Monday, February 9, 2015

Art Journal - Wild and Precious Life...

Good Monday morning to you all! Lately I've been making an effort to finish art journal pages I started right after Christmas, and in the past couple weeks, I've been able to check that goal off my to-do list. Today I've got a nice, long, picture-heavy post for you to make up for my spotty posting schedule lately. :)

This page spread uses a fun quote stamp from Unity Stamp soon as I saw this stamp, I knew I'd use it on a journal page.

The other fun thing about this layout is that it started out in one direction, but then did a 180-degree switch in the opposite direction - the end design looks nothing like the way it started.

Here's the finished's made in my small (5" x 8") Dylusions mixed media journal...

All finished in pretty pastels...but guess how it started out?...

I had seen a picture on The Crafters Workshop blog by an artist who had used her Caran d'Ache Neocolor II wax pastels to form rectangles on the page in all different colors...then wet them, and pressed the opposite page against the wet colored page to make a 2-page spread.

I had already applied white gesso to two pages after gluing down text from an old book, in torn, random pieces. So I decided to use these two prepared pages, and copy the coloring idea with my Neocolor II's, but instead of rectangles, I used circles. 

Then I wondered what would happen if I bordered the circles with black Neocolor...would it totally mess up once I wet it and pressed the pages together? Nothing ventured, nothing gained...and since the page was covered with gesso, I had some open working time if it was a total I gave it a try...

Not bad, right? I did do a bit of "touchup" with my round watercolor brush to define some of the circles a bit more (the ones that got completely distorted in the press)...but other than that, I found that you can outline in a dark color at the same time you wet the insides of the colored circles and press to a second page as long as you press straight down, and don't move or shift the pages while you're "smooshing" them.

The next step was to add some modeling paste through a harlequin stencil...

And then I stood back and looked...and maybe now is a good time to let you in on how I originally envisioned the use of the circle idea. I planned to use the large quote stamp as the main focal point on the spread, and thought I could fill in some of the open circles with smaller quote stamps, words, etc. that would complement the quote.

But as much as I loved the brightness of this page, I wasn't going to get the quote stamp to show up the way I had it in my head...these colors were too strong and there was too much activity going on.

OK...not a bad experiment, and one to definitely keep in mind for a later abstract page or two. But to move on with the current design idea, I decided to apply a light coating of white gesso over this whole layout to see what would happen next...

And now we're cookin'!  You can still see the shapes and colors, but they're much more subdued. So I stamped the quote, colored the letters with watercolor pencils and highlighted and shadowed the letters with black and white pens and a W3 Copic.  

Next, I used gel medium to attach some drywall tape, pieces of lace, and some buttons; another light coating of white gesso over the laces and buttons was added,...

And now for some more coloring fun! I added some Lindy's Stamp Gang sprays over the laces and buttons, and the areas immediately around them. I colored some chipboard hearts and a chipboard flourish that I pulled out of my stash, and used gel medium and foam tape to adhere them to the lower left corner. 

A couple more Unity Stamp quotes were added at the bottom below the laces. Faux stitching was added with the help of a stamp, crystal seed beads were added for accent, and a black Stabilo All pencil was used to shade the side edges of the harlequin shapes.

And that's how it evolved from this:

 to this...

Here are a few detail photos from around the pages...

Color Mediums:   Lindy's Stamp Gang Sprays: Golden Doubloons, Sandra Dee Sepia, Summer Lovin' Sun, Tea Pot Purple, Pop Rock Purple, Raspberry Lemonade, Pink Ladies Pink, C'est La Vie Cerise, Greased Lightnin' Green
Caran d'Ache Neocolor II wax pastels;    Caran d'Ache Supracolor watercolor pencils
Stencil:   The Crafters Workshop Mini Harlequin
Stamps:   Unity Stamp Co. "Wild & Precious Life" and "Empowered Words";     
Technique Tuesday "Hanging by a Thread"
Art mediums:   Liquitex white gesso;  Golden modeling paste;  Golden matte gel medium
Miscellaneous mediums:   Sakura white Gelly Roll pen;   Black Stabilo All pencil;   Copic W3;   
Pitt Artist Pen (black, M)
Miscellaneous craft supplies:   buttons,  chipboard pieces,  drywall tape,  lace pieces,  seed beads

Thanks so much for stopping by today...I hope your week is starting with a smile!


  1. These pages look amazing, thanks for showing the pages progression.. love the process you went to get to the finished pages.. just goes to show that art is alive!!

  2. Wow this is amazing and look how you started! Fabulous background and the final page really pretty ☺

  3. Fantastic page.I loved the circles idea too.It looks fabulous.The whole transformation is lovely and I love what you did with the quote.Very fun and whimsical.

  4. Hi Kathy. Love this gorgeous page. Fab colours and great sentiment :-) xx


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