Tag Archives: art journal

Me at 20 (assignment for a self – discovery workshop) 

The assignment was to find a metaphorical image of ourselves at a selected age. I had originally picked the number 27 because she first had us just pick a number, without telling us what the number was for.

At 27, I was internally severely depressed, suicidal, and a general mess, but presented as very together to the outside world. I worked almost 80 hours a week. I was a manager at a group home. I had my external shit together… I would land in the hospital for a week, get discharged, and head back to work the day of discharge, or the following day. I worked full-time while attending intensive outpatient treatment around my work schedule… I can’t count anymore how many times I was asked how I could manage that so seemingly easily…

The perfect picture for that would be an ad for the exorcism movie (a b&w photo with a girl sitting in a room alone, her head facing the wrong direction, and the words “there’s a fate worse than death”… I kinda regret not bringing it now…

So yeah, that felt like a bit heavy, and a bit much to bring to this workshop.

The second age I picked was 20 simply because L picked that one. The image for it is an ad for The Good Place…

It’s perfect for me at 20. There were a few bumps, but I was generally unaware. My internal systems did a good job of convincing me everything was fine. I was oblivious except for a few things not going great (hugely depressed, but no real clue why. Trying to work on it in therapy and constantly getting the question “was there anything else?” Because the interventions that should have worked just didn’t…). So yeah, that works well for 20.


Ashes- mixed media panel

It didn’t start out specifically as something related to the loss of Chow, but it ended up that way…

I was just messing around with art supplies in an attempt to get myself unstuck from the grief. 

There were also 2 pages in my journal I played around with, but they are not finished yet. So far, they are just backgrounds: 

I  was experimenting with a rust texture set I dug out of the clearance section last week. This tag was the first thing I used the stuff on. I think it came out ok (much better than when I tried it on the blue page)… It will go on the blue page eventually. I can’t decide where to put it though. I really like how it pops when it’s in the bottom left corner, but I also really like the detail of that spot. I’ve been trying to make it work in other spots, but it seems to get lost in the chaos of the background anywhere else I try to put it. I might have to deal with covering up what’s easily my favorite area on the page. The other option would be to alter the tag or background in a way that allows the tag to be distinguished from the background. It may take me a while to figure that out…


Art journaling again, finally

It’s been a while, huh? 

The weekend went ok after fixing the art piece, though we didn’t really do much more with it. We were going to, but something else sidetracked us (though in the moment, I can’t really remember what it was). 

I’ve been really stuck in my art. I’ve completed a whole bunch of backgrounds, but nothing really finished. There were also a few doodles, but again, all unfinished and directionless. 

I think I managed to get through a piece tonight. I got further than any other piece in the past several weeks… I was trying for a Halloween theme (because, well, it’s the only holiday I really like, and it usually inspires me). I started it earlier this week but got sidetracked (themes much?). I grabbed some supplies I thought would work with the existing background. I started laying down washi tape. It wasn’t really a pattern with any real direction though, and I got stuck again. 

I began flicking through the screenshots on my phone (inspiration images, things I find interesting, quotes that stick out to me…). I landed on a quote that seemed appropriate; “it takes a huge effort to free yourself from memory” – Paulo Coelho. 

It fit the background and the washi tape pretty well. It also gave me more direction for the page. 

I used crackle paste to form the silhouette of a brain. Appropriate, since lately my brain feels cracked and broken. I feel cracked and broken… I know sometimes I feel these really horrible things, but other times I have no connection to any of it. I have these huge walls that I feel almost no control over. They slam into place with little warning, and they have very little seepage. 

Anyway… yeah. Here’s the page:


I don’t have a good working title for this piece

This whole “reorganization” of how I handle stress; the shift from instant dissociation of emotions in order to deal with the situation at hand, to an overwhelm of emotions and feel incompetent, has my little world in a sort of chaos…

Flipping through some junk mail, I found the perfect image: a long-exposure picture of a barn and night sky. The long exposure made the stars look like circular steaks in the sky, and the angle of the image gave the barn a “funhouse mirror” effect of stretching and angling it to look ominous and looming.

