Words I will journal by.

Create. Learn. Try. Believe you can.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Second Round of The Circle Journals

Having now received my Art Journal back from it's 7 months of wandering between my lovely Circle Journal friends, and oohing and aahing over all the gorgeous artwork inside it, I'm raring to get going on the second round! This time I asked all participants to select a unique shape for their art journals to give us an extra challenge each time a new journal drops through the letterbox. I chose to use some thick Kraft card ribbon holders that I fell in love with when visiting Version Scrap in Paris, a couple of years ago to create a mini journal. The show is a beautiful, mainly scrapbooking convention/show that takes place twice yearly I think. It was great. I went with my lovely friend Linda Regan who hadn't visited Paris before so we extended our stay to do lots of sightseeing too! It was great fun. Now that I know Wanda Hertges has received it, I'm ready to show a few photos of the journal that I won't see again for twelve months or more. It's wonderful that our original group of 7 has grown to 12 for this particular round! One overarching rule for each page completed is to use at least one PaperArtsy product per page. My product choice was: paint. Fresco chalks to be more precise. If it's at all possible that you have not yet tried these paints, I strongly urge you to do so! They are delicious and there's zillions of colours. You can use them on almost any substrate, even fabric. And I have them all. Well almost, bar one or two. I prefer the stronger, brighter colours that Leandra and Mark (lovely owners of PaperArtsy) produce but the choices are really extensive. They produce opaque, semi opaque and translucent tones. All you could wish for. I've included a photo of the colours I used to make the backgrounds. The flowers were drawn by hand, the stamps are designed by Stampotique, and I used various paint pens, including Wink of Stella to embellish details. I do hope you like what you see. I would love to know you dropped by!

Whoops! Should be some ''Bougainvillea' in that photo too! My favourite Fresco Chalk! I didn't take any process photos this time as I so enjoyed making this I didn't stop to take photos! But there is one showing the first stage of development. The rest are just different views of the finished journal. I can't wait to see what all the other journalers create on these mini pages! 

I'm hoping to post again tomorrow night, some photos of the planner I started making during a workshop with Kate Crane last weekend at the Ministry of Mixology retreat in Coventry. Hope you will join me as I post photos of it's development throughout the week! 
Have a great week folks! 

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

My Wanderlust journey

Hi there folks. Many of you, like me, are enjoying the Wanderlust online course organised by Kasia and Jamie from Artist Trading Post. I'm the first to admit that I am no where near up to date with all the challenges and prompts, but I never intended to keep up with the weekly tutorials. I signed up because there were many teachers involved who I already greatly admire or would love to learn from. I knew there would be classes that I wouldn't get involved in. Life is too fast for me to explore avenues I'm not really interested in. So, I was really looking forward to this particular class with Birgit Koopsen. I love her style particularly her way of creating negative space by concealing a lot of the positive! Her work has heavily influenced my art journaling. I wasn't disappointed. It was a great tutorial. I dropped all my other projects - despite deadlines looming- and got stuck in. This is the result. I'm not wholly pleased with the end result but I really enjoyed the process.
I haven't got a laser printer so I knew I wouldn't be able to use a laser print image for my focal point as Birgit did. However, I have wanted to use this gorgeous girl image from a PaperArtsy set, designed by Clare Lloyd, ECL09, for some time So here was the perfect opportunity. Now I needed to gather supplies. I've been using Fresco chalk paints a lot recently (again by PaperArtsy) but I needed heavy body brights for this so chose to use a mix of Dina Wakley heavy body acrylics by Ranger and a few Golden Fluids eg transparent yellow iron oxide, titanium white and Titan buff. I love blending various colours to produce a background but I really enjoy using Birgit's prompt of starting with a 'mop up page'. This is great because it sort of makes your colour decision for you! At least to start with. So armed with my vintage music book that I'm using for my Wanderlust journey and an army of paint I set to! What fun.

This was my starter page. Already lots of colour and no brown!! These colours are probably Fresco chalks. Certainly that pink looks like it could be Bougainvillea - a firm favourite! But I had no worries then adding more colours on top in true Birgit Koopsen style! 
Lots of warm colours added to the existing blue on the page. I love using reds, pinks, oranges, so painted these liberally across the spread. A bit of finger dabbing along the way, just layering up and remembering to dry layers in between. Finally added a layer of turquoise and lime but tried to leave some of the music showing underneath. Not sure how well that lasted but the intention was there. 
Now here is where I deviated a little from Birgit's tutorial. I love using texture and mixing up the media. I didn't go too mad as I wanted to try and stay at least close to the guidance in the tutorial. So here you can see a cut out of one of Clare's girls, just to give me an idea for positioning, and added strips of vintage text and scraped some 3D transparent Gel medium (Golden) through a stencil across the page. This is lovely and glossy when it dries and adds a bit of shine to the final result. 
Next was the fun part. Using the same colours and some cut 'n dry, I pushed paint through a variety of stencils, also using the paint to stamp text and images all over the page. I also made use of black and 
white paint with various sizes of bottle tops/caps to add dark and light tones. Delicious. I love making a very busy background for this technique! 
My final addition, and not included in Birgit's tutorial (but learned in a previous class I took with her in Paris at Version Scrap) was to drip some pigment inks down the page. I had added some orange neocolour which I hoped the inks would resist but it didn't seem to work on this occasion. Oh well. Here I used Aladine Izink inks: turquoise and orchid. They add a shimmery lustre to the page which I love, especially where it catches on the glossy gel texture. I also added a Winsor and Newton  drawing ink: Amarillo Naranjo. A gorgeous rusty orange ink, forgetting it was waterbased, but it helped later on when I wanted to add orange to white titanium in the cover up! Which is next! 
The next step is not for the faint-hearted. Whereas Birgit stamped out various circle images to paint around, I used my preferred technique of drawing a variety of circle and sun ray shapes to maintain the layer underneath. I then stamped the girl image, all with black Archival ink.  I made up a skin tone and painted over the face to eliminate the background. Next I needed to paint over the existing background only leaving the shapes I'd drawn previously. In the class Birgit's background was very pale. I usually make my background all one colour and very dark, by using a deep blue or Paynes Grey etc. but I had a go applying mainly white with very little colour added. I didn't like it. I needed more colour. So, again using the colours I'd used so far I set about filling the spaces with a mix of white and colour. I love the surprising result when you do this. It makes the original, bright background really pop against the negative space created. I also love the way my original background transforms the hair in the girl image. Now, I needed to finish it by drawing around the circles, finishing the face, adding more stamping and finishing with some doodling, generally with black and white pigment pens. 

The face took some time! I'm hopeless colouring in faces with paint. I've watched Leandra Franich and Tracy Scott do this so easily, but for some reason, I really find it difficult. However, I persevered - but please see this as a step along a long journey I still need to take before I get close to being able to do this well.  The lettering was rushed and therefore not positioned well on the page but I had got to a point where I just wanted to finish it. I can see a lot in this that I like but I can also see areas I need to avoid next time. But I loved the journey -I'm  learning all the time! Hope you're having as much fun as I am. Thankyou so much for dropping by! 

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Penny For My Thoughts

Hi there! Two posts in a week is a rare event for me but I'm excited to get going with the planner/journal I created with the lovely, uber-talented Kate Crane last weekend at the Ministry of Mixology event organised by Di Oliver and her husband from Tando Creative Crafts. For those of you who know me and/or follow my infrequent blog, you will know that I'm a great fan of Kate as I love her painting and teaching style. So, I didn't sign up to learn anything new but the chance to coincide another class with Kate (I've done several) use some unfamiliar (DecoArt) products, together with a weekend break with my lovely friend-in-crafting, Linda Reagan, was too tempting to resist. It was a good weekend overall. I much preferred the workshop with Kate to the Andy Skinner class we took on the Sunday which I found slow going. Having said that, it did help me to understand different ways of using a lot of my Golden/DecoArt products and I learned some new techniques which is always a good thing. So, why am I rambling on about a weekend class I took? Well, in order to make myself post more regularly, and hopefully gain a few more followers, I've decided to post the process of further developing the planner/journal we (Linda and I) started in Kate's class. The kit was especially made for this class and comprised a front and back cover and two tabbed inserts made from the fabulous thick grey board that Tando are famous for. Two rings are used to bind the covers and inserts. Kate also provided zillions of  different 'pages' for painting and journaling on. I'm afraid I didn't take a 'before' picture but these Kate Crane kits are available from Tando to buy so you can see them on their website: www.tando-creative.co.uk. (Sorry, haven't learned to hyper-link yet. Working on it). But, here they are painted along Kate Crane guidelines comprising my favourite colours, lots of layers, stencils, stamps and doodles. I love art journaling and this is where I'm most confident in my art work. Thankyou Kate Crane for your continued inspiration! Some of the class managed to paint the reverse of their covers too but I like to spend a lot of time on layering and blending colours so was happy to take my time knowing I can easily complete these at home.

Thus, the reason for this blog post. It will be fun to show and explain how I continue to add to and develop the covers and inside pages over a series of posts. As DecoArt were sponsoring this event, we used their products throughout the weekend. I like them. They come close to the quality of Golden paints/gels which are my absolute preference although I have a wide selection of Amsterdams, Fresco chalks, Kaisercraft, Liquitex, Daler-Rowney, Ranger: Dyan Reavely's, Dina Wakely's etc. The colours used here, if I remember rightly are: Quinacridone Magenta, Transparent yellow iron oxide, medium grey and touches of cobalt teal hue. Black and white has been added too.  We were given a mini circle stencil to add layers, keeping to the same colours. I then used a variety of Kate's hand cut stamps and Paperartsy minis which are always my go-to stamps. I keep them with me wherever  I journal. But it does mean they crop up regularly on my pages. These took me almost all day! But I'm always in a happy place when I journal in this style. In the last half hour we created some backgrounds on some of the inside paper/card Kate supplied us with. Can't wait to add to these. This was a simple, time-worn process of placing small dabs of acrylic paint on the craft sheet, squirting water into the paint and swooshing the paper/card through the watery mixture. Delicious results. But this is as far as I got on Saturday.  

The photo above is a double page spread, where one side has been cut down to create a pocket page. But more of that still to come! The cute stamp in the corner is a new one designed by Kate for Stampotique. Her new range will shortly be available to buy from www.afth.co.uk This is a signature image for Kate so it's no surprise to see it transformed into a stamp. A must have! 
So, what have I done since returning home? Very little actually. I did buy another two tabbed page inserts from Tando so I have gessoed those. I have also collected various pieces of recycled card and cut them to size to create different surfaces to work on. I'm also intending to add more flaps and pockets as I go along. 
Here is what it looks like at the moment when I combine the pages and before I develop it any further.

I do hope you like what you see so far and might be interested in following my progress as I develop and transform my little journal (Kate made hers into a planner) with a variety of mixed media. It's title will be: 'Penny For My Thoughts'. I would love to know if you stopped by. Please leave details of your own blogs so I can return the visit!