Sunday, February 17, 2008

New Art Journal, made by ME!

Below is my new art journal, made at PLAY: the retreat. As you can see, it says so on the cover.
We were all told to bring something flat to use in our journals, as trades with all of the participants. My cover art is a photocopy of a page from Lynn's journal, which was her trade for all of us. I brought a TON of stuff to use in journaling, but we received so much from our fellow art journalists, that I hardly cracked the stuff I brought. A shot of the side of the journal, showing the stitching. The book was made with canvas boards for the covers, and I have three signatures of six pages each. The signatures are wonderful Fabriano Artistico 140# hot press watercolor paper. The instructions for making one can also be found on Teesha Moore's website. (

I was somewhat worried about making the journal, but it was easy. It is time consuming, but I am sure that I could do it faster next time. I really, really love the paper, I think that I am spoiled... We painted the pages before binding the books, so we were ready to go once they were bound. I thought that I would save time, and only painted one side of my pages, so I could decide on a different color if I wanted to on those pages. I loved the painted pages, though, and ended up painting all of the blank pages in the first signature as I went along, so I could keep working. I worked on several pages at a time, and really liked that process.

Here are several of the pages I worked on that weekend. The page below has a really cool stamp made with heated fun foam, the kind used for children's toys, and a small porcelain doll was pressed into the foam while it was still warm. The foam will hold the impression until reheated. We all gasped when we saw the stamp, it has an eery quality that I loved, and I used it to stamp one whole page. I am going to make my own stamp, as Sarah gave me a couple of the porcelain dolls!
We had a number of demonstrations throughout the weekend. They were for inspiration, and to learn neat techniques to use in our journals. I was very excited to try my hand at stamp carving after Tracy demonstrated how to do it. I journalled about my experience carving my first stamp. On the left page is my inspiration, and at the bottom of the right page, is the actual stamp. I will definitely be doing more stamp carving!! In fact, I stopped on the way out of Port Townsend at a new art store and bought two linoleum carving blades.
The last page is not finished, I will probably add more visually and also do some journaling on this page. I did a pretend stencil technique on the right, and I love the simplicity of it. We also learned to use copic markers to do air brushing, which looks to be a less messy and less toxic way to do stenciling. My page is just done with Caran d'ache, rubbed into the paper.
Play was a fabulous retreat, I learned so much and had so much fun just playing with other like-minded folk. My little visual journal that I started at the end of last year cut me loose, and this experience gave me validation and more spirit of adventure to continue!


Allison Ann Aller said...

Well this was fun to read about. Sounds like a freeing exoerience.
I went to a conference at Ft. Wardon too, about 10 years ago, and loved it there.
Such a small son Max went out with Teesha and Tracey's daughter Trista for a few months during their freshman year at U Dub...I love running across mention of Teesha now on the blogs, as I feel like I have a personal connection!
Thanks for swinging by my blog and leaving your nice I could follow you here.

Judy Wise said...

Thanks for sharing your experinece with us, Gwen. Your new journal is beautiful and the pages too; just wish I had a little porcelain doll on hand like yours; that stamp is the bomb. xoxo

Clevelandgirlie said...

Hi Gwen. I love your art journal - how fun to look at - and it must have been fun to make. I'm in the TIF challenge, also. Come pay me a visit. I'll be back!