Art Journal/Mixed Media

Art Journal Vol. 02 Layout 05 | Beauty in the Broken Places

Hi guys and Happy Monday! Today is back to school for us, and back to regular routine, and I am so happy about that. I am working in my art journal for today’s post, so have a look at my process:

For my layout I was inspired by the art and paintings of artist Kathe Fraga. Her blog is linked here: Kathe Fraga.

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I really wanted to create a crackled background on this piece, so I pulled out my crackle mediums and acrylic chalk paints and went to work. Those paints are available at Michael’s and AC Moore, if you live in the US, and they are typically located in the acrylic paint aisle. They are water based and really easy to work with.

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In order to bring out the beauty in the cracks created by the crackle medium, it is necessary to build up layers underneath and on top of the crackle. Then you apply the crackle medium, add a layer of contrasting color, then lighter color, on top. The cracks reveal the lovely colors underneath and add beautiful texture to your page.

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Once the background was completed, I layered flowers using the modeling paste directly on top of the cracked background.

Art Journal Vol 02 05 Broken

Of course one of my favorite parts about art journaling is applying the color to the images created by the modeling paste and stencils. I love the process of laying down the paint, letting it run about the page, lifting it back up, and laying it back down.

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I added the leaves using a gold texture paste from Faber Castell. That paste is available at Hobby Lobby and it is the thing that made this layout really pop. After I added the leaves, I went around the border of the page using the gold paste, and I added some of the paste on top of the crackled areas within the layout as well.

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My quote is just hand-written with a Sharpie marker, nothing complicated or too thought out. The original quote is from Pinterest, credit goes to BMM Poetry.

Art Journal Vol 02 05 Broken

I spoke about my emotional connection to this piece in the process video, so I do hope you will have a few minutes to have a listen and be inspired to explore the cracks both on the page and in life. Many people had such encouraging things to say about me sharing this part of my journey, and I thank you for those kind words! See you back tomorrow!

~Theresa

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Journal Vol. 02 Layout 04 On Being Brave | A Study in Contrast

Hi guys, so today’s art journaling layout is going to be a bit serious. This post may contain mention of sexual and intimate partner violence, although from the perspective of using art journaling to heal. Typically when I create my art journaling layouts, I try to come from a place of positivity and I try to use these layouts and the process to build myself up. Today’s is a bit different because I started with a black canvas and am studying some contrasts here. Take a look at my process video, and then I will chat more:

I have mentioned in the past that I am a survivor of intimate partner violence (domestic violence) in my previous marriage. Trauma is a very real part of my past and for several years I have been working through some of my pain related to that. I am a true believer that art has a tremendous ability to help us express some of the very complicated emotions that come with being a survivor.

Art Journal On Being Brave

Part of my urge to create art journals is to be able to tap into some of the art of color and texture and expression. Today’s layout, I will pre-qualify, is not meant to be pretty. I purposely began with a black canvas and then worked layers on top of that.

Art Journal On Being Brave

Sometimes, although not always, survivors find that their abuse they survived within their marriage is not the only abuse they have survived. Many women go on to learn about hidden abuse that lay dormant, hidden, in their past. When trauma occurs in childhood, frequently it becomes normalized, and unhealthy patterns of thought and behavior develop around them. Sometimes those unhealthy, but sub-conscious ways of seeing the world, set us up to be victims later on. 

Art Journal On Being Brave

This past week and month I have had to face the reality that indeed, my abuse was not only in my marriage but also in my childhood. That is all I am able to speak for now, but this art journal layout is an expression of the world around me. It is cloudy: some of it black and dark, some of it colorful and bright.

Art Journal On Being Brave

I used the tear drop stencil (from Faber Castell) to represent the tears that have been part of my whole life. Years ago a psychiatrist, based on the information I was able to give him at the time, diagnosed me with dysthymia, which is chronic depression. He asked me if I could remember a time in my life when I was ever happy, and truth is I couldn’t. Ever. Sure, there were many happy moments, and I had great parents who loved me very much, but I had always struggled with a feeling of something being wrong.

Art Journal On Being Brave

There were always people who convinced me to see the positive in life, although they now would never imagine what was happening to me in the dark. And I was able to make a good life, have beautiful children, and now have a stable marriage with a good environment.

Art Journal On Being Brave

When I look back over this layout, I find some very interesting things that happened on this page. First, notice how the girl is sparkly with her beautiful wings and her sparkly top, pretty flowered skirt, and happy brown boots. She is untouched by the darkness around her.

Art Journal On Being Brave

I added some more black as I was finishing the layout, particularly around her. She is elevated off the page, as if the darkness could not touch her. I stamped the word Brave around the page because it represents all the people who told me to be brave in my sadness, even though they had no idea what they were telling me to be brave about.

Art Journal On Being Brave

To me, as I look back over this layout, it seems as if this girl is trying to rise out of these ashes, working towards moving forward with her wings and her boots. People told me to be brave, but they never realized I already was. I already sparkled and shone, even though my wings were invisible. In this layout, they are most definitely visible. They are the brightest element on the page, and rightly so. 

Art Journal On Being Brave

I know this is not the prettiest art journal layout in the world; it is not intended to be. Sometimes what we are processing is dark and difficult, and there are no pretty colors for those times. I hope you will try something like this for yourself and see where the medium takes you. Thank you for being here today, and for watching and reading. See you tomorrow.

