I added color to part of the black and white photos with Faber-Castel Pitt brush pens, but other than that I left them alone.
There is a common thread throughout this book. You probably haven't seen enough pages yet to make the connection, but then again, you might have an idea or two of what you think might tie these pages together. If you need a need another look at page one, you can find it HERE. And you can see the inside cover and learn a little more about the book by clicking HERE.
This is page one in my Connections journal, but only the barest of beginnings of a page. If you're interested, you can read a little more about the book and see the inside cover HERE.
I may or may not show this page again when it's been a little further down the line, but I wanted to show it at this stage to point out how easy it is to turn one thing into something completely different just by making tiny changes here and there.
For instance, the center photo was black and white and glossy. I removed the gloss and gave it an uneven sepia tint with walnut ink. Darker here, lighter there.
The paper top left was a light cream color. What now looks like a lighter design was quite a bit darker than the background. Brushing on walnut ink unevenly, stained and darkened everything but the design which resisted the ink, so now the design appears lighter. Nothing more than that.
The lettering was fun. I did that by myself. But the flowers--bottom left--were stamped with plain, black ink. Adding a bit of the blue from the letters at the top turned the flowers into something completely new altogether.
Now the fun will be in adding more and more layers, making it uniquely personal, tying it all together, and turning it into something more than a composed grid.
Tags: art journal pages, art journals, collage, composition, ink, lettering, mixed media, pens, rubber stamps, stencils, walnut ink
Page 16 from Marvel: Your Precious Life. An entire page dedicated to tea.
To accurately illustrate the importance of tea in my life, there should be sonnets and love songs as well. Perhaps even an opera.
Tea has saved my life more than once. As Agnis Hamm said in E. Annie Proulx's Shipping News: "Tea's a good drink. Keep you going."
I love this page. It said everything I wanted to say in picture, in symbol and in word. That makes it successful for me in terms of journaling. But there's so much more than just the journaling to consider before I decide whether or not a page I've created is a success. For me, it must also be successful in terms of expermentation. In other words, I must have tried something on the page that is new to me, either in form, color, design, balance, technique, or execution, and it must have provided me with information that will be useful in future applications.
I experiment in my journals. There will never be enough time in a lifetime to have tried everything, so on every page, I aim to try something new.
On this particular page, I experimented with methods of adhering tissue paper to the substrate. That may not seem like much, but it provided me with an information set that will be invaluable in future work.
I now know how a particular tissue--they are not all created equal--reacts when adhered with several different types of adhesive to the particular paper that I used.
I experimented with a tape created for invisibly adhering vellum and a quick dry adhesive that is acrylic polymer based, neither of which I had used before in this manner. Both performed well. Both produce radically different results, and both are valid and valuable depending on how I want the tissue to sit on the paper.
If I want the tissue to seamlessly become a part of the substrate and can live with a minimal amount of drying time before the page sets and the buckling evens itself out, then I'll go back to my tried and true stand-by: Cocoina glue stick.
If I want instant adhesion, no drying time or buckling, and don't mind that the tissue sits on top of the paper instead of becoming one with it, then the vellum tape works nicely, but won't adhere the frayed edges of torn pieces of paper.
The polymer based quick dry worked well for the edges as well as for any smaller pieces. It's also perfect for the infinitely small. It has roughly the same chemical make-up as a good quality heavy gel medium, but comes with a precision tip and is very fast drying, so it isn't suitable for large pieces or large areas of a piece because it dries too quickly.
For me to consider my journal pages successful, they must teach me something new. There must be experimentation. I must in some way or other, have stepped out on a limb and lived to tell the story on another page, in the future.
There are many reasons--all valid--that people have for art journaling. All valid. We all set standards for ourselves based on what we want and what we expect to have gained from the process once a page is finished. These reasons can change from day to day. Some days, it's about the words, some days it's about the color, some days it's about, about, etc. All valid.
If art journaling is one of your means of artistic expression, I'd be interested in hearing what your goals are for a page. What it is that makes you say, "This page is successful", and what makes you think that a page hasn't lived up to what you'd hoped it would be. Leave me a comment, or email me. I'd really like to know.
And what I just said--the part about thinking that a page hasn't lived up to something--that's an illusion, by the way. In case you didn't realize. All pages--ALL pages--teach us something about ourselves, and in that way, they all are successful. There is no such thing as an unsuccessful page.
But we do have hopes, sometimes, of what we'd like to accomplish, and these are the things that interest me when it comes to other peoples pages. What is it that you hope for when you create a page?
Every once in awhile a page will be less about what's on it, and more about what's behind it. This page is a tribute to a very dear friend. No, not anyone you know. She's not an artist, and she's not online. But we spent many years putting various projects together, we accomplished much, and we celebrated every single holiday together for more than 20 years--until she moved very far away. We even celebrated our work days. Before, after, and right in the middle of them!
Happy Birthday, Angie! I still have my silver sixpence, and I'm pretty sure it's still working! Many years to you!
Interesting how patterns sometimes seem to emerge randomly and when you least expect to see them. Patterns which otherwise might have gone unrecognized often begin to display as sets of coincidences once they're noticed and taken note of, as the deep mind seeks out for the conscious mind to notice more of what has been called to its attention, deeming it as a potential necessity to survival.
This is probably the rationale behind the repeating sets of numbers that I've begun to notice for the last month or so, every time I make an off-hand glance at a clock. It's odd, but when I'm not specifically looking for the time of day, but happen to glance at a digital clock display that is unexpectedly within eyesight, more often than not the time displayed consists of repeated digits in pairs, triples, or quads, such as the pair, 12:12; or the triples, 1:11, 2:22, 3:33, 4:44 and 5:55; or the quad, 11:11.
