your creativity coach by robyn mcclendon

reach your goals discover your creative mind

Mixed Media Art Journaling and Collage ~ “Gelli JunkAdori” ~ Week 5

Hi everyone!

Welcome to our next session of art journaling! Please check out this video where I lead you through the next pages in our Junkadori Journals.

We started out the session by going through some of this month’s printables based on my flatlays of flora and fauna, and found objects. You will recognize one of the pages from last week’s project. There are botanical studies, birds, insects, animals, flowers, 1890’s ledgers, pines, etc., making up a total of 13 pages.

I started out by laying out one of my past gel prints, which consisted of scripting on a neutral color, and realizing the great juxtaposition that happened when it was set next to the floral printable. I also decided that I wanted to gel print on the spread of the particular journal pages I was going to be working with.

My plate already had some red and white scripting on it from my last session, so I decided to first do some scripting with my black posca pen. While letting that dry, I started working on the first page of my journal.

I really liked the base foundation of the left page of my journal. In order to not fully cover it up, I tore of a portion of my print. After gluing it down, I focused on the next page. I studied the printable and chose a section that I wanted to work with, a particular portion of the flower. As I continued to work, I noticed that the shell would work great on the opposite page, hence creating harmony between both pages.

After completing that, I circled back to the gel plate. I covered the plate and scripting with Golden’s zinc white color. I pulled the print on a piece of tissue paper. There was still some scripting left over on the print, so the next print I pulled was with a layer of Golden’s Quinacridone Azo. I continued to pull another print on glassine paper that I had also scripted on. These prints I will use in a future session.

For the print that I wanted to created for today’s journal pages, I started out with scripting with an ivory posca pen on the plate, with the intention of having a “tone on tone” look. After pulling the print, I overscripted with a thinner pen to create even more texture. This created the subtle background that I was looking for.

Next I pulled out my collection of fragments that consisted of a variety of golden shapes; however, they had hints of blue in the background, which would not match with my journal page. No worries, of course! I just created more on the gel plate and pulled the prints on tissue paper.

I hope you enjoy this session.

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx


Mixed Media Art Journaling and Collage Part 4

Hello everyone!

I hope you are excited about another art journaling video. If this is your first time visiting my blog, welcome, and I invite you to join in on the fun as we art journal around a Cabinet of Curiosities theme this year. Also, be sure to join the pinterest board if you are interested in sharing and seeing other artists’ cabinets of curiosities.

For this week’s journal pages I took photos of my botanical collection and also created some flatlays.

In regard to this journal, I am really enjoy the push and pull between abstract art (that I particularly am most drawn to personally) with the cabinet of curiosities. As we continue on this journey, I hope you will develop ease in weaving the cabinet of curiosities idea with your own aesthetic. If you don’t have a perosonal aesthetic, no worries! That is what art journaling is for. This is an artist’s practice time!

In this video we came upon a page in my junkadori with a stripe of orange that I was not the biggest fan of. My collage pieces that I chose to work with were flatlays of things in my own collection and momigami paper. I also pulled out my stamp box and found pieces that I had purchased in a stamp shop in Amsterdam. What I really like is that the birds and animals on the stamps harmonized with the flora and insects in my flatlays. Looking through my scrapbox I picked out a collection of papers that mimic old documents. I also picked a gelli printed circle, which worked great for incorporating the abstract element to my page.

The first piece I worked with was the paper that mimicked an old letter. I ripped the edges to give it more of an “old world” look. I glued the entire piece over the page in my junkadori. I decided that the orange was a little to bright for my intentions with this journal.

My abstract circle was painted on tracing paper, so it had the transluscent quality that I enjoy adding to my pages. I cut out the center to create a fully see-through aspect and glued it down on the center of the letter. All in all, at this point I had created 3 different levels of transparency. First, the letter, which was the least transparent but just enough for one to see a hint of the tones of the orange and blue paper underneath. Next the tracing paper which allowed for hints of the letter document to show. And then the most transparent was the hole in the center of the circle that allowed the text to peek through clearly.

At the bottom of the page, I glued down a strip of cardboard, which created more texture and variety to the page.

I chose another old document to glue down on the opposite page. Next, I ripped out pieces from my flatlays that I thought would go well with the page and work well at building up layers. Once I picked a stamp I really liked, I realized that it looked to “new” to harmonize with the page. I finished the page with a strip of asian text along the edge.

