Working Backwards – thoughts on painting in the negative

{prompts for this week are further down the page. keep reading ;}

Typically as I work on a painting or journal page, I am thinking about how I can turn something negative in my life into something more positive. I begin with a thought, a feeling, a word, and I embellish draw, paint and change that negativity into a positive healing process. 

This is what I teach my intuitive painting students, and this is how I like to process life.

For instance, I will take a word like lonely, paint it in big bold letters in the center of my canvas, turn on some awesome music – then go to town! I work from a place of darkness into the light. Taking a word that has made me feel other than into a place of acceptance, love, healing, gratitude and joy. The changing feelings and impressions that occur in the process of creation can be so healing for me.

Emotionally. Physically. Relationally.

It is how I love to see my work transform.  I watch as it progresses from a place that I don’t like, one I’m unsure about or really struggling with, into what I desire to be, or feel emotionally. It has, I must say, served me well.

But this week we are going to approach this process from a different perspective to learn something more about ourselves. Because hey, we are in discovery mode! Whether you are working small or large, colorful or with a limited palette, discovery is all about immersing ourselves in the process.

When God created the universe, He was right down in it.

“and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” gen 1:2

or as the message version quips:

“God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.”

This particular version gives me the impression that He was really sweating the small stuff.  He wanted something beautiful that He could be proud of – after all, God is perfection. He was there when everything was chaotic. When it was ugly and unrecognizable. And He stayed with the process, He didn’t give up as the changing facets of creation morphed and became something immensely beautiful to Him. (Sounds a lot like me in the beginning stages of a painting!)

Instead of giving up in the ugly stages of creation (cuz you gotta know they totally were there), He stuck with the plan. He worked the clay until it yielded to His touch and His will, creating a beautiful, unparalleled masterpiece.

Those must have been some of the most stressful 7 days – EVER! (Just my humble thoughts for sure)

…and it was beautiful

“It is good” He said

This is our own desire right, to create something beautiful, something good? Sometimes you just have to go through some real ugliness to achieve that goal. Don’t get stressed. Don’t give up. Work that clay until something beautiful emerges.

So this week, here is what I would like you to do:


Paint your page (or whatever you may be working on) with swaths of color. You can block them in or just brush random wide strokes filling the area with as much color as you like. let it dry.


Using contrasting paint or gel pens, in each of the blocks of color create a pattern within that area. For instance if the block is black, use white or some other light color and fill it with dots. Choose whatever contrasting or complimentary color you like but stay within that space.  Vary your colors and marks from block to block.


Now choose a color that you haven’t already used, and a mark that you particularly like (mine is a circle) and create a larger pattern that migrates over a few of the blocks, unifying them with the mark. Put it in a few places around the whole surface to create continutity.


Using your view finder, or fingers shaped like a square, identify areas of pattern or color overlap that you like. Take a mental note. Now….squint your eyes at the picture as a whole. Do you see any emerging patterns? A face, animal, object? Look for possibilities in the brushstrokes. Maybe the colors melded in a particular area, and with the marks made on top you see a kitten looking back at you. This is what your picture wants to be. Look for houses, planes, birds, dogs, teacups.  It’s really up to you how you choose to see things.

Taking a charcoal pencil, lightly sketch some loose lines encapsulating the image you see. Then let it rest. Tomorrow comes the negative painting.


To finish off your painting this week, I want you to paint all of the areas that are outside of the image that you drew yesterday. This is called negative painting. Let your brush be loose as you block it all in with color, not worrying if the lines are straight or if it creates a great likeness. Letting go and letting something new emerge is the goal here.

You can choose a solid color like black or white, or you may choose to use a blending of colors that are similar to block it in.  Whatever you choose, it should be calmer than what is inside.  After you get that done, go in with some black or white and do some line work to further define your image.

Now step back

What did you see?

The emerging patterns that we find in an otherwise chaotic surface can tell us a bit about who we are, what we like.  I tend to see florals in most of what I do. It is just how I roll. I can see blooming beauties where others only see mess. Maybe that is my gift, to see what others can’t see. But this can be your gift too. Sometimes it is just a matter of developing it. 

