Yesterday I decided to remake a page. Actually, I do this almost every day. It isn't about whether or not I like what's on the page, it's about putting what I happen to want on the page today, and reconciling that with what's already there. I could start with a blank page. In fact, I do that all the time. I've heard people say that blank pages can be intimidating. I've also heard people say that pages with too much stuff on them can be confusing. Since I'm neither intimidated nor confused, it really doesn't matter to me whether the page is blank, or full. Either way, to me it's a just substrate.
Here's the semi-finished product--semi-finished, because it hasn't been written upon yet. The pages are really not wonderful until they've been written on, so this one still has a long way to go.
The page was remade primarily with paint, and a pine tree that I drew and carved into a stamp several years ago. "Road-tested" was clipped from a magazine and used as-is. "High Altitude" was constructed from white rub-on letters on top of a piece of black magazine paper cut to fit the top. The road and date were drawn onto the page with a Rapidograph and Inda ink.
For remade pages, much of the the beauty is simply that what's under the finished product lends so much to the final outcome, both texturally, and in meaning, that the page wouldn't at all have been the same if what's underneath hadn't been there in the first place.
Here's what was underneath the page above when I started:
If you look closely, and maybe squint, you can see some of the dots and part of that smilely face underneath the finshed page. I didn't remove a thing. Even the brown grid tape was laid on top of the pink tape that was already there, which added to the color of the tape layer on top.
I use art journals and sketchbooks to stretch my creative muscles. Sometimes that means sketching out plans. Sometimes it means glueing-in a lot of things that please me. Things which might contain elements I'll want to use in a finished piece later. Sometimes it's all about color, and making notes.
This particular book was made for Mary Ann Moss's Full Tilt Boogie workshop, and I've been working in it since mid-summer. I'm using it to stretch my conscious creative decision making. I say conscious, because so many of the decisions we make are habitual and shortcut the thought process. This book is full of pages patched together alongside full blank pages, alongside pages with other elements added. If you'd like to see what the book looked like just after it was created and before I started working on the pages, there's a flip-through you can see by clicking HERE and scrolling down to the bottom of the page.
Speaking of other elements, I drew some of those today to use later. I've used quite a few frames on other pages of this book, and really like how they can be used to confine and define select words and design elements, so I drew a couple of funky frames with a wide-tipped Sharpie to have on hand for future pages, one on plain paper, and one on patterned.
That takes care of Days 8 and 9 of Traci Bunker's 30 Days of Drawing. A great incentive to keep pencil to paper, and to post about it. It's not too late to join the challenge.