I have always liked green: sea green, celadon, moss green, olive green, lime green, and chartreuse.  So, it was fun to use chartreuse as a color scheme for a journal page.

It was interesting trying to layer so many different elements while maintaining the chartreuse theme. I have been using more and more layers varying the effects, but it was challenging to limit the palette.

In the next journal page, I used my own hand drawn doodles that I made a few weeks ago into photoshop brushes, then added some doodles directly onto the page using a pen tablet. I also colored in the hats in the vintage photo. Using the pen tablet is much like drawing directly into a journal, although will a little less control.  Hopefully, with more practice I will improve.

What stuck me about this photo is that, while it is clearly a party, no one seems to be having much fun – especially the children!  Maybe they were just making the best out of an unhappy situation!

Begin it Now

I am enjoying my time on this snowy morning playing more with digital art journaling.  I have learned so much in the last few weeks.  I prefer pages that looks more like journal pages in a real journal – with paint and photos and collaged elements. Therefore, I was so glad to learn more tricks to blend elements that add texture and bits of color in order to bring out the complexities of a design.

When I found this Suffragette image, it seemed to fit the quote below perfectly.  Note: You can always click on any image to make it larger.

I played with Hamlet’s “To Be or Not to Be” speech on the journal page below.  Also, I am enamored of owls at the moment, so used one as my central image.
This page is a reminder to myself that happiness is always a choice.

I also had some more fun using my doodles and vintage photos to tell a story.


I used one of my favorite quotes as the basis for the journal page below.  As I looked through my archive of photos, this one of my father in his early 20’s caught my attention.  I then started adding cartographic elements as my theme took shape.  Through this process I began to realize how my father is my “north arrow” in terms of integrity.  He lived his life according to his values.  He accomplished many things during his lifetime including serving during WWII teaching meteorology to pilots; earning his Ph.D in Education from Harvard, working as the first Registrar of the Air Force Academy, and, after his retirement from the Air Force in 1965, working for Education Testing Service for 8 years.    But, I really believe that it was his strong character and moral judgement that people remember of him.  He was a man one could count on and trust.

This art journal page is for my dad, Col. Virgil John O’Connor, Ph.D, born June 30, 1915, died, December 15, 1993.  I miss him very much.


Clandestine Games in the Cave of the Goldfish

This is the first week of the Art Journal Caravan 2012 at  Below is the journal page that I made using two different prompts. I used a doodle that I had drawn and converted into a Photoshop brush, which I “stamped” on my page. I am so excited that I have finally learned how to make my own brushes!

Clandestine Scavenger Hunt

I then made another page using another “stamp”. I am going to continue to play with making my own backgrounds and brushes and elements to add into my pages. I like journal pages that have a bit of whimsy to them. I am also focusing on how I tell a story with my pages. I love using vintage photos, because they help to create the story in my own mind, and they add so much character to the pages.

The Race Begins

Mind Map

This is the first Art Journal page in my Art Journal Caravan 2012 at  I created a mind map depicting my view of my thought processes.  It occurred to me as I worked, that the more I meditate, those areas that are positive (creativity, compassion) expand, while the other negative areas (worry, anger) contract.

The orange background I painted on canvas, and the green/blue I made as a gel print.  I scanned each and layered them, erasing some of the orange so that the green could show through (changing the color from light green to blue green).  Then I scanned the head template from a fantastic book called Personal Geographies by Jill K. Berry, and made a stamp (Photoshop brush) from it.  I also included a photo of myself as a child with collaged wings from a card I made last year.  The font is Tangie’s from Scrapbookgraphics “Mad Hatter”.  I am enjoying this exploration into digital art journaling.