Archive for the ‘art journal’ Category

 

barebear

Here is my creation today. It is expressive art mixed media that began with this image:

b4croppedweb

How did this image come to be? About six months ago I bought some stencils at the Dollar Tree. There were five sets available: Sea Life, Farm Life, Alice in Wonderland, Monsters and an alphabet. (I wrote about these at Mythos in an entry Idea Farm). I bought the Alice set and opened it about a week later and it was awesome. Yes, the stencils are on lightweight cardboard, but they were detailed and cut cleanly. The images they selected were not all mainstream. On my next trip in I decided to pick up each set.

For some reason, perhaps all the children’s books I’ve been looking at, the Monster set got appealing. Actually, it started further back than that now that I’m thinking about it. About a month ago I decided to do a mixed media piece using a black silhouette. I’ve done these before (some of them are shown on this blog). Basically, I find an evocative fashion magazine image, one that will translate to being blacked out. I cut it out, paint it with black gesso and create a background to put it on. It’s fun to do and cool to look at. In this instance, I found a couple good samples. I flipped them to the back, and one of them had an image I had not planned. I decided on a different image for the piece I was working on, but I wanted to remember to try this, although as I say, it was an accident. I was going for the boxy pose on the other side. I put the image in my process journal and made notes about why/how it had happened. I left my notes on there but not sure you can make them out.

accidentalcutoutweb

I think this was backburnering, then the children’s book thing happened. The Dollar Tree stencil sets are a good size for my 5×7 Daily Art Initiative projects. During TV time, I go through books and magazine pages and hold the stencils over the pages to find ones that utilize the images on the page.

Because the Monsters (I prefer Creatures, because, really, they are more cute than scary) were abstract I started with that set. Oh, the fun that I had. I tried to use all the Creatures, but found I was partial to several. This one seemed “bearish” to me, it also reminded me of a shaman cave drawing. When I saw the word “Bare” printed on a page I couldn’t resist myself.

All the little guys and gals got gelled down to a full size piece of paper, smack dab in the middle. I’m not sure this was necessary but it seemed like it was, so that’s what I did. The idea was to scan them, crop them and then be able to stick them all on a page(s) to print out to conserve paper. Seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? I do not want to use the originals.

I have about 30 0r so done. See my last post about how fast my new Brother inkjet scans. I sat down the other day and scanned them all, then I sat down yesterday and cropped them all and grouped them in files so I could do what I did today, quickly and efficiently. It was a lot of work to digitally resize them and organize them, but if I don’t do it right away, they will just get lost and not get used. Another important Initiative in 2016 is to develop the habit of Organization, but I digress.

I wanted to use Bear, so I picked this one because of the Bare fun factor. I am easily amused. As you can plainly see, the image RESEMBLES a bear, if you squint and tie your Imagination Hat firmly onto your Noggin. Colored pencils are a dry medium so I used my Prismacolor set. I adjusted his ears and they were way too big, which sure set the tone right off the bat. Then I drew the face. I swear to God, the first face made him look like a rat. I couldn’t even with it, so I erased and started again, making the face bigger and wider, and that got better. I messed about giving him paws and shading him in. But there was that awful “Farrow” word that had to go. What to do? I thought the best thing would be to cover it up with a dry, opaque something and decided on ledger paper. I wanted to write the word “Bear” out because I thought maybe the drawing wasn’t good enough to allow you to get the joke. And the paper was all lined like elementary school, so I wrote “Bear” in a childish sort of way.

About now, I have an ugly bear with a childish look and goofy word and a pretty elementary pun to boot. Then I read it. “Bare Bear.” It sounds like what a kid would name a favorite, cherished stuffed bear. This is no longer a bear, its a bear TOY. But it was standing up so tall, not like a stuffed bear. Then I thought, it’s a wind-up toy bear that walks. But how to show the winder thingy? They are called keys, and this is an old school toy, so I can just draw a key winder. I made it big to make sure you could see it and know it was a toy bear.

