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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I've been busy playing!

I've been playing, and buying stuff, and buying more stuff, and watching videos online, and watching YouTube in the living room and...and...and...

I have been buying way too much art stuff, and magazines and books on art, and I need to slow down. I got myself a monthly membership to Crafting Daily which has lots of videos on both quilting and mixed media. So far I've only been watching the mixed media. I've been watching so much I think it is possible I only need to keep the membership for a couple of months, but that will depend. Several ought to be watched again.

I've bought so much art stuff that today I ordered a rolling cart and two sets of small drawers to put on a shelf on my bookcase, because I need them to hold the stuff.

And I've been trying out several techniques.     

But first the saga of the small journal. At first it looked like this. I used a bad choice of pen for the writing, and it smudged badly, and looked just awful. It turned out that it was reactive with water when it dried. So back to the drawing board. I liked the drawing I did of the lilac as seen from my window just beginning to get its leaves, but I ended up covering the entire thing, adding some music paper and painting again.

Now it looks like this. This is not the end of the process since I intend to do some writing with pens that actually work.

But I am not too unhappy with how it turned out and I learned a lot about making sure my pens have permanent ink, and how to put paper down for collage, and not to cut the paper, like I did here, but tear it instead. All good.

 I have been playing around with putting color on the pages. I've shown this photo before. But I'm doing it again because here I pulled most of the color off with baby wipes. I do not know why mixed media people are so enamored with baby wipes, but they are, and I admit they work.

The white stuff on this page is cheesecloth from the kitchen. Again I learned a lot doing this background but I have absolutely no idea what to do with a page with this much texture next. I'm going to just turn the page and do something else until I learn a bit more.

More paint just slapped on. This is going to need a whole lot more layers. But you will see it again. I know that there is another layer on this but you probably couldn't see it in a photo. I stamped white paint on it with cardboard.

And talking about stamping stuff. One technique that I've been seeing on YouTube and also on classes from Crafting Daily is making stamps out of fun foam. These are sheets of craft material that kids use. I bought a package from Hobby Lobby, and sure enough bought the wrong kind. I got the kind that isn't sticky backed. So I've ordered the right kind from Amazon today. I'll be able to use both of them.

You make the stamps one of two ways. You cut out shapes and attach them to another sheet of foam and/or cardboard. I like how attaching them to foam works.

That is what the round and the chevron ones are. Both of the ones I made were quite small, but I really like them and I'm going to make bigger stamps.

The other kind involves drawing on the foam with a skewer, or in my case a toothpick since I didn't have skewers. I really liked how those came out, but I learned that the deeper and wider the marks are the better. I've ordered a set of stylus from Amazon so I can try those out and see if what I end up with is even better.

The paper is just copy paper where I cleaned the extra paint off my brushes, which is why there is color under all of the stamps. That is another technique all the teachers use. Do not waste paint. Make collage sheets and cut them up for other projects, or just paint the extra paint onto empty journal pages where you will either use what is there, or you will just paint over it.

I'm off to practice my lettering now. That mess on the journal page wasn't only the fault of the pen. It was just ugly.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


When I wrote last one of the photos was of a blue and green background I had done. After multiple layers I realized that I might be able to do something with it someday, but today wasn't the day. I've been online and looking at magazines and I've joined a group and seen what other people are doing and I realized that I like light backgrounds, not dark ones. So I started over this morning.

One of the people I've been following keeps saying that you do not waste paint. So in addition to the book that I originally wanted to have this background for, I had two sheets already prepped with gesso that I use the extra paint on. So the book is darker, although light enough that I'm happy with it, and the two sheets which will become a small journal are lighter. From here on in what happens to the two projects will be quite different, so they won't end up looking anything alike.

Yesterday I went on a gessoing rampage. I prepped multiple pages in two journals. The small one you see in the photo and one with pages the same size as the two loose sheets of paper.

I also recognized that I need to cover the entire table. For one thing I do not have a protective surface large enough to work on the bigger journal with both pages showing, and I am going to want to do that at least some of the time.

