Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lessons From an Art Journal Chapter Two

Chapter Two 

Validating Fears of Ruining a Project

One of my biggest fears is creating a base for a project that I absolutely LOVE and ruining it.  I think that is why it takes me FOREVER to complete even a simple card; I am afraid that I will have finally put together the "perfect" elements and ruin it.

Lesson Number One: You WILL ruin the "perfect" background.  Time and time again.  Get over it.

I have yet to bite the bullet for a larger Gelli plate.  I have a 6x6" plate, which I LOVE!  It is rather ironic that I can smear paint on that plate and make mono prints all day without stressing about ruining the prints. It is probably the only time I let go and let the process just take over.  Of course, that does not apply to actually USING the prints! HA!! There I still have the overwhelming fear of ruining the prints. 

Since my mixed media journal is 9x11" I decided to experiment with an idea that that I hoped would give me the look of a mono print.  What I achieved was almost better! A mono print with texture.

I wish I could capture the amount of texture on this page!! The ridges are actually raised.  I could run my fingers over it all day, just feeling the rise and dips of the paint.

I started this page by putting a layer of Gesso down. I then randomly put globs (such a artistic, technical term) of Claudine Hellsmuth paint and Liquitex Gloss Gell on the page.

Using a brayer and a Martha Stewart paint tool, I spread out the paint and added the textured lines.

Just for your information:  I bought this paint tool from Home Depot.  There are three different textures tools in the pack.  I think I spent $10.  CHEAP and gave me the texture I was hoping for!

Lesson Number Two:  There is no rule that says you cannot have a journal page of just lovely paint and texture.  There is an extensive amount of art hanging on gallery walls that exists of just paint and texture.  If you create such a piece that makes you happy, don't feel pressure to add to the piece.  

Lesson Number Three: If you choose to ignore Lesson Number Two, then don't be shocked and disappointed when you ruin that lovely piece of textured art.

I admit it.  I ignored Lesson Number Two, despite that nagging voice that was yelling in my head to just leave the piece alone.  I got greedy and thought to my self that adding some wonderful embossing paste through a stencil would give me even more wonderful texture.

Totally ruined the piece.  All those lovely ridges of paint do not make for a good surface to place a stencil over and achieve a crisp image. When I pulled the stencil, I had GLOBS of embossing paste that had slipped under the stencil.  

Lesson Number Four:  Learn from your mistakes. 

I decided that I would try again, but with a few deviations from the original background.  First:  I did not Gesso the page.  Actually, I just forgot this step. Interesting outcome was that my textured base layer did not have as high of ridges.  I'm not sure if this is because the paint and gel soaked into the paper more, or because I did not use as much as much paint and gel as I did the first go around.  

Second:  I used the stencil again, but instead of using embossing paste, I pulled out various artist markers to fill in the stencil.

The stencil is the center skull and flourishes from the TCW.  The stencil is only a 6x6".  It was swallowed up by the larger page so I free handed the "roses" in a style I hoped complimented the stencil. 

Highlights were done with a Sharpie Paint pen

Not quite as much texture, but maybe that enabled a crisper image from the stencil.

Lesson Number Five: It's okay to feel uncertain with the outcome of a piece. This piece is a bit busier than I usually create.  The texture adds another dimension in reality that I cannot capture with the photo.  I like the fact that I pushed my creative boundaries.  I'm a bit iffy on the amount of "activity" the piece conveys.  

Lesson Number Six: Try to relax and enjoy the creative journey. 


Micki said...

Yay, love love love it. From the texture to the final page. said...

Wow, this is just a gorgeous piece and I don't think you over did it all! One of my most major flaws is not knowing when to quit on a piece but you timed this one out just perfectly! Well done!

Stef H said...

art is made up of mistakes. to me you are a true artist (better than Picasso). you'll be famous .... eventually!!!

this is absolutely gorgeous and perfect for mardi gras! you just ROCK in my book!

hugs :)

Sylvia said...

Fabulous papers, Starla, too bad you don't live closer you could come to Amy's art retreat, she has been making paste paper as well. Have a great Monday!

Gail Dixon said...

Gosh, Starla, this piece turned out awesome!! I know you fret over your art, but I think that's the mark of a good artist. You can't just be sloppy and not care. Whatever your process, I always see the most amazing pieces here on your blog. I do wish you could relax just a little when you're creating, though. :)

Charlotte Wilson said...

actually, I loved the first run but then when I saw the stencils on top, I love it.