Man, I only had an hour and I was running out of time. That rat face put me way behind. This toy bear made no sense at all standing in the middle of space, he needed a room. A kid’s room. A boy kid’s room. So I drew some curtains and put on some sailboat wall paper and an out- of-perspective table with a sailboat set on it. I polka-dotted the curtains and was just putting the red fringed rug under Bare Bear when the timer went off.

Ok, we all know this is no Beatrix Potter but I don’t give no fiddely dee about that. I like this; I like everything about this. I especially like these things: I enjoy doing this during TV time because I don’t enjoy TV much; this is super cheap–.10 magazine, $1 for 20 or so stencil images; the process spurs on imagination; drawing practice. Mostly I like this cute little bear waiting for a little boy to wind him up and give him some animation. Good ‘ole Bare Bear, long may he bust a move.

fabric paper copies

When last we met, Fabric Paper Part 1, I promised a follow up about my uses for the paper. Well, my purpose in making the paper was to cut it up and make bracelet cuffs from it. I still intend to do that, but I  haven’t gotten to it yet. So this post is about art journaling.

I don’t usually decorate the cover of a journal first. To be honest, I  rarely get past the first three pages of a journal so nearly no covers get done. It’s not unusual for journal makers to leave the cover for last. Perhaps the idea is that after the journal is completed there is more of a tone to bring to the cover than might have been apparent at first. Perhaps the idea is that the cover might get so monumentally messed up that nothing could fix it and it would be forever lost. Not a very good way to start a journal. My feeling is, I need to love that book to the point that I can’t leave it alone.

I don’t usually follow the market for supplies. I’ve used various mixed media sketchbooks, hardbound and spiral bound. For some reason, spiral bound journals started to bug me. I actually used to LIKE spiral bindings, so I have no idea what that is about. And, the hardbound journals I had would not stay open or lie flat. That started to bother me, too. Wet pages had a mind of their own and would flip closed to the other side. (Don’t write to me about clips). Anyhow, I saw a few videos by Ranger for the Dylusions Creative Journal. It is a bound journal that opens and stays perfectly flat on it’s own with No Clip. The paper is heavyweight and suitable for wet applications; the cover is heavy chipboard. The 8.5×11 journal retails for $25 at Michaels, so I wait for a 50% off coupon and buy it; at $12.50 this 64 page journal is an excellent buy.

If you’ve been keeping up with my Mythos blog, you know I’ve developed an obsession with Little Red Riding Hood. Since I posted over there about Red last week, I’ve gotten an obsession with all the Grimm Bros. tales, and the Grimm Bros. themselves. I plan next week to get an obsession with Hans Christian Anderson, to be followed by Charles Perrault. Ultimately Mother Goose will be involved, at which time if I’m decorating my bedroom as a nursery I expect professionals will be called in.

So, I procured me a new journal: hope springs eternal. And I decided to tackle the cover first. Mother of Pearl, what a confunction.  I have no hand-lettering skills. (Could this be at the base of why I am a journal writer that does not write journals?) How was I going to get the text on? Was I going to collage a cover? (Treacherous). Was I going to draw a cover? (Unlikely). Was I going to paint a cover? (Unlikeli-er). Maybe I wasn’t thinking out of the box enough, but it seemed that about covered it, technique-wise.

Finally, I considered stencils. It’s hard to imagine that I didn’t think of stencils right away, because there is a good portion of my grey matter dedicated to thinking about stencils. I have several tree stencils of the right size.  Then the decision: paint or ink?

Acrylic paint has drawbacks; it creates a slick “dimensional” coat. I felt it could limit my options later, both for material and technique. Ink also has drawbacks, the first being, I don’t like the look of sprayed ink. It CAN be very inconsistent and temperamental. Like, I spritz it off-project a couple times and everything is good, then I move onto the money shot and it fires out blobby and drippy and with extreme prejudice. One time it actually blew the stencil off!

I didn’t want the cover black, and I didn’t want it colored, either. I wanted it natural, so my mind went to walnut ink crystals. I had some ink made up already. I also had one of those Mini Mister applicators. I thought the smaller mister might give a more consistent spray.

