‘Let Go’ New Inspirational Art Video

Art Video Let Go by Iris Fritschi-Cussens

I’ve been so busy this past month creating my new course Abstract Watercolour Flowers. Now that most of the work is done I can come back to making some different art again. I’m rediscovering my love for mixed media art journaling and journaling for expression and to work through some feels.

Sometimes I feel guilty for having so many art supplies that I don’t really use… A big one of these is Dylusions ink sprays. I have about 10 different colours! I love their vibrant colours, but I always find them sooo tricky to work with because they seep through the pages and show up through any subsequent layers. But…. I also like a challenge and I’m always going on about letting go and the process being more important than the result…. so I decided to embrace the sprays and let them do their thing!

In this time-lapse art video you can see me create an art journal spread using acrylic paints, Dylusions sprays and watercolours. Hope you enjoy!

Here is the final piece:

Let Go - art journal spread by Iris Fritschi-Cussens

Here are two more pieces that I made with similar techniques:

Oh No Not Me - art journal spread by Iris Fritschi-Cussens

Think - art journal spread by Iris Fritschi-Cussens

It feels so good to come back to a bit of expressive & raw art journaling! Hope you found this inspiring and it will help you with your art journaling journey!

GIVEAWAY! ArtistCellar stencil set & new art video

UPDATED UPDATED UPDATED

THE WINNER IS:

Miriam Gault

Congratulations Miriam!!! You have been contacted to claim your prize of this set of awesome stencils. Thank you to everyone for entering, your wonderful ideas on how to use these stencils (I’m feeling super inspired, I hope you are too!) and your enthousiastic response to my video. You rock!

The winner was randomly picked from all qualifying entries


It’s time for a giveaway!!! WOOHOO! Have you heard of ArtistCellar? They make awesome stencils which I’ve been using for years. I’m a total fan! Their quality is superb (much more sturdy than some other stencils I’ve used) and they have lots of appealing designs to choose from. Best of all?!! I get to give a set away to one of you lucky visitors!

Watch This Inspirational Art Video

You can often see me use these babies in my videos and classes. If you’d like to see what I did with this specific series of stencils I’m giving away (Cathedral Plan series, beautiful large stencils size 8.5 x 11), please watch the short art journaling inspiration video below! (Best enjoyed by turning up the music & watching in HD!)

Link to YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fD1bdVaMmdE

Art Journaling with Artistcellar Stencils & Watercolours by Iris Fritschi-Cussens

Art Journaling with Artistcellar Stencils & Watercolours by Iris Fritschi-Cussens

Art Journaling with Artistcellar Stencils & Watercolours by Iris Fritschi-Cussens

Art Journaling with Artistcellar Stencils & Watercolours by Iris Fritschi-Cussens

Art Journaling with Artistcellar Stencils & Watercolours by Iris Fritschi-Cussens

Love how you can make really individual and striking art with such simple supplies.

Art supplies I used:

Enter To Win

Now is your chance to WIN a free set of Cathedral Plan stencils by ArtistCellar!

All you have to do is:

1. ensure you are signed up to my newsletter
2. leave a comment below telling me how you would use these stencils
3. BONUS ENTRIES for extra chances to win, SHARE this post on your social media (Twitter, Facebook etc)

Good luck! Can’t wait to read your answers!

A winner will be picked & contacted by 21 April.

How to set up your art space for mixed media and art journaling

Art-Space-Set-Up-How-To

My top 5 tips for organizing your art space and having a great setup. Watch the short video below or read the transcript underneath.

Tip 1. A Tidy Start

Clutter kills creativity. OK maybe not, but a clutter of art supplies when I start makes me feel overwhelmed with too many choices. A clean desk means I can start with a sense of calm and go from there.

Tip 2. Workspace Aplenty

I’m sure lots of you can relate to having only a small space to work in. It’s important to have more surface than just what you need for your journal or substrate. That way you can have the materials you’re working with around you. Set up a foldable table if possible.

Tip 3. Get Organized

Everything should have its own place. It will help you find this quickly and also makes tidying up much easier.

