Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The ART of Doodling

Doodling, yes Doodling.

For most people Doodling is a mindless, fun way to pass the time. You can do it virtually any where, while your on the phone, making a list, in class, on a plane, or perhaps on a long car trip. As a teen I would litter my binders and note book paper with eyes, lips, hearts, swirls, stars, geometric shapes... and the list goes on and on. I have come to learn, via research and studies, that Doodling helps to improve memory and is also a form of meditation, which we all know is very good for you. Doodling is also fun! But, for those of us who love art the mighty Doodle can become an elaborate form of ART and expression. I'd like to share some of the tips, tricks and techniques I have learned on how to take your Doodle to the next level.

Today I still draw many of the same items, granted a bit more refined, these are some of techniques, tricks and styles I have added to my Doodle repertoire.

I used all four techniques in
this Doodle.
Main color-blue
Balance-Triangle shape
Many repeat patterns
Theme-Sea life 
Color ~ As in any piece of art color creates mood. When you have many colors and/or bright colors in the doodle the Doodle will take on a very energized feeling. Monochromatic, cool colors and staying within the same color family will create a calmer piece of art.
Balance ~ Whether we're discussing color, shapes, or theme you want to consider balance.  Is there an over saturation of an element crowding one are of your Doodle or does the eye move from one area to the next following the gentle ebb and flow of your Doodle? Some of my favorite "balance" shapes are; the triangle, S-shape, Z-shape and O-shape. Look around you and see which shapes you are drawn too in nature and within your own home.
Patterns ~ Having repeat patterns is a fantastic way to pull a doodle together. I usually have three or more sections of repeating patterns in one of my Doodles. Keeping in mind  the delicate balance of my Doodle.
Themes ~ Creating a Doodle with a theme can be a blast to create. Whether its a birthday Doodle, a Number, Letter, favorite Animal, a geographic location, or something totally made up... it's always fun.

Flowers and Ribbons
Learned techniques from
on YouTube
Borrow from other artist ~ Honestly, when I first began creating larger more elaborate doodles I had no idea what to create let alone what patterns to put into my doodles. I began searching the web, saving favorite pictures and snapping pics with my camera of random patterns on this and that while I was out. I created a "Pattern" file and I still use it today when I get stuck.
Find your Signature ~ As you create more and more doodles you're going to find that you have your own style. There are many styles to try out within the Doodle family; there are Zendoodles, Zentangles, Tangles, Doodles and much more. As you create you will even begin creating your own twist and versions of other patterns and styles... these become your Signature. Have fun finding your signature style. I have a journal with pages of my signature patterns within. I have created different alphabets, shapes and recurring themes that I use in most of my doodles to create my signature look within each doodle that I do no matter what the style.
Doodle often ~ As with most things, the more you do it the better you will become at it. Doodling is no different. I always carry a small journal and permanent pens with me so no matter where I am I can doodle.

I began with an open scribble, filled the
areas in with recurring patterns, themes, and
 colors to achieve balance and interest.
When I get stuck as to what I want to create I use one of these tricks to get me started.
Open Scribble ~ Just as it sounds I create a big open swirl scribble and then begin filling in each closed area.
Stack it up ~ Using geometric shapes, letters, numbers, etc. I start creating a stacked tower doodle. I build them using one of my basic "Balance" shapes and then fill the shapes in with more patterns and doodles.
So Random ~ Pick one of your favorite shapes and throw it onto the page. Add another and yet another. I usually start with three large shapes, add a few medium shapes and then finally a bunch of smaller ones as filler keeping balance in mind.

Doodle what you see ~ I have doodled, trees, flowers, leaves, cats, fruit, coffee cups and many more items that where in my general vicinity. So take a look around and pic a basic shape. Draw the outline of that shape and draw your scribbles within it. Then fill your areas in with interesting patterns.

So there are a few of my tips, tricks and techniques to get you started on becoming an ARTistic Doodler. I hope you have fun filling up your art journals with many fun and fabulous Doodles.

Danine Mroz

Was this blog helpful? Did you find it interesting? Will you try an artistic doodling?

All art work property of Danine Mroz no reproduction with out the written consent of Ms. Mroz is prohibited.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Express Yourself

When it comes to painting, at least as far as I'm concerned, the most important thing the artist can do is "Express Yourself".  With each stroke of the brush, with each color you choose, hidden words and phrases it's the artists job to express what he/she is feeling so when the piece is viewed that feeling can be felt by those viewing it.

