your creativity coach by robyn mcclendon

reach your goals discover your creative mind

Totems as Creative Symbols

Hey all!

I’m really excited about the subject that we explored in this YouTube Video. If you have a connection to a certain animal, plant, symbol, etc. this is a great subject to art journal about.

Around the time that I created this art journaling prompt, I found myself thinking a lot about bears and the common sense this species has adapted to go into a long sleep during the cold months of the year. I often have felt a natural desire to hibernate for weeks at a time during the cold dark season as well!

This line of thinking caused me to remember a totem animal I received ten years ago out of a process I had read about while I was going through an emotional clearing at the end of my marriage. This animal was a giraffe…”A giraffe,” I mumbled. Not the sexiest animal, right? I had to smile to myself because I also was not one of those people to identify with animals nor have I ever thought about a need for a totem animal. But I was in a place of renewal and discovering new places to explore in my emotional world and creative mind, so I accepted the possibility of learning something new about myself from this animal.

I discovered many things about giraffes that I never knew, to the point that I went out and bought a small carved symbol and placed it on my side table to ponder nightly. I must say that I went through immense revelations at this time about my life and as a result opened myself to look more closely at common and maybe seemingly unrelated connections that can spur my creative mind.

I wanted to, not only, share with you the incredible totem symbols that animals can conjure, but so do flowers, trees, numbers, colors and crystals, just to name a few. And they can often encourage our creative selves to want to paint, let’s say, pansies, over and over again. Like in my own art, the circle, over and over again. I have even questioned my own motivation for this obsession, and yet I have gained so many many revelations that have progressed my art as a result of having given my creative self to the circle.

I invite you to ponder about your totem symbols. You may already have something but never thought about it in the way I’m proposing. If you don’t already have symbolism that is your go to, consider this idea and open yourself to the possibility of inviting your own totem symbols into your creative work time.

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx

Creativity and Hibernation

For week 35 of our 52 week art journaling challenge of YouTube, we focus on creativity and hibernation. This might seem like an odd combination. After all, many of us are wondering how to break a pattern of “hibernation” and get to work in the studio. I find that I can hibernate for a period of time from creating work and use it to evaluate my art and the direction my creativity is flowing. Sometimes we need a break, step back and assess our creative output, it is also important to know how to come out of the cave too! 

When you find that you stay away from your creative self becauseof limited time, money, supplies, and/or energy, it’s time to explore some of the various strategies that others use to get back into action. Consider some of these ideas and evaluate which ones will work for you. Vacations, holidays and sometimes just catching a cold can cause us to lose our rhythm and not work on our art for weeks at a time.

One of the things I do is to get a large blank sheet of paper pick up a color of paint, any color that speaks to me, and then using the end of a credit card, I smooth that fresh color onto the page. There is something invigorating about doing this and it gets me into the studio to do something. Even if I find that I need to stop after 5 or 10 minutes, it is an ice breaker and gets me going again.

What has also helped me is looking through past art journals and allowing my previous work and enthusiasm be a motivator to get going again. And of course, this can be a good time to clean up your work area and create a studio clean up journal with your findings 🙂

Go easy on yourself, no regrets, just try one of the above suggestions and jump back into the “pool” of creative waters!

And if you’re one of those that has been just pushing through refusing to miss any studio time and you’re feeling a bit burnt out, then take some time off. Give yourself permission to not “do a thing”.

Yes! Nurture yourself, gain a renewed perspective and re-kindle the creative fires, and then jump back in as soon as your ready!

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx

Journeying into Our Past

Hey everyone!

The theme for our 34th week of art journaling is a journey into our past. Of course, if you have not been participating in the other weeks, this is a great place to start. I invite you to check out the youtube video where we explore ephemera, magazines, old books, stamps, etc., to explore the past through the present moments and available materials.

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx

Collage with Gelli Printing Techniques Workshop

Pricing

Love Offerings Available (see below for more information)

$50 for single workshop purchase

$325 for full series of eight workshops

*Workshops come with lifetime access to replays

Hey everyone!

I hope you’re well and enjoying September. I am so looking forward to our second workshop, Collage with Gelli Printing Techniques, of the new series. The Intro to Collage workshop last weekend was such a special time and thank you to everyone who reached out with the great feedback! I am looking forward to making this weekend’s workshop just as successful.