I did an image transfer onto a page in a journal that already had some paint and ink on it (one of those “hey, let’s not waste this extra stuff” pages with stencil “stamping” and other random effects). The stuff that was already there can be seen through the image transfer. It gives some added depth, but also goes with the feeling in trying to convey (they were Halloween-themed stencils I had been testing out)… the transfer came out grungy; again, it fits the feel of the page. Sadly, much of the detail of the streaking stars was lost. It just looked like a glowing barn next to a large black area. I accented the streaks with my white pen. Sometimes I’m glad that my supplies don’t work “perfectly” because the intermittent lines made by the pen mimicked the steaks in the original image. It was frustrating when I tried to use the same pen to write lyrics from a Tori Amos song on the page, but it worked perfectly for the stars…

The page has a few different sets of lyrics on it. I don’t normally mix lyrics on pages, but the the two tori songs are connected in my head… and the telepop music inspired words are a reminder to balance the chaos (“just breathe. just be”… I was limited to the words printed on the washi tape, so not totally accurate to the song).

The lyrics in white at the top of the page are from Upside Down, by Tori Amos;

“god, I love to turn my little blue world upside down…inside my head the noise chatter chatter chatter chatter chatters… you see I’m afraid I’ll always be upside down… but my head it says I’ve been shatter shatter shatter shatter shattered… you see I love to turn my little blue world upside down”

The black lyrics in the barn are from Silent all These Years (also by Tori Amos);

“Years go by/ will I still be waiting for somebody else to understand/ years go by if I’m stripped of my beauty and the orange clouds raining in my head… years go by will I choke on my tears till finally there is nothing left/ one more casualty you know we’re too easy easy easy… let’s hear what you think of me now but baby don’t look up/ the sky is falling/but what if I’m a mermaid in these jeans of his with her name still on it/ hey but I don’t care cause sometimes, I said sometimes I hear my voice/ and it’s been here/ silent all these years”

There’s more to be done on this page, but I’m not quite sure what. Going to let it lead me wherever it wants to go…

image


Out of Phase

That’s it! He feels out of phase… I think maybe that’s why communication is so difficult.

image


Where did I leave off?

Let’s see, what have you missed out on?

I’m still having a rough time. I still really just want to cry but can’t seem to. I’m still not sleeping all that well…

I’ve also been creatively dry lately. I participated in an art journal page supply swap, and felt like I was kicking and screaming my way through it. I did most of a page around what I received, but it still needs work.

image

I tried working more on a small mixed media piece that I started a while back. I had overdone the silver foil when I added it; It took over the whole painting. I tried to balance it with some steampunk-style, but now I’m feeling the focal image is completely lost. I dunno. It’s definitely something to keep working on.

image

Other than that, I’m creatively stalled.

Outside of art, I’m finding the repercussions of wanting to help people out are again causing more stress than happiness. Several weeks ago, I had suggested to someone I could bring something back for her from across the country because, at the time, I thought I could make that trip easier than I actually can… least week, she asked if I was still open to picking up her purchase. I said yes thinking I was doing this trip at my pace. Unfortunately, between work constraints and the preferences of others involved, the trip has been pushed up to the end of this week instead of the beginning of May. That leaves me reeling on a few levels: money is a HUGE issue for this trip. At the time I quoted the person a cost, I was expecting to have more cash at my disposal. I only quoted half the cost of the trip, but that leaves me having to pay the other half, which I don’t really think I can afford right now.
It will also be hugely emotionally draining to go back. I’m going by myself. The whole 2-day drive will be on my shoulders both ways. There’s no one to talk to, or to switch off driving with… and I’m going back to the place that had me so triggered for the last 2.5 years.

Why did I agree to this again on this time-frame?

I hate that my insane push to help out and to please people pushes me into situations I should have thought harder about. It is what I tend to do at work and in my personal life: I push myself way past my own limits until it ends up backfiring… when will I finally learn this lesson?

