Saturday, 26 September 2015

When To Stop? - It's Sooner Than I Thought

I've returned to the book. Yes, as you can see, these two pages are in a new art journal/mixed media spiral bound book. I think I'll work in two different ones to begin with. This one's going to have ink and dye based backgrounds. The other has paper more suited to acrylic painted pages.

I tried two different masking ideas for these pages. The first has a straight edge. The second, a torn one. At the moment, I feel the straight version has the edge (pun intended).

I've been flicking through a plethora of books and magazines which show all kinds of mixed media pages, as well as watching a slew of youtube videos. And I kind of had the sense that you put down a background and then layer it up with visual interest. Then you add your focal points and accessorise!

Thing is, once I laid down my stencilled and stamped images, intended to be backgrounds, I looked at the result and thought well these pages are finished.

Future pages may see me adding layer upon layer and going the next stages forward. But not these. I like them as they are. So they are finished sooner than I was expecting.

Time to turn the page.

Friday, 25 September 2015

More Experiments with Paint

Urghhh!!! I have had a week long bout of Man-flu! And it's still lingering. Sore throat, turned into dripping nose, morphing into tickling cough and throughout all these symptoms, lower than average energy. And given my usual low energy output on my best days, I'm doing well to just move.

However, so it doesn't look like I spend all day in front of the TV, bingeing on Netflix TV series (American Horror Story, Bates Motel, Daredevil) I occasionally haul my ass into the art room.

The above page is a result of one of these moments. It's not a page which means anything. It's a play page. I wanted to see how a design would look if I masked off a border. I took a piece of card which I'd previously painted green, slapped on some masking tape and sprayed it red.

The other experiment was to try out a variety of brushes with paint and ink to create a variety of splashes. I used complimentary colours of green to provide contrast and then set about making an educational mess.

In thinking, how to use the page I created, I took a die I have of a mock polaroid, and used it on some card which I had painted blue, which was lying around. I've recently added a new profile photo to my instagram account which I thought would tie in nicely with the polaroid theme. Printed a copy out, attached it, covered it in mod podge and it was good to go.

After some doodling around the edge and writing the two words of journaling (I can still be a minimalist, even in art journals), I was finished.

As you can tell, I haven't moved into a journal yet. However I have inked up a background on one page in a book. So I'm trying it out again. More experiments to do yet I feel. Just get rid of this stinking cold and watch me go at it in a blur of activity!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

When Is It Finished?

I've been slowly making more art journal pages. Or at least it's a slower process than, say, creating CAS cards. As I mentioned in my previous post, I've been making my pages on individual sheets of A5 card, rather than in a book. Mind you, having seen Neet's comment, I may try and brave going back to my journal.

This first page was just a way to play with Liquitex spray paints. I bought three cans and wanted to experiment, see what they are like to use, stamp onto and draw on. Hence the big red splat over a light spray of blue & purple. The red shape looked like it could complement a heart stamp I had. And then, unoriginally, I thought I'd stamp the word 'heart' underneath. However, as I was trying to place the letters, the words He & Art came to light. A happy accident. I used a white pigment ink for the 'He' part which didn't stamp onto the page as evenly as I hoped. Hence why I outlined it. The black ink worked a lot better and to maintain unity, I outlined that too.

This next page was again, trying out materials and techniques. I wanted a subtle dark border but it wasn't working out and in the end, it became darker & darker until I finally covered it in black. I was stuck as to how to fill the middle and just drew in the first thing in my head, Not Your GBF. I used Posca paint pens to fill the letters in with green and yellow.

All I can see are the imperfections still. And I'm learning to accept that it looks unfinished, it looks wrong and it has mistakes. Move on. Besides, I'm only playing. I'm learning. Trying out ideas and materials. It's not the time to judge and attempt to make good art. Not yet.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Learning to be Disappointed

I've had a creative, productive weekend, playing around in art journals. And along the way, I'm learning how to deal with disappointment. The orange and blue stars page above was one hot mess from start to finish. No matter what I did, I couldn't turn it around to the point where I was happy with it. I've drawn a line under it now. Moved on. 

