Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Travel Themed, MIxed Media Covered Composition Book/Journal

Hi there.
 And welcome to summer.
I can hardly believe it. Time for travels...either
on the highway or in our dreams!
In my previous post, I talked a little bit about our lovely little place
that we treasure. It's in lovely Ohio and we have lots of family
and friends there. It was awesome for so many reasons.
I will share some of that in the future.
Before I left, I was inspired to make this journal from
one of those dollar composition books. Maps are so interesting
and fun to use for any kind of crafting. And it seemed to fit the season.
I had picked some up at The Penney Mall Antique store.
 It's an old J.C. Penney building
that is jam-packed with antiques and collectibles!

I really like this quote and thought it fit for my travel theme.
I covered the book and then used gesso to cover some of the details.
I tend to make more feminine projects and I was trying to make something that
was a little more neutral. I'm not sure if I succeeded or not.
Opinions are welcome!
The over -colors (not sure what you call that) or layering colors were
chosen to just blend with the background.

This little air mail and UPC symbol came from a small package
that I had gotten from Singapore. I can't even remember
what it was. I kept it though, because I might like to use it
sometime. The small dot texture here was achieved by
painting over tulle.
Last year my brother had brought some old typewriters
to throw in a dumpster that we had rented. My daughter and I
were somewhat mortified because we love old stuff...
and anything vintage. She kept the pretty blue which still worked.
The other had some pieces missing and so I pieced it out.
I salvaged the key covers and I took the ribbon and reels out.
I thought for sure that I could someday find a use for the old
ink-stained ribbon. 

Well... I haven't used it yet but while I was working on this journal,
and looking for textures to add to my art here, I thought of the
reels. And so here you see the red wheel-looking shape.
I dipped it in my red paint and it left that cool looking image.
I was thrilled! It was just what I was looking for.
I am such a junk collector.  But I can't help myself. I
see possible potential in almost everything.
The star was a small rubber stamp. Which was very exciting.
That was something that I had never done before but wanted to try.
I was very happy with how the image came out!
The small dots are from a small nail dipped in white paint.
It's so fun. You can use just about anything.
The lightish brown spots in the bottom right hand corner are from
bubble wrap that was pressed into a brown stamp pad.
I dipped the edge of a plastic palette knife into some mixed paint and
gently rubbed it on the paper to make the small green lines!

Just below that small piece of burlap on the right, there's
a very faint image of 123. I wanted to use some numbers but not too dark.
I just dipped my rubber stamp in white paint.
 Trying to get the right mix of subtle color and bright images is something
that I like to try to make happen.
But I'm not sure if I'm getting it balanced.
I would love to have a real artist
critique my projects and give some honest opinions and advice.
I'm just out here on my own learning from
books and online stuff.
I'm very grateful for what people share
but I would love to connect with some
folks who share my passions!
However, living in this remote area
doesn't make that easy.
 These dark green marks were made with the head of a very large
spike dipped in paint.
Here, you can actually see some of the map peeking through.
More paint on tulle to create the speckled look.
 This process took about a week because of drying time,
life and waiting for direction on design.
I did some layering with gesso, paints and scraps of paper.
The punched out butterflies and burlap.
I had to work carefully so as not to over-saturate the paper
too much at one time. Because even with the gesso, the map
paper was crinkling a bit from the moisture.
I forgot to take photos of the inside covers. They are covered with
the chevron paper. I always make the inside match the binding.
Working with mixed media is such a creative process.
This is my second project and I'm
I would love to hear about your travels, projects and would
 gladly receive your constructive criticism!
Thank you so much for stopping by.
Wishing you happy, safe travels
and a very fulfilling summer.


The Polka Dot Closet said...

Love the journal...So many interesting layers, what fun! Yikkes to anyone throwing old typewriters in the dumpsters, so glad you saved them!


Tamara said...

Thank you Carol. It was fun. Thank you for coming by!

Monica said...

What fun reading your post- artist here :)
Please ask whatever, and I'll gladly respond!
I have made a similar travel journal, shared it on my old blog here:
My tips are:
1. seal the collage (maps etc) with a coat or two of clear spray, so it helps avoiding crinkling of the paper. You can use modge podge as well, but I find clear spray easier.
2. Use a hairdryer to dry gesso (and then all of the layers) and speed up the process.
3. Mixed- media is about exploration and discovery... try to not overthink while you paint, but just go istinctively and freely.
4. It is good to be your second piece, but I feel it lacks a bit in interest. The background is too uniform, you should expose more the maps underneath in some points, and add a much bolder detail (for example, the bigger butterfly- see my own journal for reference). I'd go bolder with color in some points, and then you can use white to cover parts of the color again and let some exposed (color blocking).
5. There are too many focal points, and all equal in "weight". Butterflies, burlap, tickets, stamps, etc etc. One or two should be the focal point of your painting, the rest fade in the background or be secondary anyway. Less is more most of the times!
Hope this helps!

Tamara said...

Dear Monica,
I was so surprised to find your comment on my blog. How kind of you to take the time to critique my work and give me some positive direction! I want you to know how very much I appreciate your kindness and attentiveness. AND to offer to answer my questions and help me further. I feel so blessed and am very thankful. I will work on the points that you suggested. I'm going to go and visit your journal page. And was very helpful! I just love your art work and have such great respect for you as a person.

hugs xo