Friday, April 26, 2013

Help, there's an Elephant on my Blog

Molly Tries Intuitive Painting...He he!  (It's fun!)

It's an Elephant!
So this is my first Assignment for Hali Karla's class "Imagine You" with the 21 Secrets Art Journaling Course.  You can find the lovely Hali at her excellent Blog:

 I think this is one of my hardest assignments so far- even though it doesn't look it!

We had to do "Intuitive" painting. Ok, for those of you who just said "huh?" ...I did the same thing!! 

 This gal took out 6 pieces of unrelated background papers and then proceeded to splash, dab, draw, spill and smear paint all over each of them- going quickly from one to the next!  Seriously!  Not only did she go too fast to really think about anything...she encouraged it! (The not thinking part that is!)  This is supposed to bypass the critical mind and let the creative/emotional part take over.  My response was an eye brow raised "hmmmmmm...."

Ok- so I am an analytical, goal oriented, outcome oriented, "tell-me-how-to-do-it-so-I-can-do-it-right" kind of person so this was VERY difficult for me. Needless to say the Lord has been having me look at my current 'Stress Coping Mechanisms' and has said "Ya, How's that working for you?"....So I took the hint and dove in even when I didn't see anything 'appear' in my 'paintings'.

Hali is an amazing gal, so gentle, so kind, she know's that she's dealing with some of us stoics and is so patient.  But I tell you I was a bit intimidated when she looked back at her 'no-thinking' paintings and found faces, 5 Japanese men, creatures, animals, symbols, doorways, portals, canoes etc.  She painted those in to make them stand out and   THEN, she cut them all up, stuck them on a new background and made a breathtaking scene out of it...Yikes!!  I looked at my paint puddles and any animals in there had already drown!

These are my 'intuitive' paintings...I had already cut out the Elephant though..

So, I let my 'paintings' sit for a day or two and kept coming back to them...and LO AND BEHOLD....if I didn't find an elephant.   Go ahead and psychoanalyze all you want- I have no idea how it happened or what it means, there it is up top!  I just had the head- with the two ears.  I added the eye and then let that sit and stare at me for a day.

So the rest of the body came from necessity as I have really no idea how to draw an elephant.  So I looked at the rest of the elephant paper and lo and behold...the legs and ear were there...with just a little coaxing.  The body is a map from a magazine that happened to have just the right colors and I added a few of my hoarded magazine images...and vwaalaaaaahhh!  An's as much as a suprise to me as it is me!

This was kind of special for me as this week had been one of the MOST stressful I've had in a long time and I just needed some 'Whimsy' and 'Lightness'.  I was coveting all the gals who could draw cute little fluffy story-tale animals and was drooling over my friend Dee Dee Butler's whimsical fairy and dragon drawings and wishing I could do something like it.  And the Lord let me have an Elephant!!  His ways are truly mysterious!

Hope you had some fun and are encouraged to just be silly- draw a squiggle and make an elephant.  Let it add some "Whimsy and Frolic" to your day! 

Here's one of Dee Dee's drawings for you to visit and frolic in!
I know right?!  Love it!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

21 Secrets!

Doodling Around!

Things have been busy around here and I've been trying to find time to lock myself up and paint!  I've been fairly good about at least doing some sketching in my journal daily and I really feel it emotionally if I have to go a few days without it.

SO!  I got an early Birthday present and enrolled in "21 Secrets Art Journaling Workshop 2013"  by Dirty Footprints Studio.  It's an online course that features 21 separate artist workshops!! The best thing about it has been that each instructor is so different and offers such a completely different perspective!  It's a self guided online course with each class having several videos and homework for each new technique.
So far I've taken Cathy Bluteau's "Doodling our Way"  which was awesome! To see more of her Whimsical Wonders visit her blog! 

When she showed the project we were going to be working on I had absolutely no idea how we were going to get there!  When I started mine I just kind of had to trust her and jump in and it actually turned out pretty good:)  I had a really good time doing it!  Here's a pic:

Flower Collage

So this one is made with Collage, Ink, Stencils, acrylic and well- anything else I could find:)    So much fun!  I could never figure out how to get that 'segmented' look and she really took us through step by step.  I really love Collage and sometimes I'm just happiest with my pile of Magazines and a pair of scissors watching Psych reruns with my doggies on my lap!

Next I took Danielle Daniels Workshop "Unearthing".  This was more of a stretch for me as we were doing actual faces.  She is pretty amazing at it and has a very stylized look.  I've done a few faces- but not enough to actually have a 'style'.  So here is what I came up with:


Girl with case you couldn't tell:)!

