We’re well into 2021 by now and here in the studio I’m trying to focus on anything which takes attention away from the on going pandemic blues.
My morning forest walks with Cooper are helping immensely and give me time to reflect and imagine new projects and ideas.
These New Year cards are in the shop at the moment in packs of 3 and are the perfect way to stay in touch with people who you can’t see right now. You can find them here by following this link.
Last summer I made this cute little art journal from a pile of geli prints but since then it’s been on my shelf and admired but not added to. I’ve decided to put that right this year and add a quick collage or piece of artwork once a week. Being so small it’s the perfect place to create something quick and with the backgrounds already painted, less intimidating and satisfies a need for me to create art in some way. I recommend it to anyone, get out your stash, make a mini journal and keep a few scraps in a box for collage, add a sticker and it’s done!
LINEAL :Composed of or arranged in lines :Consisting of or being in a direct male or female line of ancestry :Descended in a direct line.
This little collage of papers, tea bag, flowers and another scrap of that tea dyed muslin I’d used before, was fairly easy and quick to put together. Dipping into my collage box, I chose the papers for their colour and arranged them pretty much vertically. I took this little photo to help me put them back in the same arrangement after I’d added glue and tape.
I added some stitching and staples to give some extra texture as well as holding things in place. I like to create my collage pieces separately like this then add them to the background in one piece.
Once added to the textured background, to stop the whole piece looking too random and bitty I trimmed it down to square off the edges making it much neater. As I’d cut off the word lineal I decided to add it back onto the collage by tucking it under the muslin.
The collage is filled with lines, from the texture paste in the background to the stitching lines and staples. All horizontal or vertical to create a harmonious whole. I love the shabby chic look but it has to be structured and tidy for me to accept it. A bit of a contradiction I know but it’s just the way I like to look at things.
It doesn’t matter how much time I spend planning and creating a piece of work, my favourite pieces are the ones which have been created from the afterthoughts, the discarded rejects and happy accidents. This is why most of my art journals are made using clean up sheets and practice papers. A lot of the time a background which may look totally chaotic, looks completely different when die cut and used in some unfinished journal page. A flat journal page may need a spot of colour to complete it and a box of off cuts and rejects is a good place to look.
It was after a gel printing afternoon that the final prints to come off the plate were the clean up ghost prints. I always love these prints, they’re grungy, dirty and contain many different colours mixed together in an old peeling paint sort of way.
Next to me on the table was a box of off cuts which I use for collages and on the top was this piece of watercolour card, stained from having a teabag left to sit on it. You never know when these things will come in handy I say! Underneath all of that I also had dry tea bags which are great for collages too. The piece of muslin, stained from Tea Dye ink from Ranger was the only planned piece as I’d used it earlier in the day for a project with Paper Pen and Plan.
I die cut the tea stained card to use in a collage, tucking it under the tea bag and muslin. I didn’t waste the little shapes which came out of the die cut either and used those to continue the colour on the rest of the background. I used black paint to cover the die cut letters and whilst this was wet sprinkled some Black Magic powder from WOW! in patches. I swear to you the safety pin has been sitting on my table for weeks now waiting to be used and literally caught my eye as I needed something to catch the muslin down!
The craziest part about this whole process is that little star shining out from the centre of the collage. It wasn’t planned and I only noticed it when taking these photos. You couldn’t make it up!
Messy Monday was originally an excuse for my friend Clare from Paper Pen and Plan and I to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and create journal pages, usually with a heavy helping of paint and ink involved. Already a lover of messy journal pages, I encouraged Clare to embrace her messy side which resulted in some amazing backgrounds. We had lots of fun with it and I think we both miss those days.
Clare mentioned it again a few weeks ago among the members of the Paper Pen and Plan Facebook group so I thought I’d try and bring it back in some form or another. Now to be absolutely truthful here I did start this at the weekend. I left it open on my worktable and added a bit to it every time I went past, which was often!
I started with the first layer of charcoal scribbles then added some acrylic paints in smears before taking a watersoluable crayon and smearing some blue/grey here and there. That was yesterday, this morning after a walk in the forest it reminded me of the low Autumn sunlight through the trees and so that was where the theme came from. With a small collage and a title it was finished.