A little bit about my process:
Hidden words~things I believe in.
~ I almost always start a painting by choosing my color palette, it's from that that I draw a good deal of my inspiration. Color speaks to me, I know that may sound strange to you but hey I'm an artist and I'm allowed to be strange. :D I have always loved bright, bold colors, right from the time I was wee little. By choosing the colors first it helps me express myself  by setting the mood and emotion for the piece. I usually work with three complimentary colors and one or two accenting colors.
A collage of words and
phrases convey the over
all feeling.
~ Next I decide my subject, which if you know my work, most often a female. A friend recently asked me why I always paint women... I pondered this for a long while. My answer; there is great strength, wisdom, and emotional integrity in women. Women are the backbone of society. We raise the children with love and teach them to be strong, independent adults who hopefully will go on to contribute something wonderful with the world.  When a child has been failed by their parents, if he parents withhold love and compassion, if the child had not been allowed to express who they are, that child usually grows up to have inner struggles. As adults they must seek out wise friends to guide them, as much as we must seek them out and become their "Angels".
That's what I try to convey with my art. My angels have hidden messages, quotes, and words of love and inspiration.
~ The final part of my process is adding the words, quotes and or phrases to the art. What feelings do I want to express from my painting? What message does my angel want to convey to the viewer? I draw from my own experiences, from friends and from moving stories people have shared with me.

"A Promise to Keep" 12x12
Mixed Media on Canvas
There you have it, that's how things usually go in my studio. But, then there are times when my inner voice guides my hand and before I know it a painting has transpired before my eyes. As was the case with, "A Promise to Keep". The sketch of the woman came to life on the canvas and it was almost as if she told me to choose the colors. Like I said, I'm and artist and weird things transpire with us artisty people. When these things happen I don't argue with my creative muse, at this point I'm just along for the ride and I can't lie.... what a wonderful ride it is.

So, no matter how you choose to express yourself, embrace it, cherish it and share it with those you love and for all the world to see. It's a gift and it's not for you to decide whether it's good enough or not. As a part of you it's perfect and pure and beautiful, when you accept that you and it will blossom into your true and authentic self.
Thank you for listening to my ramblings.
Much Love,

If you like these paintings please visit my etsy shop at
All featured art on this blog is original work done by Danine Mroz All rights reserved. No copies or reproduction with out the written consent of Ms. Mroz

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The many faces of Danine Mroz

Beauty is all around us and comes in so many forms. That is especially true when it comes to peoples faces. I have always been fascinated with the human face, as a matter of fact, people watching is one of my favorite past times. In the last year I have studied many styles of portraiture and have tried my hand at many of them... I simply can't decide on one style alone, they are all fabulous.

So I present you with my many faces, a look at the different portrait styles that I do.
Shall we?

For some of the portrait styles I have made up my own name for them, such as my "Fanciful Stylized Angels" which have been heavily inspired by Kelly Rae Roberts book, "Take Flight". I would like to thank Miss Roberts for sharing her passion and art with me and the world. I hope that my art is not seen as an infringement but a compliment to her and her art.
This piece is called "Whisper" 12x12 mixed media on canvas. It will be available for sale on my Etsy store, 'Prairie Mroz Art' later this week.

Another style I simply can't get enough of is Whimsical faces. The quirky misshapen faces are so adorable and childlike to me. They remind me of babies, faeries and all things make-believe. I tend to make my whimsies with squarish or oval faces most often. There are tons of amazing artist on YouTube that do this style incredibly well, Tam from has been a huge influence on me. I love her spirit, her joy and the gentle nurturing care that she brings to each lesson and tutorial that she gives. Thank you Tam.

My "Super-Viva-Glam" dollz are somewhat a creation of my own. With their big, no ENORMOUS expressive eyes, heads far too large for their bodies and flawless skin they would make any Hollywood starlet green with envy. Fun for the young and young at heart, I often create a "Friendship" grouping for clients. This is one of those pieces, done for my friend Heather Gagne. I do take orders for these, any size, any number of dollz. I work from a photo(s) of the girls/ladies you wish to feature in the painting. Contact me for pricing. 

The other style I create is some what stylized expressionistic Old World all rolled into one. It sort of happened organically as I was working on the pieces. As I was working on the stylized piece the colors of her face were working out but everything seemed flat and boring to me... so I started adding wild, bright colors to it. This is one of my favorite pieces, it's called "The Heart Knows" 12 x 16 mixed media on canvas.  

I hope you like my many faces. Each face is special and precious,, I love them all. I hope you enjoy them too. Please do stop by my Etsy shop at
"Prairie Mroz Art"
Love and Laughter,

Friday, June 22, 2012

Find your Passion

Today, doing what you love, being grateful and embracing the inner joy associated with the work you love.

"Love what you do and do what you love."
Whether that may be art, music, singing, sports, journalism, stock trades or what have you, the passion for it creates love which in turn makes this World a more beautiful place to live. I suggest that if you are currently in a crap-tacular job that you hate; either quit it right now and find a better one OR start a hobby that will fill you with JOY! When you're filled with a passion  for life and all that you do in it, there comes an energy  from within you, pulsing from you, drawing good things to you. Find it! Recognize it! Cherish it!
My passions are the things I often write about in my art-journals. They inspire me to continue to create and fuel me with their positive energy. If you don't already have something in your life that fuels this passion ask yourself; "What did I love doing when I was 5, 12, 15?" "What does my inner child want to do today?" Be playful and creative and just see what happens next. Write about how you feel during different activities and see if a new hobby is just waiting to happen. (Side note: you can learn almost anything via YouTube) You're never too old, or too young. Nothing is too silly. Above all else, never stand in your own way of being great.