Girl with Bunny
I'm in the process of taking Hali Karla's "Imagine You" which is a bit of a stretch for me.  She's having us do random, 'process' type painting where you have several pieces of paper that you are just quickly adding whatever color or texture or markings that you think of in that moment.  It's a bit outside of my box....which is really good for me:) 

I need to remember that not everything that comes out of me in my journal is going to be 'pretty' and that's ok- in fact getting out the "junk" is sometimes the most healing part- so get ready for some UGLY pages:)!

I have a "Sketch" page started where I would love to post YOUR art!  My friend Dee Dee has posted some really wonderful drawings.  She is especially good at Fantasy drawings and I keep telling her I just want to crawl into her pictures.  I will share those with you as she sends them to me!

Remember- keep drawing, keep moving and keep dreaming!

Monday, April 8, 2013

What am I Painting Now?

So here's what's on the easel/table/floor of my 'studio'

If you know me, you know I never do just one thing at a's against my nature...and my ADD.  That being said I always have at least 3 things going on at once, and several different journals so that I can jump around if something is drying or I just don't feel inspired to work on a particular page.

I am just about done with a Canvas with one of my favorite things...little funky houses! It's inspired by artist Kandy Myny's "Springtime Whimsy". Here it is! It's 16" by 24"

Funky Little Neighborhood by Molly Lolly Loo:)

 As you know I am crazy obsessed with Somerset Studio's many different Art Magazines.  My favorites so far are: Art Journaling, Somerset Studio and my NEW Best Friend...Somerset Apprentice!

I basically carry as many copies of these as I can shoved into my gi-normous purse and I drool over them whenever I have a spare minute.  I've seriously read every copy I have about a 100 times and will probably read three of them again tonight!  Oh!  Last year when I was in California...I walked into a Thrift shop and there on the magazine rack was like, TEN past copies of Somerset Apprentice!!!  Can you believe it?!!  A buck a piece!  Who cares if everyone in there had 80's hair....I was in heaven!

So, what's fantastic about  Apprentice is that it has spreads of a bunch of different artists and  it shows one of their 'Mixed Media Masterpieces' and then gives you step by step instructions on how they did it!!!!  I know right?!!!  Crazy!

I decided that I would slowly make my way through the magazine trying the different techniques.  I want to make sure I give credit where credit is here is the front of the magazine...

Somerset Apprentice, Volume 5 Issue 1
Here is Kandy Myny's "Springtime Whimsy" that was the inspiration:

Kandy's Original, pg 71 Apprentice by Somerset Studio Vol 5 Issue 1

Here's my 'version':
My version:  It's funky alright!

Here's some detail pics..

There's my Starbuck's cap I found while I was out running:)

Close up Look: That's a bottle cap on the tree:) Recycled baby...

So you can see the similarities:)  It's so awesome that Kandy Myny is willing to let newbies like me play with reproducing or making something similar to what they are doing!  Thank you Kandy!  I had a great time!  I also had a great time looking at more of her work at her blog  Take a peek when you have a chance!

Here's all the new things I got to try in this one:

A Muted, Mellow Background- I have been working on color choice as I am usually all over the place!
Texture, Texture, Texture!- I used receipts and little bits and pieces from my trip to CA last month
                                          I also used: old patterns,  old 'found' cardboard, bottle caps, bits of fabric
                                          Spackle (because I'm too cheap for Modeling Paste!) Stencils, stamps and
                                          I think a few clothing tags.  They're all in there, layer upon layer
A Brayer-                         I know...I had to go google it and then still couldn't figure it out..                 
                                          It looks like a little mini paint roller!
                                          U-tube and a video from Nancy Lefko's Online class Mixed Media
                                          Backgrounds showed me how to use it:) Loved the class!
Distress Ink-                    You rub it over all the fabulous textures and bumps to give it an 'aged' look
India Ink-                          Also for Distressing
Pastels-                             For outlining and distressing

So that's what's on my 'easel' right now!  I have a few other things 'in the works' so I'll get those up tomorrow!  Love to all!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Just Doodle it!

Just Doodle It!

So I just want to jump in here and invite you to join me in this crazy 'art thing'!  I hope by posting my journal pages...the good, the bad and the "way ugly"...that you will be inspired to pick up a pen, a pencil, a crayon or a tube of lip gloss and just take a deep breathe and begin!

The best thing about having an Art Journal is that I am free to just BE.  I don't have to ever show another soul the page if I don't want to.  I can be as crazy or as quiet as I want.

My first "Art Journal" was a spiral notebook that I bought at one of my absolute favorite events....School Supply Sales Week at Wallmart.  Many of you know of my addiction to all things School Supply.  Even though one of my boys is in college and the other is almost a Senior, I still am there... blissfully walking up and down the aisles...loading up my cart with white board markers in colors I'll never use, buying spiral notebooks for 20 cents by the hundred and of course, anything Hello Kitty.

