Wednesday, September 23, 2015

It's Fall, Y'all!

It's here, it's here! Finally! I've been itching to hang out my fall wreaths and put up so autumn art. Tis my favorite of seasons!

We're not really feeling it yet here in Florida, but they say hope blooms was 73º this morning, so yay, weather!

To celebrate the changing seasons...somewhere else...we're going to be having some fun with sunflowers, lettering, border treatments, splatters and complementary colors at Keeton's this coming Saturday, September 26th, in Bradenton.

Did you know that the sunflower is Russia's national flower and they produce more sunflowers than any other country?

Me either! Oddly enough, sunflowers originally came from the United States.

Do you know the difference between a wild sunflower and a domesticated sunflower (and no, this is not a joke!)?

Wild sunflowers have lots of branches and small flowerheads while the domesticated sunflowers tend to be single-stemed with one large flowerhead.

Of course, that one flowerhead thing is a little misleading as the flowerhead actually consists of up to 2000 individual flowers that are attached to a receptacle base.

And last, but not least, there are over 60 different types of sunflowers and the flowers are grown in the United States, Japan, Russia, and Europe.

I hope you'll come and join us! There's something to be said for pretending it's a pleasant 70º degrees outside with a brilliant cerulean blue skies so bright you almost have to wear shades.

Hope to see you Saturday!

Please don't forget to check out the new Independent Learning Classes over at The Imaginary Realm!

Monday, September 21, 2015

From (Paper) Scraps To Treasures - Leaf Mobile Tutorial

This past week, I worked on a card design and found myself with a lot of paper scraps left over. Rather than toss them, I set them over to the side of my art board because I already had a project in the back of my mind. And I might as well confess now...I hoard my paper scraps in a little green container over on the window sill near my table.

In truth, I have no reason to save paper scraps. I could start an art supply store with all the paper I have, but I find scraps handy for testing out ideas, paint colors, ink samples and the like. And I never know when I may want to make a tag or cover up a line that went on an unauthorized walkabout!

Sunday morning found me with some time to kill while waiting for Chris to get back from his errands. Because I am hearing (but not feeling) Autumn's siren call, I decided to use some of those scraps to indulge my leaf passion. (If you search the blog you'll find dozens of leaves in different styles.) 

In fact, it's getting to the time of year where it's dangerous for me to go outside...I've already collected a half-dozen acorns and several leaves. I don't seem to be able to go outside without picking up some small treasure!

The leaf below is the first one I painted and in the spur of the moment, I decided to cut it out. Because I wanted to emphasize the edges, I used a craft knife to mimic the edges I had drawn on the leaf itself.

I used Indian Yellow, Transparent Pyrrol Orange and Sap Green to create the colors of the changing season. 

The ink is from a brown Uniball Signo pen that I love for the softer impact it has than black. Black, sepia or gray would have worked fine as would pencil.

I then added a message on the back thinking I would add it into a card for a friend. I went back to my scrap and drew out two more leaves, added paint and then cut them out as well. As I played with my leaves and arranged them on the table, I suddenly had a new project idea to play with!
If you've been in a class with me lately, you know I've been obsessing over little painted banners and flags. They're popping up everywhere! In the image above, you can see the outline of one I used when I created the card I had been working on previously. Using a similar design, I made a larger one. I used the same colors to paint the banner that I used in the leaves.
After the banner dried, I cut it out and used an awl to punch holes in the banner and the leaves. I then added my text using the same pen I used to draw the leaves.
And viola! Adding brown thread, I had a very simple leaf mobile to entertain me with fall's fabulous colors.
It is currently hanging from the hutch above computer and the leaves flutter and turn when the fan comes on. Since it is still very much S.U.M.M.E.R. here in Florida, that's about every 15 minutes. However, I can pretend it's a cool autumn breeze whenever I look over at my leaf mobile and it makes me smile every time I do!

If you were inclined to make a leaf mobile, it could be infinitely scalable in size and the number of items you add. (Remember, odd numbers usually work best.) Apples, acorns, pumpkins, ears of corn, gourds, and more leaves could all be added either to a larger top banner or another hole could be added to the bottom of each item and another item added on. 

If you've painted your leaves on a sketchbook page but still want to try this idea, either scan or photograph them and then print them out on a thicker piece of cardstock. (Regular printer paper will likely curl.) Cut them out and string them up to a banner you've painted on a separate piece of paper. 

Save those scraps and make yourself a mobile. Hang it in a place where you'll see it often and enjoy Autumn's Delights!

Happy Fall, Y'all!!

140 lb. cold press watercolor paper • Uniball Signo Brown pen • watercolors • craft knife • cutting surface • brown thread • acid-free glue

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Independent Learning Classes Are Now Live!!

The Imaginary Realm is live!! The Independent Learning Classes are ready and waiting and I could not be more excited to share this milestone with you! It has been a dream of mine for years  and it's happening now!

Independent Learning Classes are just what they sound like, you learn independently, on your own schedule when it's convenient for you and at your own pace. The classes have the same class materials of the interactive, online classes over at The only that's changed is the format (so you can go at your own pace) and the price! You'll have access to all of the course materials for 365 days!

The classes also have different participation options. If want just the class, you're good to go, but if you're looking for input on your developing your skills and would like to have feedback directly from Laure to help, there is an option for that. If you would like to be able to discuss that feedback in a live situation with Laure, there's an option for that as well.

So far, there are four classes available with more on their way!

Artful Journaling: Foundations
This class helps the beginning journalist to get started and start building the skills needed to successfully create journal pages that are fun and playful.

The class has over 12 assignments and covers everything from tearing paper to building your watercolor skills! Please click on the class title for more information.

Artful Journaling: Explorations
The Explorations class continues to build your skills as we explore various design elements and principles as well as creating word art and textures in on our pages.

Twelve more assignments along with lots of video demonstrations! For more information, please click on the class title.

An Imaginary Trip To New Orleans has to be one of my most favorite trips I've created because NOLA is a super fun place to visit! There's so much to see and do...and eat!

By the time you've explored all six seven(!) assignments, you'll be anxious to stroll through the French Quarter yourself! For now, you can click on the title for more info on the class.

And last but certainly not least, a brand new class, Artful Journaling: Watercolor Beginnings, will be launching on October 30th, and is currently available at a special prelaunch price (50% OFF!).
I am so excited about this class! I've had requests for a class like this for years and I finally the place to host it and the time to pull it together. It's gonna be a blast!

This class is directed towards those of you who wants to get into watercolor and have no idea where to begin! We'll learn about pigments, paper and brushes, how to set up a palette, the differences between mixing color on the palette and the paper as well as working in layers...and that's just getting started!

There will be more than a dozen videos with pages upon pages of information to help get you started on your very own watercolor journey! To learn more, please click on the class title.

Come on over and check out the classes—you can see a the full curriculum of the things we'll cover and or the places we'll visit in each class. I'd love to hear what you think!

All future classes will be announced through the newsletter. To find out about them as soon as they launch, I hope you'll consider joining up here.