Oh, I had mentioned the pattern of March being difficult seemingly every year to Dr C during last session. We brainstormed a bunch of ideas, but none seemed to feel like they fit. Maybe it’s just a rough month for no real reason…


Art instead of other things

As much as I didn’t want to be in therapy on Monday, I was really looking forward to group on Thursday… only group got cancelled 😦

So, in an effort to keep on the right track with my coping skills, I did art all day…

I’m not sure if I posted about my experiment making my own canvas journal, but I worked on that and some ATC’s that will be going out on a swap (if I can ever decide which ones to actually send. I like them all for various reasons. Some have deeper meanings than they may appear to just by looking at them).

Anyway, here are pics of it all. Some are WIP pics, others of completed pages/cards… I used Inka Gold on the canvas. It doesn’t work well. The paint is cracking and chipping already. I need to come up with something as a hard cover for the journal to help protect it better. It works fine on solid objects, but it’s not meant to be pliable once dried.

I’m glad I had the distraction today. Between pms, the passing of one of L’s family members (and what it’s bringing up for me), increased body sensations, stress around one of the dogs having eaten a spoon a week ago and still not passed it, and the thought of a crazy day at work tomorrow, my thoughts have been hovering over the more negative coping skills. Similar to what I mentioned to Dr C on Monday, I just wanted to be drunk, high, and bleeding. Instead I played art and listened to the Ellie Goulding station on Pandora… yay for picking the more socially acceptable coping skills.


Journal page update

Worked on this page again today. Still trying to figure out what to do in the top left corner…

An artist friend suggested a nose, though at first I was thinking the lack of one is symbolic of how depression makes you feel like you can’t breathe. I dunno. It still needs something. The right side definitely needs work too, but that’s looking like a total overhaul. This side just needs *something*…

image

I have to admit though, I worked my butt off on those stupid strings sewing her mouth shut. I must have redone them at least 5 times. They look a bit better in the photograph than in real life, but I’m still pretty proud of them. I had originally planned to glue actual thread on there, but wanted a more 3-d look to her lips, so I painted them in… I’m sure they look amature to more experienced artists, but they’re the best I’ve done so far. I’m happy with how they turned out.


More art

Worked on this page today. I’ve had the under layer done since September, but hadn’t figured out what else to do with her. She’s still a work in progress (didn’t mean to make the gold above her eye look like bangs), but she’s getting there… gonna get rid of the bangs and sew her mouth shut… not sure what else will happen, but that’s part of the plan.

Gelatos over gesso’d magazine page. Feather is gesso’d steps of origami paper.

image

image

image


So many layers!

I think I’ve finally finished that fold-out, multiple-layer journal I started forever ago… it’s truly a mixed media piece. I don’t think there is much I didn’t use: spray inks, collage, acrylic paint, stamping, two types of embossing, textiles, sewing, pen, charcoal, wax pencil, stencils, rub-ons, stickers, washi tape, vintage paper, grommets… among all the layers, I used a ton of stuff (my journal isn’t too happy about it; the spine has been stretched almost to capacity). I think I finally feel like it’s finished (it only took 2 months). I have to admit, the hidden layer was way more triggering than I had expected. It made me want to rip my insides out in order to stop feeling the body memories. The additions I did to that page took less time and artistic effort than any of the other pages combined, but it took the most emotional energy. I stuck with it though and just kept going with the art. I focused on painting the heart and getting it closer to anatomical correctness. I thought about asking Dr C for support, but changed my mind. I was determined to wade through the triggers on my own… it worked. It took all day to complete and now it’s waiting for Monday when I can talk to Dr C about it.

Here are the finished pages (except for the hidden layer):

The top page says: “be the author of your life… write your own ending”
image

The left page (with the heart) says; “don’t think of all the things you fear, just be glad to be here”, and the right side has a Harry Potter quote; “I don’t care! I’ve heard enough, I’ve seen enough, I want out, I want it to end, I don’t care anymore!” … “you do care. You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death from the pain of it…”
image

And some progress shots:


That took a sharp turn

image

I didn’t really have an idea for this page other than adding the rainbow inks… they didn’t turn out exactly as I’d pictured it at 2am when the idea came to me, but they turned out ok.

