Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Art Journal Idea: Hoarding vs Harmony

art journal pages | art journal ideas
For this art journal prompt you are going to make a list of your collections.. This could be things you like to collect or things that you are collecting because you don't want to throw them out-- in other words, you are hoarding them.

The genesis of this idea

This summer, one of my personal goals is to get rid of clutter. My husband and I are really determined. We even set a date on our calendar to purge the house of unwanted books.  We had to do this together since he doesn't trust me not to throw out books that he still wants and vice versa. As we went through the shelves my husband would say, this is yours or this is mine so the owner could make a decision whether to keep or to donate to the library. I joked that we sounded like a divorcing couple trying to split up our belongings.

art journal pages | art journal ideas
my finished art journal spread

Getting rid of guilt

One reason I hold onto things even when I don't want them anymore is because of guilt. For example, there is the 700 page Stephen King novel I purchased on amazon but decided it was too heavy to lug around and I wasn't really that interested in reading it. So I was keeping it around because I thought maybe someday I would read it... but every time I looked at it it made me feel guilty. So when my husband and I did this purge I realized I was hanging on to a guilt trip and who wants to keep guilt around their house?

Art book collections

I decided that it was absolutely one hundred percent okay for me to collect art books and believe you me, I have a large collection. I also decided it was okay to keep a handful of finance textbooks because even though I never ever open them, I like seeing them on my shelves because it reminds me of how I used to be. I also decided it is okay to keep a limited number of magazines... or at least admit that I am collecting them and need to keep an eye out before this collection becomes a problem.

The pastel colors were filled in with Sanford Sharpie Extra-Fine Pastel Paint Pens.
The neon green came from Elmer's Painters Paint Markers

Letting go

In addition to the book purge, we ordered a dumpster because even though I don't think we have enough stuff to fill it I can't tell you how much junk we have in the basement because my husband says "It is too big to throw out" or "the garbage men won't take that" This week I have been slowly throwing things out like the sand art kits in the basement and the curtain rods of decorating past. I can not bring myself to throw out the Lego's even though they fill (I kid you not) five plastic stackable storage drawers from the container store.


Dumpster Divers

Each night my husband takes a peek into the dumpster to make sure I haven't thrown anything away he wants. On the other hand he has forbidden my mother, a world class "collector", from coming over while the dumpster is parked in our driveway. Don't worry mom, I am still saving my scarf collection for you. You can have it next time I see you. I won't need the scarves for another 20 years when I assume I will want to cover my neck.. You see, that was the only reason I was allowing all those scarves to take up residency in my underwear drawer.

My husband has ridiculous reasons for hoarding weird items too. When questioned why he had been saving his old day planner sheets wrapped in rubber bands on a shelf in his closet he said "I need them in case I write a novel about my life" Of course, he is not a writer... he is a real estate developer... but I suppose he likes to fantasize about being a writer. By the way, the day planner sheets are from the year 2000- now he used his smart phone to write down appointments like everyone else.

So, is this a journal prompt that speaks to you?  

I would love to see your version of this prompt, whether you are doing some blog writing about controlling your clutter or creating an art journal page that you share on a blog or flickr.
If you want to get all my art journal ideas, be sure you are subscribed to receive my daily or a weekly summary of blog posts by Email / RSS / BlogLovin / NetworkedBlogs

FREE art journal inspirations ebook

I also just published a free ebook which I am offering in a new online art journal class (which is free) for all Inspiration Place members (which is also free to join!) So, hope to connect with you there.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Matisse by the Yard

#matisse #fabrics
The Matisse cut-outs exhibition is coming from The Tate in London to the Museum of Modern Art (Moma) this fall and textile designers are scrambling to release fabric designs inspired by the art. What is sure to be a blockbuster event (I am currently debating buying my tickets now, or even getting a Moma membership just for the member preview nights...) surface and textile designers know that the public will be primed to incorporate Matisse's modern, colorful and graphic art into their home decor.




#matisse and textiles 

The Role of textiles in Matisse Art

Matisse came from a family with a tradition of textile designers, his grandfather was a weaver, and he collected fabrics his entire life which are incorporated into much of his art. Fabric played such a huge role in his art that the Metropolitan Museum of Art curated a show, Matisse: The Fabric of Dreams His Art and His Textiles in 2005.

