Goodbye Summer. Hello Autumn!

…..And then in the blink of an eye it was Fall…

Sketching Inspiration - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

I am not sure how the seasons changed so quickly, but they did. I had decided to take the month of August off blogging due to a house full of children, visitors, a road trip or two and lots of work all mixed in. Here it is the end of September and I am just finding my way back here.

Creative process - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

What can I say?

It was an awesome summer.

We did a little of this…

beach Life - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

A little of that…

Santa Monica Pier - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

A lot of this….

Creative space - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

There was no shortage of adventure, sights to see and good summer fun. I already miss it.

I am sharing with you a few links to courses that kept me creatively curious this summer. All of them from Creative Bug.

Pam Garrisons Creative Sketchbooking –  A three-part series working from journal to canvas. Lots of interesting mark making techniques and exercises  – working with your non dominant hand, intuitive drawing, paper collage and lots of mixed media.

Art journal - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

I love Pam’s use of colour and style. It was very interesting to me to see how she approaches her work. She makes it all seem so simple and random, but, wow, does she have great results. For more viewing pleasure check out #cbsketchbooking on instagram.

Art Journal - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

Next up was Lisa Congdons Sketchbook Exploration – a four-part series working from sketchbook to canvas. Lots of line work, mixed media, collage and abstract work as well, but a totally different approach than Pam’s class. She inspired me to get out my markers and pencil crayons and I have re-discovered a whole new medium which is not only easy to use anywhere, but very satisfying in the mark making department.

 Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

I managed to take a little bit away from both courses and adapt to my own style, painting and pasting my way to a finished piece.

Finally I started Yao Chengs Watercolour class, but then life got too busy and I had to put it on hold. I am looking forward to the rainy season here in Whistler to get caught up on my learning. Rumour has it that Lisa’s Sketchbook Explorations Part Two has also gone live. I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, but I am definitely looking forward to it.

Let the rains begin!

See you next week!

Colour me Creative – Summertime Blues

I may have a slight case of the Summertime Blues. All I want and need right now is more summer.

I can feel life slowly starting to shift around here. The  mornings are damp, the air has a crispness to it and there is talk of going back to school.  I have four weeks to go until September and my plan is to savour every minute.

Cool refreshing water, grass tickling my toes, the colourful pop of flowers, blue sunny skies…

Inspired by my mood, this weeks colour palette is brought to you by the colour Blue.

Colour me creative moodboard - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

Life is just a bit crazy around here these days with guests and a never-ending stream of kids in my kitchen.

I have taken to working in small short bursts that do not demand too much concentration. Small scraps of painted cut art  are working in my favour. When I finally do get a moment of uninterrupted time, I can put them all together into something that works.

Sketchbook Explorations - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

I have also continued with my sketchbook explorations inspired by Lisa Congdon’s Creative Bug course.

Blogpost all about it here

Playing with patchwork and motifs in my art journal.

sketchbook explorations - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

Playing with patchwork and motifs in Photoshop.

Summertime Blues - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

My head is spinning with applications for these designs. As a surface pattern design I can see them on rugs, fabric, ceramics, paper and even stationery,combined with some fun hand lettering.

I feel a September project slowly starting to develop. I love a new project – almost makes me happy and excited for the Fall to roll in.

Until then, you can find me in the lake!

Enjoy yourselves,

Color me creative

This weeks colour palette ~ Mustardy yellows, reds, coral pinks and black. Warm and wonderful. Color me creative - a color palette {artistically afflicted blog} Julie Hamilton Designs I love this mood board as is! I am inspired to make some abstract art just looking at it.

My goal this week is to use these colours to create art in any medium and any style. I like the idea of preconceived colours. I find it easier to concentrate on certain aspects of art one step at a time. If I already have the colours in my head then I am already one step ahead. I can spend my creative energy thinking about my motifs, playing with lines and shape, composition. Cut & Paste Garden by Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog} It is no surprise that I love these colors. I am surrounded by them here at home.

My walls are painted ginger root, I have large red and orange patterned pieces everywhere – throw cushions,blankets, lampshades and ,of course, artwork.

Living in the mountains, my landscape is always in  shades of watery grays and blues. I want my house to be warm and cozy amongst the setting.Color me creative - a color palette {artistically afflicted blog} Julie Hamilton Designs No wasted paper in this household – I took my colour moodboard and using my shapes and colours transformed it into some art journal pages.

I am still playing in my art journal on a daily basis cutting new shapes and trying my hand at some abstract backgrounds. I have been spending a lot of time with my scissors these days.

When in doubt stick a bird on it…so I did.

mixed media collage - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}Finally, moving along from analog to digital, a little photoshop work below as I try to master the program. it is a slow process but I find that the more I play with it, the greater my understanding. Scanning has also become a big part of my daily routine now.

