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Welcome to the business and personal website of me, Jan Burch - aka Jan4insight - owner & practitioner of Geo-Glow Consulting. Call me a “Renaissance woman” > My business aims to be your go-to source for holistic energy work and intuitive readings. My creative side makes (and sells!) gorgeous one-of-a-kind handcrafts and fabulously colorful print-on-demand gifts and more. Here at my site, you can find me on the Web, order a reading, learn more about my energy work services, and check in with my occasional musings. Legal stuff: This site uses cookies, and some posts may contain affiliate links. Thank you very much.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mixed Media Backgrounds for Collage: Self-Help and Color in one messy process!

I've said before - and I'm sticking with it - that my process of collage involves making beautiful (or beautifully scribbled) backgrounds, and then covering them up! As a bonus, this process can also be therapeutic ~ take a look at some pages I did recently in one of my visual journals. I'll give you a taste of the process below each picture:
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First, know that the basis of this particular journal is a decorating book from the 1960s - a terrific used-book find! (Yes, it's full of those psych-ay-delic colors we allegedly used in our homes back in the day.) As I go through this altered-book journal, I'm fascinated by the way the printed material works itself into my altered collage pages - you can really see it in the page spread above! Here, I did some layers of free-writing, then spread acrylic paint over the pages with a foam brush. Much of the writing dissolved, because I had used water-based inks. Talk about transformation! Then, because I was drawn to the image of the red chairs on the printed page, I used wet wipes to clean off some of the paint and highlight the chairs.
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The process begins with free-writing. I like to use all kinds of different, but not-too-dark, markers, and just scribble across the page. In all of these pages, I used three different markers in three different directions. What made it therapeutic is that I wrote my feelings about something that was troubling me. Since it's my very own journal, I can use whatever language and express whatever angst I wish. I continued through all three page samples shown here - and by the time I got done, I felt much better and had actually changed my thinking about the issue!
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In the spread above, I did the same free-writing exercise, using a sparkle-gel marker, pencil crayon, and metallic marker. All of them act to a degree as a resist medium, which makes the next step interesting. I covered over the writing with three dark-colored poster markers - blue green, and purple. This gave a solid, yet still transparent, look to the page. I happen to love this "background" and so I've copied it into my digital-background photo file for future use - more about that in a post to come!
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The final layer is collage and resolution. Here's a page from the third series I did in this exercise:
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The base layer used the same multi-marker free-writing process. For the second layer, I used some kids' color-changing markers I picked up at Target! I love using kids' coloring products - they're cheap, fun, and (hopefully) non-toxic. It's always risky for me to shop at places like Target, Kmart, Walgreens, etc. - I go in for cat food and paper towels, and come out with a ton of markers and stuff I hadn't planned to buy :) With the color-changing markers, I covered the page with the color end of the marker, then doodled over it with the "changing" end. You can also see this technique used on the left-hand edge of the first picture above.
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The collaged images on this page were cut from photocopies of Tarot cards. I'd had these figures for some time, with the aim of illustrating my "angst" around partnership issues. Fortunately, I'd copied the images at different enlargements, which made the diagonal arrangement possible. Why use them now? I guess the time was right! I completed the page with a title/caption, written in a silver marker and the lettering outlined with metallic gel pen. Oh yes, I did complete the facing page, but I'm keeping that private for now. I'm not quite ready to reveal to the world what these Tarot ladies are looking at!

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