What inspires you to create? What are the things you're passionate about? What gives you energy?

Write 5 things that you're grateful for each day. OR Before falling asleep at night say them to yourself.

"Joy, Love and Happiness are feelings that multiply 3 fold when you share them with others."
Much love to you all. Thank you for sharing in my art journey.

Danine Mroz
Prairie Mroz Art

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Whale's Tale

I don't know what possessed me to take on a Doodle of this magnitude, but the little voice inside me head said Go For It. At 11x14 it's the biggest doodle I have ever done and it took me over 20 hrs to complete. The concept came from an underwater doodle I seen a while back and it sort of grew from that.

 Here it is along with a couple close ups. I hope you like it.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Weekend Fun

My apologies for being absent for a while. Life and kids and stuff... you know how it goes. Sigh

I'm here to share with you some fabulous new Zen-Doodles. I hope you like them they're one of my favorite thing to do to pass the time on a rainy day, sitting having coffee, pretty much any time.

I was first introduced to the art of Zen-Doodling/Zentangling on the Milliande community art pages shared by other members. I was awe struck by how beautiful these creations were and how different and special each one was. I started searching the web for tutorials and found a good deal on YouTube. At first I was copying others (which is totally fine, you can use mine for inspiration is you like) and soon I was creating my own. I find my inspirations from men's ties, decorated boxes, clothing, books, etc. Designs are everywhere... just keep your eyes open.

The two main patterns here, the Zentangled Mooka (heart shapes) and the centre pattern I learned from YouTube videos courtesy of Rick Robert and Maria Thomas the founders of Zentangle. Their YouTube home is "Zentangle" and they have a lot of fantastic video's showing you how to create your own beautiful works. Many people find great peace and relaxation while doing this technique and use it as a form of Meditation... hence the name "Zen"-tangle. I know I could spend hours at my desk mindlessly creating Zendoodles, and I have. I find that the more I do the better I become at them... as with all art. The one area that I'm still not fantastic at with my Zendoodles is the shading in. But I will keep working on that. :D 

My second ZenDoodle is a combination of hearts, flowers and paisley's that are inspired by many amazing YouTube video's by "miraculousmosquito", her stuff blows me away. She has countless YouTube videos, "how to build" flowers, leaves, paisley... as well as some very interesting trees, and other shapes that are out of this world. I simply can't say enough about her... she is indeed "Miraculous". Along with Zentangles that I have picked up from "milliande" whom you can find on YouTube or at her art community site "" and share you work with others. :D Which I highly recommend by the way. The community is very encouraging and it has been wonderful getting to know other creative ppl from around the globe.

Lastly, my 'Flowers and Ribbon'. Yesterday I found a YouTube video by "rainbowelephant61" who, among other things, showed me how to create these fantastic ribbons. I wasn't sure what to do with them at first... so I thought, "Well, I love to do flowers" and that's what I did. I'm very happy with the results. I decided to do the ribbons in different colors and then keep to traditional black for the flowers. Just the thing I think. :D

So that's all. I hope you like them and check out the YouTubers and start creating some/more of your own. 
Cheers for now.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Playing Around

Why is it so hard for me to PLAY? I freely admit that I'm far to serious for my own good. Have I always been this way? Possibly so. I have always found playing intimidating. What if I did it wrong? What if the others laughed at me? What if no one wanted to play with me? So more times than not I played by myself. I understand now that this comes with being an introverted personality and there is nothing wrong with enjoying your own company over that of others. In fact many great minds and creative people throughout history were introverted. But, even though I understand this I still wonder why it is so hard for me to play.

When I watch a child playing it's such a joyful event to behold. I'm often in awe at the simple grace of their movement and the sheer carefreeness of their actions. They don't need permission to run, giggle, jump, swing, create, dance and just simply play, they simply play. I greatly admire those children and the adults who have retained their childlike playfulness.

I know deep down there is a small child within me struggling to get out and she's adorable. I"m learning to show her gentleness, acceptance and love when I sit down to paint. I recently decided to try a little carefree abstract to allow my little one some play time and this is the finished product.

Acrylic on paper 22 x 30in

A close up of the central spatter.
I was quite proud of my PLAY time and what I had accomplished on those days. Many layers and some very dirty hands later I was satisfied with my creation and how playful I could actually be when I create. Now to move onto canvas and play, play, play.

Yes indeed that should be FUN!!

Friday, May 11, 2012

What's Your Style

Spring has sprung and I'm very excited to go shopping for some new clothes. Just thinking about the beautiful new clothing lines on the department store racks gets my heart thumping and my wallet burning a hole in my pocket. Though I would have to admit that I find clothing and the designers who create them to be very artistic that's not the "Style" I'm referring to in my blog today.

