Saying YES to Daily painting!

There is a crazy part of me that is thinking that I need to start painting everyday. I am not sure where this desire has come from, but with each passing day this need grows stronger and I am now  thinking that maybe it’s not such a crazy idea. There is a small part of me that gets a wee bit nervous thinking about it, let alone coming right out and saying it, but then I just have to remember that it doesn’t have to be a big deal.
Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog)
It doesn’t have to be a finished, ready to hang, kind of anything.It can be simple, something abstract and it definitely can be small.It doesn’t have to follow all the rules. It can be done in an hour and it can be done on paper. I do not want any unfinished canvas staring at me guiltily. It can just be….
Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog)

I have no clue where this idea started. Well, that’s not entirely true. I have a small inkling where it all came from. A passionate group of creatives that I hang with got me thinking about it! A new e-course, Daring Adventures in Collage, offered by  Mati Rose got me really thinking about it! I couldn’t help myself, I signed up for it. I know I promised myself I was done with courses for a while. I need time to absorb all I have learned in the past year,. BUT the thing is, I am soo excited for it to start. Counting the days kind of excited.

Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog)

I think it is  just the combination of this excitement and the freedom it offers to just create for the sake of creating that inspired me. I think I am just craving some time to making marks, ripping up some paper and playing with colour. Intuitive painting, my style.No plan and definitely no preconceived notion of what I am suppose to be creating. It’s the summer so why not!?I want to play. I promise I will get all of my other work completed before I start.

Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog)

This painting  was a work in progress for some time. A mark here and there, a splash of ink and a whole lot of experimenting!

It was fun and definitely a learning experience. That, my friends, is exactly what I am hoping for with this crazy idea!

If you have any thoughts, suggestions or maybe a support group you can recommend, please do not hesitate to contact me. Or  maybe you want to join in? The more the merrier.

I will keep you posted on what I decide to do!


Inspired by…my artistic affliction

Goodness, I am in the depths of my artistic affliction right now. I am not sure if I should laugh or cry.All I  know is that I am in need of another set of hands,definitely more time and maybe a cup of herbal tea. I need to leave the house and get some fresh air.

So thankful to Art Everyday for getting me back into my paint mojo. I am in love with drawing, but there is just something about getting into my paints and other mediums that just gets my mind exploring.

julie hamilton, surface pattern design,

So what have we here ~ a painted, stamped and splattered background, a drawing or two,a few flower paintings, some manipulated photography ~ all scanned into my computer  and digitally produced in Illustrator.

The only thing I didn’t add was some stitching. Honestly I thought about it, but really, where would it go?! It’s a tad chaotic,but then so am I!

Tomorrows project ~ trying to figure out how to make a pattern out of all this.

It’s Art Everyday month ~ Hop on over to Leah’s blog for more info on Art Everyday.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!

Inspired by…the refresh button

I have just returned from my sunny little world deep down in the Pacific Ocean. I absolutely adore my happy place ~ the Big Island of Hawaii. It is always very bittersweet to leave.
photography, big islandI miss the color, the warm breeze and  the sound of early morning life on the island. I miss all of the unusual flora and fauna, the lava rock and coral. I miss the quality time spent with my friends and family.


I am already counting down the days until I am back there again.

I do love returning home though with fresh eyes and an armful of photos to keep me inspired throughout the long,cold winter months.The snow is starting to fall and I am inspired to make my home my sanctuary for the upcoming winter months. I think lots of color is the answer!

Funny, but here I find myself sitting in my studio paralyzed. I am excited to draw, paint, collage and get my hands dirty, but, for whatever reason, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. The list of things I want to accomplish is long . I know this feeling – it’s a good feeling, but a state of mind where little really gets accomplished as I busily hop from project to project.

I have come to learn to recognize this feeling and I know exactly what to do…

Just start!

art journal,mix media,mark making

Grab journal paper,paint, markers, crayons~ anything and just get started. No pressure to do anything of any importance but just get the creative juices flowing. Make marks, create texture, play with colors.

art journal,mix media,mark making

Just throw some paint around~ feels so good to get messy.

art journal,mix media,mark making

Lessons learned with every mark.

art journal,mix media,mark making

It’s Art Everyday month ~ Hop on over to Leahs blog for more info on Art Everyday.

See you in a few days!

Inspired by…the curious case of the ripped canvas

ripped canvas, louise gale color challenge,doodleart

A work in progress...more seeds,flowers and ink work to come.

For months now this poor canvas has been staring out at me from  behind all of my other work. Sadly I put him to rest months ago when this happened..

ripped canvas, louise gale color challenge,doodleart in peace

One big rip.

I am still blaming my artistic affliction for this incidence…nothing is safe in this household when I am in one of my moods.