Which brings me to this page. I decided to work on a piece of card, rather than in a book this time. Working in books was limiting in many ways. My thought is that when I have enough loose pages made, I can bind them into a journal.

And again, I went for something different and I'm still not happy. The best I can say in every page I make, is like Thomas Eddison finding 1000 ways not to make a lightbulb, I'm discovering the many ways not to make an art journal page. This is a bit too cartoonish for my liking.

I'm sure I'll find the style of art that makes me happy. Just haven't found it yet.

Don't read me wrong, I'm enjoying the process. Making the pages is incredibly relaxing and creative. It's the results I have a problem with.

So I'll keep trying. Chopping, changing, rearranging and I'll hit that target. And if I'm brave, I'll share it all on here

Friday, 11 September 2015

Don't Make Bad Art

Oh the irony!

If only you knew the countless mistakes that went into creating this art journal spread. Not least my trying to fathom out how to use paint pens. Just the tiniest amount of pressure and suddenly a pool of paint is spreading out before you. And when you jump back, splashes of permanent paint land onto your jeans.

Right at the start, when I tried laying down a background using distress inks, it all fell apart at the seams. An indescribable blotchy, patchy, mess of rubbed on, dry looking ink stared back at me. Thankfully, after taking advice, I swiped Dylusion's paints over the top. First white, then turquoise. Removed all the evidence.

I drew the pink squiggle borders and then sat staring at the blank page wondering how the heck to fill it. The idea came to me to treat it like a wall and graffiti over it. I'd just been having a conversation about good and bad art. You probably have heard or read something along the lines of "There is no such thing as bad art".

Really? I see bad art all the time. Not least on my own desk and in my sketchbooks.

So ignore what the teachers, gurus and well-meaning say to you. And whenever and wherever possible, remind yourself. DON'T MAKE BAD ART. Then, if you are anything at all like me, $£@$ it all up whilst attempting this pretence of perfection :)

Works for me everytime :D

Friday, 4 September 2015

Slowly Emerging

I haven't forsaken my blog. Though it may have appeared that way. I think I may have mentioned in an earlier post that I was taking a break over the summer. I wanted to play creatively and make mistakes away from public scrutiny. I still do.

I've been creating pages in an art journal for the weeks I've been absent and when I hit a brick wall, I die cut some tags out of card I had lying around and used them instead. Pages in a book still manage to hold me back. Tags I have found, being loose, are easier mentally to add paints, inks and ideas to.

I think pages in a book stay there forever to be judged. I'm not keen on ripping them out if they turn out awful. And that stops me from trying something new, from stretching out of my comfort zone. From having ideas and trying them out.

Tags, for the moment, offer more freedom. If it turns out crap, it can go straight in the bin. Or a drawer. I can look at it, note what I think didn't go as planned and try again. I can enjoy the process. I have a very critical inner voice. It doesn't seem to be any kinder as I age. I accept it's there and work around it. Tags, for now, keep it quiet.

As for my blog, I'm going to slowly emerge. Share and show some of the stuff I make, as and when. I may even do another 30 day project. I enjoy the discipline and process of a daily blog.

 Ahhh, stretch & yawn. I hear blank tags calling to me. Time to grab some pens and ink and see what happens.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Something Else I Did at the Weekend

This is a continuation of my last post. A part two if you please.

Whilst on Saturday, we made a clock. On Sunday, it was a book cover. Again using a laser cut board kit. This time from Neelz Expressions.  Now mine isn't up to the standard of everyone else nor is it the complete class which Mark taught. As I mentioned, I had to leave half way through the workshop, so had to finish it off back home. Those who take the class in full, will walk away with extra techniques and two book covers, front & back.

However, in just the first half, I think I learnt a million techniques and was again crafting faster than I ever have, cramming in as much as I could before I left. More cutting, gluing, painting, glazing, dripping, texturising, rusting and a rather cool and effective transfer technique. Yup, that rather gorgeous image of cogs started life as a black and white photocopy, which was transferred to the backing board. The most successful one I've ever managed. My tip? Glue, then take on a train for three hours to dry. Leave overnight in the bag you took it home in, then peel away to reveal the image.

And if you fancy making a better job of it than me? Take the whole day's class :D