At 20 cents, the investment was tiny and I didn't feel the pressure of having to "make something great".  I have always done a lot of  "journal writing", but I have to tell you that my ADD/ADHD brain would often spit out pages and pages of journaling and yet I didn't feel the emotional release or clarity that I was after.  I was very suprised that just the act of "Doodling" was soothing and that if I included a picture of some kind, I could get away with a lot less writing and still feel like paid tribute to the issue I was trying to work out. 

After picking up a copy of  "Art Journaling" magazine by Someset Studio and finding out that there actually was a THING called "Art Journaling" I took the plunge and actually bought a small sketch book that would fit in my purse. I think it was 40% off at Hobby Lobby so I was out $6.00 if I 'messed it up'.  I had read somewhere in the magazine that if you found yourself hyperventilating over that first blank page to skip to the middle.  Worked like a charm!! It didn't have to be a Masterpiece because certainly no one would ever take the time to look through more than one page!  My 'first starts' were safe from view!

I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and looking was some of my best times:)  I had no idea  who the heck "Mod Podge" was or where to find Gesso and what to do with it.  I just used what I had at hand and started. 

This is one of my first pages...I had actually bought a Pitt Artist Pen...I'm sure I found out about it during my hours of "research" on Pinterest:)  At the time we were at Ronald Mc Donald House in Phoenix while my son was in the hospital doing chemotherapy.  I remember that one of the companies that brought in dinner to feed everyone laid out little packs of crayons...4 crayons: red, blue, yellow and green.  I stuffed 3 packs in my purse and ran!!!!

All of these pages were done with 4 crayons.  After a year of blissful dabbling in almost anything I can get my hands on, I find that keeping it simple, using what you have at hand and starting where your at are still the best techniques:)

My first Pitt Pen!  I nearly passed out going into the actual 'Artist' section of Hobby Lobby. I kept waiting for the guy to come up and point me to the Poster Paint and Pipe Cleaners!

I love, love, love little houses!  It was like being 5 again using crayons!

Just Doodling away...
Having this new play-thing to focus  on really helped during the long days at the Hospital....I also found that if I sneaked into the play room...I could steal a box of crayons for the afternoon...Child Life would eventually find me and confiscate them, but I was good for at least an hour!  This was long before I could even THINK about markers or stickers!!!  The five year olds using those were pretty advanced....

  Sometimes I just sat in the playroom doodling while my son played the Xbox....just me and lots of little bald 3-9 year olds blissfully coloring really couldn't tell my "work" from theirs...and that was fine with me:)  I was able to be 'peaceful' in a 'not so peaceful' place:)

So next time you find a few stolen moments, grab one of your kid's half used spiral notebooks, flip to one of the unused pages, grab that pencil with the chewed erasor and just BEGIN. 
Just Doodle it!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Dr's Office Makeover

So here are the Before and Afters of "Project Makeover"!

Here we have my son , 16, looking fabulous in the Treatment/Infusion Room Before the Makeover
So this is where the kids come for their 3-4 hour IV infusions.  Note the 'groovy' early 80's wooden chairs...if you look closely, the one on the right is broken:)  You get a glimpse of the 'at-least-twelve-year- old' posters on the wall...most of them in broken frames.  And there on the arch nemesis...the 'support pole of complete uselessness'.  Yes, that is a 4 inch by 4 inch post in the ridiculous middle of the room for no apparent reason other than to make a designer's life miserable and block all the wheelchairs and of's right in front of the TV!

"The Corner"...this is to the right of the pic above..there's that darned pole again on the right! here you can see the 'before' in all of it's gory-glory.  That TV stand has actually 'become one' with the floor.  Two grown men could not move it as it had been there since the dawn of actual time.  My teens had to literally break it apart in pieces to get it out!  In the corner, you will notice the Christmas decorations stored there....this pic was taken in August:)  Note also the granny quilt...obviously made with love by someone 1974. The room is always freezing and unfortunately this kind of open weave quilt gets stuck in IVs and Port Access tubes.  We have a wonderful team of fabric artists making beautiful new "IV safe" quilts for this to follow as they become available!

By far, the Crowning Glory is the Green, 'Supposed-to-Recline', 'Could-have-possibly-come-from-an-Old-Hair Salon' Chairs.  This one is broken- we have to shove it up against the wall so the kids don't fall back while they're doing an iv:)

Oh!  And yes....look closely...those are VHS videos there because  Dr. Cohen has one of the last surviving VHS players on the planet.  The TV is actually new...but it took 2 years to convince him that his vinyl wood covered TV with actual KNOBS and RABBIT EARS might need replacing.  No one asked....the old one just disappeared one day and Martinez family replaced it:)

Here is one of our buddies, 9, propped up against the wall in the 'Green Chair of Infamy':)

Here she is again, Rocking the Pink Hat and Hello Kitty shirt! She's too adorable for only one pic!

