Monday, June 1, 2015

2015 Documented Life Project :: First Quarter Recap

Week 1  ::  Book Paper

These are my lovely journal pages from the first quarter of 
The Documented Life Project 2015.
You can find more information on the DLP here
I really love this challenge...for me it's just the right combination of journaling, 
art, lists, calendar, quotes and stuff to keep me organized and creative.  
I'm just a smidy behind with the art pages, but no worries, I've got all year to catch up. 
As it turns out, being behind and not having posted 
these pages as I did them, worked out better...for this post anyway. 
 It's helpful to see the pages side by side...
I can instantly identify the pages I love and why...  
I see my style emerging!

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Week 2  ::  Gesso

Week 3  ::  The Color Wheel

Week 4  ::  Writing

Week 5  ::  Under Paper from my Art Table 

Week 7  ::  Cover Up the Good Stuff

Week 8  ::  Repeating Elements

Week 9  ::  Use at Least 5 Layers

Week 10  ::  Doodles and Marks as a Layer Elements

Week 11  ::  Borders

Week 12  ::  Doodles and Marks as a Focal Point

Monday, May 25, 2015

Inspiration Wednesday :: March 18, 2015

I'm not going to make excuses. 
I finally finished this Inspiration Wednesday project. 
I'm simply going to celebrate that I DID
I enjoyed the process and I'm pleased with the results
Goal Accomplished
I have three other small canvases started that I plan to use to 
create a small series exploring texture and collage elements. 
The tags I used in this piece are clothing tags 
I've been saving for the past several years. 

Visit Donna Downey here for more information on her Inspiration Wednesdays.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Week 4 - Words With Friends...

Week 4 of The Documented Life project 
(more info about TDL project HERE)

Challenge: Writing
 Prompt: Words With Friend

 I took a simple approach to this challenge in an effort to get the page done.  
Falling behind already -- don't over think it!
It wasn't a positive, uplifting reflection on the prompt, but a reminder that 
friendship grows and deepens with communication, understanding and 
acceptance of our imperfections.

Spilling onto the blank page I journaled with permanent marker on unprepared watercolor paper. I added bits of white, heavy bodied paint all Wabi-Sabi style over the page so some of the journaling was exposed. I chose three colors for the background, mixed with glazing medium and rubbed paint over the words and white paint with my fingers. I love how the color became more intense where it absorbed into the paper in the background and lighter over the white glossy paint. I drew some random circles with my stabillo pencil and water. Filled the circles with the red and yellow from the background and a little gesso. Typed and printed the words "Words With Friends Are Not Always Easy," added more red and yellow paint to help them blend into the circles and glued down with glue stick. I outlined the words with stabillo pencil again to help them stand out. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Imperfectionist Manifesto No. 3

Having Fun Is the Easy part.
There is no room for fear and perfection when creating!
They only get in the way of Something Great!

Learn more about Living a Creative Life on
Melissa Dinwiddie's website HERE.

Follow me on InstaGram: Denise_Riches

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Imperfectionist Manifesto No. 2

Sometimes I need to be reminded to simply 
Show Up and Do The Work!

Visit me on Instagram to see
The Imperfectionist Manifest No. 1 and follow me: denise_riches

Learn more about Living a Creative Life on 
Melissa Dinwiddie's website HERE

Saturday, January 10, 2015

2015 The Documented Life Project

Front Cover
Excited and Motivated to start the New Year again with The Documented Life Project 2015 from Art to the 5th (check it out here). These are the front and back covers of one of the two journals i created and they were so fun to paint. The second journal will make sure I have enough room for my lengthy journal entries. Journaling has become a daily habit over the last year thanks to this project and I look forward to it each day. I love, love, love this cover. Urban graffiti feel and the image transfers make me so happy.

Back Cover
I'll admit I was a little stuck (fearful) on what to paint as the top layer because I was so attached to the previous layers and didn't want to ruin (risk) it. I thumbed thru my Inspiration Journal that i keep with clippings of images that catch my attention, other artists work, sketches of painting ideas and my own doodles and symbols. The top layer of images came directly from that journal. Its a valuable tool to spark creativity and I'm more inspired than ever to continue adding to it.

 Below is my journal from last year which has become a bit tattered and worn, but I thoroughly enjoy re-visiting the artwork I created, the quotes I recorded, and the memories I made (good and bad) as part of this Journey called LIFE! 

2014 The Documented Life Project Journal
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I Am A Warrior...Work in Progress

It's been a slow road back to the easel...moving, divorce, a new life, lack of focus, expanding my comfort zone, and simply living for today, all factors in my creative departure. As I settle in and become comfortable with who I am and what lies ahead, the creative fire is being reignited. I've noticed my thoughts returning to art, creating and purposeful pursuits instead of the distracting, time-consuming, self-defeating thinking that consumed me when I started this new journey

I started the painting above several years ago in Flora Bowley's online "Bloom True"
e-course. Since then it has sat in the garage with all the other rejected, partially finished paintings, quietly waiting for me to give it new life, transforming it into something Great! Using the existing painting as an under painting, I began the process of laying down color, collage and simply playing. That's the fun part - no mistakes, anything goes. 

