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I Had a Plan But I Didn’t Follow It


following art journal plan with carolyn dube

I had a plan.  I didn’t follow the plan.  I rarely follow my plans…but the plan is still necessary for me.  The plan gives me a  sense of security and control but I stay flexible so I can wander wherever the color and pattern takes me.


following art journal plan with carolyn dube


Step 1 of the plan: Find a page from in a journal.

This page was Leftover paints often make the first layer in my art journal, and this is no exception.






following art journal plan with carolyn dube


Step 2 of the plan: Add more color.  The blue filled in the white areas since I am compelled to cover everything with color…

Step 3 of the plan: Add a moon and ground.  

The collage paper that I made with my Trio of Houses stencil was just what I needed.

You can see how I made this paper in the video Stretch your stencil by turning it on YouTube.


following art journal plan with carolyn dube


Step 4 of the plan: Change the plan.

The plan was a moon, but before I realized it, I had a person…not in the plan.

Michelle Ward’s Circle Rays 6 created the beams from her head.





following art journal plan with carolyn dube


Step 5 of the plan:  Add some words.

How’d I have a perfectly matching orange paper?  The Gelli Plate.  Yes, it can make awesome patterns but it is also a fast way to make sheets of solid colors.

Then it was so easy to run that paper through my ink jet printer for the quote.  Fast and easy as long as I don’t touch the words until they dry…



 I’d love to know when you create do you have a plan?  Do you stick to it or wander all around?

Supplies Used

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  • Dianne March 17, 2014, 10:43 am

    oh, trust me. you are not the only one who doesn’t follow your plan! but it’s wonderful where you end up anyway! love your collage and the step by step images…For me, it’s lots of trial and error, intuitive placement, using up scraps, run to see if there are any stitched bits that will ‘work,’ etc. But the process is so engaging and satisfying! Love your work…

    • Carolyn Dube March 17, 2014, 12:14 pm

      I agree Dianne- this play is so so so satisfying!

  • Paula - Buenos Aires March 17, 2014, 2:16 pm

    I plan and schedule the activity and then let the wind take me wherever I need/want to go with it. EG: I schedule a scrapbooking hour and even a certain picture to use but work on whatever paper/technique I choose on the spur of the moment.

    • Carolyn Dube March 17, 2014, 4:26 pm

      That’s a great way to to do it!

  • Jo Murray March 17, 2014, 2:49 pm

    Changing the plan is essential isn’t it? Otherwise the life would disappear from your work.

    • Carolyn Dube March 17, 2014, 4:25 pm

      So true- I like a plan but never seem to follow it!

  • Jean Marmo March 17, 2014, 3:58 pm

    I love this! I usually plan too much then don’t know what to do when I run into a problem or something else.

    • Carolyn Dube March 17, 2014, 5:50 pm

      Thanks Jean!

  • Maggi Focke March 17, 2014, 5:32 pm

    I guess I am like you. I like to have a plan but I am proud of my ability to be flexible and deviate. (Although in my art journals specifically, I often don’t have a plan.) Some people in my life (I could name a few…LOL) can ONLY go with the original idea/plan. Not that they were artists, but with my husband and mil, I always had to be sure I wanted to make a suggestion out loud because once a decision was made it was (in my words) “written in concrete” for them. Guess that explains one reason they were not artists!!! Thanks for all you do for all of us!

    • Carolyn Dube March 17, 2014, 5:50 pm

      I used to work with some people like that! Those of us who change plans drive them nuts (not intentionally)!

  • Ruth L March 17, 2014, 5:48 pm

    Carolyn I have a lot of plans, and I always promise to my self I am going to follow them, but then on the way comes an opportunity that I need to try, and I need to play and oops there goes my plan. So is it, but I like it 🙂

    • Carolyn Dube March 17, 2014, 5:51 pm

      That’s the way I like to too Ruth!

  • Corrine March 17, 2014, 5:56 pm

    Plan, you can have a plan? Process baby all the way. I like your veering off course….xox

    • Carolyn Dube March 17, 2014, 9:31 pm

      I am not shocked that you are process based Corrine 🙂

  • Kirsten Alicia March 18, 2014, 1:19 am

    Fantastic page, I love it. Sometimes I have a plan & can see the entire project in my head, but once I start things invariably change & the finished piece ends up being completely different.

    • Carolyn Dube March 18, 2014, 8:55 am

      Thanks Kirsten – things tend to end up differently on paper than how it looked in my head too.

  • MaggieM March 18, 2014, 9:17 pm

    I try to have a plan BUT during the creative process, I often lose track of my original plan and switch to another plan, LOL. Love how your LO turned out – plan or no plan:)

  • Kay Wallace March 19, 2014, 12:19 pm

    I, too, find it difficult to follow a plan! A calendar, yes. A road map, yes. A plan…good intentions, but not likely for me! But, sometimes, like in your post today, veering off plan is a good thing. Kind of like your “happy accidents” on another plane! This one I like…a lot!

  • Marjie Kemper March 19, 2014, 3:09 pm

    Love it! And so glad I didn’t have to wait too long to see what would become of the pieces from the ‘turning a stencil’ post. Super!!

  • Linda DeChow March 24, 2014, 12:03 pm

    I love your site, and your art is my kinda happy! When working on a project, I usually have a general idea, then the art speaks to me and I move in as many directions as dictated. I know that sounds vague, but I actually have conversations with my art!

  • penny isaacs March 24, 2014, 12:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing, I always plan something ,but yes never comes out the way it was planned!