playing with bits one byte at a time

The “Artsy” Style

I checked in a few days ago to read Jill’s latest post and I noticed Pam’s comment about not getting that “artsy” style. As a hobbiest I can so relate! Well, I got to thinking that if Pam and I shared those feelings maybe there are other people who didn’t get the “artsy” style either. The only art training I’ve had was a  summer course in Art Appreciation at our local museum; it was part of the Art Literacy Program for our school district.  So I thought I’d share some observations about what I’ve noticed since I started scrapping. What is an artsy style and how do you achieve it. How is it different from say a traditional style. Bear in mind that this is my personal opinion and not meant to be in any way definitive on the subject. I’m such a visual person, I like pictures so perhaps comparing two layouts would be helpful.


This is a layout I did using Jill’s Batik Overlays and my granddaughter’s photo. What do you see when you look at it? The colors are harmonious, the corners are symmetrical, there is a photo and extracted elements. This is my idea of a traditional style: balance and harmony. It looks “formal” and seems to have more structure-the elements have a definite shape.

June 2014 Just Art Challenge_Preview

This is the layout I did for the June Just Art Challenge at Digital Scrapbooking Studio.  What do you see when you look at it? It’s not symmetrical or balanced, the elements appear looser, more “painterly” and scattered over the page and there aren’t any extracted items. Also it has a more casual appearance, like it was just tossed together even though it still follows the basics of design.

How about looking at another example? Next are the two freebie flowers, a gift for sticking with me!

Blog Flower 1 Preview                                             Circle Flower preview 2

The upper pinkish flower is what I would call a more traditional style of flower. It has more structure, IE a recognizable petal shape; and although it hasn’t been extracted, it’s more flower-like. You could use it in any style of layout but to me it doesn’t have the casual feel of the blue flower on the bottom which is more of an impression of a flower. The round shape implies petals and the colors are more non-traditional-it looks like a hankie that has been gathered into shape. I hope, like Pam and me, if you wonder about the “artsy style” you will find my comparisons helpful. Think of it as sort of as style cliff notes.

I’ll add one last thought. If, when you get dressed in the morning, you look nice then you can also dress a piece of paper that will look nice. Before you know it, you will be creating gorgeous layouts!

Both flowers were made with Jill’s newest templates:Templates-Flowers 2-4 and Flowers Kit-Circles 1-5. I used Papers-Watercolors 10 for the pink purple flower and Papers Journal Pages 2 for the blue. Additionally, I applied a kaleidoscope filter (freeware by Mehdi @ to the journal pages (before clipping to the circle template) to accent the circles. I used the “overlay” mode on most of the papers and added an inner shadow on the layers. The “glass” buttons are made by applying a glass style to a white circle and layering that over another shape so that it looks like the underside of the button has been painted.

Jilbert’s Bits of Bytes at the Digital Scrapbooking Studio Flower Kit-Circles 1-5 –

Papers-Journal 2 –

Templates-Flowers 2-4 – Papers-Watercolors 10 –

Transparent Overlays-Batiks 1 –

“The Pirate” some elements from Jill’s Spring Bling Mini –

Last but not least the freebie flowers are here –

Link has been fixed – I hope!  It still doesn’t want to be a hyperlink but cut and paste is working!

I’ve put a couple of coordinating papers in the file as a “Thank You” so please take them too.





  1. The link for the freebie does not work. I created a DropBox account, but all the link does is take me to my dropbox with the message that I have no files in that folder. Thanks.

    • Hi Anita,

      I’m so sorry for the missing link! I’m trying to figure out where the glitch is. Please email me at I will send you the files. Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience.


  2. Kate,
    Thanks for the info. I’m working on that artsy thing also – but it feels good to let go a little, doesn’t it?
    I have a question about the kaleidoscope filter? Does it work in Elements? or do you need full Photoshop?

    • Hi Steph,

      I use it in Elements (I have Elements 8) and it works great. I have several filters and I put them in their own files under “plugins” but check your setup to be sure-I’m severely tech challenged so I don’t know if it would be the same for your computer.

      • Thank you. I will see if I can give it a try.

  3. Wow, just downloaded the flowers and papers. Just gorgeous! Thank you.

    • Thank you Steph, it’s very sweet of you to leave such a nice comment.

  4. I downloaded flowers and papers, they are lovely! Thanks a lot!

    • Thank you very much, Ursula, for taking a moment to leave a comment! I appreciate it!

  5. I loved reading this … I am so all-over the artsy look. What I get from this style is freedom! Thank you so much for the shares, they are lovely.

    • Oh gosh! What a lovely thing to say! Thank you so very much.

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