Flowers can be symbolic of growth, inner beauty, emergence, and God’s provision (for He clothes the flowers of the field)

Finding the symbolism in what you most often see where others don’t, will give you a bit of insight into your inner self. Through this exercise, I see myself as a see-er of inner strength and beauty in the world around me and it increases my faith knowing that my God sees me and clothes me with beautiful color and gifts, true provisions for my life.

What did you SEE this week? Do you need help finding its symbolism?  I would be very happy to assist you in this. Leave a comment and I will help you to unveil a bit of your inner-self.

I would love to see what you created. Post to instagram using #creativefaith  #CP4aCL and #52project

Happy Creating my friends!

I am…. on finding yourself

So, I find myself apologizing a lot lately.  When did life get so busy?

But know, my friends, that I have not forgotten you. You have been on my mind and my heart as I pondered what this week’s prompts would look like. Being a year of discovery for me…discovering wonder… I’d like to encourage you too in discovering something about yourself this week. Maybe it is something that you’ve always known about you, but have not walked in that reality.  Maybe it is something new that the process of creating is making you realize just now.

…or just maybe you are exactly who you have always wanted to be and you wouldn’t change a thing.

If that is you I say – Kudos on your self-actualization!

For the majority of us, that sadly is not the case, but we’d all like to be there, yes?

So do a bit of soul searching.

*Pick a trait that you like about you….then find a new way to say it.

For instance, today I am feeling spirited and cheerful.  There is a Scottish word that describes this feeling (it actually came to my inbox this morning via word of the day J) it is:


What a lovely way to describe that feeling, that cheerful spirit that I would love to maintain throughout all of my days!

Once you have found your word, I want you to build this week’s page around it. (Are you still working small?  Maybe in that really cute playing card journal we created for 2018?) Instead of giving you a new thing to do to your journal page each day – hey, it’s already Wednesday Yo – Do this:

  1. Find a symbol that correlates with the trait you’ve chosen and make that symbol the focus of your project.

Mine will be a heart. Maybe you are feeling introspective- to me that is looking in, finding the center or the spirit within. In that case, you symbol may be a dove for spirit, or a circle in the center with everything else radiating out from that. Whatever you choose as your symbol isn’t as important as the meaning behind it. It should describe how you feel about you. Whether someone else understands it is neither here nor there.

  1. Choose colors that accentuate the mood of your piece (and don’t forget to include some contrast)

I’m going to use pinks and purples and lean into some of the warmer blues. Then as a contrast I think a bit of yellow or orange?

  1. Finally, find a way to incorporate your word.

It doesn’t have to be the whole word. My symbol is a heart, for from the heart comes the cheerful nature. Within my heart I believe I will place the rest of the word – some. For someone looking at it without any additional information, they most likely won’t get it. But that’s ok.  This is about personal discovery and finding your mojo.

Discovering something about yourself can take time.  There are so many labels we put on ourselves based on what the world around us expects us to be. Mother, wife, friend, daughter, son, teacher, husband, caregiver, breadwinner, encourager… and there are so many more. Let go of that for now.  Discover something that you like about you, something that comes with no expectations or limits beyond the ones you want to give yourself.  And then when you discover them…let them go.

Throw up your hands heavenward and release it all.

Yes- I mean ACTUALLY do that.  The act of letting go is the first step in finding the creative spirit within.  If you can’t empty yourself of all those things that clog your thoughts, how will you ever have room for something new?

Let. It. Go.

Then once it is gone….fill it back up

With art

With creativity

With discovery

Till Monday! ~L

What I have been up to this week:

So, this is what has been consuming my brain – technology!  Sorry to say, I’m old.  It takes me a bit of time to figure things out, especially when it comes to stuff related to my computer.

I’ve been working on my etsy shop, (Lisaellen studio art) setting up a studio blow out sale, cuz hey – girl needs more room! I’ve finally loaded most of what I have hanging around in there, and I am offering 40% till the end of January.

