Thursday, November 19, 2009

Listening To My Muse ... Again

While I am enjoying my various projects with the fabric paper and my art journaling experiments, I have been wanting to branch out and do something else. I just didn't know what. Until today.

A while back I found a wonderful site called the Art House Co-Op and have been exploring the different projects they offer artists. I almost signed up for the sketchbook project. I was still kicking myself for not signing up before the deadline when I received an email from them today offering a new project. You can read about it here. This time I didn't hesitate to sign up. I wasn't going to let myself be talked out of this one. [A note about the link: sometimes it works and sometimes I get a message saying there is a problem with the gateway, whatever that means. I don't know if it's their server or mine (probably mine). When I try it later, it usually works.]

So I will be receiving my Moleskine notebook within a couple of weeks and I have until April to get my little narrative complete. I am curious to see what theme they send me. But they also added that you are not tied to the suggested theme. It's just something to nudge you in a direction. I am really looking forward to combining my writing and art skills in this project. I'll post updates to the book as I write it. :) I won't be getting my book returned to me since it will be part of the exhibit permanently, so I will be making a duplicate for myself that I'll keep.

Now back to my journals. Having NO luck finding hot press watercolor paper in this town, I had to order some online. I am hoping to receive it soon. I'm doing a lot of image transfers in my art journals (I'll post those soon) and am not happy with how they transfer onto the rough watercolor paper. Sometimes it is the look I'm going for but not usually. The images transfer beautifully onto a smooth surface so I'm wanting to get some journals made with the smooth paper!

I've also got an experimental journal started in a really nice size. It's an old atlas and the pages are so's wonderful to play in them. I've been busy trying some new (to me) art techniques in this new size. I just finished spending a day in my studio using the Nevr Dull technique on oversized fashion magazine pages. Ewww does that stuff smell...but I love the results. I'm working on one of those pages today!

Lots going on now and I think my Muse is happy that I'm listening to her...ideas are pouring out. I'm just about 2/3 of the way finished with beading the fabric paper squares for my wall hanging. Stay tuned...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Journal Journey

This is a journal page I'm working on. I love Dina Wakley's idea of using silhouettes on journal pages. This was a mask I had used for another project so I decided to use the back of it and adhere it to the page. I like the way it turned out with my inky blue fingerprints all over it and the white smudge in the center. I thought it looked like a heart so I filled it in a little more to bring that out.

The photo is a gel transfer (another of Dina's techniques from her class). It's a very rough transfer and there is still some paper adhered to it but I decided to leave it that way. This is a photo of me as a toddler looking through the railing on our front porch. I love this old photo. The original looks just about as bad as the transfer! It has a lot of scratches and dents in it for some reason. I don't know what happened to this photo but it's been through a lot!

I'm still experimenting with finding the right pens that will write over layers of paint, inks, etc. I had to switch a couple of times doing the journaling on this page but I was finally able to make it work.

Here is another page in progress:

I loved this little stamp when I saw it. The original size is shown at the bottom of the page. I enlarged it in Photoshop, colored it in with water soluble markers and adhered it to the page. The background on this page is a dyed paper towel. I love the way the dyes sink into the towel. But it is hard to write on! The little stamps around the central image are all stamped onto tissue paper from an old sewing pattern. I still have to do some journaling and see what else I can come up with on this page but I like the beginning so far.

I've made a few journals over the last couple of days using Teesha Moore's instructions from her blog. Ooh, the possibilities these hold! The bottom photo is from one of the journals I made. I used a sheet of my fabric paper on the cover and am pretty pleased with the way it turned out. I'll post a picture of it next time.

Teesha mentions a product called Pan Pastels in one of her videos about the inkwork. I had to order some when I saw her use them. They arrived today and I can't wait to play with them! More to come later.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Playing In Paint

I am so enjoying Dina Wakley's art journaling class. One of the assignments was to go outside of your comfort zone and create a page with at least 10 layers and to use three silhouettes. This isn't something you'd do for all of your journal pages (or, maybe you would...who knows?) but it was a great motivator to push myself to see what else I could come up with for the next layer.

I love the silhouettes of the fashion models that she uses on her pages and I plan to use those a lot in the near future. I have so many fashion mags laying around here it won't be hard to find some great poses to use as masks. But I wanted to use another mask for this exercise. I had some scrapbook paper that had outlines of birds on it. I just cut one out and used that as my mask.

There are paints, dyes, inks, oil pastels, dyed paper towels, etc. on this top page. I still have blue fingers from the spray inks. I didn't pay attention to where the nozzle was so I missed the stencil the first time and sprayed full force on my hands. No worries, I made a great imprint on a paper towel and will cut that out at some point to use on another page. But my fingers are definitely stained blue!

I had a great time with this lesson. Here is the opposite page in the journal. It's not finished yet. I may not do the whole ten layers for this one. I like how there's some white space here and there. I will add some more to it later but I want to think about it some more:

One of the next lessons she wants us to do involves self-portraits. Ugh! I am NOT photogenic and I was already thinking of reasons not to do it. One good thing about the lesson: I read the manual for my camera and have figured out how to use the self-timer. I'm ashamed to say I've not taken the time to figure that out before now! It was so strange taking photos of myself...such a weird feeling. I've already taken over 100 photos and out of all of those may have three that are usable. Even then, I will probably use only part of my face. But I'm going through with the lesson, just for the experience.

The class has definitely made me want to journal. So there's a plus right there! OK, off to figure out this next assignment.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Graffiti Journal Page

I am taking an art journaling class online taught by Dina Wakley and I love it. This is exactly the type of effect I want to have in my art journal. OK, here it's done in digital, but I wanted to do it digitally, too! Next I plan on getting my hands dirty and doing it for real. :)

There is a poem in the background that I saw on someone else's blog recently. Sorry to say I forgot whose blog it was. But here's the poem:


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

I especially love the last two lines. Now, off to play in the paint...