Documented Life Project: March / April 2015

Wow... I've been meaning to get this post up for weeks and it just kept slipping! But I'm finally getting around to knocking stuff off of my to-do list, and here we are - the last six weeks worth of art journal pages for The Documented Life Project. Again, most of these were posted on Instagram / Facebook, but I like to get them all in one place :)

Without further ado, my pages for March and the first half of April. The theme for the month was mark making and doodling, and the first week was to incorporate doodling as a layer. I did most of my doodling with Liquid Pearls and then added just a bit of pen work (there's a little journaling hidden in there too.)

DLP2015 - Doodle Layer Element - Gwen LafleurThe next week was to use mark making to create borders of some kind. I was at my parents' house after spending a weekend taking classes with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer up in Connecticut, so I kind of slapped this one together using a leftover gelli print from class, and then I doodled on some scallops and then added a baggage sticker - ephemera from my week! It's not my favorite page, but it's good enough.

DLP2015 - 5 Mark Making Borders - Gwen LafleurThe March 21st challenge was using something I'd made as a focal point - I was still at my parents' house, so I pulled out some colored pencils and a sheet of book paper and did a kind of doodled sketch inspired by a bird that Julie had shared that I really loved (and she was inspired by someone else!) I think I'll play with this motif some more... I have a few ideas that are on that never-ending to-do list. (My mom loved this one when she saw it, but she thought it was a Christmas ornament. Ha!)

DLP2015 - Doodle as Focal Point - Gwen LafleurMarch 28th was a challenge to use a custom element. Since we were still talking mark making, I pulled out some hand carved stamps and then added some hand lettering on top (and crossed my fingers that I didn't jinx our weather!)

DLP2015 - Make a Custom Element - Gwen LafleurWith the April 4th challenge, we switched to a new theme: exploring inks and paints. The first one centered around watercolors, so I got out some Dr. Ph. Martin's Hydrus watercolors along with Golden QoR watercolors and used them to do a mini version of one of the exercises in week 2 of the Paint Mojo eCourse with Tracy Verdugo. (I signed up for the course last October and, of course, I'm just now getting around to it. I'm almost through week 3! lol.) I like this one a lot. I used the 6x6 stencil from last October's StencilClub kit for the center of the dream catcher.

DLP2015 - Watercolors - Gwen LafleurAnd finally, the most recent challenge (April 11) was with acrylics. Since this is something I use all the time I wanted to make it a little more interesting for me personally, so I used acrylics to paint a pattern for the background, then stenciled a face on top and used more paint to add some highlights. I'm actually liking this one a lot too - it goes with my new obsession with faces that I succumbed to during Julie's classes (I know this has been a *thing* for a while now, but I didn't think it was my thing, so I'm just getting on board.)

DLP2015 - Acrylics - Gwen LafleurAnd that's it! All up to date again. Hopefully it won't take another 6 weeks before the next round-up :-P

Documented Life Project: February 2015

Just popping in to post February's art journal pages for The Documented Life Project. Personally, I'm pretty excited that I've managed to keep up so far! I've posted these on Instagram / Facebook, but I like to gather them together here whenever I can find a few minutes to sit down and post an update.

February's theme was all about layers, and for the first week the challenge was "when not to stop." All about knowing when to push it and when enough is enough. I used a LOT of layers on this one! Acrylic paints, some watercolors, ink, pen, dimensional paints.

DLP2015 - When Not to Stop - Gwen LafleurThe second week's challenge was "Under Cover" - covering up good stuff on your page. This is something I do quite frequently in my work so it wasn't too out of the box for me. To push myself a bit, I started with a layer of writing. I did it with a fountain pen in water soluble ink so that it would float up through the layers a bit, but still be mostly hidden. More acrylics, hand-carved stamps and ink, spray ink, and pens.

DLP2015 - Under Cover - Gwen LafleurThe third week was about using repeating elements. I ended up carving a few more stamps that I used, and did a second page in one of my journals as I was working in my planner. Stickers and rubons, paints, oil pastels, stamps, pen, embossing paste, paint markers. I really liked both of these pages (added words and a border to the larger one later on.)

DLP2015 - It's Worth Repeating - Gwen LafleurThe last week was five layers or more. It's been super cold here with more snow and ice, so I took that as my inspiration for color and theme. Watercolor (with salt,) stamping with more hand-carved stamps, acrylic paint doodles, dimensional paint, spray ink through stencils.

DLP2015 - 5 Layers or More - Gwen LafleurOne thing I liked about this month's pages: I pushed myself to try a new style of working. One thing I didn't like - I felt like my pages looked very similar. I like having things have a style so it's obvious I made them, but these started to look too much alike - especially the first two weeks. I guess we'll see what March's theme is and go from there. If nothing else, I experimented a bit and ended up with pages I enjoy, so it's all good.

Catching Up: Documented Life Project

Just popping in to do a little catch-up on posting recent projects. I've shared all of these on Instagram / Facebook, but I wanted to get all of my pages so far this year that I've done for The Documented Life Project posted here as well, including the cover that I did months ago.

I started this back in July of last year, thinking I'd start half-way through 2014 and then do all of this year. I did the cover, prepped all the pages in my 18-month Moleskine planner, and then did 4 layouts and never really got back to it. But this year I'm really trying to keep up because I just love the concept, and I like having a place to just jot down a few notes about daily life, even if I'm not writing a ton. So, here's the cover... and I have to say, I totally love it! (so much humility!)

Full view front / back:

DLP Cover - Gwen LafleurI used the Elephant March stencil along with the small one from the June 2014 StencilClub set. And the front cover when the book is closed:

DLP Cover Front - Gwen LafleurThe first week, I did a start to 2015 page that I've already shared - this was done with DecoArt Media projects for a blog post on StencilGirl Talk.

StencilGirl-DecoArt Journal Page 4 - Gwen LafleurThe next one was the challenge to use gesso. I painted and stenciled the background, then used DecoArt Media black gesso to cover a lot of it up. The circle and background stencils were from the January StencilClub kit.

DLP2015 - Gesso - Gwen LafleurThe next challenge on 1/17 was based on the Color Wheel. I decided to take this one pretty literally and used the Complimentary color wheel stencil by Pam Carriker to make my own color wheel. The butterfly is a stamp from Dina Wakely, and then I used the 4x4 dots stencil from the October StencilClub kit to finish it off.

DLP2015 - Color Wheel - Gwen LafleurI kind of skipped the Words with Friends challenge... I'll go back and do that page, but I might just do something besides the challenge. Then this week's 1/31 challenge was to use some of your under paper (the scrap paper that gets all junked up with paint as you work on top of it.) The piece I used reminded me of an underwater scene, so I painted a tropical fish on top.

DLP2015 - Under Paper - Gwen LafleurIn the bottom right corner, you can see some remnants from working with Carolyn Dube's Small Union Stencil, and I finished it by using the Bubbles Stencil.

So that's my Documented Life Project work so far this year... looking forward to keeping this up as much as possible. More catching up to come :)