Hi Everyone. Happy Sunday.
I have something completely different for you tonight. A little while ago I spoke about my urge to do some "art journaling". I really wanted to try using my supplies in a different way. HOWEVER, "ART" isn't something that fits into my vocabulary. I am, by definition, a card maker. I love making cards. If you had asked me 7 years ago if I would be blogging and sharing cards that I had spent hours making by hand I would, absolutely, have said NO!!!! An emphatic NO! Me. Paper? Scissors? Inks? Pens? NO! NEVER! Yet, because of a chance discussion with a colleague, here I am.
I consider myself a card maker. I am not a paper crafter. I am a card maker. I am a clean and simple card maker. I like straight lines. I like orderliness. I like lots of white space on my cards and I love a "focal point". I don't like getting my fingers inky. I like a clean and orderly space and I wouldn't change any of that. Or would I?
A little while ago I discovered the term "art journaling" and decided that it was something that intellecutally... no, artistically....appealed to me. I really liked the idea of taking all of the things that I had learned in my card making over the years and expanding that out. Finding other uses for my supplies, and finding new techniques and experimenting with foreign media.... what on earth was gesso? What was Fiber Paste? What on earth was Gel Medium and what on earth were Gelato's.
Once, many decades ago, I did a painting of a very bare, almost ghostly, tree and found that it was nominated by my art teacher to be part of a multi-school display in our city art gallery. Never did I ever imagine that my bleak painting would be selected to be a part of that display. I was astonished. I was shocked. I was thrilled. I was proud. I was embarrassed. Why was I embarrassed? Simply because my tree was in no way comparable to the amazing art works that were submitted - and selected - for dispay. My tree did not belong in that gallery.
Fast forward many decades. The thought of taking paint and putting it onto ANYTHING scared the living daylights out of me. My dearest friend Pammie is the artistic one. My brother was the artistic one. Both of them have an eye of detail, an amazing capacity to compose a scene. The ability to draw. Eyes. Flowers. Houses. Whatever... they could draw and I couldn't.
So..... what on earth made me want to do something with paint and all sorts of things I knew nothing about? I'll tell you. I decided it was time I stopped giving in to those voices in my head. I wasn't just a CARD MAKER... I CREATED. We all do! If we take something and make something totally different out of it... we are creators. If I could create a card out of nothing, then I shouldn't be afraid to create SOMETHING out of paint and other materials.
I ordered a small Moleskine book and bought a couple of supplies that I didn't have, however, I had NO idea what to do with it. Then, the Simon Says Stamp card kit for September 2014 arrived and the theme - BOOKS absolutely appealed to me and I realized that I could finally find a reason to create an art journal page.
I am an avid reader. I was an avid book collector. Lou will tell you that when I moved in with him I arrived with 47 boxes of books. That is 47 VERY LARGE boxes of books. I shipped those boxes from South Africa to Singapore. I shipped them from Singapore to California. I shipped them from California to Minnesota. I LOVED those books. Art books. Novels. Philosophy books. Sociology books. Psychology books. Biographies. Auto-biographies. Poetry. Nature. You name a genre - and I had it. I lost myself in books. Looking at all of those books that I had purchased, read, stored and cherished brought me an immense amount of joy.
My books were arranged by genre, by author, by title. Leafing through the books even when they had been read and re-read, brought me immense joy. In the end, I decided to donate my books to our local library. I kept some, but most of them were donated in the hope that someone else could experience the pleasure that I had from each and every single page.
I blame my mother for the love of books and reading. Thank you, Mom! When I was young books were expensive and, because we didn't have much money, they were very scarce. Consequently when I grew up and was able to afford to buy books of my own, I cherished and stored every single one of them. There is still something about reading a physical book as opposed to an e-reader and I was reminded of that in the last couple of weeks when I read two books that Rach had donated to me. Thank you, Rach. I so enjoyed them.
So..... what has ALL of this have to do with my page. If you are still with me in this blog post... thank you... I promise you that all of this has something to do with my post. :-) When I found the amazing book related DSPs amongst the Simon Says Stamp card kit, I immediately started to make an "art journal" page. I was nervous and knew so little about mediums.... but I was determined to give it a go.
I started with sheets of Stampin' Up! DSP that has newspaper text.... can you see it - underneath the coatings of matte medium?
I then coated it with distress ink and add other elements. My main element was cutouts from some of the DSP that had file drawers on it and combined that with file tabs and added to it another element from the kit..... a library card. Oh.. how I remember those!
I covered the file drawers with a glossy medium to add shine - just as the file cabinets in a library were. Two other elements drew my attention.... coffee and time. How often do we go into Starbucks and see people reading, drinking coffee and spending time ...... it's a wonderful way to spend time. So, I added those elements.
Coffee rings made from modeling paste mixed with distress inks and a Tim Holtz stencil.
A time stencil mixed with more modeling paste and more Ranger's inks.
Lou was the one who said to me that I needed a way to showcase some of the talented writers whose books had graced my shelves. I wasn't sure how to do that. Then, I thought about the library cards and decided that I could write the names of some of those authors on those. Thank you, Lou!
Then, I added some more.
All that was left was to create a central sentiment and that was a no-brainer for me. I pulled out some Kelly Purkey alphabet stickers from prior Simon Says Stamp card kits and adhered them to my page.
Here is the entire double page:
I know that my Mother would have hearitly approved of that sentiment! Books transport us. They take us into realms of fantasy of lives so far removed from our own. I love to read. I love to make cards. Making this art journal page, I realized I love to create. Is it perfect? NO! Could I have done better? Of course! BUT.... this art piece reflects me. It reflects my feelings. It reflects an integral part of me. It was hard. It was exhilerating. It was satisfying. Even with all of its flaws, I am happy with it.
I got my fingers inky. Nothing is straight. My writing isn't beautiful - but it's mine! I am so happy that a chance discussion over dinner with Lauren, 8 years ago, led me to card making. I am so glad that I gave into the urge to try something different and open an art book and create something.
I really hope that sharing this blog post with you will encourage you to try something different. Even if you think you can't. Even if you don't consider yourself an artist, a creator.... the fact that we look at a blank piece of card stock and create a card - that is creating. We are, intrinsically, artists. What is an artist? Here is the definition from the Oxford English Dictionary:
"The expression or application of human creative skilland imagination, typically in a visual form such aspainting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power."
My art page might be considered naive. It might be considered to be lacking in depth and artistic expression. However, it is mine. It came from my mind. I had an image in my head and I pushed aside all the negativity about my abilities - or lack thereof, and gave into the sheer joy of creating. It was wonderful! It was amazingly freeing and seeing that page gave me the encouragement to go onto the next page!
If you have been thinking about journaling but have been unsure where to begin. Find something that inspires you. Flowers. Birds. Your children. A flower. A memory. A film. A book. A car. Anything. Use the techniques that have become familiar to you and open that book and begin an extension of your creative journey. :-)
I'll be back on Tuesday with another creation:-)
As always, thank you so much for your support. Your comments. Your emails. They are much appreciated. Warm hugs and prayers for those of you who need a little lift tonight.
Art journal page components:
- Library cards, library drawers, book genre tags - Simon Says Stamp September Card kit
- Alphabet stickers: Kelly Purkey - Simon Says stamp card kits
- DSP: newsprint - Stampin' Up!
- Stencils: Tim Holtz
- Inks: Ranger
- Tools: Modeling Paste, Gesso, Matte Medium, Gel Medium. Faber Castell pens