Art Journal: Rarely Tidy

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Creative minds are rarely tidy.

No doubt there are plenty of creative people out there who are very tidy.  I’m not one of them.  When I saw this quote I knew I would use it someday in my art journal and over the weekend I finally did.

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I haven’t been crafting as much as I’d like.  I’ve been busier than usual at work recently and I’m trying to keep up with my daily fitness goals day (hello, Fitbit).  Crafting has been neglected.  As usual my craft desk has gotten piled up with supplies and tools because when I do have a few minutes to make a card or decorate an Easter egg, I always choose creativity over cleaning.

Did I ever share these?  I think I made them last year after Easter than put them away for this year. Sigh.

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My friend Margaret and I got together to spend an afternoon playing with paper, glue and ink.  I didn’t have anything in mind so decided on making a few backgrounds.  With low mental energy I was looking forward to several long, luxurious hours crafting.  After a delicious lunch, we both spread out our supplies.  As usual I had brought more than I could possibly need or use, but I wanted to have plenty of options.

Do you do this?  You buy some interesting tool or supply but you aren’t sure how to use it so it just sits in the corner.  I felt I needed to pull out my small collection of stencils and start using them.  I watched a few crafting videos with tutorials on stencils  so I planned on doing some experimenting with some of the techniques I saw on YouTube.

I apologize for not getting more pictures of the process.  I used gesso to wash the page with a thin layer white so the type on the page still shows through in places.  Than I took two colors of pigment ink from a ColorBox rainbow stamp pad. Each separate color can be lifted out and used individually.

Taking out several shades of blue, I daubed the ink on the pages and used a wet brush to smear it around a bit, than dragged a plastic card (credit card size) through it.  You can see the results here, around the edges.  So far so good though if you are paying attention, you might note I didn’t even touch the stencils.  But I liked how it looked.  Yes, I used them later but not while I was creating this background.

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I went on to work on two more backgrounds.

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Again, I used gesso over the pages then on this one I painted on some watercolor and stamped on ink  in a rich magenta pink shade, than wet it and closed the book.  Pulling it open I got a kind of inkblot effect, which is now somewhat covered by the orange and white stenciling.  I’ll show you more of that one in a later post.

The last page I worked on that afternoon was made with strips torn from magazine pages.  The thin magazine pages are laid over a plastic stencil than gently sanded with a fine sanding block  (used sometimes for manicures).  This takes away some of the ink from the picture and allows the design of the stencil to come through.

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The stencil shows white where you sand the magazine page – I liked it with fairly dark photos or rich colors.

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I tore the sanded pages in strips and layered them into my journal.

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Again, I’ll write another post with more about that technique and page.  It looks great as is, kind of like a landscape with water and hills.  I started trying to make the quote work with this page but I realized it wanted something messier to go with it.  I think I still want to do more with this page but I’m not sure what.

That evening after dinner I pulled my journal out and opened it to the first background.  After playing with the stencils with the sanding block technique, I wanted to used them with paint, ink and sponges.  I started added some layers to the pages.

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I just started playing.  My favorite blues and purples came out as well as some bits of paper for layering onto the page. I put a stencil on the background I’d made earlier and sponged ink over it.  I then flipped the inky stencil over oto another place on the page and used a brayer to roll across it, transferring more ink.  This gave me two variations for each stencil: the negative and positive shapes.

For the word CREATIVE I had tried the sanding technique over some alphabet thickers (dimensional stickers usually made from chipboard or foam), but the resulting word was too soft and subtle.

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So I used another technique, using the thickers as masks and painting over them, drying the paint, than removing them. I saw it here at Pine & Plum, my friend Carson’s wonderful blog (yes, you should check it out!) Follow the link to where she has a guest post on another blog.  I also used it on another page here.  I picked up the letters at Dollar Tree.

Carson also inspired the bit of thread I twisted under the scrap of paper that has the rest of the quote.  I like how it adds a new element to the page.

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I added some splatters of ink and paint, loading up the watercolor brush and flicking it at my open journal. I was clever enough to remember to cover the area around the book with some paper towel first.

White pigment ink daubed rather messily through one of the stencils was my final detail on the page.  I took some photos and headed to bed.

The next morning when I opened the journal I was surprised to find the last ink I’d added to the page was still sticky! I don’t know if it was the gesso coating on the paper or what but even when I used the heat tool it didn’t dry.  I also decided both pieces with the quote on them were too neat and tidy looking

A piece of paper towel that I’d used to wipe painty brushes on had dried. I ripped pieces from that and covered some of the sticky white pigment ink. This added a new texture as well as a little deep orange which looked great with the blue.

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I added more pieces of the painty paper towel.

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Rusty-orange watercolor paint got streaked and splattered on the page to go with the other orange.

Gold embossing powder covered more of the still-sticky white pigment ink.

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I’d already used a little washi tape, and added a few bits with orange patterns.

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Orange Dianne dots, gold embossing powder, and a sequin embellished the Creative title.

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Now I was really finished. It felt very satisfying to be creating in my art journal again.

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And, from the earlier pictures I took before, you can see how rare tidiness is in my creative world.

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Yes, it’s a mess. But at least it is my mess.

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Thanks for stopping by.  I really do appreciate every visit.

2 Comments

Filed under Art Journal Pages, Crafts

2 responses to “Art Journal: Rarely Tidy

  1. love your journal…keep saying I’m going to begin one…when I wonder???

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