Altered pages are a staple in art journaling, and I decided to experiment using a tub of modeling paste I just purchased. The paste has the consistency of creamy peanut butter and is easy to use. It’s important to clean up your tools quickly before it dries. It dries a lot harder than you’d think.
First, a thought: The best way to discover what kind of art expression you like to pursue is through experimentation. You learn quickly what you don’t like, and it takes you beyond copying others’ styles. I think it’s the best way to discover what makes you tick. That changes over time, so it’s good to be flexible.
Anyway, here are the three videos I made with altered papers.
Part 1: how I actually altered the papers.
Part 2: How I made some ornaments using the above papers.
Part 3: Altered papers make a great journal cover!
As you can see, these papers are very flexible and forgiving too. You can’t mess up the project. Try it. If you buy some modeling paste you’ll enjoy using it in other projects. I made this mermaid picture with a sea background of paste.
I pretty much used the same stencils in all the projects. You can use this technique for some many things!
My word for 2020 is faith. It takes a lot of faith to blaze new trails in the wilderness of creativity. I feel inspired to move on, create things I’ve never done before. First, I have a little inspiration for you, the process of my latest art journal spread:
I started by applying a paper napkin to the bottom half of the pages, using Mod Podge. I separated the two layers of the napkin first, and the top layer was very thin, making awesome crinkles in the paper when I attached it to the page. I then painted the top part an unbleached white and used an old gift card to scrape some green over the dried paper napkin.
You can see the ridges in the napkin well, and where there is a paler area in the white paint where the Mod Podge acted as a resist, adding more interest to the page. I like how the flowers on the napkin shone through, making me think of spring.
I added stems from my stash of paper. Friendship sayings were printed on the paper, and I thought they would add more interest to the art. I cut out flowers from other stashed junk and glued them all down.
I enhanced the stems and flowers with black lines from a ballpoint pen and wrote down my word for the year. Simple but fun!
I have dipped my toes into other media as in sewing. I’m obsessed with textile birds at the moment. Using two Ann Wood patterns that you can find at Annwoodhandmade.com, I made a songbird and an owl. Lots of fun, but also some frustration when things didn’t go so well.
This debonair gentleman is called Sir Percival. He has lots of wisdom and goes his own way, but is always willing to offer a word of encouragement. He has lived a long life, and he likes to read books.
He’s fashioned from soft materials, but he’s not a toy. He’s an art doll enjoying lording it over other dolls, but he’s kind.
These two birds are for sale in my Etsy shop. You can find the owl HERE. The songbird is available HERE.
Apoxie Sculpt is of the most difficult materials I’ve worked with. I like the incredible hardness when dry, but it tends to be too soft, and if you wait, it gets too hard to work with. You only have a couple of hours of work time with the clay. I haven’t found the sweet spot yet.
I finished the bird I made a couple of weeks ago, painted two layers of paint and fixed the wobbly leg. It came out ok, but the turtle I made with the amethyst crystal did not end up as planned, but I’m learning. The clay is so different from polymer clay or paper clay. Since the end product is so much stronger, it’s worth learning how to handle it correctly.
The main thing is to have fun!
I hope you’re having fun this week. Make sure to add some creative practice to your day. Every day is a gift. Make it juicy!
If you missed my last post, here it is: Person or bird? I made some molded faces with Apoxie Sculpt and sewed them to fabric bodies. What do you think?
Color basics came to me as I mixed colors and saw the results. I never took any classes in color combinations, but I can see how the need is there for someone just starting out.
I went to YouTube to investigate and found several tutorials on how to mix paints. I didn’t feel like making my own, so here is one video by Kelly Eddington Watercolors. It’s a good one! Check it out if you’re unsure how to mix paints.
I recommend using scrap paper and experimenting with your primary colors. Mix them up and see what happens on paper! Practice until you understand the basic combinations and variations.
You can’t mess it up!
I was busy this week doing some art journaling, using paper I created for my online course Life’s Song. It is all about making your own papers from scratch, well, not the paper itself, but the altering and embellishment. I had lots of fun with the papers that resulted, and I will make some more. They become more authentic than the paper you buy in the stores. Take a peek.
The burnt paper became a face. I teach how to make that kind of paper in Life’s Song. Added embellishment from magazines and other papers, like the star tissue paper on the right. A gift from a friend on Christmas.
It’s all about balance and fearlessly charging into the unknown. It can be scary!
Gratitude has been a big focus in my life lately. Every day, every breath is a reason to be grateful. I feel I live in a magical universe despite the craziness going on in the world right now.
