In my ongoing "how to" series of simple journal pages, I thought I'd bring you a page that combines some techniques you might not have thought to put together or that if you had thought of it, you'd say, "naw, that won't work." That was my reaction when I first considered this, but as it turns out, I was wrong. Yet again.
Anyway, this page is done in my Strathmore Bristol Journal (5.5" X 8").
The first step was to glue into the journal one of my gazillion Gelli Plate printed papers to be the background. This particular piece was done on heavy tissue paper and I used acrylic and fabric paint for the prints. The fabric paint is the black doodly lines. The rest of the color was done with acrylics. Actually, this was one of my very first Gelli plate printed papers, now that I see it again. Anyway, I waiting for the glue to dry and then just ripped the excess from around the sides without worrying about a finished look for the edges.
Next, I took another of my early trial pieces of Gelli plate printed paper and cut out some simple shapes from it. I hadn't been too happy with this print so cutting it up made it more palatable for me. I ended up with some semi-circular pieces that I glued on top of the background page. Looking at the page at this point, the circles reminded me of planets or moons so I decided there should be a celestial theme to this page.
I still didn't like this page all that much. It was too plain and didn't have enough interest or depth for me. So, I started some zentangle inspired doodling. I used the zentangle pattern Mooka on the planet/moon images and then doodled the Paisley pattern into the background. Both were done with a permanent black marker.
So, now at least I like the page a bit more, but what do I do next? The answer to that question eluded me for a couple of months until just recently. I often use reprints of my original collage art from years gone by. I like to find new way to use old work, thus getting more mileage out of the art I have already created. Though the image may be a reprint from an original, it ends up becoming an all new original by being a component in a new piece. As an artist who has minimal time to devote to art because I work full time, I really appreciate this twist on "recycling" art. It really helps me make the best use of my precious art time and I enjoy the personal challenge of taking something old and giving it new life in a new way.
The next image shows a color laser print of a mixed media collage I did in about 2006 or so. I printed it to be about 3" X 5" so that it would fit on the journal page as the central image. I cut it out with deckle-edged scissors and then ran a black stamp pad around the edges for a grungier finish to it. Then I glued it onto the page.
Now I'm starting to like the page a whole lot more! Next, I used the same strategy from the last step and took a scan of a handmade star face piece I had created in the mid 1990s from molded Friendly Plastic. I had already used this star in a large collage/assemblage in 2005 (I think) but I had had the foresight to scan the star before the piece sold. It was originally about twice the size of the images of it you see here. I took the scanned image and created several duplicates of it on a single page and printed them on the color laser printer. Then I cut them out and mounted them to some shimmery silver paper and trimmed them out so that they would have a silver border that somewhat mimics the silver frame in the central image. Then I glued them in place on the journal page, making sure that a couple of them ran off the edges of the page, trimming away the overhang. Following is the finished page with the stars added.
I think this post is a good example of how to conquer a couple of challenges that many of us encounter. First, we may only get so far on an art journal page and then get stalled out, not knowing what the next step should be. I am never afraid of just leaving a piece of art partly done and coming back to it at a later time. I've always been a firm believer that it will come together when it's supposed to. And it always does. And when it does, it happens very quickly, as this did. Once I settled on the central image, the rest of it took only about fifteen minutes to finish. I didn't worry or stress about the fact that it sat for a couple of months. I have many other projects on the go at any given time. I just know I will always come back to the unfinished ones at some point.
Secondly, don't be afraid to recycle art you've already made and use it again in a new way. If you have limited time to devote to your art, this approach could be very liberating for you. You'll get to see finished work sooner and have the wonderful sense of accomplishment from your limited creative time. I think that is SO important to those of us who are starved for art time. Working smarter and not feeling that you always have to reinvent the wheel every time you sit down to create can make the difference in feeling more satisfied with what little time you get for art.
I hope you've enjoyed this post, my friends. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
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