And Merlin Waved his Wand…

Merlin by Heather Gailey 2012 – Kalona’s Journal

And Merlin waved his wand and was off to Washington to visit Samantha.

I am not sure why Merlin had to “live” with me for a while, all I know is that he did. I can’t remember the exact date that I received the mystical journal from Heather, but it was definitely a couple of months ago. The same thing used to happen to me back when I was making art dolls. Sometimes if I was making a doll for someone else, I would have to keep it for a time before sending it off. It was almost as if the doll itself didn’t want to go or wasn’t ready to leave. OK…OK…you probably think I am some crazy cat lady now, taking to my dolls and my art…but…if you are an artist, I know, that you’ll know, what I mean. Sometimes we become attached to things we create in strange ways – Some creations more than others. There is really no rhyme or reason as far as I can tell. Although, if I really think about it…the art that I produce/create is part of my soul and therefore an extension of myself. Hmmmm…that is very deep for a Wednesday morning.

Here is the “almost” final picture/scan of Merlin the Wizard. The only thing that is missing is the quote that I put on the bottom right page as follows:

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails.”

It is part of a larger quote:

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.” 
T.H. White, The Once and Future King
So relieved that I am done! The journal is now in an envelope ready to go to the post office.
Bye bye Merlin!

But Heather…I am not an Artist!

Artists not required

Whenever I am out and about networking and talking up Art Journaling and my plans to offer “Creative Wordshops” in the very near future, it surprises me that I always have wonderful, strong women say to me….”But Heather, I am not an artist!” I say…”you don’t have to be. Just come out and have fun and tap into your inner finger painter. I will teach you everything you need to get by, and if you never want to show your Art Journal to anyone outside of the group/class…You…NEVER…have…too.” Just come!

Like this painting I have been working on for a month…A face only a mother could love!

A face only a Mother could love by Heather Gailey – Acrylics, Pencil Crayons, Collage, Japanese handmade paper, Water Soluble Pastels, Sharpie

Just trust me and come out to play when I call on you…OK?

Hiding Within

Intuitive Art

Over the past year I have received two paintings to work on that were just a beautifully painted background with no visible image showing, and yet an image quickly revealed itself to me in the form of a ballerina and the face of a woman. I thought it was called intuitive art, but I can’t seem to find a name for this type of phenomenon anywhere on the internet. All I know is that each time I can see the faint outline of the image clearly in the existing paint.

Do you know what it is called??

Ballerina – Beth’s Paint and Pass – Heather Gailey

hmmmm….Interesting that both the backgrounds were sent to me by Beth.

Face in the Paint – Beth’s journal – Heather Gailey

All Wild Eyed and Wizardy

Hi there!

I promised to update you in an earlier post (check out the link under this post) when I was sketching out a wizard for one of the journals in the paint and pass on the Willowing “ning” site, and here is the update…FINALLY! I had wanted to show my progress all the way through so you could see the steps I took. But…I didn’t…sorry. My problem is that I get so involved in creating sometimes that I don’t stop to take pictures along the way. I will have to get better at that if I am going to share with you my techniques and tips and how my artistic brain works.

I used acrylic paint and blocked out the larger areas of paint first and then built up from the darkest colour to the lightest. This actual size of the each page is 8″ x 8″.

Here is a couple of pictures to show close up and far away shots of the wizard. I still have more detail work to do on his beard and on the background.  I may write something on the background, but I am not sure at this point in the process. I suppose there will be one more photo shoot or scan before I send it off to the artist Kalona. I will see you then! I am aiming to mail it to the next person on the list by Wednesday, because I have been pondering on the price of fish…and putting off completing this wizard for far too long!

Copyright 2012 – Heather Gailey
Copyright 2012 – Heather Gailey

This is probably one of the few times I have painted a man’s face and I think I did a pretty good job. I do seem to be much more confident painting women’s faces though. Weird! Do you have that problem? Let me know.

Gems in the Heart of the Inner City

Graffiti Art – Queen Street West

This is not art journaling…of course, BUT this art inspires me to make art.

