About Me

Friday, May 20, 2011



I've just completed Week 2 of the Strathmore Workshop Series 3 of art journalling techniques with Roz Stendahl.  The assignment was to build upon some of the papers from the first week using layers and layers of mixed media to create a journal page spread.  I actually began with new background pages in my watercolor paper SVJ
(Strathmore Visual Journal) because the Sketchbook Challenge theme was resist and I was curious to learn which of my color media could work as resists.  Here's my process, but be aware I wasn't dutiful about taking notes and that I likely used more than one color of the various products.

1. Pigmented acryllic ink over resists
Resists were oil pastels (loosely applied to let background color show through), acryllic dabber

(Adirondack), Mica Magic ink, and acryllic paint.

2. First layerings
torn pieces of hand dyed, unbleached coffee filter;

small circles stencilled with pigment ink pads through plastic litterbox liner -- the liner itself then applied as stamp; used postage stamps commemorating scouting and a repro Depression era poster enlisting women to aid in famine relief, dauber splats.


3. Muting background color
coffee stain over pix; chalk smudging, spray with Tattered Angels

6. More layering, muting
Background colors and designs were still too bold. I applied bits of aqua colored tissue paper, followed by a thinned down coat of gesso, then dabbed up from the center and onto other parts of the pages. Wrote in central area with sepia pigment pen, then added random shreds from tea dyed cheesecloth for texture and for partial concealment of writing. A final spritz with terra cotta stain before adding torn strips of tea dyed muslin lettered with my theme: values passed down from the grandparents I never knew.





Saturday, May 07, 2011


First assignment for the Strathmore Visual Journal Workshop, Series 3 is to build layers of background color & interest for several journal pages. For this I'm working in my Strathmore Visual Journal, 140#watercolor, 9x12 and a Canson sketchbook of the same size but paper not really suited to wet mixed media.  Our instructor, Roz Stendahl suggested we experiment different journal papers, so later I'll try some of the other SVJ's   Here's what I've done so far on these 2-page spreads.  The colors are not showing properly!
VSJ: washed with Golden fluid acryllic paint, hansa yellow medium, & water spritzed.
The Sketchbook was the same in color, which is sunnier than above shows, btw.

Top-VSJ:  overwashed with Tim Holtz/Ranger Distress dye ink, dried marigold.
Bottom- is the sketchbook; it took on more color than the watercolor paper.
SKbk:  overwashed with Dylon Coldwater dye, camelia.  I've had it around a couple of years; I use it for staining papers and fabric now.  It absorbed faster than I could blot,so I got a brighter stain than I wanted.  I used it more sparingly in the SVJ, which you can see below on the right side.
The left pages have been washed with diluted walnut ink and quickly blotted up.  It left a yechy, drab stain which is why  I did not use the walnut ink on the right.  I did give a slight spritz to all pages with some diluted walnut ink in terra cotta.  And somewhere early on a gave a spritz of red Smooch, just a touch -- probably doesn't show up.

This is the step before the walnut ink treatments.  I made marks with a scrap of cardboard, inking the corrugated side with a Brilliance pigment ink pad in pearlescent coral.  It was then that I spritzed with red Smooch.
Top- Skbk; bottom - SVJ
This is how my VSJ watercolor pages look so far.  I stencilled dots using the center cut from a catbox liner, the kind with holes in the center that you layer over a solid liner.  You clean the box by lifting the holey liner which strains the litter back in the box.  I found it easier to simply scoop, so I stopped using the layered liner system.  The violet is a ColorBox catseye in sunflower -- no, wait!  I must have switched lids.  The  orchid dots are Brilliance pearlescent orchid.  You'll note a little flower motif here and there?  I used the plastic mold from a gel air freshener.
And here I am with the sketchbook pages at present.  More to come.

Friday, May 06, 2011


Quite a lapse since my last entry!  I have not been away.  I have not been ill.  I have been playing with mixed media and journalling.  I have been studying, reading books and blogs and watching video tutorials. And I have been learning more about myself.

The second in the Strathmore Visual Journal Online Workshop (see badge left margin) series came and went, and although the instruction was fine, it was basic with techniques I had learned elsewhere.  The teaching did, however, meld nicely with Sarah Whitmire's Soul Journalling Prompts (see badge left margin), which I highly recommend  - so much so I joined the Yahoo Group.  Here are a couple of wip pages.
Here I carved a piece of foam and used it as a stamp to create basic lines of a folk art bird.  It actually looked pretty cool with just the white lines against the aqua background, but the idea here was for me to experiment with different products for coloring.  For the bottom bird I used markers, Sharpies and Gel pens.  The small dotted circles of the body were from the the stamp.  I used the end of a pen with a hollow center to push into the foam board.  I colored the middle bird with pencil and drew the little bird at the top with crayon.  As for the layering process I first applied torn bits of aqua tissue, then stamped, then colored the birds, then  appled strips of
ephemera paper pre-dyed with leftover cold water dye from another project, and snippets of a cotton print (right & wrong sides).  I dabbed watercolor washes, followed by additional washes with Twinkling H2O's and then  pen tip dots with metallic & acryllic paints.

A couple of notes about the watercolors I used.  I heard Twinkling H2O's are discontinued, so I bought as many different ones as I could here.  I found this great tutorial  by Marah Johnson when I was looking for directions for the Twinklings in my stash so old I forgot why I bought them and how to use them.  They still work, btw!
The Koh-i-noor watercolors I used on both journal pages I bought as a travel set.  I knew nothing about them, but for the incredibly low price ($5.15) I couldn't go wrong.  Guess what -- money well spent!  I'm liking them a lot, especially for the portability.  I keep them in my computer desk and can use them on the spot with my Nija waterbrushes which I really, really love!  

This is the result of a doodled line.  I stared at it until I could see a picture, inked the lines and watercolored.  Please keep in mind both pages are unfinished.