Sunday, July 31, 2011

as Angus Young almost said, Black is Back!

Almost a year ago today, I finished work on a new circle journal - blogged here - and this week it came home to me - so good to see it again, full to bursting :)

Without further ado, here are the fantastic pages that everyone else from the Altered Colour CJ added to my book:

In the temple of lovelovelovelovelovelove .....those lyrics take me back to my uni days - lots of dry ice and arms waving :)  Gorgeous page!

I love that dancing skellie stamp - he has such personality :)

I'm sure I have that text background paper somewhere, will have to dig it out, this page has reminded me how much I like it

There's so much I love about this one, where to start?  I am not usually a fan of flowers but this one with its black lace and leather is just stunning.  And I really like the metal mesh over the Sabs logo and the witchy woman photo.  Fab!

I like the way that book page has been cut into a kind of cityscape - I can see myself nicking that idea!

This page is just gorgeous, the photo doesn't do the details in the background justice, sadly

The black on black embossing on this page is so effective!  Difficult to photograph though.  And I love the quote too.

And finally:

The parcel opens to reveal the lyrics to Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance - another great song.

Thanks to everyone who took part - I love my not-so-little black book :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Take a close look around....

... and you might find something inspirational right under your nose!

For my latest Project Runway CJ entry, and also for one of the prompts over at Marit's Summer Camp, my task was to head outside with my camera, and find patterns, textures, structures that I could work with and take inspiration from, but which would otherwise have gone un-noticed.

This gorgeous old planter couldn't have fit the bill better.  It lives right outside the back door to my place of work.  I walk directly past it at least twice every day.  But I have never looked twice at it before.

I can't understand how I've never noticed it - look at that beautiful patina and that wonderful tesselated leaf pattern!

you can click on this for a closer view

For my page, I used that leaf pattern both literally on the leaves being blown from the shrub in the planter, and also in the background.

I really loved how the background turned out actually, I was almost loath to put anything over the top of it!

Here's how it was made:

I sketched the pattern on some heavy paper and cut the leaf shapes out to make a stencil.  Through this I sprayed Krylon Spray Gesso over a background of watercolour paper, torn dictionary pages, and randomly applied Golden Absorbent Ground.

Then it took lots of washes of watered down acrylic paint and pearlescent acrylic ink, to get to the finished look

The un-gessoed strips between the leaves absorb the paint much better than the gessoed areas, giving this lovely, soft pattern.

I am definitely going to play with that spray gesso some more!

To finish the page off -
  • I used Photoshop to make the magnifying glass with the close up of the pattern on the planter
  • The leaves and branches of the shrub were cut freehand from textured card and inked around the edges
  • The journalling was added with a dip pen and India ink (I think I was channelling Dina Wakley at that moment, although I wish my handwriting was as lovely as hers!)
  • Shadows under the planter and magnifying glass were added with Copic pens
  • And a couple of ink blobs pulled it all together nicely
It feels like this page isn't very ME - too pastel coloured maybe?  But I love it all the same.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

taking a walk on the Wild(style) side....

Front cover of accordion book, belted shut
Ever the glutton for punishment, I've signed up for yet another new circle journal!  (only joking, I love them!  and I have another one starting in a couple of months too....)

This one is called Artistic Licence, and it has a great theme.  Each participant chooses either a famous artist or an artistic style, and then we all have to create a piece in their book in the manner of that artist / style. 

It's going to be a whole heap of fun!

For my theme I was going to go with street art / graffiti as a whole, but one of the other players had already chosen Banksy - so I went more specific and grabbed wildstyle.

Wildstyle graffiti
Wildstyle is the classic old school graffiti, with wonderful complex and elaborate letterforms, sometimes so elaborate they are hard to read!  I find this kind of street art - now becoming rarer as stencils and pictorial graffiti are on the rise - absolutely fascinating.

For my book, I've made an accordion book held together with a thick black twill tape, with pages approx 9" x 7", each with a photographic print of a bare wall - just waiting to be adorned :)

Here's a better look at the cover with its belt open:

I hand cut the stencil of the graffiti artist, and used Copics to airbrush him, and his colourful spraypaint, onto the wall.

Here's a side view of the book, you can see all the twill tape that holds the pages together:

The front and back covers were cut from fairly thick corrugated cardboard from a cardboard box, and edged with black ice hockey stick tape (just like 7 Gypsies gaffer tape but a good deal cheaper!!)

The 12 pages (an intro page, 9 participants, and a double wall for sign ins at the back) all laid out took up most of my living room carpet!

