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Who Am I? – Mixed Media Lab – Jan 2016

Happy New Year 2016!! This is my first contribution to the 2016 Mixed Media Lab prompt list. You will remember my previous post about being enlisted as a DT member. This months prompt is ”Who am I?”

What better way to start a new journey than reintroducing /reminding yourself about WHO you really are! 2014 was an important year for me in that discovery of who I am, what I want out of life, where do I see myself in the larger scheme of things…….yep plenty of mid life crisis thoughts….lol! But crisis can be avoided with clarity of thought and planning and so I dedicated 2015 towards the journey called ME. There were plenty of great moments with an equal amount of really scary ones, but with my faith strong I sailed through and am now on the anvil of another new beginning…literally and figuratively.

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If you have been following my facebook page you might know that we have just moved to Singapore 3 weeks ago…..which also means that my art supplies are at this time floating across the ocean from South Africa. Knowing that I would want to indulge myself in some art while on this odd kind of vacation from normal life, I did make myself a little travel pack. Its is just the bare minimum so bear with me on this one.

Limited resources means a double dose of creativity both on the page and off the page. I split a huge plastic bag from my recent visit to a local art store to use as a table liner. To make the different sizes circles shapes I used all the bowls and plates in the kitchen cupboards….:))) bottle caps from all my acrylic colors were used for the rings. The top end of a pouncer made some nice organic looking circles. All my now useless store cards from SA served as scrapers/squigees…….plenty for a days work?…:))

So down to business. I had a few different ideas for this theme. But some of them had to be shelved for lack of tools and supplies. I might just make them later because there are 2 I really want to try out. For this page I am working in my Lana journal. This is an A4 layout which I really like because I don’t have a seam/spine to deal with. After the first few pictures I was completely engrossed in what I was doing and could not get pictures with my messy hands. I hope the description helps you follow the process.

I started by covering the page with gesso. Then marked out concentric circles loosely with a pastel pencil. Chose a few colors and spread them in a random ray pattern starting from the middle with a small palette knife. Then using the same colors through a stencil I created a bit of texture in the background.

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Instead of using gesso to subdue the colors I used white acrylic paint. Its was applied heavier around the edges and lighter in the center. Using the circle stencil and various bottle caps I made some white circles patterns.

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I stamped the key words that define me with alphabet stamps and Stazon ink going around in concentric circles. Scribbled the finer text with a micron pen loosely following the circles I had marked earlier. Each scribble is related tot he key word stamped in larger font. Do you see the ME in the center?12404283_10153605146087530_1151989313_n

Using a light modelling paste, I stencilled a border at the top and bottom. All those bottle caps and bits I mentioned earlier? this is where they came handy to mark little bright colored outlines and circles. I also filled in some of the previous white circles with color.

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My last haul from the art store included a lovely silk screen text stencil by Martha stewart. I was hoping to use that for the theme message, but after trying them out the text was lost in my busy background. So back to my trusty little box of letters made with the Cuttle bug and I was lucky to find what I needed…almost…;)

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Once I had placed the main message I decided it needed some more motifs. Butterflies are my most favorite motif of all so I chose some stamps and a napkin print to go on.

The letters were attached with gel medium and then covered with clear gesso. I tried to highlight the letters by using a charcoal pencil around the letters. Unfortunately this also resulted in the white letters becoming muddy…;( Next time I have to remember not to gesso the top of the letters. That way I can wipe off the charcoal with a wet tissue as the gel medium creates a resist/protective film.

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Limited resources do not always mean limited fun….I thoroughly enjoyed making this page and love how well it turned out.

Who are you?………do post a link to your page if you follow the prompt.

xxx

Gizelle

 

The learning curve

The learning curve

There have been a fair number of discussions about ”blank page scare” and ”scared to copy” and ”I want my page to be original but don’t know where to begin” on every art journaling and mixed media forum I am part of. We all face the same fears when starting out.

Mixed media whilst being very liberating can simultaneously be very overwhelming. All those layers, techniques, media, paper types, styles, equipment, used etc etc…….I can spend hours just ‘browsing’ trying to decide on a plan for my page/canvas.

Even though art journaling is about self expression we are infected with the ‘perfectionist’ bug and those gorgeous pages on Pinterest and and Facebook and on other forums just make us want to be able to turn out a masterpieces each time. Overthinking my art is one my biggest hurdles to actually creating. I still have days when I want to make art but the ‘originality’ corner of my brain just wont switch on. I will either keep browsing and end up making nothing or push myself to choose a video to follow and go for it. The end result is often nothing like the tutorial but it serves as loose guide to get me going……but wait! if it looks nothing like the tutorial it becomes an original right? just like that, by default.