In addition, some of his wealthiest collectors were Russian textile magnates which continued the synergy between art and fabric.

Matisse Cut-Outs

In the 1940's, Matisse was bound to a chair and started using painted papers as a basis for designing his paintings. Initially, he planned on commissioning paintings from the designs but enjoyed the collage form so immensely that he used the scissors and paper exclusively in his art. {I too am addicted to collage art and use it in my art which you can find on etsy}

About the exhibition

I found this video from the Tate's website which you can watch while you stir your coffee (it's short)

Fabric designers using Matisse as inspiration

The Wall Street Journal published an article, "A Sofa By...Matisse" in its most recent weekend edition with the following fabrics. I've paired some of them with the paintings that may have inspired them.

#matisse cutouts art as seen on

Henri Matisse
The Sheaf 1953
Collection University of California, Los Angeles. Hammer Museum
© Succession Henri Matisse / DACS 2013
#matisse inspired fabric as seen on
Ode to Matisse Fabric in Leaf/Ocean, $100 per yard, F. Schumacher & Co
#matisse cutouts art as seen on

Henri Matisse
The Snail 1953
© Succession H. Matisse / DACS 2014
#matisse inspired fabric as seen on
Colors Fabric in Mint Julep, $120 per yard, Lulu DK
Billy Baldwin designed room as seen on WSJ, Matisse painting on the back wall
#matisse inspired fabric as seen on
China Seas Arbre de Matisse Fabric by Quadrille, $210 per yard, Design Professionals
#matisse inspired fabric as seen on
If you go to this designer's website you will find a plethora of gorgeous wall papers and fabrics inspired by Matisse as well as those with the same design aesthetic. Shown here: Deliciosa Fabric in Peacock, $150 per yard,
#matisse inspired fabric as seen on
Breach Candy Fabric in Anjeer Lilac, $211 per yard, Seema Krish

other blog posts you might like 

mentioned in this article: @QuadrilleFabric @aimeewilder  @LULU_DK @MuseumModernArt
@seematextiles @tate @Schumacher1889 @WSJ #matisse #fabrics

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Art Journal List Idea: Alliteration Name Game

art journal ideas | art journal pages | art journal techniques | get inspired on
Are you looking for a new art journal prompt that doesn't involve a lot of writing and doesn't involve a lot of drawing? ( is it still an art journal? yes, it is!) I love making lists in my journal because it takes the pressure off to create a gallery worthy piece of art or a Anne Frank worthy save-it-forever diary entry.

Today's List Idea

Today's list idea comes from taking your name and then listing adjectives that describe you that start with the same first letter of your name. I had a lot of fun doing this. At first I thought I wouldn't come up with enough adjectives but once I started rolling I ran out of space. If you get stuck, keep a thesaurus and a dictionary near by...not the one on your phone, but the traditional printed kind you can flip through.

art journal techniques on
Find some of the art journal supplies that I used here.

Art Journal Technique

For the actual page itself, I started simply with scrapbook papers and my own gelli prints. I love adding a border by hand  and using block letters. You can color them in, or fill in the negative space around the letters. If you prepare the background ahead of time, this makes a great project to do on a long car trip or in front of the tv. ( I watch plenty of junky tv...I am not going to lie to you. I watch the trashiest shows too...mostly on Bravo and Lifetime just to get an idea of my taste level.)


A look at my art journal page:

art journal ideas | art journal pages | art journal techniques | read more on

Check out all my art journal blog posts for more list ideas and subscribe to my daily blog posts by Email / RSS / BlogLovin / NetworkedBlogs ( I blog 4-5 times per week on average)

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

10 Best Blue Paint Colors for your Home

blue paint colors | different shades of blue | shades of blue discover them all on

Feeling Blue by Lizzie Turovsky and Edited by SchulmanArt  

Looking to paint a room blue but not sure what shade is best? When it comes to home decor, nothing beats cool, relaxed, and always chic blue paint colors.

There's no better way to change up your home decor than by painting. Blue paint colors are cool, elegant, classy, and never goes out of style.