Well in honor of Louise Gales Color Challenge this month, and some New Years resolutions that have me concentrating on wrapping up loose ends, I have decided to resurrect this baby.

Thanks all for your comments (and support) on how to fix this problem. A special thanks to Serena who even sent me a video which helped to inspire this project.

So can one fix a rather largish rip in a canvas? I definitely know so!

how to fix rip in canvas, art, paintYou will need a scrap piece of canvas (purchased by the roll at most art stores), some gel medium and heavy books.
Cut off any loose threads hanging from the rip.
Cut out a piece of canvas a little larger than the rip. Place on back of canvas over rip and place gel medium between two layers. Make sure to wipe off excess on front and back of canvas.
how to fix rip in canvas, art, paint
how to fix rip in canvas, art, paint
how to fix rip in canvas, art, paint

Place some parchment paper on front and back of canvas and lay flat on ground. I used some good old elbow grease to rub it all down and make sure all air bubbles, creases etc were out.
Place very heavy books on top. Let it rest.
I removed books after a few hours (ok I peeked once or twice) and then gave it a bit of time to air dry.
how to fix rip in canvas, art, paint The final product. Not pretty, but mended.

I added a number of layers of gel medium on top of rip to help level out the surface and smooth it out. Use fingers for this step.

Then I sat and stared at it wondering how on earth I produced that orangey color……
I have to remember to always write down paint colors used on back of canvas so I can remember what to mix when I go back to a piece months (or even days) later.

how to fix rip in canvas, art, paint

I had a few difficulties figuring out the colors used for this piece. The new colors may be a little off, but whatever…at least it’s not ripped.

This is an awfully long post…

Off to continue work on this canvas…Part two and more info on the color challenge to come this weekend!

Thanks for popping by. If you have any suggestions or advice on how to fix a ripped canvas, please share!

Have a great weekend.

Inspired by…alcohol inks

Loving my new Adirondack Alcohol Inks.

alcohol inks, journal, art


Not loving the skull and cross bone Danger Poison signs pasted all over them. Would love to know how to use these, but unfortunately the instructions and uses are covered by First Aid treatment instructions. Supposedly the fumes are not only harmful, but may catch fire.

“If breathed in , move person into fresh air”

I could only laugh when reading that …after an hour of using them. Oh god..maybe thats why I am laughing..who is going to move me?

Of course I was so excited to get into them that I didn’t take a moment to actually read all of  these warnings.

art, alcohol inks, journal

stamping on canvas board...

Nothing is safe from them. Have been spraying my art journal, canvas, daughters homework folder, newspaper…nothing is safe.

Apparently I am not either!

art, alcohol inks, journal

art journal page

art, alcohol inks, journal


I have tried them on paper, canvas board, canvas, cardboard…the ink takes to everything!

Note to all ~ will also stain your counters, clothing and skin.

The hazards of creating…..dont get me started on Cadmium  paint…

Have fun with them! Always good to try something new.

Inspired by…my local paint store

I feel like I just won the lottery.

I just dropped by my favorite local Benjamin Moore.I needed to pick up some paint chips to help choose colors to paint my husbands new office. In passing  I decided to ask them if they had any discontinued wallpaper books. I like to pick them up every once in a while for the kid’s classroom art projects.

Wink Wink..

..who is kidding who…they  are for me! Well, I do share them with the kids. I just get first pick.

Anyhow today the girl pulled out  a huge box. My eyes grew large and my heart started racing. You know that feeling you get when you walk into a large art supply store or an art studio? It felt like Christmas all over again.

All thoughts of painting my husbands office flew out the window….

Not only were there a few wallpaper books ,but swatch upon swatch  of beautiful, deep, richly colored fabric. Beautifully patterned fabric. Suede and leather too..

Fabric swatches...large and small

Swoooonnnnn. I have been sewing a lot of paper lately, but no fabric.

wallpaper books

Page upon page of hand painted all colors!

wallpaper books, handpainted paper

Did I mention the inner sleeves of ATC size samples of handmade paper? Jackpot!

After a long inner battle…

No you are not sewing, remember your goal is to paint this year. ( but look at all this beautiful fabric, deep rich colors, how can you resist…and its free..) made a goal to finish the projects you have already started. ( but it will be going to the dump if I don’t rescue it. I thought I was supposed to be embracing my artistically afflicted ways) No… you are supposed to be engaging them in a structured way besides the poor children need it more than you. ( but maybe I could incorporate it into my art journals..mixed media right??) No….

I did take a few pieces and begrudgingly left behind the rest. I will report back to  the teacher that it is there. Lucky kids….

natural shades

Window shade samples in wood, reed and grass...what am I going to do with these?

Is this abnormal behaviour? I know if you are reading this that you are probably a little afflicted in your own way. Please tell me that it is so…. and while you are at it…please offer any suggestions as to what to do with this mother load?