Eduard Fleminsky Abstract
 Modern-Age Impressionism
Artistic Style! I'm not a trained artist and I have never studies all the amazing artists and styles out there that have come before me/us.  But even I know who Monet, Pollock, Van Gogh, da Vinci and Michelangelo are and have greatly admired their works as well as many others. As a self taught artist who is still trying to discover my style I have some burning questions, 'Does the artist choose their style OR does the style choose the artist'? What is the true measure of an artist? Can they turn on and off different styles, creating paintings in whichever style they choose on an given day? OR does the art and image come to life through the artist who is merely a conduit for the art itself?

Like a fashion newby, young adult, green artist I have tried on a lot of styles, hoping to find the right one for me. Some styles have felt very comfortable and other styles have felt quite awkward. I have days where I'm distracted and the art just doesn't want to flow through me, on those days I really struggle. Other days the art comes to me and I see it clearly in my head. On those days I know which colors to reach for, how to lay them on the canvas and the brush seems to move it's self. On those magical days the style that happens on the canvas seem to be my own with no distinctive "Style" but rather several styles all smooshed together. Is that how many artist feel? Work? Create?

I'll leave it at that today. With some burning questions that some day may reveal themselves to me in those special "Ahh Haa" moments.  I would love to hear from you. Have you had a break through with your art and discovered your style? Are you classically trained or a self taught/discovered artist?

Have a wonderful day, create and be happy.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

"Steal like an ARTIST"

I recently picked up a fabulous mini book called, "Steal Like an ARTIST" by Austin Kleon. This fantastic little book renewed my confidence as an artist.

"Steal Like an Artist" is chalked full of advice and artistic gems teaching you that it's alright to get your information and inspiration from other artists and the like. No idea is a new idea, just old ideas with a new spin on them. Without giving too much of the book away, one of my favorite pieces of advice Austin gives inspired me to do more research on some of my favorite artists and then to emulate what they have done. In doing so I was shocked and amazed that not only am I, "Stealing Like and Artist"  these artists, the ones that I so admire, also "Steal" from the artists they admire. Wow, what a break through and what a confirmation.

Austin also gives you permission to begin where you are. DON'T wait until you THINK you're good enough... just begin. No one is a brilliant writer or an amazing artist, a poised dancer or a dynamic singer the first day they start. No one! Think about that if you will for a moment. All the writers and artist. All the dancers and singers they all had to start some where and even though many, yes even most, of them might have natural talent for their given passion they had/have to put in thousands of hours practicing and sucking just like the rest of us. Until one day they feel like they are good enough to share what they do with the rest of the world. Some may feel like they are never good enough, yet they keep doing what they do for the pure pleasure of creating their work for their own selfish pleasure. For many, that's enough. I call that "Art Therapy" which is a topic for another day. :D

So, embrace where you are right now and begin. Then do it again and again and again. Let those you admire be the inspiration to keep you going through the rough patches, through the writers block, or through your own negative demons. Learn to "Steal Like an Artist" and keep moving forward. You will be happy that you did.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Be Bold

I have always been BOLD and different, it's just the way I am. My whole life I have swam up stream, cut my own path through the forest and danced to the beat of my own drum. For a long time I thought being BOLD and different meant you were just being strange and weird. It wasn't until much later in my life that I began embracing my differences and realized that those were the things that made me special. So now for me,  being BOLD is about taking chances, trying new things and stepping outside of my comfort zone. It's about living the life you have always dreamed about and not feeling guilty for doing so. When you're BOLD you listen to your heart and intuition to find out who your authentic self really is and then you let her shine through. This is the intent of my latest art journal entries and a whole new venture I've begun.

It is to all the BOLD and fearless women out there who dare to be different and live their authentic lives that I dedicate, "BE BOLD", my new line of art. With strong - BOLD colors, chunky - BOLD shapes, and heart felt phrases that reflect the inner beauty of these strong, vivacious women.
I look forward to sharing them with you.
Prairie Mroz

Friday, April 20, 2012

Trust Your Heart

In my life I have found that I tend to listen to my heart far more than I listen to my head. In some cases this has lead me to make a some bad relationship and financial choices...and ending up with a battered and beaten heart. But, I get out the duct tape (cause duct tape fixes everything) and do the best fix-it job I can and carry on. In art though, I find that the heart is never wrong, in fact some of my best mistakes in art have been my heart screaming at me to put some color here or there and what I initially thought would be a huge flop turned out to be quite the Happy Mistake. As it was with my latest painting... I had been working on a piece for a while and though the colors were pretty, the girl was lovely... she had no character. So I started throwing big, bold colors at her and to my surprise, it not only worked, I loved it.
So, listen to your heart and be open to new and bold enterprises... You might just surprise yourself!

This is a little peek at my painting, "Trust Your Heart"

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Beauty is skin deep.

