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,

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Taking the Dare! Color in collage

Popping in for a visit to share some fun and learning I have been having with Mati Rose and her new class Daring Adventures in Collage. It feels oh so good to be peeling gel medium off my hands again. Throw in a little paint and ink and it makes for a great night. Mind you, I have had to lock all paper away during the work day as I am finding my paper playtime highly addictive.

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

Making painted papers and lots of marks for collage papers.

My goal for this class is COLOR. I need and want to use more vibrant colour in my work. I love my neutrals and shades of gray, but I am looking for some POP.
Paper is an easy medium for this practice because until you stick it down it can be changed many times= No commitment makes me happy. Also there are so many fun, colourful and layered scrapbook pages out there, it is easy to be inspired to throw down some paint on them too.
julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

I created a series of collages  “out of the woods” way back using all natural coloured papers and even birch bark from my tree outside.  You can take a look at them here.I loved creating these and I find it easy to whip these up daily. I was thinking about them and wondering to myself  “why are these so easy?”…the answer  = limited colour.
No artistic stress – no racing brain wondering if you are going to wreck it by placing that colour here..or there..

So now that you have the truth – Color rattles me.
I take the dare – to spend my time in this course using lots of colour.

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

Mark making and painted papers for collage

Ok, maybe this isn’t too colourful in your world, but I have plans for it!

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

sea creatures in progress

Below are another two pieces in progress. Lots of colourful scrap paper layered with tissue paper and a light glaze of paint.  I like them as is, but will be adding more to them in spirit of my daring adventure.

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

collage – lots of layered paper. Adding paint next!

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

I have included some links below to some of my favourite collage boards on Pinterest. I have included a wide variety of styles so take a look and be amazed at what you can create with paper.

Leslie Avon Miller

JessBrooklynLuv

Emily Block

If you want some colour then Annes board may be to your liking. It has been my go-to for colour inspiration!

Anne O’Brian Gonzales

It’s almost summer and I am hoping that it will include lots of art time. I just have to get through June and what has become the busiest month of the year for those with school aged children – plays, concerts, fun day, interviews -it is all a bit crazy. 10 days to go!

Always inspired by Bloom True with Flora Bowley

I am at it again! Spaying, splashing and stamping paint and it feels oh, so good.

Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted}

We are very fortunate to have the use of the Station house on Alta lake in Whistler to paint, sketch and just be creative. Beautiful views, the sound of the lake and wind through the trees, painting with like-minded souls. Pretty awesome!

Julie hamilton Designs~ bloom True with Flora Bowley

It felt so liberating to just play with all my mark making tools ~ exploring different brush strokes and paint combinations. I didn’t produce anything, or I should say, I didn’t finish a painting, but I learned so much in the process.  All lessons  I can apply to my sketching, surface pattern and digital skills.

Julie Hamilton Designs~ Bloom True with Flora Bowley

I love the intuitive approach to painting. No pressure to recreate a picture or get tight trying to represent something. The goal is to be messy. Create lots of layers. Surprise yourself with under layers peeking through.It adds so much depth to your painting.

Julie hamilton Designs - Bloom True with Flora Bowley

I find the most interesting paintings are those that have a little something just waiting to be discovered.I love a painting I can come back to again and again, each time discovering something new.

Julie Hamilton designs- Flora Bowley and Bloom True

Loose. Free. Big!

Time to get out your mark making tools!  Flora Bowley’s Bloom True class is coming to you!

Julie Hamilton Design, Bloom True with Flora Bowley

I have written many blog posts on Flora Bowley. My admiration runs deep for this woman! I love her story.She has put herself and her art out there and it was not an easy task for her. I think she best defines brave and bloom. She has taught me how to let go and discover my own personal painting style and helped me along on my own personal creative journey.

Flora Bowleys next Bloom True ~ the e-course starts Monday Sept. 30th! Five weeks  painting in your own private classroom. No one critiquing~ just you, your paints and inspiration. You will have the added bonus of professional video, audio interviews  and a private, online community to discuss your process with.