A few things I have done in the past ~

handmade paper collage

Hand made paper collage

A large size collage of my hand-made paper collection. I was tired of it all sitting in a box. I have great plans for creating something on this …for now I call it my” log pile”. Another work in progress…

mix media~ paint chip, wall paper and scrapbook paper

I havent looked at this piece in a while. It was the first mixed media piece I made years ago. Funny as I was very limited in supplies so most of this also came from my favorite local paint store…again!

Look around….there is lots of cool paper to be found.

Old envelopes, postcards, old books, dictionaries, music sheets, wallpaper, magazines, paper bags,ticket stubs,wrapping paper, drafting paper,maps, old artwork…..

envelopes, mix media

....inner sleeve of envelopes..

chocolate bar wrappers, mix media

... candy wrappers..

I think I must do a separate post all about found papers….so much to tell. Keep an eye out for it next week!

Until then…

I have to go and find a hiding space for all of this. My husband has forbidden any more wallpaper books in the front hall closet…

P.S. left the store without any paint chips…when in doubt go with “cloud white”

Inspired by…a fresh, new, clean slate.

Still trying to finish up artwork from my big stack of neglected, unfinished, uninspiring pile of art. January ~ a fresh, new clean slate ~ is fast approaching. I need to de-clutter!

art studio, unfinished canvas, mental clutter

patiently waiting....

I am surrounded by needy canvas, way too far gone to be able to just discard and paint over. They need some love and attention.

art studio, unfinished canvas

also patiently waiting....

I will be the first to admit that I am guilty of sometimes quitting before I have put the required time, energy and effort into my work.I understand that every piece goes through a stage of awkwardness. I also realize I am supposed to step away and approach my work with fresh eyes.  My problem lies in that I usually come up with another idea or technique I want to try out on the new before the old is complete.

I just love the beginning stages…new, fresh, interesting,exciting,endless possibility… I love this stage. I love the beginning splatter of paint. I love not knowing…

Unfortunately,before I know it, my youthful exuberance has taken over and I am on to my next project…

out with the old, in with the new.

It’s a very bad habit. It backfires on me every time because, oddly enough, I feel a wee bit guilty surrounded by all of this unfinished business.

art paper,

more unfinished art work....

Do you believe clutter, mental clutter hampers your creativity? I do.

art studio

my mother would be so disappointed....

How is one suppose to get anything done surrounded by all this clutter…its dangerous too. Glue, scissors, sharp needles, a thumb tack or two and usually a big, black hairy dog lying amidst it all.

I feel a New Year resolution coming on….

My new approach is slowly forming. I am going to take all of these “old” pieces and experiment. Try new techniques. Be bold. Add collaged elements. Add hits of unexpected color.

It may work… It may not. Fingers crossed for lots of happy accidents!

Hope everyone is enjoying this crazy month!

Inspired by…my new found love

Now if that doesn’t get my husbands attention and one blog comment from him then nothing will!

My new-found love is definitely not another man.I am much to busy painting…

It’s this. Always this……

paper,decorative paper, collage

stacks and stacks of glorious stash..

It always comes back to paper. To note… it was actually my husband who started me down this artistically afflicted route. He purchased me some beautiful handmade papers for our anniversary a few years ago. I stared at them longingly, not entirely sure what to do with them. I started collaging them together, then out came the paint and ink…and a mixed media artist was found.

paper, decorative paper

more stash..

Back to the paper…ah.. beautiful,handmade paper. Only those who love paper will truly understand.

Borden and Riley, sketch vellum

Borden and Riley Sketch Vellum #116

Ok..back on track.This is my new-found love!

This paper is simply wonderful. It is archival quality, acid free and ideal for mixed media. It can be scrubbed, scratched, splattered and sewed. When gessoed it is indestructible. I have even sanded it!

Borden & Riley’s heaviest and most versatile paper. Ideal for both dry and wet media, it features excellent erasability and is ideal for watercolor, pen-and-ink, markers, pencils, charcoal, pastels, and a variety of other mediums. Pads are cloth-bound. Acid-free.

Canvas is expensive, space consuming and, here in Whistler, hard to come by. This is my solution. It comes in 48″ by 20yd and can be cut to any size.I believe it also comes in pad size just in case you want to give it a try before making the full-blown committment to 20yds. I have used it for everything. ATC’s, art journaling,my 4ft square doodle… I have painted it and then adhered it to canvas.

Endless possibilities….

Try it ~ you’ll like it!