My last step was to “age” my stamp, so that it would fit better with my collage. I took out my stamp pad and Tim Holtz’s pumice stone. I sprayed the ink with a bit of water and then dipped my stamp a few times. This was a very subtle color change. Then I put the pumice stone again on the pad, this time without spraying it with water. That I dabbed the stamp into it just a little bit. This created the smallest hints of color change on the stamp, giving it a more grungey look. Once I glued it down, you cold barely tell where the stamp ended and the letter page began, which was exactly what I was hoping for.

Mixed Media Art Journaling and Collage ~ “Gelli JunkAdori” Part 3

Hello everyone!

If you are interested in continuing your journey with the Gelli JunkAdori, or are just starting out and interested in joining in on the fun, I invite you to check out this YouTube Video.

Ageing Papers

We had a lot of fun in this session. We started out talking about ledger paper. Many of us woudl love to use vintage papers; however, the costs can be quite high if purchasing large packs of them. There are several things you can do to avoid the high costs. For example, you can get a brand new journal. You can also get accounting pads. You can easily make these look vintage by coffee or tea staining and then doing some mark making. For both of these, I suggest checking thrift stores.

In this session we started out by staining tracing paper that we can use to cover some of the pages in our art journal. If you are working inside, putting bubble wrap under you workspace is a great idea to keep your studio area safe from the coffee staining. In this instance, I was looking for a very light look to ensure that it was still see-through. The main goal was to get that old “crinkly paper” look. I also sprayed the papers just a little bit with Seth Apter’s IZink Pearl.

Scrap Bin

Our next step was to go through our scrap bins to pull out pieces for collaging. If you don’t already have a scrap bin, I highly recommend it! It’s simply a bin where you keep things like bits and pieces of left over prints if you cut shapes out of them, small pieces of fabric, etc. Basically anything that you might normally throw away but instead could use to create interest in your collage pieces.

Collageing: Tracing Paper and Pockets

Next we did the super fun part: collage in the junkadori! We worked on pages in our junkadori that would look great with having tracing paper layered over them. This works great with pages that have writing on them. Especially if you enjoy scripting, layering different scripting papers over one another creates beautiful pages in how the different sizes and styles of the scripting combine together. All in all, with this tracing paper technique we are accomplishing creating variety in our work and also adding texture.

Creating these layers is also a technique that works for making your journal pages stronger. This is especially important if you are working with fragile pages.

We continued to fold the tracing paper in order to use it as a pocket on the page. We adhered it with PBA glue. The really gorgeous part about this style of pocket is that any piece that you decide to put inside it will create even more interesting layering because of the see-through aspect. Play around with pieces from your scrap bin to see what will work best!

As I continued to collage on another page, I thought about the previous pages of the book as I picked pieces and moved them around. This was with the intention of creating a natural progression of a theme throughout the pages.

On this page you will see two important concepts of collage being worked. We used a variety of shapes and sizes, and then combined neutrally toned pieces with astractly painted pieces.

The heart of the junkadori is to use pieces and bring new life to them, especially things that we normally would throw out. I hope you enjoy this session and find new, fun uses for the pieces in your scrap bin!

I wanted to share one last note about this style of journal. It is incredibly convenient for travelling, rathering that is on an overseas trip or just to the tv room 🙂

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx

JunkAdori Journaling Part 2

Hi everyone!

In this video we are going to continue working on pages in our new JunkAdori Journal and the Cabinet of Curiosities theme.

There is a particular style of staining that I often get asked about, which you will see on the envelope presented in the video. It is often mistaken for a Gel Plate printing technique; however, it requires lace and rusted pieces. Stay tuned for a more in depth workshop on this technique!

I thought it would be a neat idea to create a Cabinet of Curiosities Pinterest community board for this year. The members in our creative community are from all over the world, and I thought it would be so interesting to see, learn about, and enjoy everyone’s unique “curiosities”. It will be a great way for us to “studio chair” travel all over the world. So I invite you to come on over to the pinterest page and share and enjoy.

In this video, we will be working on creating translucent layers and flip out booklets in our journals. These techniques are great for working with pages that your particularly love and do not want to cover up too much, yet still want to embellish.

For the transparency technique, go ahead and lay your transparency on your work space. If you do not have transparencies, you can use sheet protectors or plastic sleeves (such as the sleeves that clothing comes in in a package). What I decided to do first is to do some scripting with sumi ink on the transparency. In this particular circumstance I did my “Old World” style scripting, which is a very expressive text. Make sure to give your page time to dry.

