Tuesday, 18 August 2009

The Art Journal Stimulus Project begins!

The Art Journal Stimulus Project has begun! Here is my first page.

In a nutshell, the task was to write down negative feelings, then cover them up with layers of paint, and collage images, words and symbols that have a positive association for you.
I like the colours and the drawings, but I hate the composition. Collage has never really been my thing. I think the double-page spread was too large as well. I had an urge to fill it up with 'stuff' - quantity over quality.

I did most of this page when I was very sick. The part I enjoyed the most was layering the paints for the background. It was easy and I liked working with pure colour and mixing the paints. It also felt good to cover up the boring, whining text I'd written underneath!

I got most of the collage elements from a charity lottery brochure. I glued them all down with gel medium - it's the first time I've used it in this way, and I really like how it seals the papers and gives them a slight gloss. I don't like how the collage turned out (the composition) though - I don't think I'm very good at collage (yet?).

Next I got out all of my markers and experimented with which ones would work best on this surface. That's helped me a lot already. I also drew some things that make me happy, e.g. my ipod.

One thing I have trouble with is writing on my journals (I have a separate writing journal so I have an instinct to keep them separate), but then I remembered this is an Art "Journal", so I drew a picture of an event that made me happy recently (i.e. having a pie lunch with friends). I know there isn't much actual writing, but it's a start!

To finish, I sponged some light green acrylic mixed with gel medium over all of the pictures and some of the words. That improved the look of it a lot, as if it bound it all together.

Just a few problems I had with it -

* some of the pens needed a long time to dry, and they even smudged a little when dry when I added gel medium on top. But I got around that by being careful.

* the pages curled a little (you can see that better in the detail photo) but not too bad.

* the finished page is now quite tacky from all the gel medium, and the pages stick together when I shut the journal. I am going to insert a piece of waxed paper, and hopefully that will solve the problem.

Detail of the left hand side of the page. The blue piece on the left is my first attempt at making a decorated paper. I used rubber stamps, dotted acrylic paint and a watercolour wash on a security envelope. I didn't like the composition of it at all, so I cut it into strips.

Includes some 'swirlies', which I always tend to end up doing when I'm doodling.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Etsy Purchases

Here are some things I bought recently on Etsy:

First, we have some zines and a handmade journal from Sparkle Blue Faery. I'm so glad she's started posting her art journal entries in her blog. I love her work - it's nature-based and has an authentic feel. She added in some extra zines and art materials as I was a repeat buyer. I was so thrilled when I opened the parcel! I'm torn between racing through the zines and reading them slowly to make them last longer.

The second photo shows some zines and a bookbinding kit from Craft Leftovers. Kristen puts out a zine and kit every month, but these are the first I've purchased. Her zines have a how-to theme, with a different craft featured each month. The zine-and-kit combos sell out pretty quickly, but back issues of zine only can be bought any time. I'm still deciding if I want any of the back issues. And, er, yes, that is an accidental but very lovingly-applied wine stain on the cover of the top one.

I've been home sick the last two days, and, throbbing head and burning throat aside, I've really enjoyed reading and pottering around and reading and a little writing, which I'm sure hasn't made any sense. If this post doesn't make any sense either, then I apologise.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Writing is Boring .. To Watch, Anyway.

A lot of my spare time lately has been taken up with writing - writing exercises and experiments, writing lists of things to do, writing in my art journal, writing emails to friends for their or my succour, signing up for an online writing course that I haven't had time to start yet, trying to finish a book about writing that's due back at the library soon, reading about writing, talking about writing, thinking about writing ... and even selling my writing! Unfortunately, all that activity doesn't tend to add up to blog posts with pretty images, and unless I'm willing to post what I've written, not much content either. So, I'll show you what isn't too boring or too personal, and what I've been able to take half-decent photos of, and if I fill in the gaps with images of things that I like from Etsy or Flickr, I hope you forgive me. Besides, it's my blog and I'll post whatever I want!

Today I'd like to share some of the new and inspiring blogs I've started reading recently, in:


1. Fawa - I love her cutesy-kitsch yet slightly creepy illustrations, and I just ordered some hand-carved rubber stamps from her Etsy shop. Her little monster pouches are adorable too. I love the way she works in different media, a bit like me. The fact that she's in Mexico got me excited too.

2. Sara Wears Clothes - [No longer available as of Jan 2010] - This new fashion blog is one of those a-post-a-day, this-is-what-I-wore-today blogs. But unlike any other I've seen, this girl has a dress size in the double-figures, and actual cleavage. So empowering!

3.Go Fug Yourself - Another fashion blog, this is one of my few celebrity-watching indulgences. A plethora of fugly outfits with laugh-out-loud commentary.

4.The Argyle Academy - by Mike Lowery. His illustrations are cute and whimsical and everyday and magical and witty. And he's just gotten back from Japan.

5. ii-ne-kore and jollygoo - Two blogs dedicated to Japanese design, aesthetics and food. One is by an ex-pat Japanese girl living in Melbourne. Both of them regularly make my mouth go 'O'. I couldn't stop at just one!

6. Spiritual Evolution of the Bean - Biffy Beans is a former heavy-metal fan who's obsessed with ink, pens and paper and uses them to make beautiful mandalas. She's on my reader because: a) she's even more obsessed with art supplies than I am, and b) she demonstrates what amazing art can be made from the most simple materials.

7. Capybara Madness - I've recently branched out from reading craft blogs only, and I think I'm the better for it. This one about (and by?) Caplin Rous, a pet capybara living in the U. S. but who has his little paw on the world-wide capybara pulse.

8. A Lovely Dream - by Suzi Blu. A mixed media artist who does tutorial videos on art, journalling and all round just loving yourself. Her dog Gigi is adorable. I think I have a bit of a lady crush on her. And I'm OK with that.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Mini Zine Fun

As promised, here are some pics of the mini zine I made, which I am giving away free with every order until the end of August. My aim is to eventually write a trilogy, and make a snazzy envelope type deal to present them in. One day soon.

Meanwhile, I just finished reading this book which arrived in my mailbox the other day:

The Decorated Journal, by Gwen Deihn.

It tackles art journalling from a technical as well as an inspirational point of view. A wide range of materials and techniques are covered. There are many styles and themes of journal, many of which I hadn't thought of before. It's an amazingly helpful book, and I'm really glad I bought it. I'm sure I'll look at it again and again.
I've also been doing some writing, mostly exercises, and trying to get my head around the insanely large number of craft projects I have, and how to reduce them and sort them out.

August is Sort It Out Month!