Another sad wall....

The nurses station.

Let's get on with it!

OK!  Now for the fun part!  I consulted with local Prescott Interior Designer Suzie Franks who was kind enough to offer her much needed expertise...and here is the color combos she suggested...

The fabric was the inspiration and I did a quick mock up of what we hoped it would look like once we got everything in place....And here it is on the walls!!

Here it is!!  Up and Running!


Here's the After!! The yellow made it so bright and cheery!

Same Corner
Turning over a new leaf:)

Here is that same corner.  I don't have the best pic here, I'll  take another when we're back down.  Notice the complete lack of Christmas paraphanelia, Halloween decorations from the early 90's and file cabinets that hadn't been opened in over 9 years...they all just mysteriously 'disappeared'!  We added a fun Ikea leaf to the walls and kept with a 'bird theme'.  You'll notice the TV came from our bonus room, the boys painted it black and covered the hole in the floor that was made by the demise of the old cabinet:)

Here's the TV stand in it's former life.

So here are some close ups of the All New Artwork!

Collage and Mixed Media Birds haning out above the TV
Collage onto one of the pieces of the Old TV Stand!! Recycled baby!!

Collage and Mixed Media  Owls in an Alphabet tree
More owl pics:)

Collage and mixed media...the "Collage Collage" if you will..

The New Nurses Area

Bright, cheery and crisp!

More Mixed Media Owls!

Here it was before:)

The Amazing Crew!!

Here's everyone with Ronnie at the Ronald Mc Donald House Charities who graciously hooked us up with lodging and even Dinner one night!

Here's my other boy , 18,  working prepping a nursing station.

Here's my adorable neice, 16, laying down the miles of brown paper we used to keep our footprints off the carpet:)
Here are our girls passed out on the couch at the Mc Donald's House Apartment after a full day of painting.

But that's only one room!

I know, I know...but that's enough for one blog!  I'll post the other three rooms as they become finished.  We got all of the rooms cleaned, prepped, painted and we replaced any damaged ceiling tiles and the 'kick board' around the bottom of the room.  There is at least one big piece of artwork in each room and I'll post them as they become finished!

Thanks again to all of you who contributed to this project and most of all, our love and our thanks to Dr. Cohen and his staff!

Dr Cohen gets a Makeover

Dr. Cohen's Office Gets a Makeover

This is the Dragon that Guards the 'Procedure Room'
My husband drew the original dragon and I got to 'blow it up' to 4 foot by 4 foot and give it color!

  As I mentioned before, my son has been doing Chemotherapy for Leukemia for about five and half years. Three years the first time and now two and a half for a relapse.  Through this time we have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Cohen, Pediatric Oncologist in Phoenix and his fantastic staff..  He is an amazing man and has always treated Nick as if he was his own son. 

It wasn't really until the end of this journey that we were really able to kind of 'wake up' and get out of 'emergency mode' long enough to take stock and look for a way of giving back for all of the love, dedication and unmentionalble, unending hours of hard work that Dr. Cohen and all of his staff have invested in our family and  precious children that they help.

Dr. Cohen and his staff keep an immaculate office and are organized and up to date in all of their treatment procedures...but the office itself had not had an update for at least a decade.  Finally!  Someplace new to paint!!!
I rounded up an excellent team of High School and College students and we were able to come in after hours and 'paint bomb' the office! We painted 3 exam rooms and a treatment/transfusion room in 2 days! There was a huge time crunch because the office had to open for business and we wanted to keep things as 'stress free' as possible for the staff.  The kids were fabulous and worked their butts off!  They dodged patients, tore down old wallpaper, hauled out 10 years of old knick knacks and hid in the treatment room until Dr. Cohen had left so we wouldn't stress him out with too much change all at once!

 We had an amazing group of parents as support staff that fed and assisted the kids and Ronald Mc Donald's House Charities of Phoenix put everyone up for the night!  Ace Hardware of Prescott Valley gave us a discount on paint and local Prescott Area artists created all the art work..

I was blessed to be one of the  artists that were able to donate their work for each of the rooms and FINALLY I will try to get these pictures up!  My tremendous thanks for all of you who dedicated time, funds and prayers to this adventure!  Our goal of making a fun, safe and silly environment for the kids to do their treatments in was definitely met thanks to you!

So here are the before and afters!