In my garden - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

If you follow me on Instagram you will notice that a few of these images are from last week. I hate to bombard you with the same images, but I have decided to start a weekly #penpaperpaintpattern blog series with a chosen color palette for the week and create art around it. Every week I will then post here about my discoveries. It’s a plan and i am trying to be two steps ahead.

Enjoy the week,

A World of Artist Journal Pages

Getting my crazies out!

That is pretty much how I roll when it comes to my black and white journal pages.

Julie Hamilton Designs ~ Doodle Journal Pages {artistically afflicted blog}

No worry about colour. No thoughts on composition. Not a care in the world how they turn out.

Quite a bit different from my coloured pages where I just can’t help but wish for a good outcome.

I am very happy to say that someone else also liked my craziness.
A World of Artist Journal Pages

Three of my black and white pages have been included in  A World of Art Journal Pages curated by Dawn DeVries Sokol.

It is pretty cool to be included especially since I remember my  purchase of her first book, 1000 Artist Journal Pages, very well. It was at Anthropologie in Seattle. I had stood glued to the spot with it for almost an hour. I had never heard of art journalling at the time and I was just in awe of everything in the book. It was definitely an A’ha moment.

Well, this one is no different, except this time I am in it!

Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog} -journal pages in A World of Art Journal Pages, curated by Dawn DeVries Sokol

I am including my pages today. I like to think of it as a little art therapy for my artistically afflicted ways. If I had have known they would be published I might not have revealed so much or been quite as messy, but then I guess that’s the beauty of it.

Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog} -journal pages in A World of Art Journal Pages, curated by Dawn DeVries Sokol

One more inspired by rainy day camping in the Pacific Northwest. I was actually sitting outside in the rain under a tarp freezing while this one was created….just trying to make myself happy.

Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog} -journal pages in A World of Art Journal Pages, curated by Dawn DeVries Sokol

I was hoping to include my favourite pages here, but there are so many great pages. The book is full of a variety of hand lettering, different textures and colours, paint, collage, mixed media and an endless stream of hand drawn goodness. If you are thinking of getting involved in the art journal world then this is a really good place to start. It is full of inspiration.

I love glancing through it again and again because  I find there is always something I have missed the first, second, third… time around. There is an extra bonus too – all  of  the artists websites are published right beside their work so if there is something you fancy and you want a bit more, you don’t have to look far.

A big Thank you to Dawn DeVries Sokol. What a wonderful piece of work you have curated and shared with the world. Well done!

A bit of hit and miss in the art journal

All of my unfinished artwork makes me a tad anxious.

Half painted canvas leaning up against the wall, unfinished patterns on my desktop, art journal pages only half coloured in. All of these things make me a bit squeamish inside. I feel that everything deserves a fighting chance. Slowly, I am learning that they do not.

Sometimes you just have to walk away..

For example – this page is not going to be finished. Why? Because I am done with these flower shapes. I need some new shapes.

Art Journal Page - always a  work in progress - {artistically afflicted blog}  Julie Hamilton If I gave all of my ideas a fighting chance nothing would be completed around here. I need to decide pretty quickly if it’s a yay or a nay. I only have so much time to create. Slowly I am learning to use my time wisely and accept that not all ideas are good ideas.

The pages below are new pages I have been working on. I like them, but they are not quite where I want them to be…yet. They deserve a fighting chance though because I am learning from them and new ideas are percolating because of them.

Also, I am having fun with these. Fun – usually a good sign that things are going somewhere.

I hope this makes sense?
Art Journal Page - always a  work in progress - {artistically afflicted blog}  Julie Hamilton Lots of different colour combinations, different medium, marks and texture, layering….learning a lot from my time with these.

Art Journal Page - always a work in progress - {artistically afflicted blog} Julie Hamilton

Ok, a bit of  mixed media craziness may have been going on here, but trust me, I learned a ton from this one!

Art Journal Page - always a work in progress - {artistically afflicted blog} Julie Hamilton

Enjoy the weekend!

Everything I know I learned from my Art Journal

I have been somewhat successful this past week training my creativity to switch on at night. It hasn’t been easy, but I find that once I start it usually leads somewhere. Starting is the hardest part.

Being a bit of a morning person, my muse always has me getting up very early so it has been a nice change trying to switch things up and work at night . I figure it can go either way – I either stay up late fully immersed in my project or I get up super early, excited to get at it. Either way I am losing sleep.

