I've had such fun during the Get Messy Season of Fairy Tales. I created my journal using an old Ladybird book again - I did the same last season and I have really loved this size. For this season I found a beautiful version of The Little Mermaid, pulled out the story pages and bound it instead with Daler Rowney Mixed Media paper, my favourite paper for art journaling.
I wanted to have a deeper look at Fairy Tales so decided to take a feminist look in my pages. I also created some pages for my little girl taking inspiration about adoption from myths and fairy tales. I loved this season so much, I loved creating forests and journaling about strong women - I think it has prompted my best work.
How is it August already?! I've used the collage sheets from Anna's Patreon to make my journal page this month. Anna has created a really helpful You Tube video explaining how these work and what you get in this month's bundle. There are some gorgeous pages this month. I was drawn to the flower paintings and so decided to use them in my page. Sometimes I like to use acrylic or watercolour paint over the top of the collage sheets, and sometimes (like this month!) I'm not really sure where my page is going to go - because of this I like to use an image transfer technique to add the image to my journal. This means that any work I do on top is in my journal, so on mixed media or watercolour paper rather than on the printer paper I print them on. It also 'feels' like it's part of the page if that makes sense.
I start by printing my collage sheets - it's best to do this on a laser printer if you can (images printed on ink jet printers tend to run when you add water - although if you use a packing tape image transfer technique you're safe to print however you can). Remember that your image will be added to your journal in a mirror image here, so if you're printing anything with words just tell your printer to print a mirror image at the first stage.
Apply a generous coat of matte medium to your journal page (you want an even coat so I just use my fingers) and then add the page (printed side down) to your journal. Don't get any matte medium on the reverse of the page. Leave this to dry completely (don't use a heat gun because it can bubble the matte medium and make it brittle when dry).
Once it is all dry, start to rip around the edges so that you have a rough edge. Spray the image with a thin layer of water, I just do a little at a time. Start to rub the image with your finger quite quickly - you will notice that you start to roll away the top layer of the paper and that your image remains. Do the whole page and leave to dry. You might find that some of your image rubs away too - I don't worry about this as I quite like the texture it adds - if you don't like it you just need to be ultra careful with your rubbing.
Once dry you might notice a white layer on the page - this is because there is some paper pulp remaining - just wet your finger and rub again or do as I do and rub with a baby wipe. You might need to do this a couple of times.
Eventually your image will be completely transferred - but you're fingers are likely to be quite sore and smooth!
I added black paint around the edges (I do this with my fingers as well because I like the smokey look it gives) and drew in some of the flowers I had lost - I felt like this embedded the images onto my page further and my art became mixed with Anna's.
I added some Tim Holtz clippings (I'm a big fan of found poetry lately). The page really reminded me of a magical garden at night so the journaling reads: 'She could believe the little starts by the light of the moon. I dream of stars that glitter. Stars adorn the sky, never meant to last.'
If you didn’t already know, I am now a member of Mrs Brimbles' Creative Team. Anna now has a Patreon account and each month she shares art lessons in her quirky style along with collage sheets of her art for you to use in your journal or planned or anything else you can think of.
This month Anna has been teaching us about how she creates her sketchy girl faces. I’ve loved these lessons so much because, unlike some art lessons, it’s so easy to put your own stamp or style on them. Here are some of the sketches I created after watching the lesson:
Also included are some collage sheets. These are amazing for anyone who likes playing with paper – simply because you get a digital copy so there’s no need for hoarding stuff you love too much to use because you can just print another copy. I find this amazingly freeing as an art journaller because I don’t have the fear of ruining pretty things. Another benefit is that you can add painterly elements but without having the weight of paint or having the warping of your page it can sometimes create.
I used them in my 100 day project (see more of this project here):
Anna also has a couple of stand alone classes available here in her shop – this month I worked on the marbling class and created some amazing backgrounds. I used a couple in my 100 day project:
I tried a variety of papers and found that the marbling paint works really well on deli paper. The benefit of this is you can glue it into your journal so that you don’t see the deli paper (it becomes almost invisible, especially if you tear the edges) but just the marbling. I really liked the combination of blue, black and white marbling paints and thought it made a lovely cloudy sky. So I ripped the deli paper into strips and pasted it into my art journal with matte medium.
I drew one of my sketchy girls from Anna’s patreon class and coloured her in with acrylic paint and coloured pencils. I painted the sea and the sand in the same way and added a quote. Finally I cut one of Anna’s collage sheets into simple shapes to make flying gulls and added them to the sky.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post – if you’ve created anything this week why not share it in the Happy Place?! Especially if you’re doing one of Anna’s classes.
Yay! So my 100 day project is completed (see here for my mixed media postcards). I was glad to see it go in the end if I am completely honest. I was finding it hard for the final 10 days or so to come up with something new or to find time to create and post. I'm not sure if it was the project itself or my personal circumstances that were blocking me - but the main thing is I persevered and continued to create regardless.
