I bought myself one of the small 6×6 Dina Wakley journals, which have lovely thick watercolour paper, and the new Art by Marlene Artsy Arabia paper elements. Love them! I’m having so much fun playing in this smaller format with the Dina Wakley gloss sprays, DWM acrylic paints, a few stencils and the paper elements.
I’ve been inspired by Niamh Baly on YouTube lately and she’d been making windows in her Dina Wakley art journal. Ok then!! I’ve just got some new Dina Wakley MEdia paints and stencils – okay okay – and collage tissue and glass sprays – from Fiona at Create in Auckland so was all set for some playtime. It was fun linking the three pages together by making sure the window on the burlap page worked with the layouts on either side. It’s something I can see me doing more of, especially with the burlap pages.
Today’s artist is the lovely and talented artist Mary Beth Shaw, creator of StencilGirl Stencils. I own a *lot* of their stencils, and love them, so was delighted to see Mary Beth’s name pop up. Most of the work I do for #cjs each year is in a cheap A5 journal; today’s piece is one of those times when I wish I’d worked on better paper. Damn it!
Today’s #cjs20 artist was Marsha Valk, whose colourful work I’ve seen (and liked) before. Her entire project wasn’t something I wanted to tackle in an evening so I used elements of her style to decorate a manilla folder. I use plain brown manilla folders for storing collage elements, painted papers, gelli prints etc so this was a useful project and a lot of messy fun.
The day 13 #cjs20 artist was Mystele Kirkeeng – I love the textural quality of her work so was delighted to see her name pop up. I decided to concentrate on her mark making and background style so did the dress but skipped the face. (I’m also playing catch up with posting as Tony has been away so I got a bit behind)
I have music on most of the time – at home, in my car, in my office… music keeps my brain busy so that I can concentrate on whatever I’m doing. I know that sounds odd – but it’s common with addicts, including food addicts like myself.
I listen to a wide range of music from opera to rock and hip hop. Favourites include HIM, Queen, P!nk, Meatloaf, Kiss and Nickelback. I often record the lyrics in my art journals. Why? Because my journals are about the things in my life and in my head – and music is a big part of that.
Dylusions – Paint: After midnight, Calypso teal, Mushy peas. Stencils: Diamonds in the rough, Shutters, Squares. Stamps: Dy’s alphabet. Other – Pitt big brush pen, Ranger collage medium, Distress black soot ink, black Archival ink, white gel pen.
I taught an art journal class on Thursday night and a gelli print class on Saturday in Greymouth, through Left Bank Art Gallery. The classes were held at CoRe, a fantastic community facility run by Cassandra Struve, one of those people who has so much passion for community development and can see the possibilities then act on them.
Some of the people who attended didn’t want to be photographed, which is fine, so these photos are entirely representative. People seemed to get a lot out of it and enjoy the processes. I had brunch with Penny Kirk yesterday and spotted a women who had attended the gelli class. I said hi and she told me she’s already turning her gelli prints into cards and will be buying her own gelli plate.
I’m already talking with Cassandra about running more classes in the new year, taking people to the next level with art journals and printing. As I said to Tony this morning, it’s funny that when you travel away you quite often get more support than at home. Perhaps when you’re local people assume you don’t have much to offer, or figure they can catch you any time?
Here’s a few photos of the classes and what people created. Enjoy!
Developing a body of work is a strongly iterative process for me. I start with an idea and play with it, refining and revising until I have a huge pile of works, especially if I’m working on paper. Perhaps only 30% of those works will make the final cut.
The final works often bear no resemblance to the initial ones; sometimes I can only ‘feel’ the linkages, not really see them. But the linkages are there, because each work is a visual representation of the ideas in my head. When I am deeply engrossed in a body of work there are repeating colours, shapes, lines and patterns that appear over and over, often without my being aware of it at the time.
My process is really about the process, not the final image. A lot of my current works are small – either A6 (4.5×6”) or A5 (9×6”) on beautiful Hahnemuhle watercolour paper. I might have 10 or 20 pieces of paper on the go all at once. I put down colour on each piece in layers, then work back into them making marks, adding patterns or collage – back and forth amongst the pile, strewing them all round me as I work. It’s messy and intuitive.
Choosing pieces for on the advertising ahead of time is stressful because I don’t know what the final works will be. But choose I must – and I have. Dimmie, who I am exhibiting with, is going to produce the poster etc with her awesome design skills.
The photos show some of the possible works, and a pile of works I’ve done to date.
The journaling on this page tells the story!
This is the first layout in a new 5×8″ Dylusions journal – I love the high quality stock for working on. I used Dylusions paints (Periwinkle blue, Vibrant turquoise, Mushy peas), stencils (Diamonds in the rough, Teardrops, Squares) and stamps (Dy’s alphabet), letter stamps (Tim Holtz tall text), Pitt Big Brush pen in walnut, Distress Ink in black soot for the edges of the journal strips, Ranger Distress collage medium & Tombow Mono adhesive. The image is from an old magazine – I keep files of people, buildings, angels, religious icons and flowers.
I’m also teaching an art journal class in Greymouth next month and, as with gelli printing, participants get a pack to get them started. When I teach art journaling its about how to get going, tips and tricks, making it your own.
Why do I art journal? It’s a fun, creative outlet with no rules. It is whatever I want it to be on the day; writing or no writing, paint or collage, personal thoughts – found word poems – song lyrics, deep and meaningful or light-hearted.
I write down the things that are in my heart and soul; sometimes I leave it so it can be read, other times I journal in such a way that even I can’t re-read it. My journals are a trusted friend where I pour out my feelings and work through anything that’s bothering me. I frequently record song lyrics – I love recording the music I listen to – and often there’s a message in the song I chose on the day.
Here’s a fairly random selection of pages I have created in the last 2 or 3 years. I hope you enjoy the variety of colours, styles and imagery.