Thursday, 30 April 2015

Gelli labels

I've been having fun this week with labels on the gelli-plate. You know when you've used a few labels and then have a partial sheet that you can't put easily through the printer? Well, everything is gelli-fodder in this studio, so on to the plate they went.

This page is made with some of those labels, some washi tape, and a smearing of paint.

The bigger labels - the whole width of an A4 sheet of paper - are great for punching out of, too, especially as they are self-adhesive.

Above is the beginning of a page with some printed labels, and some other labels. I used some Golden acrylics and a squirt of Brusho watercolour. I like the non-uniform effect where the water-based colour doesn't adhere so well to the plate. It looks great once you peel off the labels so the colours are in smaller patches.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

How do the pages speak to you?

Do your pages talk to you? How do you decide what to do next on a page?

This large face came about because the book pages I adhered to my journal page had a couple of circles cut out of them. The dark parts of the poster I was covering up showed through and just cried out to be made into eyes. No matter how many times I thought about doing something else with the page, the eyes just kept pushing through.

So I gave in.

But of course, with such large eyes, the face they go in becomes enormous. It gives a very different perspective to the page. I felt that the eyes were scrutinising me, drawing close to see all the details.

Do your pages tell you what to put on them sometimes?

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Wasting energy?

There are times when people argue passionately about the most trivial things. It raises questions for me:

How badly do you need to win the argument?

Would it be dreadful if you gave ground and kept peace?

How important is the issue really, in the grand scheme of things?

Are you really investing your energy wisely?

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Drawing threads together

I'm enjoying working in this journal I made from some unwanted poster prints. I feel as if I'm starting to get a bit of my groove back :)

This page ended up being about how all the threads draw together to make a focus point. It's a bit like how I feel about art journalling - it's a drawing together of lots of different things such as painting, drawing, collage, calligraphy, printing, stencilling, stamping - anything goes and you can have fun with more than one medium. I like the way I can use all the different skills I've picked up over the years from doing other things such as making cards, bookbinding, etc.

I added the blue lines using a small gelli-plate. I like the way they look and you can't get that look any other way. Just painting them on is not the same.

Reaching out

It is always hard, when you move to a new place, to start that whole process of making new friends. We have been in this new church for about six months now, and though we only moved across the city and we still see friends we have made since we arrived in Australia, there is still the hard work of getting to know the new congregation.

Part of the problem is that everyone is so busy nowadays. Trying to find a time when a group can get together is difficult. But I have to keep my heart open and keep reaching out, offering times to get together and just working with those who turn up.

One of the ways I like to get to know people is through 'Choc 'n' Chat' evenings, where I invite a group of women into our home, make some truffles, and we just sit around the table, eat chocolate, and get to know each other.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Art Journal Courage

Art Journal Courage by Dina Wakley has finally arrived here in Australia! I really enjoyed her last book - Art Journal Freedom - and found it really useful for ways to use new colour combinations, working out what's wrong with the page, making focal points, and so on. This new book looks at some of the common fears when journalling - not liking your handwriting, 'I can't draw', problems with layering etc.

I don't often draw in my journal. This isn't because I don't feel that I can draw - I believe everyone can draw, but we don't always like what we produce when we compare ourselves with others. If I do draw, it tends to be flowers or faces for some reason. This page is one of the exercises where you trace something to help to train your hand. This is from a photo in a magazine and the image is transferred using carbon paper. I'm sure I shall do some more pages with this technique to train myself in facial proportions. The cross-hatching I added afterwards.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Drawing practice

Sometimes you have to force yourself out of a rut - use a different medium, or a different subject, or different colours. I had fun doing some quick non-dominant hand faces.

I used Copic markers because they are thick so you can't worry about detail. Using my left hand means I don't expect proportions or lines to be accurate. In other words, I don't expect so much of myself this way, so I'm more relaxed about what I produce.

I think they have a more sketchy quality than my 'normal' drawings, and I feel better able to capture something quickly with simple strokes. For some reason I find that hard when I use my right hand.

What do you do to kick yourself out of a rut?

Saturday, 18 April 2015

The light within

This page started out with a background I really liked - the way the shapes and colours were blending I was really happy with. And I felt drawn to drawing a large face, so pulled out some magazines to find something to guide me. I was uncertain in drawing a profile, so I tried the trick of using my non-dominant hand and a permanent pen. I find that it seems to turn my critical brain off - it's as if putting the pen in my left hand means that I don't expect to produce anything that looks like anything, and the pressure is then off.

So with pen in (non-dominant) hand I drew the face. And I was pleased with it. The lower level of co-ordination I have with my left hand means that I just do line drawings, no attempt at shading - although perhaps some day I should try that as well - and somehow that makes the lines more sure.

Anyway, there was the face in the middle of the page, and I liked the face and I liked the background. But I needed to make the face stand out more. I was going to have to sacrifice the background. Now, I find it hard to cover up parts of a page that I like, but sometimes you just have to give it a go. So I took the plunge and wielded a paintbrush to cover up my lovely circles.

And I learned that sometimes we have to sacrifice the good to get to the best. Once the bits of background were covered, the face looked strong and glowing. Which led me to the words - let the light within you shine. 

And the way to shine is to be the best me I can be. Letting go of some of the things which might be good, to make sure I say yes to the best. 

(Linking to Paint Party Friday)

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Inspiration in gardening

I find that working in the garden is always a source of inspiration for me. Not that I'm a keen gardener. I do what has to be done. I water anything that will feed me. The rest has to fend for itself.

So I was sweeping up the leaves. It's autumn here and some of the trees are shedding. I don't really know why I bother; I looked out of the window this morning and the garden looks as if I didn't do a thing.


Sweeping the leaves made me realise something. I brush all the dead leaves under the fruit trees where they can rot down and enrich the soil. In the same way I need to use all of the stuff in my life that is cut away, pruned, shed, to feed my life and help me to produce fruit. Just because the dead stuff is cut away it doesn't mean that I can't learn from it and use the experience.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Lost for words

I find at the moment that there are lots of colours, patterns, and layers in me, but not many words. My pages are different. My usual 'headline and thoughts' format has all but disappeared. So I continue to put down the colour and just scribble a few words as they occur to me. I guess it's just a different season.

A stream of words

Having fun with some new pigment inks that hubby bought for me.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

things other than journals

I usually only post journal pages on this blog, or the occasional tag for a swap, but I work in other media, too. This silver ring is for a friend's 40th birthday. The band isn't joined at both ends so it's adjustable.

And sometimes I work in cake - this is for my daughter's 16th. Each year she requests something particular for her cake - I've done cats, an ark, a standing elephant, a dragon. She likes to test my creativity :)