Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Try It On Tuesday Guest Designer Post for "Nature's Beauty" Challenge

Hello and Happy Tuesday! Thanks for dropping by. I'm happy to be participating in the Nature's Beauty Challenge theme over at Try It On Tuesday as a Guest Designer. Please click over there to see all the sweet makes the TioT gang has made for this challenge when you are done here.

Here is the art journal page I created for this challenge. It's in my Book of Wisdom quotes journal, and I re-worked an abstract background I had already created that sat for many months waiting for me to know what to do with it. 

Here's what the background originally looked like. Not bad, actually. A little Asian vibe with some stenciling and a few strips of painted deli paper collaged onto acrylic paint. But the more I looked at it, the less I was feeling it. I am doing a year-long self-study in abstract painting/art and am a firm believer that all of these mixed media backgrounds that we create in our journals are indeed works of abstract art, so when I came across an exercise to re-work one abstract form into another form, I decided to do it to this page. 

First, though, I did arrange my collage elements on the original to be sure. And what I saw was confusion. I could not tell where those birds were or what they were flying over, and I wanted to at least be able to see it was land, even though it's an abstract. So, I gathered my Posca paint pens, Inktense pencils and blocks and my wax colored pencils and went to work transforming it into what I call folk art grunge.

The first thing I did was change the pentagonal shapes into tree tops with my Poscas. Then I began dividing up the space into little plots and bigger parcels of land, and then a river and a road emerged. I didn't have a plan nor did I worry too much about it as I went about it.

So I eventually ended up with this background, which I love! I like how the colored pencils on top of the Inktense's India Ink produce a batik-like look, but not always. A little unpredictability keeps it interesting. And in places, I didn't add much or any Inktense so it's just the colored pencil on top. I used the Outliner pencil in my Inktense set to make the black marks and grungy outlines. And to define and separate each tree top, I used my Platinum Carbon "Epic" Fountain Pen which writes beautifully on mixed media.

So, a word about the birds: these are some of many diecuts that came with a crafts calendar I bought over a decade ago and I'm still trying to use them up. I love these birds, such personalities! I always want to assign human traits to animals. I should probably blame my childhood reading list...Charlotte's Web, Animal Farm, The Incredible Journey...and of course Disney on the TV and in movies. I'm especially drawn to motley crews and cut-ups. So this little unlikely group migrating back North in Springtime looks normal to me. Seems perfectly natural that they are chatting to each other as they are flying, and that a dragon fly is leading the way! Hahaha, well, why not? At any rate, the scene and situation look a lot clearer now, no? And it's not realistic, so it's still abstract.

The quote I used is an incredibly old Chatterbox scrapbooking sticker and I liked it but frankly I thought the Hubbard dude's name was fake because it sounded so dorky. So I googled him and he was definitely a real person and quite a mover and shaker in the American Arts and Crafts movement as well as a philosopher, poet and writer. And it turns out, I had to read one of his books, Message to Garcia, in college but never paid attention to him. I made a compass base for the quote using my bits and bobs -- this gives the viewer a clue that the birds are returning after their winter vacay.

I'll leave you with a few more detail shots so you can better see the yummy texture created by the layering of mediums I chose :

Thanks for enduring all of these photos and for coming to hang out with me and TioT

(P.S. - I also want to include this journal page in Art Journal Journey's Recycle and Collage Challenge for April...because I really did Recycle and Collage, lol. xoxo)

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