Monday, October 10, 2016

Art Is You 2016

Shame on's been MONTHS since I've blogged. My apologies to anyone who's taken the time to check this blog since March. If no one has checked...then it's all good!

I've just returned from teaching at the very BEST of the BEST mixed media art retreats...ART IS YOU in Stamford, CT. As always, this retreat was filled with creativity, wonder, joyful reunions, new friendships and art around every corner.

My Saturday class, FOUR SEASONS OF ART JOURNALING was terrific fun with wonderful students who created awesome work. (Enough superlatives?) Seriously, I'm so grateful to them for their enthusiasm and making the day fabulous for me, from start to finish!

If you've never attended an art retreat, you really must treat yourself to this experience. I am biased of course, and think that there are none that can compare with ART IS YOU, but try to find one that works for you. You'll be enriched by the experience and remember it forever.

Happy students with their assembled journals

Using spray inks and stencils to prepare journals

Folding journals

Preparing journals

Art journaling begins!

© Nancy Lefko

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Traveling Art Journal

There is no mistaking sisters have a special connection. Perhaps it's our creative interests that connect us or simply that we each see a piece of ourselves in the other; whatever it is, we are drawn together. When we're together we have the BEST of times. But, quite often, art sisters who've met at a central location return to their lives many states away.

When I was unable to attend a 2014 art retreat, two of my art sisters in attendance - Elizabeth Duke & Pam Carriker - put their heads together and started the "Traveling Art Journal," which was to ultimately be a gift for me. I was among the contributing artists, never knowing the journal would one day be mine. (I actually created two spreads to help fill in the months.) Throughout 2015 the journal traveled the United States from Texas to Connecticut, New York to Michigan and to my home in New Hampshire. This month I received this wonderful, and surprising, gift. I was speechless and filled with appreciation and love.

Each journal spread is as different as can be and truly represents the heart & soul of each art sister. I will cherish this book forever and it will always be a reminder of the bond that holds the art sisters close, no matter how far apart we live.

Thank you Pam, Elizabeth, Loretta, Kathy, Katie, Betti, Stephanie & Kathi.

created by Pam Carriker

created by Kathy Nesi

created by Katie Goldberg

created by Elizabeth Duke

created by Loretta Marvel

created by Stephanie Suskin

created by Kathi Jahnke

created by Betti Zucker

and my own two spreads.

I am truly blessed. I have found my tribe and I am BLESSED.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Art-C Project for Valentine's Day

Art-C provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.

Art-C products came to the rescue on this wintry day in need of brightening. On the heels of Valentine's Day it seemed appropriate to focus on LOVE when creating a new piece.

With supplies gathered, I was ready to begin. Using my fingers I applied Ultra Chalk Paint in white to a 3" x 5" Wood Pallet. I followed this with an application of pink and citron paints through an Art-C stencil.

To distress the edges of the pallet I applied Gel Stain in chestnut and I added Metallic Paint in gold to the edges of a tag.

A sentiment was added to the tag by using the "love" stencil and metallic gold paint.

A fabric strip and ribbon were wrapped around the pallet.

Elements from Art-C collage kits, accented with gold metallic paint, completed the piece.

"Remember FOREVER."

Products from Art-C:

- 3"x5" wood pallet
- ultra chalk paint, white
- metallic paint, gold
- gel stain, chestnut
- word play collage kit
- ephemera collage kit
- botanical collage kit
- stencils

Additional supplies:

- adhesive
- foam brush
- ribbon
- fabric
- acrylic paint

© Nancy Lefko

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Off to the Sea...with Art-C Products

Art-C provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.

Okay, I'll admit's the dead of winter and I am already dreaming of summer by the sea. I can't help it! To help quench my desire for the ocean and all its wonder, I turned to my Art-C products for inspiration and creative fun.

I gathered my supplies; those I anticipate using. Quite often I change my mind as I go along and edit my supply list. First, I painted the 6" x 6" Art-C Wood Pallet with their Ultra Chalk Paint in white.

After an inky application through sequin waste, I reached for an Art-C stencil that reminds me of waves and thought it perfect for the background.

Some paint drips and an application of Art-C's Gel Stain in blue added some much needed blue to the piece.

Mark making ensued with bottle caps and bubble wrap.

I gathered elements from the Word Play Collage Kit from Art-C, added a message and along with blue burlap & some shells, my assemblage began.

Even as I look out from my art desk to a very wintry landscape, for a while I was warmed by the notion of the summer sea.

Products from Art-C:

- 6x6 wood pallet
- ultra chalk paint, white
- gel stain, blue
- word play collage kit

Additional supplies:

- burlap
- shells
- adhesive
- paintbrush
- Inktense blocks
- foam brush
- ribbon
- inks
- bottle cap
- sequin waste
- alphabet stamps
- vintage text

© Nancy Lefko

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Art Journaling by Somerset Studio ~ Winter 2016 and a GIVEAWAY!

From its inaugural issue, I've been a tremendous fan of Art Journaling by Somerset Studio; I've been privileged to have articles published in the magazine many times. It is always a delight to work with the magazine's editor, Amber Demien, who understands that art journals can be very personal and treats them with the utmost respect.

The most recent journal I submitted for publication is actually a series of four that were filled over the course of one year; a small journal bound and created for each season.

It was great fun to use colors, images and emotions based on the seasons and use the view from my art desk as never-ending inspiration.

One of the joys of experiencing an issue of Art Journaling is the exposure to the array of art journalers that make up our 'community.' There are countless styles and inspirations shared by a wide variety of artists; no two issues ever look alike. I use the phrase 'experiencing an issue' with intent; one doesn't merely 'read' this is, indeed, an experience!

I especially love the monthly column "ART JOURNALING at the Speed of Life" by Pam Carriker. In the interest of full disclosure, Pam and I are very good friends, albeit, long distance friends. When I read her articles I can hear her voice and the miles disappear. We also share such a love of art journaling that reading her take on the subject is a joy; not to mention, I love her style!

My favorite artwork from this particular issue is shared in the article by Mindy Lacefield, who also happens to be the Cover Girl. Mindy's work and her approach to her journaling comes straight from the heart. There is an honesty, sincerity and a soulfulness in Mindy's journaling. Her willingness to share her deep emotions in the magazine speaks to the respect that Art Journaling has for the artists and their very personal journals.

Any good discussion about art journaling offers up a journal prompt to the reader. Let me not fall short in that department! Let's take a page from Mindy's article entitled, 'Listen', and create a journal page of what we hear deep within our hearts when we take the time to LISTEN. I'd love to see what you create should you be moved to share. If you'd like to share a pic of your journal page on my Facebook page, you can do so in the comment section that accompanies the post about the magazine.

The marketing department of Stampington, Inc has graciously offered to send one of my readers a copy of this issue of Art Journaling. If you'd like to win a copy just leave a comment here, including a way for me to get in touch with you. Contest is open to U.S. residents only. Comments close on Friday, January 22nd.(If you have any difficulty leaving a comment here, just comment over at Facebook and you'll be in the drawing.)

Good luck & embrace your art journal!

© Nancy Lefko