She’s Back – Torn Paper Collage

Sometimes, plans go awry. This collage… Well, it was intended as an 8″ x 10″ work, so the support I started with was 8.5″ x 11″.

But, as I kept working, it grew.

The collage elements include images leftover from a piece I worked on, yesterday.

She's Back - torn-paper collage

The woman at the top of the art is Sharon Stone. Her comment about roles for women – that they’re aren’t any between ages 40 and 60 – resonated with me. Ageism continues to thrive, as do labels, especially for women. That 40-to-60 age can be especially troublesome.

(I see the recent raves about how great/young Selma Hayek looks in a swimsuit, at age 53, and wonder, “Yes, she looks great, but are we defining ‘beauty’ as ‘looks like she’s 30’? and why is her age part of the headline? Why not say ‘Selma Hayek Has Style’ and leave it at that?”)

So, the “you’re READY” phrase and “She’s back” are about rebellion against compartmentalization – by age, race, gender, and so on.

The elevator buttons reference rising up.

The image of the woman at the lower left is deliberately torn, as all of us try to navigate a challenging time. Right now (January 2021), I think so many people are confused and somewhat overwhelmed, compartmentalizing is even easier. It’s a way to put people into categories instead of finding time to understand them as individuals.

What’s resulting is a fractured society, defined by labels that can separate us.

And then there’s how the collage spilled off the lower edge of the support. In a way, that’s part of the artistic message, as well. It was unintended, but… well, many of us are “playing it by ear” right now. If the results aren’t tidy, at least they’re authentic.

Materials: torn images from magazines, Yes paste, and a poster board support.

The photo shows my worktable, with cotton swabs for applying small bits of adhesive, my Speedball brayer for smoothing each piece as its applied, the collage (on a kitchen cutting board I like for collage work), and my reading glasses for seeing details.


 

Some related articles you may enjoy:

Torn-Paper Collages – How-to video (a 2010 video – some info outdated)

Adding Collage Layers in Your Artists Journals

Art Journaling Ideas – Complex and Detailed (Video)

Looking for some fresh ideas to add depth to your art journaling projects?

This video will inspire you. It includes lots… and lots… and LOTS of ideas!

Color. Texture. Paper, tapes, ribbons, and more. Wheeee!

Yes, this kind of mixed-media art can seem overwhelming to a beginner.

Even for an experienced artist, this can feel like too much.

My advice…?

Don’t try to do everything.

Watch and see what appeals to you the most. Maybe just one or two things.

And then do that. But – of course – with your own creative “voice” and style. After all, visual journaling is about your creative expression.

Video URL: https://youtu.be/5PlbplSnuoQ

Yes, Facebook, I’m actually Aisling D’Art.

Art Journaling? Resist! A Sneaky Way to Add Excitement

Are you looking for an easy – and somewhat sneaky – way to add more excitement to your art journaling?

The answer may be: RESIST!

In art journaling, “resist” is a way to keep paint – and some other products – from sticking to the page. Other terms for this include: mask, masking fluid, and frisket. (You’ll see many different products at Amazon.com.)

Some resist techniques are simple, like using a white crayon on a white page. Watercolors, acrylic paint, most (not all) rubber stamp inks, and so on… they usually won’t stick to any area where the crayon wax is.

This short video shows one way to use white crayon as a resist.

Here’s another short video with some good suggestions if you’re using a white crayon as a way to keep part of your page white:

Remember that once the wax crayon has been applied, that area on your artist’s journal page won’t accept water-based media, ever. Even if you try to wipe the crayon lines off… the paint (or rubber stamp ink, etc.) probably won’t stick.

White Glue Mask/Resist

In this video, you’ll see one of Traci Bautista’s products mentioned. It’s a decoupage product, Collage Pauge, that can be uses as a resist. However, as the video explains, you can use white glue for the same purpose.

Alcohol Resist

Other resists aren’t necessarily as waterproof as crayon. Alcohol is an example. Though it can be 100% resistant to water-based pigment, sometimes it isn’t. Also, it can be harder to control than white glue, white crayon, or products designed for use as resists, masks, and friskets.

Embossing Resist (with Heat)

If you have embossing supplies, this is an innovative way to use them in your art journal, as a resist.

Resist with Adhesive Letters or Decorations

This is a fun, kind of reverse-resist approach to art journaling. First, you paint a colorful layer. Then, you add the adhesive-backed letters or shapes. (I’d use inexpensive letters, and don’t push them down too firmly.) Then you paint over the whole thing with white (or a color), and then you peel off the letters/shapes you’d stuck onto the page.

I think these ideas are kind of wonderful. I already knew a few, but – watching these videos – I’m inspired to revisit them, and try the new resist techniques, too.

Guerilla Art Kit and Other Journaling Ideas – Keri Smith

Keri Smith broke the mold when she first published her “Wreck This Journal” journals.

She’s still a great inspiration, whether you’re a beginner or a long-time scrapbooker or art journalist.

If you’re not familiar with Keri’s art & philosophy, this video may be a good place to start. It’s about 3 minutes long.

https://youtu.be/EQpoDWSHby0

If you like her message, you’ll find more,related videos at YouTube.

Also, even if you don’t speak Spanish, this 3-minute video is fascinating. Multiple artists demonstrate how they “wrecked” a Wreck This Journal (Destroza Este Diario).

https://youtu.be/uQko6xa3whE

Art Journaling – Making the Everyday Different

Would you like to sketch in your art journal or scrapbook, but need some ideas? This short (under two minutes) video is in German – with subtitles in English – and it may give you a fresh outlook.

