Monday, January 3, 2011

Visual Journaling

Strathmore Paper is offering a series of free online workshops in journaling using their delicious Visual Journal. I received a small one in a goody bag and like it very much. It's the one I've been using for my Counting Blessings.Takes all sorts of wet media and the paper is lovely to work on.

However, I have so much art material laying about, at lot of it not used, I decided I would work with materials I already have on hand. Will cut down on cost, clutter, and I'll use up what I have and then can go buy more supplies (-:  Using mixed media techniques will get me away from the comfort of pen and ink. Hopefully, I'll expand my repertoire, or  at least have fun with the process.

 The first lesson is recycling art work, combined with collage to make something new. At first I was going to do a double spread using some snowmen from wrapping paper on one side and my angel (she was a commission for an Irish blessing) on the other side. No matter how much I arranged and rearranged items, the double spread looked better in my head so I scrapped the idea and opted for the single page.

The instructions used matte medium as a glue and also a sealer.  I usually use a nice, neat glue stick, PVA glue (like Elmer's) or my latest favorite, Yes, Paste.  I was tempted to use the paste, but decided I should follow some of the directions. Since the first page was an advertisement, I used gesso to paint over it. Photocopied Hark the Herald Angels Sing from an old piano book. Gessoed over that as I just wanted a hint of the music. The scrap box yielded tissue pape and a paper with Hershey Kisses. I photocopied the Kisses and reduced their size by 50%. The snowflakes were photocopied from a Christmas card. The edges of the music sheet were torn, and water soluble oil pastels were used to add color and bring out the deckled edge of the paper.

I thought I had learned everything about pasting in kindergarten. I actually spent more time eating the paste than gluing so discovered matte medium, dries quickly and there are lots of air bubbles. Fortunately, I was able to peel back, apply a bit of glue, press down to remove the bubbles, until the entire item was glued. The instructor used the matte medium as a sealer after she glued her pieces parts down.We were supposed to stop after making the collage, but outlaws don't always follow the rules, and since inspiration struck, I thought it best to finish the page.

The mate medium worked fine until I went to use gouache to paint the illuminated letter. The paint just beaded up as the surface was too slick for the paint to adhere. Note to self, next time use acrylic paints. A second and third coat of the gouache stuck just fine. I'm pleased with the results.

Later this week, I'll do another page following the directions.

When you take a class, do you follow the instruction or go further ahead on your own?


  1. Huh, maybe that's where I went wrong--following instructions;)

    Visual journaling is a great idea. My youngest was doing that before she learned how to write any words. Now she writes everything exactly phonetically. It's a hoot.

  2. What a great idea CJ. Following any course and seeing it through helps structure your creativity as well as spark off the imagination. I look forward to seeing more of your pages as time goes on. What a shame this course is only available by Invitation Only :o(
    Love your page as well :o)

  3. I follow the instructions the first time and free-wheel after that.

    Trust you to do the opposite! ;)

  4. I find it difficult to follow instructions in art work, not sure you should really. I have my collage bits ready, but have already painted and prepared my background as I am using an old notebook from work with writing in it that has to be covered. I'll use the instructions that I like and forget the rest lol! Love both your bits of art, the Hershey's kisses snow is so funny.