Sunday, September 21, 2014

On the hunt for the perfect opaque white marker....

If you enjoy art journaling as much as I do, I'm sure you have been trying to find the best permanent white marker (that actually works.)  I have tried a bunch, and here is a review of some of them.  The pictures aren't that great, but they will give you the names of the company that makes them.
I will start with the worst ones...

This is Craftsmart by Michael's.  One time I came across one that really worked well, but lately I bought two that are AWFUL.  You push the nib down and expect to get a good flow, but you get a huge blob and no flow.  I'm taking them back.  They were $3.99 or $3.49 (can't recall exactly.)  This pen does not work well on canvas either if you're trying to outline something.

You would think Prismacolor would have a great pen, but this does not work on paper, or any other surface.  Just don't buy it.

Pen-touch by Sakura.  It's goes on in blobs and it's hard to use.  I regret buying that one, and I don't remember the price. 

Gelli Roll pen works ok on paper with a very thin line.  Great for doing fine work and outlining.  Good flow and lots of pigment.  Doesn't work on canvas.

I used to LOVE Elmer's Painter's pens.  I would buy the box of various colors when I had a 50% off coupon.  They lasted for a long time and the paint spread consistently.  The white worked like a dream.  The quality has gone down considerably in the last two years.  I'm so disappointed.  They don't last, and they spread blobs too.  You start a line and it's ok, but fizzles out after a couple of inches.  I have not seen an improvement in the quality, so I'm going to quit buying the brand.  I didn't have a white pen to use in the picture because I threw it out in a fit of

The Faber-Castell pen is good.  The only set backs: the nib is thick and you have to apply the lines a couple of times to get a solid white line.  But it spreads evenly without blobs. 

DecoColor also spreads a good line, but you have to apply a couple of times to get the solid line.  It also smells vile of chemicals...  I aim my fan toward the table when I'm using it.

The winner is:  Uni-ball Signo.  It draws a really good line, but is not permanent.  Unfortunately.  For paper work it's great, but not on canvas if you're going to apply something else on top.  It smears.  I did get a whole box of them for $23.00 at Jetpen's and if you buy, make sure to get the Japanese version.  See the lettering on the box?  Free shipping if you spend $25. I had some of their other colors as well, and they are great for writing, so smooth and easy.

What is your experience with white pens??  I would love to know since I'm still hunting for that perfect PERMANENT marker.  If you want to keep in touch, please sign up for my newsletter at the top right hand side.  :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Art by some of my favorite artists...

Who is your favorite artist, or type of art?

I have a long list of favorite artists, but you would have to spend a week reading this post, so I will keep it short and sweet.  Lately I have been doing a lot of art journaling and mixed media.  Everything seems to go in cycles, so acrylic paintings could be next.  Here are some of my favorite artists:

Iris Fritschi-Cussens lives in London, England.

There is a tutorial on how to make this lovely image on her website.  She also has lots of fabulous how-to videos.  Check out her website HERE.

Another favorite is Christina Colwell in Oregon.  I love her whimsical style and happy colors!  

You can check out her Facebook art page HERE.

Tracy Verdugo is from Australia.  I love it that you can find artists from all over the world via the Internet!  She is teaching a really cool ecourse starting on September 24.

Check out her Facebook art page HERE.

Tamara Laporte has a massive blog hop going.  Check out all the wonderful art.

This picture is by Jane Davenport.  She is part of the blog hop and ecourse:

This looks like a really cool course.  Lots of great teachers involved. 
Check out Tamara's Facebook page HERE.

More about the Life Book course HERE.

Willowing and Friends community page on Facebook, HERE.

Those are just a few of my favorites.  I'm a huge fan of Flora Bowley too. Here's a short 
video of her by Zipporah.  Click HERE.

Who gives you inspiration, or nudges to keep on going with your art?  Please comment 
and share.  :)  Have a great day full of inspiration!  

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Guest post by LisaDiana Delaney, No More Working 9-5...

There is more to life than working 9-5. I came to this realization when I was very unhappy and terribly exhausted. I had spent many years striving, working, and achieving a lot in my chosen career only to collapse on the couch at the end of the day and sleep all weekend. I was too tired for joy. 

“Find your passion,” everyone said. I had no idea how. I tried everything to remember what made me happy. I came up with nothing. Why? I had lost myself in the daily ins-and-outs of living. I had given to everyone else and lost ME. 

I had no idea how to unblock my memories of what made me happy. And, oh how I despised the people who said, “Live your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life.” So, I spent a lot of time and money spinning my wheels trying to make a life that was fulfilling. I couldn't because I was blocked. 

But, my choices were clear: stay miserable or get unstuck/unblocked! So, I read, surfed the Internet, cried, slept and wasted money trying to get unstuck. Since, I’m a problem solver, I kept looking for an answer. I tried: self help books, journaling, yoga, Reiki, EFT, jewelry making, dog grooming, vet tech school, make-up school, another masters degree, one on one counseling, gratitude journaling, spiritual counseling, direct sales, health counseling and career counseling. 

NOTHING made me happy. Finally, it hit. Something inside said, “Search all you want, but if you are blocked from remembering your joyful childhood moments or from experiencing joy in the present you’re going to stay tired, fat and broke.” 

I needed to get away and figure things out. I used my last dollar and took a trip to Puerto Rico. I stood in the warm water, buoyant in the waves and gazed at the majestic horizon. The final fa├žade of inauthenticity fell away and dissolved in the baptizing Caribbean water.“There is so much more!” rang in my head. 

That vacation, I sat on the beach, floated in the water, zip lined, ate on the balcony and sat under a waterfall in the rain forest. “Why can’t life be like this?” I wondered. “Because, this is vacation and not real life!” I told myself. I shook my head and refused to accept that life was only meant to be enjoyed on vacation. We have it wrong! 

We are not  meant to live to work. Our precious time in this realm is finite. Why am I accepting fat, tired and broke? Because I was blocked from remembering what made me happy. 

I came back to NY and work wearing the fedora I had purchased in PR, a reminder to not lose what I had figured out, what had been my epiphany. It was a piece of armor against being sucked back into the inauthenticity of 9-5 or for me, 4-4. 

I surfed the Internet again and found people who use planners to stay organized. Oh, I used to do that! Then, I found others who decorated their planners. What fun! I started to remember. I sat in the backyard and gazed at nature’s colors. Oh! Those bold colors were beautiful! And, slowly, I remembered little by little what I used to enjoy. My grandfather’s very small art studio! I was always inspired by the space and just as dejected when my art never matched what was in my head. 

I looked at school supplies for work and remembered how inspired I was by a blank notebook. And, then how dejected I was when I had no “Othello” to write. Planners, decorating pages, art, bold colors and the blank page. How did any of this fit together? Then I found it---women who took the blank pages of their planners and used bold delicious colors to decorate the pages with art. ART JOURNALING!!! 

What have I learned? So many of us are stuck in the day-to-day details of life, job and family. We have forgotten we are creative beings who need to express ourselves. “There’s no time.” “I can’t even draw a stick figure!” “I have 4 kids.” I know. I worked until I collapsed. 

But, I believe in you. I believe you deserve to be happy and to do that you need to get back to your authentic creative self. Ten minutes a week. That’s all. We will start with that even if it’s in the car waiting for the kids’soccer practice to end. Give me ten minutes and I will help you art journal your way out of being stuck! You deserve to be happy.
Check out my website for more information: 

Thank you Lisa Diana!  I loved the post and resonate with it completely. :)  I LOVE art journaling!