Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Angel Mother

 "All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."
~ Abraham Lincoln


Below is the painting process and metamorphosis from start to finish. I truly didn't know where I was going with this piece but enjoyed building each collage layer with Japanese paper, paint pens, watercolor, oil pastels and acrylic. Then an artist friend Chris Cozen suggested I turn the painting around until I see something emerging. She said she saw an angel and then magically, I did as well!

As Michaelangelo would say, he saw the angel in the marble and carved until he could set it free.

Thank you for visiting.

Monday, April 21, 2014

I'm Published in Cloth Paper Scissors!

Hello! I sincerely hope all of you had a wonderful Easter holiday. 

Today I wanted to share my exciting news that I'll be published in Cloth Paper Scissors May/June 2014 issue! The article is really a jump-start on making patterns with watercolor and paint pens. 

Rainbow-itis runs deep in my bones.

I share what markers I use in my art journaling.

A heartfelt thank you to the folks at Interweave & Cloth Paper Scissors (FW Media). 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Self-Portrait Journey

When I was 4 years old, I was hit by a car. I have very little memory of that event. I do remember moments before the car hit me. I was crossing the street, trying to wave good-bye to my dad but he couldn't hear me. I remember waking up crying while an ER nurse was holding me; the trauma room was very cold. I remember waking up again but this time I couldn't see---both my eyes were wrapped-up tightly in gauze bandages. I could only listen to the TV. Sesame Street was on.

This is a self-portrait I did with crayons and watercolor. It was our first assignment in Brene Brown's Part 2 e-course. Not a lot of people know this but while growing up, I was self-conscious about by slightly crooked face (from the accident). If you look closely, I have two small stitches on both my cheeks. But that was so long ago. Today I feel so grateful for the scars on my face. It means I am ALIVE. 

I remind myself everyday how lucky I am. To be able to breathe, to see colors, to hug my husband, to hear my son ask me, "Hi Mommy! I want to paint, please?"


Below is one of my favorite journal pages (look familiar?). My comfort list hasn't changed much :).

Thanks for visiting. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

I'm on Oprah!

I'm on Oprah! Well, technically my art journal is. You can watch the promo video here for Part 2 of Brene Brown's Gifts of Imperfection e-Course. The class started yesterday but there's still a chance to register.

Honestly, if you blink you'll miss it. LOL

Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Last Week's Watercolor Workshop: A Recap

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there." ~ Rumi


I had such a wonderful and rewarding time teaching my watercolor class last Thursday (I posted some details about it here). What an amazing group of women! I couldn't be more proud!

 Above is a sample of some their stunning work. For many moms, they've never painted like this. I made sure to provide lots of watercolor tips and technique and some color theory. We even used salt and white crayons as cool resists. My only 2 class "rules" were: 1) please laugh at all my jokes and 2) have fun!

Part of my creative crusade is this: If we're excellent at praising, encouraging and nurturing our kids' artistic accomplishments, then we must stop deprecating ourselves in our own work (negative thinking, self-criticism, etc.). 

Art captures the beauty, the vulnerability, the honesty, and the graceful moments we often don't hear when we live a hectic life. This is why creativity is part of good self-care. It slows us down.

 What brave and beautiful moms! They stuck with a painting and didn't quit, they asked a lot of good questions as I went around, and the lovely energy that I felt for them and from them will last a lifetime. Hopefully for them too!

 Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I'm Published in Art Journaling!

I am excited, thrilled, and honored to be published in Somerset Studio's Art Journaling! This is their Spring 2014 issue that will hit newsstands April 1. You can pre-order it through Stampington & Company's website here (as well as view the Table of Contents). My complimentary copy arrived last night and I couldn't wait for the sun to come out this morning so I could take pictures. 

Nine glorious pages. My heart is about to burst. Enjoy a sneak peak :)

BTW my son dropped his milk nearby and splattered onto the magazine. I hugged him and said accidents happen. I'm so glad that: 1) the spillage occured after I took the photos and 2) the publisher offers 50% off issues for featured artists. Looks like I'll be calling them first thing on Monday to order more! LOL

Thanks for visiting, everyone.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Watercolor Workshop: A Full-Circle Moment

"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a complete joy." ~ Rumi


This Thursday I'll be teaching my "Beautiful Quote Painting" to a local mom's group. The lotus below is the style of watercolor I'd be demonstrating. Lots of color, water, and play. This is a private venue that I was asked to teach, but here's my class description: Learn how to paint a "Haiku" style watercolor painting. Gina Lee Kim will demonstrate and guide students to create two simple backgrounds (one landscape, one floral still-life) that mimic the Japanese poetry of soft color and abstract texture. Bring an inspirational quote or a prayer. We will then write out in metallic pen or collage our texts onto the painted backgrounds. Take home your finished art that you can proudly frame. All levels welcome.


I was so happy when I finished this painting. I felt like I was connected to heaven, connected to my mom, connected with the core of who I really am.

My intention as a watercolor instructor is connection. I want to help my students connect with their creative selves--that artful, sacred place that makes us feel whole.

