November 20th, 2009

Today I got to meet with the super sweet Gretchen Wegner, who was in town for a conference. I took her to a nearby art supply store to pick up some goodies and show her some non-intimidating art supplies to play with. One of the things I shared was these little moleskine-like sketchbooks and Golden fluid acrylics, two things that I love to use when making inkblots. I simply squirt some paint on one page, mush it around, then close the sketchbook to make my inkblot. I usually do a bunch at once, then keep the book open so the pages can dry. Later, I come back and see what images I can find in the inkblots or just play with them until an image appears using pens and colored pencils. Below you can see what the above inkblot looked like when I started to draw on it.

A few people have mentioned feeling stressed by keeping up with the challenge. I totally understand, it is challenging, but you're all doing so great! I really want to make this a low-pressure and no-guilt experience, but I know that most of the guilt/stress comes from the pressure we put on ourselves. So I'll say this: if you need to take a break and come back, do that! Or if you need to do something lighter and easier for a few days, something like these inkblots or doodling, do that. Mix it up and make it fun for yourself. Mixing it up makes it easier to stay with it and the variety will inspire you too! Here are some more inkblots I played with today.

32 Responses

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Love it! Do you gesso the pages first?

Leah, I think your inkblots are fabulous! Of course with your drawing talent you’re able to make them into something very special. Mine might just stay inkblots, but I should try. I think I’ll haul out the paints tomorrow!

Leah, I love these ink blots! What a great idea. I’ll have to give them a try tomorrow! How much fun to meet Gretchen. I have a pair of her muse cubes!

Thanks, guys!

The inkblots are great fun! I’ve done them with kids before and they see the coolest stuff in their blots! :-)

Cheryl, I don’t use gesso first, I squirt the paint directly onto the paper.

These look so light and free and fun!

These are great Leah.
It reminds me how sometimes we can find a detail pictures on a stain or a floor tile, or on the popcorn texture of the ceiling!

Gotta love Gretchen Wegner.

And I love your ink blots.


Leah, I am learning so much. I want to rush out and try everything new!

LOVE these!

Love the inkblots! Can’t wait to try some out myself!

Love, love, love this idea! I have one of these moleskin-like books kicking around. This is a perfect way to dirty up those perfectly white pages (I find that starting on a new journal is always the hardest part). Thanks for sharing this great technique. I am having so much fun with AED; I’ve learned long ago not to stress about these kinds of things. Stress is a big mojo killer and muse scare-er. Just taking it one day at a time and being happy to create. Thank you for creating this place for all of us!

Very cool!! I always forget that I can do things as easy as inkblots…thanks for the reminder!! :)

Leah, These are just gorgeous! I love the colors and your designs. This looks like a lot of fun. Thank you!

LOVE your encouragement to try new things and low stress, thank you for being such a gracious hostess!!

I have not ever done this for 30 days straight and find it has become a relaxing time, my art is very small tho’ and can be done curled up on the couch or where ever, so it is simpler in that respect.

I am having a hard time commenting on eveyone’s blog, so i just pick a few new ones each day..
day 21 is almost upon us!

i really like the ink page, first one with this orange and others with faces

Oh my gosh these are amazing! I never would have even thought of something like this. But then again, the only thing that ever comes to my mind when I think of acrylics if canvas. Thank you for showing me that acrylics really aren’t limited to that because I didn’t know. I need to go buy some.
Amazing inkblots!

Great ink blots—great colors!

Yes, I am feeling some stress right now with this process. Or maybe more like guilt—like I should be cleaning the house or something.

I think part of that is due to the fact that I am really getting tired of my project….anxious to be done with it.

I started picking out beads to start something new soon—maybe that will spark some interest in me!

I don’t know how you keep it up and do artwork too! Wonderful ink blots; festive and great drawings too!

How fun to log on after conferencing and see this post, complete with a compliment and a suggestion for what to do with my new art supplies. I stayed up way too late art-making in my Boston hotel room, but here’s what I came up with: Hugs, hugs!

I remember doing this as a kid with fountain ink pens — I really loved seeing what emerged. I’m going to pull out fountain pens and dif colored inks tomorrow and take a stroll down memory lane!

Oh Leah, I love the inkblots! So very cool! Thanks for sharing and it’s in a book. I’m such a sucker for anything book-like. This reminds me of how we look at things. One person could paint and accidentally close the page and be frustrated “that the paint got where it wasn’t supposed to” and then someone else could do the same thing and say I did this on purpose. I don’t know… that’s just where my head went. I love your positive energy.

Your ink blot painting and drawings are so cool! I am always amazed how you see these images from the blots…wow!

Oh, I love the inkblots! Great colors!

these are beautiful!

those inkblots are great! it reminds me of wreck this journal. I think I will do some of these with my kids.

Those are wonderful! What a great idea! Love love love them so much. Thank you for sharing and happy weekend. :) Amy

These are so absolutely gorgeous and you are so absolutely awesome!!!!

Peace & Love.

These inkblots are perfect for art journaling, too. I am going to try it out… hmmmm… yes. Definitely going to try it out. Thank you so much for all you do, Leah. This project has opened up my visual art expression in ways I never imagined before it began. THANK YOU!

Leah, I am LOVING these inkblots in the journal! It’s been a long time since I played with inkblots, but I want to try this again, and find the “hidden” art…thanks for the inspiration!

Thanks for sharing this, Leah. I have played a little with the liquid acrylic and created painted paper by using this folding technique. But I never considered finding images in the result. Great Idea. I’ll give it a try. I love the results you have achieved here.

Thanks! for reminding me of this technique, I used to do this alot as a child, this is certainly an interesting development of the technique.


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