Hi Everyone. Happy Tuesday. I hope you are all having a great week.
At the end of last year I promised myself that I would start to use all of the mixed media materials that I had purchased in the hope that I was going to - somehow - become an expert at mixed media!
Couple of problems with that:
- I hate getting my hands dirty
- I hate getting anything sticky on my hands (including cake mixture)
- I'm constantly washing paint palettes, brushes - and my hands - and it gets exhausting going backwards and forwards to the sink every 3 minutes
- I'm not really very artistic - my brother and my besties Pam and John got that gene
- I did a couple of pages that were such a disaster I said never again
- I don't understand a whole lot about how all of these mixed media things work together and, even though I paid for Donna Downey's 48 weeks course..... I'm still not that good with the mediums. Not Donna's fault I might add... she does a great job - it's just the points above this one kind of make it difficult for me to get any practice in.
So... now that you know all of that... why did I try again? Sheer lunacy, I think :-) Actually, it's because I hate giving up on things and I will never get better if I don't try. So... I have done 3 art journal layouts - one in my small journal (the one I'm sharing tonight) and two in my mega Moleskine, which I will share in the coming weeks.
This layout took me forever to get right - and it's all in knowing what mediums will work with what. I began with a layout sketch. The inspiration for the page came from my cats who are always seeking out the sun. You always know where Bilbo is - all you have to do is check out which part of the house the sun is in at that moment. The other inspiration - Charlie. He LOVES water... he's fascinated by water - and he even watches snowflakes fall. However - he HATES to get wet.
Here's the layout idea I had and the subsequent line drawing:
You can see the overall idea... sun shining from the top right hand corner.... cats sitting on various levels of the wall - and a little scattering of mice. I really wanted to get lots of texture on my page... it helps to add interest - and also helps me to find out what works and what doesnt with the media I was experimenting with.
Let's break down a couple of elements for you:
This is, of course, Bailey! He always has a very surprised look on his face and it was wonderful to create his image on the page... you can see the black raindrops coming out of that very fluffly cloud. You can also see the sun peeking out and the wonderful texture on the back of the page.
But.... this is the best texture of all. I was SO happy with the way the wall turned out. I used a TCW stencil, some modeling paste and some distress inks to get just the right color of brick. Of course, I had to sneak in a mouse - with a very long tail, which I fussy cut! The mice were very naughty... they decided to leave some graffiti on the wall:-)
Isn't that texture fabulous? I love the way the mouse is looking backwards and upwards - as is Charlie. He's generally curled up in this position, but is always very aware of my voice and presence so he often has one eye open. Of course, you can see the graffiti - and the rain drops coming Charlie's way.
Bilbo is the last of the cats to grace this page. He is an adorable cat, but has the grumpiest face sometimes - so this stamp was perfect for him. You can see that he is not happy about the raindrops coming from the cloud.
On this view, you can see the sun, the clouds, Bilbo and Bailey - and the rest of the mouse graffiti, which reads "catz drool". Perfect to match the "Mize Rool" on the other page :-)
Here's a view of the left hand page. I cut the tree from some SU textured card stock I have had for ever. My Silhouette cut the tree out beautifully. Once I adhered the tree, I used paints to color the apples and then some crystal effects to give them shine.
Here's the right hand page:
I really do love the texture and the color of the bricks. The arrangement of the mice and the cats works so well with the clouds and rain. I hadn't intended to go that direction when I did the original layout - but the cats and mice looking up made me think that they really needed something to be looking at - and the rain stencil and clouds seemed the perfect thing. I messed up the application of the modeling paste on the brick wall - right in the middle of the page - it was drying much slower than I thought and I messed it up trying to repair it. But... it was a welcome accident, as I think the wall looks better with some patches where "repairs have been undertaken" :-) It reminds me of the walls of the houses when I was a kid... a lot of them had been bombed and looked just like this wall.
Here's the full spread:
The tree didn't quite work the way I wanted it to... but that's one of the lessons I learned whilst creating this layout. I also learned a lot about shading and how great markers are for doing that. Also... with the craziness that is going on in my life right now - especially with the absolutely insanity at work... it is good for me to remember that I have to keep calm and love the rainy days - literally and metaphorically :-)
I hope my story about this journey has inspired you to try something different - including creating an art journal page. I will continue to share my pages with you - both in my large journal and in my small one. I found that my large journal is being filled with pages that have tremendous significance for me - and my small pages will be left for those fun pages.
I'll be back later in the week with another card. In the meantime, warm hugs and prayers for those of you who need a little lift tonight.
Art journal page recipe:
- Stamps: Katzelcraft Cats
- Journal: Moleskine
- Stencils: Crafters Workshop Brick. Simon Says Stamp Raindrops
- Paints: Acrylic paints
- Markers: Pitt and Copic