Inspiration Sunday | 25 June 2017

I love working with watercolours and I thought I would share with you my latest favourite supplies. They are QoR watercolours by Golden. By the way, this post isn’t sponsored, I just want to share the love for this great product.

I discovered this brand after receiving a tube in an ArtSnacks box last year. After falling in love with that colour (indigo), I bought an iridescent gold tube, and Oh My Goodness – it is heavenly. I also asked my husband for a small set for Christmas so I have quite a good range now. But of course I have a wishlist of other colours I’d like 🙂

What makes these watercolours stand out from any others? Well, in my opinion, the colours are heavily pigmented and rich, and they react so beautifully when working wet on wet. They also blend into each other really nicely. I’ve always been a Windsor & Newton fan, but these are even better.

I’ve made a short video of me using the watercolours so you can see what I mean by how pigmented they are.

Have you tried QoR watercolours? If so are you as crazy in love with them as me? Or have you had a different experience? I’d love to know both sides of the story.


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Get Messy | Season of Colour | Week 3

Welcome to another week of Get Messy Art Journal pages for the Season of Colour.

I am loving all of the inspiration and tutorials that this season is bringing. I’m not sure how it is possible, but each season just gets better and better.

The first spread I am sharing today was using a prompt of a monochromatic colour scheme and of course I used my favourite colour – pink. I started off with a sheet of paper that I attempted to marble following a tutorial. The marbling was a fail (I think my water is too hard), but I still used the paper for collage. I added a few pink collage elements and then went crazy with watercolour and high flow acrylics. I love the result.


Next up was a page starting with a black and white background and I added some pops of red. I hardly ever use red in my pages, but quite like how this turned out.


The final spread for this week was from another prompt to use a pastel colour – which I started out doing, and then I went a little crazy with high flow acrylics again. I just love the unpredictability of these paints. And when you hit them with the heat gun these amazing cracks appear. So much fun.


I started a few other spreads using the Week 3 prompts and tutorials, but they aren’t quite finished so I’ll share them with you next week.

Have a great week everyone.


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Inspiration Sunday | 18 June 2017

I am a serial social media stalker, or watcher and I am constantly looking for new profiles to watch and admire. Being a part of Get Messy Art Journal is quite convenient for my stalker ways as there are always new artists joining up that I can follow. I love to watch their styles develop, and am inspired everyday by what they are making.

For the past 6 weeks (or probably months if I am realistic) I have been blown away by Alicia from @vineandthistle. Her art is so beautiful and I really want to be able to draw like she does. And the colour palettes she uses are so dreamy. I have Acryla Gouache in all the pastels on my wish list for art supplies.

Here are some of my favourite pieces that Alicia has made and shared lately:

I am also in awe of her script. I recently received an iPad Pro to use for my job and I have been dying to learn to digi-script using it. So many things to learn, and not enough time.

Another artist I have been admiring lately is Alli Koch (or @allikdesign on Instagram). Her floral illustrations also have my heart and I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of her book ‘How to Draw Modern Florals’ from amazon.

Here are a couple of examples of Alli’s work that just make me swoon:

A post shared by Alli K Design (@allikdesign) on

A post shared by Alli K Design (@allikdesign) on

A post shared by Alli K Design (@allikdesign) on

I hope you are now swooning over these beautiful artists as much as I am now.

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Get Messy | Season of Colour | Week 2

Today I am sharing some art journal spreads I have made for Get Messy Art Journal Season of Colour. I am really loving working in my Kikki-K journal – it is the perfect size, and I love the cardstock pages.


This first spread incorporated a prompt from last week – to include a rainbow. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I love watercolours and the way they create such moody and dramatic effects. The rainbow exploding from the magazine cutting worked out exactly how I imagined it in my head – that is a rare thing when I make art.


This next spread was inspired by a colour walk – it’s winter here so grey is an everyday occurrence with spurts of green foliage. I shared this work in progress on Instagram earlier this week – the line drawings and gouache background is inspired by @vineandthistle. I’ve been crushing over her work for quite some time.


My last spread, called ‘Marilyn’ for obvious reasons was another experimentation with watercolour. I didn’t intentionally make a galaxy of her dress, but it kind of looks like one anyway.

That’s it from me this week. I’m really looking forward to another week of prompts and tutorials from the Get Messy Creative Team. I always learn so much from those wonderful ladies.

