Thursday, April 30, 2020

Autumn Advent Journal : Prompts 20-25

These are the last prompts in my handmade book for April. That link will give you the background to this project. I am working with a limited colour palette and I will try and include stitching, sari ribbon and stencils on each spread. I had to amend a couple of these since very Christmas orientated. Click on any photo to see it larger.
Prompt 20 : Embellishing Autumn Leaves (Embellishing Christmas baubles) Going to use my gelli plate for this one... which turned into several backgrounds prepared! Does that happen to you?!
Prompt 21 : Home Where our family gathers. These are some of the people I really can't wait to see in person again.
Prompt 22 : April memories (Christmas memories) Easter, ANZAC, school holidays and Winter basketball. All different this year...COVID-19 : Level 4 stay at home from midnight Wed 25th March moving to Level 3 from Tuesday 28th April.Took the last gelli print from above right and decided to do a list
Prompt 23 : Phone call I text, call or Face Time message my mum, my brother and my sister(-in-law) every day. Inspired by a lesson from Roben-Marie Smith. You can still enrol for this today. See more detail about that HERE. Went through these stages 
turned upside down
and ended up here
Prompt 24 : Bedtime wish Safe and well together instead of apart.   Went from this (gelli plate in top photo)
to this background in stages from Roben-Marie's class
to this completed spread. I ♥ found poetry. These words all came from one page.
That's all the prompts from this 2018 class. I had one more spread cut to size and as I was talking to a friend online this morning I was commenting that in amongst the upset, I can also focus on some lovely things have come out of lockdown for me. Please note I know there are others struggling and not so lucky. My heart goes out to them with wishes for some grace and ease.   
Prompt 25 : Silver Linings FB Lives in NZ : Auckland Writer's Festival and RNZ BalletFamily gamesFree online art offerings - almost overwhelming!, plus huge gratitude for daily walks, for technology to communicate, for my lovely bubble boys (my family ♥), for our ability to work from home, Journal Jams, a pair of tui singing in my trees, for how well my Chemo treatment is going (over half way), my husband has finished some new steps for our deck, for catching up on some good movies and for this blog which is to share with and inspire you and also for me - art is keeping me grounded, happy, engaged, making new discoveries. I don't know how I'd manage without my creative time. And Marit provided the perfect quote : For the artist soul, isolation often is like a wood filled with birdsong (Louis Couperus)
Now I just have to alter the cover and I'm finished. 
Will share that hopefully tomorrow. To see other spreads in this project scroll through my April posts.  

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Making papers inspired by Free classes

Kellee Wynne has created a Virtual Art Summit featuring 17 talented artists HERE. You can join for no charge but they are accepting donations to help create more programs like this and keep them available to everyone at no cost when they need it most. Last Day to register is April 30th, but Kellee has extended the watch time until May 31st.
Roben-Marie Smith is taking part creating collage papers. Here are some samples before she teaches the lesson.
I decided to work on 2 recycled magazine pages and also a couple of watercolour papers for my Autumn Advent Journal (will turn that into a link when do my last post about that). Because you are just playing you don't have to worry about the final outcome and you can tear into smaller pieces to apply as personal collage in your work. Keep it loose. No judgment. Keep turning your paper for a different perspective. The hardest part was waiting for the paint to dry on a cold day...and the no judgement part when in progress. In fact - taking a photo made me feel better about these papers and I probably could have stopped there.
I think one of my "blocks" was that I was trying to keep the watercolour pages in the right colour-way for my Autumn Journal which is not my usual happy colour place. So then I added some different colours on the pure play paper and felt happier. And then added more stencil marks = much more me. Being reminded of that Autumn palette led to the use of dark brown as a different dark. And then I decided some tissue or teabag transparent collage would be fun. You could just keep going but I'm there for now and feeling happy that I can move forward with these in a number of different ways eg. by adding collage and white pen marks to lighten. These are my finished play magazine papers to tear for collage for future projects:
I can see some really cool pieces that will happen once torn smaller - eg. that bottom left corner of the bottom piece. Scrummy and unexpected colour combo for me.
And I'll link here to show you how these watercolour background  pages for my Autumn Journal turned into spreads. These are pretty messy to be honest, but I'm not worried because I know how to salvage the beauty and cover up what I don't like.
If you enjoy Roben-Marie's lesson she has lots of inspiration on her blog - including her teabag #100DayProject - and also offers 2 FREE Journal workshops : Transitions Journal HERE
and Urban Journal Remix HERE.

