Sunday, September 20, 2009

More Journal Pages

This is one of the kind of strange pieces I did at the journaling retreat. I found a photo in the Seattle Times of a geisha holding a large paper umbrella, wearing a kimono with a similar pattern on the lower part of the kimono. I loved the graphic boldness of the photo, and was trying to use a technique I learned in a class I took from LK Ludwig at ArtFest a few years ago.

It had to do with abstracting the image, so I took shapes from magazines, roughly corresponding to the shapes in the photo, and collaged them on to a large journal page. I am happy with how it turned out, and it was a stretch for me to do the exercise. I am not done with the process, I am going to try to abstract it even more.
The one one above was a hot mess while I was working on it. It may still look like one. I had done a water transfer of a photo on the page to start, and it didn't transfer very well, lots of blank spots. I decided to glue a doily over one spot that was especially blank, and I used glue stick (on a doily, with holes in it), so I had glue everywhere, oozing through the holes. To cover up all that glue, I started putting pieces of a deconstructed paper napkin over the glue-y holes, with the napkin sticking to my fingers, etc.

I probably would have been smart to just tear out this page and start over, but I was determined to keep going and see if I could salvage the thing. Our watch word that weekend was "just glue s*** down", so I kept going on it. This was also the first thing I attempted when the weekend began, and I was seriously out of practice.

I ended up coloring some of the children in the photo, using Caran d'ache, and drawing in features with a pencil. I liked the look of that. Some more collage added here and there. It may still be a hot mess, but I salvaged it enough for my taste, and won't be tearing it out of the book.
I just loved the image here, it was from one of the Departure magazines we all loved so much. I found the crucifix figure in the same issue of the magazine. I will add more to this, but it is hard, because I really like the way it looks right now. I am also trying not to get too attached to things I think are too good. It can be as much of a stumbling block as the ugly ones, probably more.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What I Did on My Journaling Retreat

The journaling retreat in August was so much fun, I did some seriously ugly stuff to start off with, because it had been so long since I had gotten out the journaling supplies. I knew I had to just start "gluing s*** down" (this was one of our catch-phrases for the weekend) and not obsess about what I was doing. I would be happy to share those pages, but I did them in a really large journal, too large to scan. I actually ended up liking some of them, I had to just keep messing with them until there was something there.
I was more in a groove on Friday, our first day of journaling, Rose brought many copies of a magazine none of us had seen, an exclusive for American Express PLATINUM members, which had gorgeous layouts and ads. I found one with an article about a production of Madame Butterfly. I loved the bright colors and unusual set designs, and rearranged them with other bits from my own collage fodder.
These little guys just appeared toward the end of the retreat. I think I was sufficiently loosened up by then. I had a lot of fun doodling. I really admire the doodling Catherine does in her journals, and I was inspired to do some of my own. Catherine was the instigator of the journaling retreat, and a good friend from ArtFest. She doesn't have a blog, unfortunately. She would rather just sit and journal!
We are going to have another retreat in November. I can hardly wait! I am meeting one of the journalers this afternoon, and will work on some of these pages some more. Sad to say, I haven't done much since we got back from the retreat.