Goodbye National Geographic Series

Well, zebra, be happy! You made it to the series. All other pictures from the National Geographic Magazine, my apologies you’ll become new paper for someone else to use.

Why is it the end of the National Geographic Series? Put simply copyright reasons. Using copyrighted photos in collages is quite the gray area. There are no black and white rules just the murky gray of indecision.

After a bit of research, it seems if the owner wanted to fight it they would have a higher chance of winning.

Now, I’m not selling my art so you might be wondering why worry about it? I’m worrying because I post the results here, on Instagram, and YouTube and the owner might not like that. People might perceive the photos as mine. I do make note where it came from, but I find most people look at the images and don’t read descriptions.

Because of that, I decided I would start to use only my photos. But, I have an ink jet printer, and when glue gets on the ink, it smears. So I am testing different options on how to print the photos and when I get that figured out, I will be back to my mixed media art journal card, and oh boy, I miss making them.

In the meantime, I will be exploring watercolor and hope you enjoy watching me learn and make mistakes. 🙂

Art Journal Card – Surprise

Mixed Media Art Journal Tutorial Process Start To Finish

It’s funny how you plan to do something and then change your mind to be surprised by the results. That is what happened with this art journal card. I did not intend to include the picture I used from the National Geographic magazine.

It did not initially call out to me, no instinctive feeling towards it. Probably because of the darkness and lack of color. But, I wanted to try cutting out a tangle and experimenting with the results, so I thought what the hay, I’ll try it on this image. Suprise! It turned out pretty neat. A bit gritty, with some soft edges.

What do you think?

Process Video

Here is the process video of how to make an art journal card from start to finish. If you would like to see a picture step by step process, just continue scrolling down.


Mixed Media Art Journal Tutorial Step 1.jpg
1. First I pasted the picture from the national geographic magazine down onto some card stock.
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2. Next, I drew the tangle on top of the image.
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3. I then cut out individual flowers, while at the same time leaving a chunk in tack.
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4. I tried something new. Instead of just applying gesso to one side of the index card, I applied it to both sides in hopes that it would help prevent it from curling. And guess what? It worked. After the gesso, I added some watercolor, while making sure that there was a darker line going up the card.
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5. Then to add a touch of color, I added some orange speckles.
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6. Next came gluing down the pieces. I followed the dark line from the watercolor, in hopes it would guide your eye.
Art Journal 2
7. And last but not least, I added a few shadows with a charcoal pencil and trimmed the flowers that were sticking out.

National Geographic Series

Art Journal Card – Struggle

The meaning of this piece, which is part of the National Geographic series, did not come to me until the end. During the process of making the art journal card, I only thought about what the next step would be and if it would work with what was appearing on the card. Only at the end did its meaning come to me. Struggle.

The flower is trying to pull itself out of a neverending, downward spiral. Success does not come; It can only just barely keep its head above the turmoil.

Sometimes my life feels like this. Those pesky negative thoughts constantly try to drag me down with them, and at times it feels like my head barely peeks out into the positive world.

It’s interesting how we can read things into art. What I see represented in my mixed media, might be different for you. Tell me what you see?



1. Gluing the flower image down came first then I added a layer of gesso to blend the picture into the background. Next, I pasted some cutouts to the card.


2. The cutouts did not work for me so off they came. Then I added a green background with watercolors. To carry the red out, I splattered a little bit of red watercolor. Next up came the doodle in black ink, and then I filled it in with a white acrylic pen.


3. The final details included adding another coat of white and some shadows with charcoal pencils to add some dimension.

Process Video

National Geographic Series

Art Journal Card – Oblivious

Sometimes we don’t see what is in front of our faces. When I made the second piece in the National Geographic series, I didn’t realize how it reflected my life until the end.

You see, I have been eating better in hopes of not only losing weight but to also fix my lack of energy problem. Well, during the creation process I just was thinking how I loved the colors. How the brown and pink made the green just pop out! When I finished the piece, it hit me. This journal entry was about my picking healthier things over desserts. I mean confetti is flying out of the lettuce. 🙂 The lettuce is also parading its win over a piece of chocolate, and that is why I called it Vegetable Celebration.



1. After pasting the image from the National Geographic magazine down on the paper, I took to my Peerless watercolor papers to add a molted effect to the background. The pink watercolor matched quite nicely to the pink in the image, woot!


2. This step involved adding my zendoodle, i.e., the explosion of confetti. I also added the pink triangle cutouts to the doodle. Then I decided to pull some of the green from the lettuce out into the rest of the canvas by adding green tips to the pink triangles.


3. The final touches were all that was left to do. I added some shadows and highlights with charcoal. White charcoal pencils were new to me, and I enjoyed using it to add a bit of lightness to a rather dark piece.

Process Video

National Geographic Series

The Beginning of an Addiction

The other day I was in line at the grocery store and glanced upon a National Geographic magazine and had to have it. The subject matter looked good, it was on addiction, and the images are always stunning to look at. It had been awhile, and I love them. But, when done reading the articles and felt an inner turmoil over throwing away the beautiful images that were inside.

What to do? Pinterest. Lol, you got to love Pinterest.

That is when I discovered art journaling and new I had to do it. Being the semi-frugal person that I am, I did not want to go out and buy a journal. But what I did have on hand was quite a bit of index cards. That is when I began my index card art journal.

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My first few attempts were a rough start. It had been quite awhile since I did any art. This first attempt resulted from a bad day. A crying all day kind of day. So, not much thought went into it. But the addiction began.


My next try was my attempt to copy what others were doing while using supplies I had on hand. I knew I needed to use my Cricut, which I rarely used so that it would stop being a storage place for dust.


With the next one, I added a new element, zendoodles. Also, known as that copyrighted art word that starts with zen. 🙂 This is when I realized I had a series starting. An art journal on index cards that included these elements zendoodle, National Geographic images, and paper cutouts.


Without further ado, I give you the first in the National Geographic series. This one I used the colors from the picture to guide the art. I covered up everywhere that was not red and green. Then I added the zendoodle and some green watercolor. For the cutout portion, I found a leaf shape to add. The leaves were fitting because The image showed tomatoes. The final touches involved adding shadows to make the picture pop.

National Geographic Series