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Friday, October 30, 2015

Week 43 : DLP 2015

Information about the FREE weekly Documented Life project is HERE. 
Vellum is quite ethereal so I didn't want to make my background too dark this week. Once upon a time, I had fun using gel medium through a stencil as a resist. Thought that would provide a pretty patterned background for this spread. Here's the gel medium through the stencils (wash your stencils immediately after you've lifted them off the gel)
If you click on the photo you can actually see the patterning. Then it was time to add sprays - so pretty I almost don't want to add anymore!
The prompt "Windows of my mind" made me think of all the ideas and responsibilities I have that get juggled into different compartments in my mind. Decided I would use 3 tags for this challenge - I already had some that I'd made on previous occasions :
The purple one was a fun experiment with wax. I then decided to write on the back of each one about the 3 main concerns that circulate in my head : creativity, my job and home responsibilities, and friends and family.
Nice to have a snapshot of the concerns in my life at this moment. Will be interesting to look back on in years to come. They needed to be prettier though, so I added sari ribbon and some metallic machine stitching to the edges.
Now to attach the glassine in the form of pouches for the tags. I wanted to stitch them, but that turned out to be too hard in the journal so I used washi tape, and that was some fun additional patterning
You can see in this close-up that even though I used a double layer of glassine, the background still shows through
Not sure what I'm going to do about my daily journaling for this week. I have a couple of ideas but it will depend what the next week's challenge is. {How I decided to do it HERE}
Here's this week's spread complete : 
Click on the photo to enjoy it larger or see it in the Flickr album I've created for all my Documented Life 2015 spreads HERE. You can see all my posts about this project HERE.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Gelli print patterns

In my last post I shared how I started my spread by gelli printing and cleaning off some of my stencils in my journal
This was the background I got, and I thought I might just quickly share my papers that I created in around 2 hours. Click on any photo to see them larger.
I used a variety of papers as my starting point - sheet music, book pages, deli paper, tissue, tracing paper, and cardstock.
Some of these papers already had initial layers from previous sessions - I love them all better the more layering of patterns they have.
These may end up as backgrounds or collage fodder or added in various ways to my art journal or handmade cards. This underpaper looks ready to be added to my inky paper stash for future use as well :)
 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Week 42 : DLP 2015

Information about the FREE weekly Documented Life project is HERE. Still in this month's theme of translucent papers -
I have a pad of this which I think is pretty close to vellum :
It's not a tracing paper like tissue, but shinier/stiffer. Last time I made something with this I was doing gelli printing on some different surfaces - some were transparent so you might like to see them HERE. This is what my vellum printed paper looked like laid on top of sheet music
Before beginning my page, I was also thinking about Jane LaFazio's masterful use of vellum overlays in her journal : 
Artwork by Jane LaFazio
There's a tutorial detailing this technique on her blog HERE.
Initially I loved the look of the gelli print so much that I got out my plate and started playing and got totally distracted for a couple of hours...that's another blog post! 
As I did the gelli printing though, I was cleaning the stencils off on some underpaper and realised it would be an easy way to create a background since I had no idea where to start or where I was going!
It's quite green and has some leafy shapes, so that inspired me to start doodling flowers on the tracing paper with a black micron pen
Decided I would start doing that on the background too and repeated some designs on the 2 different surfaces
Eventually I had covered my vellum
and my background (although you may need to click on the photo to make it larger and see the detail of the drawings)
And then it was time to put them together - I decided to make a hinge of washi tape to attach the vellum
You can see through the vellum to the designs behind, and I decided I liked the contrast of the black on the paper over the busy background so didn't feel the need to add colour like Jane did in the example.
And here's the spread complete with thanks to Jane LaFazio for her "sheer genius" of inspiration and happiness that I had a few hours of sheer fun. 
Click on the photo to enjoy it larger or see it in the Flickr album I've created for all my Documented Life 2015 spreads HERE. You can see all my posts about this project HERE.

Friday, October 23, 2015

LB2015 : Be here now and Brave intuitive painting.

The 2 paintings I'm sharing in this post are the result of combining a couple of Life Book lessons. I watched both video lessons when I was full of a cold recently and only up to absorbing ideas rather than producing art. It is very inspiring to watch their process and I am so happy that you can save Life Book lessons (including the videos) so I'll be able to watch these over and over into next year and beyond. 
Alena Hennessy had a bonus lesson called "Be here now" - it was about being in the moment, and painting quick 15, 10 and 5 minute paintings.
Flora Bowley had a main lesson called "Brave intuitive painting. Letting go :: letting in". It was about having fun with mark making,  letting go of pieces of your painting, covering up areas you don't love to allow new colours/marks/new directions, and being open to where the painting will take you. I also got Flora's book out of the library again to reinforce different types of mark making. It is such a great source of prompts to loosen up what you might do on a painting.
So with all that in my head, I started to create 2 pieces side by side within 15 minutes.
You can see some cross-over in using the same paint, but I tried to keep my mark making different. 
Turning your page upside down during the process can help spark new ideas
Above is what I got to after about 15-20 minutes. I really liked how the right side was developing, and while the "Flow" painting is okay, I wanted to use Flora's techniques to see how much further I could push it and turn it into something I love. I started to try and cover up some areas
Not really feeling it, but I know it will happen...I hadn't managed to be inspired to do anything on the other painting, and I knew it needed something happen in that turquoise centre. I thought about my favourite technniques, and suddenly it was obvious what I should do. 
I sprayed through my stencil on the right, and then picked it up and printed with the remaining ink on the painting on the left. This action completely inspired me, so once the ink was dry I layered up without a thought to take process photos ;-)
Love adding found words to my art. You can see them better by clicking on the photos.
I ♥ them both. 
What a difference when you compare the 15 minute exercise above with the finished paintings below.
This is part of the reason I love taking photos as I go and capturing the whole process on my blog. You can see all my posts about Life Book HERE and I've created a Flickr album for all my Life Book projects HERE

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Life Book 2016

I mentioned in my last post that Life Book 2016 is open for registration - check out all the details HERE
Scroll all the way down the page in that link for the schedule for the year and all the teacher profiles. I thought I might need to share a bit more about it. If you've never seen Life Book before, check out the projects I've done this year HERE.
It's not for everyone but these are reasons I would continue on the journey through 2016 :
1. Life Book lessons help you develop your own style, but not necessarily in ways you might expect. With every new lesson I am learning what I want to incorporate into my own work, and what I want to leave behind. 
2. I initially joined because I wanted to learn how to make faces and I've still got a lot to learn.
3. Once signed up, I don't want to waste my money so it's a good incentive for me to show up in my studio and create
4. It's a very supportive online community
5. The teachers give great messages about valuing yourself and your art, and if you want to work through some self-help exercises and meditations those are there as well, but can be totally ignored if that's your preference.
6. The lessons are clearly stepped out, and I love being able to learn from international teachers that I could never have access to from NZ otherwise
7. You can save all of the Life Book lessons (including the videos) to your own computer so you can continue to watch and be inspired in the years to come as well
8. did I mention the value for money?....
Work out how much it will cost you per month, or Main lessons. I am very lucky that returning life bookers get a discount - this means my cost for the whole of 2016 will be the same as my husband's cricket fees for the season! Also if I take what I paid for this year and divide it by the number of projects I have completed so far I have only paid NZ$7.80 per lesson - and that's not counting ones I've watched and not actually produced anything but just enjoyed the filling of my creative stores. This is GREAT value, and I still have 2 months of time. AND you can save every video, and every PDF so that you have access forever!
There are different teachers each year, but Tam (the creator) usually delivers at least 8 main lessons, and pops in with some bonus lessons here and there as well.
She has just released a Free taster lesson from this year HERE - open for the next month. It's her paint over collage lesson - her sample :
and this was mine which I shared HERE.
In her own words : pls know that this is a great example of the types of lessons I provide throughout the year, I go in to huge depth, I give my lessons my all. I dig deep inside myself and share in great detail all the techniques I’ve learned and refined over the many years I’ve been doing this work (since 2008!). I create beautiful in depth PDFs and I really care about you, your experience and try to create my classes so they can be understood by beginners and more experienced alike! :)
I am very happy to answer any other questions you may have about this experience. Leave a comment with a link to your email, or email me directly through the link in my profile (top right of side bar). 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

LB2015 : Reflections of You

This Life Book project was created by Jeanne Oliver. Here's a peek at the lesson from her blog
I struggled and struggled with this lesson at the start. It was released on 25th May, and I'd already struggled with another lesson that was an expressive portrait so maybe that was part of the problem. Jeanne was also a Documented Life guest artist this year in July - if you check out that link, it gives you the basic steps in the process.
I began with my 'self portrait' using charcoal pencil 
I added the white gesso and tried to blend - it wasn't pretty so I tried adding face colour
During the lesson videos, Jeanne says there is ALWAYS a crazy/ugly stage that you go through and think maybe you can't get past. Unfortunately I think I reached this stage earlier than expected this time around! She just looks like an alien to me and so I set her aside in a drawer for months :-(
I recently found her again, and decided to give it one more go... I couldn't make her any worse!! I think another part of my block about this lesson was around the lack of vibrant colour in the sample. However, I've been learning to take the lessons and give them my own voice so having unearthed the unearthly base, I decided to see if I could alter her face shape and thus my perceptions about the project. After 1/2 an hour I got to here
The paint colours aren't right, I took her eyebrows off and I want to alter her eyes so much, but I feel like I can move forward now! 
If you've watched the lesson you might notice I didn't bother making a copy of my portrait to then collage with. I had to spend some time finding suitable colours of papers, but then I worked with her with renewed enthusasim :
Wow - what a huge difference and that was so fun :-) I haven't done anything to the face from the previous picture except add the collage papers...next it was time to add another element of collage to the background, and paint to the background and her face 
It all needs to be toned down a bit but I'm okay with where it's going. Several more layers of paint and I'm calling her face done
and the background is my style
Here she is all finished :
I'm glad my alien start didn't end up in the bin! I'm going to repeat my conclusions from my previous challenging portrait experience since I obviously need to remind myself for the next challenging project : The goal is to find your own art style, but I was worried that my work wasn't looking enough like someone else's! Life Book lessons help you develop your own style, but not necessarily in ways you might expect. With every new lesson I am learning what I want to incorporate into my own work, and what I want to leave behind. In the end, she looks like something I alone would create, not an exact copy of the lesson, and that is exactly where I want to be.
You can see all my posts about Life Book HERE and I've created a Flickr album for all my Life Book projects HERE.
Life Book 2016 is now open for registration - check out all the details HERE
Scroll all the way down the page in that link for the schedule for the year and all the teacher profiles. Work out how much it will cost you per month....I am seriously considering continuing this journey next year.
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