Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Documented Life Project-The Journal-Week 9

February's theme for The Documented Life Project - The Journal is "Layers You Will Love!" with this week's art challenge, "Using at Least Five Layers" and the journal prompt, "Give Me a High Five."

The past two weeks my journal pages have been a little too busy for my taste, so this week I made a conscious effort to create a simpler spread.

Layer one was created with various papers, torn and adhered to the journal. Layer two was a wash of acrylic paint; ivory, aqua and burnt sienna...a favorite combination, and one I find rather calming.


Layer three consisted of mark-making with ink through punchinella and bottle-cap printing with acrylic paint.


With layers four and five I added pieces of vintage dictionary pages and printed on top with star shaped punchinella.


The final layers include FIVE collaged and outlined birds on a HIGH wire; numbered of course, and some rubber stamping of the word and numeral five.


I'm happy with the end result. Not too busy; feels calm; more my style. Thanks for visiting.

© Nancy Lefko

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Documented Life Project-The Journal-Week 7

February's theme for The Documented Life Project - The Journal is "Layers You Will Love!" with this week's challenge, "Cover Up Good Stuff" and the prompt, "Going Undercover."

My initial layer was coated with red and pink from Inktense blocks, then bubble wrap and heart-shaped punchinella designs were added. Already this page was not typical for me...I RARELY use red & pink as a color scheme for a journal spread; but it IS St. Valentine's Day, so "when in Rome..."


Stamping fleur-de-lis with a foam stamp was the next layer.


Next up, tissue and a little bit of doodling around the fleur-de-lis.


Now comes the part where I'm covering up much of the artful goodness I created so far. I used tissue from a special Valentine's Day gift. (Thank you, Miss E.)


A little collage work further covers what lies beneath.


The finished page is really a departure for me. Not only a very different palette, but far busier than my usual spread. But, hey, I was up for the challenge. How did I do?


© Nancy Lefko

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Documented Life Project-The Journal-Week 6

February's theme for The Documented Life Project - The Journal is "Layers You Will Love!" with this week's challenge, "When Not to Stop" and prompt, "Don't Stop til You Get Enough!"

No one has to tell me twice to use layers...the more, the better. Layers are what my journal pages are all about. In fact, one of my articles for Art Journaling Magazine was entitled, "Seamless Layers." I like to create layers that work so well together that you cannot discern where one layer stops and another begins.

I began this week's spread with a variety of papers


followed by an application of Pam Carriker's sheer acrylics.


Design elements were added with floral decorative napkins


and rubber stamped images. I always enjoy that serendipitous moment when something from the background can work as a focal element in the completed journal page. Such was the case with a couple of the words from my initial layer of papers.


A dry brush application of cream colored paint brought a subtle quality to the page and again, as a pleasant surprise, worked well with my theme of layers of snow.


The page was finished off with a layer of text, mark-making with paint & markers, and lastly ink around the edges.


As you pass your time through the remaining weeks of winter, and its accompanying snowstorms, grab your art journal and brighten up your day!

Thanks for visiting.

© Nancy Lefko



Friday, January 16, 2015

Illustration Friday ~ TOY


With three sons I know quite well "what little boys are made of" and over the years I've tripped over many a TOY.

To see the myriad of takes on this prompt, hop on over to Illustration Friday and check out all of the marvelous artwork there is to see.

Framed original artwork available in my Etsy shop.

© Nancy Lefko

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Documented Life Project Week 2

The Documented Life Project - The Journal has thus far been very inspiring and helped me to make time for my art journal. This, the second week, had a quote as a prompt: “The beginning is always today” by Mary Shelley, as well as a challenge to use gesso.

I began my pages with a covering of miscellaneous text and then added gesso through stencils.


I used Pam Carriker's sheer acrylics as a base of color, first adding MUSTARD color to the page by drop-fuls (loving the applicator top to these bottles) and blending with a paintbrush. Amazing how little paint produces such a rich, but at the same time sheer, color. When that was dry I added the color RAIN to select areas with a sponge applicator and blended with my fingers. I love the way the paints picked up the texture in the gesso.


With a liner brush I used Pam's ink, in the RUSTED color, to highlight areas of the gesso textures.


After a little rubber stamping, collage and stenciling, the spread is complete.


Thanks for visiting.