Being that I was so lax this week in getting your prompts to you, I would like to offer you – my blog readers, an extra 10% off. There are journals, boxes and tiles with some of my art work to encourage your heart and creative soul. Are you still looking for a journal to work in this year? Perfect place to find one 😉

The 40% off is store wide and the pricing already reflects that, but for the extra 10%, use the coupon code JANEXTRA10 at checkout and the pricing will update.

As always, domestic shipping is free. If you are international, shoot me an email and I will look into what those costs will be for you ( I would be happy to reduce them a bit 🙂

Prayers for a creative 2018! L

and back on the wagon we go…..

So….I have to apologize for my lack of interaction lately. 

Life has a way of routing you places you don’t necessarily want to go, but that are necessary to said life.  That is the way of it.  But even in the absence of inspiration for you, the muse lives on in my brain.  Here are a couple of things I have been working on recently while my blog was sleeping (shhhhhh!)

The fact that the creativity continued even in the face of adversity tells me that all of the practice, and the habits that we worked so hard to create in the last few months…worked!

You too?

I would love to see what you have been up to!  Post some pics on instagram with the tag #creativefaith and let us all share in your successes!

Anyway, in the spirit of getting back into the groove, reigniting the creative spark, or waking up the muse….I thought a week of warm-ups would be quite nice.

So here we go-


Do some deep knee bends, jumping jacks, or yoga (whatever gets your body saying “Yes! I’m awake now!) Then go outside (yes, in the cold if that is your situation) and sketch some outdoors.

This could be

  • pine trees in your back yard
  • piles of snow at the end of your driveway
  • a river in the park near your home
  • or even the dog next door

Choose something that speaks to you.  Do a few sketches, quick and wild.  Don’t worry about what they actually look like, no one has to see them but you.  This is just to get that creative part of your brain moving again. You could just simply do washes of color in acrylics, watercolors or even inks.  Abstract totally works here…as long as you can “see” what you are creating.


Find something in your house that seems mundane, boring, or has always been just “part of the scenery”.

Look at it closely. 

Use those microscopic powers of observation that you developed the week we created from the senses. What do you see? A color. Shape. Smell.

How could you describe this to someone who cannot see what you see?  Someone who has never had the gift of sight. Describe it in minute detail using colorful words and an observant heart.

Write out this description in a journal, notebook or on a piece of paper.

This will help you to give words to your emotions, how you feel about things going on around you.  Be as detailed as you can.


Fill an entire piece of mixed media paper, watercolor paper, canvas, or a page in your art journal with swaths of color.  Don’t think about what the color is, choose intuitively. Use a brush, key card, or even your fingers. But fill the whole page.

  • This could include many colors or just one.
  • It could be solid or full of texture and marks
  • Try choosing one color and then varying the shades by mixing in black or white – or both!

Let it dry for a future project.

The idea here is color exploration and being fearless.


  • Assemble 10 to 12 things that have something in common
  • Arrange them in an interesting order (or on an interesting background)
  • Take a picture of your collection.

Repeat this as many times as you can, then print out the pictures.  You can assemble these into a book of collections.  On each of the pages, create some lettering with pen, paint, stencils or markers giving a clue as to what these objects have in common that makes them a collection.

This won’t always be apparent to the random observer.

Try to think outside the box on this one and not choose something obvious.


  • Cut 10 pages out of a magazine, book, or newspaper.
  • Stack the pages together and cut them to any size you like.
  • Fold each of the pieces individually and create a booklet from them using a pamphlet stitch to bind them together.

These pages could be similar in subject, or even only similar in color, theme, or shape. The most interesting booklets have some common thread within them.  These can be used for journaling in, painting on, or you could even glue in pictures of a friend or two and gift them.

Engaging in warm-up exercises can really get you prepped for something bigger.  It is also a great way just to stretch yourself creatively and get your brain primed for work, projects, and even just the day that stretches before you.

I hope that you find that these activities wake the muse within and get you prepared for what comes next. Regular creative practice will help in so many areas of life, even with things that aren’t necessarily artistic. Give it a try!

Next week we will delve into a great project for holiday gifting. 

See you then! Lisa

rediscover wonder!