These are the backs of the pages
In case you are wondering why they are on scrap paper, well, a graffiti CJ wouldn't be complete without spray paint!

Here's what the page fronts look like (well, some of them at least):

(backgrounds from Sherwood Forlee's "Walls Notebook")
<===== And here is the intro page (inside front cover)

I drew out that "welcome" freehand, that's probably my favourite bit of the whole book!

As for my actual entry, I used the acetate graffiti artist that I was left with after cutting my stencil for the cover, and painted him black on the reverse side to make a little man embellie. 

And the wildstyle letters spelling ART are cut out freehand from Basic Grey papers, and then I drew the shadows in directly onto the wall.

I was pleased with this page until I had a sudden urge (one of those things that seems like a good idea at 2am!) to blob Diamond Glaze rather randomly and messily over the ART letters.  I'm not sure that bit works.  But otherwise, it'll do :)

And here's my blurb on the back of my wall:

And last but not least, it's traditional with CJs, isn't it, to have a couple of pages at the back of the book where everyone can sign in with tags....

No, not that kind of tag!

THIS kind of tag!

Some people hate this kind of graffiti especially - a wall full of tags (usually a stylised signature or set of initials written quickly with a fat chisel nibbed marker pen) certainly isn't as pretty or striking as most street art.

But I find interest even in these messy walls.

And I'm interested to see what everyone else in the CJ group comes up with for their personal tag.

I think that's everything - sorry for the image overload!!

This book goes out into the world in August.  I'm really excited to see what everyone does on their walls :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

RIP #2

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be in attendance at the Sonisphere rock festival down at Knebworth.

It was utterly brilliant and I wish it was still going and I was still there! 

Eventually I'll pull a page together in my day trip & holiday journal to document the whole weekend.....but before that, I had a real need, no other word for it, to get down on paper the emotions stirred up in me by the tributes at the festival to Paul Gray, Slipknot's recently departed bassist.

There was a 2 minute silence held during the day:

This was so unbelievably moving - seeing his mask and suit up there on the stage, empty :(  And the silence was utterly perfect across the entire site, which was some feat given the huge quantity of people in attendance!

I couldn't help but cry.

And then there were further tributes at the end of Slipknot's set that evening, which set the floods going again.

Even now thinking about it, or watching that video above, I can feel my eyes welling up.

Things like this really get to me.  I hope he is sleeping peacefully.

AJED : 86 / 365

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Running up that hill

The last time we saw little stick-person-mini-me, she was stood on the edge of a cliff, battling her on-again-off-again fear of heights.

Today she's facing another fear, and climbing an ever steepening hill of money problems :| 

But the battle, uphill as it may be, is one she believes she will eventually win.  Once the kids have all left home, perhaps, and the mortgage and loans are finally paid. 

This page is my contribution to the current prompt over at A Year In The Life Of An Art Journal:

The Prompt: What's the deal?
The Song: Running Up That Hill by Placebo (or Kate Bush)
Written Lyrics HERE
Product/Technique: Playing Cards

I love the song, both versions, Kate Bush from my younger days and Placebo a little more recently

I used the playing cards to build a hill for mini-me to climb.  The numbers on the cards and the background represent money problems, which I'm suffering from majorly right now :(

One of the places I have identified that I need to spend a lot less is my local supermarket, Tesco, so it's ironic that that's where I got the kiddies sponge numbers that I used to stamp copper paint onto the background.  They were only £2.50 though and, to be fair, they are the first "art supplies" I have bought in yonks!

The title was made with some ancient letraset rubons that have been sitting unopened in one of my craft drawers for many many years, they still laid down good as new though.  Actually, I'd forgotten how much I like rubons, I will have to make a concerted effort to use them more often, as I have a pile of them....

AJED : 85 / 365

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Don't blink. Blink and you're dead. Don't turn your back. Don't look away. And don't blink. Good Luck.

A while ago I made an art journal page with one of my many graveyard angel photos (taken on Christmas Day in Fortune Green cemetery, London)

It is still one of my favourite pages in my journal, so I thought I'd go bigger and make a canvas along the same lines.

Of course it has turned out looking entirely different.  But where would the fun be in doing the exact same thing twice?

I've kept the "Don't Blink" title, though, as like millions of other Doctor Who fans, that's all I can think about now when I see one of these angels!

Here's the full thing - the angel is a gel medium toner transfer over an acrylic and spray painted background.  And the "don't blink" is black Copic pen airbrushed through a hand cut stencil.

Here's hoping that the Doctor was wrong about that whole "That which holds the image of an angel becomes itself an angel" thing!