I had to take it outside because walnut ink stains just about everything. Particularly cats, and they seem to jump on my work island just as I am executing a critical treatment. My experience with spraying any ink is that it goes all over the place, even though you think it couldn’t possibly. (A good idea for you is to put the ink-ee into a box; that is, if you, as a well-prepared artist, can put your hands on a box that doesn’t have black widow spiders inside it. I am not so lucky. I am not making that up.)

Outside I went. I had applied TAPE to keep the stencil laying down. I tell you, I was firing on all cylinders. I got the mister going and I was right, the Mini-Mister did a good job with a fine spray, consistent and very much enhancing the detailed stencil. However, mysteriously I did produce two large drips. The biggest one ended up spreading out and isn’t too noticeable. The smaller one is at the bottom. While I was out there I sprayed the edges of the journal all the way around. The edges always get messed up on my journals anyway, so I figured I’d grunge them up from the beginning. woodsjournalstenciled

I left off working on it last night to let it dry properly.Today I was faced with Now What? There were many options. I considered collage for the tree trunk and limbs with small pieces of paper. That’s why I copied the fabric paper–some of the designs worked for tree bark and texture. I tore a couple pieces up and tried it and I didn’t like it. Not One Bit. I tried a teeny dictionary with tiny type to collage the trees. That was better, but with the busy all-over stencil design I was concerned the collage would be overwhelming and make the tree look stiff and clunky.

I decided to take a break so I sat down and outlined the tree with a fine line black marker (Artline) and that created considerable depth to the image. At this point I considered doing very very very small handwritten text along the tree trunk and limbs. I was very tempted to do it, being that it is one of my favorite activities, but it might be even busier than the collage. No go.

It’s not possible for me to hand-letter the journal title. I considered transferring toner or inkjet computer text to the cover. (Treacherous). I thought maybe I’d do a packing tape or Contact Paper transfer. (Easier, but the stickers can look clunky). I did not want to stencil again, even I know when to stop. So I went into the stamp hoard and found this alphabet (I cannot tell you who made it, the packaging is long gone). It was amazing that I bought both the capital and lowercase set of this font. I must have realized 15 years ago that This Day Would Come-And It Did.

woodsjournallettering

Isn’t it nice? You can see that I had to do a pre-stamp trial run…better safe than sorry. I have been sorry SO many times. I loved the font and the color (StazOn Saddle Brown). I took the plunge….wait for it…

woodsjournalcover

This is where I stopped. You will notice that I optimistically added the “Vol. 1” notation as an afterthought. I’m pulling out the stops to get this journal on a good trajectory. I Winter Solstice-ed it up for you by adding a cheery pine cone. I know how you appreciate that Martha touch. (I reread this post and see I’ve mentioned two Ranger products. I do not receive any compensation from them and actually use very few of their products).

The cat is Peter Pan. During the above process, I listened to Dr. Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, “The Theater of the Imagination”. Today it was Bluebeard. Her telling and analysis is a must hear for women.

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.

Color inspiration

Posted: March 22, 2014 in art journal, color study, opinion

paintswatchWell, this is no Degas.

What can you expect? Just when Bob and I go outside to blow the stink off after getting air conditioning installed for 2 days, to do some yard work, we got robbed. Once again, there was an uninvited idiot in my house. He/She/It stole Bob’s brand new phone, my laptop and kindle. I’ve been recuperating.

About a week ago I grabbed a handful of random old postcards and I sectioned out the nice vintage lithographed ones from the ubiquitous pictures of old motels and swimming pools. A couple of the things that I like about the old lithos is the paper, which is heavily textured and a linen-ish color, and the colors they used. I inspected a few and it seemed to me that the color palettes are limited and consistent from card to card. I set them aside and thought it would be cool to try and match those colors and do some work using that limited palette. Of course, when I went to Joann’s earlier this week I forgot the cards and I was in the paint aisle when I remembered I didn’t have them. But it was ok, because paint was not on sale.