You can also repeat this step on tracing paper.

Adhering your transparent paper to your chosen paper is simple. All you need to is cut it into a shape that will fit your journal page and then staple it to the top of the page, so it hangs over the original journal page.

When we create flip out booklets for our journals, it’s important to keep size in mind since we do not want to cover up the pages that we particularly enjoy. In the video, you will see how I create a tri-fold and how to adhere it to the page, keeping the above in mind.

And now comes the fun part, embellishing the flip out. There are numerous ways you can decorate the pages of your flip outs. You will see me use a series of my Voynich Manuscript inspired plant art that I will glue onto the pages in an intuitive collage style that highlights the variety of flowers and scripting painted in this style.

See the video to see how we can sew the flip out booklet together.

*Quick Tips*

-Use a card (like a credit card) to smooth over your paper after you glue it down

-Before gluing down your collage pieces, play with overlapping them in different formations

-Vary your collage textures. Try adding little pieces of fabric to add interest.

-Create a collage of neutral colors and then add a little amount of a bright color that pops

-Use a ruler to assist you when ripping paper

-If you are folding brittle pages, secure them by gluing a piece of fabric like linen or cotton on the crease.

I hope you enjoy working on this project.

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx

JunkAdori Art Journals Part 1

Hi all!

I have been busy over on my YouTube Channel with our new theme for the New Year: The Cabinet of Curiosities. Our first project is a JunkAdori Journal! This is such a fun structure that I have been working with for three years. I was drawn to having a JunkAdori with the feel of an old book that is full of found objects, my artwork, and prints.

So what kind of papers go inside a JunkAdori Journal? The sky is the limit. I like to save many of my off-prints or images I have printed that did not completely work out for this very reason–they make great JunkAdori pages. Especially the papers you use when pulling extra paint off of your gel plate will make great inserts that add variety and interest to your journal. If you are into scripting and mark making, you might be like me and start your session with testing your ink and brush by making a few marks on a scratch piece of paper. Definitely hold on to these! Most of the time it takes very little to add a little extra to these pages. For example, coffee or tea staining can make a huge difference in making a page JunkAdori ready. Last but not least, if you are ever printing your artwork, it is a good idea to print a few pages that have your artwork on the front and back so you can use them in the future if your are making a journal.

In this video we learn how to prepare the inside of the book. You will also get a good idea of the variety of pages that can be used, work on ripping the edges of your papers to create an old world look, and focus on choosing papers that have blank spaces on them so that they are ready to have art added to them after your JunkAdori is prepared.

We will be working with 15 pages and using a standard Midori style journal. Unfolded, the cover is about 10 by 9 inches. The inside papers I tear down to be 9 by 8 3/8 inches.

Next we will stain a page. Select a page you would like to add to your journal. Lay it on top of wax paper. This is great to do if you are working with sprays. I decided on a printed page of my past printables. The spray I used in this video is made of Terre Pastels from France; however, you can use any dark blue spray if you are seeking the look of this particular page. Dab the spray a bit either with your hands or a tool. This will create a beautiful puddle look on your page. Wait for your papers to dry. If you used a page that was printed with an inkjet, you will notice a beautiful bleeding of the ink combined with the colors of your spray.

All that is left to do is to find a place in the journal for your new page!

In the following posts, we will be creating more pages for our journal and diving into how-to steps for Gel Plate Printing, collage, etc.

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx

52 Week Of Art Journaling Finale and Momigami

Hello everyone!

Wow! We have reached the 52nd week of our 52 Week Art Challenge. Congratulations! It is my wish that you are proud of yourself for your commitment, consistency, and creation. I invite you to enjoy this YouTube video where we wrap up our journey and explore Momigame, a Japanese papermaking method, often described as kneaded paper. 

Thank you for joining me this year on this 52 Week Journey! If you are interested in deepening your experience with art journaling, I invite you to join my ArtMythos program. Please reach out to if you have any questions.

Stay tuned for more posts about creating art in the world of Gelli Printing, Mixed Media, and Collage!

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx

Creating Our Color Palette And Decorative Papers

Hello everyone!

As we wrap up this 52 Week Art Journaling Challenge, it is a great time to reflect upon your color palette. Join me in my YouTube Video as we explore the steps of coming into a deeper relationship and understanding with the colors that make up our personal “ArtMythos” (telling our stories visually). No worries if you are just starting. This is an exercise you can do with any of your previous art.

