Category Archives: Collage
The majority of this page was actually completed on the first of December– the first day I was allowed to do art for a very long time. (I had been mired in Renaissance faire preparations, the faires themselves, NaNoWriMo brainstorming, and finally, a very unsuccessful NaNoWrimo.) I was supposed to spend time with friends, so I brought my journal and a small box of scraps. I managed to use to eye-jarring red page I’ve been rather less than enamored with, and I enjoyed myself, even if I didn’t really have a theme in mind. (And then… the rest of December hit full force, rife with cleaning and dog sitting and car complications).
I decided the bright colors, though not typically me, were a good fit for my hopes in this upcoming year. I may take a sharpie to it and add a title and a year, and I most certainly plan to attempt a better photo *grumble grumble* but otherwise, I think I’m satisfied.
Challenge: Somewhere in this page is the strangest bit of something I’ve ever included in my artwork. See if you can spot it, and why it’s so odd.
Yet another swap on swap-bot, but this time within a group. It was recommended I’d encounter far fewer flakers within the group swaps, so I’m trying it out. I was afraid I was going to be moving soon, so I avoided swaps, but this one I couldn’t resist! The idea was to put at least four poems in a booklet, decorate the cover, and send it through the mail with no envelope– thus the “naked” part. As usual, I went overboard.
I decided to make the booklet by hand (trying coptic binding for the first time) and using the techniques from Samantha Kira’s Wish Journal workshop to make the pages. THEN I decided to glue the poems in line by line. AND fill the booklet. The last 24 hours before mailing had a whole lot more stress than sleep, as you might imagine. The cover was a bit dull, but I feel the inside makes up for it. It’s far from perfect — crooked lines and loose binding, glue smudges and fonts I forgot to change after copying and pasting into a document for printing– but I really love the poetry I chose, including poems by Pablo Neruda, Nikki Giovanni, Mark Jarman, Eve Merriam, and others. Click the thumbnails if you’d like to read them.
Tuesday was just an all around good day. By the end of it, I knew I had to do a journal page about it. I didn’t actually start until Wednesday night, and didn’t decide on adhesives till the next day, which is why it isn’t going up until tonight. I am REALLY pleased with it though.
Granted, it looks like I stole it from Samantha Kira’s journal, haha. Oh well. I think it was the bright colors– not my usual fare, but it just fit. I picked the cheeriest background I had prepared, and then, on a whim, I tried the gauzy orange paper stuff (not sure what it’s called, but I like it!). When I first received it, I was dubious. It was ORANGE. I’m not a fan of orange. But it just… worked. And then I tried other stuff from my scrap file, and found the pink color someone sent me ages ago. And what do you know? It looked GOOD. And then it dawned on me with the ink writing, and the bright colors, it was definitely like something Samantha Kira would do. I panicked briefly, but then I just shrugged and went with it. I was having fun. And I’m enough of a fan, a tribute page couldn’t hurt. So there you are.
Today, I’ve been just a little too sick to get much done, which is fairly demoralizing. It should take more than a sniffle to derail my plans. However, after a few small errands, I found myself wanting to curl up and sleep at work, and realized the likelihood of me getting anything done was slim. I’ve thus spent my evening perusing various online distractions, mostly art related.
During my perusing, I noticed a trend in the pieces I was drawn to: all of them had tightly clustered bunches of collage. And then I thought back to where things went wrong last night. It was fine when I was getting ready to glue, but by the time I had more than a smidgen of paint, it went down-hill. So… maybe I’m overusing the paint? I’m still not sure how to proceed from here (or when I’ll have the energy) but I’m open to thoughts. Do I overuse paint? How can I incorporate this “collage cluster” thing that seems to appeal to me? And just what does one do about a yucky page?
So I finished that page, but I am NOT happy with it, which is really disappointing as it was supposed to be the sort of page I could look back on and pick myself up if I was feeling low. Except… now I don’t even want to look at it at all. Figures.