When queries related to these fears surface on the forums I usually advise newbies to just follow a video from start to finish if you are struggling. IME the more you do  (whether original or ”copied”) the more adept you become at using your media, materials and tools. Its practice no matter how you choose to do it. And practice does make perfect when it comes to art.

In order to be able to do  more of these default originals,  I am employing one of my new journals as my ”Practice” Journal. Its like those art school books we had, where we did all our practice work, learning, scribbling notes, etc. I have named it ”The learning curve”. In this journal I will link to the video or tutorial I used and explain where my steps/ materials etc were different so other beginners can see how these fears can be overcome. I doesn’t have to tick all those boxes that form the foundation of my art approach (see what mean here), but it will almost always leave me happy with what I created or wiser for the experience. I hope you will enjoy this series as much as I am enjoying making them.

Ta for now!

xxx

g

Live in the moment (Soul Food)

Live in the moment (Soul Food)

This has pretty much become my mantra …….and its does work wonders to live in the moment. Life is so unpredictable and a moment in time can never be gained back.

There is a definite mood reflection in this page. There is a lot of stuff that’s blurry at the moment. some that are in very clear focus and others sort of in between.

From a technique perspective The embossing went a bit awry…;( First time using the silver powder and the ink was dry before I could get it on because it came to me as an afterthought.

I also have some process pictures to share on this.  The colors were inspired by a beautiful winter sunset. Look at those colors!! The picture really does it no justice!IMG_2468

This time instead of Gesso I used a canvas primer as a base. It is much smoother than gesso and has less of that grainy rough feel. Started my page by stamping grassy and tree pattern stamps in different colored Stazon in the center of the page. I have used Saddle brown. Timber brown, Grey and black. Went over it with an oatmeal colored acrylic paint but did not cover all areas. Then I stamped another layer in the foreground and edges.

 

 

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This was my main color palette based on the reference pictures but I used all kinds of different paint mediums and not just in acrylics as seen here.

IMG_2671 Next I marked the direction of the light with some rays in the flesh tint acrylics and used a baby wipe to smear the paint.   IMG_2672

Added some more lower foreground stamping with smaller patterns and more colors, drying between each layer.IMG_2673 You can see how blurry the initial stamping is but because different colored inks were used there is still depth to the piece. I have used the purple and pinks and some paynes grey acrylic at the edges helped condense the image. All smeared with a baby wipe but drying between colors. You can see the colors used on the scrap paper on the right in the picture above.

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The acrylic color stays open for a very short time so its important to work fast.  Once the acrylic was dry, I also added some distress inks in colors that matched the reference pictures . After stamping the message I decided it looked too dull as the page was flat with  no texture paste, or embellishments added. So used my embossing pen to outline the wording. the Silver embossing powder however was a mess. My page flew shut and it touched the other side too….lessons learned here though…..be very careful with embossing powder….;((

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The little white spots are water drops sprinkled on the page and wiped off. Where ever they fell on distress ink the ink reactivated and came away when wiped. IMG_1256

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The page reflected that sunset and I managed to keep that glow so boo boos and all this page was fulfilling.

xxx

g

 

 

 

Do More of what makes you Happy (Soul Food)

Do More of what makes you Happy (Soul Food)

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The first page of my ”happy” journal was not half as disastrous as the Contemplating life journal…:))) I learnt my lessons well.

The internet has a number of projects with these little flowers that gave off this really happy, innocent, cheerful feeling. So I thought it was perfect for this page. The flowers are random cuts of scrapbooking paper and the leaves cut from old dictionary or magazine text. I love how the muted background really makes the flowers pop.

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The flowers have become a bit of  favorite and I have since used them in my workshop projects and craft group tags with very pleasing results.

xxx

g

Art Journal 3 – SOUL FOOD

Art Journal 3 – SOUL FOOD

I have for a while now been working on a third journal but for want of naming it haven’t really posted any of the pages on here. Why another journal you might ask? First because my Contemplating life journal tends to be a bit ‘heavy’ and ‘deep’, secondly because I am very impatient and impulsive with my art work. If one journal is drying or needs some resting time, I can move to the next page in a different book without losing my mojo…:))) But mainly because I wanted a ‘happy book’, Something filled with pages that will inspire the artist in me and pull me up when I am in a negative space. SOUL FOOD seemed like a fitting name…..it provides nourishment to my artist soul.

This journal is also a Zequenz 360* book. Still my favorite in terms of price and features mentioned here. For some variation the cover of this one is Black. So yes it is my little black book of positivity.

I hope some of the pages will inspire you too.

xxx

g