Plain, simple, sincere, no fuss art journaling! Free your creative spirit! No artistic talents needed!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Meet Guest Artist Caryl Park!

Today I want to introduce you to the muli-talented artist Caryl Park. She is from South Africa and we both share the same passion for Art Journals. I met Caryl on a South African craft website:  in2crafts and fell in love with her work. 

Hi Caryl and welcome. It is great to have you as my guest today! 

Tell us about yourself.

My passion for art started from birth, and I always expressed myself through making and drawing things.  I used to love gathering my younger cousins around me to ‘teach’ them how to draw faces or arrange flowers, early signs that I should have been an art teacher. But when I left school in Zimbabwe and wanted to go to Art School I was told to think about a ‘real job’ and so I went nursing. But this knawing desire to do art has never left me and in between anything else that I have ever done I have always done something creative.
In between various jobs I have taught everything from embroidery, decoupage, candle wicking, wall hangings, pewter, journal making, card making, stamping... you name it I have taught it.

Where did your love for art journaling start?

My passion for journals started in primary school. The silent generation forced me to find a place to express myself and that was in my diary. But as time went by my diaries became scrapbooks. Collecting all the things that made my heart sing then my journals became travel journals, when I started to travel around the world. Meeting different people collecting slips from restaurants, bus tickets, wine labels, writing on serviettes etc etc. I have so many travel journals and really enjoy them more than photos. Art Journals capture everything about an event where as in my opinion a photo is a snap shot.  Painting pages without journaling, started in 1995 when I didn’t want anyone to read what I had written, I would express my emotions with pictures and paintings.

What are your favorite art materials to work with in your art journal?

Wow.... favourites... that’s a tough one.  At home when I journal.. acrylics, stencils, Tombows and Prismacolor crayons. If I travel, Adel watercolours and Peerless watercolours.

How would you describe your creative style and has it changed since your first art journal?

My creative style is Caryl. Yes it has changed a lot. My oil painting artwork tends to be impressionist sometimes realism, but I am going through a phase of loving contemporary art work which is coming through in everything I do. My paintings, encaustic work, pewter, and my journals. Right now with the internet being such a source of inspiration for so many, and we are inspired a lot by America artists, I really want to create something more earthy in my art journals and bring art journals back to Africa.

What does creativity mean to you?

Creativity – my whole life is about being creative. I don’t have a left brain at all. I am not a logical person everything about my life, is in the possibilities, the what if.

Are you a clean or messy art journaler?

Depends – in the past especially during my recovery from CPTS – complex post traumatic stress – my journals were a real mess but as my healing came so my art in every way calmed down and became more orderly. My colour palette changed, my handwriting changed, the content changed... I changed.

You recently launched Eezy Peezy Journals. Please tell us about it?

So many people have admired my journals over the years and drooled through the pages, making comments... ‘you are so incredibly talented, I wish I could to this’. So what was EASY PEASY for me wasn’t for other people. It has taken me over a year to design this product EEZY PEEZY JOURNALS to encourage anyone from 6 – 60 to keep an art journal. The kit contains 16 pages, 32 designs to colour with either crayons, watercolour crayons, watercolours, Tombows whatever is available. When the pages are all finished they are bound together into a journal with all the instructions in the kit. Also in the kit are journal prompts for children, teenagers and for adults, just to kick start the journaling process. If someone wants to use the journal for quotes there are two pages of quotes in the kit as well.
There will also be some new designs for sale in the new year which can be down  loaded.

Where can we find you?

Where can you find me.... in my house ;o).... I work full time from home which is in Lonehill Johannesburg. I teach at Herbert Evans on a Thursday afternoon and Saturday afternoon. I do corporate workshops around the country and travel where ever the wind takes me. I am busy with a company in the Eastern Cape who want me to go down there to teach two workshops to their staff, team building. That’s going to be fun. I have to drive for 2 hours into the mountains somewhere!!!

My philosophy ... SHARE WHAT YOU LOVE, you can’t use it all, eat it all, or take it all !

Thank you so much Caryl! It was lovely to have you as a guest and I am sure you have inspired and will inspire many aspiring artists and art journalers all around the world! 

Here are a few links to visit. 

Art Journal Page: 28 October

I managed to finish one page in my journal this week. I worked in stages and could fit in only a few minutes every day. It was a crazy week and next week is going to be worse! But Christmas is around the corner and I think we are all looking forward to the break. Can't wait! 