The page started with how I was feeling sunday night after Koby left. I was feeling really down, and just… lonely. Only it wasn’t registering in my mind as “I miss Koby.” It was translating as “Sigh. As usual, no one is there. I wish someone cared.” And then suddenly, I was flabbergasted. For over a week, I was literally INUNDATED with love. Countless hugs, sweet and uplifting words, little gifts, a really big gift, sitting with me through my back pain– basically, more than I could possibly quantify. My thoughts were entirely illogical. So… this page was a reminder to myself about the difference between missing people and being unloved. Only, as I said, I hate how it turned out. I wonder now if I should paint over it and redo it.
It started out so well too. I used a background that was previously prepared, and when I laid the lined paper and scrapbook paper on it, it looked lovely. But then the paper didn’t stay white like I planned, and the lettering is awful, and then I kept adding, and it only got worse. So… I don’t know what I’m going to do now.
I mentioned in the last post that I’d registered for Samantha Kira’s Wish Journal Workshop, so as promised, I’ll tell you a little more about it, and how it’s going so far.
I deliberated about it for a few weeks. On the one hand, I’ve been following her work and her YouTube videos for a little while, and I really enjoy them. Plus, I just love her spirit and helpful nature. Not to mention her art is lovely. However, I’ve been dancing on the edge of “broke.” Not there yet, but between TWO car repairs and computer issues, Christmas gifts, valentines, and a birthday (ok, and some personal indulgences) I had dipped heavily into my savings. I had put my spending on hiatus (aside from gas money). But… it was only $20 (as compared to the $45-$70 range I often see). And it was her first paid workshop, so I really really wanted to support her. I decided I’d get an outside opinion. So I explained the situation, and then the conversation went something like this:
Koby: I think you should but first you need to promise not to get frustrated or give up.
Cassandra: I promise.
Cassandra: *offers her pinky*
Koby: Put your hand on your heart and cross your eyes.
Cassandra: *covers her heart and stares at her nose*
Koby: Now repeat after me. “Spiders snakes and a lizards head–“
Cassandra: “Spiders snakes and a lizards head–“
Koby: “If I quit, I’ll die till I’m dead.”
Cassandra: “If I quit, I’ll die till I’m dead.”
And there you have it. I’m bound by oath and pinky-promise to finish the class, and to remain in a cheery, positive mood. Thus far, I have!
Right now, I’m finishing up the page backgrounds. I mixed a full bottle of two new colors for myself to use as base colors (well, and in future projects too!) My three base colors are a lovely creamy “Jade” sort of color, a grayed lilac mauve sort of color, and a gold/suede sort of color (ok, I mixed that too because “honey brown” was too bright in comparison with the dreamy feel of the other two.) I may later accent with my awesome “berry wine” color. It’s so pretty.
For the background collaging, I’ve been using book pages, graph paper, lined paper, security envelope linings, junk mail, and scallops cut from a lovely peacock colored advert I’d collected years ago (Now I wish I’d collected more– this used the last of it.)
At first, I thought I’d stay one-sided, as Samantha Kira suggests, but looking at the pages once they were cut, I just knew I wanted ALL the pages painted (which IS an option). I’m trying to follow her directions as much as possible, and do the project her way (at least the first time through) so I don’t miss anything simply because I think I won’t like it. But in this case… I really do love the way the pages are coming out! I’ve gotten the back sides collaged, but not painted yet.
Cutting the pages I was a little bit worried about (I think it was Samantha that said in a video that there should be a class for artists on using X-Acto knives. I definitely need it!) It turned out that, though the poster boards came from the same two packages, bought at the same time from the same store, they were NOT evenly cut. (Also… either I did something REALLY bizarre with one of them, or one package did not actually have 5 like it said. Oh well.) I’m not sure if precisely exact edges matter, but I used my mini binder clips, ruler, and X-Acto knife to trim the edges until they were even. I lost a quarter inch on each side, and strained the muscles in my hand (apparently the muscles used in holding down a ruler are fairly weak) but I did it with no major mishaps, crooked lines, or blood-spill.
Some favorite pre-paint collage bits.
Tomorrow (or perhaps tonight before bed) I’ll paint the back sides, and then I’ll be ready to fold and bind my pages. Yay!