Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Art Journal?

I am having such a good time working in my art journal. I just don't know if it should be called that. I think it's art but who knows what it is really. It's basically me trying to figure out what I want to be, what I like (or don't like), and what lights me up.

So here's a few photos of the newest spreads in the journal for good or ugly. I'm using "ugly" as a very loose term...more of a negative term. I want to be able to look back at my first art journal and learn from what didn't quite work right or didn't catch my fancy.

A close-up from "Drops of Jupiter" as seen in my last blog entry. Good: Colors and ghosting technique of background. Even like how the aluminum foil added a metal sparkle from under the paint. Ugly: Focal elements didn't seem great and the background seemed to need another messy layer of...something.

Ocean. Good: Besides all of it? This is one of my favorite spreads to date, hands down. This was the hardest to begin because I liked the background SO MUCH. I didn't want to put anything over it! So I went minimal on it.

I did the background with Dylusions ink sprays, I think. I used a lot of water with it and used a paintbrush to spread it around. After drying, I dipped the pages into residue ink to get splotches and droplets. I love that added layer that makes it look more 3D. A fern-like stamp found in a Botanical stamp pack made the perfect seaweed stamped in StazOn Azure Blue.

I also like how the smallest bits of green and pink washed out into the turqoise so well. I really love the spread but if I had to pick an Ugly, it might be the fact that I used stickers for focals. But I knew if I tried to draw something, I'd hate it. And I really like the washed out, pastel colors of the Jolee's 3D stickers. It was one of those sticker packs I've had lying around forever and it felt good to use THE WHOLE SHEET! So yup, I heart this page!

Cogs in Motion. Good: Well...hmm...let's, maybe the gears stencil? I bought the Crafter's Workshop Gears stencil and have been itching to use it. And I do like the cogs and the pattern it produces. I also feel that the layering of this page went rather well. Background with Dylusions yellows, then stenciling with Dylusions Black Marble, then layering with Gesso with the stencil. I also like the title scrap paper. The colors in it bring out the touch of green that was lingering in the background under the other layers. I'll consider this page a good practice.

Ugly: Where to start on the ugly on this spread? I don't like to work with a whole page of yellow first of all. It's very bright to me. I know I could have layered other colors over it but I thought with the black of the stencil outline, I would like it more. I didn't really. It seemed to make the yellow more yucky (a scientific term meaning: muddled and less appealing).
I also didn't like the way the stencil worked. I apparently need to practice more with stencils. I used the spray ink with it and it seeped under the edges so I didn't get the sharp, crisp lines I was looking for. And I like the way the stencil worked on the reverse...if that makes sense. On the left page, the stencil in black, that's what I was looking for in crisper detail.
The Gesso was just forward motion (Donna Downey's voice ringing in my head from too many Inspirations Wednesdays!). I figured I didn't like the page at this point so why not add another layer that could cover up some of the gunk I had down already. So I cracked open my brand new, never-been-tried jar of Golden's Gesso. And yup, I did the stencil thing with it. I got the same mixed feelings over it. I thought the Gesso would bring a white element over which I could paint or stamp. That would cover up some of the crap and add a new color to the page. Instead the Gesso sucked up the black ink and turned a concrete gray color.
I sort of gave up at this point, added my clocks and elements and a scrap paper already inked from some other experiment gone wrong with my title.
Upon some reflection this isn't as bad as I think it is and it has a very chaotic, messy feel to it. I even kinda like the "gray" gesso element. So overall, not great...but not totally awful.

Skull. I was in the Halloween spirit. Good: I do like the stencil and how the skull pops out from the page. My subsequent attempts at this technique didn't turn out so well as this first try. I used a resist technique with Versamark and clear embossing powder. The background orange was preserved while I applied Distress Ink in Walnut Stain around the rest of the page. The "weeds" (Stampers Anonymous) were then stamped in black around the page and the resist held up. I was very happy with the technique and the results here. Also liked the letter stamps used to make the title from Paper The set is Artsy Alphabet. (And that little spider trailing across the page is one that I carved myself.) The touch of copper in the corners of the page just frame it off so well.

Ugly: Just my one little flub in the left corner with a corner stamp. I thought I would like it stamped in decided to try using Picket Fence Distress Stain. Yuck. Came out very light and indistinguishable. So stamped over it with black StazOn afterward. Really not too bad. I did also want the orange skull to really pop more but I didn't have a black ink that I felt would work for the purpose so settled on Walnut Stain Distress Ink. While it wasn't as dark as I wanted it to be, the end result turned out to be almost a leather-like feel. So that was a happy accident!

Hope you enjoyed the look-see!
"Don't freak your freak."  ---Tim Holtz

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