“I’m amazed that above and beyond all of the information and ideas Robyn shares on YouTube, that there is still so much more she has to teach us! I look forward to connecting with this community until the day I die, and I am so grateful to Robyn for her generosity and love of sharing her expertise and her gifts.” -Workshop Attendee

It is always such a special time to come together as artists and creators and explore the world of color, texture, relationship, surprises, magic, and self-expression. Workshops are such a great way to explore questions together and come to new realizations.

In this workshop, Collaging with Gelli Printing Techniques, we will explore gelli printing techniques that are ideal for collaging. You will learn the fragmenting technique as well as how to make washi tape. We will be using our gelli printed papers for collage, especially old prints you may have that you feel were not a success.

Love Offerings

One of the most beautiful things that the last two years have emphasized is the relationship between art and community. It is so important to me that everyone who wishes to participate is supported in making that a reality. Therefore I wish to offer a love offering option for those of us who may be experiencing a financial challenge during these times.

For the Love Offering Option, please e-mail info@robynmcclendon.com sharing which workshops (or the full series) you’re interested in and what is financially manageable for you to offer.

*If you are outside of the USA, please send us an e-mail at info@robynmcclendon.com in regard to increased fees.

Last but not least, I want to say a big-thank you to everyone in our community. I am looking forward to spending time together throughout this series of workshops. It means so much to experience your enthusiasm for art, learning, sharing, and ideas.

My best,

Robyn

Remembering the Future

Hey all! In this YouTube Video we explore the unique concept of “Remembering the Future”, and how we can art journal to incorporate our ponderings and reflections around this exercise into art.

Thinking about the future is similar to remembering the past. When I think about possible future events, I do the same mental work as when I remember. I’m just remembering a future that hasn’t happened yet. –Ira Hyman, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Western Washington University

This is one of my favorite things to do! I remember when this notion first came to me during a meditation, I found it odd until the concept was totally unveiled.

I then was able to see it as an incredibly powerful way to connect with the deeper aspect of myself. This is accomplished by sitting back and doing what I call a resting meditation. Close your eyes and just let the mind wonder. Amazing things will begin to pop up. Often times they are very disjointed like an image here a word there.

Hold them in your mind for as long you can to catch as many of the little bread crumbs as possible, and then write them down, illustrate, or capture in colors what came up. This is an abundant source of inspiration and original material. Again, don’t judge it, just capture these ideas in your art journal. Sometimes as you begin to express the ideas they will expand and develop into more than a word or an image.

These are sticky notes from your future reminding you of this present moment in time. I find so many fresh ideas and concepts are born in these periods of reverie. Why do I say from your future? These impulses are from the finished artwork in your future. I view it as my work reaching out to me from the future as inspiration in my present moment!

Enjoy playing with this way of looking at time and creativity….

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx

Water as an Elixir for Permission

Hey all!

I invite you to join me in this YouTube Video where we art journal and explore the element of water. We will challenge ourselves to work with water in a new way.

Remember as a kid how much we liked playing in water? We used it when we were pretending to cook, with our plastic pans, making mud pies or hopping in rain puddles. For some reason I couldn’t get enough of splashing in every rain puddle I could find. It’s similar to the joy of chasing after bubbles and bursting them between our palms.

I don’t think this was frivolous or accidental, it was instinctive. My connection to water was a source of creative inspiration.

I also find taking long baths and allowing my mind to wonder really opens me up to new inspiration. Often times some of the most profound advances in my work will come from doing something totally opposite of working in my studio. Venturing into new territory, using new techniques, and allowing myself to play always yields new creative musings.

Try using your paints, inks, and pencils with water in a different way, maybe eco-dye some papers or cloth. Or take a long walk in the rain and allow your mind to explore new thoughts and create projects around these new inspirations.

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx

Intro to Collage Online Workshop

Pricing

Scholarships and Love Offerings Available (see below for more information)

$50 for single workshop purchase

$325 for full series of eight workshops

Hey everyone!

I hope you’re well and enjoying the end of this season. I am so looking forward to our upcoming first workshop of the new series this coming week.

It is always such a special time to come together as artists and creators and explore the world of color, texture, relationship, surprises, magic, and self-expression. Workshops are such a great way to explore questions together and come to new realizations.

In this workshop we will explore the basic principles of collage. You will learn five techniques for creating a balanced and harmonized collage that has variety, interest, and depth.