It’s not that bottle craft paint is all that expensive, but it is more than it used to be (dirt cheap) back when I did tole painting in the ’80s and we used it for our base coats. The normal price was 4 for $1.00 then and it frosts my canastas to pay upwards to $2 a bottle for it now. So I went over to Michael’s today with coupons and a mission, WITH the cards in my purse, thanks very much. Sometimes the neurons ACTUALLY FIRE! Imagine my delight when I saw that the Craftsmart bottle acrylics were 4 for $2 on sale, and I had a 25% coupon for my whole order. I went to town matching the colors. It took a while and pesky customers got in my way but I persevered, and returned with awesome colors. Most are good matches and I can mix to perfect a few that are off.

The last time I bought craft paint I got current with extreme brights and some neons and glows. I had not bought bottle paints for so long that I was stunned by the gorgeous saturated colors available. I have been using them to exclusion in my journals. It seems like a waste to use expensive heavy bodied Golden acrylics as backgrounds in journals. I think my art making is worth Golden and I already own it, but I almost always scrape on my backgrounds and WANT the map or white underneath to show. I’ve been using a selection of Apple Barrel, FolkArt and Americana brands. Mostly I got extreme acids because I like my yellows and greens to make your eyes bulge out, your gums bleed and your back teeth hurt. Seems sadistic now that I write it but you know I’m right about this. I found this out about myself when I bought beads. I’d buy the ones that were left in the acid yellows that nobody else could imagine using. My gain, their loss, but I’m getting sidetracked.

Here’s what I like to do with paint to keep track of what I buy. I make separate catalog sheets by brand name and then write down the colors and put a small fingertip dot for a sample. This is helpful not only in the store to make sure I don’t double buy (if I like it ONCE, I’ll like it AGAIN) but also when I’m at the art table trying to match something. It’s just easier to do off a page for me, maybe not for you. Obviously, I open them because that plastic wrap around the top is made in hell and there is nothing worse than wanting to paint and having to find scissors to get that plastic off. Make sure you TIGHTLY close the bottle and that the flip lid is secure, and store them upside down. This is good when you are just fiddling around painting backgrounds or if you are trying to find a specific color in 40 bottles. If you don’t use them for a while, pull them out and give each bottle a shake while you are waiting for something to dry.

Now, I know there are prejudices against bottle craft paint. I’ve heard all the opinions over the years. A main draw back seems to be that peeps think the pigment load is too low. True, the pigment load is lower than more expensive paints. If I were painting canvases to sell, I ‘d use my Golden paint. Personally, I like the finish on bottle paints, especially on paper. They have a matte finish, a smoothness, that heavy bodied acrylics don’t have. Some peeps don’t like them because some pens and markers won’t write over acrylics. Copic markers always do and Sharpies do if the paint is completely dry and smooth.

Personally, I like the color choices. If I am careful to stay within limits, premixed paints work for me. I do not like re-inventing the wheel in the studio. I’d rather pull an awesome color out of a bottle and have it look like what it looks like. It doesn’t waste paint. I’ve wasted a LOT of Golden paint trying to remember how to get a good flesh tone and I just bought a gorgeous flesh tone today for less than .50. For me it saves time and money and my frustration level is manageable. Yes, I may have to put on a couple of coats, but I often do with more expensive paint as well.  Your mileage may vary but I’m 58 years old and the clock is ticking. And moths flutter out of my wallet when I open it these days.

On a totally different topic, here’s some stuff to check out:

Foster the People’s brand new release Supermodel. Oh my goodness, what a sophomore release, couldn’t be better. Hear this band evolve right before your ears.

Documentaries I saw on Netflix:

The Woodmans, the story of Francesca Woodman, photographer. Outstanding work, way before her time. If you like b/w photography, a must see. She specialized in set ups and nude self-portraits, very inspiring. You will not believe the variety of textures  in her pictures.

Gregory Crewdson, photographer, I believe it’s called Beyond the Limits. He does very elaborate set ups, in collaboration with lighting and set designers from the movie industry. Every single detail is planned and the images are extraordinary.

Don’t miss the Christopher Walken mash-up that Huffington Post made the other day. His dancing and some short vocals and gestures from a bunch of his films. I adore him and it is delightful watching him move over about 4 (can it be?) decades.

