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The Mountains Are Calling

mountains are calling 4

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.'”

– Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

It’s good to finally feel that spark of fresh artistic inspiration like I finally felt when I started painting mountains. The most frustrating times for me is when the desire is there to create, but nothing feels inspired.It’s those heart thumping, urgent, fully focused artistic moments that are what I live for. When I’m  completely absorbed in a project and it stops being about perfecting a final product (something that insures I am bound to be disappointed and zaps me of desire) and more about personal expression.

Process: Pencil drawing, watercolor pens, gauche paint.

 

 

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Some Pages from My Art Journal: Spring 2015 Edition

 

"There is a wolf in me."- Carl Sandburg
“There is a wolf in me.”- Carl Sandburg


IMG_0918



sketchpagesketchbook page: playing with patterns

April 12th, 2015's sketchbook page artist: Jessica Ross
April 12th, 2015’s sketchbook page
artist: Jessica Ross

art journal quote and abstract art

"You touched me and I flew open."
“You touched me and I flew open.”

journal page

 

abstract art version 2

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Daily Affirmation: Live Colorfully (Free Downloadable Design)

 

 

live colorfully originalshort and sweet today, just wanted to share a little design I did last night using some abstract art I’ve been having fun playing around with.

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More of my sketchbook pages.

 

 

floral sketchbook page quote

 

The start of a new year means a new sketchbook. I get really excited about starting a new journal- especially at the beginning of a new year. It literally allows me to turn a fresh page in my life and re-organize, reflect and motivate. I’ve been slowly compiling pictures of some of my sketchbook pages from this past year or so and funny, I never realized before just how often my pages center around a quote or lyric that is inspiring me at that time. I think because a big part of the reason I keep a journal is to motivate me and to help me stay positive. Oh, I also apparently am big on bright colors and florals.

 

 

 

 

 

sketchbookpagejessross

also, I’m really interested to know (for any fellow art journalists who stumbles across this page)…what your favorite sketchbook/journal is(Mixed media paper, watercolor paper, bound, spiral, small, large….)? I have over 30 journals and have tried all different types and sizes and I am starting to narrow it down to my favorites but I still feel like my perfect sketchbook is out there somewhere undiscovered and waiting. just really want a large sized sketchbook with pages that don’t bleed through…I like the watercolor moleskine sketchbook but it didn’t have very many pages and was quite expensive.
Here are my go tos:

The Moleskine Art Plus Watercolor Album

(12″ X 8.5″) Professional Folio Series, Hardcover $27.37

click on the picture to view in Amazon

pros: thick, heavyweight, high quality watercolor paper, super absorbent and doesn’t bleed through.

cons: expensive & only has 60 pages while most sketchbooks have at least 100 pages.

 

The Canson 180-Degree Art Book ($13.79)

(8.3′ x 11.7″) 80 sheets 

canson art sketchbook, click picture to view in amazon

Pros:  Lays flat, nice design

Cons: Paper is not high quality, and poor quality paper, rips easily

Strathmore Hardbound 500 Series Mixed Media Art Journal

(11.5″ x 8.5″, 64 Pages)

Strathmore Sketchbook, Click picture to view in Amazon

Pros: Great size and Price

Cons:

 

stormsrootsstitched together quote rjournalpagemixed media sketchbook page lyricsWhat inspires you? Do you have a favorite medium when journaling? What is your go-to when you are sketching or journaling… I always wish I wrote more….  but I never do….abstract ocean blue sketchbook page
journal illustration page

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20 Original Winter/Holiday Themed Art Journal Ideas

20 artist journal page ideas

I put together a little Holiday Themed Art Journal Idea List, some of the ideas are a bit simple but fun.

I always find myself journaling and sketching a lot over the Christmas and New Years breaks. I think it’s my way of reflecting on everything that happened over the past year as well as gearing up for the new year ahead (also because I usually like to start the new new calendar year off with a fresh journal so I try to fill up the remaining pages in the old one). Also, I am one of those people who religiously comes up with New Years Resolutions every year…The older I get, the more it’s becoming a bucket list and a reminder for me that life is moving fast. I am a big list person too…I just feel better about my lack of organizational skills when I can cross off even the most mundane tasks.

