This journal spread was done the evening before any of the events took place. I created the cartoons in Photoshop Elements using a Wacom pen. Then I printed them onto Sheer Heaven and transferred them to the pages. I was just about 100% certain that what I depicted would take place. When I got to Shirley’s apartment I made sure to sit at the table and hold the book up in the air that I was going to gut.
I did all the text today, again digitally, and because I don’t really like the color of the Moleskine pages or the smooth smooth surface I painted over them and attacked with some stamping.
Shirley taught Benedicte and me how to remove the text block from an old book, sew new signatures with watercolor paper and insert that in the old book cover.
Easy peasy. She showed Melly how to make book cloth out of their own surface designed fabric (quite beautiful) and then Melly slow sewed and Shirley glued her pretty cloth to the boards, inserted her book block and now she has a wonderful new journal that is 100% hers. Again, easy peasy and very satisfying.
Psst. My book is a bit lopsided.
An exciting episode straight out of my life: Sunday night I ate the last of the grapes – no more fruit in the house. I didn?t want to go to Costco on Monday for a lot of silly reasons which I?m to embarrassed to mention so instead I went to the little fruit market when I went out to get coffee and bought three Golden Delicious apples. I only needed two – one for desert at lunch and one for the same reason at dinner. But, you know, what happens if I get the munchies in the middle of the night? I might starve to death so that?s why I brought home three.
Yes, they are/were very pretty Golden Delicious apples. And, yes, I did take ?some? artistic license while drawing them. ?3 Apples? was drawn on Sheer Heaven with Caran d?Ache watercolor pencils and then transferred to the unpainted page with 70% alcohol. I transferred each apple separately for ease of manageability. That is exactly how they transferred, I didn?t touch them up at all. Whether I should have is another issue. Then acrylic and guache, stamping, Pitt pen and a teensy bit of collage. By the way, the pencil (not the paint) bled through to the blank Moleskine sketch page behind the images. That doesn?t matter to me at all. I?m not concerning myself with things like that with this journaling process. It will get incorporated or covered up when I get to the affected pages. I skipped ahead in the book to do this spread because I discovered something when I was doing the next one (which I did first). Stay tuned.
The drawing in the second spread (done first) was again done on Sheer Heaven but using Caran d?Ache Watersoluble crayons. Then acrylic paint, guache, stamping and Pitt pen. The lesson I learned: the transfer alcohol seeped through the page, which it does, and made the acrylic paint on the previous page gummy and also managed to make the one previous to that also gummy. This resulted in bits of previous pages sticking to each other which was not nice but not a disaster either. I stuck wax paper between those pages, they dried and the disruption was very small and fixable. Next time I have those colors out I?ll tend to them. Another thing I noticed. This mini Moleskine Sketch is having a harder time handling the painted pages – It seems to be affecting the binding whereas this doesn?t happen in the larger ones. I wonder if this is just this particular book or if it is because it is so small. Again, I don?t care. I like this little one a lot and I?m enjoying myself. If it falls apart, well, that?s what rubber bands are for.
I?m on a bird kick apparently. ?Checkerbirds? is acrylic paint. Originally the birds were transfers but were kind of washed out so I just overpainted with my favorite – black gesso. I collaged some bits from a discarded printout I was experimenting with and pencil scribbled.
So as not to waste any paint I worked on the mini journal at the same time and, tracing some birds onto sheer heaven with the Pitt brush and then using Caran d?ache watercolor pencils, found out how nicely the pencils transfer with the alcohol. The colors, which had just been scribbled on in layers, blended during the transfer process. Then I painted around the shapes with the leftover acrylic paint.
Inspired by someone I know, I cut out some stamps representing the city and country. It seems some people actually have the energy to leave the city on Friday evening and then returning on Monday morning (or Sunday night). It exhausts me just to think of it. Seems like you end up doing laundry in two locations. Grocery shopping twice. Running out of toothpaste and then running out again. And, I won?t even mention dust bunnies. Phew. I have to take a nap. Thus ?Migration?. Acrylic paint and stamping.
And, finally, to again use up paint, ?City Bird?. In reality I did this first because I wanted to see how the stamp would print. It?s a little chaotic but that?s how the city is during this holiday. Loads of tourists everywhere you turn. Noise, crowding, no sense of personal space – in fact, you have to leave your personal space home and take a deep breath and go with the flow.
“Bottles” was a repeat of a previous image. I had an extra printed sheer heaven – the text had not been reversed in this one so I had to reprint for the older spread. I just cut out the drawing for this and transferred it into the mini Moleskine. I painted with the gauche and collaged some painted tracing paper bits. I don’t like this gauche very much but I do love the vibrant colors. It doesn’t seem to rewet so I can only put out what I’m going to use. That’s why the same colors will show up on other spreads – just using up the paint
The next spread, “Old Man”, also in the mini, used a transfer of a repeat image that I had already printed on Sheer Heaven. Black gesso and stamping.
I don’t know what got into me. For “123” I used guache, gesso, guache painted tracing paper, tissue paper with gesso stenciled numbers and stamping. I don’t like using matte medium but I thought I might as well see what would happen if I used it in this book. It works fine on painted tracing paper but because I was having a very stupid moment and rubbed it on the back of the fragile tissue it just reinforced my dislike of the medium. Despite the rips and tears it left a nice surface but I think I’ll stick to UHU.
I take pictures of anything that is painted/stenciled on pavement. In the next spread (mini Moleskine) I transferred some parking garage arrows. It was kind of wishy-washy because my printer was running out of ink so I painted over them with gesso.
The next two spreads were done with bird stamps made out of fun foam. Both have Pan Pastels as a background. When I was out walking the sunset had red, orange and yellow streaks so I decided to make “House Sparrow” nice and bright.
The last spread “Nevermore” turned out very differently from what I had planned. I used Pan Pastels with Versamark for the negative space stamp and for the background trees. When I used the positive bird stamp with ink I chose a bad color and it was a mess. Out came the eraser and I liked the result – a bit mysterious (to me, at least). I lived with it for most of the evening trying to decide what to do with the rest. Finally I covered everything else with gesso and called it finished. By chance it turned out as a house shape. I’m consistent even when I’m not trying.
I just finished a spread that was inspired by someone else. Yes, I admit it. I stole his story. I?m not ashamed. If he wants me to attribute it to him I?ll have no problem putting his name in all caps, bold and italicized – just let me know. Anyway – sheer heaven transfers, acrylic paint, stamping, a squiggle of crayon.