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Messy Pages | A Guide to Mixed Media Art Journaling

I’m hoping a lot of you will remember that I prepared an online class earlier this year that is sold through Get Messy Art Journal. Well I thought I would give a bit of an update on the class, and share some of the amazing pages that have been made by my students.

For those who aren’t aware, my class Messy Pages takes you through the processes and techniques that I use to create mixed media art journal spreads. I explain my favourite tools and supplies as well as how I use them.

The class is structured so that it takes you through the steps I use when making a spread from start to finish. Starting with the basics; the tools and different media that I use, preparing pages and building pages from base up; to lessons about techniques, background building and through to the journaling that adds the finishing touch to your pages.

It is a class jam-packed with photos, videos and inspiration – and I’d love it if you joined me in creating some #messypages.

I’m going to share some of my favourite pages that have appeared in the #messypages feed on Instagram.




A post shared by Jen (@by.smilinthyme) on


A post shared by Luzidity (@loveluzidity) on




I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the lovely artwork these students have created. I honestly have to pinch myself every time I see someone has been inspired to make something beautiful after taking my class. It’s something I dreamed of doing for so long, and am so proud that I made it a reality.

If you have made artwork inspired by Messy Pages, please tag me in your work on Instagram as I’d love to be able to cheer you on, and admire your work.

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Donna Downey Artist Gang | Accordion Journal

A few weeks ago now my latest Donna Downey Artist Gang tutorial went live over on Donna’s blog. I haven’t had the time or internet bandwidth to share it here until now.

Donna Downey Tutorial - Accordion journal

I made a tiny accordion journal using collage and paint techniques. This is one of my favourite methods for art journaling. It is heavily influenced by Roxanne Coble (aka bybun). I took two of her online classes and kind of adapted her techniques into my own style.

I’ve created a few accordion journals for other projects, but none have come together quite as easily as this one did. The colours, the painting and the quote all just felt right.

Anyway, enough rambling, here is the video. Let me know what you think of it. You can also check out the original blog post on Donna Downey’s blog.

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Inspiration Sunday | 11 June 2017

I’m starting up a new thing here on my Blog – I am going to choose one or two things that have inspired me in the week gone by and give them a little shout-out here and on my social media channels.

So let’s start off with my latest love affair – Ironlak Fluid Acrylics. Well actually, any supply by Ironlak, but I’ll start off with their Fluid Acrylics.

I was introduced to these beauties by fellow art journaler Eleanor McComb (@ellymack_ on Instagram). This talented beauty is a dream illustrator so it’s no surprise that she is in the know for all things paint.

This is what Ironlak have to say about themselves: The Ironlak dream began in 2002, when a young graffiti writer from Sydney wanted to offer Australian writers a premium spray paint brand at an affordable price. As the first Ironlak cans rolled onto shelves in 2004, the price of premium spray paint was cut dramatically, opening up a whole new world of possibilities for Australian artists.

Ironlak products

Today, Ironlak has expanded their range and have their own watercolours, gouache, alcohol markers, paint markers, fluid acrylics and much, much more.

Their fluid acrylics are so vibrant, and come in a really good range of colours. And the best part is that you can buy empty paint markers and fill them with your favourite fluid acrylics, or refill your loved marker. The bottles have a really handy applicator that makes filling the pens really easy.

Anyway, you should check them out 

And while you are at it, check out some of Elly’s gorgeous illustrations:

A post shared by Elly Mack (@ellymack_) on

A post shared by Elly Mack (@ellymack_) on

I love your work Elly xx

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Get Messy | Season of Colour | Week 1

This week saw the start of another Get Messy season – the Season of Colour. I have a feeling this is going to be a wonderful season for me. I had to take a few weeks (or months even) off to move house and deal with the chaos that brings, including no internet service (don’t even get me started on that…) but am now back and feeling refreshed and revived by the possibilities of colour in my journal.

To start off this post I want to show you the journal I am using. It is a Kikki-K photo journal and it is just beautiful. The pages are thick card so I can go crazy with any medium I like. And its a good size for me – bigger than a moleskine but smaller than an A4 journal. A good happy medium.

Kikki-K journal

I’m not particularly happy with my cover page or the first spread. I had one of those days where nothing I made turned out quite how I wanted. But I persisted. Maybe I will come back and tidy them up, or maybe I will just leave them as they are.

