‘I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value’ – Hermann Hesse
It’s been about two months since my last post and probably the longest gap since I started writing my blog. Life suddenly got very chaotic and I found myself unable to anything art or craft related. I was poorly then I had to move house as my landlord was selling. I was also learning to drive and doing some volunteering at an art gallery. Looking back now it was a massive upheaval and I felt stressed and overwhelmed.
Gradually things began to level out and my boyfriend and I moved into a flat together. We now have a spare room for arts, crafts and magic (he is an actual magician!) but this is yet to be fully sorted and is currently a myriad of boxes and degu cage – they are cute though so they can get away with it for now.
Between moving house I did some art journal pages and made my friend a mixed media birthday card. I’ve also been teaching myself Illustrator so I can create a website layout for my boyfriend – magic is a great topic! It is a new way of approaching art and I am finding it a real challenge. I’ve always liked design and illustration and scrapbook interesting packaging, so learning how to create vector art on a computer is another step towards that kind of artwork. I have to admit that spending a lot of time on the computer is hard. I work in an office during the day and being able to make things with clay, paints, sewing is my way of escaping technology and feeling more connected by using the materials with my hands. Maybe once I get more to grips with the software I will find a balance between both.
Below are a few pictures from the last month. Now my life is calming down a bit more I have plenty of creative projects bubbling in my mind.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you would have guessed I have a little obsession with the sea!
My new book 101 Mixed Media Techniques have inspired to take different mixed media elements and explore them in my art journal.
As I read other artists books and watch videos, I’m beginning to approach my art journaling in a different way. It feels more organic and, rather than planning a page in my mind from start to finish, I’m having more fun with the materials and allowing them to show me a direction.
Jane Davenport, an artist I adore, talks about journals having a ‘connective tissue’ and when I heard this idea, it stayed with me. Not all my pages need to be finished as I start them and I am looking at my journal as a complete book, with each page following into another.With these ideas in mind, I decided to focus on building physical texture in a few pages and explore different materials.
In my first double page of my Dylusions journal, I used modelling paste on one side, swirling the end of a paintbrush into it as it dried. I then dripped PAV glue across both pages, which took a while to dry. I used my heat tool to speed the drying process up a little, and then used a wide brush to paint over the surfacing using my current favourite Dylusions paint pots.
Recently I’ve been focusing on working in my art journal and trying new things to push myself as an artist. I felt some kind of creative block with my sculpting so I picked my journal and made marks on the page. I allowed myself not to really think, just enjoy the materials and the shapes.
Since then I have done quite a few journal pages and love what art journaling gives me. I work in front of a computer during the week, so it is normally the last thing I want to do when I come home. Sitting at my desk with my supplies, some music or podcast and my imagination allows me to come back to myself, to relax, explore and think in a different way than I do in everyday life.
It’s been a while since I put a new post up on the blog, partly because I got flu and wasn’t able to do anything but sleep for a week. I felt a little uninspired with my sculpting and wasn’t sure what art I wanted to make, so I just got out my art journal and started making marks on the page with paints, pens, Dylusions sprays, soft pastels and pencils. As I did this I found myself getting back into my art journaling and did a few more pages over the last week.
Making marks on the page
My last page, the girl with orange hair I filmed as I made it and put it together as a video on my YouTube channel. I want to do more video projects, although the lighting in my room isn’t the best. I think it helps to try other mediums when you feel uninspired, it doesn’t have to be any big project just messing around with paints on the page is enough to get you back into a creative mind set. I’ve ordered some more Dylusions paints because they are really good and so vivid, I’m looking forward to doing more pages in my journal and even adding in college.
I’ve wanted to do this for a while and since this a5 Dylusions journal is almost full and tearing at the seems, I thought it would be cool to film my flip through! Plus I did a little intro to the video 😀
I really haven’t got the hang of talking to myself yet and look down a lot, but I actually enjoyed doing it. Must practice some more! I’ve also added a few pictures of my favourite pages in my journal. I’m looking forward to starting my nice new journal. I think I should experiment a lot more, my favourite pages are ones that are different from my usual style.
Hope you like!
Old and New
This week I’ve been getting back back into art journaling and plan to finish this A5 journal so I can start a lovely new one. I have some new art materials to use including soft pastels which I used on the enchanted page and some Perfect Pearls which I mixed with water and painted onto the owl page.
I’ve gone back to drawing over a black gesso background and I love the effect. For the space doodle page I used a restricted pallet of white, blue and purple. I’ve been thinking of new themes and ideas for my pages and space seemed like a vast and visual topic. I did this page as a stream of consciousness just adding stars and words but I might look for some similar themes for my next page.
I recently did a poll on the blog asking what tutorials people would like to see and the majority by a long way was art journals. I’ve wanted to do some journaling for ages but with work, life and my other projects going on I never seemed to get the time. So thinking of a tutorial was a good way to get back into it.
I had the idea for a while of doing a page with puzzle pieces and got a 1000 piece puzzle from a charity shop. One thing I love about art journaling is how free form and personal it is and that it is about expression and enjoying using different materials. Here are a list of materials I used but it is entirely up to you:
- Dylusions A4 Art Journal
- Dylusions Sprays
- Modge Podge
- Puzzle Pieces
- Posca Paint Pens
- random card pieces, stamps, paper
- Tim Holtz Distress Stickles
- Claudine Hellmuth Studio Black Gesso
I even forgot I had a brand new Dylusions Journal to play with! First things first:
Once you have all your materials, lay your page out and place paper underneath each page. I used old newspaper. Then I sprayed my page with water from a spray bottle to get the paper damp before randomly spraying my inks. Do whatever comes naturally.
This is a stream of consciousness doodle thing which I find really relaxing to do.
This bird was half planned in my brain partly because I wanted to do another video with the sprays and that I wanted to focus my doodle pattern into a coherent image. It turned out OK although I know I can do better.
I made another little video here and used a black primer for the background and my favourite Posca Pens to draw the flowers. I love the affect 🙂 I want to make more videos although they do take a lot of time.
A little video I made this afternoon…
My Lovely Cute Journal
Stream of Consciousness
Here is a little flick through my A5 Dylusions art journal – which I just love. I want to cover the front but not until I’ve used all the pages – otherwise it will just get covered in blobs of paint and ink and sprays!
I’ve been obsessing with the idea of art journaling skulls for ages but finally just got my stash out and did it – and I really love what I have created!
The first page I used black primer and used my favourite Posca Pens to draw the skull and doodles. I added a few gems as well.
The second page I had a background already sprayed and drew a skull shape with a pencil first before going in with my pens again. I used some die cut flowers and punched leaves and hearts which I love.
These large bulldog clips are great for art journaling – as your journal gets fatter it can be tricky to get the fresh pages to stay flat. I highly recommend these!
A free-style doodle page on a mixed sprayed background. I wanted to try some new combination of colours and love how the orange bleeds into the red and purple. I used a stencil with black sprays across the bottom and right side, then using a larger black pen, drew a random squiggle across the pages. Using that as a base, I began filling out the rest of the page.