Wednesday, 23 April 2014


As those of you who are regular visitors here know, I often use my journal to get something off my chest.  Today is no exception.  It all began with a half started page I really wasn't liking at all, so I found a leftover piece of interesting scrapbook paper and covered it up.  I love it when you can do that!
Actually I wish I could make a background this good, but sadly I didn't.  Anyway, I had some fun just adding collage elements to it, all with no theme or subject in mind - which is why the items chosen make no particular sense!  It doesn't have to, I just like the way it came together.
But then, later the same day, I had a deeply frustrating telephone conversation with somebody, and that's what found its way onto the page.  The spiky orange bits and the lettering itself are done with  Posca paint pens - the smallest ones have the finest nib for this kind of work.  I was trying to do slimmer lettering this time, and it was fun to use a pale colour like white, although it needed outlining with a black fineliner to make it pop off the page.
So there I was, steam no longer coming out of my ears, and quite pleased with what I'd done.  As I said, a journal page doesn't necessarily have to make any particular sense, as long as it does so to you the author.  I know what lay behind the creation of this page, and I'm the only person who needs to know!  Isn't journalling wonderful - I satisfied my creative urges and got rid of my pent-up annoyance all at the same time!

Friday, 11 April 2014


Teesha Moore was one of my earliest influences in my art journalling, and I still LOVE her work even though her style is very different to my own.  I'm a member of her Artstronauts Club, and have been watching videos of her putting pages together.  I'm always trying to challenge myself to work in different ways and try out new techniques, and this is the page that resulted from spending so much online time with Teesha!

The background is pretty much my usual - Caran D'Ache Neocolour II crayons, still my most favourite thing to use.  What was different for me was going to my stash of magazine cut outs and rather than looking for images or words, just looking at colour and patterns, and pulling out things I liked.  That was how I ended up with this corner piece, and the "tombstone" or possibly "teeth" fragments along the bottom!
I did like working in that way and will probably do it again, because it fitted with my sense of intuition, just going with the flow and see what turns up.  So then I pulled out more scraps I just happened to like and this was the result - not typical of my style but I liked it.  My only regret is that these shiny magazine pages are difficult to photograph because they catch the light.  I'm wondering if I should make a collage sheet out of fragments I really like, then I can print them myself on matte paper and lose the shine?
Another thing I like about Teesha's work is that she makes the art first, and then fits the lettering into whatever space happens to be left over.  I like that - and it challenges my besetting sin of always trying to write in straight lines!  It can be a pain in the neck being instinctively neat and tidy ... a good quality in many areas of life, but NOT when it comes to art journalling.  However, in my defence I would say that I have genuinely worked at learning to let go and splodge paint about with something approaching abandon .... sometimes.
So here is the finished article and I love it!  I love how bright it is, how random and yet connected (I couldn't totally let go of colours that matched/toned) and it felt good to work in this way.  I often say to people just starting out on this journey - don't be afraid to use other people's ideas and techniques, or even to outright copy!  Its all part of exploring and finding your style.  Some things are fun to try out but won't find their way into "your" way of doing things, and others will become part of you.  Feel free to copy anything I do outrageously, but don't forget whenever you do this to credit the original artist and their influence (as I have done here) and to only do so as a way to finding out what works for you.  And above all, HAVE FUN!

Thursday, 3 April 2014


This is a recent page that I'm rather pleased with.  As you can see below it began with a watercolour crayons background, a compass mask and some stencilling with white gesso.  I couldn't resist adding the rather glum face from a collage sheet.
I didn't have any idea what this page was going to be about, so I just began doodling with my Promarkers and paint pens.  This is always my favourite part of the process, but it usually comes at the end when I fill up the spaces, rather than early on like this.
The photos were taken at different times of day and I think the paler one above is daylight, and the one below in electric light - the colours are astonishingly different aren't they?  I'd have to say that the paler images are nearer the reality.
I wrote the words "I am" above the image, and then everything else just flowed from that.  It was an interesting way to work - putting the art down first and then making the writing fit around it.  I've seen Teesha Moore work that way and rather liked it.  If I'd change anything it would be that I've written the smaller paragraphs rather straight, and I think they should be more curvy.
I also really like doing these wobbly layers - makes me think of geological diagrams of sedimentary rock - and that works with the subject matter.  It's definitely true that I am a person composed of many layers, laid down over decades, still in the process of becoming.  Well that's my excuse for all my many imperfections, and I'm sticking to it!