Tip 4. Quick Access

When it’s hidden away, I don’t use it and forget I have it. All my favourite art supplies are within arms reach and visible. That way I can quickly grab what I need without having to get up. It really helps me stay in the creative flow.

Tip 5. Get Rid Of It!

If you don’t use it, lose it! It clutters up your art space and makes you feel like you ‘should’ use it. If you don’t use or enjoy certain supplies, get rid of them (Freecycle, charity shop, arty friends) and make space for things you DO like.

Do It For Fun, Do It For You

Do-It-For-Fun

I’ve made 13 short art journal videos in the last 20 days. That’s a reason in itself to celebrate! But what it also gives me the opportunity to do is examine my ways of working, my habits and my reasons. And then to share these insights with you in the hope that you find it useful too!

The thing I’ve noticed most of all from doing a challenge in which I only spend 15 minutes on a page and from recording the process, is that I want art to be easy and fun. That’s also why I’m sharing these videos. The art making is for me, but the video making is to share and give back, because I so appreciate everyone out there who shares their process and helps people like me get inspired, be entertained and get better!

It would be really easy NOT to share these videos of quick pages. After all they’re not masterpieces, nor super in-depth tutorials, but I think the key to what they do have is that they are fun and lighthearted. I want to show that you can make something nice in 15 minutes, that you don’t need to take it too seriously, that it can be beautiful or it can be average.

I think a lot of us feel held back by the thought that whatever we do (and especially whatever we share) needs to be somehow GOOD or MEANINGFUL. We think it has to be WORTHY. And then we attach a load of restrictions on ourselves in terms of what fulfills those criteria. What I’m saying is: it doesn’t have to be any of those things. Let go of the harsh judgements and requirements or the worry of what others may think, and instead do it for fun. Do it because it makes you feel joyful.

In sharing everything I attempt (even the messes and fuckups) I’m hoping that you get inspired to make art too and embrace the joy and let things be what they are. Let’s remove the pressure and let ourselves play!

Also, in case you were wondering, the days in November for which there are no videos are simply because I didn’t have the time or capability to film on those days, not because I’m filtering what I share.

Here are 3 of my favourite videos, and as a bonus the 4th video is the fuckup. Important! I call it a fuckup tongue in cheek. I am not feeling badly or being down on myself, I’m just being humorous because I don’t particularly like that page, but I see it as part of the process and I fully accept it and love it in its own way. I encourage you to do the same with your ‘oopsies’, love them and let go.


Day 19: Smudgy smudgy with oil pastels & oil bar


Day 5: Neocolor II and stenciling fun


Day 9: Drippy drippy inks


Day 12: A weird alien type person, wtf??

I Fell Into The Moon – Art Journal Video

I made a new art tutorial video for you! Watch me create an art journal spread from start to finish including building up the background, sketching & painting a face and finishing it all up with interesting elements and doodles. Scroll down for a full supply list.

If you enjoyed this video please feel free to share it with your creative friends!

Supplies Used

  • Craft paints (various pinks, blue, turquoise & black)
  • Ranger Archival stamp pad in black
  • Music stamp & Xs stamp
  • Stabilo All pencil in black
  • Gesso
  • Acrylic paints (titanium buff, yellow ochre, quinacridone nickle azo gold)
  • Uni Ball Signo pens in black & white
  • Uni Posca pens in red & pink
  • Prismacolor coloured pencils
  • Pitt pen
  • Gelatos
  • Neocolor II watersoluble crayons

I Fell Into The Moon | mixed media art journal video tutorial | iris-impressions.com

I Fell Into The Moon | mixed media art journal video tutorial | iris-impressions.com

I Fell Into The Moon | mixed media art journal video tutorial | iris-impressions.com

I Fell Into The Moon | mixed media art journal video tutorial | iris-impressions.com

Radiant Lesson Sneak Peek

T minus 3 days until we start with Radiant Art Journals! I’m joining a team of such amazing artists (seriously, I’m pinching myself!) to bring you an online course that will help you explore the yumminess that is art journaling.

