In tonight’s art journal session, we’re going to look at using large scale layouts. Though we will be working in our normal journals (mine is A4 spread), we’ll be using 12×12″ stencils and very large stamps to build our layers, only adding detail towards the end. This exercise is designed to encourage the breaking down of large patterns into manageable chunks… a lesson for life too!
For my next trip abroad, I wanted to make another travel journal. I have previously handmade a small hardback pocket journal and a fold-out accordion journal. This time I decided to make a handmade journal using a piano hinge. This, for the unfamiliar, uses tabs and cylindrical objects (in this case bamboo skewers) to attach the pages at the spine. The benefit for a travel journal is that every other spread is the depth of the bamboo skewer, which means there is plenty of room for additional items of collage and other ephemera, and pockets to store memorabilia. It’s also possible to easily disassemble the book at the hinge to work on individual pages, or remove and add pages as required.
Constructed from canvas textured acrylic paper, I knocked back the white using an off-white chalky finish acrylic paint. I added a darker shade at the base of each page, using the same paint to stencil the building outlines. Overprinting with various travel oriented stamps using archival ink completed the decoration. It seems that the convention for piano hinge books is that the spine is visible, and the skewers extend from the bottom and the top. I wanted a more traditional book appearance as well as a protective cover, so I constructed cover pages before covering them with lokta paper which resembles old leather. A few coats of soft-touch varnish added to that illusion as well as protecting the paper. Adding this type of cover does restrict the addition of further pages. As I intend to use this on the flight as well, I thought it wise to trim the skewers… Some care needs to be taken to keep the pages vertically aligned, but in practice friction seems to keep the posts in place.
Over the last ten days or so, I’ve been playing with cast plaster panels. I used all the techniques I learnt at college to mould, soap, build clay dams, pour and pull a plaster of paris piece. Unfortunately, despite all that work, I completely forgot about overhangs. I ruined both the plaster mould and the panel as I attempted to separate the two with a screwdriver.
Undaunted, though slightly miffed, I went back to the drawing board and tried again. This time I pressed items into a clay slab and took a direct cast from that.
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 😉
Something about this page reminds me of naff pub decor. For the anaglypta effect, I used the embossing paste through the stencil, let it dry, scumble glazed with the tan colour and then sponged the darker colours through the stencil to catch the raised areas. Napkin decoupage and an image transfer of my own typography completes the layout.
Used on this page:
- Frisk LayFlat Sketch Pad (small)
- Dutch Doobadoo Stencil: Squares
- Royal Talens Amsterdam Standard acrylic paints (24 set)
- Royal Talens Amsterdam Gesso: White
- Ranger Multi Medium: Matte
I guess you may be noticing by now there’s a common thread for my recent art journal pages… I’m using supplies provided by Judith at Woodware for my art journaling shows on Hochanda. She asked to borrow the journal for a Retailers’ Training Event at the beginning of July, and I’m determined to finish off all 21 double spreads to demonstrate the versatility of the media, particularly the Royal Talens Amsterdam paints. This layout exemplifies the vividness of the colours available in the 24 pack.
Used in this layout:
- Frisk LayFlat Sketch Pad (small)
- Royal Talens Amsterdam Standard acrylic paints (24 pack)
- Royal Talens Amsterdam Gesso: Black and White
- Sakura Permapaque Marker: Black (Basic set)
- Posca Markers (1M)