Cycle Back art journal page by ©Anna K. Originals

Cycle Back | Art Journaling


The art journaling session that produced this layout was all about play and having fun! I started with no particular theme or image in mind and simply allowed myself to enjoy the process.


Cycle Back art journal page by ©Anna K. Originals

After I prepped my pages by taping the middle seam and coating the pages with a quick layer of white gesso, I sprayed on some Heidi Swapp Color Shine spray. Because the pages have gesso, the Color shine spray will puddle and run which creates a lovely drippy background for my journaling. I let the drips run this way and that by holding the book upright at different angles. I also spritzed water here and there to encourage even more drippage. There may or may not have been random outbursts of, “Oh, I love that!” and giggling as I held my journal up and thwacked it on the tabletop to encourage the drips to run further.

– On a side note, I usually keep a piece of paper under my book when I do this to catch those drips. That paper, when it’s dry, can be used in future art journaling pages. It’s the art version of “2 birds, 1 stone”, y’all.


Cycle Back art journal page by ©Anna K. Originals


Next, I added some drawn elements like circles, dots, criss-crosses, etc. I used white and black Stabilo All pencils, watercolor markers, paint markers, pencils, and a waterbrush filled with India ink. I softened up some of the marks I made with the watercolor markers with a damp paintbrush.


Cycle Back art journal page by ©Anna K. Originals


I took out my little CD cases filled with words and phrases I’ve cut out and collected from old books. I played around with different ideas to put in the middle of the biggest swirl on the pages but nothing really clicked…until I saw the phrase “you long to cycle back” then the rest fell into place. Found poetry is a treasure hunt and a puzzle all in one to me. :)

After I took a purple watercolor marker and colored in around the phrase to visually anchor and incorporate it more fully into the pages, I called it done.

Well, for now.

I can never leave an art journal page alone…it’s such fun! 😉

Such Fun!


Anna K.


*Although I have links to products in this post, I’m not receiving any compensation for them. They’re just good products that I wanted to share.

Strong Heart | Art Journaling

It’s been an interesting few months here at Casa de Anna K.

  • We decided to home school our oldest son. (I may write about that soon.) Also, is it homeschool or home school?
  • I started a great part time job at Artworks Studio, a local art and ceramics studio.
  • I’ve met some fantastic folks through my job at Artworks and now teach a weekly art journaling class to tweens!
  • I thought I was having a heart attack and was rushed via ambulance to the ER. It turned out to be a nasty pinched nerve in my shoulder/neck. Yay and ouch all at the same time, right?
  • All of the above happened in between the usual foolery and shenanigans that comes with family life.

To combat the stress, tension, and moments of “I have NO idea what I’m doing. Why did I think I could do this?!”, I’ve been indulging myself in experimenting in my art journal. I’ve tried some new media and new techniques.

This layout is probably the simplest, with only four media elements, but it’s one of my favorites. I used black gesso, a silver Uniball pen, found poetry from vintage books, and matte medium.


Strong Heart | art journal page by Anna K.


I’ve wanted to try black gesso for a while. I kept hearing from other artists how much they liked the way it allowed bright colors to really pop when layered on top of it. So, in a moment of weakness on, I ordered myself a bottle. Anyone else have weak moments on Amazon?


Strong Heart | art journal page by Anna K.



I liked the matte quality of the black gesso, how quickly it dried, and the fact that it provided something other than a white surface to start from. After I swiped on a layer of it and made sure it was dry, I snatched up my silver Uniball Gel Impact pen and began to doodle. I thought about varying the patterns I used but, honestly, I liked the simplicity of this one both for the aesthetic and for the way drawing it became almost soothing to me.


Strong Heart | art journal page by Anna K.


The found poetry was a last minute add in. I’d been playing around with some words and phrases for another art journal layout when it hit me that the center of my circle on this page *had* to have some poetry in it.  After some playing and rearranging of the words, this settled into place and clicked for me. – There’s always a settling and clicking for me when I’m doing found poetry. -With a little matte-medium I quickly attached it to the page.


Strong Heart | art journal page by Anna K.



There you have it! My black gesso, silver doodled, found poetry page entitled, Strong Heart.


As always, thanks for sharing in my journey. <3


Anna K.



makers gonna make messes (wip) | ©Anna K. Originals

Works in Progress

I’m working on a new series of art.

Y’all, I’m all excited about it.

Like the kind of excited that makes your stomach do the wobble…and maybe the nae nae, too. 😉


I’m scared.

I’m doing the kind of art I’ve been craving to do for a long time. The kind where I merge my love of digital media with hand-created elements to make something completely new to me and sharing it feels scary in a big way.

To let folks in close enough to witness the fruits of a creative process that’s rife with both learning successes and epic failures…? Yeah, that’s hard.

Because many folks don’t see the process when they look at an artist’s work. They just know if they like it or not. They judge in mere moments something that took you millions of moments to create.

Moments of failure, of learning, of growing, of risk, of play, of prayer…of pain.

I think that’s why it’s important to share the story of creative process. To share the story behind and within my art.

Even more? To invite you in so we can share our stories together.

I think that’s why I feel such a pull to share my artful experiments and “not-quite-there” works in progress. No matter how much we may appreciate the neat and the seemingly perfect, we connect through imperfections and in those messy middle stages of becoming in art and in life.

Connection is the very fertile ground in which understanding, empathy, and love thrive in.

After all, dear ones, we’re all works in progress.

Anna K.