It's a Work in Progress, just like me
And I'm excited by the possibilities!  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

MY Documented Life Project

I'm so happy I stumbled upon The Documented Life Project (TDL) and decided to play's exactly what I needed this year to keep me creating. If you want to check it out, you can get more info about here. I've been using Instagram (follow me here) to post the weekly challenges to my Facebook page but thought the easiest way to get them to TDL Facebook Group would be a link back to my poor neglected blog. So here's a recap of Weeks 1-9 of TDL project:


Monthly Tabs

Week 1 - My Front Door

Week 3 - Add an envelope from the mail

Week 5 - Doodle Border

Week 6 - Inspiration from Pinterest

My Inspiration from Pinterest - Donna Estabrooks

Week 7 - Draw one shape and repeat
Week 8 - Add a flap to my flap

Week 9 - Recycle and collage.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Portland Trip in Selfy Portraits

On the plane to Portland...Paige's first plane exciting!
In Grandma and Grandpa's new car...a cool little Kia Sorento.

Walking in the Pearl District...very cool! 

Trolly transportation around town.

Breathtaking Multnomah Falls.
Crown Point overlooking the Columbia River Gorge.
And that's a small snapshot of our trip to Portland. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Collaboration :: Part 3

The next layer on our Collaboration painting (see previous layers here and here) was to do some writing. We used pencil, marker, dip pen with black and white ink and we did some dripping. I love drips and once again...super fun layer especially since my hands were not covered in glue this time!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Collaboration :: Part 2

The next layer of our Collaborative Painting was collage (see the first layers here). We glued all kinds of stuff down any which way. We included dictionary pages, sewing patterns, decorative papers, paper napkins, vellum quotes, random paper scraps, magazine photos and words, tags, die name it. This is a large canvas (30" H x 40"W) so each layer takes a bit of time to complete. Every step of the process has been Paige's favorite...saying "This is so much fun." I totally agree with is so much fun!!!

Life Book :: Week 10 & 11

Week 10 of Life Book was about Heart Connections. 
Each scroll in the heart above lists someone or something I am grateful for.  

This cute little creature was another Mitsi B lesson for Week 11 of Life Book called 
The Good, Bad and Ugly. She represents the Ugly 
side of me. Under the paint are all the ugly things about myself I would like to change. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Collaboration :: Part 1

This summer my daughter, Paige and I started a collaborative painting. We took an old canvas that had a poster glued onto it and ripped it off. Some of the poster was left behind for texture. Next we painted a layer of warm colors with acrylic craft paint and let it dry. Then a layer of cool colors. This step was really fun for both of us because it didn't matter what we did since we knew it would be covered up. We turned the canvas several times while painting to even out our unique painting styles throughout the canvas. After each layer we would photograph and hang the canvas back in its original location over the fireplace. Each time it would look like a new piece of beautiful abstract art.

Art Journal #2 :: Finished

The first entry in this journal is dated November 22, 2010 - Its taken almost 3 years to finish this one. As you can imagine, I'm not a consistent journaler...once or twice a week or even once a month, depending on when the mood strikes, when I can find the time or when I have something to say. But regardless, it's done!

Somethings I learned along the way...the pages in this journal were too thin, even with gesso applied to both sides. Adding decorative papers to the page helped make them sturdier, but water made them warp terribly.  I also found it difficult to experiment with different art techniques because of the thinness. The pages were just a tad bit too small as well. Also the plain paper soaked up the paint so fast it was difficult to paint on them...definitely need to be primed first. Many times someone would be interested in what I was doing, but I was fearful that when thumbing through the pages, they would see something I would rather they didn't. They were more curious about the artwork and the process, but it still made me uncomfortable. Going forward I need to consider ways to record my thoughts yet still keep them private.

I still feel like I don't have a consistent process when it comes to art journaling. I go about it all willy-nilly, with no recognizable style or consistent anything. I'm not really even sure what my art journaling goals are, I just know I need to keep chugging along, trying new things and making new discoveries along the way.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Life Book Week 25 :: Expressing the True You (Part 2)

In my previous post Week 25 Part 1, I had just started the backside of this large, fold-out journal page. The scary faces...and I have to admit, they do look a little scary, a little odd and a little out of proportion. But oh well! It was an interesting experiment and one I can see needs quite a bit of practice. I think I had mentioned that painting faces is scary, but what I should have said is painting faces is just plain HARD! It feels good to have completed this lesson and I think the man above on the bottom left looks like Robin Williams (don't tell him I said that, he might be offended)!