The sacrament – and my process

I was away last weekend and didn’t work in my art journals, but did get plenty of art time to work on more Hokitika Gorge paintings. But I miss the freedom that comes with an art journal, where the process matters more than the outcome. I’m not sure I’ve ever documented my process for a layout like this, so will try to capture it.

Before I do though, this is another song by HIM, with Ville Valo singing. HIM disbanded a while back and Ville has moved on, but I still love their music. The lyrics, often quite dark, really speak to me. Villa reads a lot, including poetry and classics, and his writing frequently includes references to religion and Edgar Allan Poe’s works.

This layout was done in my small Dylusions journal, which means there’s no need to gesso the pages as they’re really strong and colours generally don’t bleed through.

Using ink blender foams I put down Dylusions paints in Polished jade, Lemon Zest and Vibrant turquoise. Using the same colours and the ink blenders, I stencilled using Dylusions Teardrops, Squares and Diamond in the Rough – I use each colour, and each stencil, in all three sections.

Once that was dry I used Distress Collage Medium to glue down the magazine cut-out, leaving a medium strip of gel medium around it. Next, I blend a shadow in once the gel is dry, using a walnut Pitt Big Brush Pen to outline the collage. The slickness of the gel means you can blend out the pen, which is India Ink, if you work quickly.

I write out my words – often song lyrics or my thoughts – and print double spaced. I insert a line at the top of the Word doc so I know how wide each line can be and adjust my font size to fit; for the small journal 10.5cm works well for me. I roughly cut out each line and use a foam blender and Black soot Distress Ink to ink the edges to take away the harshness of the white paper.

I put them aside and use Archival ink in black to stamp the title with Dylusions Dy’s alphabet stamp set and Stamper’s Anonymous Tim Holtz Tall Text stamps. While the lettering is drying I use Tombow glue to adhere the text strips; I’m not too fussy about lining them up, spacing etc. Once they’re down and the stamping ink is dry, I use a broad tip white Signo pigment ink pen to add highlights to the stamped letters.

sacrament 20190914

For the love of HIM

Some songs & bands are my ‘go to’ when I’m in my office working, or at home creating. HIM is one of those; I love Ville Valo’s gravely voice and the band’s dark lyrics speak to me. Sadly, they went their separate ways a couple of years ago.

I enjoy recording the music I love in my art journals and, for anyone that cares enough to read it, the lyrics tell you a lot about me and what goes in on my head.

As an aside, Ville has joined with Finnish band The Agents and they released a single late last year. I just tracked it down and I’m horrified; it’s in Finnish so I can’t understand the words but it sounds like Abba! I was hoping for more dark music that would speak to me, but no…

Dylusions — small journal. Paint: Mushy peas, Laidback lilac, Rose quartz. Stencils: Squares, Star struck, Spring flowers. Stamps: Dy’s alphabet. Other – Stamps: Tim Holtz Tall Text, Distress ink, white gel pen, Pitt Big Brush Marker, Distress collage medium.

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HIM tribute album

A few years back I was introduced to the band HIM via the wonderful artist Michelle Ward. Tony and I both loved HIM instantly and have most of their albums. Tony just likes the sound, I think, but there’s something in their lyrics that speaks to my heart. I have often used their words in my journal pages.

Recently they announced a worldwide tour (but, sadly, not to NZ) and that they’re disbanding. I am pleased they’re going on to other creative adventures, but I will miss their presence in my life. I’ve decided to do a small art journal – just 14cm square –  featuring all the lyrics that speak so much to me. Here’s the first two pages.

i'm draininglet me weep

Using HIM lyrics

I’ve been listening to music while playing in my art journal so I guess it was inevitable the lyrics would appear in my journaling. This is from the HIM album “Digital Venus Doom”, and the song is “In joy and sorrow”. Writer and lead singer Ville Vallo’s songs probably seem quite dark at first glance but they have always spoken to me of the redemption love brings.

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