Friday, March 30, 2012

Illustration Friday ~ RETURN

As my boys get older, with one in college and another on his way next Fall, I hope that they'll always RETURN home. Not that I'm hoping for young men who "fail to launch," just men who remember that this will always be "home."

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

© Nancy Lefko

Thursday, March 29, 2012

When All Else Fails...Journal

I find myself in an awful slump right now. I have an art series to create and a deadline to meet; the ideas are in my head, but every time I try to execute the design, it's awful. I've started over twice now and my frustration is growing by leaps and bounds. Self-doubt is monumental and I wonder if I'll ever create anything good again.

And so, I turn to my journal...the place I can be creative and it doesn't need to measure up or meet criteria. Thank goodness for the safety of my journal.

© Nancy Lefko

Monday, March 26, 2012

Journal of Memories

If you're on the fence about art journaling...wondering, "what would I do in an art journal?" ...consider this: an art journal can be a great place to record your memories or family moments. Scanning and printing family photos is easy and they can be used to create very special pages.

I miss my parents and I wish they were still here with me. The values they gave me, the lessons I learned at their side are with me always. THEY are with me always. And so, the memory of their love and devotion graces a journal page. A very special journal page.

Go ahead, start an art'll be glad you did.

© Nancy Lefko

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Art Journaling by Somerset Studio ~ Spring 2012

It never gets old...finding out that I'm going to be published in a magazine that I really love. It's even more wonderful when the magazine arrives in the mail. Special thanks to the editors of Art Journaling by Somerset Studio for including my journal pages in the Spring 2012 issue.

When I re-visit journal pages that were created some time ago, as these were, I am reminded how my journaling has grown and changed through the years. Something I always tell my art journaling students...the more you practice, the more you'll grow into your own style.

And so, as I explain in the article, it's important to "Flex Your Creative Muscles" and what better place than in an art journal.

Once again I share space in Art Journaling by Somerset Studio with my friend, Pam Carriker, but this time she is the featured artist. Congratulations, Pam!

(And by the way, did you notice? The magazine is now available quarterly!)

© Nancy Lefko & Stampington, Inc.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Journal Pages

It was so nice to take the time to finish up pages that I'd begun at my art journaling workshop last Saturday. I love working on the backgrounds, playing around with a variety of media and getting messy at my art desk; but I also love the relaxation of completing the journal page on the couch with only my markers and charcoal pencil within reach.

Have you played in your art journal today?

© Nancy Lefko

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Art Journaling Workshop

Yesterday at Jerry's Artarama in West Hartford, CT, fifteen creative folks gathered for some art journaling fun.

It's always such a joy to share the magic that is art journaling with people who haven't tried it before. And when they leave the workshop feeling creatively energized and excited about journaling, that's the best!

Thanks to Jerry's Artarama and especially to the wonderful ladies, young folks and gentleman who joined me yesterday. And to my Art Is...You: The East Coast Art Retreat friends who took part in the afternoon, it was WONDERFUL to meet you and I look forward to seeing you all again in October!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Illustration Friday ~ SHADES

A few years back I took a wonderful online workshop with the very talented Pam Carriker. "Shades of Grey" was (and still is) a journaling workshop using the Faber Castell 'Shades of Grey' pens. For someone who loves to use color, as I do, it was a stretch and a wonderful exercise to work within a limited palette, and Pam does a fabulous job of helping students to find texture, depth, design and interest in solely the shades of grey.

To see the myriad of takes on the prompt SHADES, take a trip over to Illustration Friday and check out all of the marvelous artwork there is to see.

© Nancy Lefko

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New Birdies

New birdies are here...harbingers of Spring!

Follow their advice...'s time to spread your wings...

...and FLY!

© Nancy Lefko

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Illustration Friday ~ YIELD

Bitsy knew how to drive but she had never learned how to YIELD.

Take a trip over to Illustration Friday and check out all of the marvelous artwork there is to see. No ticket required.

© Nancy Lefko

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Weekend Journaling

Our school vacation week comes to an end with a little time for journaling. It's been a very relaxing week with the boys; tomorrow we're back to our busy routine.

Time really does pass by too quickly and the older my boys get the faster it seems to pass. It reminds me to be grateful for EVERY day, not just the memorable vacation days, and to simply appreciate the journey.

© Nancy Lefko

Saturday, March 3, 2012

More Art Is...You Fun!

On Sunday October 7th at Art Is...You: The East Coast Art Retreat in Stamford, CT I'll be offering another workshop in mixed media fun.

In WHEN TEXTURE TALKS we'll use a neutral palette (with just a hint of color) in combination with the beauty of texture and dimensional objects to create interest and intrigue, while the subdued palette imbues a sense of calm and serenity.

Art Is...You is not only an amazing art retreat with an incredible list of artists and workshops, it's an experience like no other. The joy and energy is palpable; the friendships and connections are life-enriching and we leave with a sense of family and community that fills the soul. "Get thee to an art retreat." That's good advice!

Hope to see you there!

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, March 2, 2012

Art Is...You Workshop

Saturday October 6th will be the date of my opening workshop at Art Is...You: The East Coast Art Retreat in Stamford, CT.

If you like to play with color and get messy with paints, papers, inks, water-soluble crayons, markers, oil pastels...join me for MIXED MEDIA MANTRAS and we'll have oodles of artful fun!

We'll create canvases that will serve as a reminder of positive words and our personal mantras...and the power of art. Hope to see you there!

© Nancy Lefko

Liquid Pencil Sketching Ink by Pam Carriker: Product Review

It's always great fun to play with a new art product and I have spent some time today doing just that. The very first time I tried the new Liquid Pencil Sketching Ink by Pam Carriker was last year when Pam and I were roommates at an art retreat.

Since then Pam Carriker has been working tirelessly with Derivan (the creator of her sketching inks) and the distributors to get this wonderful product to market. I join her in announcing that Liquid Pencil Sketching Ink by Pam Carriker is now available at the Interweave Store.

Today I used Pam's sketching ink in my art journal in two different ways. First, I used a foam applicator to apply the ink to Pam's beautiful heart and wing rubber stamps. I also used the ink directly from the bottle as the fine tip applicator makes that a breeze. It's a fabulous product and so unique...the beauty and characteristics of graphite in a painterly ink. Genius!

Congratulations Pam!

Images © Nancy Lefko and Interweave LLC

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sketchbook Challenge ~ FLOWERS

The Sketchbook Challenge theme for March, FLOWERS, is especially fitting for a day that has brought 13+ inches of snow to our region. It's about this time of year when I begin dreaming of flowers; dreaming of the little green shoots that peek out of the remnants of snow. Well, with over a foot of snow covering the ground it'll be awhile before I see flowers, but at least I can create them in my art journal.

If you need a little push to get yourself creating...then the Sketchbook Challenge is just for you!

© Nancy Lefko