Tag Archives: gesso

Postdated: Scripture Cards

One of the April crafts I did was for a swap on Swap-Bot. The swap called for three scripture cards, each with a different verse– a personal favorite from the sender, a personal favorite of the recipient, and one specific to challenges in the recipient’s life. To be quite honest, the swap did require decorations, but was more along the lines of nice paper, doodles, and stickers, but I wanted to go all out.

Scripture Card front

I first covered index cards with gesso, then smeared them with acrylic paint. My recipient liked bright colors, especially orange, blue, and burgundy, so I did my best to incorporate those colors. I was unsure how to complete them at first, but in the midst of my decoupaging crafts (Easter Eggs and Matchboxes) it occurred to me that I could use tissue paper to add more layers.  I am not certain I am happy with the handwritten verses, but I was running out of time to brainstorm.

Scripture Cards back

Too Much Rain!

I’m sure, lovely readers, that you heard about (or perhaps yourself experienced) the torrential rain this last week.* This is my tribute to the weather. I love rain, but it’s been a little much!

I actually finished this 3 nights ago but my journal is bigger than my scanner, and my scanner is actually not my scanner and thus requires me to email each scan. Also, some of the scans magically cropped themselves, requiring MORE scans. Then I had to puzzle the whole thing together. It’s not perfect, but… here it is. As usual, some of the colors are off, specifically the minty-green umbrella. You’ll have to use your imagination 😛

* I’m aware there are much WORSE weather conditions. I’m not complaining. However, rain happened, and caused a few problems. Thus, I have something to journal about. I promise, I normally like rain!

Firsties- Early birds and Night-owls

My first page(s) in my altered book/art journal. I decided to dedicate it to my disfunctional relationship with the earth’s rotation.night owl art journal

I am glad I’ve started, and yet I have mixed feelings about this page. Its not at all what I envisioned (although by now I aught to know to expect that). One of the biggest challenges, aside from the gesso issues, was working in the double page spread. This is a first for me. I’m still not certain I’ve really pulled it off cohesively. I solicit any advice, be it specific to this page, or just in general. It just looks either too balanced, or too heavy on either side, but either way, as if it doesn’t match. How does one counteract that? I’m not entirely sure it’s done.  It doesn’t help that it’s about 394 times uglier on the computer. Imagine more pastel blues throughout, and imagine the edges with more blue, less shadow. Mostly, just imagine it less ugly. (edit: blues are fixed, mostly)

I apologize for the terrible picture quality. I just remembered that the reason I’ve been working small for so long is because then it fits on the scanner. Being that the whole book is big, photographing the pages is going to be an ongoing learning experience, and an unpleasant one at that, I suspect. (edit: outside in bright sunlight helped some, but still not great. )

Update on Journal Process

I’ve hit a bit of a snag that may slow my process. Two, in fact.

  • Snag #1: In the past, I have successfully used wax paper to separate gessoed pages while they dried, but its not working so well this time. One had to be removed completely because it was so mutilated. So… each spread has to be gessoed one at a time, and I don’t have a heat gun to speed this up.
  • Snag #2: Whatever kind of ink/dye used on these pages seeps right through the gesso, especially the red. I have to do at least two layers to get it sufficiently covered, and even then, there’s a pinkish tinge. (Anyone else experience this?) Extra layers means extra time.

I AM working on it, but the gessoing issues put me behind a bit. As soon as I get a good handful of pages prepared (tomorrow or monday perhaps?) I can start the fun part. I am impatient to begin!

My Muse Returns…

My muse took a 3 month long vacation without my permission. I should fire her (him?) but as I have no other applicants, I let her keep her job, with only a stern warning.

I’ve been watching some videos on art journalling on youtube and a few were inspiring– albeit very strange at times. Artists are just like that I suppose. [tangent: I would like to be interesting, but I believe I’ve discovered that there is a line between interesting and just plain odd…]

After watching these for a few days, I really really wanted to art journal. Hurrah. However, I had work. For friday playdate with the student I tutor, I brought art supplies (he actually does like art, so it wasn’t entirely selfish). I just brought some cheapy supplies such as construction paper, poster paints, pastels and watercolors and such, and spiral notebooks to fill. I thought I’d get him to experiment a bit. His excitement was short lived. He quickly reverted to line drawings with crayons, and looked at me as if I was crazy, smearing paint and tearing paper. I, however, enjoyed myself, to the extent allowed by the limited materials.

spiral cover spiral 1

When I got home, I was itching to use real supplies (which I couldn’t bring to use with my student) and more importantly, pages just a bit sturdier than lined paper. I fished out this fairly large and very outdated craft book I have had laying around. Not even sure where I got it, but somehow it ended up in my possession in middle school or so.

unpainted cover This thing was published in the 70s and it shows. Take a look at some of the pages. There was no way I was ever going to need this book again!retro page 1

Tonight, the process begins. So far I’ve gessoed the cover, the spine, and 4 spreads. With luck I can begin either tomorrow or sunday, as time allows (busy weekend ahead!)

painting the cover gessoing pages

My new palette knife (also known as a college ID card)

Just for fun, I thought I’d show you my “palette knife” that I used to make the backgrounds in the last post. Yes, it is my college ID. But don’t worry, its ok, for two reasons.

  • A. I’m done with college anyways.
  • B. Our school redid the ID cards and sent a new one (or in my case, a new two) to every current student, so this one was invalid anyhow.


Notice the bit of newspaper (or maybe magazine?) stuck to the back. I’m not even sure when that got on there, haha. And I like that the picture is painted over now. They took the ID pictures in this tent, except the sun was shining in… brightly, so I had quite a pained grimace in the picture. Very attractive. And yes, for any that stumble on here that didn’t already know, I went to Pepperdine. Ah, the good ol’ days.