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, November 14, 2014

Illustration Friday ~ THEATRE


The Broadway Diva..."she had the THEATRE in her blood."

To see the myriad of takes on this prompt, hop on over to Illustration Friday and check out all of the marvelous artwork there is to see.

© Nancy Lefko

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Autumn Art Journal from Start to Finish

After creating my summer art journal following Pam Carriker's journal-making directions from "Art at the Speed of Life," I knew this was a path along my art journaling journey that I would visit time and time again.

While the dog days of summer waned, I headed outside with my gathered supplies and added color and design elements to sheets of 90 lb. watercolor paper.


I folded, scored, stitched and tore the paper until I had a wonderful 6"x 6" journal.


I kept with a color scheme reminiscent of those that surround us in rural New Hampshire at this time of year. As I created in this journal at my art desk, I need only look out the window to feel inspired by the color-rich woods that surround my home.


Lastly, some cover art & beads and the autumn art journal is complete.


Now if I could just create a winter art journal without all of the accompanying snow & cold. Sigh.

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, October 10, 2014

Illustration Friday ~ OCTOPUS


Although the OCTOPUS may not be the prettiest sea creature, it sure looks good in pink.

To see the myriad of takes on this prompt, hop on over to Illustration Friday and check out all of the marvelous artwork there is to see.

© Nancy Lefko

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Illustration Friday ~ WISH

If I were granted a WISH right at this very moment, it would be that summer was just beginning rather than just ending.

To see the myriad of takes on this prompt, hop on over to Illustration Friday and check out all of the marvelous artwork there is to see.

© Nancy Lefko

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Love to Learn

In addition to creating art, I simply love to learn new art techniques. As luck would have it, a former student of mine offered to teach me one of the techniques she uses for binding books.

She gave me a list of supplies, one of which was paper. Rather than create the book with plain paper, I decided to add color and patterns with spray inks and stencils so my book pages would have backgrounds ready to go.

A warm sunny day + 90 lb watercolor paper + water mister + spray inks + stencils = book-ready paper


A few hours later, after superb guidance and clear instructions, I had created the sweetest handmade book. The addition of a simple button closure and my book is ready for journaling. Oh my, I can completely understand why I was warned..."making these books is addicting."


© Nancy Lefko

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Join Me at "Art Is You"...You'll be Happy You Did!


Registration for Art Is...You Mixed Media Art Retreats closes in less than 2 weeks so register NOW to ensure your place at this amazing retreat.

This all inclusive retreat is like no other! It is MORE than art around every corner, it's about friendship and support and laughter and camaraderie and more! You will be renewed creatively, make new friendships and remember this experience for a lifetime.


On Saturday, October 11th in Stamford, CT I'll be teaching Mini-Masterpiece Pendants where we'll use a variety of mixed media and distressing techniques to create wearable works of art.


Each piece can be crafted with your own photos, ephemera and embellishments to make the pendant truly personalized and unique.


I hope you'll join me for what's sure to be a fabulously fun time!

© Nancy Lefko

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Summer Art Journal

Early this summer I decided to finally follow Pam Carriker's journal-making directions from "Art at the Speed of Life." I'd been wanting to make a journal in this fashion for a long time. It appealed to me on a number of levels: I liked the notion of making a journal from "scratch." I liked having all the backgrounds nearly complete at once and I really liked the 6x6 size.

So, on a bright and sunny day I set outside with a large sheet of watercolor paper, water mister, spray inks, stencils and began to have some fun!


Ever since, I have created in this journal, page by page, filling it with all the thoughts, images and feelings I have always associated with summer. I included prints from hand-carved stamps...shells, seahorse, sand dollar and even a face.


I filled the journal with the essence of what I saw outside my studio window, whether it was the green of the woods or the portent of a coming storm.


As the time approached for my family and me to head to the coast of Maine for our annual beach vacation, the call of the ocean became prevalent on my pages.


I continued to work in my journal when we returned home from vacation and as the summer days waned; all the while still yearning for the peace and restoration I find at the beach.


The final page of my summer journal speaks of the feeling I have every year at this time..."it feels like we just got here."


I completed my journal by designing the cover and stringing some beads on the waxed linen thread that binds it all together. It really was a wonderful summer project.


Time to begin the Autumn Journal.

© Nancy Lefko