This little promotional video sums it up nicely!

BUT this is my all time favorite video of Flora painting from start to finish

I have been lucky enough to take both Flora’s e-course and live class. While I loved meeting her in person, I found the online setting to be more conducive to me letting go and playing. No distractions from other classmates or being influenced by what others were doing. Lots of time to review the videos at your own pace and do what she does. I also felt I received enough critique from Flora and my online community as both were quick to answer any questions I had.

Put the music on, move and explore your creative side…

If you paint at night I would even suggest a few glasses of wine because it just never hurts!

I hope this helps to give you an idea of what to expect during Flora’s course. I have many a blog post discussing my trials and tribulations with the whole intuitive way of painting. Just “search”  intuitive painting, Flora Bowley, Bloom true ,Brave Intuitive you or mark making in my “search” box (in the side column to the right) I think everything is there to answer any questions you may have. If you are still curious, please feel free to ask away, either below in comments or, directly at jules@bollah.com.

P.s. I have affiliated with Flora and Do what you love to help promote Flora’s Bloom True classes! This is as close as I could get to buying the company:) If you are interested in taking her class please mention me or click through my site here to register. Help me save up to take more Do what you love courses! I am a little addicted and need  help to pay for my art habit!

Flora Bowley {artistically afflicted blog}

Inspired by mark making

Some weeks are just harder than others to create. Last week was one of those weeks.

Some weeks I just get brain overload ~ I want to draw and create too many things. This usually happens when I am pressed for time and have other priorities looming. A definite form of procrastination. I call it productive procrastination no time is left wasted.

I started seashells,sailboats and surfboards..but nothing was catching.Not even flowers which are always my go to.

So,in search of simplicity, I finally decided to do just that ~ keep it simple. I lay my journal and black pen out on the kitchen counter and dedicated the week to mark making. Whenever inspiration hit I doodled some marks…Drive by doodling.

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

I often find myself needing texture and backgrounds in my work. This applies to both drawing and painting. I find it quite handy having a reference list of marks that I can refer to in times when my mind goes blank.I also need more coordinates for my patterns. Interesting marks and textures make great coordinates. They also make great geometric patterns.

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

I love black and white. There are no restrictions, no complementary colors to think about and absolutely no worries if they go well together. If your design doesn’t look good in black and white then there is a very good chance color is not going to be able to save it!

julie hamilton design

This is not the first time I have done this! I like to doodle and love my black pens.I am still waiting for my Sharpie pen sponsorship…
Remember to come and #shareyoursketch with me over on Instagram.
julie hamilton design

We have been hit hard with long, glorious summer-like days. We always like to say that we have our own little piece of heaven here in Whistler, B.C. and right now it’s definitely feeling that way.The mountains are full of snow, the sky bluebird and the flip-flops are out!Very unusual weather for this time of year and not to be missed.

Next week I am heading off to NYC to Surtex. Eek! I will be walking the show and just trying to get a feel for this industry that I have thrown myself into it. I am expecting to be overwhelmed.I am ready for it! Will keep you posted!

Have a great week everyone!

Finding inspiration on a winters walk

Last week I was thinking that spring is just around the corner. Once again, I have been fooled by Mother Nature. We are expecting 30-60 cm of snow this week in Whistler, B.C.

julie hamilton, artistically afflicted blog

It is usually at this time of year that I start to crave color, lots of color, in my life. I am surrounded by many different shades of gray and white and while I still find it beautiful, a little pop of color would be a welcome change.

julie hamilton, artistically afflicted blog

Todays walk had me trudging along, eyes downward, in search of some sketching inspiration. I was a bit surprised to find a bountiful of old, decayed foliage around. Lots of different shapes, colors and texture all supplied by a bit of cold weather and snow.

julie hamilton, artistically afflicted blog

I was a little amazed at some of the little tidbits of nature I found.

julie hamilton, artistically afflicted blog

Twenty minute sketch time ~ no thoughts on perfection just some fun mark making, paying attention to the different shapes and textures. Some more marks and hopefully some inspiration for a cool motif to add to my ever-growing collection.

