {Honey of the Fields}
Karen's Word Art Wednesday #141
Maria's Orange You Glad It's Friday #99
Last, but not least, I have a photograph I took during a walk with my wife a couple of days ago, when we were in College Station.  It's of a small creek in a field close to my oldest daughter's apartment.  I felt the photograph complemented the scripture which was featured at Word Art Wednesday a couple of weeks ago beautifully.  The lettering was designed by Diane Nobel, their graphic artist.  I think it would make a great print to use in cards.

I hope you've enjoyed my humble artistic offerings for this week.  I want to thank everyone who took the time to leave a comment during my last post, as well as all my kind followers for their patience during my absence.  Have a blessed week everyone!