Season of Colour cover page

Season of Colour Spread 1

The next spread I worked on after watching Vanessa’s tutorial from the Get Messy private blog (you need to be a member to watch this one). V never fails at inspiring me to get into my art journal and think about things in ways I wouldn’t normally think about them. I got out my QoR watercolours and spread some paint around.

Season of Colour Spread 2

And my last spread I started after watching Sasha’s tutorial, but I hated the background I started so covered it with gesso and went crazy with my new fluid acrylics from Ironlak. I have to thank Elly for the tip on this store – its all Australian and the prices are so freaking good! I want AAAAALLLLLLL the colours.

Season of Colour Spread 3

So that’s a wrap on Week 1 of Season of Colour. Catch you again soon.

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Wanderlust | a work in progress

Back in September last year a gorgeous friend of mine surprised me with a gift. A subscription to the Wanderlust Art Course for 2017. She had taken the class in 2016 and knew that I would enjoy it. I was so excited but had to wait until January 2017 before I could get started.

So now I am a couple of months in and I have really enjoyed all of the lessons that I have watched. There have been quite a few artists that I have admired for such a long time so it was really fun to watch and learn how they work.

I am going to share a few spread here today – ones that I am particularly proud of.

The first week was a lesson by Kasia, one of the owners of Everything Art that runs the class. It was setting our intentions for the year.

The next lesson was by Mary Ann Wangerin. There were lots of layers used to make this spread and it was probably the first time I have covered up something I actually liked in order to add a new layer.

Then came Wilna Furstenberg with her abstract florals done two ways. We literally painted one version in a single colour and then photocopied it for a second spread. Lots of fun.

Amanda Grace was the next guest teacher and her work is also all about the layers. I loved her process and that the lesson had a lovely meaning behind it.


Week 7 was taught by fellow Aussie, Clair Bremner. I was hanging out for this lesson as I have lusting after her instagram feed for way too long. I loved getting an insight into her layers and technique. I love the folk art leaves and florals patterns that she uses, but I think I would need quite a bit of practice to get that right, so instead I created a stencil of some of the botanical shapes. So now I can use them over and over again.


The last lesson I have watched was by another artist who I have adored on instagram for a while – Alena Hennessy. Her voice alone had me – its so peaceful and meditative. And then the techniques had me all the heart eyes.


So that’s my Wanderlust journey so far. I’m a bit behind as I’ve been a little bit busy, but I have the videos forever, so I’ll just keep watching them as I can.

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Get Messy | Season of Contrast | Week 2

I have been having so much fun making art inspired by the Season of Contrast. Get Messy Art Journal never ceases to amaze me with the inspiration, tutorials, prompts and guest artists. I think each season just keeps getting better and better.

I’ve always admired the spreads made with repeating patterns. They looked like such tedious work and I always thought I was too lazy to make such art. I am impatient and like completing spreads really quickly. But Amy Maricle has totally turned me around. The act of making these repeated patterns is so meditative, and not at all tedious. I have developed a new love and I am pretty sure every page I make from now on will include dots or triangles or leaves (as well as ink splashes because that’s kinda become my trademark right?).

I am going to share a few spreads I finished this week. Again, I have been quite productive despite having a few things going on at home. The first three spreads are all inspired by Amy and the repeated patterns. If you are new to art journaling and are interested in it, and how you can use it for self-care, you really need to check out Amy’s website and online classes at Mindful Art Studio.



This spread I started while watching Amy’s Youtube Live event where she went through some of her processes for making backgrounds. I slipped under her spell and made hundreds and thousands of tiny dots.


This next spread is my interpretation of Riet’s tutorial on the Get Messy blog. She took us through her process of intuitive painting. I hadn’t really thought about this too much before, but many of my processes are intuitive too. I rarely make a spread that I have planned out. I start with a blank page and just start making marks and see where it takes me. I’m really starting to realise that my art is no longer just me making art and pretty things, but it really is my own form of therapy. I immediately feel relaxed when I have paint on my hands and pages.


This last spread just kind of happened. I started with a Payne’s Grey background, stamped with a shimmering high flow acrylic using a celery stem that reminded me of a flower and then added the magazine cutting and line work. More repeated patterns, and inks splashes.

So that’s it until next week, I hope you can find the joy that I do in art. It doesn’t have to be painting, but some form of art that can take your mind off your troubles and relax your brain.

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