I also rounded up some of my favorite journal pages from this year….they are nothing like some of the pages I see of other artists on pinterest or tumblr…but they make me happy 🙂 Some of them can fit as examples for the Winter themed list so Ill note them if they do…

 

e e cummings mixed media art journal collage page

e e cummings mixed media art journal collage page

One of my favorite things to do is write down  inspiring quotes, passages, poems r song lyrics I come across and then create some sort of art around it.

ink and mixed media watercolor shape collage with inspiring quote
ink and mixed media watercolor shape collage with quote
watercolor flower bouquet and vase
watercolor flower bouquet and vase
succulent and cacti planters
succulent and cacti planters
floral watercolor artist sketchbook page
floral watercolor artist sketchbook page

mixed media artist sketchbook page

abstract watercolor journal page

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journal art

I’ve been doing a lot of journaling lately….I used to do it all the time, and have had a diary or journal since I was old enough to write. But, in the last few years, my journals have gotten less and less inspiring. They are usually filled with To Do Lists, important info, and work data. I wanted to get back to when I used to actually enjoy writing and creating art in my journal. And while, the circumstances for my delve back into my enthusiastic journaling were not exactly positive, I have remember just how much of a calming effect and a release of tension they are for me:

Does anyone else like to journal? Does it have the same effective on you? Send me pics and I will post them on my blog (one day, someone will actually answer me and it will be awesome!)

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tattoos: i want them, i need them.

Lately,  the urge to get another tattoo has been gnawing away at me. I have two at the moment: 

 a small dove on my foot, that both of my best child hood friends have as well in the same spots (which I got when I was…19 or 20?)
And three peacock feathers on my back between my shoulder blades that I got when I was 21 and going to school in L.A. 



I told myself after the peacock feathers that I would wait 5 years (plus, I’m terrified of needles and had to go back to the Tattoo Parlor at least 4 times because each time I came, I would pass out). I’m 27 now and so much has happened since then. I’ve gotten my Masters degree, got married, got a job I love and feel much more stable and solid than I was 8 years ago. 


Also I’ve lost two important people in the last 2 years: one of my best childhood friends (not one of the ones who got matching tattoos with me) past away from an aggressive cancer, leaving behind a beautiful 5 year old daughter and my grandma who was so beautiful and also happened to be my favorite person and passed away after suffering with Alzheimers’ disease for 16  long years.

grandma in all her 90’s glory (in the silk blue suit)
about 5 years into her disease, after a stroke (around 1999) 
right before she passed

 Before I lost these two people, I was very very lucky to not have to face death and deal with the sense of loss, anger, confusion, and the infuriating feelings of guilt for leaving things unsaid and undone. 

Anyways, these things have made me want to get a tattoo in honor of my grandma and friend. A close friend of mine, who has had a difficult life and has suffered so much more loss than I, has these beautiful and simple plain black bands on his forearms. Some of them are thick (an inch or more), others very thin. 
my friend’s arm

I had an idea of what I thought the bands might symbolize and knew that he treated each tattooed band with stoic reverence. I finally asked him to tell me about them and what they meant to him. Ever the philosophical fellow, he replied with: 
“Humans, like trees, grow rings of memories.”
Which I loved because I have always loved trees (such a silly statement to make, I mean, who doesnt like trees??). I love how they look, how they smell and what they have symbolized throughout man’s existence (life, death, wisdom, nourishment, hope, growth, security, family). 

Anywho, I am thinking of getting two thin bands on my left forearm, one in honor of my grandma and one in honor of my childhood friend.
Although, my friend also warned me of getting a tattoo that symbolizes the loss of someone you love in a place that you have to look at all the time. He said that every time he looks at his tattoos it only reminds him of those he has lost and makes him sad.
I thought about this and realized that I think the reason I want them in such a visible spot is to remind me to make the most of the time I have with my loved ones and to act in such a way when I am with them, that on that very distant day in the future when I have no more time with them, I will be left with no regrets.  
But, I will continue to evaluate the real reasons I want this tattoo, where it should go, and what it will represent to me.

In the meantime, here are some badass tattoos that I find to be lovely and inspiring (via this cool website I just stumbled on: http://fyeahtattoos.com/

by artist: Dan DiMattia 
Illustration from my favorite book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein Tattoo Artist unknown
 not sure who did this one but it is so lovely. 
http://caseyjordan.tumblr.com/
 I LOVE this Joy Division album artwork, and apparently so do many people. I have found about a dozen tattoos with this artwork tattooed somewhere on them. I think the forearm one is my favorite.
 one of my favorite paintings by one of my favorite artists! (The Kiss by Gustav Klimt) Tattoo artist unknown
loverly.