And another thing I've learned is that it would be a good idea to have a lot of additional pages ready. I've now figured out why art journalers have multiple books. They are different sizes, they are made out of different papers, but most of all, they give you the opportunity to work on something else while the project you are focused on is drying.

Take care all.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Busy Week

This week has been busy with medical stuff. I saw my family doctor on Monday for a follow up visit on my asthma and my fibromyalgia. I saw her again on Friday because my ears had so much wax they needed to be cleaned. Wednesday was my massage therapist. Thursday was my dentist.

The real drama was on Tuesday around 11:30pm. At that point I'd been in pain for about half an hour. A little later I called my friend and when she arrived she took one look at me and said, "We are calling 911." So off to the hospital I went. I got there about 1am. On the way, the pain in my back disappeared. A little later the pain in my stomach disappeared as well. Didn't matter. I needed to know if I was OK or not.

They could not find anything that could have caused the pain, so I don't know why it happened, but I do know what didn't cause it, and none of the things that would have resulted in my staying in the hospital had happened. It has now been 4 days and the pain has not returned. I got home at 4:30 am Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday I mostly just sat. I had about 3 hours of sleep and once my normal time to get up had arrived, I just didn't want to sleep in although I probably should have.

I also did a lot of reorganizing in what is now my Computer Room/Studio. So I didn't do a lot of art journaling this week. But I did make some baby steps.

This is my very first journal page. It is rather scrapbook like, but I like how it turned out. I painted the background but all of the rest of the elements were from my days as a digital scrapbooker. I didn't make any of them, but they were all things I liked.

The photo below is from the first layer of a background that is going to turn into a small 8 page journal. The booklet will be very small, but there is no way I could have  handled the size paper that would have resulted in a larger individual page. Anyway this is a first try on this kind of thing and I think it would be a good idea to start small.

I've already put two more layers of paint and paper on this page since the photo was taken. It looks very different now. And will look even more different once I'm ready to actually journal in it.

I'm playing and I am having fun doing it.

Take care all.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

More First Steps

I've begun the first steps in working on real physical art projects. I bought a 4 foot folding table which is now sitting  near my computer desk. It gives me a U shaped work area with the computer and desk stuff on one side and the art stuff on the other side.

In the past any art projects I did were digital, and I got very good at that, and at Photoshop, but there is this desire to play with real art materials. I had to hold off of that while my husband was still home. I could close down a digital project very quickly, but the clean up from paints and other wet materials would have been difficult problem. My health issues over the last couple of years also kept me in the recliner so this kind of stuff would not have been possible.

 I took this photo while sitting in the desk chair, but as you can see I've begun to bring the art stuff into the Computer Room.

Not all of it however. There is a huge amount of art stuff to be moved from my closet in the bedroom, and from other areas. I think I had stuff all over the house.

I am going to be pulling books out of the bookcase that I am now willing to give up. There are a lot of books I'm ready to release into the world. They will either go to Goodwill or to my local library, but I will need help to give them to the library so it is likely to be Goodwill.

Then I will have room to store the art supplies in what will become the Computer Room/Art Studio.

As you can see there is even more stuff still coming in. I'm calling a halt on any additional purchases until I start using the art supplies. I'll have a better idea of what I will be using and what I don't much care for.

I also have been doing some drawing. Faces are the thing I want to do on my art journals, but what I also have been most afraid of. But I don't think this one, which I just drew from my head is all that bad. Time to start adding color to these things.

Time also to do some other things. Today I want to make my first backgrounds. I have several sketchbooks, watercolor books, etc. and I also have some card stock that is loose. I'm going to start with the card stock, I think, while I catalog what else I've got.

I also have bought two video classes. One for drawing faces, which is where the technique I used on this face came from. Another is on drawing with pencil. I have one "chapter" on the face video to watch, and the entire drawing video. The face video shows 3/4 and profile faces and she paints the faces as well as drawing them. I'm going to need to watch the painting parts several times before I actually do her technique. It is a great video from Interweave by Jane Davenport.

I've got my new Roku box set up to show me YouTube videos. And I watched several mixed media and one face video last night. All three of them were quite long. I'm one of those people who learn by attacking what I want to learn from multiple viewpoints. Multiple books in the past, and now multiple videos.

Take care all.