Bye and hope you all have a wonderful creative and peaceful week! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Building Blocks


To succeed at anything needs a lot of work.  I think as long as one can stay positive and  acknowledge the stumble blocks there is space for growth.

Take care :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012


I loved doing this page. I also love to work with  pens and pencils doing cross hatching. It has a very calming and soothing effect to make repetitive marks. I used craft acrylic, markers and Aquarelle Watercolor pencils. Adore these colors!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Guest Artist: Kate Crane

Welcome to the first artist interview here on Art Journaling with Ansota. If you haven't been on Kate
Crane's blog you are missing out big time! Kate is a wonderfully talented mixed media artist. Her work is filled with inspiration and fun!

1.. Hi Kate and welcome. Please tell us about yourself.

I am happily married, with two children, a dog, and several small animals, and we all live in a rural village in the north of England, UK. I am a school teacher specialising in music and currently teach children aged 10 and 11. I am also a crafts tutor and love to share my passion for all things arty with others. 

I contribute regularly to Craft Stamper magazine (UK), and I'm proud to be on the design team for Dylusions for Ranger, and Stampotique Originals. I have had my art published in several publications including Somerset Art Journaling, Stampers Sampler, Artful Blogging, Somerset Studio and Somerset Apprentice. In May 2012 I spent three glorious days at Ranger Ink, USA, to become a Certified Ranger Educator.

I have dabbled in many different crafts over the years from knitting, dressmaking, to ‘clean’ cardmaking and scrapbooking, but now I feel that I have really discovered my passion in mixed media art and art journaling. Music also plays an important part in my life. I am a musician and regularly play in a ceilidh band. But more than anything else, I am the QUEEN of MESSING ABOUT! I love nothing more than playing with paper, acrylic paint, old texts, rubber stamps etc etc etc! I also love wine and chocolate, and plenty of it

2. What are your favorite art materials to work with in your art journals?
 My ‘favourite’ constantly changes as I discover new things to play with but right now I am enjoying using acrylic paints (various brands), Dylusions ink sprays, stencils, rubber stamps and gesso. Amongst other things of course! I love to build up multiple layers in my journal pages so I will often use a huge variety of mediums all on one page, as that allows me to add even more layers and achieve the depth of colour that I love. I have an ever-growing collection of useful junk, that I use for stamping and adding extra texture to may pages … things such as old credit cards and bottle lids.

 3. How long have you been keeping an art journal and do you have any advice to give about keeping an art journal? 
I started art journaling towards the end of 2008 and have been at it ever since! My advice would be to just start! Don’t overthink things, but just start and let it grow. Creativity breeds creativity, and the more you do the more ideas you will have.

And also never give up on yourself. I have been on such a steep learning curve since I started. It would be so easy to give up when things don’t go right, but you have to allow yourself to get things ‘wrong’ occasionally – that’s how we learn. Join art journaling groups, look on you tube, do some on-line classes … there is so much out there just waiting for you!

4. Describe your creative style and has it changed since your first art journal.

My creative style has changed quite a lot over the years. I think the things that define my style are my use of bold and vibrant colour, lots and lots of layers, and honesty in my actual journal writing. I say what I think! Over the years my pages have got bolder and brighter in colour, and they have also got more busy, with more and more layers being added.

5. You have just returned from a teaching trip. Please tell us about it.
I have recently returned from a trip to Holland where I taught several classes at de Craftorij, Ede, in the centre of Holland. It was busy busy busy, but a wonderful experience, and my first experience of teaching abroad. The Dutch girls LOVE their art and I was met with a passion and enthusiasm for the subject. I taught four full days of art journaling classes using a variety of inky and painty techniques. Some of the girls were self confessed ‘clean’ scrapbookers but they soon got their hands dirty!
Where can we find you?

Thank you so much for your time Kate! It was wonderful to take a look into your world of art.

Ansota :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Working in Layers: Sight

This is a page with multiple layers. Layering offers so many possibilities and is something anyone can do with great results. I will be doing a step by step tutorial of the way I work in layers real soon!
I am also including the following pictures of previous pages from my journal. Both of them have a step by step tutorial. Always keep in mind that my way is not the only way to keep an art journal. There are a wide variety of techniques and different ways of building up a page. I am showing you my way and hope it will be a helpful tool to everyone who follow them. You can follow my directions but make  your pages your own. Bring your own individuality to your journals and the only way to do that is to experiment.   