Mr. Scheinberger talks about sketching art materials that may be at your elbow, but changing their size or proportions. In other words, make the everyday into something different.

https://youtu.be/Au9vpEaAjYc

Cute, Sweet, Illustration-Style Art Journaling

Jane Davenport has inspired many people to create elegant and charming illustrations in their journals. She’s made this easy with how-to books, as well as useful & innovative art supplies.

Here’s her story, in her own words.

I bought one of her books, Beautiful Faces, because I felt like I was getting into a rut with my usual illustration techniques. (Generally, no one is likely to call my journals “cute,” but sometimes I’m aiming for pretty… and needed some insights. Jane’s book definitely helped.)

It’s just one of Jane’s many books you’ll find at Amazon.

Next, in this demo, she shows how to use her die-cut embellishments. Wow! (I can see ways to use them in some Goth- and Steampunk-style artists’ journals, too. Purples, metallics, and so on…)

And here’s Tamara Laporte (Willowing Arts) demonstrating some of Jane’s art supplies. She starts with a blank page, then sketches in pencil, and then… well, you’ll see. (I’ve started the video at the 23-minute point. If you want to see the full unboxing, start from the beginning.)

If you like Tamara’s approach, take a look at the sample projects on her “Create Your Life” book page at Amazon. Those ideas may be all you need to start experimenting with new drawing, painting, and mixed-media techniques, right away.

But… no matter what your art journaling style, if you’re including your own illustrations, consider those materials and techniques.

Personally, I’m experimenting with magazine photos, pasting them (with gel medium) onto a painted page, sealing them with more gel medium, and then drawing & painting over them.

Lots of layers.

Not necessarily sweet or romantic, but these techniques & materials can work for more extreme artists’ journals, too.

Mixed Media Ideas for Art Maps and Landscapes

Maps, cityscapes, landscapes… they’re not just for travel journals.

There are many ways you can include them in your personal art journals, too.

First, here’s Brie Hatton demonstrating urban sketching in her art journal. For many people, this is the easiest way to draw and paint local scenery in a journal. You can go for a walk, or sketch what’s outside your window.

The full video is about six minutes long, but I’ve set this to start at the four-minute mark. At that point, she’s done a light pencil sketch and has started using a marker over it, for her final lines. That’s what interested me the most: how she completed her sketch as a finished art journaling page.

Full video link: https://youtu.be/EfzEjku3ev8

The pen she’s using for the final, darker lines is a special Sailor Fude pen you can find at Amazon.

rainbow stripe dividerMaybe drawing isn’t what you had in mind, but you’re still intrigued by landscapes.

If you’d like to create fine art abstract landscapes in your artists journal, I think Cathy Mevik’s demo will inspire you. If you’re not a painter, don’t let this scare you; I think anyone can create landscapes like these.

The video a little over 11 minutes long, but – for those who’d love to paint like this – it’s time well spent.

Video URL: https://youtu.be/HCYfAHVePMo

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At the other extreme, here’s what James Gulliver Hancock draws. It’s a two-minute video, and he explains why he draws buildings, and what he learns as he draws them.

Video URL: https://youtu.be/360r-iyK_Eg

rainbow stripe dividerAlso, I kind of love that one of his books – with buildings and maps – became an interactive exhibit. This half-minute video is worth seeing:

Video URL: https://youtu.be/DwETY_OK86w

rainbow stripe dividerIf you’d like to explore making maps, this book looks fascinating.  As soon as I saw this review video, I ordered the book. (The video is eight minutes long, but you’ll get the general idea in the first two or three minutes.)

Video URL: https://youtu.be/eKVdfRl05S0

I thought it was okay, but I’ll admit it didn’t inspire me as much as I’d hoped. Here’s the Amazon link, anyway. Use the “look inside” to decide if it’s your kind of book: The Art of Map Illustration

rainbow stripe dividerIf drawing and painting aren’t your strong suit, don’t despair. You can still bring maps and architectural designs to your journaling.

Here’s a landscape-y, map-y kind of art journaling demo. It’s by Carolyn Dube, and she uses a stencil, some acrylic paint, and a pen. The video is about four minutes long, and – once you get the idea – you can fast-forward through it to see how she completes it.

Video URL: https://youtu.be/ZUXK1HkFhiI

The stencil is by Maria McGuire for StencilGirl, and you can find a similar stencil by her – and other StencilGirl artists – at Amazon.

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And finally, for oh-my-goodness inspiration…

At first, Blythe Scott’s work may look like modern landscapes but, close-up, you’ll see mixed media elements. She’s using some materials that never crossed my mind, and they could go into a mixed media artists journals, too.

This five-minute video includes breathtaking outdoor scenes, how her art is inspired, and some great insights about studio work, using drawing, painting, and mixed media elements.

https://youtu.be/p5_oOuzpAUQ

rainbow stripe divider

A Curious Lifestyle and Super-Creative Art Journaling: Dan Price

This 12-minute video is from Danny Gregory’s Sketchbook Club, showing the progress of “Moonlight Chronicles” art with Dan Price. I think it’s a wonderfully inspiring example of how you can share your art journaling with others.

https://youtu.be/B_J3Re04cHg

Here’s a 35-minute video showing where Dan Price lives and works, in an underground, kind of Hobbit-ish home.