Monday, 30 October 2017

The end of a journal

It's always fun to come to the end of a journal. Filling this last one over 3 months has reminded me that I actually like to start with a clean white page. I had used some old church visuals to make this journal and covered them up with gelli-prints. Much as I love these prints, sometimes it can be difficult to springboard into a page when there are already colours laid down. Yes, I could cover them up, but things always show through. Unlike some people, I have no problem with a white page and enjoy throwing that first bit of colour on to it.

Anyway, here are some of my favourite pages from this last journal. Scanning through them now, I notice a lot of black and red and circles. Wonder what the next journal will hold.

Thursday, 26 October 2017


A wrapped gift can be anything you imagine.

While it stays in the wrappings it is perfect, because you can't be sure what it is. It hasn't had the chance to be a disappointment. You haven't become frustrated trying to make it work. You haven't had the chance to be bored by it. You can imagine doing great things with it, being a 'success', that it will change your life.

A gift will stay that way - a perfect dream - unless you unwrap it.

When you unwrap a gift, you take the chance that it's not what you were expecting, not what you wanted, not what you dreamed of. It may be something that takes a lot of hard work to master.

Will you take the chance? Will you open the gift so that it can be used?

Or will you leave it in the wrapping - perfect but useless?

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Loving Vincent

No project is too big if you have the right people.

Loving Vincent is a movie that has been made using paintings for each frame. A story has been put together using the paintings of van Gogh and then each frame painted in the style of the original paintings. It might have been seen as far too ambitious to ever come to fruition, but with the right team of people this dream has now become a reality. (See the trailer and a bit about the film here)

So, dream big, and find the right team.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Planning and being present

Planning ahead while still being present - that's one of the hardest things to do when you know you're moving on.

But it must be done.

We have another four months here. We can't just disengage because we have future plans. There are certain things that need to be done for those future plans to fall into place, but in the meantime we are living here and that's where our heads need to be.

We have to be present because that's how we honour one another.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Fun with shaving foam

When you know you're going to have to move your entire house contents halfway round the world it makes you pull out those things that you aren't going to be able to take with you or that you don't want to haul all that way. Going through one of my boxes of stuff I found half a can of shaving foam. In a drawer in the filing cabinet were some half used up bottles of acrylic inks. In the dim recesses of my mind was a memory of printing with both of those things.

If you haven't tried this, it's fun. Make sure you have something to put the used foam in. I used an old plate to pile it all on so that I could dispose of it all at the end. 

So here's a quick photo tutorial:

1. Squirt some shaving foam on to a hard surface. I used an old placemat this time. In the past I've used a plastic tray. 

2. Drip some inks randomly on the foam.

3. Swirl a palette knife or something similar through the ink blots until the colour is spread out.

4. Place a sheet of paper on the foam and pat down so there are no air bubbles.

5. Pull the paper up off the foam.

6. The paper will be covered in foam. Lay the paper flat on a firm surface.

7. Use a scraper to remove the rest of the foam. I have one that is wide enough to remove the foam in one swipe, but you can use a credit card/hotel card or similar.

8. Lay the sheet aside to dry.

You can continue adding paint several times or until the foam is too thin to pull a print from. Below are the other prints I took from the same lot of foam:

You can also pull a print without adding more paint or swirling it around, as below:

And a close-up:

I first found this technique in Texture Effects for Rubber Stamping by Nancy Curry.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Be glad

You can't miss something you've never experienced. Be thankful to have experienced that thing you're missing.

As we go through our last four months here is South Australia, we are savouring those things that we are going to miss. There is a bittersweet feeling to moving back to the UK. It's home, but Australia has been our home for the last eight years.

Of course, there are people I'll miss, but we can keep in touch, just as we have done with our friends in the UK.

I'll miss the big sky and the quality of light and the space.

I'll miss being able to put the washing out in the summer and bring it in, bone dry, fifteen minutes later.

I'll miss the beaches and the birds and the wonderful animals.

But I must also be glad to have experienced them in order to miss them.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Sharing the news

So. Sharing the news.

If you have been visiting this blog over the last couple of months, you will have seen a lot of cryptic pages. There have been things I wasn't able to talk directly about but needed to journal. There have been lots of pages with black areas. I don't usually use a lot of black on my pages, but I like the drama it has given to recent pages. I know it turned up on the page because of the unknown parts of what was going on at the time. You will see that this page is back to bright colour with black accents.

Because now I can share the news.

We will be leaving Australia in February after  8½ years here and returning to the UK to be closer to family. The last 6 months or so have been a time of considering and searching and praying. Lots of praying.

There's a lot to be done in the next 4 months and a lot of things that are still unknown, but we have peace about the situation. There's a lot to look forward to and a lot to be sad about, but we wouldn't be feeling the sadness if we hadn't made the adventurous leap and come here in the first place. I expect many art journal pages in the next few months reflecting on what I have learned and what I will miss.