Nature’s Beauty

Our new challenge at Try it on Tuesday is Nature’s Beauty and the Design Team have some amazing inspiration for you, whether it is flowers, plants, animals or scenes of nature.

My art journal page today is a scene capturing the peacefulness and serenity of dragonflies over water, which for me, encapsulates nature’s beauty.

I started by painting diluted Shabby Shutters and Salty Ocean Distress Ink onto the background by stamping the ink pad onto an acrylic block and applying it to the page with a paintbrush to create a watercolour effect. Then I used a Distressed Dots stencil from That Special Touch of Mica Masks by Creative Expressions to apply Mowed Lawn and Chipped Sapphire Distress Inks using a blending tool. I stamped some foliage using an Eco Green stamp set made from recycled rubber and a Tan Spectrum Aqua Marker. Then I added some Pébéo modelling paste using the Distressed Dot stencil to add more dimension and when the paste was dry, coloured it with Parchment Liquitex acrylic paint. I fussy cut the grasses, leaves and iris from a wallpaper sample and stuck them onto the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. To add more detail and definition I doodled outlines on them with a black Uni Pin marker and white Uniball gel pen, then added some shadows using a Slate Spectrum Aqua Marker. The dragonflies are rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel and I positioned them so that one is sitting on a leaf and the other is flying off into the distance. I stamped some bees from a Graphic 45 stamp set by Hampton Art using black Archival Ink and coloured them using a yellow Spectrum Aqua marker. To finish, I added two stickers with the words “peaceful” and “serenity” which I thought captured the scene; they are edged with the Tan Spectrum Aqua marker and stuck in place using double-sided tape.

As it is T for Tuesday, I’m sharing the enjoyable time that we had at the local Pavilion Café in Ashton Gardens with our friends. Ashton Gardens is a municipal park which was established in 1874, it is situated in the centre of St. Anne’s on the Sea and is a lovely place to explore with its various display gardens including the most beautiful Rose Garden. The café building is a replica of the former bowling club pavilion known as the Ashton Institute.

This café always has a yummy array of cakes to choose from …

… and there is lovely art displayed on the walls which you can buy if you want to.

As T Stands for Tuesday, maybe you would like a green tea, hot chocolate or glass of water (of course they had coffee too, sorry I forgot to take a photo of our friends selection which included a cappuccino which I know you may prefer – grin!). As well as our drinks we enjoyed a bacon butty and a slice of salted caramel cake – yum! Wishing you all a very Happy T Day!

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs, like Try it on Tuesday, as I enjoy taking part, they provide me with inspiration for my pages and are a wonderful way to meet like-minded arty people. So here are the challenges I’m joining today:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Alison/Craftytrog, who is hosting the Recycle and Collage challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the recycled rubber art stamp set and wallpaper that I collaged to create this page!

With the stamped bees that I included on my nature page, I’m pleased to join The Birds & the Bees challenge over at The Artistic Stamper.

As I used and altered the wallpaper for my page, I’m pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Pimp it up! (reuse or alter something) challenge.

I’m also joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Add Some Texture challenge with all the texture I created with the Distress Inks, stencils, modelling paste and wallpaper.

With the circles that I stencilled onto my page, I’m also pleased to join the Going Round in Circles challenge over at That’s Crafty Challenge.

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Shabby Shutters, Salty Ocean, Mowed Lawn, Chipped Sapphire)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Tan, Slate, Yellow)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Eco Green Crafts Recycled Rubber Stamps (Petal Party #04309)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Distressed Dots)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies Cling Mounted Rubber Stamps (Birdsong ICO151))
  • Wallpaper sample – recycled
  • Royal & Langnickel Tip of the Brush (Insect Collection #TIP1484 Rub-on)
  • Little Yellow Bicycle Cardstock Stickers (PD-140)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
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Brown Dragonflies

I found myself reminiscing about summer walks with my lovely blog-friends CJ and Erika wishing for warmer weather (grin!) and wanting to join a few blog challenges, I decided to create an art journal page inspired by some huge brown dragonflies that we saw on one of our summer walks last year at Glasson Dock. Although they were numerous we didn’t manage to get a good photo of them as they were so quick in flight, so it was fun creating this page to remember them – I hope you like it!

