It’s my monthly Art Journal Session on Monday evening, and for this month’s theme we’re tackling ‘ATC art’. I’m not one for making artist trending cards most of the time – for the uninitiated, ATCs are 3½” x 2½” pieces of artwork that are designed to be swapped between crafters – and I thought it was time to revisit the format. I’ve sneaked them into my art journal timetable, and here’s the sample page. BTW – the frames are one of my first forays into the world of 3D design and printed here in The Studio.
As a follow up art piece to my ‘Dream’, I thought I would add another 3D word to my studio – this time, Create. The letters are again paper mâché, all undercoated with two layers of gesso and then decorated. I wanted this assemblage to reflect all the creative pursuits that take place in various forms in The Studio, both by me and my studio guests. Sculpture didn’t quite make it, but then I can always say the whole thing is sculpture 😉
I’m continuing my journey into illuminated letters with this layout. The background has languished, completed, in my second ever journal for possibly years, and I’ve been wondering what to do with it. The stencilled motif reminded me of the mediaeval screens, so all I needed to do was find the appropriate phrase to follow my illuminated letter. I can’t quite recall how I got to it, but seem to remember I wanted Latin phrases. This one is associated with, I think, the Catholic tradition and properly means ‘happy fault’. But I’m a crafter, and think it better translates to ‘happy accident’. Which got me thinking, and for the rest of the day I was designing myself a coat of arms. Where do my days go? On flights of fancy!
The next art journal session in The Studio is on Monday, and this morning I’m prepping my samples. We’re going to attempt to create an illuminated letter. I’ve put together instructions for a basic Celtic arched lettering, but this is my take on a more Gothic Celtic style of illuminated lettering.
Next month’s art journal session at The Studio (Mon 4th April, 7:30pm) is all about pattern development. We’ll be carving our own stamps from Speedball Speedy-Carve before stamping with paint or ink to create our personal and unique designs on our pages. I’ve taken three of my tangle pattern designs to make my stamps: Curly Braces Too, Flared and Circo. And in the process I discovered a new way of using tangle patterns: layering them. Something to explore further in drawn work I think!
I was cleaning out the tumble dryer filter this morning, and aside from popping some of the fluff outside for the birds feverishly making nests, I noticed a whole pile of tumble dryer sheets in the fluff collection above the washing machine. I’d heard that they make great inclusions in mixed media work (as do baby wipes btw), so I decided (as I do) to make an art journal from them. And a few hours later, a full mixed media journal is complete.
What to do with a dark background in an art journal? Find a quote to match! Flicking through one of my art journals, I found this background that was made up of a combination of distress inks and acrylics wiped on from other projects. There was the option of lightening it with gesso or similar, but then I decided to pretty up the edges with a Dylusions stencil and blend-able paints, and then add text and outlines with Posca pens. I think it turned out quite well, underlining the quote.
As to the veracity of the statement – I think there are more things in a job that can drain the colour from the sense of vocation than it being unfulfilled. Each time I read about the health service and social care cuts, the colour certainly drains from my face. And following my current vocation certainly adds colour – to my t-shirts, jeans, table surface and in one memorable case, the windows!