Child’s play

Posted: March 23, 2014 in art journal, New Mixed Media art, opinion

thingsilove72I seriously love this page.

I found this small journal I bought at a local art supply store. It was made for kids, with an insert on how to make a visual journal, some decorative paper bound in and some heavy colored cardstock. I think it must be about 5×8″.  Since it started out being for kids and it is of a small size I decided to use it for my Little Kid journal. This is a place where I go into my Victorian stickers, Japanese stuff, pencils, crayons, gel pens and vintage elementary school readers and picture books. I took blank pages and just filled them up with stuff that I’ve bought but might never find a place to use for whatever reason.

Today I started with a page of isolated individual vintage kid’s pictures. There are a few stickers, too. I believe I used a glue stick to apply the images. (If I had one, I would have used that old-style-plastic-pot-paste-thing-with-the-brush-that-went-down-into-the-lid that they gave us in grade school. The paste was always dried up at the top of the pot and you had to stab and plunge around blindly in the pot to get some good glue on the brush, because in a fit of engineering genius, the brush was imbedded into the lid of the pot, therefore, you couldn’t swab around and see at the same time. This is why it took us 2.5 months to make a foot-long construction paper garland. Plus, remember that smell)?? They were just stuck on with lots of white space around them. They needed unification so I dabbed on my new litho-inspired bottle acrylics (see yesterday’s post). In true kid fashion I used my fingers to dab and smoosh the paint around.

I hauled out all my gel pens that I thought might still write. Most of what I used today were Sakura Gelly Rolls™ of one type or another, for sure Glaze and Glitter.  I’ve been watching Teesha Moore videos on her Artstronauts Club™ and she uses gel pens a lot (she calls her Sakuras™ “Moonlight”). I thought I might try them again, but in doing so I reacquainted myself as to why I avoid them and haven’t bought any for a long time. The Sakuras™ are ok, but some of them make you write the way they write best, which is not how I mark-make. Some of them only write if you go verrryyyy slllloooowwwlllyyy. On the serious. Some of them are very blobby and some of them are very dry. I’d like to say some of them are “juusstt rriigghht” but that would be a lie. They pretty much aren’t just right for me. Or just write, either. And some of them wouldn’t write although they are the same age and nicely capped like the ones that did still write. They do have beautiful colors and were producing neon and florescent before that was cool, but still, pens need to be de-pen-dable. And they are not cheap pens, they are an investment.

Speaking of cheap pens, I got sucked into a Sam’s Club™ dealie about a thousand years ago, a set of 800 gel pens for $20, packaged in a nice stadium-type case that makes it easy to see the colors. (I think maybe there are two of each color-double the tragedy). They are fun to look at, quite inspiring but they never worked and I think it is possible they were dry before they got shipped. Every now and then I feel froggy with several days to spare and I take them out and scratch around on a scrap paper to no avail. (They deboss paper wonderfully, but then, what dead pen doesn’t)? I refuse to give up on them because they are PRETTY and I BOUGHT them, but I am almost there, folks. I will at least take a picture of them scattered on my studio table before they hit the circular file, in a last ditch effort to get some use out of them.

And then there are my Dollar Tree™ pens. A little package (perfect for on-the-go journaling) of NEON pens for $1. It’s a zip lock package so they won’t roll around in your bag. They are teeny tiny. By nature, they could only hold half the ink of a regular pen, but that doesn’t matter, does it, when the expensive full-size pens only put half a barrel of ink in there to begin with? So, we have a half-sized barrel half-full of ink, which ain’t much ink, peeps. But you know what? THEY ALL WRITE! They are about 3 years old, and I even lost the TOP for the yellow one, and they all write. And the colors are gorgeous. What do I care if I only get half a dozen pages out of them?

gelpens72 I can’t remember if I’ve seen these recently at Dollar Tree™ but they will probably show up again at some point. And since they appear to have longevity, and they write, I’d get a few packs next time. Great little gift for journaling friends and kids, they are so cute.

Back to the page. I worked back into the original colored illustrations, outlining and filling the shapes. I didn’t care if it was glitter or not, what with being so grateful when a pen wrote. I drew extra bubbles in soft pencil on the page where there was empty space, but it was too much. I took an eraser and lightened them up, knocking them way into the background. If you look carefully you can see them in the picture. Then I outlined all the black lines with an Ultra Fine Sharpie™ to bring out the colors and pop out the illustrations from the backgrounds. I took my $1.50 Studio G™ alphabet set and printed my words.

Speaking of Sharpie™, I don’t know where I would be without Sharpie™ everything. As disappointing as I find some brands, and some products, I have never been disappointed with Sharpie™. The pens last forever (if you keep them capped), the blacks are black, the fines are fine, the colored markers are fabulous, and they are truly permanent to water. The paint pens are too-die-for.  I just bought a set of the new gel highlighters (neon, need I say) but I haven’t used them yet. Plan on shading with them, I’ll let you know.

  1. rosibroom says:

    I love this page too, it immediately reunited me with my childhood self.

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