image

I had thought I was going to use the heavy gel honeycomb pattern as a resist when adding a black ink wash, but when it came down to it, I wasn’t sure I could get the look I was going for. I opted out of the totally dark background (the black letters would have gotten lost), and went way out of my comfort zone to keep the bg mostly white…

image

I had originally used a silhouette mask of a woman when laying down the honeycomb pattern. I wanted to highlight her in some way. I finally ended on cutting out another copy of her from the rice paper I had covered in gel medium. I tried to color her with blue gelatos… didn’t like it, so did my best to wash them off. Go figure, this time I can’t get the color to wash off completely. Anyway, I didn’t like the blue much, so I thought of drawing in her details. Then I thought better of it, and drew in a skeleton instead. I lost stream drawing by the time I reached the skull, so that part looks way more cartooney than I’d like…

image

It’s still a work in progress (more ideas of what to do both with the skeleton and the background), but this is as far as I’ve gotten… I haven’t worked on her in 2 days. I haven’t worked on the squares since the night I posted about them… I dunno. Motivation is sorta there, but energy and effort to execute isn’t.


“Little squares” page update

I’ve been trying to do these every night, and take pics every night, but I have to admit I’ve only worked on it about 4 times, and only remembered to take progress pics two additional times…

Here’s a pic from just now, before I’m starting to work on it again for the night.

image

They’re not supposed to bleed over into each other, but I’ve given up caring.

And progress from tonight:
image

image

image


Updates and an art journal WIP

I haven’t had much to say lately. Therapy has just been… therapy. Nothing major or very deep… or maybe it has, but hasn’t been overly memorable? We talked a bit about the topic of touch, but not too much. Dr C loaned me a book on the topic (A Very Touching Book, by Jan Hindman). It’s written mainly with kids in mind, but works for adults as well… it’s actually kind of cool, breaking touch down into 3 types: good, bad, and secret. I like that delineation. It makes inappropriate touch easier to understand and explain that way.

Other than that, just plugging along through the days. I’ve been working a few more hours, which is nice. The holidays were uneventful. I hadn’t done much art lately, but picked it up again these past 3 days or so. Dr C and I had talked more about masks and layers of self. She asked if I would want to do some art around it, so I’ve been trying to work on that. I’m not quite sure where I’m going with it, but it’s going…slowly. Mostly at the moment it’s covering layers I dislike because I wasn’t really sure where I was going with them. I wish I had taken more progress shots, but I wasn’t expecting to cover quite so much of each layer at the time I went to add more to them.

This is the current top layer, though it will be added to/covered some more after it dries:

image

It’s actually a 2-page-spread layer I had taped onto the original page. I will be doing the back side of this page, adding another 2-page-spread layer taped under this one, but to the right side. The top most layer will represent the life I have now: the love, the success, the life that I built for myself. The middle layer will be a more translucent layer. It will be that murky, uncertain, muddled layer that will represent the symptoms that were so confusing out-of-context. It’s the confusion around whether all of this is just in my mind, or actually true. The bottom layer will be the ickiness that hides in the past: the abuse, the assaults, the trauma stuff…

So far I only have that top layer done. It kinda feels like 3 or more art journal pages rolled into one project… and it’s daunting. I miss my art friends who helped so much with inspiration and ideas. I’m substituting them with an endless stream of YouTube art journal tutorial videos. They are mostly just going on in the background, but they’re good for sparks of ideas.

Here’s the only other “wip” shot of this page, and two stamps I carved yesterday for a change of pace.

image

image

image


Another minor art dump

I didn’t really do much art for the past several days, until today. I worked on (stared at) 3 pieces this afternoon. It was nice to have my creativity back, even if it was severely stunted.

I started by working more on the piece I was asked to do for domestic violence awareness. For the past 2 or 3 weeks, it sat as a sketch with a plain black background. I had an idea of what was to come next, but I didn’t move to work on it.  Today I caved and colored in the sketch with marker. It’s not great, but it works ok for what it is. I still have a lot of practice to get in when it comes to art with markers… Anyway, I think it’s mostly finished. I will look at it again tomorrow before I put on the sealant spray as the final step. I thought about framing it, but I just don’t have the cash flow to make that happen right now.

image

I changed a few minor things since this picture; I removed the triangles from around the word “crash” and I took out the upside-down exclamation mark because it looked too much like the letter “i”. I would like to attempt to blend the bottom of her torso and the bg a bit better, but I’m not quite sure I can accomplish it the way I’m picturing. Anyway, like I said, it’s mostly done. I just have to contact the dv clinic and find out when and where to drop it off.