What the Experts Say

Interior decorator Leatrice Eiseman House Beautiful said, "There's something in the color blue that triggers a relaxation response. It makes me feel as if I'm floating in a boat, looking up at the sky. Everything about it speaks of a gentle, tranquil, Zen state of mind..."


Top Ten Shades of Blue are...

blue paint colors | different shades of blue | shades of blue discover them all on
Dark Royal Blue: "I did a dining room with three dove-gray walls and one dark blue wall, a royal blue with just a little, little bit of red in it. At night, with the shine from the silver on the table, it was sexy, sexy, sexy, without consuming the room. Dark colors always give you more depth. It looked fathomless." —Philip Nimmo Benjamin Moore
blue paint colors | different shades of blue | shades of blue discover them all on
Philipsburg Blue: "In a dining room in a 1960s building, one wall was flanked by columns and a ceiling soffit, which created a kind of frame. So I painted just that wall recess in this muted blue-gray, which has that sense of calm I look for in colors. The blue gave me a beautiful silhouette for the dark wood of the dining table, and also tied back to the colors in the living room upholstery." Mark Epstein Benjamin Moore
blue paint colors | different shades of blue | shades of blue discover them all on
Waterside: "This bright, pretty turquoise reminds me of summers on Lake Michigan when I was a child, skipping stones and looking up at the sky, and feeling the sun on my body. Blue calms me and reenergizes me — just as the ocean does." Markham Roberts Parker Paint
blue paint colors | different shades of blue | shades of blue discover them all on
Electric: "Forget all those pale shades. What you want is an evening blue, an Yves Klein blue. Deeper than deep. You see it on Byzantine ceilings, in Jean Paul Gaultier's stripes. It's contemplative, meditative, mysterious. When I want to be enveloped, blue is the only color that will do it for me." Whitney Stewart C2 Paint
blue paint colors | different shades of blue | shades of blue discover them all on
Sassy Blue: "Blue is my secret agent color. I'm always sneaking it in these days. I guess it's like a bit of sky peeking out, which makes everything work. Blue is lightness and air. I used to use white to lighten things up, but now I'm using blue. It gives breath to everything." William Diamond
blue paint colors | different shades of blue | shades of blue discover them all on
Paddington Blue: "This is a peacock blue, a very happy, exuberant blue that would set off all the objects in a room. I'd use it in a high-gloss finish with lots of white moldings, and maybe pull in marigold or puce. Blue is one of the best colors around for crispness and contrast. After all, what looks better than a naval officer in his dress blues?" Robin Bell Benjamin Moore
blue paint colors | different shades of blue | shades of blue discover them all on
Patriot Blue: "I don't like baby blue or sky blue — I like dark, strong cobalt blue. It reminds me of Europe, in the sense of luxuriousness and the privacy it creates in a room. It shields you. I'd use it in a study or a library, and then snap it up with furniture from the '40s or '50s and a faux-zebra rug." Roger de Cabrol Benjamin Moore
blue paint colors | different shades of blue | shades of blue discover them all on
Aquarius: "I've never met a blue I didn't like. Everything from the darkest to the lightest — and this is in the middle — with a hint of aquamarine. A blue living room would be glamorous, especially with bottle-green silk velvet upholstery and a touch of silver or gold on a chair, or tiebacks for a curtain. And the walls should be slick, which gives a room a sparkle. It can never be too glossy for me." John Yunis Benjamin Moore
blue paint colors | different shades of blue | shades of blue discover them all on
Windmill Wings: "Blue is America's favorite color. It's certainly the most telegenic. That's why politicians wear blue shirts, and why the new White House pressroom is blue. It's cool. It's calming. It's all about blue skies and fresh air. This is an ethereal blue, with a touch of red that gives it a lavender cast. I love it with ivory and cyclamen pink." Jamie Drake Benjamin Moore
blue paint colors | different shades of blue | shades of blue discover them all on
Blue Wave: "Blue is tricky. It can go gray and sad. But not this warm Mediterranean blue. It's the blue in all those Pucci prints, a bright, happy, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky blue, as if you're in vacation mode and having lobster and rosé at Tetou on the beach near Cannes. I love it in a bedroom, where you could crisp it up with a navy-and-white striped fabric and one of those great Elizabeth Eakins plaid rugs." Elissa Cullman Benjamin Moore

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Which is your favorite shade of blue?







