At Orly Avinary’s Workshop: The Visual Journal as Sanctuary

I have been doing visual journaling on my own for so many years that when the opportunity to take a class with Orly Avinary came, I had to take it even though it was way over my budget. But how often does one of your blogging art idols come traveling to your country from the US to teach? And Orly Avinary came to a location that is two hours away for me to travel to, in the archipelago of Stockholm, Sweden! That does not happen very often, really.

So I used some of my savings and marked my calendar, and I have been waiting for a about a year to go to this class. I didn’t really know what to expect, but the class has a name that was calling for me: The Visual Journal as Sanctuary

Orly called them bundles, we made them at her class in Sweden - photo by @ihanna

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Art Journal Peek: Flying Elephants and More

An Art Journal Can be filled with just about Anything, and the rules you set up for yourself are there to help guide you towards your next page. If you don’t feel like following your own rules, then just ignore them. Don’t let rules, or ideas about what this artsy journal should be about, hinder you!

Art Journaling Can be just about anything made by iHanna

I found a a few spreads from this hand bound art journal, and I don’t think I’ve shared them with you, so here we go with a long post of happy imagery. At lest it’s all happy to me.

In these spreads you can see a huge variate – within the same journal – of the things I like to add into my art journal. I’ve added in a bit of just about everything I have in my stash, from my paint and pencil to collage and memorabilia.

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Vintage Dymo label maker

Anyone can look for fashion in a boutique or history in a museum. The creative explorer looks for history in a hardware store and fashion in an airport.
Robert Wieder

Love << My vintage Dymo label maker - photographed by iHanna #dymo #labelmaker

I thrifted a turquoise Vintage Dymo label maker, and oh my. I’m quite in love with this beauty. It’s just so stylish, don’t you agree? Now if I could only find a vintage typewriter in a smilar style…

I already have a much bigger vintage label maker, and one tiny that’s probably made for kids. But this one is not only useful and still working, but it is this light dimmed turquoise that I adore, like a vintage car for stationary addicts.

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As seen on Instagram

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.

Distractions. Everywhere. Or: the path forward? #mixedmedia painted by iHanna
Distractions. Everywhere. Or: the path forward?

I keep painting, doodling, doing my thing. I’m drawn to these things, as seen on instagram almost daily. But I find it hard to come to the blog, because I have too much I want to say at once. I forget to take it slow, day by day. I want to push everything out, and then I overwhelm myself. So I go all silent for a few days, because – who can take all that? Plus, I need to do computer work too, a lot of it this week.

But today, once more, I’m here to share snippets of my life. To give it a try. I am back, because I love it. I’m here again, this time with my most recent instagram photos, in case you missed them in the ever changing app? Or if you’d like to see them again, here they are, as seen on instagram…

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Painting triangles – or pyramids

The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.
Joseph Campbell

My painting adventures continues, from watercolor circles to painting triangles. I was going to say: let’s dive in, but it’s more like: let’s climb to the top, since my triangles turned into pyramids…

Painting triangles - or are they pyramids painted by iHanna

I find triangles harder to paint than circles, since the point (!) is to have them symmetrical and straight. Mine are not.

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Exploring Watercolors

I have been exploring watercolors intensely for the past few months. Or: exploring water colours if you will, my whole life. Watercolors have always been in my artistic toolbox, never far from my fingertips.

Exploring watercolors a lot lately painted by iHanna, Sweden

Long before I opened up my first art journal or learned about acrylics, I owned a set of artist watercolors. And I have always loved them deeply, even though I used to use them like crayons – for coloring illustrations.

Now – I’m exploring how they want to flow on their own, together, to the side, with the water droplets on the page… I’m falling in love all over again!

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Warm Ups | the tabbed index dividers series

Last in the row of posts about index cards this year, I’m sharing the few index dividers I made first, before the real action in June got going: the “starters”, the warm ups, the fearful first experiments – but maybe, ideas for something else too. A series of… paintings? Word prompts? A small collection of ideas.

Utmärkt painted by iHanna #icad

And let me tell you, I really enjoyed making these, even though technically they’re not index cards but the tabbed divider cards that you keep in between the index cards to find what you’re looking for. My tabs are a bit more sturdy, a lovely cream yellow and perfect to paint on. The only reason I didn’t use these all the time is because I didn’t have enough for two months…

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The Polka Dot Lioness

I seam to be surrounded by polka dots, sometimes they are everywhere I look…

Art journal detail: lioness, by iHanna

The Polka Dot Lioness is the ruler of her kingdom. She does not take no for an answer. She is the first spread in my altered art journal book…
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61 Abstractions on Index Cards

The daily challenge of painting an abstract piece of art on an index card during June and July is over – and it’s time to celebrate this achievement! I’m late with my personal celebration, but there have been a lot of it going on around the internet these last few days. Nobody knows how many thousands of people participated in the challenge through the years since it started – or how many of those also got to 61 that marks the finishing line… Just starting is awesome, giving this fun creative challenge a try is great, to fill an index card each day, yes indeed. But seeing the final result is a simply awesome! It’s a good feeling to finish what you set out to do, even if it’s just “painting a few lined cards during the summer”…

61 abstract painted index cards, 2016 - painted by iHanna #icad

I finished the challenge and posted my last index card the 31st of July to both instagram and my facebook fan page Studio iHanna. And today finally, all of them together in this post…

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Spray Painting a Vintage Book Cover | before and after

The first few Art Journals I filled I bought in a book store. They were spiral bound and had great thick paper to work on. I was a beginner at everything art related, so buying was my best option to get started. But since then, I have learned to love working in vintage books.

Vintage book going to be a new art journal by iHanna

These days I almost always have an altered book going, with a colorful altered book cover of course, as my messy, everyday art journal. I love working in an altered book, and I fill it with collage and paint, scribbles, words, ephemera and color. This is the story of how I altered this sun bleached cover fabric to something a bit more… my taste!

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