Category Archives: Sheer Heaven

Art Journal, Sheer Heaven Transfer, Inktense, and Toilet Paper!

canvastransfersIn all of my art journal workshops and retreats, I stress the idea that you don’t have to finish any page before moving on and starting another one. Same with finishing one book before starting another. I currently have SIX volumes in action. I like it that way.

I find this permission valuable because you have to be able to be spontaneous to enjoy art journaling in the first place, and because I personally find unfinished pages to be the best creative kick-starters there are.

You may be feeling like working in your journal, but nothing interesting seems to be going on at the moment – or something VERY interesting is going on but you can’t think of how you could possibly portray it (see my amazing toilet paper caper below).

ANYWAY, if you sit down and page through one or two of your journals, you are bound to come up with some page that still needs color or some lettering added, or some inking and erasing to finish up.

Easy to start on because it’s already started and waiting for you.

I always find that once I start finishing up an older page, the ideas start coming, and who knows where I might go from there. Might not finish that page this time either. But that’s ok.

Unfinished pages – the key that unlocks journaling blocks.

This time, I found a spread I did over a year ago. It was about a couple of things, and I hadn’t finished lettering the title.

The illustrations were done on raw canvas with Inktense pencils and they were samples for my Inktense Soup-to-Nuts Workshop.

This started me thinking about Inktense because it was the third “reminder” in two days. Do you ever have that happen? Something reminds you of something you have not been thinking about – like Inktense Pencils for example. And then someone emails you a question about that same thing. And then you run into a YouTube video or magazine article about that same thing.

Makes you think that thing wants some attention.

I have a list I have been thinking about – The Five Most Incredible Art Supplies of the 21st Century. I intend to post this list and explain what I put on it.

AHA – Inktense Pencils need to be on it – for lots of reasons.

Then, I started thinking how everybody I know has Inktense pencils.

But not everyone is using them because they don’t know all the wonderful things they can do.

And that led to the thought that my Inktense Workshop was really popular and got a lot of people going.

To celebrate that and because I had to SOMETHING about Inktense popping up all the time lately), I put that workshop on sale for the month of June. Lowered the tuition by $20, so now’s the time if you have been wanting to take those pencils for a spin.

Inktense Workshop Sale

Now, look more closely at this journal spread . . .

canvasspreadleft400

canvasspreadright400

I had discovered that Sheer Heaven transfers don’t work very well in my Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook. Pages have a cold press surface and the transfer is difficult. Can be done, but difficult. We don’t like difficult.

So I ordered the Zeta sketchbook because it has paper with a hot press surface – very smooth.

The transfers were amazing as you can see. I took photos close up with my iPad, printed them in reverse on Sheer Heaven and transferred them into the new Zeta book. Both the excellent detail of the iPad photo AND the quality of the transfer blew me away. . .

closeupleaves

Isn’t that incredible? You can see every stitch and every pencil mark. You are looking at the transferred image – NOT the original!

So, Inktense was talking to me off that unfinished page, but so was something else – this tree. . .

canvastreeIt was saying “I look famiiar. Can you tell where I came from?”

When this happens, I have to go on a wild search until I find the answer. Like a hyped-up dog trying to find the bone she knows she buried somewhere around here.

One time I found that an enameled light switch cover had inspired a whole series of paintings. You don’t know these things when they are happening, of course. You are only allowed to find out later – through obscure clues and mysterious whispers. Makes it all more interesting.

Where WAS this tree??

I finally found it hiding in my studio . . .

bronzetree

I picked this up at a flea market  2 or 3 years ago because it spoke to me at that time too. I loved the lines. I don’t know if it’s bronze, but it is certainly heavy enough.

And now it was speaking to me again – this time saying “I am the perfect display for those new wrap bracelets you are making!”

And the tree is right. It IS perfect.

Now, how about THAT winding path?!?

You see why I’m crazy and confused, right?

And now for . . .

The Amazing Toilet Paper Caper

We have a group of artist friends who meet at a local coffee shop/bakery on Friday afternoons to sketch and chat and show and tell (and eat delicious, fattening things).

And we try to come up with the most interesting thing that happened in our lives the past week.

Sometimes, my interesting things get those cross-eyed looks that DH is so fond of bestowing – like when I microwaved the ant. (By ACCIDENT!! You know I am not like that! Anyway, he walked away just fine, but probably won’t hide on my coffee cup again.)

So, about the toilet paper. I just don’t know if this kind of stuff happens to everybody, but this is my most interesting thing for next Friday.

It is VERY windy today. And breeze cools things off, so I opened a lot of windows, and went outside to trim my Butterfly Bush.

The other thing the wind does is carry pollen, so when I came in, I went into the guest bath to sneeze and de-pollinate.

Reached for a piece of toilet paper from the roll I had just put on this morning – and there was just a cardboard tube. Huh?

Yes, I have cats, so I looked on the floor. Not there. (Plus, if you remember, I told you my cats roll the toilet paper back UP after they unroll it – not neatly, mind you, but they roll it back up).

Besides, they were both sitting there looking as puzzled as I was.

The toilet is white, and the toilet paper is white, so at first, the three of us did not see the tail end of the roll hanging over the seat – or the rest of the roll lying neatly stacked and soaked in the toilet bowl.

WHAT?

The wind – yes, the WIND – had unfurled a WHOLE roll of toilet paper into the toilet bowl.

“We shouldn’t flush this, right?” I asked the cats.

“No,” said I.

“Meow.” said Angel.