I also came across this FREE offering from Jeanne Oliver which I thought would be fun to investigate after playing with Roben-Marie's technique.
Completely not my colour palette but interesting to see ideas of media and mark making tools. Hope this inspires you to have a play too.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Journal 52 : Week 17

Journal 52 is a weekly prompt from Effy Wild (Free HEREthat I'm creating on a deck of jumbo playing cards 3.5'' x 4.75'' (8.5 x 12 cm)Each card will include stitch, a found word, and be inspired by the project I've been working on that week or what's lying leftover on my work table. See the original post HERE.
#17 : Pause. Again this prompt is so relevant right now. My body needs me to slow down - to rest - to let the chemo do its work. I want to keep going and doing 'my normal' but I need to listen because my body is giving me all the right cues about what's needed. Effy's card had a face and I decided I'd do one too - inspired by the tilted head of my Autumn bliss spread this past week. Glued book paper to my playing card and drew her in Stabilo pencil. Once I'd added the water I loved her without too many additions. But I had to include a little background colour and my stitched element.
These are the 4 cards I've created in April
Find all my Journal 52 posts HERE 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Journal Jam 5 : Gather gratefully

Effy Wild is sharing a weekly Journal Jam live session in The Wilderhood (her Canadian Monday afternoon, my NZ Tuesday morning). I create spreads I would never do on my own and it's great to be led if you're feeling uninspired. Effy draws prompts and shares how she works in response to those directly in her journal, and you can follow her lead or go in a totally different direction. Find the replay HERE (April 21)
Doodle Effy started with a watersoluble marker so I decided to do the same... Dipped my hand into my box of markers with eyes closed = Pink Tombow. Started very loose!
Flip spread upside down and Add book text. I love found text. Because I am working in a recycled old book I went hunting and outlined some words with Faber Castell Ink pen and then brushed over those words with gloss gel so that if I go over the word accidentally with another medium later I should be able to clean it off. 
The words  are very appropriate for how I feel in these journal jams : light-hearted - gather - gratefully - grace. So I didn't flip the spread upside down - I will do that now for the next prompt. 
Mix your own colour Expecting that whatever I add to this page will activate the watersoluble tombow pen beneath. Followed Effy's lead of applying a glaze - this will give me a background layer. Mixed Phthalo blue and Quinacradone Red because I know a purple will work over pink if it moves. And I was running out of my first mix so used up around the page and then mixed again and of course it was slightly different.
This proves that there is always learning in your journal....I should have remembered that the paint at this point would just soaked into my old book paper. No glazing here. At least my words are saved. Still not flipping the spread until I have a decent pattern on here.
Cover something up Effy used a stencil resist with her glaze in the last prompt which I was unable to do because your paint needs to stay wet. Going to do that this time and I need light so using gold (you put the paint down and while still wet, lay stencil on the top and use baby wipe to remove paint)
Very happy with that. Now flipping the spread right way up. To be fair, I probably wouldn't have done it much differently anyway because aware of keeping those words. Effy's "cover something up" response was to add a focal stencil of a bird in black and extended it over the page with branches on impulse. I'm going to find a black focal as well. My search yielded a lovely dragonfly stencil which I combined with another to add patterning to the wings but lovely iridescent blue
Add overlapping circles Want to add some more light so was going to give white a go. Bit of a scarey move and I lost my nerve and instead added an overlapping circle stencil with iridescent violet.
That was the last prompt drawn so now it's up to me to finish and I had to sit with it for a couple of days. Finally today I got this finished and it didn't take long!
The pink bothers I sat at my desk my eyes rested on a white crayon and it turned out to be just what I'd been looking for! It injects more playfulness and movement to the spread.
Just been watching another Dina Wakley demo where she shares her very first art journal. She was writing lots that rings true with all artists about not being good enough and trying to find your own artistic style and juggling creativity with other things calling on your time. This comment totally resonated with me : Whatever the outcome, the practice and process is a thrill  ♥

