Art Journaling at Presque Isle!

Hi bloggers! Happy Monday to you! I’m jazzed to have the amazing Lisa Spangler as a guest on our blog! She has truly crafted up an Art Journaling masterpiece for us and without further ado I’m going to let her take the “blog floor” ;) Enjoy!

Hello! I am so glad that Stephanie asked me to be a guest on the blog again — it gave me a chance to play with my Dylusions Creative journal. (Editors note: NEW! Small version available!!) I must confess to being a little intimidated by it’s size, since I mostly make cards — which are much smaller! But the blank pages kept begging for me to come and play. Liiiiiisa….liiiiiiisa….ha!
I also wanted to play with my new stencils from Hero Arts as they haven’t seen much action — yet! (I know I’ll be playing with them again soon.) And then I spotted some scraps of paper I had on my desk from a Studio Calico Atlantic 6×6 pad. Love this pad so much, just makes me happy.
I am planning a trip to Ohio to visit my Dad in a few weeks — cannot wait to see him, my sister who lives in Florida, and the rest of the family. I had just called him suggest that we all spend a day relaxing at Presque Isle, a park on Lake Erie. Love that place so much! I can remember going there with girlfriends in high school, talking about boys. One time we all fell asleep and I got the absolute worst sunburn ever! And then years later, I remember going there with my husband Jason. We spent the day swimming and picnicking and then watched the sunset. It’s such a happy place! Best of all, it’s only about 2 hours from home. :)
So I decided to do some journaling all about it! I started off by gessoing my whole page — is that a word? lol! I used an old hotel key card to scrape it on. I let it dry, then I scraped more gesso through the stencils. That’s the Large Lotus Pattern on top and the Tweed Pattern on bottom. I thought the Large Lotus pattern looked like a pair of swim trunks!
While I was waiting for the stenciled areas to dry I went to town making a background on the rest. This was really really fun, and really really easy. I just dropped Dylusions mist here and there on the page, misted it with water, and used my fingers to blend it together.
Sometimes I gave it a mist with white to lighten it up, too. Then I let that dry.
Then: disaster struck! I knocked over the squeezed orange mist bottle — and the lid hadn’t been secured on! —  so I wound up with a line of squeezed orange all across the journal! Oh no! I quickly grabbed a baby wipe and blotted it off, whew. Buuuuut, it removed some of my background in the process. I tried to repair it, but no go. Note to self: always secure your lids!
What to do, what to do? I decided to hide it by painting waves with Claudine Hellmuth’s acrylic paint over top. Ha! I mixed different shades of blue plus a little white here and there to make the waves.
Next I used my trusty typewriter to type up some words. I brushed mists over some of the words and left others blank, then I adhered them to my pages with gel medium. I mixed in some scraps of papers, too! This is a great way to use up scraps! One word of caution though: once the gel medium seeps into the paper it will reactivate the mists again and they’ll start moving around. So you gotta work fast!
Then I added in a few Kelly Purkey gold sequins — love using these on journal pages since they are flat, and won’t mess you up when you work on the other side of the page. I like to use Tombow liquid adhesive to adhere sequins to journal pages since it stays flexible when dry. (I’ve found that sequins adhered with glossy accents just pop off the page!)
The stenciled areas were dry, so I used my fingers again to apply mist to the top, then let it dry. To finish off the Lotus Flower stencil in the top left, I rubbed it directly with Hero Arts navy ink. The texture is really incredible!
To finish off the Tweed Pattern, i first painted it with bubblegum pink and fresh lime mists, then let it dry. I thought it needed a little more definition so I rubbed it with ocean ink and then a little navy.


For the area in between the two, first I painted it with squeezed orange mist. Then I grabbed the Hero Arts border stencil and stippled on some polka dots, using painterly pink and modern red acrylic paints. When it was dry I outlined it with a white pen followed by a black pen. So fun!
To finish it off, I used a pencil to lightly write “Presque Isle”, then I went over it with a black Copic sketch marker, using the brush tip. Then I wrote “I want to go back to” with a black pen. Then I stamped the date with navy ink and the Studio Calico roller date stamp. (Love it!)
It needed a little something, so I grabbed the border stencil again and traced some hexagons with a thinner black pen.
I was almost ready to call it done, but not quite…that uneven edge by the stenciled areas was bothering me. So I grabbed an old jean shirt and tore off a strip, then adhered it in place.
And that was that! Hope that you enjoyed hearing about my process as much as I enjoyed remembering all the good times at Presque Isle! Please let me know if you have any questions, and have a great summer!  xx


Thanks so much for reading and BIG hugs and gratitude to Lisa for providing this gorgeous exclusive inspiration on our blog today!!

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  1. Wonderful art journaling pages! Thanks, Lisa, for the great ideas…I love hearing your process, especially how you turn a near disaster into an opportunity! I really like the waves you added to your page.

  2. Love your pages and ideas with the stenciling, spraying and theme!! Great work. Thanks for sharing.

    Katie B.

  3. Lisa did such an amazing job! I love the look and feel of this project, especially the stenciled chevron area – the colours are just fabulous.

  4. I was wondering what sort of book that is that allows you to apply wet work without bleeding through to the next pages? I’ve been using a sketch book for my art journal, but even black Archival Ink bleeds through enough to ruin the page.
    Wonderful ideas and execution! Very inspiring !

  5. Awesome pages! I had to smile as it reminded me of being in HS and falling asleep on the beach. I ended up so burned and blistered! Never did that again! Thanks for sharing your process as well!

  6. I love seeing art journal pages come to life! Thanks for all the step out pictures. I’m inspired to pull mine out again!

  7. So beautiful, Lisa!

    Also, now I *have* to go check out Presque Isle. Thanks for all the inspiration.

  8. Perfect how you used an “accident” to create another design element in your journal.. I think that is the beauty of your own journal…it just keeps morphing into something MORE interesting. Just keep ADDING to it!

  9. Beautiful project, love the stencil. Love how accidents can turn out into wonderful masterpieces.

  10. I love how much you packed into two pages! And it’s also nice to know I’m not the only one that has to cover up mistakes.

  11. Love the story of the place and can totally understand why that was your inpiration for this spread! Great to see a spread that has so different thechnics working so fine together, making it a stunning and meaningfull AJ spread! Greetings, Gerrina

  12. The concept of an art journal is very intriguing to me and so I appreciate you taking us step-by-step through this with you. Do you apply the gesso to prep the page for your inks? Does gesso turn most any paper into one that you can apply mixed media to????
    Thanks for sharing!!
    <3 J

  13. Wow! I love all the color and texture you achieved on your pages. Looks like I really need to buy some gesso and get busy!

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