You’re going to learn tons of techniques, be inspired by a host of different teachers and styles and get oodles of encouragement!

I’ve put together a short video in which you can see what to expect from my lesson:

I’m so excited to share my process & techniques with you and I really hope you will join us, you can sign up here!

If you register for Radiant Art Journals through my link you are supporting me to keep bringing you awesome (free) content & courses. Yay you!

If you still need a bit more convincing, my friends Marieke & Juna have also got amazing lessons in store for you and they have each created teaser videos too. You can check out Marieke’s video here, and Juna’s video here.

If you’d like to read more information before deciding download the in-depth course outline PDF here.

My Art Supply Bag for Art Journal Summer School

Hello lovelies! Art Journal Summer School starts TOMORROW!!! Eeeeeeeeee, I’m getting so excited! Expect many exclamation points in this post!

To get you a bit more excited and as a little intro, I thought it might be helpful to talk you through the art supplies I’ve got in my toiletry bag. You can watch the video and/or read the supply list with my personal explanations and input below.

Are you joining the course and community of 350 students? Read all the details, download the supply list and register your spot here.

Art Journal

My journal of choice right now is a Seawhite of Brighton A5 journal. It’s SUPER CHEAP. I bought it for £1.25 (that’s less than $2!). The paper is a bit thin but it’s ‘extra wet strength’ which I can confirm is true. It stands up to mixed/wet media remarkably well although it does buckle quite a lot. It’s made in the UK (and also well stocked in The Netherlands) so might be a bit harder to get across the Atlantic.

Brushes

I tend to use student grade brushes and I buy them in packs because they’re much cheaper that way. The ones you see in the video are Pro Arte Polar and Daler Rowney Graduate. I have one large flat one for backgrounds and bigger areas. One angled brush which I love for shading faces. Finally I have two different round ones for details, writing, swirling, and what-have-you.

Pencils

The supply list has a mechanical pencil which I do like using, but it brings out the perfectionist in me because you can do endless sketching and erasing, sketching and erasing. Although I love symmetry and perfection as much as the rest of us, it doesn’t tend to make me happy with my process. So instead I love using a Stabilo All pencil. It’s a lovely dark black and it’s watersoluble so you can activate it with water. It helps me be more intuitive, embrace imperfection and really commit to the lines I’m putting down on paper.

Erasers

I have one square white eraser for large areas and a Tuff Stuff eraser stick for details.

AJSS-Supply-Bag-01

Glue and Scissors

I have a pair of tiny scissors and a small pot of matte medium to glue things down. I am not into collage very much though so I hardly ever use these.

Black & White Pens

I use acrylic paint pens by Uni Posca for most of the writing on my pages. I also tend to use them for pupils, eyewhites and highlights in the eyes. They work really well over mixed media, but it’s important to wait until previous layers are fully dry, or you might clog/ruin the nib. They also don’t work very well on thickly applied Neocolor II crayons. I also use Uniball Signo gel pens for details, it has a bit more of a pen feel rather than a marker. Finally I recommend Faber Castell Pitt Pen in black. This is India ink in a pen, it is waterproof when dry. The brush tip is lovely for adding writing or details on top of mixed media.

AJSS-Supply-Bag-02

Washi Tape

Come on, you need this! Washi tape is so fun with all the patterns. Depending on the media underneath it might not always stick very well, in which case you can use glue or brush some matte medium under & over it.

Dylusions Ink Spray

The brightness of the colours are amazing! Beware of three things though: it goes EVERYWHERE when you spray, it will stain your hands for days, it reactivates when you work on top with wet media.

AJSS-Supply-Bag-03

Stencils

I don’t work with stencils that often, but they can add real interest to your backgrounds or composition. You can experiment with using sprays or paint. If you spray through a stencil, don’t forget to afterwards flip the stencil and press it onto the page to get the negative image.