Humans need to wake up and smell the roses!
As artists we can inspire.
It has been a good week and I look forward to my next foray into art journaling…
Now I have to go and clean the bathroom…
Have a great, creative weekend, all!
Lots of love,
P.S. Life’s Song is a great way to create unique art. Check it out! Very affordable too Here is another blog post I wrote about paper, Paper Madness.
Long journey of art is what you do in life as an artist. So many things change, but expression is something that calls from within. Have you felt the call but also the resistance?
It’s in human nature to procrastinate even though we know better. But you’d better begin because the journey is long as I said, yet, you can make a piece of art today!
I have gone through many incarnations as an artist in this lifetime.
I copied pictures from magazines, had a stint as a primitive country artist, a longer stint as an abstract painter, mosaic artist, many years of art journaling and mixed media. I still do that, but I also feel a pull towards something new, which can only be a deeper expression of who I am. I don’t want to copy or do a particular style any more.
I had a lovely chat with local artist and friend Joanna Mazurek
She went the traditional way of attending several art schools, and then left it all behind after twenty years as an artist. But, once an artist, always an artist…
I love to hear other artists’ perspective and get inspired by their inner drive to express themselves.
You need to express yourself. What else is there? As you go deeper into the art, you also go deeper into yourself.
If you’re expression is something else, go explore it.
The pull to express yourself is your God-given gift to share with the world and with yourself.
Take the long view. You don’t have to be a sprinter. There is no competition or anyone standing over you with a stop watch.
We live life like that, rushing from one thing to another, and I have come to understand it’s so wrong. I spent so many years living other people’s dreams.
Even tiny baby steps towards expressing yourself is worth weeks of conditioned living. You can’t measure the impact on a grander scale, but the impact can be great.
A tiny flame starts a forest fire. The more tiny steps into exploration become a great sucking pull to express wildly, freely, and happily.
It’s worth finding your life. Find the mystery!
It’s also necessary to go through the “ugly” stages to get to a place in the process where you look at your art in wonder. It takes courage.
I will probably make art for the rest of my life, but as in the past, there has been ebb and flow.
The meandering long journey of art, oh how you challenge me, but I do love you! 🙂
Art is self-care, no bones about it. I have heard an excuse for not making art that baffles me.
“I don’t start painting because it might consume my entire life.”
I realize we’re prone to binge watch shows we like or read a book cover to cover in one night, but at some point you have to abandon those things in the course of a day (or night.)
We have to eat, mind children, do chores. They might get set aside temporarily and dealt with later, but I can safely say no one will be consumed by art.
It’s nice sometimes to lose oneself in a creative effort, but when the stomach growls it’s time to re-fuel and take a break.
Are we afraid of losing ourselves into FLOW of anything that pulls us? Are we afraid of letting go and experience a deeper sense of connection with that which wants to be expressed? I’d say so.
It’s hard to let go, and fear tends to creep in, not to mention the ego stomping its foot at the idea of letting go.
Self-care involves letting things unfold and enjoying the journey. SELF wants to speak, and CARE is similar to trust, to allow something that might be bigger than our everyday personas.
Art never hurt anyone. If you care about self, it’s time to heed the longing that pushes from inside. Make some art! It’s not going to be the end of the world.
Care also means to care about your art work. When you set out to create, don’t minimize the effort or belittle the expression. It might come out ugly in your OPINION, but it’s about creativity, not about striving to paint like Van Gogh.
It’s time to put some care into the art work. Make it your best and feel the sense of accomplishment.
I was into art journaling this week and asked myself how I could put more care into my art instead of slapping down some paint. There is nothing wrong with process, but what if I took it a step further?
I really wanted to come up with some angle I hadn’t tried before. What would it be like? I have painted many faces, but never used paperback page hair, so I went into my stash of paper. I really like the effect.
I might leave as is or write something on the left. It’s okay to leave and come back at some later date if necessary.
For the above spread I had planned a video, but only captured the background and how I tied it together. I work intuitively, and the recognizable parts appear in the paper background (if any.)
I put a lot of care and thought into every aspect, yet I kept myself open to surprise. To me, that is the best way to inspire and delight myself. The bird above was never planned, and the buddha became the iris of an eye.
So much fun!
Care about yourself and your desires.
Allow them to express in your life.
Care about your art.
When ego stomps all over your art, keep going and ignore it as much as you can.
Allow yourself the care of immersing yourself in your art. If you can’t, well, give it ten minutes a day!