The two other pages I worked on were backgrounds that had been sitting idle for a while. They are far from finished, but they served the purpose of giving me another thing to multitask with while watching Netflix with L (I’m noticing more and more that I need the constant distraction again).

image

image

The face done in pen came about from the shapes I saw in the marbled background. It kinda reminds me of the Indonesian warrior masks, or the Japanese warrior faces from kabuki theater. I think I will go back and add more lines with a better pen before I call it finished (I’m still struggling to find a replacement for my favorite black scarlet lime pen. Nothing I’ve tried works as reliably or effectively on multimedia surfaces)…

Yesterday in therapy we talked about stressors that add to my depression. She pointed out something that should have been glaringly obvious to me, but something that I just hadn’t put together yet: I’m lonely. It’s difficult when everyone has wonky work schedules. Even at my work, I don’t really get to interact much with peers. Most of the time, I do customer service by myself. I chat a bit with the customers and in passing with the other associates, but for the most part, it’s just me by myself the whole shift. When I do finally get to spend more time with a few people, I inevitably end up doing or saying something horribly awkward :/ (I also still have a lot of trouble believing anyone would want to hang out with me of their own free will. Even visiting my brother and his wife this weekend, I didn’t feel like I belonged. It felt like everyone else had a right to be there, but I was just wasting oxygen and space. My rational mind knows that it is not true, but I still felt very awkward and out-of-place)…

Talking about all that was good though. Having L randomly needing to switch her schedule to be home most of today also helped. It’ll just be weird on Thursday when she has to work all day…

Oh, the latest self portrait I did was last Wednesday… it’s more stylized and emotive, but I like how the whole piece worked out:
image


Self portrait – 100 mile stare

This pretty much encompasses today:

image

I might redo the face tomorrow (have another idea for it), though I might not. I suppose I should keep the drawings as they are, and watch the progression/change as I get practice under my belt.

This one is definitely reflective of the mood of the day: distance, disconnect, attempts at grounding…


other art

I have a bunch of art journal pages that are just sitting there, waiting for progress. Some are further along than others, and many have been sitting for months. A few are actually finished. Most of them are “left over” supplies pages.


untitled art (needs a name) **might be TRIGGERING**

wpid-20150923_164522.jpgNot exactly what I started out picturing, but I think I like it. This is the “finished” piece, though it may just be finished for today… It also needs a title. It was supposed to be a comforting image, but it turned creepy when I couldn’t get the level of detail I wanted with the pastels. It became creepier still when I needed an outlet for these stupid body memories, so they made it into the painting (awesome how memories can be transferred into & contained by art… kinda reminds me of the Vigo painting from GhostBusters II in that respect).

Some cool things I learned about oil pastels while playing with this piece: 1. to remove it from a gesso’d background, scrape off as much as you can, then rub over what’s left with paint thinner. I used Turpenoid Natural b/c it is supposed to be non-toxic. It smells like Goo Gone so it may be the same stuff. 2. To make oil pastels behave/look more like oil paints, brush over with a small amount of said paint thinner. To keep the detail of the piece, use a very thin layer applied with a soft brush at a nearly horizontal angle. If you want it to behave like paint, use a bit more paint thinner and brush the pastels as you would if you were painting.

These are some “progress” shots.

 

Loosely inspired by:

wpid-screenshot_2015-09-23-11-14-29.png

 

Other things in the works:

 

 

 


Studying Stones – art journal

I finished this page up the other day. It didn’t really have an original direction, but it went through a bunch of layers before I settled on an ending.

