Monday, 8 March 2010


I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that I have about 15 pages in progress in my art journal. Sometimes they lurk there for weeks or months before the inspiration to add something hits. I'm at work, or I'm lying in bed at night and ... wham!
"I know! I'll cut a decorative border on that page with the gel transfer face on it! Yeah, that'll be great!"
Other times, I'll just grab a Sharpie or deco tape and flip through the whole journal, adding a little bit to the pages where it seems 'right'. And yes, it can take what seems like forever to finish a page. But I guess that's just the way I roll.

With that in mind, I thought I'd take you on a short tour of Pages in Progress at Casa de la Apartmentcat. Also, the sun came out this morning at just the perfect time for taking art photos, so I took as much advantage of it as I could.

[Below] I hated this page when I first started it. I couldn't stand it and was baffled by what to do with it. Adding the blue paint really helped a lot, and those stamps with the dark postmark on them were such a lucky find! That paper on the right-hand side wouldn't stick down no matter what glue I used, so I got out some embroidery thread and sewed it down. That fixed it! Most recently I added some art marker doodles. I still have no idea how or when the page will be finished. It only needs a little more, but what?

[Below] These are really two separate pages. On the left is a background I made with yellow acrylic paint, nail polish and coloured liquid paper that I scored from work. They'd been storing hundreds of bottle of the stuff in the basement for the last, what, twenty years? Crazy! But good for me! On the right is a gel medium transfer of a girl with a cat. I got the image from Flickr. Recently I've discovered lots of groups offering vintage photos and other copyright-free images that can be used for all sorts of stuff. Yay! I don't really like how this transfer has turned out though. I think I printed it out using the wrong type of printer. No matter how much I rub with sandpaper, there's still a thin layer of paper over the top obscuring the image.

[Below] This is a collaged page from a fashion magazine. Yesterday I added some thinned-down acrylic that I had left over from working on the Wish Journal Workshop. I love how the paint has collected where the paper has wrinkled, especially on the model's face. I'm sure I can tease something profound from that.

[Below] When I first started this art journal, I used a couple of the pages for practising calligraphy. Later on when I wanted to do some actual art journalling on the page, I thought - why not incorporate it instead of just painting over it? So I used some acrylic paint thinned with glaze medium over it. The calligraphy ink ran and made the green paint darker than I intended, but I'm going with it. On the left is a short piece of writing. I didn't want it to get lost in the bowels of my laptop (euw, sorry for that visual) so I printed it out and glued it on a blank page. I didn't really think too much beyond that at the time! I've also added some doodles across the top and deco tape at the bottom. The purple band is my Fat marker from Smiggle. It's a wedge-shaped marker 5cms (2 inches) wide. *gurgle* Most of the work I've done in my journal so far has been with brushes and paint. I'm only just starting to branch out to using pens and other drawing tools. I'll certainly be using that marker more, methinks!

[Below] Finally! A page with a clue! On the left is a background done with Sharpies and the white gesso. Actually, for the sake of full disclosure, they're not Sharpies, they're 'Shoupies' from China. This is the 'Sharpie Ghosting' technique from Comfortable Shoes Studio. I love it! On the right is a cut-away page with pure black acrylic on it. I don't usually use dark colours in my journal, but the sharp triangular shape of the page just seemed to call for something with a dramatic contrast. And I think I know what I want to do with this page! I was originally planning to jazz it up with my new set of brightly coloured Sakura Gelly Roll gel pens, but then I found a wonderful quote which would fit here perfectly. It's quite wintry and reflective, and it requires a more sombre colour of gel pen. Lucky I have the silver Pilot Choose. Quotes? Long blocks of text? Large swathes of black? My own handwriting?? (gasp!) Not normally my style, but again, I'm really trying to branch out.

There are a whole bunch more new techniques I want to try with my art journal. But in the last few days, I've caught myself having thoughts like, "is it OK to use bought stencils in my journal? Are they artistic enough?" What a silly thing to think! Negative Nancy (aka my inner critic) can be so devious sometimes. I'll try them out, and if they don't feel right, I'll just turn the page. That's what art journalling is all about!

In knitting news, I have just under a week to finish Bec's hat. I'll have to work steadily, but I think I can do it. The weather's getting cool enough now that I'm thinking of making some kind of shawl or capelet to wear at home while I'm indulging in mammoth internet sessions. My shoulders get kinda chilly. Keywords I'm looking for are 'chunky' and 'cozy', not 'lacy' or 'delicate'. 'Poncho' isn't high on the list, either.

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