I've been published - and a giveaway to celebrate!

I'm so excited to share that my art journal was featured in Stampington's Art Journaling Magazine!  

It was the first story in the Jan/Feb/March issue.  You can read the article here - Out of the past and into my future.  I featured this journal in a former blog post where you can view the pages more closely if you wish.  Here are a few fun pictures of it.


Getting published in a Stampington Magazine has been an artistic goal of mine for several years.  In the mixed media world, they are the  bomb-diggity of magazines.  I have spent many hours drooling over the beautiful artwork featured on their pages, learning new techniques from other accomplished artists, and drawing creative inspiration from the varied styles of work.  To have work of mine adorn their pages is an honor and a dream come true!

A note to other artists - I was nervous.  To even consider submitting my work filled me with anxiety.  I felt like it was crazy to even read the submission guidelines, much less send in my work.  I somehow felt like if they published it, then I really was an artist.  If they didn't, well than I might just be a woman who "dabbles" in art but not truly an artist.   I finally got sick of this kind of thinking and decided that regardless of their opinion - I AM and artist.  So I gave it a try.  After all, the worst thing that could happen was that they said no!  But they said yes - and I wouldn't have gotten there without facing my fear of rejection.  

To celebrate this exciting news, I am doing my first ever giveaway!  

Adult coloring books are all the rage right now, so the prize is this beautiful Big Book Of Mandalas Coloring book.  It has more than 200 mandalas for your coloring relaxation pleasure.  

Here's the rules:

1.  To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post.

2.  Giveaway ends January 31.  I will notify a randomly drawn winner then, and ship you the prize.

Easy peasy - and while you are at it, feel free to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest if you don't already!

New Art & A New Website (plus a special discount for YOU)!

I'm so excited to unveil our new website at www.justmarydesigns.com!  We have been working hard to create a site full of visual interest, explosions of color, and ways to get inspirational art right into your hands.  And I'm pleased to announce that it's finally ready!  To celebrate I am offering 20% off all orders from now thru August 1st.  Just use this code at your checkout - SXO4ETGQAUIM  You can even use it on brand new art that has never been see before - like the piece above, Create A Happy Life.

Create A Happy Life was born out of an art journaling experiment.  I love working in my journals and often create rings that I think are "canvas worthy"….but they are in the middle of a journal!  So I have begun playing with the idea of 3 layers of creation for one color palette.  I find the materials I want to use and do an art journal spread in my own journal, a similar one in a journal that I will eventually sell, and a canvas in the same color palette.  The result has been fantastic and fun…and has created this beautiful vintage looking piece above.

I hope it inspires you to Create A Happy Life!  Come on over to my website and check out the new and featured art, along with your old favorites.  Don't forget to use your discount code!!


Queen Of The Sea...

I've been playing a lot in my art journal recently.  It's a place for me to try new techniques, experiment with different mediums, and simply make a beautiful mess!  I saw a site with some beautiful mer-girls and it inspired me to do this page - The Queen of The Sea.  It got me to wondering what life might be like as a mermaid? I wonder if deep under the sea, the queen of the mermaids asks herself  "Does this tail make me look fat?".  Does she hope her long flowing hair will attract the attention of just the right mer-man?  For many of us land lubbers, it can be a major self confidence struggle to buy a new bathing suit and put it on.  This little lady LIVES in one!  Is she naturally skinny or does she have to go on a fish diet from time to time?  Does she even eat fish?  What about exercise - does she count laps swum between sunken ships?  Does she find contentment in singing her siren song?  Is her life one of play, or does she have a job?  Kids? Silly little ramblings I know...but that's why I call it "playing" in my art journal!!!

I REALLY am....

[caption id="attachment_603" align="alignleft" width="692"] Art Journal Page - I Really Am...[/caption]   Ever have those days where your fears rise up - even if they don't make any logical sense?  I took a class about art journaling and the assignment was to journal about your fears on one side...and your reality on the other side.  I think women tend to universally fear some of the same things.  We fear loosing love...our health...our money...our very lives.  We sometimes even fear looking in the mirror to see how our pants fit today, or fear stepping on the scale to get the same bad news day after day.   I'm done with these fears.  They really don't serve me.  I don't make forward progress with my life when I sit in a puddle of fear.  Or when I anxiously fret about what "could" happen or what "they" might think.  When I think about being bold, embracing my strength and the beauty within me - well it just makes me feel strong.  Like I can conquer the world.  Like I am solidly here and a force to be reckoned with.   So here is what I really am....I'm a damn good business woman.  An emerging artist.  A loving mother.  A doting grandmother.  A pilot with a sense of adventure that goes as far as my airplane will take me.  A classy girl with a little flair and a lot of pluck who intends to live her life on her own terms.   Goodbye silly fears.... hello sweet life!

Boldly Face Your Future...

I thought it would be a good idea to practice faces.  I am not really good yet at the noses....or lips....or eyes....lol I am pretty sure that covers most of the face!  I don't want all of the people I paint to be faceless.  So I turned to my art journal and started doodling.  Some features up close.  Some in a small face.  Some in a larger face.  I have found it is pretty hard to capture any type of real expression in a small face.  I think that means I need to practice more!! As I was doodling I was thinking about faces, about facing things, and it morphed into facing your future.  Everyone has things in their future - things looming ahead - that bring them angst and anxiety.  Sometimes it is about a change that is coming.  Sometimes it is because we long for change.  But whatever looms ahead I have learned is best handled by walking straight into it - boldly facing what is coming your way.  We can get through anything - the hardest part is really just taking the steps to get started.  So go - go boldly face your own future.  You can do it!!