I could stand on the street staring at Graffiti for hours just as if I was in a formal gallery like the AGO. It is mesmerizing. In fact, if I ever bought a house or store with an ugly brick wall, I would hire someone to paint something beautiful on it.

Can you take lessons on how to do graffiti??

Queen Street West – Toronto, Ontario


Queen Street West – Toronto, Ontario

It looks like you could take the fish right out of his hands.


Make your own name in grafitti letters from this link and watch this rocking video. It actually asks the burning question… is grafitti real art. I think so!


The Sketchbook Project lands at the Gladstone Hotel in T.O.

The Sketchbook Project information cards I picked up – Love that brown cardboard

Have you ever told your friends that you want to go somewhere (like an art show) and then when it gets closer to the date you’ve somehow decided it will take way more energy than you have to get there and make it happen? Well…that is what happened to me last week.

 Back of the cards – Much more colourful

The Story

Heather and Debs and I had planned to head to the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, Ontario (months ago!) to catch the last day of the 2012 Sketchbook Project Tour that originated from the Brooklyn Art Library in New York. We had discussed the adventure at Doll Meeting and sealed the deal. So, a few days before the show I was talking to Heather on the phone and she asked if we were still going and I found myself hemming and hawing about it. We would have to take the GO train (for those of you who aren’t Canadian, it is a cross between a subway and a passenger train that travels the same track outside and primarily takes commuters to the city centre for work) and it was a long way with lots of potential walking. Bottom line…I was feeling whiney (which I usually don’t). Needless to say, Heather talked me back into it and we were on again for Sunday’s adventure. It turned out to be an amazing experience, and despite the stifling summer heat, a good time was had by all.

How did we get there??

We took the Go Train in the morning and all met up at a stop about halfway there, where Heather’s amazing husband picked us up and drove us right to the front door of the  Gladstone Hotel. There was a lot of construction in the downtown core and he felt we would get there faster if we drove. Gotta Love Larry! He was right! We arrived downtown around 1pm.

While we stood outside of the beautiful refurbished hotel, we decided that because the show didn’t start until 2pm that we had some time to grab lunch. We walked down Queen Street until we came across the Drake Hotel that was offering a brunch. So brunch it was! Heather and Debs got some choice food pics that I will have to add later. Personal food shots are so “trending” right now.

The Gladstone Hotel – Toronto, Ontario

Brunch was yummy. You can tell because they look extremely happy. Well…it may have had just a little something to do with the company as well. We have such a “gas” when we are together. Heather had Blueberry Pancakes, Debs had the standard brekkie and I had the eggs Bennie. YUMBA MAGUMBA. Don’t ask me what that means…I have said it since I was a kid..

Heather and Debs at the Drake Hotel for brunch – Toronto

There was amazing art installations at the Drake Hotel like this one that looked like hanging sea vegetables. (oops! this picture disappeared so had to repost)

And this freaky one…It looked as if it was a real man…with no body

Man sculpture – Drake Hotel

We didn’t just eat and run. We found it necessary to leisurely wander in and out of all the trendy curio and furniture shops all the way back because of the heat. It was so hot I thought I would melt. We also stopped in to see what Woolfitt’s art store had to offer. We won’t say what we came out with *wink*.

Woolfitt’s Art Supplies

What did we do when we got back?

When we got back to the Gladstone we climbed the stairs with anticipation to see what it would be like in the mobile library. When we first came in we signed up and obtained a library card. Once we had the card we were told we could begin to line up to “take out” sketchbooks from the library. They had such a great system all set up on two huge Macs. You could choose your topic, colour, and even individual artists if you knew of anyone from another city who had entered a sketchbook into the tour. I think we were able to see twenty random sketchbooks. One of the ones I was really impressed with was Marie Otero you can see her sketchbook here to see why I liked it. I wrote her a quick email to let her know I thought hers was great. I hope someone does the same for me when I send mine in next year.

In this picture Debs is signing in her last sketchbook at closing time. You can see the set up with the library shelves and Macs and line markers set off to one side. It had a lot of ambiance being in the old Hotel.