 Offering a watercolor class for moms--the ultimate caregivers & soul nurturers--is definitely a full-circle moment for me.

In gratitude, thanks for visiting.

Friday, March 14, 2014

When the Wind is Perfect

"On a day when the wind is perfect, the sail just needs to open and the world is full of beauty. 
Today is such a day.” ~ Rumi


I received some exciting news yesterday. After doing a happy-dance in the kitchen and kissing my husband and squeezing my son, I am reminding myself to keep pressing forward. To fully embrace this practice called being an artist. It feels good to move toward a dream and live an inspired's out of gratitude, really. I can't wait to share the news with you here! Until then, enjoy an art journal page I finished today.

Mixed media: acrylic, oil pastel, watercolor, ink, graphite, sharpie white pen, collaged Japanese rice paper, recycled Panera coffee sleeve, and a bit of glitter (for whimsey).

Here's another similar background I started on paper. Can't wait to see how this piece will end. Or maybe I'm done? Anyway, this month I'm going to be terribly busy. Insanely busy. But I gotta keep on truckin.

p.s. could someone do my taxes, fold my laundry, clean my house and assemble some bookcases? 

Thanks for visiting, dear friends!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Put a Bird On It

Have you heard of The Documented Life Project? It was started by these 5 amazing, creative women. Basically, if you have a planner and want to do some art journaling guided by fun weekly challenges, you're in! My hope is to have an amazing year of organization, inspiration and community. And when I say community, we're talking 5,800+ online members! It's never too late to join and it's free. 

Below is my finished Week 11 Challenge: Draw/Photograph/Collage a Bird Onto Your Page.


I started with a wet-into-wet watercolor background with two of my favorite icons/imagery---moon and birds.

I didn't know whether to turn these feathered friends into bluebirds, swallows, or purple martins. In the end, I think the painting embodied all of them!

I thanked Heidi Swapp on Instagram the other day for her Buzz Word Stickers. Love, love, love them in my art journaling.

Thanks for visiting! 

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Friendship Tree

The Friendship Tree
by Louisa Garcia

Hello my dear friend out to enjoy the day.
The sun and moon have come out to play,
With colors that dance and sing in tune.
Please tell your mom I want to play soon.

Let's climb and discover
And hide under cover.
Let's always return here 
To starlight and sun.
Remembering the song 
of sweet birds and of fun.

My friend, I see that your heart has a smile
Do you mind if I share in your joy for a while?
We can sit in the shade, 
That this gentle tree made. 
I seek your warm hugs, 
Let's search for weird bugs!

Let's dance in a circle of giggles,
And raise our hands in wistful wiggles.
Let's invite all the animals and their babies, too.
Let's drink the raindrops and paint with the dew.

My friend, can't you see?
Our heart is this tree.
It is warmth and love.
A gift from above. 

Together we can be silly, 
With crowns made of earth,
Swirling the sky in our dreams,
Letting laughter give birth.

When it's time to say good-bye,
Into our hearts the memories fly.
The journey of friendship never ends.
It merely twists and grows and bends. 

And oh, how we give thanks to thee.
Our beautiful, beloved, friendship tree.


Below is the transformation of a painting. 

First, a vibrant background. It's abstract at its best when you're having fun with watercolor.

Celestial bodies began to form and then I collaged a tree cut from brown scrapbook paper.

Hello Mr. Fox. Hello Mrs. Squirrel.

Next, I punched out and painted whimsical leaves.

It wouldn't be the same without a few splattering of gold and fluorescent pink!

Thank you for visiting, dear bloggers!

p.s. All my love to Louisa--one of the sweetest, loveliest, and most-talented friends I know.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cock-a-doodle-doo! And a Sun, Cow, Moon!

Good morning! Just a cute little farm scene I did with acrylic paint.


Blocking-in the initial color was easy.

Blending the sky from day to night was hard.

There's a lot of trial-and-error and major modifying in my painting process. Oh those sunflowers were giving me so much trouble, Lol! When in doubt, collage some punched circles out of French text (as you can see in the top/final image).

Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Warm & Cool: How I Organize, Colorize & Create

Hello! And if you're coming from my post at The Sketchbook Challenge (TSC) Blog, welcome back!

One of my favorite approach to art journaling is using analogous colors. Analogous means selecting neighboring hues in a color wheel. When I limit myself to only 4 to 5 adjacent colors, I almost always get a harmonious result.

Grouping colors this way takes the guess work away, especially when starting on a blank page.

This warm/cool theme is literally:

 how I organize my watercolor palettes,

how I arrange my acrylic & craft paints, 

how I catalog my magazines,

how I systemize my pens & markers, 

 how I travel with my watercolor pencils, 

and how I baby my washi tapes!

What can I say....I'm a color nerd.

There is no medical cure for rainbow-itis. And that's fine by me LOL.


So, as promised from my post on the TSC blog, here is a painting I did using warm analogous colors. Completed in 30 minutes. Set a timer and go!

OK. I think I'm done. Yay for stencils :)

Thanks for visiting, dear friends.