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.

Angel-In-Training

Posted: November 13, 2013 in art journal, New Mixed Media art

angel in trainingI know you’re out there-I can hear you breathing.

This is actually yesterday’s play time. I am going to take such SHINE-OLA about this page. I can already hear it.

All I can say is I was thinking Metaphysically or Optimistically or Unrealistically. I am allowed artistic and poetic license. I am both an artist and a poet. It comes with the territory. Well, I’ll change the subject and tell you about those angel wings. I carved them from foam. I got some foam that is really thin and I’m still struggling with getting a print I like. The thicker stuff (like what veggies and meat are packaged in at the grocery) is for some reason easier to print with. I’m also using tempera on paper, and I mostly used the foam with tempera on a harder surface in the past, and very smooth (wood plaque). However, I get really one-track-minded in the studio and I’ll try something that worked before and get in the habit and 18 prints later I realize it ain’t workin’.

I forgot to list my Tunes from yesterday but that’s ok. Less is more. However, today I want to indulge in a half-hearted rant about Pandora. I’m really fond of Pandora radio. It’s Roku for us but maybe some other streaming thing for you, if you are lucky. There are other streaming make-your-own-radio stations out there, but I’m a one trick pony. I learned how to use 6.5 remote controls to get the Pandora to come on without building a bonfire in the living room, dancing in a circle and praying to the gods. It almost took that but I got by with putting a chicken in a paper bag and swinging it over my head for 15 minutes. Anyway. Pandora is really good but for one thing, and that one thing is ALMOST a deal breaker but I still hang in there. Here’s the deal. On Pandora you can make your own station with a genre or by putting in your own favorite artist. I favor putting in the artist. So, I put in Willy Porter, because it is almost ALWAYS a Willy Porter day. I actually told Willy Porter in October when I saw him that I’ve logged hundreds and hundreds of hours listening to his music, and believe me when I tell you this, I did NOT get that overtime on Pandora. I got it in my CAR on CD the way the DINOSAURS did.  Actually, this rant is not so half-hearted, it’s shaping up pretty well.

So, when you ask for Willy Porter it seems like there would be a reasonable expectation that half the music you hear would be Willy Porter. And Pandora sucks you in at the beginning by starting you off with a WP, but very quickly Willy is waving goodbye across the prairie and Pandora has picked up with Dave Matthews. I mean picked up with extreme prejudice. And Pandora isn’t just messing with Willy Porter. I play Thomas Dolby radio and get Depeche Mode. I play Kate Bush radio and get Tori Amos. I play Gillian Welch and get Emmy Lou. I literally get 1 song out of 20 of the selected artist. On a good day. Right now, I’m playing Gillian Welch radio and they are playing Blackbird by the Beatles. I’ve left olde time bluegrass for British 1972. (update:-now it’s Crazy Love by Van Morrison),

I’m trying to figure out what’s in it for Pandora. And don’t write to me and say that it’s about advertising or record companies or licensing (ha! as if ANYBODY is going to write me). I’m sure that’s the likely reason. But alone in the studio with just me and blank canvases I am WONDERING about Pandora Peeps. I think about Peter Gabriel’s song “Shock the Monkey”. I would like to hear some Peter Gabriel but I’ll have to do that in the CAR, or figure out, who do I have to ask to hear that Pandora would give me Peter Gabriel? I am serious as whale poop about this. I actually am in the studio IMAGINING what radio station I could ask for and get Thomas Dolby.  It’s like alien abduction conspiracy–a lot of thinking but not any answers. I actually imagine some Pandora employee tearing off his headphones, screaming, “I can’t do this anymore! I can’t! OHHHH, the HUMANITY”.