52 projects: Creative prompts for a creative life – week #11

~ November 6th-10th ~


Welcome to week 11 of the 52 week project

Normally I have already started my project by now, but alas it has been an unusually trying week. I’ve been working through sickness, funerals, projects, encroaching winter weather and to be frank…

I need to see some wonder!

God has been teaching me things this year, both physically and spiritually. But the resounding theme that has become apparent to me is Discovery

Discovering who He is

Finding the beauty in the ordinary

Learning to see what isn’t readily evident.

So here I am at the beginning of a new week, ready to embark on that journey of discovery. And what a better way than to engage our senses.

Now, this will not be an easy thing for a lot of you…including me for sure. But nothing worthwhile is ever easy right? So here is what I want you to do:

  1. Monday: SIGHT

See the unusual.

It might be something that you actually encounter every day, but look at it in a new way. See the beauty that isn’t necessarily evident. Write about it, paint it, maybe gather it into a specific place and make it part of a collection, or take a picture and collage it into your journal. One thing I used to do when I was a cubscout leader was to have the boy see everything they could see within arm’s length of where they were sitting, then write it down. Every. Little. Thing. It helps to develop our skills of observation.

You never know, you might be missing something important

  1. Tuesday: SOUND

Hear all the sounds of morning.

Sit quietly before anyone else wakes up, and notice each and every sound around you taking note of:

  • where it is
  • what it is
  • and whether you have ever heard it before.

The longer you sit without making any noise, the more you will hear.  Jot it down in a notebook, your journal, or even on a napkin.  If the later, collage that into your art journal on a colorful page.

Truly hearing is an art form all its own. Often it is in the stillness and quiet that we hear the most important murmurings of God. Are you listening for them?

  1. Wednesday: TOUCH

Create something textural today.

Open up to a new page in your journal or whatever you have been working on this week.  Use a texture paste, drywall mud, or even modpodge and some sand to create something very tactile. You may actually decide to do this prompt first if you want to create one single project this week.

Or maybe you could print off one of your pictures from Monday if you took any,  and use this as your substrate for the rest of the prompts this week. Sew around the outside of the photo creating an unusual texture or add in some textural elements.

  1. Thursday: SMELL

Here is where things might get a little difficult. When creating art, you don’t often think about your sense of smell.  But using descriptive word within our art is definitely doable. Maybe you could write an ode to your favorite morning drink (mine just happens to be coffee!)

Describe how its scent enlivens your mind and transports you into the day.  Maybe lavender is your gig….or even better, fix some loose buds onto your page with gel medium. Think outside of the box to integrate smells into your project today.

  1. Friday: TASTE

Now, I don’t want to see picture of anyone licking the pages in their book, or putting things in their mouths they shouldn’t. But do describe how something tastes.  Was the picture you took on Monday of a weird kind of fruit? There are a lot of unusual varieties out there.  Cut one open and taste it. Then tell us about it.  But definitely make sure that it is edible first.

You know the drill

  • Be creative
  • Think outside the box
  • Create something new
  • Stretch those muscles.

I look forward to seeing what you have learned from this week’s prompts

Friday I will post my finished project here and on Instagram. Check out #creativefaith, #52projects, #cp4acl (#CP4aCL)

Have a creative week!



Would you like to join in?  We would love to have you join this creative initiative. Sign up to receive these prompts in your email HERE, and start creating!

Have questions?  You can email me at

Are you creating with these prompts?  I would love to see them! Post them on Instagram with the tag #CP4aCL, #52project, or #creativefaith

working small for big results

52 projects: Creative prompts for a creative life – week #10

~ Oct. 30-Nov.3 ~

Week 10 Yo!!

I have to be honest, long term commitments have never been easy for me. (shhhh! Don’t tell my husband 🙂

For instance, I love handmade quilts. The patterns amaze me, and I just love to place them around the house in key places for cozy winter comfort. I have sewn – seriously – one in my whole life. Crib size. Yep, that was all she wrote.

So, to say that here we are on Project #10 of 52 is HUGE for me!

