Tag Archives: messy

Naked Poetry Book

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.

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Art Cards for Koby’s Family

Last year, I made a card for each of Koby’s family members, but between moving, and then his present not being ready until he was already in Thailand, they weren’t given at Christmas. Then one went missing (I have suspicions as to why, and it upsets me, but I will never be able to prove it.) Finally, I just redid the missing one, and decided to spruce up the others. Here are before and after pictures. Some of the differences are due to using different scanners, but I explain the changes made.

Motorcycle

The motorcycle was completely redone. More attention to detail, less freedom. Not as fun that way, but more like a motorcycle. Mechanical things are not my strong point.

Bubbly Cola

The cola bottle wasn’t showing up too well, so I defined it more, added stronger color to the background, more texture, a surface for the bottle to sit on, and the words.

Drums

Outlining was added for the drums and words.

Flight of Fancy

The words were made more visible with white gel pen and some white paint was added to the edges to balance the brightness of the words.

He Dresses the Lilies

Outlined the stamped words and images for more clarity.


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!


ATC: Field Guide to Fairy Eggs

This is just a silly idea I had about a year back, about making fingerprint eggs, and labeling them as sundry fantasy creatures. Nothing highly polished (in fact, rather smudgy) but it was fun. I submitted this at the last moment for Created by Hand’s Easter Egg challenge, even though their next challenge has been posted.

atc-fairy-eggs-aged

See my other ATCs.


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ATC: Summer (An Exercise in Failure, Persistence, and Success)

I set out knowing exactly what my first art piece on my new desk was going to be. It should have been simple (and thus, should have been posted early last night). While running errands last week, I saw something that seemed like a good composition (and a good entry for the “Doors and Windows” challenge on one of the challenge sites.)

I sketched it down, determined to do it later, in marker. I did, and it looked good, but it was missing something. So… I added. Unfortunately, the more I added, the worse it got. The words were somewhat fun to add, going every which direction, but they just detracted from any discernible focal point, rather than adding. I resigned it as a failure. But… I couldn’t leave well enough alone. I crumpled it, flattened it, wet it, crumpled it more, then tried stitching the words. Then… stitched a piece to mount it on (stupidly choosing to do it by hand, which took nigh close to forever) and stitched it to the backing (this time, by machine. I is smart artist!) The stitching added what I needed. I now declare it finished– and a long sight from what I intended.

summer-atc
This piece really got me thinking about the art process. Some thoughts that came to mind:

  • Two years ago, when I first took a serious interest in mixed-media, collage, art journaling, and the like, it was in part because I was mourning the lack of art in my life– a lack that occured because I’d get sooo frustrated with the quality of my drawings. I couldn’t shake perfectionistic tendencies, and I was no longer enjoying art. Art Journaling was supposed to be a way for me to escape that perfectionism, to take risks, and accept failure. It certainly didn’t start out that way, but I think I’ve reached that point. I’m bummed if a piece doesn’t go how I want, but it doesn’t leave me in a foul or dismal mood.
  • The reason I still prefer mixed-media now is two-fold. First, its much more forgiving. A mistake need not be final. If you start with one medium, sometimes there’s simply nothing more that can be done with that same media to fix or mediate the mistake. However, by adding other media, you can change the piece. Second, its just more fun.
  • Mixed-Media pieces almost always turn out more interesting– less perfect, yes, but still more interesting. There is a depth to them that is lacking in their single medium counterparts. Layers build up, and it adds a level of mystery, and compels the viewer to look a second and third time to take it all in.
  • Persistence does pay off in mixed-media. Mistakes don’t have to be mistakes. You can add to them, and the layers build up, and change a piece– although not always how you think. Persistance must be coupled with a willingness to forego what you envisioned for what the piece will become. More often than not, the two are not the same. Sometimes the result is better than your original plan. Just have faith that -something- will come out of it, and don’t try too hard to dictate what.
  • If a piece doesn’t seem to be going well, its probably either a lack of value balance (not enough whites, mediums, and darks) or a lack of a focal point (sometimes a result of the values being off). When in doubt, find (or add) a focal point, and check your values.

See my other ATCs.


Art Journal: Page in Progress

Saturdays are a difficult time to get art done. For most, its the best time, but for me, its the worst. The kids are off school, and they are very…. clingy/irritating/easily bored/in the way/disruptive/every adjective that applies to middle schoolers. I love children, but once they hit that age, forget it. They should be sent to the moon cause you can’t do anything with ’em.

Anyhow, any art I do today will happen late at night. I WILL work on some. I want to enter more challenges! In the mean time, I thought I’d post an art journal page I’ve been adding to a little at a time. There’s no actual journaling– yet. I will add some, but I’m not sure what, or if I should add more visual elements (tissue paper? Book pages? Some white? Play up a few colors? I don’t know.) For fun, take a look at what I have so far.

art-journal-wip-page1