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06/29/14
Journal52 Week 1
Filed under: General, Collage, Mixed Media, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Drawing, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 4:57 pm

This weekend I created covers and finished my art journal page for week 1 of Journal 52. After using markers to color the hot air balloons, I carefully added a gradated watercolor wash to the background. The Tombow markers are water soluble and would run if wet. It was much easier to work on the journal page with the journal taken apart.

Here is the journal spread from last summer that inspired the drawing on this page. I went to the hot air balloon festival in Plainville, Connecticut last year and took a lot of photos of the balloons as they rose up into the air. It was magnificent and I captured the event in a photo collage with acrylic painted background on an art journal spread.

The covers were not paint ready and needed a coat of gesso so that the paint would stick. I randomly chose some colors from my bottles of acrylic paint, dribbled paint on the surface and closed the covers with wet paint together to make prints on both sides. Then I used a round brush to add paint and cover the white areas around the edges.

These were painted first and meant to be the covers but I decided to use them as the inside covers after I saw how the other side above turned out.


Mary MacIlvain

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04/22/12
New Print Gallery Online
Filed under: General, Collage, Creativity, Inspiration, Digital Art, Design, Drawing, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 2:23 pm

I now have a print gallery online and will have prints available of select pieces of my artwork through print on demand technology. This is something new for me and I hope to add more pieces to the gallery over time. The gallery is hosted by imagekind and my personal gallery on the site is at marymacilvain.imagekind.com/inspiration. I am excited about this new venture which allows me to share a physical representation of my artwork with a global audience.

The two images currently in the gallery are Newport Doors, a digital photo collage of doors taken from the old section of Newport, Rhode Island, and Shopaholics Anonymous, a digitally drawn assortment of shopping bags from a typical mall. The black border is used here to separate the images from the background and is not part of the print.

Inspiration springs from inside of me to become expressions in art.


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07/10/10
You’ve Got Mail
Filed under: General, Mixed Media, Creativity, Inspiration, Drawing, ATCs
Posted by: Mary @ 9:30 am

On Wednesday night I received not one but three exciting and beautiful pieces of mail. It was so awesome to receive such wonderful gifts and I was truly amazed and grateful.

an incredible paper doll by Ginette from the True North Arts Paper Doll Swap
a lovely ATC card plus postcard from a swap with Dindie in Indonesia
a card from my brother in Tennessee


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05/22/10
Art Doll Flies to True North Arts
Filed under: General, Mixed Media, Creativity, Inspiration, Design, Drawing, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 12:11 pm

Art Doll Melanie flew off to True North Arts today for the Paper Doll Swap. I played with different ideas and when it all distilled down to a vision I worked non-stop and created her. It was a little sad to send her off this morning but she has a sister and I will create her next.

Melanie is a gentle and wise spiritual guide who is there for you when you
need her. She has great powers of visualization and discernment that can help you in your journey. When she holds up the mirror of truth you will be able to see yourself more clearly and elucidate the path that resonates with you. Melanie encourages you to be free to be your authentic, creative self. Knowing yourself is the key to discovering your inner power and reaching your dreams.

The doll pattern is from the Enchanted Gallery. This is a freehand drawing and the support used was Strathmore bristol board smooth finish 100 lb. Supplies used were pencil, pitt pen, staedtler markers, prismacolor nupastels, workable fixative, and uhu glue.


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05/17/10
Turquoise Mandala
Filed under: General, Creativity, Art Journal, Drawing, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 7:32 pm

Here is a southwest theme mandala that I drew in my art journal yesterday afternoon. The freehand drawing started in pencil with eraser in hand and then was inked with one of my new Pitt pens. After inking, the drawing was colored in with my Staedtler fineliner markers. The idea for this piece came from memories of conchos I have seen over the years. The center part represents rivers flowing outward in different directions which are paths in life. The small circles surrounding the center are jewels that light up the sky and the wavy blue band contains the energy of the radiating center. The radiant energy appears to float on the turquoise background.


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05/02/10
Spiral Art Journaling with Colored Pencils
Filed under: General, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Drawing, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 1:09 pm

There is something about art journaling that draws you in. I have been studying the Somerset magazine since it came out last year, but I just didn’t get it at first. The public ranting and complaining about everything and anything under the sun that can go with this mode of expression is both fascinating and unappealing to me at the same time. Although I did not intend to rant about being sick for a month when I spontaneously picked up my art journal and a pencil yesterday and started to draw, somehow the frustration of it all came out quietly by itself. This was very surprising to me to have this come out in this way as I am very stoic, don’t complain, and try to take everything in stride. Interestingly enough, I felt better when I looked at my finished art journal page. Still, I have gone back and forth this morning with Gaussian blurring the image slightly to blur the text and finally decided it looks better as it is and to stop fussy-budgeting with it. :-) The tree pollen is really bad this year and in a few more weeks breathing will be much easier. The writing was done
in a spiral and then colored pencils were used to color in bits of the spiral, forming a subtle mosaic. It was not until I added the jagged edge to the outermost ring of the design to frame the piece in an off-center way that it came together and made visual sense.


