Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pushing a journal to the Second Floor

I've been working through an online workshop by Roben-Marie Smith called Collage, Construct and Affirm where you make a cool portfolio journal using a base of a sheet from a large canvas pad. As I've been exploring more mixed media art and learning to stretch from what I often do - worn, soft, comfortable colors and vintage images - I'm trying to expand my horizons and try new things to continue to grow. I also have been reading the blogs of Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and Nathalie Kalbach and learned about their Second Floor Challenge which is designed to push you to experiment and determine what could happen if you try. So in the spirit of the Second Floor Challenge, I'm taking it to the next level! The current challenge theme is "circles" (See Julie's blog post HERE to join the challenge) and here's how I've incorporated them:

So much of what I find appealing about mixed media art is the depth of the layers. My 16 x 20 canvas sheet is first covered with a collage of tissue papers and washi tapes.

Next, I added circles with texture that I created either by applying two different types of drywall tape to a sheet of canvas before cutting out the circles, or by applying flexible modeling paste through a Crafter's Workshop stencil onto the canvas and then cutting out the circles.  I've admired the look of texture created with drywall tape, but hadn't tried it, and I've also not used much modeling paste, so it was fun to try that.  I also added color at this point and wanted to see what would happen by watering down gesso with Glimmer Mist - great color, but alas, no glimmer :-(.  Also the drywall tape with the circle holes started to lift-up when wet with paint and in places I had to use extra adhesive, but the square type didn't seem to lose it's stickiness.

Look at that cool texture!!!!!!

To define the circles more, I outlined with a black Stabilo All pencil and blended with water.  Made the circles quite bold......

I loved how adding in some white, both by stamping with gesso using a canning lid and a scotch tape dispenser ring, and outlining the circles with a white paint pen blended things again, making the background look more whole.

Finally I added words in sketchy handwriting with a gel pen.

Here's a close-up of the final background with all those wonderful layers!

And here's what I did with the canvas piece, using Roben-Marie's design for the portfolio journal.

This is how it looks inside - a pocket on the left and a signature stitched in made of Bristol paper that I added drippy ink blots to by trying out Dylusions spray inks.

Just had to share my favorite ink blot spread - so cool how the colors combine together.  I think this is going to be a fun journal to play in.

So what did I learn from this?
  1. I read in a Stampington publication once that you can't fake's true.  I also think that as you work through each one, some of them are quite ugly, but it's just amazing how they all work together in the end.
  2. When you want to make a layered project, it takes time to allow the layers to dry...often more time than you want, but it's an important step to not leave out.  Just think of it as practicing patience :-)
  3. It's important to seal one layer before adding the next either with gel medium or clear gesso, and sometimes, the water in the medium activates the layer and can over-blend it.  Some things like gel pens, don't like to be sealed unless they are REALLY REALLY dry, and a white gel pen just melted away, but not a white paint pen.
  4. You can actually sew through flexible modeling paste with your machine - who knew!


Jennie Atkinson said...

Wow! So much to learn in this post Penny! I love your circles piece it really is beautiful and stunningly put together.

I am doing a journal to art course with Catherine Scanlon at the moment, but I like the look of Collage, Construct and Affirm.

Great work!

Sue said...

Hello Penny
Wonderful projects you are making, and I have to agree with your comments about allowing the layers to dry, one has to have patience when working with mixed media and many do not have it. All art work has to be nurtured and allowed to develop to obtain the desired effect, it does not always turn out as one envisaged, but that is what is so enjoyable about creating don't you agree?

milkcan said...

Absolutely stunning and a beautifully written post too!

Janine said...

you learned a lot ☺ I like what you made and tryed out, love the colours, and I'm learning from your learnings, hugs from me to you!!

My name is Erika. said...

I love these layers-I've been trying to do more layering because I think it really gives depth and sophistication to your work. Your portfolio covers really have those traits for sure.
Love those points you learned!
I want to take those classes with Dyan Reavely down in Massachusetts but unfortunately I will be away then on our family vacation:(. But I see Julie Fei-Fan Balzar is coming in August so I want to be there. How about you?

Lenna Young Andrews said...

dear penny, thanks so much for your comment on my second floor circles project. It led me here! I really enjoyed reading your well-written post, seeing all your steps and what you experimented with and the beautiful finished journal!
I will be checking out your blog now, oh and comgrats om getting published, it looks like again!! lenna

Lynn Lucas said...

Hi Penny Thanks for your kind comment on my second floor circles blog post. I really love the texture and colours you have used and created. I am definitely going to try using dry wall tape.

Nathalie Kalbach said...

What an amazing post and I so love your process and work- wonderful!!! thanks for playing along with me and Julie in the SEcond Floor Challenge!

Marja's Stamp Addiction en Marja's Creativity said...

Wow this is so great. And very nice you let us see how your work grows. I can learn so many from you.
Lovely greet

Deb (dcorder) said...

Wow..thanks so much for sharing this. I've been branching out too and will definitely look at that class. Love all your texture! FABULOUS!