Art Journal time - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

I started Lisa Congdons Sketchbook Explorations on Creative Bug. It was fast, fun and informative.. It is a 4 part program, but easily finished in an evening (especially if you have Netflix TV series training;). Lisa explored lots of different ways to just start and get something down on your page.I loved the way she used lots of different mediums layered together – water-colour, markers and collage work. I also found it encouraging to watch how she incorporated her journal piece into a piece of wall art.

I have included my pages even though they are not really finished and they are rather random.Right from lesson one, inspiration struck and I had to run with it. I have a tendency to go off track when creating and I did just that, rather well I might add..my pages look nothing like the course pages!

Art Journal time - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

Lots of ideas were springing to mind and I managed to try a little bit of everything. I believe that is the beauty of art journalling –  if you tire of one page, start another, I have found myself flitting from one page to another nightly adding marks and colours as I go. At this rate I may never actually finish a page!

Art Journal time - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}I have been  very happy to re-discover my Prismacolor markers and coloured pencils. It is so nice to curl up on the couch and have some colour so easily accessible. No water and no dirty brushes. I will be using them all in my art journal from here on in..

 

Art Journal time - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

My main goal for this experience is to gain some new ideas and hopefully a bit of  insight into some new colour combinations. I am also interested in combining a few different mediums that I will then be able to transfer over into my mixed media work. One thing is for sure and that is…Everything I know, I have learned from my art journal…

Next week I am going to try Dawn Devries Sokols art journal class on Creative Bug. I also have my eye on Yao Chengs water-colour class. There are so many interesting classes there so be sure to take a look.

Also on the learning front I am slowly finishing up Pattern Observers Photoshop for Designers  6 week course.

Wow!

That is the only word that  can sum it all up. Sherry London has poured her heart and soul into this one. It is full of information. Look out for more info here soon.

Well, there you have it! I was in need of something new  to inspire me, to jump start a new project. Happy to say that I found it and have a new series in the works.

The internet has no shortage of awesome classes and inspiring ideas and techniques to try.

Never stop learning:)

Training my Creativity

There has been a lot of this going on everyday…

illustration,art supplies, paint, paper,ink

My desk is covered with little tiny pieces of cut paper, loose leaf with sketches of Santa and all his friends, some painted spring flowers and a mood board for all things coastal.

pastel colored pencils, illustration,

Life has been busy! The beautiful, sunny, winter that wasn’t, has not helped at all. It has been way too beautiful here in Whistler for all of February. Everyone has packed away their skis and taken to the trails. I think Mother Nature is going to slap us around silly with a big winter storm soon, but we would have to have snow for days on end and cold temperatures to get winter back.

I cannot lie. I am loving our balmy weather! Word in the village is that so is everyone else. I am hearing this daily..

best Day ever, illustrated quotes, hand lettering

A few things to share as I have been absent from here for one month. I am not really sure how that happened. I am still a bit shocked that it happened. It is the beginning of March!

I have to admit that sometimes I cannot figure out how to do it all. Find inspiration, sketch, design,think about work, run a household, feed and water my children,exercise, walk the dog, think some more about work  and breathe.

Amongst all of the above which I understand is just Life as we know it, I am finding it difficult to fit blogging in.I know it has an important place in my creative journey and I know I enjoy it, but I just haven’t figured out the recipe that works for me. Like all things in my life it demands a wee bit of creativity. Right?

sketch, sketchbook, floral, artjournal,doodle

I am convinced that we only have so much creative juice everyday. I know mine runs out after 6 hours and like coffee, it is best in the morning. I am trying hard to work at night, but it’s not the way my mind rolls. I wish it was. So I have decided to try to train it. We all know that sometimes it is just a matter of starting and doing..

So tonight I sit here typing away. I may just get this blog post out to you by morning. My other nightly creative training routine has to begin art journalling again. I am 4 days in to this training session and so far, so good. I know that habits take time to form so I will just have to give it my best shot.

art journal, work in progress, sketchbook

I have just recently discovered Creative Bug. It is an online instructional arts and craft site. It offers everything from calligraphy to sewing to jewellery making. It also has some art journalling classes offered by Lisa Congdon and Dawn Devries Sokol. At less than $5 a month to join, you can’t go wrong!

I am joining tomorrow night and plan to spend my evenings learning and doing. I will be sure to share here.

Also for your interest, The Strathmore  2015 Online Workshop series starts today. It is Free..yup, thats right! This year it includes printmaking with Traci Bautista, some loose acrylic painting with Patti Mollica and some exploration in ink with Maureen Wilson. I have been doing the series for a few years now and they are packed with new and interesting techniques. For more info go here

Do you have any tricks or routines for spurring on your creativity at night? I would love to hear them:)

See you again soon,

The Art of the Start..a.k.a potato stamping

I have had a very busy week finishing up artwork for a project and today was the first day I had to just sit back and do my own thing. I wanted to paint.