~Theresa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Journal Vol. 02 | Let It Be (The Beatles)

Hi guys! Happy Monday to you and let’s jump right in on my art journal project. Have a look at today’s process:

I began with a thick rough layer of gesso and then embossed a toile stamp in clear embossing powder to create a resist underneath. On top of that I added some of Art C’s texture paste for the gelatos to settle into.

Art Journal Vol 02 Let It Be

This is how beautifully the texture paste takes on the colors.

Art Journal Vol 02 Let It Be

I also layered on some papers and washi tapes to create more interest on the background. The butterfly gift wrap is from Papyrus, it is actually one I have had for a long time, and the music note washi tape is Heidi Swapp. The solid color washis are Scotch brand.

Art Journal Vol 02 Let It Be

Of course everything is covered with a thin layer of gesso, and then I added flowers and butterflies using modeling paste and gesso.

Art Journal Vol 02 Let It Be

This time I used watercolors to add the color to the stenciled images. I have to admit it was not my favorite way to add that color. I find watercolors make great washes, but they don’t run very well! I most definitely recommend Tim Holtz’ distress paints for that as they are much thicker and the color has more staying power. However, the watercolors do still create wonderful blends of color, even if they aren’t as vibrant as I had anticipated. And of course, the purpose of art journaling is to embrace the unexpected!

Art Journal Vol 02 Let It Be

Once I had all my layers added and was happy with the colors and the textures, I added my quote. I was completely inspired by this quote from the old Beatles song, “Let It Be.” Once again, my One Little Word is showing up in my journaling, with a gentle reminder that the light is still there inside me.

Art Journal Vol 02 Let It Be

I used a plain old paint pen from Elmer’s to write the lyrics and could not believe I have not tried writing with these before! I absolutely love the color and how smoothly it went onto the surface. My only fault was that it turned out the modeling paste was not quite as dry as I thought it was, so the paint pen ran a little at the bottom. 

Art Journal Vol 02 Let It Be

I hope you are enjoying this art journaling process with me! I am learning so much and even though I don’t have it figured out in any way, there is still so much value in creating these layouts and in sharing them with you. See you tomorrow for Project Life 2016!

~Theresa

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Journal Volume 02 | Luminous

Hi there and happy Monday to you! My art journal today is inspired by an image of a woman that I found in one of the travel brochures we picked up in Charleston. Have a look at my process and then I will share a little more about it:

I began with a layer of tissue paper that came from my store purchase at a place called Luna, on King Street in Charleston. I wrinkled and textured the tissue papers on purpose, and then layered gesso on top.

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I then layered the magazine image on top of the tissue paper, along with the doily and the paper strips.

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I also hand painted the flowers in contrasting colors. Notice that even though I chose a color scheme to begin with, I sort of just let the journal page lead me where it wanted to go.

Art Journal Vol 02 Luminous

I struggled a bit with the painting. First I wanted to try circles, and in the video you saw me paint purple and green circles on the page. They were ok, but not really making me happy, so I left the layout overnight and came back in the morning. In the morning I realized across the top of the page the tissue had left this lovely swirl and the paint had drawn into those crevices. That inspired me to repeat the swirls across the page.

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I also gained more confidence to add more circles and swirls and I made sure they all directed your eye towards the main image, the woman in the photo. Once everything was completed on the background, I added my quote. This quote inspired me because of the word Luminous. This year for my One Little Word project I chose the word Shine, and as part of that exercise I did a word study. Surprisingly, the word Luminous did not appear in that word study, but it did appear through my search for a quote to use here.

Art Journal Vol 02 Luminous

I did not fuss too much with my handwriting, I just wrote it as it came to me. My hope is to develop my own distinct handwriting that is not influenced by others, and so you will see me try different things out in the process of this journal.

Art Journal Vol 02 Luminous

I love this process so much. Every outcome is a pleasant surprise, and a journey to arrive. I did not know for sure what this image of this lady was telling me, but through the process of journaling I figured it out and put it to paper. I hope you feel that you are luminous today, too, because you are. Your energy and your spirit do indeed shine brightly, so don’t let anyone tell you any different. See you tomorrow!

~Theresa

Art Journal Vol. 02 Entry 01 | The Flower and the Bee

Hello Lovelies! Happy Monday to you! I am so excited because I decided to start a new art journal and cannot wait to share with you. Have a look at my process:

Here is the completed layout:

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I was inspired by the brush strokes on the wrapping paper, so after I gessoed the paper in the journal, I added some random brush strokes in similar colors as the background.

Art Journal Vol 02 Entry 01

Then I layered paper, flower tags, and butterflies onto the background. I created one major focal point on the right hand side here:

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And the second cluster at the top here. Once the glue dried I added a light layer of gesso on top:

Art Journal Vol 02 Entry 01

Using my brush ben from Faber Castell I added my sentiment in my handwriting. In highsight, the name is written in a brush size that does not really match up scale-wise, but it is ok. It is only an art journal layout so perfection is not the point or the desired result! Just embrace what you have accomplished.

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I added a simple date stamp, something I had been leaving off before, and this one is done. Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite part of this layout is! And then go have a great productive and scrappy week. See you tomorrow!

~Theresa