This process of reviewing visual vocabulary and becoming even more intimately aware of the why and how of creating your art is truly one of the best ways to knowing yourself as an artist and creative.

Here are a few questions to consider…

How many colors do you tend to use in a single artwork?
How many different color palettes are you able to recognize in your journal?
Is there a single colors/tone that seems to appear across all of the palettes?
Do you come across any color combinations that you don’t feel work well together? How could you improve the palette from the things you have now learned?
Identify your favorite and most effective palette this year.
What have you learned about color relationships this year and how will you move these ideas into your work as you move forward?

Take time with this process…get your favorite beverage, carve some down time out for yourself and really allow your inner wisdom to lead you into new discoveries!

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx

Identify Symbols and Mark Making In Your Art Journaling

Hi all!

At this point in our 52 Week Challenge, I’d like you to take not of the symbols and marks you have made in your Art Journal. If you are just joining, first of all, welcome! You can complete this exercise by looking at any of the previous art you have made. I invite you to check out my YouTube video as we explore this subject further.

Using a blank sheet of paper, document each symbol you come across as your art. If you are new to this, you may be surprised to discover the patterns and marks you intuitively make in your creations.

  1. Draw or create a written description for the symbol and place a tick mark.
  2. Do this for each new symbol you come across.
  3. When you come across a previous documented symbol add another tick mark.
  4. Do this until you exhaust all of your journal entries.
  5. You’ll soon discover your top 5+ and more importantly you be surprised at how many you used and their significance.
  6. Also you have surprises regarding new symbols that you’d like to incorporate more moving forward.
  7. Spend some time purposefully using your symbols as you would the written world, observe how you continue to build stories with these symbols.

Some of mine include: intuitive scripting (no surprise), a full circle, an ink blot, single intuitive script, and a squished gelli circle. What were you surprised to find?

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx

Considering Texture In Our Artwork

Hi everyone!

Texture is a fundamental element of my visual vocabulary. Many of you are already intimately aware of old walls texture being the standard by which I rate a Gelli print 🙂 Join me in this YouTube Video for a deeper dive into texture.

“In the visual arts, texture is the perceived surface quality of a work of art. It is an element of two-dimensional and three-dimensional designs and is distinguished by its perceived visual and physical properties. Use of texture, along with other elements of design, can convey a variety of messages and emotions.” -Wikipedia

Take some time to review your artwork. Make a list of as many different textures and the techniques associated with those textures that you become aware of through this review process.

Create this list on a separate piece of paper so that you can create a chart of sorts. This will allow you to have an “at-a-glance” sheet of ideas to continue to incorporate into your work.

I periodically will review my journals and make note of new techniques that I’ve discovered through my daily journaling process, but may have forgotten. It becomes the spark of inspiration to revisit the techniques and become more familiar with them or explore them deeper. The continued re-visiting of previous work allows me to catalogue the ever expanding visual vocabulary that forms my dialogues. I’m able to communicate in new ways through my art, and thus fueling the evolution of my work.

It’s important to remember that the process of imaging our stories is ongoing we never arrive. As long as we are working and being inspired by the world around us, developing ideas and creating new work our visual vocabularies are expanding.

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx

Art Journaling: The Air Element

“Air is the element of intelligence, creativity, and beginnings. Largely intangible and without permanent form, air is an active, masculine element, unlike the more material elements of water and earth.”

Hey everyone!

Our journey into the elements and our connection to them continues with the air element. Join me in this YouTube Video as we explore air in in our art journaling.

I have an absolute love for feathers, I find and collect them everywhere I go. Long walks are bound to find me emptying my pockets onto my studio table with these precious finds. It’s impossible for me to walk by one and not scoop it up, even when I tell myself, “Certainly I have enough.” I use these treasures in my collages, gift wrapping and tablescapes throughout my home.

I believe that it’s a natural and instinctive connection to the wind, a breeze, that fuels my imagination and wunderlust for far away places. Travel has always supplied me with the images and elements of my visual vocabulary and the mythos of my art.

This is our last Element of Nature to look at with gratitude and appreciation during our art making and journaling time.

A cool breeze that flows through a window as we work in our studios, this element allows our Gelli Plates and paints to come to that perfect place when pulling a print.

There are hundreds of small examples of this element at work. Let’s pay attention and notice how we depend on air as an element, of course, there is the very obvious…each breath we take is a meditation in gratitude….Enjoy!

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx