I’m NOT Obsessed with Art Journals! (Am I?)

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This article is written by Vicki Ross

Please note: any snarkiness is directed toward Wicki…not Mixed Media :)

I am by nature a studious sort. I seem to get more pleasure out of figuring out all the ins and outs of a subject long before I experiment with it. Used to purchase software books and manuals (back before information was available online) and attack them page by page before I ever loaded the corresponding software.

I’ve done the same thing with art. Even though I am a retired graphic design professional, I knew nothing about the application of “Fine Art” materials back in 2002 when I made serious life changes that pushed me to learning to paint.

SO, instead of experimenting with watercolors, I studied the chemical formulas and what made some pigments play nice together and that some made mud. THEN I went to the studio (after collecting the vast array of materials I thought I HAD to have). Same with pastels, acrylics, oils, and encaustics. Now, thanks to sites like Mixed Media Art, videos by Terri Sproul, Carolyn Dube, and my fellow writers here, I’m doing the same thing with ‘journaling’. Lurking around, soaking up the wisdom and tutorials, and maybe, just maybe…ya never know where Wicki will be next!

Coming to the conclusion a week or so ago that I really hadn’t crossed over to the dark side of crafting (not that there is anything wrong with that), I could start art journaling as a means of technique experimentation for implementation in my ‘real’ art pieces. Then, one morning a couple of days ago, I remembered a journal I created back in 2004-ish that was intended to be filled with artwork from members of a critique group I was in. Some were happy with a simple spiral bound notebook, but not Wicki!

art journalling journal

Would you just look at this? I spent hours making the journal! Now I’m considering re-purposing/finishing out the pages as an art journal.

The book was a post system binder filled with handmade paper. I carefully took it apart and added a sheet of glassine between each page.

The cover looks like tissue paper attached with mat medium. I don’t think I used stamps (didn’t have any). A laser print of one of my graphics projects was collaged on, then a ribbon and wad of copper wire.The inside covers are collaged with mulberry paper.

To add to the obsession, I took a placemat with beaded trim and attached it to the back of the book. Add ribbons and beads and it folds and ties over the cover to protect it.

mixed media art journaling coverNow the fun part! Switching the books between the artists in the group, the idea was to get it filled. The group drifted apart as these experienced artists transitioned into senior centers and they lost touch with their art experimentation. My train took a dirt road about that time as I ventured into soft pastels.

Imagine my pleasure as I opened the book and out fell some cards from art friends…one from Anita from Germany we met on a watercolor workshop with Charles Reid in Salzburg and Prague in 2006. A delightful original watercolor with a note on the back from Jan in Australia. Another card from a good friend, Jodie from Texas. Then a few pages from the critique group…and an ATC card from friend, Erika from Bentonville. Another page revealed a detailed pencil drawing of a design I was working out for a painting. I was experimenting with pencil as an art form, not pencil for sketching or guide for painting.

So, what do you think? Should I throw caution and frugality to the side and pick this bad boy up for art journaling? OR, put it back on the shelf and save it?

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Vicki Ross is focused on sharing her journey to art and how life events can shape us through creativity www.Axully.com. Vicki has always been involved deeply in the creative arts, from professional soft crafts publications (knitting/crochet/needlework) to French Hand-sewing, stenciling to macramé, oil painting to encaustics. Whatever your leaning, she believes in the healing power of creating.

You can see more of Vicki’s work at VickiRossArt or via blog posts at Axully – Solid. Useful. Beautiful

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Mixed Media Canvas: Creating with Feeling

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This article is written by Kim Kelley 

Have you ever thought about how you are feeling when you create your art? Are you happy? Sad? Grieving? Excited? Some people will tell you they find themselves in the creative mood when they are happy, some say that their best piece of art came out of their lowest time.

For me, the more “personal art” I have created over the years, came out of me being at my saddest. And this, my latest canvas, came from this.

To give you a little insight into the canvas I have to tell you a story:

10 and half years ago a little 3 week old Akita puppy chose us for his parents. Koda was the most adorable little guy and we fell head over heels in love with him. He was a perfect addition to our family. We also rescued a 4 year old female Akita, named Zilla about 8 months after bringing Koda home.

 Koda playing

Koda playing

Koda

Koda got sick in 2007 with an auto immune disease. He would have a few bad months, and then would slip back into remission. Doctors informed us he was in no pain…just itchy…needed medication and to stay out of the sun. That was the hardest part; I mean we live in Arizona!

May 29th we had to take him to the animal emergency room, his white blood cells had dropped from medication and were not improving. So we made the decision to let him go. Even as I am writing this the tears are starting to fall.

OK Back to the task at hand…

I  started with a 9 X 12 canvas, cutting a square in the center for my picture to show through. I have never done this before and after completing the project I thought I might change it a bit and add a pocket under the canvas so that I can change the picture out if I want.

mixed media scrapbooking collage with photos

mixed media scrapbooking collage with photos

I added texture with some Golden’s Gel in Semi-Gloss and the Burlap stencil from Tim Holtz. After letting that dry I used some copper, orange and gold sprays from Lindy’s trying to mimic the colors from the photo I was going to use. I added some brick chipboard pieces, filling them with stucco, painting the inside with brass and black paints and outside white paint mixed with a little bit of stucco for texture.

mixed media scrapbooking collage with photos

mixed media scrapbooking collage with photos

I added a few metal pieces; a heart (because he will always be in mine), angel wings, a key, a lock and a dog tag that has “KODA IN OUR HEARTS FOREVER”.  Then attached chipboard gates that I heat embossed and have bumped up a bit to look like they are open.

This is the canvas I created celebrating Sunrock Kelley’s Kajita Tama:

mixed media scrapbooking collage with photos

We lost Miss Zilla to bone cancer in May of 2013; needless to say May has been a bad month for us!

I created this canvas for my husband of Zilla…

mixed media scrapbooking collage with photos

Thank you for allowing me to share a bit of my life. Happy creating.

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Kim Kelley is borderline obsessive about her crafting and her art. She loves mixed media art because you are free to go beyond your comfort zone, using your imagination and exploring an anything goes mind set. Kim loves to learn and explore new techniques and hopes that any art she creates leads someone to find their inner creative artist!

You can see more of Kim’s work at her blog itsallaboutcrafting.blogspot.com and via Facebook

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