I've found time recently to start working on my poetry art journal. This is a collaboration with 7 other wonderful ladies from Get Messy - we've each chosen a poem and created a journal, these will be sent to each of us and we will create art work inspired by each poem in the respective journals. I decided to use Nikita Gill's 'To the men who burned witches' because I thought the imagery was interesting, and also because I liked the feminist theme.
I bought a Moleskine Art Plus Japenese Accordian album, and re-covered it with something lighter so that it would be cheaper to post, this also enabled me to paint the cover in a way I would not have been able to before. I stamped and embossed the title on the front. I have created a place for all the artists to sign their name on the inside cover and glued in the poem so that everyone can read it quickly when they start to create inside.
We are each making 3 spreads in everyone's journal and I wanted to create mine before sending it off to everyone else. The first page uses some pictures from a magazine that I have been hoarding. They look so magical, and I believe the woods hold a special kind of healing magic. The quote is one of my favourite feminist quotes.The first page is an acrylic painting of a face, and the journaling is an affirmation. The second page is about alchemy, and making potions or healing elixirs - I created some found poetry on this page too. The third page is an acrylic painting of a face, and the journaling is an affirmation. Finally, because the accordian album has an extra page, I painted the background in a acrylic and added a picture from a magazine and a quote.
If you're interested in following the journey of these journals, you can read about my contributions on this blog and can follow along with all of use using this hashtag on Instagram.
It's been a while since I've updated my blog - things have been busy here with J's appointments and my work. We've had a bit of a hard time recently as well with my husband's job and money and time have been really tight. I've been doing the 100 day project though and have been creating lots of mixed media postcards - click here to see them. I've also been continuing with my current collaborative projects - I recently got my colour journal back and I need to take some photos once the sun is out and will upload them here - in the meantime there's a badly lit flip-through here.
It's currently the Season of Colour at Get Messy and I'm proud to say that I made my own journal for this one - I bought a vintage Ladybird book and removed the inserts and filled it with some mixed media paper. You can see my book and pages so far here:
Last month I had a couple of crappy days - J had loads of medical appointments and I was chasing my tail, Jamie was away with work which just compounds the difficulties and I wasn't well. And then I came home to an envelope on my doormat addressed to Rosie Rain. I assumed it was one of the collaborative projects I was working on because only my art friends know me as Rosie Rain (it's my IG name); so when I opened it it was a massive surprise to see it was a zine from the ever so beautiful Zine Squad ladies: Katie, Vanessa, Jules and Elly who was the guest ziner for the Magical Motherhood Zine.
Feast your eyes on the beautiful pages below and tell me how you also would have sat on the kitchen floor with tears in your eyes and your daughter on your knee as you looked through it. J has numerous special needs and I have referred to myself before as a lion/tiger mum who has to fight for appointments and referrals for her constantly so I loved that page by Vanessa. Also J and I have a saying - I tell her I love her all the moon - and she finishes, 'and all the stars' and so the last page really finished me off (thanks Jules and your super-sleuthing).
One reason I love the Get Messy art community and the projects that spring out from it is the sixth sense that people seem to have - that weird kinship when people seem to know you're in need of the type of hug that comes in an envelope via Royal Mail.
Thank you so much ladies for thinking of me as you created art, I cannot tell you how much this touched my soul. Check out their blogs and art - they are all wonderful human beings.
I am very excited to be involved in a couple of different journal collaborations this year. One of these is an art project based on artists of our choice - there are 8 of us, and we have all chosen a different artist to be inspired by. We are currently in the process of making our journals and creating some work inspired by our chosen artist and then we will send them off next week for the next person to create in. I have chosen Gustav Klimt - so each member of the collab will create work in my journal inspired by Klimt, and by the end we will have learned about 8 different artists and created work inspired by them. How amazing is that!
We are not going to share our work in the other members' journals until it is all over though (well, maybe just one or two pages!) so that there will be surprises for the journals' owner at the end. Here are some of my pages so far in my Klimt journal - I've loved working with gold leaf and am excited to get it off in the post.
The past week has been ultra-busy. Christmas seems to be fast approaching and last week I spent all of my spare hours (when J is at pre-school) wrapping, cleaning the house and decorating. Which is great - I love Christmas, but it meant very little time for art journalling. I did however, sign up for Wanderlust - so I am happy about that and I'm hoping that Father Christmas will bring me some of the supplies I will need.
The new prompts for the season of Gifts were out on the Get Messy blog on Monday, and they got me thinking about the greatest gift I have ever allowed myself - Hope. Hope wasn't really my friend for a long time, she was elusive and would not stay for long when she did appear. We were trying hard to grow our family and it wasn't long before it felt like hope deserted me. But then just before Christmas 2014 we got some good news about a little girl who eventually became our daughter, and hope returned.
For this page I used colours that I don't usually pull out - I threw them haphazardly on the page and then used an old bank card to drag them down the page. I used a Jane Davenport faces stencil to draw on the face profiles and painted them with black gesso. Finally I used a Tim Holtz stamp with some embossing powder to decorate on the faces and added some Tim Holtz stickers for the journalling.