My art challenge for you today is a self portrait OR portrait. It can be in any style, preferably in YOUR style.

As an artist I have always been fascinated by the structure of faces. No two people are alike and once you start looking with an artistic eye, everyone is beautiful in there own way.

Step 1 - Draw a circle or an oval
           - Draw a line down the centre, if you want the head tilted then draw it at an angle as I have done here
           - Next draw a line one third up from the bottom and one slightly higher up from that ( I love big eyes so the distance between my lines are greater.)
           - Draw a contoured line for the chin and jaw line if you drew a circle (optional), add your neck and shoulders

Step 2 - Draw the eyes, nose, mouth and give your portrait some hair Remember, it's all about you and your style. Practice makes perfect. Even though there is pencil crayon on this page already, once I paint her it will all but vanish. That's the beauty of mixed media, acrylics... if you  don't like something you can paint/gesso over it and start again). There are no mistakes.

Step 3 - Get creative and have some fun. Add color, texture and lots and lots of layers.
I chose, Yellows, Pinks and White for my colors.

Here are a few of my portraits... I call them Ethnic Beauties. Hope you enjoy creating your own.

All pictures/art within this blog, WorldOWhimsy-blog spot are the sole property of Danine Mroz. No reproduction may be used without the written consent of Ms. Mroz

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Wow Factor

Today I have an assignment for you.

As a mixed media artist I'm always looking for new and exciting techniques to give my art the Wow Factor. "But, what is the Wow Factor?", I had to ask myself. What was it that I liked about art that really turned me on, that spoke to me? Was it the colors? Or perhaps the content it's self; the words on the page; or a phrase that spoke directly to me? Was it the depth that the artist captured with in? Or was it all of those things?
With all these questions swirling around in my head I came to the conclusion that Yes, perhaps ALL these things did in fact create that Wow Factor that I was looking for. And if these components, although different for each person, if you applied these questions to each artist when they gave their own individual answers would they too find their Wow Factor? I'm thinking that indeed they would.

So, my assignment for you is to create you own list for your Wow Factor components.

1) What is your color palette? Are you drawn to a few specific ones or many?

Pink, Orange, Yellow and Green :D

  • flip through some magazines and pull any adds or pictures that you like.
  • go to the gardens in a local park and really examine the flowers, their shapes, color and color combinations. Which are you drawn to? How do they make you feel? Happy, spirited, safe, comfort... which colors scream out to you?
  • go on a scavenger hunt. Go to your local hardware store and peruse the paint chips, gather up the ones that you're drawn to. Take a look in your closet, fridge, linen closet and around your home. Which colors keep reappearing? 
2) What shapes and images appeal to you? 

  • Do you love birds, flowers, swirls, circles? 
  • Does the world of abstract speak to you? How about Victorian or Vintage? Gothic? Whimsical? Contemporary? A walk through a few different department stores or furniture store will help you uncover what type you may be. Or perhaps you love many styles and eclectic is for you. 
  • What mood or feeling are you trying to express through your art? 
3) Words and Phrases?

Practicing Calligraphy & doodles

  • make a list of words that you use often, words that speak to you, that anger you, that excite you, that make you sad, mad, glad, that make you laugh and feel all silly inside.
  • search through books by a favorite author(s) and write down phrases that you love, that moved you, made you laugh or cry etc.
  • write down favorite quotes? Search the internet for quotes on favorite topics, Love, dreams, joy, family, God, passion, healing... anything that speaks to you.
  • did you doodle when you were in school? Doodle some flowers, shapes and letters; make some squiggles; and learn how to tangle OR "Zentangle" (YouTube has examples and tutorials), they are all unique ways we express yourself
  • what is your style of writing? Do you love calligraphy, as I do? It's a beautiful art in and of it's self and worth while learning. When you create a document on the computer is there a certain font that you use on a regular basis? Do you like fat, frilly, fun, silly, bold or some other interesting font? There are great programs you can up load or buy for your computer to add your own personal style for you to use when you print out your words, phrases or quotes. OR you can do like me and hand write them, use calligraphy pens and inks or draw them and fill them in.
4) Which tools of Creating depth speak to you? Begin with what you have on hand and then add to your creative tool box.