Well, it’s way past lunchtime and I’ve worked up an appetite. Mayhaps I will see you tomorrow. I might play hopscotch, or get bubble gum in my hair.

peace, tl

A new page in my watercolor journal. I’m calling them Poem Pages. The journaling derives from a writing assignment having to do with a favorite color and “I am” statements. The poem is written on watercolor paper and then washed in a light to medium tone. The statements are cut out and perhaps rearranged into a poetic collection. From there is is a matter of rewriting the poem in pen and doing some outlining of the handwriting to make it pop. I think it looks cooler in person than in the pix, plus it’s very overcast here today so not a lot of light in the photography station (ha! my dining chair in the kitchen!). Pick your favorite anything, write out what it’s like to be it, and make a poem today in your journal. This exercise will appear as Class Three in Art Journaling at Whim So Doodle in St. Pete, FL sometime in July.

A bunch of stuff graces this page. The background was spray inked and I stamped a hand carved dandelion plant image (from Quik Cutz, not a styrofoam plate this time) onto the foundation. Then I began to layer on some ephemer. There are ration stamps, an epsom salt RX envelope, business cards, word cards, more RX labels and some Victorian scrap, plus a lotteria card. The cigar bands and red tickets create somewhat of a border around the dandelion image, and a cute little girl from what could be a paper doll sheet finishes the edge. This page does not feel finished to me. I think it needs a very thin wash of gesso or white acrylic to unify the items, or some journaling in white would accomplish the same idea.

I fell in love with a scrapbook set of papers with a Japanese theme a couple of weeks ago. It had the usual back up accessories, like chipboard pop outs, stickers and alphabets. The little geisha and the bird were two of my favorite images from the set so I put them together. I was out in the garage and found this very stuffed but flat backed geisha doll and wondered if it is possible to go THAT 3-D in an art journal. Well, it is but with some caveats. First of all, your paper needs to be up to the task of holding the piece in place. This is my new go to Montval watercolor paper journal (90#) from Canson (the All Media I’ve already spoken of several times). The paper is pretty heavy, so that wasn’t a problem. Also, I set the found object geisha toward the spine, which would be my second suggestion: placement on the page. Third issue is that I forgot that this wasn’t a “stand alone” project like so many of mine are…soooooo, it is a tad tough to journal on the preceding half dozen pages. They are all lumpy. Because the top of the geisha is all stuffed and junk. So keep that in mind. One thing that would be SMART, so it never occurred to ME, would be to plan to have the stuffed geisha on the page but not actually PUT it on the page until you got any page effected by it finished, like the previously discussed preceding half dozen pages. Duh. Anyway, learn from my mistakes, grasshoppah. Don’t let the 3-Dness of an item immediately negate the idea of it in your art journal, but take my advice and do a little planning first. Think how it’s going to effect the rest of your work nearby. By the way, at the National Scrapbookers Day event I demo’d at this past Saturday, this page was popular. It definitely offers the unexpected as you flip through the book. p.s. Bamboo was stenciled with Dylusions ink. Awesome.

A simple grid over a two page spread became the foundation for these calendar journal pages. The upper left box contains a Crafter’s Workshop stencil image sprayed with Dylusions spray ink. I love dandelions and couldn’t wait to use this stencil. I hope you can at least see some of the watercolor effect the Dylusions spray ink had, and I love the intermixability of these inks. As you can see not each square of the grid has journaling. I used scrapbook paper scraps and turned the dandelion stencil wet side down after spraying the main image to get color on the right bottom center and right near bottom square. I do not like wasting ink!! Because the stencils are plastic the overspray stays wet a long time and it can be monoprinted onto any other page or project you have going. I put an opened up cardboard slide holder on the bottom right square and stamped “April” on the bottom right with what I believe is a 7 Gypsies journal rubber stamp set. I liked prepping and using this spread so much that it is now the second class in my Art Journal series beginning in a couple of weeks at Whim So Doodle in St. Pete. Prepping is easy. Draw the grid, watercolor into each square by mixing your colors and making each square a different color, spray some with ink, use a stencil that you like that goes along with the month you are working on. Or draw or doodle into squares to make it even more personal. Pick a square to stamp your month into, use a box style to write the date in each square that will be for journal writing. Put something cool in the remaining squares for visual interest. Then every day all you have to do is show up with a pen and write a few sentences into the appropriate square. Easy peasey.