Tangled Weave – the start of a mini collage collection

The long, lazy days of summer are here.
Hours to laze around and work on my art ~ Paint outdoors, sketch by the lake and maybe try some new techniques.
Now that’s some Wishful thinking on my part…

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

making collage papers

You would think I would be getting lots done over here, but truth be told I am accomplishing little.

It is sweltering hot, the lake is calling,the dog needs to be watered, the kids need to get to camp and work and all the visitors need to be tended too.

Do I dare say I have having a lot of fun despite the compelling urge to sit down and work at my art?

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

intuitive collage – working with what is presented

I have just recently finished Mati Roses Daring Adventures in Collage.  It really helped inspire me to start working with mixed media again.

I just love the combination of paper,paint and ink. There is something about it that makes my heart pitter patter.

I love all the texture and pattern, with a little this and that peeking through. I love getting my hands dirty.

I am not sure which is more fun – making handmade collage papers or creating the actual collage itself?

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

I have approached this round of work a bit differently than before. I am now working on paper -Borden & Riley sketch vellum – which is a heavyweight, rather indestructible, paper for mix media. This allows me to cut, paint, spray and stamp to my heart’s content without stressing over another unfinished canvas.

It’s only paper and can either be recycled or cut up for another collage project. If I like it then it is easily affixed onto a wood cradled panel.


julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

collage – lots of layered paper. Adding paint next!

This time around I am also working small. Very small for me.
All pieces are 8 by 8″.
I decided to go this route because I find them easy to complete in a day and easy to have many on the go at once.

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

I have a plan for all of these pieces, but that will be unveiled later.I am not trying to be secretive, just deciding what the best route is for these. A plan is in the makin’..

What I do know about these is that they are a part of my everyday creative life. They keep me playing and trying new techniques which only help spark my imagination and creativity.

I am hoping to be back here soon, but not making any promises. I am just a passenger on this free wheelin’ ride called summer. (even I am rolling my eyes at that one ūüėČ

Enjoy every moment of yours!


Saying YES to Daily painting!

There is a crazy part of me that is thinking that I need to start painting everyday. I am not sure where this desire has come from, but with each passing day this need grows stronger and I am now ¬†thinking that maybe it’s not such a crazy idea. There is a small part of me that gets a wee bit nervous thinking about it, let alone coming right out and saying it, but then I just have to remember that it doesn’t have to be a big deal.
Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog)
It doesn’t have to be a finished, ready to hang, kind of anything.It can be simple, something abstract and it definitely can be small.It doesn’t have to follow all the rules. It can be done in an hour and it can be done on paper. I do not want any unfinished canvas staring at me guiltily. It can just be….
Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog)

I have no clue where this idea started. Well, that’s not entirely true. I have a small inkling where it all came from. A passionate group of creatives that I hang with got me thinking about it! A new e-course, Daring Adventures in Collage, offered by ¬†Mati Rose got me really thinking about it! I couldn’t help myself, I signed up for it. I know I promised myself I was done with courses for a while. I need time to absorb all I have learned in the past year,. BUT the thing is, I am soo excited for it to start. Counting the days kind of excited.

Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog)

I think it is ¬†just the combination of this excitement and the freedom it offers to just create for the sake of creating that inspired me. I think I am just craving some time to making marks, ripping up some paper and playing with colour. Intuitive painting, my style.No plan and definitely no preconceived notion of what I am suppose to be creating. It’s the summer so why not!?I want to play. I promise I will get all of my other work completed before I start.

Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog)

This painting  was a work in progress for some time. A mark here and there, a splash of ink and a whole lot of experimenting!

It was fun and definitely a learning experience. That, my friends, is exactly what I am hoping for with this crazy idea!

If you have any thoughts, suggestions or maybe a support group you can recommend, please do not hesitate to contact me. Or  maybe you want to join in? The more the merrier.

I will keep you posted on what I decide to do!

Inspired by #365patterns

A pattern a day? 365 patterns?

