What makes a gator a gypsy?

teacher, traveler, photographer, political junky, smash and bash artist, grandmimi, mom, canine companion

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mixed Media Mayhem - Bucket List -

I really don't believe in "bucket lists."  They seem so ominously final.  But I'm always planning the next getaway and my choices are narrowing.  I've been many places and some places are just off limits now.  So I set some priorities for now.  When I was making my journal page for #The Documented Life Project, Layers You Will Love, Under Cover, I made two sets of backgrounds from the same materials.  This is a fun exercise to see the various directions you can take.  I use Cavallini wrapping paper from Paper Source, some tissue paper, Distress Inks, Walnut ink, and matte medium.

I have several boxes of travel ephemera including hotel, train, and plane stickers.  I wanted to use these (UP...not quite).

On the right side I added a tag that had my general list.  On the left, I added a vintage envelope folded with my journaling inside.  I added lots of postage and cancelation stamps.  

The final spread is like a piece of vintage luggage.

Compare this to the final collage made from the same background for the DPL.

Mixed Media Mayhem - The Documented Life - Borderline

March Theme       Making Your Mark (Doodles & Mark Making)
March 14               Art Challenge:  Borders
Journal Prompt:  "Borderline feels like I'm going to lose my mind."

I am not much for doodling except in the phone book but I can identify with the condition, borderline, I feel like I'm going to lose my mind.   So I let this journal page combine some of my ways of making marks and using journaling as a device for relaxation.  My finished spread does not have a border but it is borderline.

For a random start I gessoed the page then spritzed it with yellow, turquoise, and green Dylusions Ink and blotted it with a paper towel.

Seeing the overspray on the towel reminded me of my collection of dyed paper towels...(yes tha't right...paper towels are gorgeous when loaded with paint or dye.)  I pulled out a pile and began tearing them into pieces.

I found one sheet that I love for the background and the beauty of paper towels is you always have two of a kind as you pull the layers apart.  I glued the whole pieces down to the pages

I see a floral patten so began tearing circles to represent blooms and glueing them to work with the existing pattern in the background.  As I glued them down I crumpled them for texture then went back in to add gold to the centers.

As the piece came together it reminded me a Chinese floral painting so I added my journaling vertically to simulate calligraphy seals.

When I felt finished I used a Gelato to to around the outside edge to comply with the challenge of making a border.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mixed Media Mayhem - #The Documented Life - Surviving the Elements

March Theme
Making Your Mark (Doodles & Mark Making)
March 7
Art Challenge:  As A Layer Element

Journal Prompt:  Surviving the Elements

Thinking about mark making, I was reminded of my efforts to learn Chinese calligraphy.  In a cold classroom in Yangshou I used a traditional brush and black ink to make swooping gestures that in no way looked like those of my master teacher.  After buying stencils and stamps, I was still not satisfied.  My solution was to actually trace characters from a  book and cut them into my own stamps.  I choose words like patience and compassion that were useful in conveying a message. None of my stamps worked for this project based on Elements. I remembered my first day in my 2003 trip to China where Beijing was blanketed with white snow and the sky was actually blue....so unusual.   I asked several people how to say "snow" and "sunny."  Some people wrote it down for me.  I dug these papers out of my travel stash(did I tell you I never throw anything away)  and committed to writing these characters on my page.  Serendipitously, I received a set of Chinese flash cards from Etys' Key Lime Supplies just this week and at the art show last weekend,  a vendor gave me a Chinese umbrella in my drink. All coming together.

I always begin with a nice coat of gesso and notes about the prompt.  

Along with my commitment to use it up...all the good stuff in my stash which would actually take about 50 years and I am 70...I pulled out some precious Japanese paper to tear and paste to the page to give a loose background.

I used a calligraphy brush to write xui, snow, and sunny in  my best interpretation of the actual calligraphy.

Next I looked in my huge collection of Chinese art postcards and museum catalogues to pick out an image that reflected the elements.  I chose a wintry scene, "The Rising Sun" by Zhang Lin.   I liked the lines of the whit trees and the round orange circle.  I tore the sides to blend it better and glued it with matte medium.

I choose several of my flash cards, "sunny," "warm," "conditions," "thunder." and 'snow" and glued them in a rhythmic pattern. Here is one detail...

I wanted to balance the sun on the right so I used the small drink umbrella on the left.  I added my journaling to talk about how the elements I survived in my Florida garden compared to surviving in the environment of my former home state, Massachusetts.

Here is the whole spread put together.