Tuesday, June 19, 2018

"Art Saves" One of My Favorite Art Books by Belen Sotelo of Art & Whimsy

“What inspires you to create art?” is a question that many of us have been asked countless times. Because we creative types can draw inspiration from so many different places, it’s a question that isn’t always easily answered in a few words. I’m inspired by color, by feelings, by people and mostly by their stories. I like to know what drives them and what influences them to create.

That’s why I was so taken by “Art Saves” a book by Jenny Doh. It’s a compilation of stories, inspiration and prompts, from 20 artists, sharing the power of art. In addition to the beautiful artwork and inspired lessons that it contains, I love reading the advice and wisdom that each artist shares.

Normally I use a lot of bright, bold colors, but for this journal spread I was inspired by Jenny’s entry in the book to use a more muted color palette. I did have to add in some color, though, because well… you know me!

Using gel medium, I first randomly collaged a few pieces of misc papers onto the pages of my Dina Wakley journal.

After hitting it with a heat gun, I brushed on some vintage lace acrylic by Paper Artsy and wiped it off through the Spirit Wind Mask by Valerie Sjodin to create some texture, and collaged on a vintage photo.

Next, I used acrylic in Squid Ink and the Vintage Typewriter Numbers stencil by Carolyn Dube as well as her Vintage Typewriter Alphabet Stencil, to add some more visual interest.

I got so caught up in the process of creating that I failed to snap of photo of me using the Beautiful Halo stencil by Pam Carriker over my vintage photo, but I thought it would add a fun touch to the photo.

To create more texture, I used another baby wipe and wiped off paint through Rae Missigman’s Bittersweet stencil.

At this point I decided that it needed more roses that I had cut from a gift bag, so I added a couple more.

I always like to add at least a bit of mark making so I pulled out my favorite white Sharpie and did just that.

Next I stamped out a sentiment, and what better than “Art Saves”!

To finish off my spread, I added a little pop of shine using gold acrylic and sponged it on through Rae Missigman’s Open Leaves stencil, then outlined them with the sharpie.


Thank you for allowing me to share one of my favorite art books with you. I hope you get the opportunity to flip through a copy yourself and soak up all of the wonderful inspiration contained within its pages. 
xo, Belen


  1. Fabulous Belen, this art journal spread has such heart - and I totally agree - art saves!

  2. Thanks for sharing your techniques and thoughts. The result really work!

  3. Gorgeous art journal pages, Belen! And thanks for sharing that book too. Will definitely look it up :) xo Cheetarah


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