I hope that you are all managing to stay creative with me.  I know, it’s hard. But if you keep in mind that it is not about:

  • Producing perfection
  • Spending large amounts of time or money
  • Making something that others will like, or ultimately receive

I mean, if that is how you want to use your creative practice, go for it.  But I think it is vastly more important to simply be creative. Nurturing that creative soul can be as easy as you let it be. In the spirit of simple creativity, I would like to encourage you this week to work SMALL. Keeping it small will limit the amount of time it will take you to complete your project prompts and give you the encouragement you need to keep going – Big Results!

Create in a small handmade journal, on a small canvas, or how about trying something really different: use an envelope from something you received in the mail over the weekend.

Using something outside of the normal can really get those imaginative juices flowing and guide you into your creative mojo!

Here are the prompts for this week, and some small, out of the norm ideas for completing them:

  1. Monday: LEAFY

Fill your page, canvas or envelope  J  with prints from leaves. Use a gelli plate, a foam stamp. Or even a meat tray with a leaf sketched into the flattest area. Roll out some craft paint with a brayer roller and stamp it on your page.

Maybe you would prefer to write a poem about the falling autumn leaves, or take some photographs of the amazing color that is blazing so brightly these days. I think combining a few of these processes onto one page might be fun.

*I decided to create a mini book with pages I created with leaves and a gelli plate. There are 5 pages, one for each day….or maybe I will work on everyone of them … we’ll see 🙂

  1. Tuesday: CUP

Sketch, photograph or paint a small rendition of your morning coffee cup, tea cup, or even the glass that holds the water you are drinking. Sing its praises through picture, word, or song. I for one am very thankful for its many years of faithful morning service.

  1. Wednesday: POINT

Today would be a good opportunity to check out the tips of your various mark making tools. Use the point of a chop stick to draw a pattern into wet paint. Dip the point of a round paintbrush into your favorite color, or 5, and pounce that brush tip randomly throughout your page. Maybe you could do a pointillism painting and fill that cup with color using only closely spaced dots.

  1. Thursday: SINGULAR

Choose a singular image from your photo stash, a magazine, or take a new one that fits the theme of your page, canvas, or envelopeJ. Integrate it into your project, making it either the focal point of your piece, or a supporting actor. You could even tear it into pieces and reassemble it to create something entirely new.  Give it a try….it’s fun!

  1. Friday: REACH

Being the wordy girl I am, I think a reach for the stars kind of quote would make a starry addition and beautiful finish to this week’s project. Here are a few that I found on google quotes:

  • Your branches can only reach high if your roots go deep
  • Reach high for the stars that lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for each dream precedes the goal – mother Theresa
  • Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light.
  • Remember, you can’t reach what’s in front of you until you let go of what behind you.
  • Reach as high as you can, and then reach a little higher. There you will find magic and possibility. And maybe even cookies.
  • When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.

There were a lot of amazing and inspirational quotes, so many in fact that I had to just say when.  Choose something that speaks to you, inspires you, or encourages your creative soul.

I would love to see what you are creating this week.  You can post it here in the comments, or the hashtags are below for Instagram and twitter. 

Friday I will post my finished project here, and on Instagram. Check out #creativefaith, #52projects, #cp4acl (#CP4aCL)

Have a creative week!


Daily Creative Prompts: week #9

Daily Creative Prompts ~ October 23-27

As promised, here we are in week #9 of

52 projects: Creative prompts for a creative life

Here are the 5 prompts for this week to be used daily in an effort to keep yourself working creatively:

  1. WATER
  3. HIDE
  5. SING

These can be interpreted in whatever way you choose. Whether you are a

  • Writer/poet
  • photographer
  • illustrator
  • painter/artist
  • or maker

these prompts can inspire something new. An image, a feeling, or an idea that is unique to you. Think outside the box, create something fresh and inspiring. Your brain will thank you!

I will be using these in order because it makes me think beyond what I often feel capable of and forces me to not fall back into comfortable things. But you can totally do them in whatever order you like. Do one or do them all – then post a pic of your finished project using the hashtags #creativefaith, #52projects, #CP4aCL, #creativelife, #52weeks, #promptme, #mixingitup, #thedailymuse

Here is how I approached today’s prompt:


Watercolors: not so outside the box, but for me using warm colors is definitely not my normal. So I stared this week getting out of my comfort zone and stepping into something that is going to challenge me as the prompts progress.