Acrylic Paints

It’s such a great idea to limit your colour palette. It avoids overwhelm and gives a consistency to the work you create. In my bag I’ve packed a yellow, a bright pink and a turquoise along with black and white. Craft paints, chalk paints or matte acrylics are ideal for working in an art journal. They dry quickly, the pages don’t stick together and they’re usually non-toxic (do check your preferred brand) so suitable for doing art with your kids.

Watersoluble Crayons

I use Caran d’Ache Neocolor II. They are watersoluble wax crayons. Super portable and non messy while giving you nice bright colours! I packed these colours: apricot, raspberry red, turquoise, white, orangeish yellow, pink, jade, light ochre, ice blue & cinnamon.

AJSS-Supply-Bag-04

Extras

These are not on the supply list but I can’t live without them:

Rag

I use an old muslin cloth (you know, the type you use to mop up baby sick and when your kids pee on things). It doesn’t take up much space and it’s great for wiping excess paint off your brushes. I forgot this the other day when I went to journal in the park and I ended up wiping my brushes on fallen leaves. It wasn’t very effective. So jus’ saying, having a cloth is quite handy.

Water Spray Bottle

I love having slightly more runny paint so I usually spritz my pages with water before applying paint or while I’m shading a face. I also like making drips which a spray bottle is great for!


I do so hope you will join in on the fun! Can’t wait to see the wonderful artwork everyone creates!

Hope Is The Little Voice That Whispers ‘Maybe’

It’s a new episode of Art Play Relay! March marks the start of a new cycle in this project, meaning Juna and I have each picked a new quote and started a new painting!

The Videos

My video: Juna’s video: You can read Juna’s blogpost about her process here. If you’d like to be involved, you still can! Join the Facebook group here to connect with the other lovely people, find a buddy and post your work. The quote for this artwork is:

Hope is the little voice you hear whisper “maybe” when it seems the entire world is shouting “no”

Thank you Melfina for providing us with that quote!

Supply List

  • Watercolour paper 300gsm hot pressed
  • Scrap paper
  • Knife, ruler & cutting mat
  • Gel medium
  • Sponge brushes
  • Acrylic paint
  • Palette knife
  • Ink
  • Old toothbrush
  • Floral stamp
  • Stamp pad (black)
  • Paint pens (black & white

Thought Process

I think the hardest thing with this artwork was completely letting go of the projects from the last two months. I really didn’t want to recreate something similar, I wanted it to be a fresh start.

When I saw the quote it instantly resonated with me so much. I have a lot of doubt inside me and inner voices that tell me ‘no’. I guess it’s an internalised version of that ‘society’ (or sometimes parental) voice of needing to live your life a certain way, that the way that feels true and authentic is not the realistic way or what other people want for you. My current journey with my art and more generally in my life is so much one of trying to find my own voice. Pushing against the ‘no’ and finding my own ‘maybe’ (and eventually my own ‘yes’)!

How to translate an abstract quote into a painting is a different matter though! Holding a quote inside your head when doing a painting though makes it shine through. The ‘maybe’ to me is a sense of possibility, of seeing where things go and of letting things grow. That is represented in the process of this painting in which I completely let go. I had no pre-formed plan or composition in mind, my biggest goal was to let it be mine and let it develop. I think it is also where the wish to use the floral stamp came from. It felt like something growing, a promise. Nicely in keeping with the new season of spring!

I also wanted to add something interesting that Juna could work with, but in a completely free way (that’s why I didn’t add a face this time, it felt too much like it would push in a certain direction), which is where the idea of the flap came from. It also feeds into that idea of ‘maybe’ and the scariness that is imbued in following your own heart. Sometimes that’s so personal that you might want to hide it away or not show it to everyone yet.

I love the interesting and richly textured background that came out. The lower part of the painting feels a bit more finished to me, whereas the top part feels really raw. I really can’t wait to see what Juna will do with this! I’m so curious to see what parts she will keep, what parts she will go over and what completed artwork will emerge in the end.

