Joy Stuff is about noticing everyday wonders and celebrating them through our art.
Joy Stuff is a delight-filled sketchbook practice and a nourishing and beautiful place to putter and to draw.
A Joy Stuff sketchbook is a creative place to write, print, paint and appreciate!
We will start by making yummy handmade papers with a Gelli® Plate — which are so much fun because they yield unexpected and exciting results — and then use those papers to design spreads and pages in our sketchbooks! We will draw out in nature, play with color, use cut paper in collage and soak in our favorite surroundings. We will be inspired by our everyday heroes and share tiny gifts. We will smile, breathe deep, and notice the lovely little things!
Life becomes richer and more fun when filled with Joy Stuff!
Lesson 1 – Gelli® Plate Printing!! Gell Yes!!
Let’s prepare our Joy Stuff sketchbook! We’ll begin by creating one-of-a-kind, colorful, hand-printed paper. We will be using a Gelli® Plate, several different types of paper, handmade stencils, found objects and acrylic paint. (If you don’t have a Gelli® Plate, you can tape down a large plastic bag, use a brayer to spread paint and get wonderful results.) There is great joy in this process because it yields unexpected results, and there is no wrong way to do it! Let’s have fun!
Lesson 2 – Joy Stuff Pages, Making it Yours
Using your wonderful new hand printed papers, we will collage, paint and design visually yummy pages and spreads in your sketchbook. Plan to leave some room and space on your pages, for your words, drawings, paintings and collections of little daily wonders. We will cool down with a tiny writing assignment
Lesson 3 – Joy Jumping, Let’s Dive In!
Your pages are ready to play! What age do you feel? Seventeen? Twenty one? Let’s start with a very simple, smiling, ageless selfie. Next we will create a portrait/love note to your favorite art supply. Appreciating the details. Finally we will enjoy a short writing assignment as a cool down.
Lesson 4 – Field Notes and a Personal Paint by Number
Today we go out into nature and draw. YES!! Find a great view, hopefully with some distance and sky. Using just a pencil, draw the scene, creating shapes using directional mark making. Next, look deeply and write down the different colors you see. Take notice of lights and darks. When you get back to your studio, create a memory painting of sorts by adding watercolor or acrylic paint, using just your written notes. We will cool down with a super short writing assignment
Lesson 5 – Geometric Birds, the Joys of Drawing a Moving Target
Say yes to the many small joys of being outside and bird watching. Find a cafe, park, even your backyard and see if you can capture a few birds in your sketchbook. You will need to move quickly and grab some individual geomantic shapes, a head, beak, wing, tail. Birds will be bobbing, doing that funny armless walk, and even flying away! No birds? Draw your cat! or dog! or butterfly or horse!
Lesson 6 – More than Peanut Butter
Today we will warm up with a quick collage and list-writing exercise focusing on the things you love. Next we will create a handmade card or two with watercolor and some hand lettering using the inspiration from your list. Making something with someone else in mind is a great way to feel joy and to get your hands artfully moving!
Lesson 7 – One Long Luscious Luxurious Line
Find one of your favorite interior places in your home, studio or perhaps in a cafe and settle in. Get cozy. Gift yourself with an abundance of time. With your sketchbook, sense of wonder and a continuous flowing line, travel all around the entire space with a pen. Don’t lift your pen, overlap your shapes and enjoy the details. Add a few pieces of colorful collage inside some of your shapes. Voila!
Lesson 8 – Tiny Gifts and Everyday Heroes
Let’s start today by taking a few minutes to think about the everyday folks that make your life better… the cute bag boy at the grocery or the crossing guard that smiles and waves at everyone. You may not even know their names, but you appreciate the smiles that they send your way. With simple kindness in mind we will make some very small thank you notes. Your everyday hero might be a spouse, family member, your cat — or it might even be you! Make several and try to use at least five different creative tools when creating your tiny gifts.
Lesson 9 – Book Covers and George Letters
This is always fun! Let’s start the decorating process for your sketchbook cover. Add a little at a time… some paint fingerprints, smudges and spatters of color. Add a bit of your handmade paper with collage. Try some hand lettering with a small brush and ink. Let it tell you what it would like to be and have fun! Next, we will soak in the idea of “The George Letters,” our family’s appreciation tradition. George showed us the power of caring and of sharing love by writing each family member, and their spouse, a special note at holiday time. These treasured books were filled with beaming fatherly pride, encouragement, funny stories, photos and pure love. In the spirit of this appreciation tradition, we will create a tiny, handmade booklet.
Lesson 10 – Big Love and Joy Thanks
Today we will soak in gratitude as we finish creating our small books in the appreciation tradition. We will add string to bind our book together, create design elements and most importantly prepare these pages for your thoughts and words. As we embrace and share gratitude for those we love, I want to thank YOU for the many joys you bring to my life and to the lives of others and each other!!