It started as lyrics to a Flyleaf song (So I Thought), then was covered by some vintage papers… I colored over those in gelatos thinking they would be more translucent, but I ultimately liked the way the colors spread, so I kept them. I still wanted some of the paper peeking through, so I used stencils and wiped away some of the gelato through the stencil…

I wasn’t sure what to do next, though I thought I would try maybe some zentangle-style things. I quickly remembered I kinda suck at the zentangle style though, so I went digging for other things. I found a print-out of the lyrics to Ani Difranco’s Studying Stones. I did an image transfer of that onto the b/g… then I went searching for reference photos of balancing stones (I had a specific picture in mind, but could not find it). Along the way, I stumbled upon a pic of stones that looked kinda like a little stone person, so I used that as a reference instead. More gelatos. I also added the phrase “you are magical” as I had seen it on one of my social media feeds and thought it would work for this piece (I know it was meant as an inspirational phrase, to mean that the reader is magical, but I also liked the concept of the little stone person believing the stones are magical in their own right: being unaffected by life, and simply being stones – as the lyrics to the Ani song describe).

Anyway, here’s the final result (and a few more “progress” shots)

I would still like to do something with or of my interpretation of the flyleaf lyrics at some point. There are some lines in that song which I can really relate to…


More art

Progress on “flashbacks” & some other stuff…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 


Flashbacks (WIP)

image

This page has been one of the slowest yet. I’ve had the general idea for the top layer for over 2 weeks (though it went through at least 4 revisions before that. The original bg sketch was done back in June), but can’t seem to execute it the way I see it in my head. I totally screwed up the skeleton… now I’m waiting for it to dry before I can try it again.

Also, faces in profile are my toughest draw. They always look wrong, so I tend to just do a mass of hair covering where the face would be…

Here are some of the steps that I remembered to take pics of:

image

image

image


Mistaken

image


A small art dump

Between packing and procrastinating, I’ve gotten some art time in.

wpid-20150621_153423-1.jpgI didn’t expect to be able to go to Friday’s class with my friend, but stars aligned and things worked out. It was fun. We made marbled backgrounds using paint and shaving cream… I don’t have any pics of the plain bg (will have to ask my friend for it. She always takes pics of what everyone makes), but I turned one into a painting today. Some of the marbling looked like lotus flowers, so I drew some. Then I painted around them to have them stand out better.

 

wpid-20150619_233026.jpgOne of the other bg’s I made that night was just dots of color. She had also brought along her stamps, including a new face one (for her class the next day). We got to mess with them. I really like that stamp, though cannot picture spending that much on a stamp. I’ll stick to borrowing her’s or drawing my own faces… (the price tag on it was $23, but she uses it for her students, so she can justify it). Anyway, I used that & her poppies. When I got home that night, I decided to play with that page. I thought the poppies would be interesting if I made them out of washi tape. After heading to bed though, I ended up coloring in her eyes with gel pen. I have yet to take another pic of what it looks like now. It’s still a work in progress.

 

wpid-20150619_124942-1.jpgLastly, TM had given me this Dumbledore quote last week. I wanted to put it somewhere safe, so into the big journal it went. I originally was going to draw a light bulb hanging from a chain, with just a pull chain next to it. The bulb was going to just be the barest hint of being there, with a hand pulling the chain to turn it on, but I wasn’t confident in my ability to pull off the concept as I saw it in my head, so I went with a hand holding a lit match. (The significance of the bulb would have had me too nervous to be able to handle screwing up the picture).

 

wpid-img_20150619_081344.jpgit was first done in white wax pencil, but I wasn’t satisfied with the look. I added gelatos for color, and I think it looks much better (we will ignore that I forgot to put wax paper between the pages so it got a bit ruined today when I had to peel the stuck pages apart… it’s ok. It’s not that bad. I can live with it. The whole piece is not ruined… I will keep telling myself that until I believe it).

Anyway, those were this weekend’s distractions. Now I have to get back to packing o_O

Oh! I also found the absolute cutest washi tape on clearance at Office Depot yesterday: effalants!

image

Most of my washi tapes are black, white, or black & white. I think the caution tape was one of 3 that had color. I just had to get this set though. The elephants are totally worth it ❤


um, so getting back to what I was going to post… black pen test for mixed media art & art journals…

There was a question in an art journal fb group about the preferred black pens to use with mixed media and art journals. I’m a visual person, so I rounded up all the pens I have at home and did some tests to show how they work out. It’s certainly not all the ones available, but all the black pens & markers I could find at home.