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

This is also very nice to come upon in the middle of winter. Yarn bombing is alive and well in Whistler.

julie hamilton, artistically afflicted blog

This still beings a smile to my face every time I see it. I am almost tempted to learn how to knit.

What am I thinking?No.

My husband is still trying to convince me that it would be really cool if I got a black sharpie and doodled all over our front yard birch tree. I think he may be making fun of me.

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

My walking companion, Cariboo, patiently waiting for what he feels is rightfully his. I swear he was rolling his eyes during the photoshoot.

Inspired by…art everyday month

Its November –  the rain and snow is upon us. Its time to cozy up and get creative!

artistically afflicted, photography

It’s also Art Everyday Month over on Leah’s Creative Everyday blog. I really enjoyed participating last year in AEDM. I met a group of fun and creative bloggers. It motivated me to consciously take time everyday to do something creative.I worked on smaller projects, collecting ideas for bigger works to come.I worked on my mark making, color mixing, collage and building up textures. I learned lots with no pressure to finish. I was also able to share my findings while picking up lots of inspiration from all the others participating.

artistically afflicted, photography This year AEDM comes at a good time. I have been thinking about ways to incorporate my art into surface pattern design.I want to develop some hand painted motifs, work on some new mark making techniques,play with textures and try to apply them into the digital world.AEDM is the perfect excuse to just experiment.

artistically afflicted, surface pattern design

Random mark making becomes hand drawn motifs.ink drawings

Cut~paste~stampartistically afflicted,

Playing with motifs in the digital world.surface pattern design, artistically afflicted

Interested in joining us? Hop on over to Leahs blog for more info on Art Everyday.

Inspired by…adventures in art journaling

creative process, visual journal, art

No mistakes. No judgement. No plan. That’s what art journaling is all about.

creative process, visual journal, art

Do you have an art journal? You should!

I am always amazed at the number of artists I come across who do not partake in this creatively inspiring process. Where do these people store all of their beautiful, inspiring ideas for up and coming work? My head is not big enough for all of the ideas I have. I need to store them somewhere and over the years I have found my art journal to be the perfect place.

creative process, visual journal, art

A place to store ideas and plans for future work

A place where I can just be. A place where I can comfortably, and in small-scale, push past my personal creative boundaries. It’s all about practicing your mark making, trying new mediums, color mixing and even playing with different styles.

It’s a process and all part of the creative journey.

I love looking back through my journals. They are filled with lots of inspirational quotes, crazy ideas, colors, magazine cuttings and lots of bad, and not so bad artwork. It is a picture in time.

creative process, art journal, visual journal, acrylic paint

My abstract phase. A phase I am not finished with. Just love all the marks and texture.

creative process, visual journal, art, abstract

Your art journal is a place you can spend as little or as much time as you please. It is the perfect go-to spot when you only have a half hour. I find it the perfect place to go when I am just having troubles starting. Sometimes it is, oh, so difficult to get those creative juices flowing and feel creative. Give me 5 minutes splashing paint around and I am usually hooked for longer.

creative process, visual journal, art

playing with color and form

I like to think of it as a thumbprint for something bigger. A place to try new techniques and see what transpires. It is never finished. Every mark is a learning experience. I can’t begin to tell you how many happy accidents I have produced in my journal. Or snippets of work I have started only to come back to and see in a new light.
creative process, visual journal, art, mark making

Art journaling is therapeutic and relaxing too.It could save you thousands in therapy.

That’s what I keep telling my husband everytime I need new material. I almost have him believing it. I have myself believing it.
creative process, visual journal, art, watercolor

I was very surprised to come across this page in a journal from 2 years ago. I don’t do faces. If I start to see eyes emerge from my work I usually get a brush and some paint out real quick! Obviously some repressed subconscious glitch that I should deal with.