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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Madison Avenue Museum

summer 2014 fashion trends in New York
Window displays in New York City.
Recently, I went into New York City on a warm summer night to draw at the Frick (more about that in a future post) and since it was still light out when I left the museum I had a great walk down Madison Avenue. 

The upper east side is home to some of the chicest boutiques in the city and the window displays were amazing. Here are some museum worthy window displays I spotted I wanted to share with you.

summer 2014 fashion trends in New York
The Dolce Gabbana window inspired me to take out my camera. The manikins are posed like birds in hanging white cages. The printed fabrics evoke tropical birds. I like the way the models are sitting freely on the cages rather than inside of them. The cages are painted white, rather than brown or black which adds to the airiness. Notice the women in their black dresses. Since I was leaving the museum around 7:30, most of the fashionably dressed people I saw were returning home from work and dressed appropriately.

summer 2014 fashion trends in New York
Here is a closeup of the store. What do you think of the yellow pumps in the cage? I love the dress with the chiffon floaty layers... perhaps you could wear this to a summer wedding in the Hamptons, Money being no object, I think I would get that dress to the right. I like the silhouette and I don't have to be invited to a party in the Southampton to wear it. (all the stores were closed at this time, but from past experience I could tell you that these dresses were not in my starving artist budget)

summer 2014 fashion trends in New York
More tropical birds, this time used just as display props in shoe and handbag store.
words to live by | create
Art inspires life inspires art again. I love the artistry in this window display. The words as art is a huge trend right now in both contemporary art as well as popular culture. Wouldn't it be fabulous to make a painting that spelled the word "create" out of flowers? (or any inspirational word, really)

There is nothing so unusual about this window display except I love that they chose "radiant orchid" tones throughout their window and these Alliums are just divine. You can read
5 Ways Pantone Picks the Color of the Year (which is radiant orchid)

summer 2014 fashion trends in New York
Floral prints are a big trend this summer as well. You see the same roses as in the florist shop in the Kate Spade pants. I love the way the word "romance" is positioned just at the waistline of the manikin so it acts as a belt. Everything from the floral backdrop, the decals, the manikin all work together to form a harmonious composition.

quote art | words to live by
Once again, we see words as art and what better quote than for a wine store!? I like the way the store incorporated an actual piece of art in the window display. I like to use quotes in my art too, that I either make up myself or "borrow" from favorite writers.
summer 2014 fashion trends in New York
In this theatrical window display, the scene may be depicting two museum goers as they both hold up brochures against a rococo painting in a gilded frame. I'm not sure what they are acting out....are they arguing?..any ideas???

Here are some related blog posts I think you might like..

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Do you like window shopping too?

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Discover how I got over 1000 followers on Pinterest!

how to get more followers on pinterest | find out

{How to get more followers on pinterest with 3 easy tricks!}

If you are just using Pinterest for fun then you can use it however you want, but if you want to use Pinterest as a marketing tool to drive traffic to your website or blog then there are some easy tricks for how to get more followers on pinterest.

how to get more followers on pinterest | 3 easy strategies on
Use Pinterest to brand your business and drive traffic to your blog and website.





Why use Pinterest to drive traffic

One of the best ways to promote your small business or create traffic for your blog via social media marketing is to gain followers on Pinterest. If you have an arts related business like me, then using a social media site that is image driven is important for defining your brand and getting your message out. 


Here are three simple strategies for building your following on Pinterest:

1. Create Custom Covers

We all know that first impressions are important, and this holds true even on social media sites. Cover pins create a clean and sophisticated look to your boards with consistent branding. You can choose your most popular pin as the cover but I found that the best way to get folks to follow my boards is by creating my own custom Pinterest cover with text. I did mine in photoshop, but any graphics program will do.

how to get more followers on pinterest | 3 easy strategies on
This is one of my popular pins...with over 3000 repins, it drives traffic to my etsy shop.