You will also learn about different kinds of papers (such as opaque and translucent) and shapes and how to combine them to create different effects in your work. In this workshop we will create masterboards, which will allow you to keep your work in its original form and photo copy it, or you can cut the masterboards up and use the pieces in other projects.

Scholarships and Love Offerings

One of the most beautiful things that the last two years have emphasized is the relationship between art and community. It is so important to me that everyone who wishes to participate is supported in making that a reality. Therefore I wish to offer two options for those of us who may be experiencing a financial challenge during these times.

There are a few more full scholarships available for this workshop. If you are interested in this option, please e-mail info@robynmcclendon.com describing why you would like a scholarship for this workshop (or any other one of the individual workshops in this series).

For the Love Offering Option, please e-mail info@robynmcclendon.com sharing which workshops (or the full series) you’re interested in and what is financially manageable for you to offer.

Last but not least I want to say a big-thank you to everyone in our community. I am looking forward to spending time together throughout this series of workshops. It means so much to experience your enthusiasm for art, learning, sharing, and ideas.

My best,

Robyn

The Gelli Printing and Collage Workshop Series

The Gelli Printing and Collage Series

with Robyn McClendon


For All Levels

8 Technique Driven Workshops

Join Anytime

Participate Live through Zoom or by Replay

Lifetime Access to Workshop Recordings

Bundle or Individual Workshop Purchase Options Available


Gelli Printing and Collaging are intuitive and playful techniques to not only foster your self expression, but to truly go on a journey of discovery. You may have seen me use these incredible techniques in my YouTube videos especially for creating art journal pages.

This series is designed to make you comfortable, flexible, and at ease with Gelli Printing and Collaging so that your creativity will be free to flow whenever you sit down to create art. These workshops are designed to create layers of different techniques onto your pages.

Sign up for all eight workshops as a bundle, or pick and choose the ones that you are called to the most.

In each workshop, you will explore techniques that will make your artwork unique, eye-catching, and explorative. Participate live or enjoy lifetime access to the replays in your designated teachable workshop space.

The series includes eight workshops:

Intro to Collage

September 5th, 2021

12-3 pm PST

Full Series of all 8 Workshops: $325 (save $75, value of 1 ½ workshops!)

or

Single Workshop Purchase: $50

In this workshop we will explore the basic principles of collage. You will learn five techniques for creating a balanced and harmonized collage that has variety, interest, and depth. You will also learn about different kinds of papers (such as opaque and translucent) and shapes, and how to combine them to create different effects in your work. In this workshop we will create masterboards, which will allow you to keep your work in its original form and photo copy it, or you can cut the masterboards up and use the pieces in other projects.



Collage with Gelli Printing Techniques

September 19th, 2021

12-3 pm PST

Full Series of all 8 Workshops: $325 (save $75, value of 1 ½ workshops!)

or

Single Workshop Purchase: $50

In this workshop we will explore gelli printing techniques that are ideal for collaging. You will learn the fragmenting technique as well as how to make washi tape. We will be using our gelli printed papers for collage, especially old prints you may have that you feel were not a success.





Grunge Photo Transfers Using the Gelli Plate

October 3rd, 2021

12-3 pm PST

Full Series of all 8 Workshops: $325 (save $75, value of 1 ½ workshops!)

or

Single Workshop Purchase: $50

This technique will teach you to work successfully with photo transfer prints. We will use the gelli plate for the photo transfers and explore a 60’s/ 70’s typography to create a finished collage. Prepare to work with fonts, texts, and images to create interesting collages.



Eco-Dyeing and Staining

October 10th, 2021

12-3 pm PST

Full Series of all 8 Workshops: $325 (save $75, value of 1 ½ workshops!)

or

Single Workshop Purchase: $50

We will learn techniques that are not messy and that you can do right at your work table. We will stain various papers, as well as gelli prints, using natural plants, flowers, and spices.



Gelli Printing with Oil Paints and Oil Sticks

October 24th, 2021

12-3 pm PST

Full Series of all 8 Workshops: $325 (save $75, value of 1 ½ workshops!)

or

Single Workshop Purchase: $50

In this workshop you will learn to produce incredible prints that resemble traditional printmaking using oil paints and/or oil sticks. (No worries, oil paints are easy to clean off the gelli plate.) We will also explore some mark making techniques to accompany the beautiful oil based designs.