I am not sure where this image came from , but I obviously had a moment and felt the need to create her. I may have even copied her from another artist. GASP.. That is OK! Thats what your journal is for. Practice replicating work from others that inspires you. Try making their marks and using their colors but just dont dare go out into the real world and try to pass it off as your own!

Art journal = Anything goes.

creative journey, surface pattern design, art journal

This is what my art journal looks like these days since starting my Surface pattern design course with Rachael Taylor. Definitely not as colorful, but part of the process I am going through now.I am even amazed at my progression with these pages. A gentle reminder that every mark is a part of the learning process.

Summer is the perfect time to grab a book and your favorite medium to create. The time is now!

For lots more art journaling inspiration check out my Pinterest page~ art journal know how here. I have pinned some great links and lots of eye candy.

Hope you enjoy!

Inspired by …a little spontaneous expression

For Illustration Friday
Illustration Friday is a weekly illustration challenge. A topic is posted every Friday on the Illustration Friday site. Then participants have all week to come up with their own interpretation. Anyone is free to join, regardless of skill or experience – just draw!!

This weeks challenge ~ Puzzled.

The capacity to be puzzled is the premise of all creation, be it in art or in science ~ Erich Fromm

Playing with a bit of spontaneous expression for this challenge. A bit of spontaneous mark-making, mindless scribbling if you will, with ink on paper.

Lets see what happens…

Add more marks, obliterate others (its only paint!) discover shapes, follow your intuition..explore.
intuitive painting, creative everyday, ink,paper, mark making Add some color..

A color paint chip that has been pegged up on my inspiration board for some time now. Colors I would not usually use, but am intrigued by.

Recipe ~ alizarian crimson, yellow oxide, carbon black, titan buff and titanium white.
(ok…I know there is no yellow in the chip, but I just happen to have some slowly drying out on my palette so thought.. waste not..why not?)
intuitive painting, creative everyday, ink,paper, mark making, paintchip

A little spontaneous expression for you!

intuitive painting, creative everyday, ink,paper, mark making

I can imagine you may be a bit puzzled as to how this all fits into the topic “puzzled”

Well, for me, this whole idea of spontaneous drawing ~ intuitive painting ~ is really just a matter of putting together the pieces of a puzzle. You have your marks, your shapes and your colors. Play with them ~ Move your paper around, discover shapes, add more marks  take away (paint over!) those that are not working. Follow your intuition. It either fits or is doesn’t!

A perfect quick and dirty art journal exercise. Challenge yourself with new colors and  new marks. Be free and most importantly be prepared to possibly discover something new and fantastic!

I am off to find more info on this topic so that I can expand on this topic at a later date. If you have any interesting links on intuitive painting, expressive drawing, spontanous expression…I would love to have a read. This intuitive road to creation definitely intrigues me!

Until next week…

Inspired by.. a better, brave, intuitive me!

So sad. My time with Flora Bowley is over…but only for the time being…

Flora Bowley, Bloom True, intuitive acrylic painting,

I am 8 canvas into this brave, intuitive way of creating.. Some almost finished, some on their way to completion, one..or maybe two,  waiting to be totally transformed.

I am in awe at how much my painting technique, and  dare I say.. style, has transformed over the past 4 months since my first meeting with her.

I can honestly say that I believe this has become my way of creating. Simply…its a process that I love. It has offered me a whole new shiny perspective on how and why to create.

I was in amazement after my first weekend course with her last November at the Annex. Now 3 months later, having just completed her Bloom True ecourse,  I am even more grateful and still very awe-struck. I believe our paths will cross yet again. My time with her is not finished… there is still so much to be learned.

To date..

I have learned to be open to suggestion. To let loose. To have patience and let my painting develop. It takes time to build to build a village…

intuitive painting,Bloom true

I have learned to embrace color  and use it with wild abandon. The option to tone it down later is always there. Acrylic paint is flexible! I have learned volumes about color mixing by just playing with no worry about the outcome.