Inspired by…a paint chip

I am always so thankful that nobody here ever asks to see some of the “finished” pieces that I have posted here in their beginning stages. is a problem and definitely one of the many signs of one artistically afflicted. I just love the way that almost sounds like artistically gifted…so close..yet so far away…

Anyway to keep in the spirit of beginnings which are oh, so much fun. I have started two paintings today for creative everyday…same colours but with a different approach.
colour swatch

Colors – quinacridone magenta, cad yellow dark, vat orange, raw umber and white. I like to find paint chips from the paint store that intrigue me and throw me out of my comfort zone…some very interesting colors here that I would never think to combine.I try to keep track of the “recipe” in hopes of creating again.

Examples of mark making

Do you notice any difference?

The first (pictured below) is all about marks…lots of lines, squiggly and straight.Lots of hard lines with definite boundaries.Pattern.

mark making

Example One - mark making

The second is all about the continuation of colour. Still lots of lines and pattern (because I just couldn’t help myself…my brain just couldn’t seem to stop my hand from scribbling..odd), but I tried to use a lot of water and medium to spread and blend.This will take practice.

Example Two - mark making

So kind of different, but kind of…not.

It makes me laugh to see a lot of the same shapes and forms within both. Non-intentional, just the brain taking over. I also wanted to just keep it to the above paint chip colors..I am not sure why I am doing this. I am just curious more than anything…

So, these have become my designated project for Creative Everyday this week. I am not “allowed” to start any other projects until these are finished. Someone please hold me accountable!

Off now to squint, stand upside down, have a couple of glasses of wine…anything.. so I can start seeing some images emerge from these.

A few hours later…(using example two)


things are starting to appear...

Oh, surprise, surprise…poppies are starting to appear. I just cant help it…

I would love to see some of your marks. Leave a link in the comment section if you have some examples to share!

See you tomorrow!

p.s. I have some very exciting news to share with you tomorrow…it will make you smile…it will make you dance….some will even shout with joy! Stay tuned!

Still inspired by… Flora Bowley

flora bowley workshop

All I want to do is get down and paint! If those are not the lyrics to a song…they should be.

flora bowley workshop

Just had a fantastic awe-inspiring weekend of creating at a Flora Bowley workshop ~ Bloom True.

Flora Bowley workshop
I have had my eye on her workshops for a while now, but unfortunately they have always been a wee bit too far to really consider. How excited was I to discover that Artfest Annex was hosting one of her workshops in Seattle? Very. An opportunity not to be missed.

Flora Bowley workshop

endless color

Oh what I would give to have a few more days surrounded by a group of like-minded souls creating with no distractions. Time spent exploring art and friendship. It doesn’t get any better does it?

Flora Bowley workshop

her apron matches her artwork..

Flora Bowley…where to begin? Big smile, easy-going. A free spirit.Very grounded , but with a tendency to sing out her words. I smile as I write because there is just something about her that makes me chuckle. I like her!
I believe my first encounter with Flora was on a rainy Sunday morning, latte in hand, blog hopping through my other world. I instantly fell into her artwork. Her color scheme, her use of organic shapes and her marks all drew me in. What I was most intrigued by though was her layers. I love layers. I love to stare at a piece and each time discover something new. Never ending layers each peeking through. It makes me want to sing!
Having spent a weekend with  Flora, I now get it. She has fun with her work. She surrenders herself to her paintings and paints from her soul.She doesnt over think the process. She commits to little.She only keeps what she loves and will easily paint over hours of work. She is willing to change her course at any time… What you see is what you get! And trust me…its lovely!
I am proud to say this woman is definitely artistically afflicted… She has the courage to constantly question her work. To search for what she wants to portray.To let go….all lessons we need to embrace as artists.She gives me hope!

Flora Bowley workshop
As I mentioned in my previous post, I not only walked away with a whole new arsenal of tips and techniques to apply to my own style of art, but I also learned some very valuable lessons. Because really now.. it is all one in the same.

Flora Bowley workshop

Heather grooving to the tunes

Floras workshop was held at the Artfest Annex in downtown Seattle. You must check it out! I will now go  on to sing the praises of Teesha Moore. Another soul in the art world who has inspired many with her art journaling and Art festivals.This woman has created a beautiful awe-inspiring art studio. High ceilings,wood floors, brick walls and flooded by natural light.To top it off you are surrounded by her big, bold beautiful art work.Insightful art work. One cannot help but feel inspired here.

Flora Bowley workshop

Beginning marks...

Flora Bowley workshop

finding images...

Still not sure how I got from this to this….but I know it involved a lot of layers,more marks,standing on my head and ….letting go.

flora bowley workshop

finished product...

An awesome weekend was had by all.
For me personally….I think it may have been a turning point.

Thanks ,once again, Flora!!

For more info on Flora and her wonderful course, click here!
Flora Bowley  {artistically afflicted blog}

P.S. A sneak peek of Floras new book…coming out soon! Watch out for it!

Flora Bowley book

sneek peek....