Saturday, July 9, 2016

LB2016 : Dancing with shadows (paint over collage)

You may have noticed that I'm not keeping up with the weekly lessons for Life Book 2016! Since we can download and keep every lesson forever there will be time to do what I really want to. I love what I've completed in the first half of this year - 
I've got to the point where I have a few choices and don't know which lesson to do next. Rather than work through in order, my strategy is to number the lessons I am most drawn to onto pieces of paper, pop them in a bowl and draw one out randomly. If I draw out a number and I am disappointed it's not a particular lesson, that tells me what my heart wants and I go and do that lesson. So this one was drawn from the bowl and was good with my heart too...a paint over collage by Tam. You may remember that I really enjoyed this technique in her lesson from Life Book last year
This time around I especially love that I've just re-focused on my word of the year : "Transform". Tam says as part of this lesson What I love most about this technique is how different the final painting is to the original collage lending itself well for working with the concept of 'transformation'. Here's my initial collage with clear gesso layer before adding paint. It's interesting that since I posted my photo above from last year I realise I started with the same background collage colours! As you'll see, I ended up with a completely different effect this time around, although that lovely doily stencil does end up featuring again.
I added a fantail (Piwakawaka) because they are my favourite NZ native bird - pretty with their fanned tail, I love their cheeky friendliness, their call, and their dancing energy. Here we are with some colour laid down - it's really good to take progress photos I didn't realise how much she was altered already! Hoping I can keep those colours nice and soft.
I am very happy with my development with this course. I watch the lessons right through, and then go and do my page, only referring back if I get stuck. This means that I am always adding what feels right "for me" rather than always layering like the instructor suggests. 
I have a huge affinity for stencils and layering so my page developed like this
I used the same favourite tapa stencil for the pink above and the gold on her dress below
and when the background began to feel too dark, I added white
Tam's girl had a halo effect. I used that same stencil in the white above, to add a gold tiara effect
and often I feel like I need to words to complete my piece
Tam posted her original painting on her Flickr HERE
I thought you might like to see what she presented, and what I produced from those instructions. You can definitely make each lesson your own.
I ♥ seeing the original collage next to the "Transformed" finished piece 
Go HERE to see my Flickr album of all my Life Book 2016 projects. You can see all my posts about Life Book this year HERE.
If you are inspired to try this yourself, Tam shared this technique as a Free Life Book Taster (from 2015) on her blog HERE : 


  1. I haven't done this lesson yet. Sometimes Tam's lessons require more time and I wait until the right moment comes rather than "just get it out of the way". I like your idea to randomly choose which lesson you're doing next, although I normally set my heart on a particular lesson early on, but if I ever get stuck I'll try your method! Love the gold stencilling in this - and what a transformation over the collage. I've always like this technique! Great to see all your LB projects so far this year lined up next to each other. How did you do he collage? I usually use picmonkey but it only does square formats so all my pages get cropped.

  2. Thanks Sue - I so appreciate you taking the time to say so :-)

  3. Hi Zsuzsa - I enjoyed the lesson so much I am thinking of doing a repeat of the technique! In this case for the collage of LB projects I just did a print screen from my flickr account and then cropped!

  4. How clever of you! I would have never figured that out!

  5. Inspiring! This certainly fits with your word of the year. Seeing your work and how it transpires is fascinating to me. The results are lovely.

    I am seriously stalled on Life Book, but glad I signed up. It's time for me to get going. Because I am so far behind it is kind of freeing. I will see what interests me and go from there. Knowing that I can go back and take things out of order makes it easy to do this. It also makes it easy to shy away from things that are out of my comfort zone, so I am conscious that I may have to push myself.

    I love coming to your blog and getting inspired by all you do.

  6. Beautiful work...

  7. Lynda - such a wonderful comment :-) Life Book really is fabulous that you get to keep the lessons and so much variety to appeal to different moods and whether you want to play or seriously push yourself. Happy second half of the year - may it be more creative for you. xo

  8. Sue - how wonderful to see you here again.


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