I used Strathmore mixed media paper. I tested them on Golden brand gesso (creamier), Golden brand heavy gel, and Liquitex Basics gesso (rougher). The far right column was the pens directly on the paper, then (after heat-dried) washed over with a single pass of a soft brush full of water. I put the gessos and gel on fairly thick to the left side of their respective column, and thinner to the right (but only about 1.5″ wide in each column because I wasn’t thinking). It’s too humid for acrylic stuff to dry well here, so the thicker sides were still tacky when I did this. It effects the pen performance; the thinner sides took the pen better. Oh, and I did a last-minute triple-pass of matte medium over 1/2 the pen in the far left column…

The matte medium and water were used to the right of the lines in the individual examples in each column (except the one dedicated water column)…

The inc R2 & MegaBold pens are both dollar store finds…

Sadly, my favorite pen (Scarlet Lime) is no longer available. If anyone finds one that performs like that, with the same deep black, please point me in the right direction! I tried the FudeBall a while back (what was originally recommended to replace the Scarlet Lime), but it just didn’t hook me. In my opinion, it performed a lot like the dollar store pens for a much higher price. I used a friend’s at the time, so it’s not part of this test page. (I was just told that the Pilot Multiball pen and the Pilot BeGreen Recycled Permaball GellRollerball pen (UK) the same as the Scarlet Lime one… Will have to check both out.)

Does any of that even make sense? Hopefully the pics help…

If you have done something similar (or do it in the future), feel free to show & tell in the comments. If you allow, I will move your test up into the body of this post so it’s all in one place. 😉

 


Distractions: art

I’ve been pretty busy being creative. It’s easier than facing packing and endings and difficult decisions.

Here’s what I’ve done in the last few days…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Another Friday night, another fun journal class

I may or may not kick myself tomorrow because I may or may not have purchased another art journal tonight. There was a sale though. And a coupon. So… yeah. I had to get it. It was way cheap! (I’m really just trying to justify the expense when I had no business spending. We need to save every penny for this move…).

Anyway, went to the class tonight. We played with spray inks. While I miss having the longer class to be able to do something more than a background, I think I like what came out of today.

The first page was done with dylusion & Heidi Swapp spray inks using commercially available stencils. The second page was done using the home-made fabric dye inks and my fall-back black printer ink with a home-made mask and some commercially available stencils. I really actually like both pages a lot. The second page got more attention tonight, so it was a bit more finished. Not at all sure what I will be putting on the blue/purple/yellow page. I’m sure I will figure it out though.

wpid-20150612_204702.jpg wpid-20150612_213110.jpg

 

 

The nipples were totally an accident, but they had us cracking up 😉 I had picked up the mask and just wasn’t able to move it from the page fast enough for it to not drip… :shrugz: it works.

I’m really going to miss my friend and her classes. I was struggling with body memories today. The usual distractions at home did not help. Going to the class and engaging not only with the art, but also the others in the class helped lessen them however. They returned when I returned home but they were not as intense. I’m going to have to make sure I find something like this up north. It won’t be the same, but hoping it will help just the same.


Dotty in 8-bit (updated)

Dotty has been itching to make another appearance for several days now. She tried last night in a journal page, but then changed her mind, citing a bad hair day. She liked that page though, so tried again today. She wanted to pay homage to classic 8-bit graphics from back in the day. She said she was still feeling the bad hair day and didn’t trust me with anything more complicated just yet.

She brought my attention to some ancient graph paper I had lying around waiting to become a background; “That. Draw me on that. You can erase easy, and the squares should give you a decent guide.”

I tried to explain that the size of the squares on the graph paper would mean she would need to be quite a bit bigger to look anything recognizable as herself; “no one will be able to tell it’s you if I make you too small. These squares are too big for smaller detail…”

She insisted on the graph paper anyway.

“Ok, but that means you won’t fit the page you like…”

“That’s ok. I’ll figure something else out for that page.”

I set to work lightly sketching her lines in. I then dug out fine-liner markers with which to give her some color. She complained about the background after noticing how pale her cloth was against the cream paper. We chatted for a bit. She threw around the ideas of a colored background (she really liked the green and purple markers I had). We talked a bit about contrast, and she eventually settled on a black background; “black is the most comfortable surrounding anyway… but don’t color in the whole page. I like this paper. Make sure some of it shows. Just do the black around me.”