If you are a writer, maybe you can write a piece of microfiction about swimming, or sitting by the lake

Take a picture of the smallest body of water you can find, and then the largest

Do an ink drawing of a glass of water…then put a fish in it 😉

Make a notebook cover that has waves crashing over its cover, then fill it with ideas of how to create mixed media waves with great texture

Have fun with it and let these prompts challenge you!

This is the only email this week you will receive this week, but on Friday I will post my finished project from this week. Check out #creativefaith, #52projects, #CP4aCL, #creativelife, #52weeks, #creativelife, #52weeks, #promptme, #mixingitup, #thedailymuse

Have a creative week!


Would you like to join in?  We would love to have you join this creative initiative. Sign up to receive these prompts in your email and start creating!
Have questions?  You can email me at
Are you creating with these prompts?  I would love to see them! Post them on Instagram with the tag #CP4aCL, #52project,  #creativefaith,  #creativelife, #52weeks, #promptme, #mixingitup, #thedailymuse

when your dance gets ugly


Daily Creative Prompt ~ October 20: DANCE

Dancing isn’t really my gig.  In the formal sense of the word anyway.

  • But we can also dance with joy in our spirits
  • …dance our paintbrushes across a page
  • …and it can also be used to describe something that you are doing, a project that you are working on for instance 😉


While this isn’t one of my favorite projects to date, I still had a ton of fun creating it, and I learned so much from the process.

okay, calling my baby ugly.  Maybe it is just my mood today, but seriously…not my favorite.

but even when things don’t turn out quite as we would like and we find ourselves stumbling through the day…or week as the case may be…just make it part of the dance. 

And *drumroll please*

…here is the final project #8!

Don’t forget to enjoy the process, even if you don’t enjoy what comes from it.  There is purpose in all of it…even if it is simply to learn to accept a bit of failure.

Have a great weekend and keep danciing my friends!


Would you like to join in?  We would love to have you join this creative initiative. Sign up to receive these prompts in your email each day, and start creating!

Beginning next week, I will be posting the whole weeks prompts on Monday. Posting every day is keeping me from engaging in other artistic endeavors, and I’m sure you could use a little break in your inbox.  Then you can plan how you will utilize those prompts. Heck, you can even do that out of order if you like.  See you then!

Have questions?  You can email me at

Are you creating with these prompts?  I would love to see them! Post them on Instagram with the tag #CP4aCL, #52project, or #creativefaith

the poetry of color

Daily Creative Prompt ~ October 19: INDIGO

As a color, INDIGO is among one of my favorites.

It has a depth to it that poets write about.

Depending on who you are, INDIGO could summon thoughts of unusual children with supernatural traits. Or maybe it puts you in a certain mindset. In color psychology, INDIGO strengthens the right  brain and Symbology says that it describes honesty, trust and a solid foundation.

This prompt could be used to great effect in your mixed media project by creating contrast, calming a busy page, or even using some of that INDIGO poetry to inspire. However you choose to use it, you can be sure that it will be good!

Here is how I integrated it today:

Yesterday’s dripping needed some extra oomph, so I added in some additional color drips, some gesso splotches, and just a tiny bit of mark making….it needed to happen!

Then I addressed today’s prompt. Choosing to use paper, I cut 3 circles of different sizes and attached them to the canvas with gel medium.  The circles replicate the ones that I created during the mark making process, and  repeating them here helps to unify all of the elements and create a cohesive piece.

One more day! …hmmm, I feel some words coming on!



See you tomorrow for the last installment of this week’s mixed media project


Would you like to join in?  We would love to have you join this creative initiative. Sign up to receive these prompts in your email each day, and start creating!

