Anyone who knows me understands that my first love is fabric. I am a fabric girl. And I will tell you that if you can do it on Paper you can do it on Fabric! Seriously folks — art! I am talking about art!
Since my hook up with Art and Soul Art Retreat Workshops, (Artistic Artifacts is the On-Site Store for all Art and Soul Retreats across the country) I have had to learn about paper. I still have a long way to go, but wanted to share with you what I have learned so far.
The experiment was (is? it’s still ongoing) that if I kept the journal open on a table in my studio, (my tiny studio), could I work on it daily? I gave myself permission to NOT use any WORDS! If I have to use words, I won’t do it! I’m defining art journaling on my terms as simply creating pictures or assemblages.
I started with a Strathmore Mixed Media Visual Journal, 9″ x 12″, Stewart Gill Paints, Golden Matte Medium, Aleene’s® Original Tacky Glue™ , Tissue Paper, UHU Stic glue stick, Crafter’s Workshop Stencil # 327. A little note about the journal… it had been used to demo stencils and wood blocks at a show. The advantage for me was that the pages were/are not an intimidating blank of white!
I took tissue paper and ripped it up into smaller pieces rather than lay a sheet onto the page. Applied Golden matte medium to the page placed the tissue paper down and put a layer of matte medium over the tissue paper. Found a fabric label on my desk, so that was added as well. Then I let is dry.
The page opposite the tissue paper page is painted with Stewart Gill Colourise paint in Emerald. Colourise paint is semi-transparent, so you can see the mishmash below.
My favorite tool is a credit card that I use as a scraper. I “glob” the paint directly onto the page and move it with the edge of the card. If I want a little more movement in the paint, I can add the Stewart Gill Extender or a little water. With this process, the page is quickly covered.
I love acrylic paint because it dries so fast!
The next paint I wiped over the page is White Hot from the Stewart Gill Alchemy line. This is an interference paint, which shimmers when you move the page. I did not cover the page with this color. Instead I used the same scraper idea, but this was done more haphazardly. Let that dry!
Next step was to use The Crafter’s Workshop (TCW) 6″ x 6″ stencil # 327 Mini Flowers by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. (Many of the TCW designs are also available in 12″ x 12″ size.)
I placed the stencil in the top left corner so that all 4 flowers were on the page, held it in place, and using a sponge, dabbed in Stewart Gill Meta Mica paint in Chestnut over the stencil. The metallic paint is opaque, creating a dominant motif. To get the third row of flowers I just lined up the stencil with the top of the journal page and eye balled the distance between the stencils. Looks like I turned the stencil upside down! (Yeah, I did that on purpose — LOL!) From a 4 flower stencil I created 3 rows of 4 flowers!
Equipment/tool aside: regarding sponges for paint application, I like to use a yellow “car wash” sponge available in any hardware or automotive supply store. They are cheap, cut up to make a lot of applicators, and you toss them when they don’t clean up. Another advantage is that they hold less paint than the more commonly used cosmetic sponges, so there’s much less wasted paint. (Of course I take a piece of fabric, paper, tissue, etc. and try to wipe all the excess paint on it before I actually give in and wash the sponge.)
On the tissue paper side of the journal I moved the stencil around and painted in one flower in various places on the page.
These two pages are now linked. Cool trick, right?
Finally I pulled some small black and white vintage photos from my stash, and using the tacky glue, attached them to the page.
For the moment the pages are finished, but you never know: an art journal is an ongoing process.