To match the brown dragonflies that we saw I chose a brown colour palette. I decided to experiment with a new technique using Colourcraft Brusho powders by using them as a spray, which worked really well as long as you are careful not to dilute the colour too much (grin!). I did this by placing some Dark Brown Brusho powder in a spray bottle and diluting with water, then using it to spray the page lightly with colour whilst leaving some white space. Next I stamped lots of dragonflies onto white tissue paper with an Eco Green Crafts stamp using Tea Dye and Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink and also Rich Cocoa Memento Ink. I layered them onto the page using Liquitex matte gel medium, not worrying if the gel medium re-activated the Brusho or Distress Ink again, as I wanted a grungy look. When the gel medium had dried I used a stencil from That Special Touch of Mica Masks by Creative Expressions to add the Distressed Dots using the Dark Brown Brusho spray again and also used the stencil like a stamp to apply the excess spray that was on the stencil onto the page. Using the same stencil I applied: Tea Dye and Brushed Corduroy Distress Inks with a blending tool; some Navy Spectrum Aqua marker by scribbling it onto an acrylic block, sprizing with water and applying with a blending tool; some smaller patches of Peacock Feathers and Black Soot Distress Ink using a blending tool to add more contrast; and finally some bronze metallic Lustre paint by applying it with my finger. Next I stamped the wording from the same Eco Green Crafts stamp set using black Archival Ink as it applied to the dragonflies that we saw and I really liked the grungy design. The dragonflies we saw were huge, so I drew and cut out a large dragonfly from some recycled glossy glittery paper and stuck it to the page using a UHU Stic. Once the glue had dried, I edged it with a black Uni Pin marker and white Uniball gel pen. I ripped some hexagonal washi tape and stuck it around the edges of the page with some pretty opaque gem stones and added some glittery bronze embroidered flowers using Glossy Accents which finished the page.

You may remember Glasson Dock from previous posts, such as this one here. This is the estuary at Glasson Dock where we first saw the dragonflies and as we continued our walk they seemed to be everywhere (grin!).

They were more abundant by the canal around the reeds and here’s the best picture we took of them. When we got home I identified them as Brown Hawker dragonflies; we plan to go back this year to see them again and try to get a better photograph of them (grin!). If you are interested here are a few facts about dragonflies:

  • The earliest fossil dragonflies date back 300 million years long before dinosaurs ruled the Earth and had wing spans around 70cm (27.6 inch) which is approximately 10 times larger than today; their overall shape has changed little since those early days.
  • There are approximately 6,000 named dragonfly species in the world today and new species are still currently being discovered for the first time.
  • The Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis) is a large dragonfly about 73mm (2.9 inch) long and is easily recognised by its brown body and bronze wings (grin!).

Challenges

My art journal page today has been inspired by some wonderful Challenge Blogs:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Rike from rike’s art, who is hosting the Animals A-Z challenge over at Art Journal Journey as D is for Dragonfly!

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Grunge It Up challenge with my grungy dragonfly art journal page.

I’m also pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Anything but Cute challenge.

As I created my own background for my dragonfly art journal page, I’m also happy to join the Make Your Own Background challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Tea Dye, Brushed Corduroy, Peacock Feathers, Black Soot)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Rich Cocoa)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Navy)
  • Craf-T Products (Lustre Rub-ons ASTM D-4236)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Eco Green Crafts Recycled Rubber Art Stamps (Petal Party #04309)
  • Creative That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Distressed Dots)
  • White tissue paper
  • The Works Washi Tape (Enjoy the Ride)
  • Poundland (Design Gems)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Embroidered Flowers)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium