The Dark Wood

Posted: November 22, 2013 in art journal

darkwoodPart of today’s work. A lot of my journaling work takes place in an old atlas. It has about a million pages and I got lucky that the paper takes paint decently. This journal evolved into more of a sampler page awhile back. I was doing classes and demos and it had enough pages to play around and display some techniques. So actually the pages ended up being a material and technique book instead of a personal journal. Now that I am not doing classes or demos I’ve decided to go back through and work into the pages that aren’t journaled or still feel unfinished. This was such a page. If I am correct, the original background media may be Faber Castell Metallic Gelatos. I say that because the page is still sticky and material is rubbing off. We have trouble with some products in Florida. It is so humid all year that stuff takes forever to dry, if it ever does. So, to add insult to injury I used a Paint Stick for the lettering today. I’m sure that will NEVER dry. But the page was a challenge. The background is busy and dark, so just about the only color that would show up was white or light grey. I have a shortage of light colored material that would work on this dark surface. I tried using white tempera but it was very faded and illegible. Thinking now I guess white gesso would have worked. Anyway, that is what I did and I guess this journal is still an experiment haven after all. This page is likely a proof of Smearing Theory.

After seeing Calan Ree’s show I have had folklore on my mind. In my mind I am wandering the Dark Wood, especially the German world of the Grimm Brothers. I am one of the unfortunates that adored fairy tales back before fairy tales became “cool” and was labelled an oddball for it, but now everybody is all Grimm and Once Upon a Time. Don’t even talk to me about Disney. I mean it. Talk to me about Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

  1. Oh Terry, I hope this didn’t smudge and smear… its gorgeous! The “welcome home” is a great touch! I too feel comfortable in the dark woods. Have you tried a workable fixative spray? Winsor & Newton makes one that I’ve heard great things about but have not had reason to try myself. I have a friend who starts with chalks or charcoals, then layers paints or other mediums over it and this has served her well. Not sure it would work over gellatos, but might be worth the $10 or so to try since you work with multiple mediums.

    • crickyn says:

      hi karen, thanks for writing. i do think I have some workable fixative, now that you mention it-not sure if it is W&N. seems like it was recommended to spray as you work, as you suggest. i will try it. have not checked back to see if page is still wet, but imagine it is. been wicked humid down here all winter.

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