  • look around your home for objects that have interesting shapes; wine corks, lids from jars, bubble wrap, the end of your brushes, tooling from an old dress, paper or plastic doilies, chop sticks, coffee cup liners, old credit/gift cards, sequin waste (can be purchased at a fabric store for little $$), lace, paper towel, cling wrap or foil, elastics, string or twine... only your imagination is the limit. 
  • stamps and stencils. One will leave a positive image and the other the negative image of it's self. If you're adventurous and creative you can even create your own stamps and stencils. YouTube has some good tutorials.
5) Do you like to get messy or keep it neat and tidy? Playing with gel mediums you can do one or the other or both, it's totally up to you. All you have to do is start experimenting with them. This is where steps 1-4 meet step 5. I find gel mediums to give some of the greatest effects and depth to a painting of all.
Spackled green squares 
     a) Gesso ~ If I had but one medium to choose it would be gesso. It can be used as a primer, you can stamp into it, create depth, cover up mistakes, tone down color, smooth out rough parts or rough up areas where you want extra texture by applying some of your depth making tools to the wet area of gesso. It's my go to gel medium.
     b) Crackly mediums ~ These types of gels, liquids and pastes will give an antiqued look to your finished product. They are beautiful and add a great deal of interest to your finished piece.
     c) Spackle and Molding paste ~ A product that I have recently fallen in love with. A little Spackle (found in your local hardware store) or molding paste create beautiful depth. You can use it straight out of the gar or add any color to it I have found that acrylics and liquid acrylics work the best, but you could also use water color paste to create your work of art. Simply apply with a flat surface such as Spackle knife, credit card or brush onto your canvas or over top a stencil. You can draw, doodle, stamp or scrunch designs into it, it's totally up to you.

So there is your assignment, the rest is up to you. Play, create and have fun. You can use an art journal to experiment with some new techniques and begin putting different techniques together to create your own style. Next week I will give you a couple examples with the guidelines and steps of how I put these all together. Have a wonderful day.

Recommended reading:
"inner Excavation", by Liz Lamoreux
"Collage Lab", by Bee Shay
"The Artist Unique", by Carmen Torbus

Friday, February 3, 2012


The Day 8 Seed Journal challenge for Milliande the on-line community I belong to is ~ "Seed Kin"
My first thought was Acorns or maybe Pine Cones... but after a bit more thought I settled on Cattails. I'm very drawn to and have a strange connection to Cattails. I love how velvety soft they are and how they bend in the wind, strong and flexible. They grow in clusters all along the ditches where I grew up, much like me and my large family of 9, standing strong as one unit. So simple, yet so profoundly complex. The Cattails have thousands of seeds that lay dormant till the fall, when the Cattail turns from brown to white and releases it's seeds. These seeds then  spread far and wide as the strong wind blows them free of the tall reeds they once called home and new life is born next spring. Simple, strong and yet so elegant.

Journal entry ~ I grew up poor. Really poor. So poor that I didn't even know I was poor. I grew up in the country, the 6th of 7 children, out in the country where my siblings and I had to make up our own entertainment. We had one TV with three channels... so needles to say we spent a great deal of time out doors, playing various ball games, tag or just hanging out. I remember going for long, long walks with one or more of my siblings down our dusty, gravel roads, kicking rocks, watching birds or the clouds flying by, and picking Cattails from the ditches. Summer time we were the Kings knights fighting off dragons or battling one another for the hand of a fair maiden. In the fall we would pluck the seeds from the Cattails and send them off into the wind to fly to far away places.

Those were much simpler times. We didn't have much but we had each other, lots of love, and the type of friendship that only blood, "Seed Kin" can have. All grown now, I too have been blown here and there by the winds of time taking root and creating my own life. I have many fond memories from my childhood. I still love going for long walks and spending time with my siblings. Life has been very good to me... Like the Cattail with it's abundance of seeds I feel I too have been blessed with abundance in life.

Always remember where you came from. Cherish it, learn from it and move on.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Reality Bits & Bites

Today I decided to step outside my comfort zone a little. Though I love drawing faces and sketching people the painting of a face is another story for me. It's a bit of a mystery to me and that really bites. Then there is the background... what the heck do I do with the background? The background always leaves me a bit frustrated. But, then I begin and I let my intuition take over and everything is ok with the Universe once again.
So  today I began my art journey by watching a couple Pam Carriker youTube videos on how to add portraits into your art Journal. Miss Carriker is a beautiful artist and gives amazing instruction (in case you're interested). But, her  videos are meant to entice you to sign up for her on-line art classes... I just don't have the patience or the cash flow to do that right now which also bites. Soooooo, I watch the video a few times through and do my best. In fact I feel that I learn a lot by doing it this way and the final product is more mine than if I took some on-line course.
The bit I find interesting is how during the process, I go from liking what I have created in the beginning, to not liking it in the middle and back to liking it by the end. Kind of a strange bit...

This is my process:
1) Draw a face and add some shading. You can also use an old book,
 or music sheets, etc to draw on,so you will see some 
of the words peaking through. 
(If you use a book or separate paper to draw your face, 
cut it out and mod podge it to your journal.)

2)Mix some Titan Buff with a little water and gel medium and paint over
 the face. While waiting for it to dry begin to add some soft colors 
to your background and some collage.

3)Blend two different skin tones into the titan buff. 
One to give you a high light and another to create a low light, 
then apply them accordingly to the areas of your portrait.

4)Do a little stamping or writing on your background to start creating depth.

5)Keep working your face and background until you have your desired affects.

Be patient with yourself. I find it useful to walk away for a bit and then come back to see my work with fresh eyes.
Live happy, Be creative, and Love Yourself!