The thought makes me a wee bit uncomfortable.

artistically afflicted

When I was first introduced by the girls at Caravan shoppe/blog to this concept, my first thoughts were “Fun,definitely challenging,will definitely take a peek, but no, cannot do this!”

Well, here I am ~ 4 days in~ and all is good.My thoughts have calmed and I am feeling confident about the project.

It’s fun. It’s slightly addictive. It already has a great community of designers involved so there is the ¬†added bonus of connecting with others.It’s inspiring!

Most importantly for me though is ~ creativity everyday.

artistically afflicted blog
Day 1~ My thoughts turned to panic as I thought of the endless days ahead having to create with a goal in mind. It’s easy to doodle here and there and splatter some paint on ¬†a daily basis, but to create a finished product is a whole other thing. That, my friends, is stressful for me.
artistically afflicted blog
Day 2- My thoughts changed to acceptance.This will be a challenge, but a process that will have me exploring new ideas and ways of representing life around me.It will have me finding inspiration,creating and improving my digital skills.

My goal is to be creative everyday. Explore new motifs, play with colors and start the process of patterning. If I complete  a pattern a day then yippee for me. If not, I will at least be one step closer.
artistically afflicted
Day 3 РMy thoughts have changed from fear of having to create to  a feeling that there are hardly enough days in the year for all the patterns going on in my head.

Once you start creating, creativity has this odd way of  finding you. You start to look at things in a different way, ideas start flowing.You start to become more aware.Big sigh of relief

It is going to be a challenge and there will be days that I may just pop out a single motif, but the importance here is to just be creating.

I am working hard building up my surface pattern design portfolio and right now I can’t think of a better way to get the creative juices flowing than to be challenged by others to just get down and do it.

Thanks to Melanie and Alma of  Caravan blog.  More details for you over on their blog.

Interested in joining us?Please do!

Inspired by…pattern making tutorials

My paper, paint, pen and pattern addiction continues.I am feeling very satisfied with my progress of combining all medium into the world of pattern. As I like to say~ pattern making is a bit like putting together all the pieces of a puzzle. Slightly addictive and very satisfying.

I am already looking forward to spring and its just barely winter.

I made the above piece into a brick repeat pattern, but I am thinking it may be better as a simple placement print. I think I will make a collection of patterns around it using the motifs involved in it.

I am slowly trying to build up a portfolio of work and this piece will be for children.

Did anyone else out there get a little carried away with Cyber Monday shopping? I didn’t know online shopping could be so stressful.There were so many fantastic discounts.

I felt very lucky to get a sweet deal on a series of Laura Coyles Illustrator and pattern making classes. If you are interested in online, digital classes, you must have a look at reneepearson.com ~ digital training for artists. They have a large selection of self- paced and instructor led online classes.

Jessica Sprague is another online digital training site dedicated to artists, photographers and scrapbookers. I have taken a number of her Photoshop and tablet and have always been very happy. The beauty of these online courses is that you have access forever. Anytime you get a little stuck, all the info you need is right at your fingertips, saved in your classroom.

If you are looking for a smorgasboard of free online tutorials for Illustrator and Photoshop dedicated to artists then you will be very interested in my Pinterest board dedicated to just that. I am quite pleased with all of the links I have collected so far. Have a look at my Print & Pattern Tutorial board here.

Feel free to follow me if interested as I will continue adding to this. Looove Pinterest.

It’s Art Everyday month ~ Hop on over to Leah’s blog for more info on Art Everyday.

I have had a very fun and productive month participating in Art Everyday month. I will be sad to see it end.

Inspired by…my artistic affliction

Goodness, I am in the depths of my artistic affliction right now. I am not sure if I should laugh or cry.All I  know is that I am in need of another set of hands,definitely more time and maybe a cup of herbal tea. I need to leave the house and get some fresh air.

So thankful to Art Everyday for getting me back into my paint mojo. I am in love with drawing, but there is just something about getting into my paints and other mediums that just gets my mind exploring.

julie hamilton, surface pattern design,

So what have we here ~ a painted, stamped and splattered background, a drawing or two,a few flower paintings, some manipulated photography ~ all scanned into my computer  and digitally produced in Illustrator.