“Will do. You’re the boss…”

If she could have smiled at this, she would have. She likes to think of herself as in charge. She picked the classic pose, though decided against the stool. She likes to use her noose as a swing; “the stool will get in the way of my feet and I won’t get the momentum I’m looking for…”

Check. No stool.

Dotty in 8-bit

 

Now she is occupying herself swinging back and forth while we wait for another page in the bigger journal to dry. She tried to get me to put her on that page, but I had to explain she would cover too much of the happy timeline. I reminded her I have a hard enough time remembering the happy things, I don’t want to have to push her around trying to see what’s written. She pouted for a bit, then got distracted swinging again. It must be nice to have no spine, or lungs, or any other pesky vital organs that would make playing at the end of a noose quite impracticable…

(Dotty would like me to remind you that her more-complete story can be found here)

_______________________________

She got a bit excited when I told her she could go into the journal tonight. She feels at home now. She almost looks like a macabre cross stitch…

wpid-20150607_233828.jpg


Last night’s art journal class & a moment of zen

I barely got out of bed yesterday. I got up to go to the bathroom and take care of the dogs…

In the early afternoon, I decided I need to take some sort of action to help me stabilize a bit. My friend then posted that there were still spots let in her journal class that night. I told her I was going. I didn’t really have the money for it, but I needed the distraction and to get out of bed (and the house). I’m really glad I went.

Not only was it great to see my friend, but I met some cool new people also. And the journal page came out really cool. I liked the concept so much (and I was bored waiting for the first one to dry) that I did one in both journals.

wpid-20150529_215618.jpgFirst we created an abstract background with tempera paint (the blocks, so it ended up looking like a grungier watercolor). It took a few layers, but they came out really cool. I might have to invest in some tempera blocks. Then we traced/drew some feather outlines on the page and painted around them with diluted gesso. I did the first page as she showed us (painting the whole page but the feathers). The second one I tweaked. One of the other ladies in class painted one half of her journal, then did the reverse (painted the feathers in) on the other half. Her’s came out really cool, so I tried a similar technique.

I showed TM both of them today, and upon seeing the smaller one, she commented how bright and happy the colors were… Then she looked closer and read the poem. She frowned a bit. She said it was surprising (or interesting? or striking? I can’t remember her exact word choice) that at first glance the page looked so happy & bright, but the words and additional images were so sad/dark/depressing. I hadn’t put it together in as many words at the time, but it was somewhat on purpose. It matches my presentation a lot of the time: I may look happy & bright and together at first glance, until you take a closer look. Then you see the darkness…

wpid-20150529_232604.jpgThe second page looks a bit more chaotic and grungy even at first glance, but the words are happier. They are lines/words from a song (“I won’t come down” & “fly”) I guess I liked the concept of having to look past initial impressions to get the true feel of the piece; contradictions in appearance and substance… Much like all of humanity. You can’t judge anything on appearance & first glances alone. There’s always more to it… (sorry, I don’t have an updated picture of the second one with the additional lyrics on it, but they are at the top, center of the spread).

I had a lot of fun doing them. I’m also ::gasp!:: pleased with how they turned out 😉

And finally, for a moment of zen; tonight’s sunset & moon: (yeah, so the sunset keeps getting more dramatic as it progresses… jumped up like 5 times for pics already. gonna miss this view a lot…)

 


More art because words are not happening right now


Art dump

Things have been wierd lately. I’ve been feeling better, but not really. I’ve had more success distancing, and the super-heavy depression has lifted to just average depression. Finally got around to running some errands that needed running, as well as doing some long-overdue chores. Today I played art. Messing more with those pebeo paints I won from the mothers day art raffle… there’s quite the learning curve to get the paint:outline radio just right. It’s also recommended not to drink while painting (dropped a heart I was outlining and, like buttered bread, it landed face-down). I was able to salvage it, and I threatened to paint in the outline on the tile floor also (which strangely enough, my mom was laughing about and said it would be ok)…

Anyway, here’s what I have pics of. The salvaged heart will be photographed again after the outline is dry so I don’t screw it up worse 😉