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Letting Myself Get Lost in my Art Journal

Getting lost in my art journal with color, Gelatos, stencils, and collage by Carolyn DubeKnowing where you are going can be overrated. Granted, if you are an airplane pilot, it is critical you know where you are going. But I’m not flying a plane, I am playing in an art journal wandering around without any clear plan.

It all began by gluing down some pieces and parts. One is stamped, one is a sticker, one is a vintage check, one is a Spark, and one is a clip art of a perfume bottle label. Without a theme or a plan, it means I go here and there trusting that in the end, it will be where it is meant to be. I let myself get lost.

Getting lost can really freak out the left side of my brain and that makes it all the more fun to me.

Getting lost in my art journal with color, Gelatos, stencils, and collage by Carolyn Dube

When I use a die, like this doll by Donna Salazar, I tend to cut more than one at a time. After all, getting the supplies out it is the hard part, so I might as well cut a bunch so they are on hand when I play.

Also, a stack of papers made during a gel printing session with Gel Press plates are a quick way to make a colorful stack of die cuts. New to gel printing? Have a getting started video here.

Getting lost in my art journal with color, Gelatos, stencils, and collage by Carolyn Dube

The stamped Venice scene called for some color. I could have spent hours meticulously coloring in each little area of the very detailed stamp but I’m more of an immediate gratification kind of a person so I grabbed the Gelatos. Loose scribbles and then a water brush to spread the color around.

Getting lost in my art journal with color, Gelatos, stencils, and collage by Carolyn Dube

Suddenly, I noticed travel and adventure has been a part of this page from step 1. The Paris hotel sticker, the Venice scene, and now stenciled castle towers. The Once Upon a Time stencil comes with both the masks and the stencil and masks let me cheat a bit. One way the masks can be used to audition placement, so before I ever got the paint to the page, I knew how the towers would look. You can see more of how this stencil is used in this video.

Getting lost in my art journal with color, Gelatos, stencils, and collage by Carolyn Dube

To scribble or not to scribble, that was my question. On the right side were all sorts of graphite marks and scribbles but non on her. It seemed a bit odd, as if she was afraid the graphite had cooties or something. But I wasn’t sure how it would look on her. And then the great debate began in my head looking at the pros and cons of doing it. Yes, logical left brain was back.

Making a list and analyzing it wasn’t as much fun as just playing and seeing what happened so I threw caution to the wind and lived on the edge. I scribbled on her. It was exhilarating to take the risk. The way it felt, you’d think I was bungee jumping.

Getting lost in my art journal with color, Gelatos, stencils, and collage by Carolyn Dube

Did it need more layers or did I just not want the play to end? No idea which it was, but the bottom line is I wanted to play some more so I followed the urge. Using my Trio of Thorns and Triangular Pathways stencils, patterns were added to the page.

Getting lost in my art journal with color, Gelatos, stencils, and collage by Carolyn Dube

That dark pink area called for words. Which words summed up what this play was all about? Get lost. Not the snarky, teenage quip, or the kind that needs a GPS, but the wonderful way time can stand still when playing and creating. Mary C. Nasser has all sorts of words on her Let’s Go stencil.

Getting lost in my art journal with color, Gelatos, stencils, and collage by Carolyn Dube

While wandering around, letting myself get lost in the moment, I ran across a piece of play from who knows when. This piece of mixed media text was made using my Wall of Words stencil and Now is the Time stencil. Apparently, I was saving it for just this page.

Getting lost in my art journal with color, Gelatos, stencils, and collage by Carolyn Dube

Letting myself get lost manages to help me find myself. That sentence makes zero sense to that logical left brain of mine, but Lefty has faced the reality that these things are going to happen around here.

Getting lost in my art journal with color, Gelatos, stencils, and collage by Carolyn Dube

Here are the supplies I used. Some of these links are affiliate links which means I get a small percentage. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and it helps keep the free tutorials coming!


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  • Jean Marmo March 16, 2017, 4:34 pm

    So cool. I need to let myself get lost more often!

  • Leslie Ackman March 17, 2017, 10:39 am

    I let myself go and it’s so fun! As always great pages, Carolyn!!

  • Imelda Fagin March 18, 2017, 10:27 am

    You have truly inspired me…and helped to use that right side of my brain that has been sitting dormant for so long on my art. Thank you!

  • Lynda Shoup March 18, 2017, 10:48 am

    So many great aspects to this page spread. I am glad you let yourself play and get lost in the making of it. It is fascinating to have a chance to get inside the process of an artist’s work. So many choices made that would never occur to me, yet they inspire me to think outside of my regular set of tricks. Inspiring spread.

  • Deb Fortin March 19, 2017, 2:39 pm

    great page. I like how you share your process with us. it helps to explain the whys of what you do . I get bogged down in details myself and that stops my play time worrying that I might be doing it WRONG.
    thanks for the links to the products used but esp that you include visual links at the end of your posts. makes it easy to find what i need to play along.

  • Corrine March 19, 2017, 4:59 pm

    Wonderful stack of body parts as it were, nice rainbow pages. Good luck at PT. xox