2. Great Key Words

Doing your keyword research is a critical factor in gaining more Pinterest followers. Search for the best key words so that users can find your pins easily. Think like your searchers do and use their search terms to describe your pins and your boards.

3. Call to Action

Once they find your pin, what do you want them to do with it? You will get more results if you tell them what you want with a "call to action" which can either be text in the caption with a link to your website or blog or graphics on the pin itself. For the best results, create custom pins with "call to action" graphics and "call to action" in the caption.


how to get more followers on pinterest | 3 easy strategies on Pinterest Training

You may be wondering how did I get so smart using Pinterest? Someone told me about an online course with entrepeneur Melanie Duncan. Her video training series broke down everything I needed to know step by step. When I told one of my other crafty friends I was taking the class and learning a lot she asked me to track my followers before and after I took the class. So, dear friend, in less than 6 months I have more than doubled my Pinterest following. My friend who did not take the course? She still has less than 150 followers. So you see, it is not just about using is about using Pinterest effectively. {you can find out more about the online pinterest training she offers HERE}

how to get more followers on pinterest | 3 easy strategies on
Follow me on Pinterest!

Want to hear more?

Mostly my blog has an artistic focus, but I don't mind sharing art marketing advice with my crafty friends!

PS I am building a "Pinterest for Painters" ecourse and I would love to have you. I also need a few beta testers ( ie you get the class for free) Get on the wait list if you are interested.

Click Here to Get on the Pinterest for Painters Wait list>>
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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Art Journal Prompt: Where did you go?

art journal prompt | art journal ideas | art journal pages
For this art journal prompt in the summer series challenge I decided to list everywhere I went over the weekend. To learn more about the summer challenges you can read my blog post: "Summertime Challenge for you" or see all my posts on art journaling for other inspiration.

Share with me

Now like most of the challenges there really aren't rules, there is no reason for you to do the prompt the way I do or the art the way I do but it should offer you a starting point for creativity. In fact, I love seeing different interpretations. If you blog or post the page someplace, I would love for you to share it at the end of the post. The link party will stay open all summer long.

art journal ideas  | #artjournal on
Beginnings of the journal page as posted on my instagram feed

Prompt: Where did you go?

When I started this prompt I thought I would list everywhere I went this summer, but I quickly just focused on the last weekend. Obviously, you can answer the question however you want. For my page I listed the name of the towns, the state and I am starting to also add the names of the restaurants I visited. Since Michigan is famous for cherries, I am adding cherries around the edges and may add some other illustrative symbols or just some decorative doodles and embellishments.


Art Supplies

You will notice I have a new art journal that is not my planner pad. I actually bought a sturdy watercolor sketch book from Michael's and I am really glad I did because the firm pages really stand up better to gesso, paint and medium.

best art supplies for my art journal | #artjournal on
My new favorite paint pens: Sanford Sharpie Extra-Fine Pastel Paint Pen, Assorted Colors

Paint Pens

I also wanted to share with you some great new products I have found that I now consider indispensable. While I was at Michael's I saw this colorful sharpie paint pen set in pastel shades. The colors didn't really work with last week's prompt (Who is important to you?) but I love the way they look on my other art journal pages. After you press down a few times on the new nib the color flows beautifully and you get really rich colors. Later, I found out you can get them for a heck of a lot cheaper on Amazon.

art journal pages  on
Art Journal in progress shown with Pink Peacock Pencil Case

 Collage Elements

For the first layer, I thought it would be fun to use a tourist map. Maps work well in collage because they are free and full of visual interest. For this project I used the map from the where I went (which was Traverse City in Northern Michigan which is cool artsy and wonderful and deserves its own blog post, so watch for it!) I added a layer of clear gesso on top just to make sure my pens worked on the glossy surface of the map.

My Art Journal Pages

I consider the spread here still a work in progress but I didn't want to wait until they were "finished" to share this inspirational journal prompt with you. I have a long car trip coming up this weekend so I will finish it up then and start on a prompt for next week... any ideas?

art journal pages  on
A great way to document your travels with a visual sketching required!


Other art journal blog posts you might like:

You can also download this FREE ART JOURNAL ebook for loads of prompts and techniques to keep you happy and busy!

art journal ideas | art journal pages | get art journal inspiration →

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