The only thing I didn’t add was some stitching. Honestly I thought about it, but really, where would it go?! It’s a tad chaotic,but then so am I!

Tomorrows project ~ trying to figure out how to make a pattern out of all this.

It’s Art Everyday month ~ Hop on over to Leah’s blog for more info on Art Everyday.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!

Inspired by…my very own tree motif

I have spent the day updating my little site here. I have been playing around with a new theme and trying to customize it. There have been some moments of joy,some moments of frustration and definitely a moment of panic as I accidentally pushed the Publish button while playing around. I frantically undid this and that and managed to delete my post however not before it circulated through facebook and twitter. I apologize to any who were notified and dropped by- I am sure it was good for a laugh! I received a couple of “likes’ so I am guessing that someone out there had a nice little chuckle.

Unfortunately, it has scared me off of my quest to design my own website.I am a DIY’er by heart, but I am one step closer to hiring someone in this situation. I am finding it to be a two steps forward-one step back kind of process.

julie hamilton, surface pattern design, artistically afflictedSo onward with Art Everyday Month. When I was last here Friday I was playing around with the theme trees. I have stuck with it and am slowly creating some tree and leaf motifs which will hopefully be part of a bigger collection one day.

julie hamilton, surface pattern design, artistically afflicted

julie hamilton, surface pattern design, artistically afflicted

It’s interesting to note what inspires you when you let your imagination run rampant. I have only covered my inspiration for some leaves,branches and a few trunks here, but one cannot forget the layers of soil, the seedling, the beautiful texture and line of bark, the girth as it grows and the perspective it offers. Think about the forest as a whole.Think of all that is involved from the moss clinging to the side or mushrooms sprouting by its base. Think of all that lives within the forest.

Of course the only song I have in my head right now is “if you go out in the woods today, you will be in for a big surprise..”
surface pattern design, julie hamilton
julie hamilton, surface pattern design, artistically afflicted

Needless to say I now have my work cut out for me, thankfully with no shortage of inspiring thoughts.

julie hamilton, surface pattern design, artistically afflicted

It’s Art Everyday month ~ Hop on over to Leah’s blog for more info on Art Everyday.

See you in a few days!

Inspired by…creative cat-napping

big huge labs, mixed media, collage

everything always looks a wee bit better framed...

Taking a little break from intuitive painting. It is definitely my new found love, but one that deserves quick spurts of creative and mental energy. If I spend too long sitting and thinking and trying to see, I find myself getting a wee bit grumpy and frustrated.

I am not a patient person when it comes to creating. I like to work and get it done. Unfortunately, I lose my passion for the creation as time progresses. I then find myself staring longingly at the new blank canvas waiting…patiently.. for its turn.

The other day I had to physically lie down and take a nap. My canvas was leaning up against the wall. Half dozed and fully relaxed I found myself just looking at it, eyes half closed. I was amazed at all the different scenes I saw transforming before my very eyes.

Could this be the secret? Afternoon cat naps?!

I am thinking that they are definitely a thing of my future. I would suggest to all…try it! Instead of throwing up your arms in despair.Take a break. Relax and close your eyes. Let it evolve. When you approach your painting from a clearer, more laid back perspective, great things happen..

My husband is going to love that I am now promoting afternoon cat naps…

Painting does not come easy to me. I struggle with it which is exactly what intrigues me the most about it. I love a challenge and for me, right now, this is it. Slowly I have learned that I do need to step away..and take a deep breath or two ( or a nap now!)

mix media, collage, art journal

So what’s a girl to do for a little mindless, creative fix??

mix media, collage, handmade papers

I play with paper.  I cut, I glue, I sew.