2015-03-24-Hope-Maybe

2015-03-24-Hope-Maybe-det03

2015-03-24-Hope-Maybe-det01

2015-03-24-Hope-Maybe-det02

Art Play Relay – Finishing Each Other’s Artworks

I’ve finished Juna’s awesome artwork! You can watch the video here:

And Juna finished my artwork! You can watch her video here:

Supply list:

  • china marker / grease pencil
  • gesso
  • Stabilo All pencil (black)
  • oil pastels (brown, turquoise, yellow, pink, flesh, red)
  • oil bar (white)
  • fluid acrylics (brown)
  • glazing liquid
  • high flow acrylics (fluorescent pink)

It was such an honour to work on Juna’s painting! Nerve wracking too! I had quite a few ideas going around in my head ever since watching her first video in which she created the work, but actually executing those ideas… I was scared I wouldn’t be able to do it or that I’d ruin her lovely work somehow!

After seeing the painting up close I knew I wanted to paint a peaceful face nestled in the welcoming arms. The challenge was how to do it, because the surface of the painting is VERRRY textured. I decided to go for oil pastels as I love working with them, and it worked out really well.

The next challenge was knowing when it was finished. I had a real struggle with this, because very quickly I felt that it was finished. I had a few conversations with myself at that point where I said I couldn’t possibly be finished, because I hadn’t spent long enough on it. This is where I decided to take a leap of faith and listened to my intuition. I decided I didn’t want to continue the process forcefully (up till then everything had just flowed and been almost automatic!) just for fear that I ‘hadn’t worked hard or long enough’ (childhood trauma, anyone? Lol).

Iris Fritschi-Cussens & Juna Biagioni art collaboration - Broken Pieces

I hope you like the painting as much as I do! I love Juna’s style and how she works with texture and usually quite monochromatic colour schemes. I wanted to add something equally soft & a bit muted, but with a small nod to my usual use of bright colours. So the face & hair are very natural, but then I also added the dashes of fluorescent pink to satisfy my need for colour.

Over these past few weeks I’ve LOVED seeing everyone else come up with their paintings and their collaborations with their partners. Can’t wait to see what everyone has up their sleeve next! Come join us in the Facebook group and share your artwork!

Join us again on 29 March when we will be picking brand new quotes and starting new artworks!

Art Play Relay – January Launch!!

The first two official Art Play Relay videos are here!!!

Watch my video below:

Watch Juna‘s video below:

What an awesome start to the project it has been! A lot of you have already joined our Facebook group to keep up to date, engage with the project and prepare to take part yourselves. Thank you for your enthusiasm!!

My supply list for the artwork I started is:

  • dip pen
  • India ink
  • heat tool (optional)
  • matte medium (or glue)
  • collage & tissue paper
  • (washi) tape
  • clear gesso (optional)
  • acrylic inks
  • water spray bottle
  • brayer
  • white & black gesso (or acrylic paint)
  • glazing liquid
  • (fluid) acrylic paints
  • Stabilo All pencil

The quote I drew was ‘Comparison is the thief of joy

Comparison Is The Thief of Joy | Art Play Relay by Iris | www.iris-impressions.com

I was quite nervous starting this painting. It’s hard to know what to do when you imagine someone else is going to finish the painting! I started the way I would normally start a painting by building up a layered background. Then I saw a figure in the shapes and colours so I went ahead and outlined that. I decided not to finish the figure all the way.

I worked with an attitude of being OK if anything I did would be covered up. I know that won’t necessarily happen, but it was amazing for letting go! It was also a really new experience to try and NOT finish a painting. It actually allowed me to be much more loose, take risks and has given the painting a primitive quality that I really enjoy.

Normally if I were working on a painting I would not even notice this stage, let alone stop, because of the knowledge that it’s not finished. But doing this has given me an insight into how awesome an unfinished artwork can actually look! I might try and pursue this more primitive look again on purpose.

I can’t wait to see what Juna makes of this next month. I also look forward to the challenges it will bring to work on Juna’s piece! I imagine it will be a big mental challenge to get over the fear of ruining her work or making mistakes! Can’t wait to learn!

See you all on 22 February when I finish Juna’s artwork and Juna finishes mine!

In the meantime please let us know what you thought in the comments below!