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04/30/10
Today’s Art - ATCs and Pastels
Filed under: General, Painting, Creativity, Drawing, Creative Every Day, ATCs
Posted by: Mary @ 7:50 pm

I did a star themed ATC this week and took pictures of it drawn in black and then colored with markers and gel pens. These are so much fun I am thinking of doing an accordion fold book of ATCs. There may be a theme and they may be random - haven’t decided yet.

From last week’s blog post I am doing my first ever ATC swap with dindie in Indonesia and I am thrilled! For the next batch of ATCs I drew a 3×3 grid to make 9 ATCs on watercolor paper and painted it with background colors of alizarin crimson, cerulean blue, ultramarine blue, and winsor violet washes.

At the Middletown Art Guild meeting earlier this month there was a demonstration by Aleta Gudelski who did an abstract underpainting in watercolor and then after that was dry she drew on top of the watercolor painting with pastels and it is interesting to see what develops. Tonight I found the underpainting I had started recently and began laying down colors with the pastels and this is how it looks tonight.


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04/26/10
ATCs and Mandala Video Links
Filed under: General, Creativity, Design, Drawing, Creative Every Day, ATCs
Posted by: Mary @ 6:49 pm

Here are a couple of hand drawn ATCs I did recently. This mandala ATC was inspired by a wonderful Vimeo Athena Mandala on Daisy Yellow and YouTube Zendalas by Milliande is another great mandala drawing video. ATCs are so portable and you can work on one anywhere. If you want to learn more about ATCs including their history, visit atc - artist trading cards. There is a nice guide to making ATCs at Art in Your Pocket: ATCs.



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04/18/10
Artistic Goals and ATC Box
Filed under: General, Mixed Media, Creativity, Drawing, Creative Every Day, ATCs
Posted by: Mary @ 12:39 pm

Living a creative life and making a commitment to Creative Every Day is somewhat of a challenge for me at times. At the same time, through blogging and the blogland creative community I have been much more motivated to experiment and try new things. On Friday during my lunch break at work I came up with some new artistic goals to help keep my focused on my art and creativity. These goals are rather ambitious for me but it is better to set high goals as you will achieve much more than if your goals are low and easily attainable. There is no incentive to stretch yourself if you don’t reach for the stars.

This weekend I painted a new wooden ATC box and then decorated it with scrapbooking paper. My intention for this is to create a new ATC every week and keep them in this box. I already have a plain wooden box which is almost full of ATCs, many from the Vision Journaling Workshop this past winter. The box and the scrapbooking paper are from a trip to Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores yesterday. The ATC was hand drawn lightly in pencil first and then colored in with colored pencils and a gel pen. I used my son’s old colored pencils from Middle School and afterwards I found my own colored pencils.



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04/11/10
Sketchbook/Art Journal Pages
Filed under: General, Art Journal, Drawing, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 11:11 am

Here are some pages taken from my sketchbook/art journal this week. One thing that I have noticed is that drawing brings me to a special place of heightened awareness. It is hard to describe exactly what happens but it is an unconscious way of losing and then finding oneself. The process of drawing or physically making marks on paper causes a shift from left brain to right brain thinking and lets you tap into a whole different type of seeing and opens up a new perspective.

When I stopped at Staples to buy computer paper, I spotted a canister of gel pens on sale and brought those home too. While playing with the gel pens I realized the differences between the concepts art journal and sketchbook  overlap for me.

This abstract swirl drawing started out as a way of dividing space in an interesting manner. Just letting the pen move on the paper can lead to interesting results. The writing around the edge was spontaneous: Time waits for no one. Better to seize the day than lament the passing of the dawn, leaving only regrets for what might have been. Awake to a brand new day, going forth in the sunlight to shine your own light anew.

This drawing of SpongeBob Squarepants done from memory needs reworking - the proportions are off and the details are not right. The important thing is to get started and keep going.


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03/27/10
Children’s Book Illustration Workshop
Filed under: General, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Drawing, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 3:55 pm

The children’s book illustration workshop with Chris Umunga at the Guilford Art Center today was awesome! Chris is a professional comic book illustrator and he is also a great teacher who shares so much with his students. I was not expecting to leave the workshop with pieces that were actually pleasing to me. My drawing strength is in landscapes and my people tend to look like blobs or stick figures. Look at my illustrations that came out of this class and you will see why I went home pumped up and inspired to continue playing with these ideas and experiment with my new found skills.