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Autumn Advent Journal : Days 16-19

Sharing progress in my handmade book for April. That link will give you the background to this project. I am working with a limited colour palette and I will try and include stitching, sari ribbon and stencils on each spread. Click on any photo to see it larger.
Prompt 16 : Remember your colour palette A chance to play with favourite elements
Prompt 17 : The ways you bring this season into your home Daylight savings has ended so it's time to start slowing down at night - lighting candles - layering up - adding light to dark corners.
Prompt 18 : Gratefulness So much to be grateful for in the face of current challenges. I am most grateful every day for the lovely relationship I have with the people in my bubble and also how lucky I am to be a Kiwi. Printed a favourite quote onto my page and then surrounded it with NZ elements. 
Prompt 19 : Gifts you can give without spending money Spending time together to create lovely memories, listening carefully, telling people you love them, and reminding others of what you value about them. Couldn't believe my luck when I found this very cool couple with face masks in an old magazine!
It's ANZAC day in New Zealand today. I completed the above page today and added the poppy tape to honour that. Because we are in lockdown, New Zealanders were encouraged to assemble at the end of their driveways at 6am. My husband took his trombone out and played the last post. It was very moving and we felt connected though apart as we saw others standing outside their properties and heard the echoes of other instruments playing in their own areas. 
You may notice I've switched to Prompt instead of Day...crazily I was feeling anxious that I was 'getting behind'. Since there are only 24 prompts in this class I'm better doing them when I feel like it instead of pushing myself for daily. This way I'll finish near the end of the month and I'll have time to do my cover too. To see other spreads in this project scroll through my April posts. 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Book of Days : Autumn bliss

I haven't been posting Book of Days lessons lately but it's for lack of time rather than enthusiasm! That seems crazy in lock down but I'm keeping myself happily engaged.  I've still been inspired by Effy with Free online weekly Journal Jam sessions - I've completed 5 spreads in my art journal so far. This is a preview of what we had on offer in Book of Days for March and I've been wanting to have a go at Effy's lesson (top left)
Stabilo-all pencil blended with water and I love her already
I love using found words so it's great for me to be using an altered book for my art journal. The words found in her hair will influence my choices for the rest of the spread : She was blissfully present.
This week I managed to get her finished.
In the Northern hemisphere they are dreaming of Spring, but here in New Zealand we are in Autumn. Decided I'd find an appropriate quote next and this is perfect with the use of the word Bliss echoing the found word.
Really annoyed with myself that I forgot to protect my found words with gel medium and I got black paint on my "blissfully" word which I couldn't save with a pen so once I had my white lettering done, I painted black back over those words. It was hard to do but I would have always been annoyed if I'd left it
I decided I wanted some Autumn elements in her hair. Lovely stencil and my natural sponge so I could mix colours and I love the finished spread.  
Effy has released Book of Days 2020 for half price for the month of April! 
EDITED : Effy has extended the sale through 'till the end of May. Go HERE and USE COUPON CODE birdsofafeather. This is the year-long art journal class I have taken every year since I won the second-half-year edition in July 2016. Highly recommended. Now US$60 for the whole of 2020! Read about this class HERE and then use coupon code: birdsofafeather for your discount. THIS LINK will take you to all the work I've ever done inspired by Book of Days through the years. Be great to see you in the group.
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