Saturday, 18 February 2017


These pages are a real mix with a little bit of this and a little bit of that to finally end up with a spread for Colour Me Positive 2017 where this week's prompt was: Progress.

When I am working in my art journals I always have another smaller journal nearby into which I dump the left over gesso, paint and spray I'm working with.  In this case it's a 6 x 8" Seawhite of Brighton journal. I try out rubber stamps and clean off stencils and generally fill it without any regard for design or planning. So it is a bit disturbing that I frequently like the results in this journal better than what I am doing in my "official" art journals.
In fact, I liked the results of the background so much that I made the decision to continue on with it and make it my spread for Colour Me Positive, by collaging on the figure and the quotation I found by Khalil Gibran: "Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing to what will be".  In honour of Khalil I also added some collage with Islamic patterns.
The random things I did on these pages in the background came from ideas from a variety of sources. Someone (Nathalie Kalbach) mentioned gold gesso, so of course I immediately felt an urgent need for it and tried scraping it onto the pages (love it). Someone else (Kasia on Wanderlust) told us to add masking tape scraps so I did (had to glue them on with matte medium as they kept coming off). I did like the additional texture they provided. I had just acquired a bottle of High Flow Golden fluorescent pink so that was added to the mix (you can never go wrong with a bit of pink!).

I also used stencil L474 Mesa Verde, designed by Nathalie Kalbach for Stencilgirl Products, as well as one of Nathalie's stamp sets. This one is called Marks. You will also notice I tried out that little spirals stamp on this spread (unknown source), and went to work making marks with a Stabilo All black pencil. The pages were edged with a blue stamp pad. The circles were stencilled on through a piece of sequin waste.

Finally I wrote the quotation using my new Jane Davenport Inkredible Pen on one of the pages you find in the middle of Somerset Studio magazine, tore them out, edged the pieces in blue and glued them on. As you can tell I had fun with these pages and I like the end result. Eventually this journal too will end up filled with art.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Let's dance

Here are my two dance related Journal Quilts hanging at the quilt show at Ingliston near Edinburgh. The light conditions weren't ideal for photography!

So here are pictures I had taken before sending these 2 A4 sized pieces to the competition. First off there is Dance to the Music of Time:

And underneath: The Last Dance:
Both were inspired by a quotation from Goethe that reads: " True art can only spring from the intimate linking of the serious and the playful". That link for me is dancing. I made a spread in my art journal last February, and that was the springboard for these journal quilts.

These pieces were done on a background of loose silk fabric snippets and threads, that was covered with a chiffon scarf and then machine and hand stitched. Figures are in silk and were seed stitched, before being machine appliquéd onto the background and embellished with beads and sequins. All the embellishments were acquired during my trip to New York last year so they bring back many happy memories.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Wings of Change

This week's prompt on Joggles Art Journal Adventures was: create a page with an initial text layer. I used my new Inkredible pen from Jane Davenport (permanent when dry) for the writing. You can see some of the words still peeking through here and there. The text I spontaneously wrote was the starting point for the theme of the pages that were done in my Peacock art journal measuring 6x8".
The next layere consisted of stencilling using stencil L471 Hamburg, designed by Nathalie Kalback for Stencilgirl Products, with Distress Paints. I added rubber stamping, using the Marks stamp set,  also designed by Nathalie Kalbach. The other stamps I used of the spirals and the geometric shapes have been in my position for years and I have no idea any more where they were acquired.
I collaged on pieces of Tim Holtz's Postale tissue wrap, as well as the Irish postage stamp and the large bird. I collect imagery from here, there and everywhere (a great excuse to indulge in magazines) and have them in a big box. I try and write on the back where I cut them out from but sometimes forget to note this down before gluing them down, as was the case with this bird. All I can tell you is that it originated in the Country Living magazine, October 2016.
 The Wings of Change words came from a magazine too. 
The circles were stamped on from a lid and surrounded with water soluble oil pastels, and I did some outlining with a black Stabilo All pencil as well as a white marker.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Sunny Dog Walk

 Most of the snow has vanished and it was a sunny day although one with a chilly wind.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Love Winter

The prompt for this week on Colour Me Positive 2017 was: Love. What else could it be on a week that contains Valentine's Day. I'm as fond of people (and dogs!) loving me as all human beings are,  but Valentine's Day leaves me kind of cold so I wanted to interpret the prompt a different way and instead I'm celebrating my love for winter. I used to intensely dislike this time of year, before spring and with cold and snow on offer, but over the years I have come to love it more and more. There is something very beautiful about a white world, in which the bare branches are clearly silhouetted against the sky, snowdrops and hellebores are starting to flower and a little dog is cavorting in the snow.
 As luck would have it I found the perfect quotation in a magazine. It reads:

"This secret beauty I have found
When morning sun came streaming down.
A golden glow like a celestial crown
in nature's winter garden"

(D. S. James, Nature's Winter Garden)
I started with collage using vintage images and text and some magazine imagery too. To that mix I added Distress Crayons and acrylic paints as well as acrylic inks. I used a lot of stencils to get the effect I wanted. Here is the list:

from Stencilgirl Products: S433 Amsterdam 6 designed by Nathalie Kalbach (on deli paper and then collaged), and M139 Diamonds and Triangles Mini, designed by Andrew Borloz and finally L464 Barb Wire, designed by MaryBeth Shaw herself, the owner of Stencilgirl.

from The Crafter's Workshop TCW2024 Rubber Bands Frags and TCW2038 TinyRingBits
I outlined with white and black markers before spraying with Perfect Pearls Turquoise mister. You can just about see the glittering effects on some of the pictures.
I hand wrote the words: Love Winter, onto the page. There is more going on on these pages than my love of winter and it's worth remembering that this is an art journal: stuff gets personal from time to time and there are things I prefer not to share. What is on the pages will remind me of what those things are without revealing them to you!
This is the very last spread in my 8 x 8" Dylusions journal although there is still one that I haven't shared with you yet. It's a project for Stencilgirl Products and you can expect to see it on the 27th Feb. As you can tell I don't use new journals for a new year but simply work in a journal till it is full and then grab another one from the shelves. Yes, I have a huge collection of as yet empty sketchbooks. Doesn't everyone? It makes me happy to look at them and anticipate what is going to materialize on those mostly white pages.


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