Lined up and ready to go! Mixing colours  ~ Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}
I sat down with my sketchbook. I looked at some drawings I had planned to paint. I thought abstract, but then dismissed it for floral. I thought collage, but I wasn’t sure I felt like paper cutting. I thought green, no, coral.

I was getting nowhere fast. I just needed to Start.

paint, stamping, design sponge

Who would have thought? Potato stamps.Yes, a potato from my kitchen.. Having flashbacks to grade school art class?

Having lost by painting mojo with all of my indecision I ended up cruising through my inbox and stumbled upon yesterdays Design Sponge blog post here. Well, it looked pretty cool in the pictures so I had to try.

In my desperate attempt to make cool marks, I have tried many a thing from cellophane wrap to feathers. Some successful for making a good mark, some not. The potato wasn’t all that bad.

potato stamps, acrylic paint, design sponge

I doubt I will be making wrapping paper even though theirs looks great. Mine looks,well, not so great.  The lesson here for me was ~ just do whatever it takes. In my my art world that usually means trying something new.

I painted for  a number of hours with nothing finished to  show. I tried some new shapes, more charcoal and ink and some scratchy scraffito. Lots of new ideas and most importantly moments of calm and satisfaction along the way.

painting in progress, acrylic paint,  floral painting

How often do you get to paint with no game plan? Mark making just for the sake of it. Trying new colours. Playing.

I can’t even remember the last time I just played with no plan for its outcome.

A goal for 2015- more art journalling? I hope so!

Below is a journal page I did some time back. I think it was probably 2 years ago now. It has been sitting in a basket along with many other finished and unfinished journal pages. Lots of experimentation going on in that basket.

Guess what?

intuitive painting, Bloom true, floral painting

Yesterday it got licensed. (along with 8 other pieces!) More on all that later, but needless to say I am pretty happy.

Another gentle reminder to just keep at it. No artwork is ever wasted.

Feeling inspired,

Finding Inspiration in the Leaves of Autumn

Inspired by the abundance of leaves in my  autumn backyard. So many shades of red, yellow and green. Berry branches, old seed heads and a token mushroom or two make my garden a rather special place at this time of year..

A snapshot of what fall looks like around here…minus the never-ending rain.

Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog} #florafoliage

I know they should all be raked up and my garden put to bed, but I like to think of it as ground cover for the long winter ahead.

I aspire to be a gardener, but while I love everything in the garden, I don’t like the time and energy it takes to deal with my garden. Long ornamental grasses, big rocks and flowering bushes are fine with me for now. I am hoping in time that my feelings may change and I will be motivated to embrace everything it has to offer.

 

Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

Collected on a morning run.

Leaves in my sketchbook.

Sketchbook - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

I have one garden leaf in particular that I love.

I love the shape and changing colour of this leaf as the season progresses.I know I should know what type of bush this belongs to, but I am  sorry, I don’t.

Bayberry - Sketchbook by Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

Finding a bit of inspiration from its shape and colours to be used in some surface pattern design.

The beginning of the Bayberry collection – coming soon!

Bayberry Blue - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

BayBerry -Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

BayBerry Moss - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

 

May the sun be shining bright where you live. I am sending all of our rain to California where it is needed most.

Say YES to 2014!

Happy New Year to all my friends near and far!

I have a few minutes peace here. An hour, maybe two if I am lucky, to just sit, sip tea and think about the holidays.This is a rare moment right now. Our home and life here in Whistler is alive with the hustle and bustle of happy times. Amidst it all, I am finding a spare moment to reflect and set a few goals for the upcoming year. The chaos will continue for weeks to come, but if I can find a small sliver of quiet time daily all will be good.

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

At this time of year I can’t help but feel melancholic. I am so grateful for the health and happiness that we are  surrounded by right now. I am grateful to have my friends and family together.I am grateful for the supportive and positive community that I have surrounded myself with this past year.

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

My creative journey has been such a large part of my life these past two years. This blog and everything within – stories and work from fellow creatives, the trials and tribulations of creating,accomplishments (and a fair share of rejection too). All of these stories help make help make up the fabric of my life right now and it all makes me smile. It’s just awesome!

Thank you to each and every one of you!

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

Sharing my intentions for 2014! I am hoping you will all hold me accountable. I am a bit of a dreamer as you can probably tell as I doodle my way off into 2014.

Thinking of lots great things…for me and you!

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

If you are interested in creating your very own intentions for 2014 I really enjoyed Do What You Love’s   New Years Revolution. It is very well thought out and a great planner for the year. (it’s free!) I am a believer in pen to paper for all intentions. It has a bit of sticking power and great to review monthly. Have a go!

Wishing you all the best throughout the holidays and into 2014!