Sibella Court, mix media, collage, inspiration

I find inspiration in books and magazines. I find layouts and colors that intrigue me. I go through my paper stash and put things together.

collage, mix media,

It’s very relaxing ¬†and¬†doesn’t require as much brain power as painting. No worries here about how to mix the perfect shade of purple or create a beautiful distressed back ground.. Just find the piece of paper that best resembles what you are after.

Rip and glue….
mix media, collage

There are so many beautiful handmade papers out there.(Dont forget to check out your local paint and paper store too.. have a little read here to find out where most of the paper for these collages came from!)

A great start to the week. Hoping it’s great for you too…

Inspired by..Creative Everyday (a community..)

Gotta love having an extra day to get things done. However, here I am still posting February’s challenge for Creative Everyday last minute…..

This months topic….Night.

A progression for you because it seems everyone likes to see the different stages a painting goes through…me included! (No intuitive painting here!)

Creative Everyday, birch, acrylic painting, trees,aspen,snow
reative Everyday, birch, acrylic painting, trees,aspen,snow
reative Everyday, birch, acrylic painting, trees,aspen,snow
reative Everyday, birch, acrylic painting, trees,aspen,snow
reative Everyday, birch, acrylic painting, trees,aspen,snow

Fascinated with snow…the painted kind.I especially love the contrast between the lights and darks. Hoping to work further with this in the future.

Short and sweet, but I have few other challenges to finish before the witching hour.

To check out other artists interpretation of “night” ¬†~ have a look here!

Adios my friends

Inspired by …Sunday Snippets

{for sunday snippets and 52 photos project }: a collection of photos from the week.

My theme for this week ~ looking for color…any color amongst all the snow

All pics taken with my iPhone.

I am in a quandary right now. I love my Nikon DSLR, but a bit bulky for my daily jaunt through the woods. My iPhone has been my go to camera to capture the moment, however I have no control over the outcome. I need a go between. Small~ manual~interchangable.

I would love any suggestions…I am in the market!

whistler, photography
tree, whistler, photography
maple tree leaves in dead of winter
tree in whistler
river walk,
birch tree, whistler

winter, whistler, photography

Inspired by…a paint chip

I am always so thankful that nobody here ever asks to see some of the “finished” pieces that I have posted here in their beginning stages.

Ahh..it is a problem and definitely one of the many signs of one artistically afflicted. I just love the way that almost sounds like artistically gifted…so close..yet so far away…

Anyway to keep in the spirit of beginnings which are oh, so much fun. I have started two paintings today for creative everyday…same colours but with a different approach.
colour swatch

Colors – quinacridone magenta, cad yellow dark, vat orange, raw umber and white. I like to find paint chips from the paint store that intrigue me and throw me out of my comfort zone…some very interesting colors here that I would never think to combine.I try to keep track of the “recipe” in hopes of creating again.

Examples of mark making

Do you notice any difference?

The first (pictured below) is all about marks…lots of lines, squiggly and straight.Lots of hard lines with definite boundaries.Pattern.

mark making

Example One - mark making

The second is all about the continuation of colour. Still lots of lines and pattern (because I just couldn’t help myself…my brain just couldn’t seem to stop my hand from scribbling..odd), but I tried to use a lot of water and medium to spread and blend.This will take practice.

Example Two - mark making

So kind of different, but kind of…not.

It makes me laugh to see a lot of the same shapes and forms within both. Non-intentional, just the brain taking over. I also wanted to just keep it to the above paint chip colors..I am not sure why I am doing this. I am just curious more than anything…

So, these have become my designated project for Creative Everyday this week. I am not “allowed” to start any other projects until these are finished. Someone please hold me accountable!

Off now to squint, stand upside down, have a couple of glasses of wine…anything.. so I can start seeing some images emerge from these.

A few hours later…(using example two)


things are starting to appear...

Oh, surprise, surprise…poppies are starting to appear. I just cant help it…

I would love to see some of your marks. Leave a link in the comment section if you have some examples to share!

See you tomorrow!

p.s. I have some very exciting news to share with you tomorrow…it will make you smile…it will make you dance….some will even shout with joy! Stay tuned!