One last tidbit of fun

The Sketchbook Project was sponsored by Prismacolour markers and pencil crayons and therefore there was a couple of art stations where you could colour and write a post card to someone in the next city. When you completed your postcard and put it in and envelope for “mailing” the staff/curators would hand you one from another city. How cool is that!!!! Here is the one I made. I can hardly wait to see who gets it!

Heather G’s postcard

Here is Heather B. and Debs in the thick of creating.

Heather’s Postcard

I have one question…What’s with that half-naked lady in the background : )

All in all we had a fantastic girls day out. I would do it again in a heart beat. However, if it was an outing with these two amazing creative and stylish gals…I WOULD GO ANYWHERE!!

We are ALL connected

Like ribbons twisting and twirling in the wind, our lives are intricately intertwined with one another. Sometimes we see the connection and sometimes we don’t until the time is right.

OK…so something extremely freaky has happened….

I spoke in an earlier post about the 4″ x 6″ swap I did through the ARThouse Coop. The concept is that it is a random swap with people you have never met. I get a piece of art from someone, and my piece of art goes to someone else totally different. It is not meant to be a reciprocal swap with the two same individuals.

So, here is where the weird stuff comes in.

I sent my piece to the ARThouse Coop, and they sent it on to Meredith and I got a piece from someone else. Just yesterday my own hand written, stamped and addressed envelope comes in the mail with a second piece of art…Guess whose it is??? Yup! Meredith’s! Here it is. I also just noticed that the stamp is not even cancelled. Truly freaked me out!

A Day of Art and Fun

Today was the Heart of Networking event and it was FAB!! After all is said and done and I am back in my cool home (it was the hottest day of the summer), I must admit that the ideas are running through my brain like fairies on a mission. I am grateful to all who provided brainstorming at the “door” of my artsy table, showcasing my art journaling paraphernalia. WIth every word spoken I feel as if this will be what takes me into the next stage of my working life. No more soul crushing work where I can’t seem to find the time after a long day to tap into my creative self. Are you following your bliss? What would it take for you to make a change?

I painted a picture last night for a draw at my table and here it is below. The size was approximately 6″ x 9″ Do you think I should make prints of my work to sell? It is something I am toying with. Help me decide.

Her face showed the road map of her life – by Heather Gailey

I used a vintage road map underneath the paint for a collage effect. I try to find time to visit thrift shops and scan the isles for books and magazines I can rip apart (guilt free) and re purpose in my art. Don’t be hate’in cause I’m ripp’in. The only thing I suggest if you plan to do this too is to watch the “intention” when you are choosing print matter for this purpose. By that I mean, words, have power and therefore I never choose books that are about hatred or extreme sadness. I look for, and use books that are about happiness, peace, and are generally lighter subject matter.

The small business owner that won the draw was Leslie Menagh. Her company name is Under Pinnings and it is in Peterborough, ON. She makes custom-made intimate apparel such as bras and corsets for women of all ages and sizes. You can contact me for more information on her address if you are interested.

I will actually be re blogging some info and a video of her explaining what she does.

Need a Prompt?

Well…I worked hard all day to come up with some journal prompt cards to take to my Networking event on Tuesday. I am going to get colour photo copies of them tomorrow and then I will ask people who come to my table to fill one out on the spot. My intent is to show them that working in an art journal does not have to be daunting, and that it can be fun and fulfilling. We will see what happens! In the meantime feel free to fill one out of your own and if you pass them on to others please let them know that it was me who had this brilliant idea. LOL – Actual size 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ finished

Rainbows are all around us!

Here is a new journal entry that I completed tonight to take with me as part of my display for the networking event next week. I used one of the new journals, acrylic paint, vintage collage papers, matte medium, washi tape, and my sharpie. It was done in no time at all…in fact…I forgot how much fun it was to get messy with paint and just let the ideas flow.

The other day I went out my front door and onto the lawn to see that it had been raining. There in front of me was a divine rainbow that formed a huge magnificent arc. I stood there staring with my mouth open because it was so beautiful. The colours were so vivid I would have sworn that if I walked down the street I would have been able to capture the pot of gold. It was WOW!! Sooooo…I made a journal entry about that day.

Keep your eyes open for the beautiful things around you this week as they are all around us and help us to put things into perspective.