Friday, January 27, 2012

How to Create a Fantastic Art Journal page

When I first began doing art journals I had no clue as to where to start or how to layer my work to give me the best results. I have watched countless tutorials, read several books and viewed many art journal pages, this is the process I have come up with "How to Create a Fantastic Art Journal page".

1) Begin by picking your palate. I usually work with three main colours and versions of them plus black & white. If you're a beginner it's a great idea to invest in a colour wheel, one that tells you which are complimentary colours etc.
Some of my favorite colour combo's are
- Black, White, & Red
- Pink, Yellow & White
- Teal, Cream & Purple
- Fuchsia, Lime Green, & Orange
- Brown, Sage & Rose
- Orange, Yellow & Blue
- Lime Green, Black & Hot pink
I hope you play with colour a little to see what colours appeal to you. Or go through some magazines and just pull pages that you are drawn to to find your colour palette.

2) Begin by applying a wash or glaze in the lightest colour. Start layering come colour, shades of existing colour and textures on top. Use you brushes, fingers, bubble wrap, insides of coffee holders, sponges, plastic bags, etc.
Paint Glaze= 1 part paint-2-3 parts water-1 part acrylic glazing medium Wash= paint + water to thin
*Note- always let each application DRY before adding another colour, unless you want the colours to blend. Too many colours blending together will make for a muddy looking page.

3) Add some texture and interest to your page by stamping some text, musical notes, or other interesting subject to the page. You can also put your personality into the page by drawing a picture of your own then painting it. I have also added decorated, stamped or coloured tissue paper at this point.

4) At this point you can begin adding collage or altered collage images to your page. You can select a theme or just use random pictures out of old magazines. You may also want to add some three dimensional pieces to your work; paper or cloth flowers, brads, beads, feathers, etc.

5) Next I add a bit more paint, often white or gesso in areas that I want to mute out and give a bit of pop. Or I will add low-lights in a darker colour or deeper shade of a colour that is already there to create more depth.

6) Doodle time. I keep pictures of doodles around to give me inspiration on my doodles. Just play and be creative, don't over think it.

7) Journal- a poem, your wishes and dreams, a letter to yourself or another loved one, song lyrics... it's your journal, what do you want to say?

At this point your pretty much done, you can always doodle a bit more or add some more highlights with a white gel pen  if you like, but that's it. I hope you have enjoyed making some art.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Seed Journal

Good Morning, Afternoon, and Good evening to one and all. I have been quite the busy little bee as of late. Not only did I finish my travel journal; I created a base for yet another journal using all recycled materials, finished putting my table together (ya, the part came in the mail), I also finished days 4-6 of the "Seed Journal" challenge that I'm participating in on the Milliande community I belong to.

So I thought I would share them with you all. OR ya'll if you're from the south.

 Day 4~Seed Wings.... I call her Sweet Pea
I love my sweet, fresh from the garden, peas. 
They are nature's perfect snack, 
complete with it's own neat wrapper you eat.
She is sweet to the core and spreads love and joy where every she goes.

Day 5~Scattered Seeds... The Gardener
Much like my Mother did, and still does, 
she tends the garden with much love.
Sewing seeds and making sure there is growth.

Day 6~Pomegranate... Pomegranate Zentangled
Sweet, juicy, delicious and oh so amazingly good for you.

Hope you like them.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Travels and Joyous Journaling

After hours and hours of drawing, painting, cutting, etc, etc, etc.... I have finally finished my Mini Art Journal.
If I get any requests on how to go from step one to the finished product I will post a blog on how to do so.
But, for now this is the finished product.

Happy Travels and Joyous Journaling!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Part 1 Travel Jounal

I began last week by rearranging my office space. I then removed the old make-shift art desk, and began building my nice new desk. I was quite excited to be creating my art on an adjustable desk, reducing the neck and arm strain and general body fatigue that I have when I sit for 5-8 hours a day creating my art.

But as it turns out it wasn't long before I was cursing my new table instead of sitting at it doing art. Because it's tilting mechanism broke off in my hands while I was trying to assemble it... So much for working at my fancy new art table this wk... I will now have to wait a week or so to get the parts so that I can finish putting it together. (And when I say that I'm putting it together , I really mean my wonderful, talented and crafty husband Mike.)

So, I toiled, crafted, and painted away all week at the dining room table, and there I'll stay until my part comes in the mail this week. SIGH  But, onward to our "Travel Journal Challenge". These little set backs can't and shouldn't slow us down.

The inspiration for my Travel Journal came from a youtube video I saw a while back by "mycreativebliss". These are the steps I will be taking to create my Travel Art Journal, I hope you will join me
Part 1
A) Cut out 12 - 4x4 squares of water color paper (you could also use mixed media paper) for creating your mini works of art on.

B) Next collect some coordinating scrap-booking papers for the journaling part which will be on the reverse side. If you want to have extra journaling pages for pictures and writing you can also use two sided paper.

