Technique 1: Under- journaling

    Under journaling is the first technique I ever used to engage my recovery. It is the process of journaling under art in a way that creates a meaningful, purposeful, piece of art that fully embraces the heart of the artist. It is a process that I have repeated hundreds of times and I find that it helps me to move through and past things that would otherwise stump me or hold me in anger, hurt or resentment. It helps me process loss, forgiveness,guilt, sadness, joy, love, anger, and any other thing I need to process.

     For this project, you will need a piece of water color paper or mixed media paper, in a size that will fit in your journal, your favorite writing instrument, white acrylic paint or gesso, a pencil,  mod podge or your favorite glue, your favorite art supplies and old book pages and/or decorative napkins or any paper you like. 

  1. Fold your paper in half . We fold this in half so that we can later bind it into a journal. If you will be attaching it to a page or slipping it into an envelope, it will be small enough that you don’t have to fold it. It’s your preference.
  2. Begin to write on the paper as if in a journal. If you have trouble getting started you can write on a certain topic, like denial or anger… or use a prompt like “today I am feeling….”, or “I want to throat punch….”. Don’t let a blank canvas or paper intimidate you. You make that paper your’ a…, friend. Write until you feel you have said what you need to say, as long as it takes.
  3. Read it, pray about it, and let it go.
  4. Using the Gesso or white paint, cover the surface over the paper or canvas. It may take more than one coat. You can let words show through by painting around them or not. It’s up to you.
  5. Next collage your background. Using book pages or papers you like tear or cut paper and attach it to your background with an adhesive like mod podge, matte or gel medium etc.
  6.  Next collage on your Napkin if you are using one. Allow to dry completely.
  7. Now your work surface is ready for your creative touch!

Just a little bit of color therapy

     Sometimes, I just pile my favorite art supplies in a big beautiful pile on my art table and work or play depending on how you see it.  I just need to cleanse my soul of all the weeks junk, you know stress.  Sometimes just putting my hands in the paint or the pastels or the ink is enough to to fill my heart with joy and it purges out all the emotional and mental noise and replaces it with something worth hearing.  The following was one of those sessions. 

     I had no idea what was going on the paper when I sat down, but it was houses that made the cut. I thought I would share that with  you. 

Recovery Art

abstract angelwm     I usually just talk about whatever project I am working on and throw a video up and call it good. But today, I want to talk about something a little different.

I had big plans for Desert Angel Mixed Media Arts. I had a business plan. I took courses and got certified to teach.  I got financing. I bought paint and easels and canvases and paper. I developed my own style. I wanted to teach meaningful art that would change the world. Best laid plans.

Enter Lupus. An auto immune disease that causes your immune system to attack your organs and joints. The symptoms are a long list, but the ones that affect me most are extreme fatigue, joint pain, muscle weakness and muscle pain. Some times its my hands, another day it is my knees or my lungs are inflamed or I can only stay up for 3 hours and have to go back to bed or its an infection somewhere in my body that knocks me flat.  AND then… It will just go away for a while.  It’s those times when I think I can conquer the world with my paint brush and found things and scrapbook paper and ink.  Its  then that I forget that Lupus makes me unreliable because I never know when it will attack.  I forget that I may not have the energy to  make an appointment or carry paint bottles or drive. I forget that I might not make that show that I paid 100 bucks to get into. But Lupus always reminds me. And when it does, sometimes I become depressed, introverted, and sad.

That’s no way to live. It is time for a dose of reality.  I’ve spent almost a year now grieving the loss of a dream. Pouting. Wondering why the magic diet didn’t work or the new pill isn’t kicking in. Feeling worthless, washed up, old and rickety and nearing the jumping off place.   Poppy cock.

I am a survivor. There are others who have much worse things to deal with than this and I am blessed enough to have an amazing husband who supports me and loves me no matter what. I have amazing children and family. I have a long history of recovery and I have a bad ass art room with everything that I could need to  create. I don’t have to worry about anything  but my own junk and I have sat in my self pity long enough. I have no right to feel sorry for my self when my real purpose has been with me  all along and God has provided everything I need to accomplish my deepest hidden desire which is to help others recover from trauma,  substance abuse, sexual abuse, eating disorders, loss… the list goes on,  through art. I am not a therapist, I have just developed some techniques that have helped me heal and I want to share those things. I have a master’s degree in experience when it comes to surviving trauma. God set me up to do this thing. I tried to get out of it. It has been my secret healing place with all my secrets and ideas and joys and victories. I just didnt want to share. But when you have a purpose deep inside you, and it has been there for a long time and you know it is what you were born to do, eventually you have to do it.

So there it is. I am going to be 50 this year. 50. I feel like I better get a move on here.  I will be doing this from my art room through you tube, blogging, and social media.  I am just going to share.  No promises, no schedule. Just Life.  Just Art. Just Healing. Just community. Just Recovery. Its time to do the work. It doesn’t matter who watches or follows me. It only matters that I do it. Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and jump and trust that God will catch you.100_6766




Little Golden Book Journal: Finding Nemo


I have a tendency to go a little over board when I get excited about an art project. I have collected A LOT of children’s books and my head is over flowing with ideas for journals and bags and….. oh so much more. I am working on a series (” Books and Bags” )for a while.  I need to switch gears for a while. It has been hard finding real estate in this new place to build a studio for teaching, so we decided to postpone it for a while. This leaves me a little time to just art. Just relax. Just have fun.  So that I can release the inner creative beast before I explode, I decided to go back to working on one of my favorite things: Book binding and journals.  I love this because there are no rules. I can sew, paint, work with papers, work with books, stamps, texture, jewelry components, fabrics, hardware,…the list just goes on.  This series will last until I run out of books or until I have chewed all the flavor out of it, or until a squirrel runs by… you creative types know what I am talking about.

This nautical themed journal began with a little golden book and became a junk journal, my favorite no-rules art journal thing so far.  This one is on its way to Indiana right now.

Finishing What I started… April Goals

*** I have oh so many projects started in my art studio. I have been trying to find a comfortable art place to get nuzzled in and just disappear into my bliss. On this quest I have started a lot of projects. I say started, not finished. I’ve broken my own rule.   It usually happens when I am waiting for something to dry. If I could learn to meditate or dance or something  while I wait, I could do one project at a time but  once I get in the zone… I cannot stop.  So my goal is to finish as many of those projects as I can in April.  Here are a few of them.



***I am still looking for space to set up shop here in Carlsbad NM, so that I can teach mixed media classes, art parties and workshops. For those things it is just to labor intensive to  haul that many supplies from place to place. However, I  will be ready by the end of April to do Art Parties for Kids, Paint and Sips, Coffee and Canvas, and Events at a venue of your choice or in your home.  I may do some children’s art Classes this summer in my home or at the rec center at discount prices.  I should have the details of the classes and parties up on my site in a couple of weeks.  And Finally, I will try to have the show schedule for the next six months, if you are interested in purchasing my art.



*** I will still be working on the Illustrated Girls series until it is finished. Video 5 is up next. ” Prayer and Praise”. Its almost Easter after all.  I’m rather excited about this one. Not only do I love the illustration, I am excited to work with acrylics on this painting.  I will be working on that one today Here is the sketch of the next installment of  the Illustrated girl series.



*** The Last thing that I would like to introduce is Techniques and Tricks. I am going to be doing a series of shorty videos, so I can share some of my techniques with you as they happen. Here is the first one on using repositional sticker paper to create masks in your artwork. Also here I am working with my Scanncut. I bought it so that I could make stencils of my original art for art classes for my students. I used it on this project to create masks out of my own handwriting, which was cool, and of some feathers.