Saturday, November 05, 2011

Art Journal Pages

I mentioned in my last post that I'm taking Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's online workshop, 30 Days In Your Journal.  What's so awesome about this class is that she really focuses on showing you how to fit art journaling into your life every single day...for just 10 minutes.  So you don't do a page or a spread a day - you work on a two-page spread for several days, adding a bit at a time.  In the past, I've usually done entire pages (or more) in one setting, though I have sometimes gone back and added layers - and I do have multiple pages in multiple journals that are in various stages of work.  But this idea of really limiting myself to 10 minutes a day is new to me.  And I think it could work, and I think it just might be the key to actually being able to art journal more frequently - because finding chunks of time to sit and play is usually what prevents me from doing it as much as I'd like.  So we'll see how this goes.

At any rate, after the first 5 days, I've completed this two-page spread.  It's much busier and fuller than most of my art journal pages normally are, but I'm okay with that.  I did a lot more actual journaling than I often do, which I like, and less time-consuming processes than I've used on other pages...which I'm torn about.  I really do like playing with new mediums and trying new techniques in my art journals...but maybe those should be saved for the times when I have bigger chunks of time, and my "10 minutes a day" art journaling can be a bit more basic.

I *love* the black stamped hand on the left side.  That was done with a Styrofoam stamp I made by tracing one of the hands from the Henna Hands stencil (also designed by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer) from The Crafter's Workshop and then using a technique I learned in the Random Creative Scrapple Doodle workshop by Stephanie Ackerman.  I used Claudine Helmuth's Black Gesso to stamp with, and then journaled on the hand with a white Sakura Glaze pen (new to me - totally in love!).  I also used the Punchinella stencil from The Crafter's Workshop (another one designed by Julie) to add layers of color with Distress Ink and Paint Dabbers randomly over the pages.  I am absolutely addicted to The Crafter's Workshop Stencils...I use them ALL THE TIME - seriously!  If you haven't tried them, you definitely need to check them out.  (I reviewed them earlier this year on Craft Test Dummies, and will be writing an updated review in a few weeks, covering the newer releases.)

The remainder of these pages were done some time ago - back in July/August, I believe - when I was taking Christy Tomlinson's She Had 3 Hearts workshop.  (Can you tell I love taking online workshops??  That's what happens when you're a stay at home, home-schooling mom of four children ages 6 and under!)

I did an image transfer (the row of scissors on a shelf) on this page, and played with melting some crayon wax.  I really like how the green wax blew across the page in little droplets when I used my heat gun to melt the crayon!  I also love the stack of hearts - canvas, glassine paper, fabric, and a rusty metal heart that I dipped into melted UTEE (which I had colored orange with Pan Pastel).  I used a little clip of some kind that I got in a random assortment of trinkets from this way cool store Zinnia to clip the hearts together.

I used another stencil from The Crafter's Workshop on this page - Ava - to create the girl's face.  There are SOOOO many ways to use this stencil - check out this blog post about the face stencils to see just how versatile they are!  I also used another of their stencils for the journaling.  I dripped acrylic inks on the page for drippage, and used acrylic inks to color the scallops around the edges of the page as well.  To make the scallops, I just punched circles from vintage music paper, vintage book text, vintage dictionary pages, old map pages, etc., and glued them on the page hanging off the edge and then trimmed the excess.  I love using vintage papers!!

This is another fun page.  I used Adirondack Colorwash Sprays and - surprise - The Crafter's Workshop stencils on the background (along with an alphabet stencil from...???).  And then I played with wax.  I used clear beeswax at first, and then added some blue crayon to the wax to color it a bit.  I stamped into the wax in the upper left hand corner using Unity's Giving It All Meaning stamp - what awesome texture that created!    And I love Prima's Chickenwire stamp, which I used to add texture over the wax and around the edges.  I was happy to discover that the Pitt Artist pens from Faber-Castell write easily even over cooled beeswax!  

This last page was super fun.  I can't claim credit for the idea of rolling the paper - another student in the workshop did that on a page in her journal, and then Christy actually did a piece of art on her blog inspired by it, which is when I saw the technique.  Anyway, it was my idea to roll them up and glue them to the base, then cut them out in a heart.  Then I actually did my journaling - using the Pitt Artist pen - right on the rolled paper heart!!  It wasn't anything I really needed anyone else to be able to read - and I know what it's about - and that's all that I was okay knowing that the writing was going to get covered up.  Unfortunately, my heart has gotten rather smooshed from my journal being closed - I should have taken a picture right when I made the page - not several months later!

And then...came the string gel.  Have you ever played with string gel?  Well, I hadn't, prior to this page...and boy oh boy, was it ever fun!  I fell in love with the stuff!!  Basically, it's this polymer stuff, and it starts out clear, so you need to add some paint (or acrylic ink) to color it.  And then you let it sit for a while - I want to say like 2 hours or so.  Then you take a spoon or a palette knife or whatever, and you scoop some of it up, and you basically drizzle it all over your project.  It's SO fun - makes you feel like a kid!  It's totally messy and awesome and fun.  When it dries, it still looks wet, and it's glossy and dimensional - and did I mention it's FUN?!  Seriously.  {Just don't make the same mistake I did.  I had some extra string gel - which of course, I didn't want to waste.  So I drizzled it on the page facing this one, figuring I'd play around with that page too.  I wasn't I have to keep a piece of wax paper in there all the time, or the pages stick together because the string gel on the two pages wants to stick to each other.  Live and learn.}

Anyway, hope you enjoyed those.  If you want to learn more about art journaling, you really should check out Julie's class - she really tells you exactly what she's doing and why she's doing it, every step of the way.  It's great for beginners or for more advanced artists who just want some inspiration.

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Sally said...

I love seeing all of the art journal pages you are creating! They look amazing in the photos, so I'm sure that they look even more amazing up close. I love the 10 minutes a day idea, too. I think that sometimes we think our creations must be made/done all at once and we forget how much we can do in such a short amount of time. Plus, it's a lot easier to find those small amounts of time :-)

Anonymous said...

I follow Balzer Designs through my email, and that's how I found your blog today. I wanted to say that I really appreciate your taking the time to describe the techniques you've learned. It's very confusing for me to try anything "new" because everything is new to me, lol, I didn't fall into art journaling after years of scrapbooking or other "specialized" routes of crafting. It's hard to keep up with all the new products and artists and techniques, and it's nice to have an overview of them through blogs like yours. You balanced perfectly, imo, sharing what you've learned without making the class seem irrelevant.

This Art That Heals said...

Oooo your journal pages are beautiful! I love the cardboard heart with the paint!

I am following you so I can remember to come back and visit! Have a great day!


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