To make the pages more sturdy gather heavier stock paper from old cookie packages, cereal boxes, and shoe boxes, which would normally just go into the recycling box, that we will use in between the two pieces.

Stay tuned for Part 2
To make our books a little more interesting we will be embellishing it with ribbon, decorative pulls, chains and other such do-dadds.  We will add some pockets, fabrics and envelopes so that you can have space for ticket keepsakes etc. This process is done before assembling the pages so make sure you don't go and glue your fronts and back together until each process is complete.

Have a fabulous ART filled week.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Travel Journal Challenge

I'm California bound!!! At the end of Feb two of my girlfriends and myself are heading to LA, Hollywood, and sunny Santa Monica for a short trip. So very excited! This will be my second time there, one has never been and my other friend has been twice before... It's going to be fantastic.

I love, love, love travelling but, I always forget to take pictures, keep my tickets, journal and simply keep records of where I go, who I'm with etc. etc. So this time I want to be prepared by bringing a little something to keep record and make notes. I have several ideas in mind of how to do this... maybe a little chunky 4x4 with a few stash pockets, some lightly painted mixed media pages, some cute pre-painted "Little Ladies" and of course a couple blank pages, OR a scrappy art journal made from mostly recycled materials and bits of scrap booking paper. Not sure which I want to do yet.

So, here is my challenge to you. I want you to create a travel journal. 
It can be an ongoing journal of all the places you go; 
OR a journal for this year only; OR a journal for one 
specific trip. there are a lot of great tips and tutorials on line 
or you can shoot me questions if you are having trouble
 thinking of something. I will do my best to help. Have fun with it 
and I look forward to seeing your art and hearing about your travels.

Many safe and glorious trips to you and your loved ones.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dream a little Dream

Good afternoon my lovelies. Just a few thoughts today. 

If you're like me you feel the need to draw, doodle, and simply create something almost every day. For me art is meditation and food for the soul, I can't seem to get enough. But, I often get stuck, not knowing WHAT I should do or WHERE I should begin. Often a nudge is all I need to get started... so, I went on a scavenger hunt on the world wide web today in search of art challenges, ATC challenges, collage, and mixed media challenges. I'm happy to say that I found a great site with many such challenges.
The site has a little something for almost every one. It has art challenges for every day of the week with may different themes and mediums. Which is great for me and hopefully you too. Use them as  they are set up or jumble them up to suite your needs. What ever you do, have fun!

I chose to do a 4x6 Post Card challenge with the theme of 'Swirls, Twirls & Curls'

My post card consists of several collage pieces from magazines, arranged onto a piece of cardboard box that I treated with gesso. I painted, stenciled and stamped the background, decoupaged my images into place, then painted, doodled and grunged my little lovely for the finished look. I hope you like her. :)

This is the site;

Danine  XOXOXO

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sow thy Self

Seed Journal #3-2012 - S-Words

So I'm sitting in front of a blank piece of paper trying to think of "S"-words that are seed related and have meaning to me OR perhaps define me in some way, shape or form. And believe you me, it's a lot harder than it looks. These are the words that I was able to come up with; Serendipity, Seeds, Sow, Stand, Self, Signature, & Strong.

As always I wrote a short journal entry upon the finished work, today I used orange ink which blends quite nicely into the background.
As my skill as an artist becomes stronger
I feel a greater sense of self.
Life is full of happy accidents, in art this is especially true.
This year I hope to learn from these mistakes 
And maybe even create my signature style from one.
2012 is going to be an outstanding year!

So in short I hope to SOW the SEEDS of good STRONG habits to become a better artist in 2012. Learning new skills, finding my SIGNATURE style and simply being my Authentic SELF. Perhaps finding a little SERENDIPITY along the way as well.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Doodle till your Hearts content!

"Doodles Unleashed", that is name of the online workshop that I started yesterday is titled. The artist, Traci Bautista, is lovely and talented and I'm thrilled to be involved.~Thanks Strathmore.

But, doodling is a new concept to me, well sort of. When I was in grade 8 or so I would doodle all the time, until a teacher caught me and would tell me to get back to work. I loved to doodle, but inevitably there was always someone there telling me I was wasting my time or that I should be doing something else, something better, with my time. Oh how I wished I hadn't listened to them. Sigh.

Now I'm actually finding it hard to start me doodles. "What if I make a mistake?" "What if it looks stupid?" "What if I don't like it?" and the Ego goes on and on, badgering me and making me doubt my self. Lucky for me I have never liked being told what I could or couldn't do. So I fight against that nagging feeling. I have learned, in a very short period of time, that it's just paint and paper. There is always more and you can always paint over top of it if you really don't like it. Mistakes are sometimes happy and some times not so much, but they are always a learning process. So now, in my wisdom, I welcome them.

I have begun my first piece for wk 1... this is the start (the background if you like) of that first piece.

Happy Doodling.