“Quack!”, said Bunnie. That’s what Bunnie always says instead of Meow. She thinks it makes her more interesting, She’s a Cat who looks like a Rabbit and sounds like a Duck. It does make her more interesting.

An ingenious solution was needed for this toilet paper thing, and I did come up with one which involved some plastic bags and a garden claw, and I would share except that this kind of thing will never happen to you.

Right?

Things not what they seem . . .

notwhattheyseemdetail

Sometimes, things are not what they seem, and on my recent road trip, I ran into a couple of good examples of this that I wanted to record in my trip journal. By the time I got done with the page, I had used some interesting techniques that I thought would be worth sharing with you.

The first thing was a tree. We saw it while getting gas before we ever left Santa Fe. . .

celltree

If this tree looks a little strange to you, there is a good reason. It is not a tree at all. It is a cell tower dressed up like a tree. Not bad, but a real tree would look like this . . .

realtree

However, you gotta hand it to them – the pretend tree certainly looks better than a big pole with lots of metal boxes on it.

The second strange thing came up when we were just about to Albuquerque, and I saw this . . .

sandia1

That doesn’t look so unusual for the Southwest, right? Just a lone pueblo building on a barren plain.

However, that really was the Sandia Casino and Resort, which looks more like this . . .

sandia2

It’s vast and huge, and not at all isolated. It’s all a matter of where you are looking from. Driving southbound on I-25, for a brief moment, you get the simplified version.

So, I wanted to put these two subjects in my journal, and usually, I would sketch and paint them.

But I was feeling very lazy, and I didn’t want to draw everything to scale etc.

So, first I turned to my iPad where I had imported the photos (actually shot with my iPhone from the car).

There is an iPad app called Artist’s Sketch that does a very good job of turning photos into sketches. There are lots of iPad apps that do this, and you can do it with filters in Photoshop and Elements as well, but I like this app the best,

artistssketch

So I turned the two photos into sketches that looked like this . . .

sketches1

I then flipped them and printed them onto Sheer Heaven . . .

sketchesflip

Once they were transferred into my Stilman & Birn Beta journal, all I had left to do was paint . . .

ajnotwhattheyseem

So, the message here is that if you are too lazy to draw something like I was, or if you aren’t all that happy with your drawing skills, but like to add color, this is a perfect way to get anything from a photo into your art journal – as an illustration.

Try this – it’s fun!

ms finiah back

Sheer Heaven Moleskine Art Journal Cover

 

So far, my continuing quest for the perfect art journal always leads me back to the Moleskine Large Sketchbook. Heaven knows I try to fall in love with another, but something is always missing. Not that the Moleskine is perfect, but it does the best over all.

I keep my journals on a bookshelf, and in this drawer in my garden room.

Obviously, they all look alike, and when I want to find something in a particular volume, I have to go through each one until I come across it. Not so efficient.

I know that many folks paint on their covers, but I don’t  like the look, and there is something I do like a lot about these plain black covers hiding all the brightly colored stories of my life.

So, I came up with a slip cover template, which I am giving all you journalers as a Holiday Gift (See the link below).

I wanted the slipcover to be indestructible because it would be handled so much. Also easy to fold, and illustrate.

The perfect answer was Sheer Heaven, of course, but my template would not fit on a letter size sheet. So, as I mentioned last time, I had some Legal size Sheer Heaven cut.

In all the transfer hoopla, we often forget that Sheer Heaven is an awesome art paper for any and all media, so this cover is a great blank canvas for art and lettering.

Since the template is already a digital file, however, I illustrated my first one right in Photoshop.

The template is outlined in light blue so the fold lines are visible, but not obnoxious in the finished piece.

With the template open in Photoshop, I opened a scan of my favorite page from my first Art Journal in another window, and dragged it into the template window, where I resized it to fit the front cover . . .

Next, I used the Type Tool to add the Volume Number and Date the volume was begun . . .

I created a table of contents, also using the Type tool, for the back cover. This will tell me at a glance which life events are in this volume. . .

Once the table of contents was done, I knew how much room was left on the back cover to add a couple of my other favorite illustrations from this journal. . .

The next step is to print the illustrated template onto the right side of a legal sheet of Sheer Heaven . . . and cut it out, using the light blue lines as a guide. You can cut the lines off the edges, and they are really inconspicuous on the folds.

If you score the fold lines, do so on the back side (you can see the lines through the translucent Sheer Heaven of course).

However, I find it much easier and more accurate to simple fold along the lines using my fingers. Sheer Heaven does not have grain and is really friendly and forgiving to the folding process. I use both hands, but my right hand was taking this picture and couldn’t be in it at the same time. Just work along the folds with both index fingers and thumbs and you will get flawless folds.

Final folded piece . . .

Apply double-stick adhesive to the flap at the bottom of the front panel . . .

And to the flap on the left of the back cover . . .

Attach the side panels first. The one with the tab is inside, obviously. Stick your fingers inside to press the two panels together.

Put the Moleskine into the sleeve and press the bottom panels closed. Stand the book upright in the slipcover and press against the table to stick the panels well.

This gives you an art journal volume you can truly judge by its cover!

So, here is your gift template:

http://cre8it.com/moleskinecovertemplate.zip

And, here is where you can get the Legal Size Sheer Heaven (until I run out).

http://www.dotcalmvillage.net/sheerheaven.html

Sale Alert-

The 2 for 1 Whenever Workshop Sale lasts only through Sunday!! Buy two and the least expensive one is free! (Discount will be applied before your charge is put through.)

Enjoy this project, and see you for coffee on Sunday!