Gelli Printing with Watercolors and Spray Inks

November 7th, 2021

12-3pm PST

Full Series of all 8 Workshops: $325 (save $75, value of 1 ½ workshops!)

or

Single Workshop Purchase: $50

We will work on the gelli plate to create some amazing papers using watercolors and spray inks. We will also use old gelli prints and incomplete pages that you feel were not successful. This technique allows incomplete gelli prints to become amazing.




Gelli Printing with Stencils

November 21st, 2021

Full Series of all 8 Workshops: $325 (save $75, value of 1 ½ workshops!)

or

Single Workshop Purchase: $50

We will gelli print with alcohol inks and embossing powders to accompany various techniques for stenciling on the plate. You will also learn a technique called “masking”, where you will learn to mask out sections of the gelli plate as you build up layers on your artwork. This is a great way to create negative and positive space as we build up thin layers of color to create amazing images.Using previous gelli prints is ideal, as this technique really incorporates layering.



Gelli Printing on Fabric

December 5th, 2021

12-3 pm PST

Full Series of all 8 Workshops: $325 (save $75, value of 1 ½ workshops!)

or

Single Workshop Purchase: $50

In this fascinating workshop we will explore two techniques for gelli printing on fabric. We will learn to make a collagraph to use on the gelli plate.


The workshops will be held through Zoom, which allows for a great collaborative learning environment. You will have the opportunity to ask questions while we work. If you do not wish to have your camera on, you will be able to ask your questions in the chat, where you also will be able to converse with other students in the workshop. If you cannot make it to the live event, the recording will be uploaded into your teachable workshop space for lifetime access.

Be prepared to experience a lot of fun. One of my favorite things about the Gelli Plate and Collaging is their ability to foster a space of playfulness. It’s about the feeling of magic, wonder, and fun when a print is pulled and when a collection of things I’m drawn to comes together to create a work of art. In Gelli Printing there is always an element of surprise; hence why this technique for creating art teaches us about the sweet spot of creation as we are always in partnership with the things we wish to create! When we incorporate our prints into collaging, we are able to reflect upon the mysteries, clarities, and inner workings of our unique souls as we create and then view our final piece. This series is a journey about inner growth and expansion as much as it is about growing as artists in our techniques.

I am so excited to share this experience with you!

My best,

Robyn xx

Perfection and Mass Making Miniature Collage Elements

Hey All!

Join me in this YouTube video as we practice redefining our relationship with the idea of perfection and create more space for fun in our studio time.

Your journey is exactly as it should be.

I realize that this can be an uncomfortable statement, not because we aren’t fairly happy or comfortable with where we are right now, in this moment, but because we have come to understand that perfection is uncomfortably illusive and unattainable.

I want to talk about perfection because on a subconscious level perfection is often one of the rudders that we use to steer our creative journey.

“Perfection” can control our creative decisions often times without our being aware of it. It’s the way we have been educated, we are products of the grading system, “A+ being the goal”, awards, tittles, and our socioeconomic status. All these things are defined by outside forces. Yet our creative selves, our art and the time we spend with ourselves should be free from all of this. In fact the idea of comparison really doesn’t have a place in the creative worlds we have built.

So quite naturally we can struggle with this learned behavior in our art rooms during our fun time.

Spend a little time asking yourself a few questions as you work in your art journals:

Is perfection even possible?

How do I respond to imperfection?

Does the idea of perfection get in the way of my productivity?

Does it cause me to be overly critical?

Does this idea of perfection stop me from exploring what makes me happy?

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx

Seasonal Color Palettes

Hey All!

Many of us as artists always look forward to explore color palettes. I invite you to checkout this YouTube Video if you are interested in color palettes designed around the seasons.

I have found over the years that my color palette alters with the sun. It’s like the analemma procession, it also happens when I travel. I can have an instant response to my environment. At times it’s very shocking as I reach for colors in my travel pouch and nothing seems right. It became clear to me over time that our color choices are very instinctive, shifting without our realization, until we encounter an external stimuli.

Sometimes colors that may have been dominant a few months ago are now rarely used or you are using them randomly. This is important to note because when we find our art work suddenly is not inspiring us or seems difficult to finish, the slightest change in our color palettes could make all of the difference.

I encourage you to pay extra special attention to your color choices and create a new color palette based upon what you are discovering about the colors you are reaching for and how you may be using them.

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx