Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Guy Fawkes

It's always struck me as strange that in England, we celebrate the failure of a revolutionary movement, when most countries celebrate their independence! Every year on the 5th of November, we celebrate the fact that Catholic Guy Fawkes and his fellow revolutionaries failed in their attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament, failed to kill the Protestant King, and thus the monarchy reigned on and the Catholic oppressing regime continued. All over the country, families will gather in fields and parks to burn a 'guy' on a huge bonfire, let off fireworks and eat autumnal food like toffee apples, soup, and cinder toffee. In our little North Yorkshire community, it's a big social event, taking place in a field owned by the local milkman, organised by the stalwarts of the village sports and social committee, and is one of the best displays around, despite being such a small local event.

 This week is also the meeting of my monthly journal group, and I am challenging them to use black and white as their only background colours, which seems appropriate, since the clocks recently went back, and that we shall all be looking up into the dark night sky at fireworks displays on Thursday. I decided to make my journal page a tribute to this strangest of festivals! My Stampotique 'Guy' is feeling the heat of the bonfire (although in reality, he wasn't burned to death in punishment, but threw himself to his death, breaking his neck, rather than await his grisly punishment of having his testicles cut off, his stomach opened and having his guts spilled out before his own eyes). His body was subsequently quartered and sent to the four corners of the kingdom as a lesson to any other would be plotters!
Of course, I couldn't just stick to black and white, so I had to jazz things up a bit with some liquid pearls!

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Step by Step

I recently posted this on an art journal facebook page, and was asked by several people to share the step by step instructions that I did for my monthly journal group. Im sorry that it has taken me so long, but its has been a crazy busy time in my life. I should also confess that this is not all my own ideas, my inspiration came from a YouTube video by Limor Webber, and you can find her video here: https://youtu.be/bdEbRrlDFSo
Anyway, here is my take on it, step by step:
Gesso a page in your journal, piece of card, piece of cereal box, etc
Using Gelatos, apply random patches of colour all over the gesso, to fully cover the page. (the same can be achieved with paint, it will just take longer to dry). Use as many different colours as possible, remembering the rules of the colour wheel, and allowing complementary colours to dry for using next to each other, or allow only colour wheel neighbouring colours to mix with each other.
 Next, take a palette knife or credit card and smear and scrape some random patches of colour over your piece. Vary the thickness of the paint in different areas to allow patches of opacity and translucency. Use a cocktail stick, old pen or nail to scratch some doodles into the wet paint if you like. Allow to dry.
Add some doodles with acrylic pens and markers. Circles, flowers, hearts, squiggles, finger painting, dots, whatever takes your fancy.
 Add random patches from your rub on sheets. It doesn’t even have to be the whole letter/number/shape from the rub-on, the emphasis is on doodle. If you don’t have any rub-ons, use a random selection of stamps and black permanent ink, or just doodle something in with a pen, or stencil. 
Add additional detail with stamps: consider birds, foliage, words…
Take a circle of paper, a jar lid or similar, and place onto your page, over an element that you like. Paint up to the edges of the circle and either place them so that their edges meet or overlap.
When you are happy with amount of shapes, you can doodle or journal into the black paint or the centre of the shapes with paint pens.
I have used circles, hearts, egg shapes, all work well, just go with the flow and enjoy!

Saturday, 21 February 2015

I am the Queen of Procrastination

It has been half term with us this week. I had so many plans of things I would achieve and nice outings I would take with the kids. However, a combination of nursing a painful shoulder, and having two children who are now at that age where they organise their own activities, has meant that I achieved a grand total of nothing. There a few areas of my life which seem to be hanging in limbo at the moment, and rather than capitalise on this and forging forward with other things, I just can't motivate myself to do anything, other than lounging about, reading trashy novels, oh, and doing the usual washing, cooking, cleaning, ironing, shopping, that is. And is it just me, but boy do we get through some food when the kids are home!

Anyway, I did finally stir myself to do this journal page. My daughter has had to do some portrait work for her art homework, so we had been researching some different drawing styles, and I fanned a tiny flicker of motivation into this page. I debated colouring the face, but decided that the grey pencil kind of summed up my mood at the moment and that the colourful hair could be all the ideas that are there, in my head, but I just haven't found the oomph to let them out yet.

In the mean time, I am writing lists. Loads of them. Lists of all the things that I am going to do, when I do find my oomph again. As we all know, you can't beat a good list - it's the grown up version of a revision timetable!

Monday, 2 February 2015

Stampotique Design Challenge

The challenge at the moment on the Stampotique Design Challenge blog is to create something on a painted background. I have been wanting to do a journal page using this quotation for a while, after I heard Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory use it, and it struck me that the quirky attitude of this Daniel Torrente character was perfect for such a phrase. I love that this is such a bolshy response to someone, it's such a long way from the "shall we agree to disagree?" or "well, we are all entitled to our own opinion" stance that we usually feel we should take! I have yet to have the opportunity to use it real life, but I am saving it up for the right moment!

The background is a mixture of hand carved rubber and foam stamps, with a little collage, washi tape and doodling thrown in, the sentiment I typed out on my vintage typewriter. At the moment I am using almost exclusively the Amsterdam acrylic paints,  I love their vibrant, unctuous gorgeousness!

Thursday, 29 January 2015

A wealth of possibilities

These days, finding time to journal is one thing, I seem to find a moment to doodle, splodge, finger paint without too much trouble, but finding time to photograph it, blog it or add it to various social media sites just seems impossible. I have spent ages this afternoon (and if I wasn't on my own, several thousand pounds worth of contributions to the swear box!) scanning in and printing some documents, so it seemed an ideal opportunity to do the same with some artwork.
I don't do new year's resolutions (far too little self control!), so I set myself goals to achieve throughout the year. This year, however, I did promise myself that I would keep my diary journal up to date, and so far so good! I first did one of these journal pages in December 2009, so I am now starting my SIXTH year of this challenge. I find the secret to keeping it up to date is having it next to the couch in the lounge, so whenever I sit down to watch the television in the evening, it is there, with a pen and my Pitt felt tips to complete the square for the day. I'm feeling quite smug, but I have yet to start my February page..

January is always a time of change and new starts, and this year, this is especially true for our family. Mr H has started a new job, which will make our family life so much better, which inspired the page above. There have been times over the past few years, when it felt like we were pedalling like crazy, just trying to maintain a semblance of family life, so the idea that we might start having more of him, and a better all around quality of life has been a really positive way to start the year.

This page was a finger painted background with doodles, a few collage elements and a bit of tissue tape.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

doodles and image transfers

As promised last time, here is my finished journal page which started with an image transfer from a photo of my Gran. I had kept the background quite plain to make sure that I had a flat surface to put the image on to, so all my texture was added by hand, by means of doodling in black and white permanent pens and paint pens.
And here is my October journal page. The background is painted, and the tree detail is made by simply using a piece of card dipped in black paint and scraped to make it look a bit like the bark on a silver birch tree. Growing up, we had lots of these trees in our garden, and I love the texture of the silvery, papery bark to this day. The leaves are handcut from various background papers that I have made whilst demonstrating during classes - I never throw anything away! The grasses stamp at the bottom is one that I have carved myself, and you will find on my etsy shop very soon.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Image transfer experiments and September page

My monthly journaling club have set me a challenge to help them to include photos into their journal pages. This is something I have dabbled in from time to time, but never really devoted too much time to. As some of the pictures they wanted to use were old family photos, that were precious, I decided that we should experiment with the technique of image transfers. My first experiment above, was just a picture of a chair cut out from a magazine in the holiday cottage we were staying in this summer. I simply cut the image out of the magazine, gel mediumed it to the page, and LEFT IT TO DRY! This is the key to a decent image transfer, it would appear. If you are impatient like me, your image will end up a bit holey, fine if you want a slightly shabby look, but not so if you want a good crisp image. Once it is dry, you just spritz a little water over the image and gently rub to remove the backing paper, leaving the ink from the original image behind.

For the next attempt, I made some toner copies of some old photos, and went through the same process. This picture is of my Gran. This time, I left the image to dry overnight, and the result was much better. I really like the translucent quality you get from this process. Just need to finish the page now!

Finally, I tried tape transfers. Quick, not so messy, and creates cute little stickers that still have that translucent quality.

You just cut an image out of a magazine, or here I used a digital download, burnish the tape well to the image, and then soak in warm water. You then rub off the paper, and a translucent image remains adhered to the tape, and leaves you with a removable sticker that you can use in your journal pages, and layer up, doodle under, whatever you want!

And finally, my September journal page, it isn't quite finished, I'm going to doodle around the squares a bit, but if I don't post it now, who knows when I'll get around to it! I have been watching Kate Crane's Journal Soup 2 tutorials, and thought I would use my diary page to try out some of the techniques she suggests.