This Monday, the art journal session at The Studio has the theme ‘perfect palettes’. For this journal prompt, I picked a colour chart from the ever fabulous design-seeds.com and did my best to match the palette. Of course, this was a little harder when printing out the image – the printer colours aren’t a good reproduction.
And here’s the resulting page (and don’t forget that the colours changed again when I scanned it in…). So the palette isn’t exact, but, as with all journal prompts, it’s what sparks the rest of the page. I also chose the theme to help those who struggle to know what colours might work together.
At today’s bas relief cards workshop, I did the unthinkable (for me at least) – worked on a technique and a sample alongside a workshop guest, without trying it first weeks before. And despite the gung-ho attitude, we both ended up with, even if we do say so ourselves, a cracking outcome. There was something rather pleasing about making a 2D stamped image a little more 3D, smudging and smoothing paper clay into place before letting the stains and paint do their thing.
For February’s Studio workshop, we’re going to be playing with adding dimension by using paperclay to create bas relief centrepieces for your cards/scrapbook pages and mixed media projects. Here’s an example I’ve just finished:
Not sure if I have got the balance right between the vase and the roses, and may be an ivory card for the sentiment might have worked better too. But that, after all, is what playing is all about…
If you’d like to come to the workshop on 4th February, there are spaces available. For more details, see my workshops page, or email me to book your space.
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.
I previously posted an advert for October’s workshop in The Studio featuring an altered MDF tealight holders Now, it’s that time of year when the church Christmas Fayre is just ten days away. I still have a box full of holders left over. So, over the last couple of days I’ve been sponging acrylics, metallics and glass paints over MDF and acetate and waiting for spray gloss varnish to stop being tacky. I’m now making bespoke packaging for each of these individual gifts:
I started this page layout on Tuesday night as my teaching sample for my ‘Christmas Crackle’ art journal session on 7th November. Building up layers and techniques, I was very happy with the resulting background. I then spent just as many hours searching for the perfect ‘winter’ quote. Eventually I settled on this excerpt from ‘Do not stand at my grave and weep’ attributed to Mary Frye.
I have two new toys essential machines arriving at some point before the end of the year – and I need to make room for them. This means clearing out some of the ‘might be useful for something’ items, and some of the many samples I’ve made that are lying around from my time on various design teams. Consequently, two things are now happening: visitors to the studio are getting to take away freebies, and I have started to do the ‘something useful’ to other items.
This is a makeover of a wooden trinket box to make it look more like a rusty riveted trunk. Couple of nifty techniques I developed for this altered art – for the ‘sheet’ edges, I hammered the edge of an acrylic sheet at an angle to dent the wood and then shaded with paint. The rivets are Mark Richards Metal Stickers – the silver nailheads – which I have dented in the middle with an embossing tool before painting and gluing in place. The stickers are available from Woodware stockists.