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Happy Monday everyone.  Welcome to another Art Journal Express – a free weekly video tutorial series posted each Monday where I show you how I created one of my art journal pages from start to finish. Each and every Art Journal Express video tutorial is in “fast forward” mode and then narrated so that you can see each and every step and hear my thoughts behind my process without having to sit through a loooong video.


Today’s art journal page began with a theme and an idea of how I wanted to artistically express that theme.  My original thought going into this page was that I was going to create a page with the theme “Love Yourself”.  When I was at the gym this past week as I was on the cardio equipment I started watching an interview with a Canadian Olympic athlete.  The interview had already started so I don’t actually know who it was.  At one point in the video she pointed out a tattoo she had on her arm which said Love Yourself.  She referred to herself as quiet and kinda nerdy growing up and how over the years she had come to accept and even love herself as she was, rather than trying to be someone else.

That really resonated with me.  At the time I had a vision of creating a colourful Kalaidascopic background using dye ink refills (the same refills you use to ink up your dye ink pads for stamping).  I was then going to add a  silhouette of a girl created out of a Dina Wakely stencil and black modelling paste and a red clear embossed heart embedded into the paste.  I was then going to journal along the edge of the silhouette.  As you can see – the actual outcome of today’s page is NOTHING like what I envisioned.

It all started to evolve when my background turned out nothing like I’d planned. The background that I wanted to create is one that needs to be done on a watercolor paper surface.  Because my journal is not watercolor paper and I didn’t want to create in another journal, I pulled out my Golden Absorbent Grounds which I used last week and which is supposed to give your page more absorbency for working with water-based mediums.  While it does do that, it’s still not the same effect as working on watercolor paper.  I of course didn’t know that because this is only the second time I’ve worked with it.  So, as my background evolved, it no longer fit my vision for the page.

To be honest I was going to ditch the page because it wasn’t what I wanted (i.e. in Type A personality speak it was “wrecked”).  However, as I keep telling myself, you only grow as an artist by experimenting, by silencing your inner critic and allowing your intuition to take the driver’s seat.  So I did.  And I’m glad I did because not only do I love the result, but it really spoke to me.

The more I looked at the page as the artistic process progresses, the more I understood it’s meaning – it really came together when I “found” the quote card “Focus and Listen” – I say “found” because I don’t believe in happenstance – I believe it was meant to be found. The colour represented all that is good and beautiful in my life – the busy black pattern represented the distractions that can get in the way of  fully appreciating our blessings.  The blank space (now underneath the sentiment card) represented my heart (i.e. my spirit) – the quiet place at the centre of my body whose quiet whispers often get drowned out by the “noise” around it.  So the end message of my page was to focus and listen to my heart – not the noise around me.

So that is the story behind today’s page. And I think for next week’s video I’m going to see if I can create the Love Yourself page I had originally been planning on creating.


I’m still working in is my Dylusions journal which you can see pictured below – and it’s the large Dylusions journal. This is the journal I’ve used in every one of my Art Journal Express Video tutorials – and this is my current go-to journal or what I call my “working” journal.


Below is a photo of the supplies I used for this page. This was another technique-intensive page.


Here are the exact supplies I used for this page: Gesso, Absorbent Ground White (Golden); Matte Gel Medium (Liquitex); Sunshine Yellow, Sunset Orange, Red Pepper, Stream and Citrus Adirondack Dye Re-Inkers; Jet Black Archival ink pad, Adirondack Gold Acrylic Paint Dabber (Ranger); Wendy Vecchi Black Embossing Paste (Studio 490/Dreamweaver); Bombay Black India Ink (Dr. Ph Martin); Damask stencil (Donna Downey/Prima); Resin heart (Melissa Frances); Affirmation Tag Kit (7 Gypsies); water bottle, paint brushes, plastic palette knife.

Here’s the video tutorial on how I made this page:

Here’s a close up of the page.

And here’s what the two page “spread” looks like in my art journal. My preference has become to use the right page for my art journaling because I know that the pages are flat underneath as they are still untouched so anything I stamp will stamp pretty clear. The other side of the 2 page “spread” – typically the left page – I use to list the supplies I used and for any directions/notes I want to remember about my page or the creative process or the supplies.


I hope you enjoyed today’s video tutorial. If you haven’t already, please be sure to subscribe to the new You Tube Channel I’ve created specifically for the Art of Simple blog. While I am going to continue to post videos to my existing channel – for Paper Crafter’s Library, this new channel is where I’m going to be posting the Art Journal Express videos as well as any other video tutorials I create as part of this blog. So please take a minute to subscribe to my new channel HERE.


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