Thursday, April 11, 2013

Evolution of a page - Fun with tissue

 Hi all,
Thought I'd record the progress of a page, for the blog and for myself, just for fun...not often we stop to 'freeze' those moments between layers ;)

I started this journal spread with a technique inspired by my online friend and fellow Aussie, Giovanna in this video

As I've mentioned before, I adore using tissue in my mixed-media work. I haven't quite used it in this way before, stamping a bold black & white background sheet, ripping it up into strips and using it as a base layer (I mostly use it in the top layers and often use the existing image or pattern to add extra dimension).
 So...after separating the top layer from a 3 ply tissue, roughly stamped it all over.
 Tore it up into strips and glued it randomly onto the page.
 Filled in some spaces with oil pastels and rubbed them in.
 Dripped some blue ink and sprayed some orange/yellow through a doily stencil. Didn't quite come out very well as the oil pastels provided too much resist. Oh well, all part of the fun with mixed media. Moving on....;)
Then I randomly stamped some text in black ink and white paint using bubble wrap.
 A close up.
 I pushed my boundaries a bit with my colour choices. It was all looking a bit bright for me and I wanted to dull it down a bit to let my chosen images stand out so I smudged white paint around the spread with my fingers.
Then I glued down my main magazine image. Isn't it beautiful? I have had it in my images folder for years, waiting. It's so serene...I feel peace just looking at it...

I chose the flowers for their colour relationship to my page (oranges and yellows are not my usual choice) and the words all seemed to fit into a loose meaning to this spread. 

I have to apologise for the terrible photos (especially the lighting in this one). They were all quick shots with my mobile phone. Didn't want to disturb the creative flow when I finally managed to sit down at my craft table to keep going with this page.
Then for the fun part - doodling! Without much thinking, I painted some white vines which I thought were not prominent enough so I outlined and dotted them with a black gel pen and proceeded to add shadowing with a black watercolour crayon.  Added some doodling around the words to finish off.

Well that was fun, will have to do it again (may be will pull my camera out next time) ;)
Until next time,
Lena :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Messy Fingers

My latest page was inspired by a quote I heard in a YouTube art journalling video (sorry don't remember who from) :/
So simple but it really 'tickled my fancy' ;) I proceeded to create an art journal page keeping in mind that considering the central quote, I had permission to be more detached from the outcome and be more messy than usual. As I often do, I started with a spread of 'blotches' of left-over paint from other pages. In no particular order...( I really should try to keep track of the layers one day)....There's wrapping paper that I kept for a long time waiting to be used in a page. Loved the repetitive hearts pattern on it. I sprayed through a found object stencil (the sparse purple circles on the left), stippled white paint through sequin waste, stamped a large background stamp with black ink & stamped tiny black hearts to tie in with the wrapping paper. There's a scalloped doodle stamp at the bottom of the page spread with white dots made with my favourite Uniball Signo white gel pen.

 This page features one of my most favourite collage elements of all time. Paper flowers and circles that I did according to instruction from here  They are so much fun to make! Because they are coated in gel medium they are quite plasticky and sturdy. I made a batch a few years ago, they still make me happy when I 'play' with them ;)

Until next time,
Lena :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I'm baaaack....

Well that was quite a poor neglected blog...
This time I do have a good excuse. Since last July, I had a life-changing experience that had taken over all my focus and energy. Without going into details, I have had a health challenge occur seemingly out of the blue and apparently now have a chronic inflammatory condition :/ So, have been preoccupied with regularly attending Hospital Outpatients Dept, learning about and  improving my diet, while continuing my part-time work and the normal day-to-day management of my family.

I have always known that allowing myself time for creativity is a part of my mental health but now it's even more significant - it's my 'meditation', calming of the mind, de-stressing. This 'allowing' has been difficult in the past and continues to be a challenge. There are always 'more important' things to do...

With the resolution to make art a priority, in the last few months, I have been immersing myself in the online art world again. One of the first things I did at the start of the year was to join the "One Little Word" movement. My word for 2013 is COMMIT. This is my page.
The other major news, I have been extremely fortunate to grab a place in the very popular art week-end, "Paint Mojo" with the wonderful Tracy Verdugo Tracy has spent a large part of 2012 travelling and teaching in the US and Asia and is planning to again very soon so I consider this a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from and be inspired by an amazing woman and talented artist. Very excited and cannot wait for mid-June :)

Lena :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Quickie foam stamps

It was a very cold and rainy day here today, I had a day off work, food shopping could wait one more day....only one thing for it - ART!  This was a rare day of luxury, a day just for me....

I watched some videos from my current course "52 Playdates" by the wonderful Jan Fox. Week 7 video was about DIY foam stamps. Jan was using an idea from Traci Bunkers to make very easy foam stamps, with a twist...After watching Jan's and then Traci's original videos, I was excited!

The basic concept is that you heat up foam with a heat gun and press the foam onto an object. I didn't have any flip-flops (or similar foam) to cut up but remembered that I had some smooth foam shapes in my stamp box waiting to be used "one day". I ran around the house madly looking for some small textural objects and got to work.