Brave intuitive you, Flora Bowley, intuitive painting, mark making

I have learned a multitude of new marks and brush strokes.  I have become quite ingenious at coming up with  new devices for mark making…oh, the things that are now covered in paint. I have also been very open to using lots of different medium from alcohol ink to paper to thread to achieve different marks.

Brave intuitive you, Flora Bowley, intuitive painting, mark making

I have learned the importance of depth, transparency, value and contrast. Now I am learning how to put them into play.

There has been a lot of learning go on around here for the past 4 months!

Trust me when I say there have also been many moments of  tears and  frustration. What would a creative journey be without a mixture of tears and triumph!?

I have been hesitant to blog too much about Flora’s process. Mainly because I believe it is so much more than just painting. It is a way of thinking. A way of approaching your blank canvas with loads of possibility. It is a way of  discovery and most important self-awareness.

I still have a little chuckle when I look at all of my work. All I really want to do is produce just one piece of “Floresque” style painting. Just one… But, try as I might I have been unable to pull it off. Flora has so much skill, intuition and, most importantly, love for what she creates. It comes very naturally to her.( I can’t tell you how many underpaintings I would have happily purchased…just to watch her paint over them in a completely new direction..)

An aside here…I am not for “copying”, but I do believe there is alot to be learned by trying to copy.

I have studied how she combines color~how she makes her imagery pop ~how she creates so much depth.These are all lessons to be learned by observing and trying. Unfortunately..or fortunately, the beauty of this style of painting is that you kind of get lost in the process. So while I am still striving to create at least one piece in her style I am willing to bet I will never be able to achieve it. I don’t have that much focus!!

I have, therefore, asked my husband to just please , pretty please, buy me just one of her paintings. Fingers crossed!

In closing all I have to say is ~  Flora, you have rocked my creative world. Your work, your teachings and your words of wisdom have all made me a better artist . Thank you!

A special thank you also goes out to Beth Nicholls of Do What You Love. Floras partner in the creation of this online course. Another special woman who is rocking the creative world. You have to check out her About page. I love it!

If anyone has any questions about either Floras on-line or in-person painting courses please do not hesitate to email me. I have lots to say and love to talk about it!

Or you can just click here for all information..Flora Bowley  {artistically afflicted blog}

Until we meet again….

Inspired by…crayons. Yes..crayons!?

I got a present!

I love presents. I definitely do not get enough of them. My husband and I do not usually exchange presents,  opting to share experiences together instead. So, I was quite excited…and apprehensive..when he presented me with a gift all the way from Geneva.

art, create, crayons

Lo and behold…it was not a box of chocolates. I thought it might be. Beautifully wrapped in textured black paper and  tied with a red ribbon. Hours of entertainment with half the calories.

Well, actually who is kidding who. I often find myself cruising the cupboards when creatively frustrated so it’s debatable which would result in more calories consumed. I will save that experiment for a later date and blog post.

art, create, crayons

Do I dare say he is supporting my art habit? Is this his offhand way of saying that he would like me to give up my homely duties and paint all day.

….of course!

art, create, crayons

Caran D’ache wax pastels are just juicy. Just add water and watch…brilliant color explosion!

They can be used wet, or dry, on paper, cardboard, canvas and even glass. They are semi opaque so great for mixed media work when you want a little special something showing through. They are great for sgraffito…great for mark making.

Even the white works well…love the dry brush look it creates on canvas.

art, create, crayons, canvas

Check out the greens and yellows too…

art, create, crayons

My 10 yr old son has been eyeing them, but truth be told…I am hiding them. Pathetic? Yes. Very little in this household is mine and mine alone.  I just need a good couple of hours with just the two of us and then I will pull them out for him to play with.

So who would have thunk I would be inspired by crayons?

The wonders never cease…..

Have a happy week!