I also have a surprise coming soon. I will be doing an interview with the amazingly talented Kate Crane! Check this space! :)
Have a great day!
Bye! :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Little Princess

Do you believe in Fairy tales? 


Stop the Killing

Index Card Observation
I think the card says it all. 

I have also been busy with painting backgrounds for another project. All will be revealed later but it is an Art Journal Prompt Game that I have been working on. I am excited about it and think it will be a great inspirational tool. Here is a little peak. 

Enjoy the rest of the day!
Toodles! :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Slow Down

A quick page to remind me to slow down at times. I tend to take on too many things at times and don't allow myself  a moment to just sit and relax. I always say there are not enough hours in a day for me to do everything I want to do. But there are days that I have to remind myself that I am only human and rest is also necessary.

This page didn't take me that long. I painted my background, did some stamping. Sprayed a little bit of ink here and there. Found the picture of the chair and bucket in a magazine and glued them onto the page. With my craft acrylic I painted over the chair and changed it to a bright red. I also painted the cushion with a green to match my color scheme and with the back of my brush I stippled red dots onto the cushion. I then did the sketch of the flowers and painted them making sure I paint a little bit over the edge of the bucket. With a watered down acrylic I painted the shadows and then used my alphabet stamps for the wording on the page. The last step was to take a tiny drop of yellow drawing ink and rub it over the page to add a touch of warmth to the page.

That was my page for the day and now I am going to take my own advice and rest a bit.

Byeee!! :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Index Card Observation Project

I am sure everybody knows that index cards are very useful. They are not only to be used in an office or filing system but can be great to do journaling on as well. I saw the most beautiful index cards on Julie Kirk's blog and it got me thinking. I came up with an idea and decided to give myself a little project  to work on. I call it the Index Card Observation Project.

What is the Index Card Observation Project? 

Let me explain. In short I will call it my ICO Project and it's simple. It won't take  long to finish a card and will be just a quick observation about my day. I will  decide later how I am going to put them together. This is my first card. 
Feel like joining me and doing your own ICO Project? 

Enjoy and take care! :)

The Creative Process

Today I want to talk a little bit about the creative process. 

There are people walking around thinking they don't have any creativity whatsoever. They envy people with what they call 'creative talents' and wish they were 'blessed' with some. We are all born with the potential to live a life filled with creativity but some of us loose it as we grow up. 

It happens without we even noticing it. We live with all these preset rules about what is right and wrong. To give you an example:  You are five years old and one day you decide to get creative.You take your oil pastels and paper and without thinking you simply start to draw a house. Your  house has a roof shaped like a heart and a triangle and circle represent your windows. 

You think it's pretty awesome and love your drawing. You are enjoying the process of creativity and you continue drawing. It doesn't matter at all that your flowers are bigger and taller than the house.

Now if  someone tells you that you can not draw a house like that and it is stupid to draw the flowers so big you may  think that what you thought was amazing was only making sense to you. You will start to doubt your own abilities to be creative. 

The next time you draw you are not going to create with such freedom because you will remember all the negative remarks about your previous drawing. What is happening here? You are slowly loosing your own way of expressing yourself. You are being shaped to do things within preset rules. The end result will be that you won't enjoy being creative anymore. You will start believing that you can't do it! I think it's really sad. I am giving a simple example but I think you get the point. 

If we can only look behind all the rules and simply enjoy the experience of being creative there will be a lot of happier people in this world. 

Underneath your blackest emotions
Far above your brightest wishes 
Stands a world for you to hold 

Keeping an art journal is about going back to your roots and enjoying the simple act of expressing yourself. No rules and just doing what feels natural and good to you. Have fun and get creative and do it  for yourself. And when you  find that creative child within you again you will start creating with a free spirit and I promise you that you will be amazed by what that child has to offer you! 

Keep smiling, keep creating!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My Creative Life

My passion! 

I can not imagine living my life without any creativity. Art Journaling is by far my biggest passion. There are several journals all around my house as well as a small Moleskine Daily Planner in my handbag. My journals are valuable and precious to me. Paging through them  they tell the story of my life with all it's ups and downs. Some days have been documented with pictures and others with scribbles, doodles, paintings, drawings or whatever I wanted to paste or glue onto the pages. 

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