I now have a small collection of fun stamps that took me literally minutes to make. What fun! 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

My pretty pretty page

Yet another incident of the magic of Art Journalling!
A fair while ago, I created a "pretty pretty background" in my art journal. I took some background colour block stripes from a fashion catalogue (roughly cut around the model) as my inspiration and created a page around that.
The images were chosen mainly because they coordinated with the colour scheme. There was no reason for the bird-cage apart from the fact that it looked good against the background. I went wild with my Uniball Signo white pen and my dot obsession and created a pretty pretty page. It was so pretty and so clean and perfect, I truly could not imagine I would ever find a suitable topic and was quite prepared just to leave it.

 Well, as it so often happens, after many months, I had a bright and exciting development in my life that I needed to journal about. My oldest child finally has started taking public transport to school - a huge change in our life. I have always driven my kids to and from school as well as any extra-cirricular activities after school. She is now ready to be independent and self-reliant and has confidently "gone out into the world".

Casually leafing through my journal looking for a background, I suddenly stopped on this page - the mood felt right, the amount of available journalling space seemed sufficient...and then it struck me that the cage (with the bird flying out) was utterly perfect for the subject matter!
I so love the spiritual nature of art journalling....Never ceases to amaze me :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

More recent pages

 Ever since I have 'inhabited' the online art-journalling world, I enviously read of the Art Retreats that US ladies partake of, I have held a dream of one day going on some sort of get-away with women where you switch-off from the responsibilities of life, feed off each other's creative energy and just play.
So recently, my dream came true, kind of...I went away on a creative week-end with 3 other women. It wasn't quite what I envisioned. The other ladies were all scrap-bookers, of a rather...umm...functional style....decorating was not a priority....This was not quite a warm fuzzy gathering, Brave Girls-style (if you aren't aware of this, my ultimate dream - I was doing my 'arty thing' on my own. It took me a while to get into the flow but I did manage to create something. The 2 spreads below are some of the work I got done that week-end.

This page was built on a very old background early on in this journal. It was blue and green, washed over with gesso and stamped with the swirly stamp. This background was left behind for quite a long time as nothing really suited it until now. On my creative week-end, I had a very limited box of supplies (3 of us car pooled with our respective craft supplies, personal items including bedding and food contribution for the week-end, so space was limited). I have read in the past that it is a good exercise to limit one's materials once in a while so this was my opportunity. Not easy! To my horror I forgot to pack any scrap-booking (printed) papers. Brought a stack of serviettes (my favourite layering element) and my Art Papers (where I use up my paint left overs). Surprisingly, I found this background a 'home' under these limiting circumstances. I had the vintage-looking lady magazine image for a few years. I really liked her dress and overall look. Inspiration struck and she finally made it into my journal. The tulip and the yellow/red/green pieces are a serviette, craft paper strips, script stamp, bubble wrap stamping and doodling. Voila! Very happy with this page as the subject matter is very topical in my life at the moment and it fitted into this page well.

This page was started at the week-end away and finished off at home. I took advantage of being with scrap-booking ladies to borrow their puzzle pieces punch. I used my Art Paper for the pieces as well as the art doll's dress. I also used a discarded  red wavy border card-stock piece and arted it up. I also picked up the white heart punchie off the floor. Love that perverse satisfaction I get from using scraps in mixed media ;)

The original magazine face was way too pretty and a bit soul-less (especially after I decided what this page was going to be about) I'm very happy with the 'improvement'. At home, I doodled, added rub-ons and the quote from my stash of magazine lettering (my husband calls it my "ransom notes") :)
I feel that the lady is a bit unfinished, I think I lost interest in this page and gave myself permission to leave it and move on ;)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Some recent art journalling

A page of many layers. Not a "pretty page", a bit of a hodge-podge of layers over many months. It began as many of my pages do with me randomly spreading left-over paint from other work. There were freehand paint doodles which are now mostly covered up, tissue paper, loosely torn circles with inked edges and stamps. As I came back to this page and added more it didn't get any less chaotic. So recently I decided it was time to finish it off, especially as I had a topic to journal that seemed to suit the page. I added the hand and the butterfly, journalled, added the beautiful quote and decided I was fairly happy with the outcome.
This is one of my most favourite pages ever. After a bit of a break from art journalling, I watched some videos by a new artist I discovered via Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's Art Journal Everyday series. Surprisingly, this was the first time I came across the guest artist Janine I'm a visual learner and watching a few of her videos really got my creative juices going. I pretty much replicated some of the elements used in her pages just for the exercise and the fun of breaking out of my usual style. "Discovered" a very simple (but oh so satisfying) technique of putting down a few blobs of paint and using a plastic fork to fan it out in all directions.
Anyway, somehow in this process of trying a different style, I ended up using a colour combination that was not what I would have normally chosen (which incidentally was not at all Janine's colours). Not sure how it happened but this page looks so vibrant and makes me really happy. Unfortunately some of the colour is lost in the pic and I don't use photoshop to be able correct it.