Have questions?  You can email me at

Are you creating with these prompts?  I would love to see them! Post them on Instagram with the tag #CP4aCL, #52project, or #creativefaith

hump day happy

Daily Creative Prompt ~ October 18: DRIP

  • Drip some paint on your chosen surface
  • Write a letter to someone dripping with sarcasm
  • Let some glitter drip from its jar onto a really gluey area of your project
  • Drip india ink intentionally from a quill, obscuring some words written

There are many ways to use this prompt in your creative practice. Use your favorite. After all, its hump day and we all need a little happy umph to get over that peak. I know I do.

Struggling this week

To stay inspired

To keep creating

To make something I’m happy with

I want you to know that all creative people struggle. I would venture to say that it is part of our creative brain, experiencing highs and lows.  I find that as the cooler weather starts to invade my little corner of the world, I become a bit forlorn and the desire to hibernate increases.

You too?

Force yourself to take a break

connect with the outside world

set aside what you are working on and begin a different project

or take a class and discover a new process

There is nothing like a new perspective to get those creative juices flowing again.

For now, here is a look at how project #8 is going for me:

create something amazing today


Would you like to join in?  We would love to have you join this creative initiative. Sign up to receive these prompts in your email each day, and start creating!

Have questions?  You can email me at

Are you creating with these prompts?  I would love to see them! Post them on Instagram with the tag #CP4aCL, #52project, or #creativefaith

pushing past

Daily Creative Prompt ~ October 17: PATTERN

I started out this morning a little concerned about where this was all going.

Have you been there? That place where you are absolutely sure you are the least creative person on the planet? We all have had those moments.

…and today’s prompt isn’t really helping.

I love the colorful brush from yesterday. Truly it was the most fun I have had in a long time, but now what?

Lacking any real inspiration, I dawdled about the house organizing, playing with the dogs, answering emails… in other words – procrastinating. Patterns can make a bland page really pop, create visual interest and impart an energy in your art that it may be otherwise lacking.

But what do you do when “pop” isn’t your issue?

How do you use pattern in a way that won’t make your brain speed into overdrive just by looking at it?

PATTERN can also be used to calm, to connect, and to soothe the speeding heart of yourproject if used correctly. Here are a few ideas:

  • Too much color? Stamp 1 image all over your page with black ink or paint
  • Stick circles all over your page (use circle stickers or cut them yourself from tape), then paint over the whole page with 1 color or coat in gesso. After you lift the tape back off, you will be left with a circular pattern of whatever was down there originally
  • Stack some solid papers and cut them into square and rectangles. Glue them in an alternating pattern of color and shape around the edge of your page. If your page was originally very colorful, use black and gray or white to cut your pieces

This is how I approached today’s prompt:

Since my brush is on the smaller side, I figured at some point I was going to need to attach to something, or hang it. Looking through my closet, I found some left over cradled board from a past workshop. It is only an 8×8 piece, but I think it will work out just fine as a new substrate for this project.

I also gathered a smaller scrap piece of wood, some craft foam, scissors, pen and a glue stick.



Since the craft foam was the same size as my scrap wood, I placed it on top and drew some leaves filling the page.  I created simple patterns in those leaves then cut them from the foam, gluing them back down on the wood in the order they were on the foam.



Using a stylus, I “drew” over the detail lines in the leaves (wait for the glue to dry completely before you do this ;). The indentations that are created in this step will give detail to the image when stamped.





With a brayer, I rolled out a thin layer of black fluid acrylics with just a bit of blue acrylic inks, then rolled out the new foam stamp I created. You have to be careful not to get too much paint on the foam or all of your details will go bye-bye.

Using a stamp pad will solve this problem for the most part, but I like the texture of the paint. If you are unsure about whether you have too much or not, test it out on another piece of paper before you use it on your project.

When I was happy with how it was printing, I went ahead and stamped the whole surface of the new substrate.

Some of the stamped images didn’t turn out exactly as I had hoped, but that is how stamping usually rolls for me. Even though the leaves are all different, the fact that I stamped the same thing over and again as well as using black paint  made a huge difference in unifying and calming yesterday’s prompt. It still has a bit of crazy going on, but there are still 3 more prompts to go….

till tomorrow…happy creating!


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Are you creating with these prompts?

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