Sunday, September 28, 2014
The assignment was called "limit yourself" to three elements: Color scheme of purples and white/ Theme of air or breath/ Use a natural item that was gently-collected from your yard (like the real feather I adhered to the page!).
I started by collaging strips of purple paper to the page in a spiral fashion, inspired by a quilt block design I saw on Pinterest. Then I tried to enhance the design with paint & markers to highlight the strips, and that's where I messed up. I rarely make a collage I don't like, but this one was it. So I painted over the whole thing with iridescent medium - which I've found is a great way to soften an unwieldy collage - and then went back with my purple paint and markers to reinforce the spiral design. The previous layers still show through, but are much more softened and blended. I liked it better already.
To finish, I plucked some little fronds from the juniper tree in my front yard, dipped them in gold paint, and stamped them randomly on the page. That's one natural element. I stuck the feather - which I found today in my back yard; the birds are always leaving feathers for me to find :) - to the page with double-sided tape. Then I glued on a butterfly I cut from a magazine (which I guess is another natural item).
I titled the page "A breath of air" to fit with the theme. It works. The spiral design of the background looks breezy and airy to me, and the feather and butterfly naturally represent air. And the process of going through something messed up, and making it into something I like, feels freeing. It's a release - like taking a breath of air.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Isn't it pretty? Some technical details before I get to the inspiration source and my deeper thoughts, such as they are.
- The notebook is a standard composition book with the covers dressed up, like the journals I sell at my Zibbet shop. (Hmm, Zibbet's rebuilt site won't let me link to shop sections. Sorry.) But I digress ...
- Back to my new journal - I had put this particular book aside for my own use because the back cover didn't line up with the page ends, so I didn't want to sell it (cheap notebooks are like that), and it was a perfect opportunity for me to start a new book. I covered the front, back, inside covers and spine to make it my book. The covers are gorgeous if I do say so myself, but I will have to take some better pics before I can show you.
- To prepare the composition book for an art journal (on my site I pitch them for writers, poems, recipes, etc.) I cut and removed a chunk of pages, about a third of the total, from the center. This reduces the bulk so you can add stuff as is done in an art journal. I glued several pages together, two pages at a time, with a glue stick - quick, easy and cheaper than gel medium or whatever. This is to strengthen the pages so they stand up the challenge of art journaling. I wonder if it's really necessary, though - when I was cutting the pages out of the center, I found they were really strong. I couldn't tear them, so I had to use a craft knife. But, gluing pages together reduces the intimidation factor of having all those 100+ pages to fill, so glue I did.
- To make this page spread, I slapped on a layer of gesso with some scratched-in texture & let it dry. Then I generously dribbled some craft paint in different colors at the top of the pages and squished them down the page with a piece of cardboard, using squiggly motions (love trying new techniques!). When the colors got a little muddy, as they will, I was delighted to find I could scratch through the "mud" with a plastic fork and/or a cheap palette knife to reveal the bright colors underneath. Yeah! I added more color layers by stamping white, yellow and bronze paints with a tp tube (circles), bubble wrap (blurry dots), and plastic canvas (little squares). Yeah! The bronze paint was the trickiest to stamp, so I just wiped the ends of the tp tube, dipped in bronze, in a series of streaks across the pages. Because sparkle is good, and metallic shine is the next best thing :)
I like my page spread, and even though I really don't have time for this, I plan to press on with at least few more lessons from Connie Hosvicka's Art Journal Wisdom workshop. Best of all, the workshop is free! Yeah! It's very much geared to beginners, but even though I've already got 5 or so art journals under my belt, I've been picking up some new tips. Plus, she encourages us to post and share our share - I've been hungry for that, too.
So, even though it's not a good time for me to do this (is it ever a good time) and even though I'm kinda stressed with all that's on my plate (when am I not stressed, lol), I'm going forward with many thanks to Connie for this gift of a free workshop. In fact, I see the next lesson is about getting it out, getting it down - to deal with stress. Well, I know what my next page spread will be! Onward ;)