Art Journal Portrait
Art Journaling

In The Messy Middle

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I’m taking a year long (online) art journaling course called Wanderlust which is hosted by Kasia Avery over at Everything Art (registration for this course is closed but she has A BUNCH of awesome resources on her site!). Last year I enrolled in two classes, Lifebook and Book of Days. They were VERY intense and I was unable to really complete more than the first three months of classes (also that was about the time I bought the store AND COVID happened), and even though I have LIFETIME ACCESS and I have gone back to complete some of the classes later, it just isn’t quite the same as following along with the course when it’s going on.  

This year I was seriously hesitant about joining up with Wanderlust but so far, the lessons have been VERY open ended and with just one class a week, I’ve been able to keep up. OH and I’ve also given myself permission to watch the videos and then if it’s not my particular style, I decide I will just NOT do the project! Easy peasy! Sometimes we have to remind ourselves we don’t have to DO ALL THE THINGS!

This month’s theme for the course is Serendipity, which is fun but VERY open ended. Almost too much! But the lesson for week 10 was from Carolyn Dube and she’s so fun to watch, she always sounds like she just gets a kick out of life. So after watching the videos and pondering the lesson for a week, I decided to jump in and see what sort of Serendipity I could come up with. 

Well, I gathered up my supplies, the lesson said to just grab 5 to start, but I can’t do that! I had to grab the greens (that’s my focus color for March) and my favorite Amsterdam acrylic paint, in Raw Umber, Payne’s Gray and Turquoise. Unfortunately, when I went to dispense the turquoise a bit of a boo boo happened and the paint just kind of exploded on my art desk! O.O.P.S. as Carolyn says! (Outstanding Opportunity Presenting Suddenly) This changed my plans a little because I felt I had to use that BIG blob of paint up FAST so I quickly grabbed my two art journals (Dylusions and a hand made one) and I started putting paint on the pages. When Tiff from Southern Gal Designs says “break the page” she means it! I broke those pages within an inch of their lives!

But it was my favorite turquoise so I was not unhappy to smear it all over every bit of the four pages. (And then used some more later for a little gel plate fun, I had that much left over!)

The final page from my O.O.P.S. session

Once I accepted the fact that white space was a thing of the past, I went on and kept adding layers. I added some gesso to try to tone down the turquoise. Let me just say, I’m rather impatient and you really need to wait for the paint to dry if you’re going to add more layers and not expect them to smear together. Then I added some collage pages, stenciling and even a portrait I drew on an old book page. If you have a messy page (like this one) and you want to add a focal image (like this portrait), try drawing it on a book page, then you can just collage it on and if you happen to dislike a certain part (I didn’t really like her nose) you can just do what I did which was rip it up! Then it just becomes a design element!

So in between working on this page, I had my Dylusions journal which I’ve called my Mop Up Journal, it’s literally the book I grab to just “mop up” the extra paint in while I’m working. That’s why I like to use a 3×5 gel press as a paint palette, when I’m done I can just pick it up and plop it on a page like a large stamp! And the small brayer from either Ranger or Dina Wakley is the perfect size for that plate. On this page I ended up adding some collage, which I don’t normally do but I really like the end result! I was trying for a grungy look, which I think I achieved, using some Raw Umber paint this time. I think my favorite part is the splatters from probably a black scribble stick or some diluted black paint.

My messy Dylusions Mop Up Journal

I hear so many artists and art journaling teachers talk about how the art journal is the place to play, no pressure, just explore and try new things. Sometimes I feel like this is odd because I don’t usually feel pressure anyway since I don’t come from a formal art background (I guess most of them do), I’ve never taken an art class beyond the one I took in 5th grade when my art teacher told me I didn’t know how to create a mosaic (HAHA – she was probably right but still, it was just ripped up pieces of construction paper!) All in all, I was pretty happy with the O.O.P.S end result of these two pages. Even though they started with a big BLOB of paint, that turned out to be a great jumping off point for these pages!

Thanks for visiting my crafty corner! I hope you enjoyed this peek into my creative process (sort of). If you did, please drop me a comment below and say hi! I hope you’ll come check out what I post every day over on Instagram. That is really my favorite place to “hang out”. I also have a Facebook page, YouTube Channel and weekly shop update email (yes, I am a busy lady).

Until next time,

Anna

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