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02/16/10
Abstract Skater
Filed under: General, Creativity, Art Journal, Drawing, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 9:40 pm

Tonight driving home from work felt like the luge in slow motion with the coating of ice on the roads. It took me almost 2 hours to get home and I spun out a few times but I made it somewhat shaken but safe and sound. After quickly shoveling the sidewalk and back walkway at home I had homemade chicken soup and then settled in to watch the Olympics. Yesterday I started an abstract sketch of a skater in motion in my art journal and was able to finish coloring it with my markers tonight. It feels like the drawing might need something more but I wanted to keep it fresh and simple as a sketch. Am really enjoying Creative Every Day on Twitter #ced2010. Seeing what everyone is doing is very inspirational and motivating me to be creative every day. Thank you everyone!



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02/07/10
Vision Journaling Week 4
Filed under: General, Creativity, Design, Drawing, Creative Every Day, ATCs
Posted by: Mary @ 6:29 pm

It is Sunday night and this is what I have completed this past week for the Vision Journaling Workshop. First there is an ATC card and a companion collage in my sketchbook illustrating the word balance. I used my new fineliner Staedtler markers to make the balance ATC card. The collage is just a picture cut out from a magazine on top of scrapbook paper - very simple. Gluestick is your friend :-) There are several other words for which I want to create ATC cards and corresponding collages when there is more time. Next there is a small wooden box that I found at Joann Fabrics to keep the ATC cards in. This is followed by ATC cards made for week 2 core values and week 1 relaxation. For the core values I used scrapbook paper and markers and for relaxation I used watercolor paints and gel pens. It is interesting and fun creating a design in a small format (2.5″ x 3.5″) and the cards look nice in the wooden box out on the coffee table. I have used a corner round pounch on most of the ATC cards and like the effect. Each lesson with creative prompts is very helpful in getting you to focus on what is important in your life.



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01/09/10
Circles Theme in Art
Filed under: General, Inspiration, Drawing, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 9:34 am

This circles piece in my sketchbook is an example of what you can do when you choose or discover a theme and let yourself run with it over a period of time. Last summer I started a couple of journal page quilts that included circles cut from cereal box cardboard templates made with a compass and then set them aside after completing one of them. Near the end of the summer I was google surfing and found this inspirational pastels tutorial from Dirty Footprints Studio which must have registered in the back of my mind. While Christmas shopping in December I found myself in the art supplies aisle looking for a gift for my niece and I spotted the C-Thru plastic circles template. That was an “aha” moment for me as I remembered that the pastels tutorial used a circles template. This tool has been fun to experiment with and I feel that I have just scratched the surface. My first circles piece was done with pencil outline and colored pencil lightly applied and this piece was done with a Rapidograph ink pen outline and colored pencil with more pressure on the application of colored pencil to deepen the colors.

The Creative Every Day Challenge is inspiring and motivating me to create art. The saying “Not every piece is a work of art” on the sketchbook page is not a criticism of my work. It means that when you just let things flow and see what happens without the intention of creating a work of art you end up creating art that is meaningful. Sometimes when you plan things out and have wonderful intentions of creating a specific piece of art the end result does not always resonate with you. For me it has to do with the shift from left brain to right brain thinking (Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards) and letting my muse and intuitive thought process speak through me.

Here is the circles piece in process on my coffee table. The C-Thru circles template (T-800) is on top of one of the pencil boxes.



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11/22/09
Circles
Filed under: General, Creativity, Design, Drawing
Posted by: Mary @ 12:27 pm

This weekend I bought myself a circles template and used it to create an interlocking circles design in my sketchbook with a mechanical pencil. The resultant shapes were then randomly filled in with my colored pencils. This was a fun exercise and the design reminds me of molecular structure. My Rapidograph pen was clogged (I have a .3 and a .5) but I was able to successfully clean it today and can try using the technical pen with the circle template next time. I love my Rapidograph pens even though they require special care.



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09/20/09
Shells
Filed under: General, Mixed Media, Creativity, Digital Art, Drawing
Posted by: Mary @ 1:33 pm

Found some old drawings of shells while looking through my media archives for old photos from out west. Isn’t it strange how you can be looking for one thing and find something else? That happens to me all the time. The shells were originally drawn in my sketchbook and then scanned into the computer. Once they were in digital form color was added. This was an experiment in combining hand and conputer techniques and was done as a study.


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