Metaphysics and numerology would provide their own explanations for these occurrences, I'm sure. But I believe that once I noticed the repeated digits a couple of times and also took note of them, I sent a signal to my brain, telling it that it was somehow important for me to become aware of what my eye sees on the clock when those numbers repeat. How many times a clock is within eyeshot containing numbers I don't notice because my brain filters that information in favor of other information in my line of sight is something I would not be aware of consciously. But I'm sure that there are plenty of digital readouts that my eyes see, but my brain does not take note of because it doesn't matter.
Good material for a journal page, though.
Pieces need to be anchored.
Yet some people seem to think it's blissful to float through situations, and often through life in general. I don't think so. In my opinion, it isn't much of a life unless it's deliberately lived, and to combat inertia, one must discover and employ the things that keep one anchored. Only then can you decide when it's appropriate to soar.
When you fly, choose to fly unfettered. Random floating not allowed.
Posted at 05:48 PM in Art Journals, Collage, Hand carved stamps and print blocks, ink, Lettering, Life, Marvel: Your Precious Life, Mixed Media, Pens, Stencils | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: art journaling, collage, hand carved stamps and print blocks, India ink, journaling, mixed media, pens, red, stencils
I blogged this page once before, but it's one of my favorites so I'm sharing it with you again. Maybe you're seeing it for the first time. After all, it was a long time ago and you might not have been looking that day. So here it is again. Mainly because I really wanted to see it here and give it a new place.
If you're interested in what I had to say about it the first time, you can read about it HERE. There are some interesting thoughts behind this page that you might enjoy reading.
One more page journaled over collage. You can see the almost naked page--the collage only version--by clicking HERE. And if you missed the page I posted yesterday and it's progression, you can see that by clicking HERE.
It isn't whether or not you liked it better before, or if you like it much better now. It's about the process of art journaling with collage and the choices I make while working. There's no right or wrong way. It's just how I work. Like the thousands of recipies for sugar cookies that are out there, but you developed your own, and you make yours this way, as opposed to all the other ways. And they all taste pretty good--more or less.
This particular method of journaling over collage is taught by Kelly Kilmer. This page is #9 in the series from her workshop: Marvel: Your Precious Life. Lots of new ideas there, and also some new ways of applying the old ones.
Posted at 09:00 AM in Acrylics, Art Journals, Collage, Drawing, Hand carved stamps and print blocks, ink, Markers, Marvel: Your Precious Life, Mixed Media, Paint, Pencil, Pens | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: acrylic, art journaling, collage, ink, journal pages, journaling, mixed media, paint, pens
Not too long ago, Diana Trout published her book: Journal Spilling: Mixed-Media Techniques for Free Expression. While my pages aren't really Diana's style of pages, I do feel like I've spilled it all, all over the page.
Some of the pages in my diary-style art journal are simply made up of random bits of stuff like doodles in a phone book. Doodling with everything: pens, markers, even the collage.
Sometimes these books end up a lot like the books in high school, when you doodled around the pictures and text in notebooks and then stuck stickers in the book and glued, stapled and taped stuff on top of it all. Totally unplanned. Spilling it all on the page for no other reason than to put it there. Nothing's really finished in these books, nor is it unfinished either. It's just there.
Perhaps what I've done with the pages of this book is more along the lines of K&Company Smash 365 Folio style. But I've been doing this for years and years and years in books I've made by hand, and Smash books are a new product that's partially already put together. With Smash books, you don't so much make it, as finish it. Still, I think they're a lot of fun, and I think I probably want one.
At any rate, the pages above are from the same book as the page in yesterday's post.
When I make books, I make so many books. So many radically different styles, bindings, and designs. Some are serious, some are whimsical, and some can't be catagorized at all, and they don't need to be. But sometimes it helps to have one book for one thing, and one book for another. Any way you look at it, it all adds up to lots of books. Containers, really. Containers of artistic expression. This book is a container for the doodles of my life, and most of those doodles are bits of collage.
Posted at 09:00 AM in Art Journals, book-binding, Books, Collage, Drawing, Full-Tilt Boogie, Handmade books, ink, Lettering, Life, Markers, Mixed Media, Pencil, Pens | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: art journals, collage, doodling, hand bound books, handmade books, journaling, mixed media
This is one of the journaled pages from my third sewn-on-tapes book. I've included it as an example of a typical page from the journals which I design specifically to use diary-style.
The focal images I choose for these journals are usually more abstract and are rarely images of people. I often combine many different patterns, papers, images, and colors, but do so with an idea toward cleaner lines and plenty of white space, which often fills with writing in the end, but sometimes is left alone.
The pink paper lace trim and the bit of a fish's tail you can see to the right are peeking through from other pages. The pieces of pages that show through are not planned to happen, but when they do, I make it a policy never to change or remove them. Ever. Not because it's right or wrong. Just because I can, and that's what I want to do--until I change my mind and decide to do it otherwise.
Are you understanding my point? For me, it's all about the moment at hand, which I belive is the essence of a diary-style journal: A place to record moments, as they are thought of, and as they occur and are lived.
This book is presently 1/2 filled with journaling. All the pages were pieced and collage-prepped in advance. That doesn't mean they were ready-made for immediate journaling.
Often when I work in books chronologically such as this one, I'll come to a page whose images don't fit the day or the mood, or aren't what I want. When that happens, the entire page might be redone. Not by ripping, removing or tearing out, but by pasting and/or painting over. This rarely occurs, however. It's really funny--eerie, even--how the page I arrive upon on any particular date seems to contain elements, colors, shapes, etc. that actually point to the day at hand in some way or other. But when things don't click, they're changed. Nothing's too precious to alter. What's precious is the process. And because of that, so is each finished product.