Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My living canvas

Last spring, I signed up for a Christy Tomlinson/Art McCracken workshop called Your Living Canvas. It’s taken me quite some time to get started on this class but I am loving it! Luckily I have till late May to finish it. Basically the class is about creating the life you want to live.

My living canvas

So when I decided to jump in, I realized that I didn’t have a journal to use for the art journaling portion of the class. What I did have was a pad of canvas sheets. So I took apart the entire pad. I cut one piece down to use as a spine, and folding the other sheets in half, I sewed them to the “spine”. Cutting the chipboard backing in half worked well for the front and back covers. I slathered it all in gesso and I was good to go!

My living canvas

I was worried that I would be the only person posting in the class Facebook group, the last little soul to participate… I was pleasantly surprised to find that I am not alone!

This first week Christy shared a technique for making embellishments out of modeling paste. I made several but my favorite was a butterfly. I had added a pinkish paint to the modeling paste. After the butterfly was dry, I went over it by spraying other colors through a stencil. I didn’t hold back and finally ended up with a fairly ugly butterfly.

I set the monstrosity aside and went to work on the front inside cover. It was looking good with a strong pattern and bold colors. And it needed a strong focal element. I glanced at that pinkish/purpleish/weirdly colored butterfly…. and whipped out some black paint! What did I have to lose, right? I also gave it a very light silver spray that settled into the crevices which added a little interest. Perfect for the page.

My living canvas

A butterfly is such a great symbol of growth. It surprises me that at 49 (egads, 49????) that I still have a lot of growing to do. Over the next several weeks I will continue to share layouts in My Living Canvas.

Do you do mixed media artwork?

Happy crafting!


  1. An interesting class for an artistic person like you. Your journal cover is a wonderful representation of your art. Enjoy!


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