New Journal alert!

New Journal alert!

The trend of having many journals going on all at once seems to be catching up with me too! Although I am still very pleased with my Zequenz 360* books, I have been experimenting with newer page formats and papers too. (And yes I have finally succumbed to the adult coloring book mania too)

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The latest journal I have started to use is by Lana. It is a gorgeous spiral bound A4 book with lovely Kraft paper cover.

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The pages are a natural white in 150gsm and going by my first page experiment can handle a fair bit of wet media.

 

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This is gong to be my ”Learning Curve ” journal. Find out why and check out my plans for this book here.

xxx

g

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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

Creativity (Soul Food)

Creativity (Soul Food)

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That wandering mind that often tries to understand why some of us wear our creativity on every fibre of our being yet others need for it to be almost wrenched out of them to believe they possess it!

This was a bit of a test run of some new Staz on colors I got as well as a new color theme and stamps.

My favorite part of this page is the little birdies in their art nest although I see how they blended into the background a bit and the sharpness of the image was lost. I’m always learning…!!

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xxx

g

Aside

Memento Tags – Art Therapy

IMG_2623 In my pursuit of finding a new career I have been looking into a number of art and creativity related career avenues. I am oscillating between studying to be an art teacher at school, running my own creative arts and crafts school or qualifying as an art therapist. Over the last few months, I was part of an experiential group and my time there has further enhanced my desire to investigate art therapy as a profession. It was a wonderful way to connect with each other and these were some of the tags I made as mementos for the ladies in that group. Each of them is designed to express something unique about them or something revealed in our time spent together. IMG_2625 IMG_2626 IMG_2627 IMG_2628   XXX g

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CL Art Journal 7- Gratitude

This page happened after a bit of a whirlwind of anxiety and stress. It just seemed like it would not stop at the time. I have had a few instances of this happening in recent times but with each new one I seem to cope better. It is sometimes best to try and step aside from that situation, thank the Lord for all the good things and try to ease that anxiety about the unknown with gratitude for what we already have.

I started with black gesso on this page because that darkness really does envelop you. There was a stenciled doily pattern done with modelling paste (used some left over paste from a different project) The circles were meant to represent me going around in circles but eventually turned out more like gifts and ornaments, which clearly shows a mindshift from that anxiety to a more calm space.

The doily got a little messed up as I tried to highlight just the raised area of the paste. My chalk ink pad had a mind of it own. Coincidentally there is a bit of text in the circles that says ‘happy girl’…:) Love how these things just happen!!

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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

Gallery

Art Journal Introduction morning

My first Art Journal introduction workshop on 9th May 2015 at Creative Arts in Durbanville, Cape town. I was so nervous despite having taught and presented on numerous occasions in other spheres of my life. There was a very powerful feeling of this being a new beginning, a sort of forerunner to things to come. A sense of purpose and an inherent belief in what I was doing…..but I was still nervous…lol..wonder why!! But as always once I get started there is nothing but the eager participants on my mind.

We started with a little presentation about Art journaling. It is a fairly uncommon art at the moment here in SA. Very few places actually offer classes or journaling crop sessions. We went thru the basic tools required, busted some myths about needing a mortgage to buy materials and also featured some prominent journalers and their personal style.

The morning was also about a bit of  touch and feel session and some play. I demonstrated layering techniques and all the participants made little tags as a memento of the mornings proceedings. It never ceases to amaze me how with the same set of instructions and resources each tag is unique and special.

If you are interested in attending a workshop, class or journaling crop, email creatifeksperyans@gmail.com for details. I work out of various studios in Cape town, South Africa, so there just might be one near you.

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