Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Focusing on My Weaknesses

I decided to get back to my all paper, traditional collage roots, for some creative therapy. Maybe I can figure out where I need to go by getting my hands dirty and letting my mind wander through the fields of paper, paint, and gel medium.

I decided to focus on my road blocks and make them work for me instead of letting them get in my way. Here's my list that got me started:

1.) Problem: I want to collage in a journal. But then, I need to buy a new one. But I don't know what size. I don't know how it should be bound. Should I make my own journal? Then if I make a mistake, I REALLY will be pissed.
Solution: I decided to alter an old 2009 hard bound weekly calendar. Now if I make a mistake, I'm not out anything, AND it's already going to look ratty because I'm altering it. Whew. I can move on.

Altered Book
Original State

2.) Problem: But wait. What if my arms don't look realistic? Hands are also very difficult to do with paper and eyes can be tough too. They require a lot of detail.
Solution: Instead of fussing for a real look, I'm going to let my artwork look UNreal.

3.) Problem:  I don't want to spend too much time on each piece. I want to keep the projects small and easy...otherwise, when I mess up I'll be REALLY pissed that I'd spent so many hours on a meaningful piece only to have to toss it as a final step.
Solution: KISS - keep it simple, stupid. I plan to remind myself of this on every page.

4.) Problem: How shall I write my journal text? My handwriting sucks, and I don't want to make any spelling errors. Shall I collage each letter or word? Seems rather time consuming. Should I type and print what I want to say and then insert into my piece?
Solution: I'm going to use this altered book as a way to explore. So I will try all three mentioned above and research other ways to input text...Stamping? Stenciling? Transferring?

5.) Problem: Well, I don't have to worry about staring at a blank page and messing it up with an altered book. But, I do have to worry about making errors on page one. What if, at the end, I want to create a title page that ties it all together?
Solution: I'm starting on page five. Plenty of room left in the beginning without all those first page jitters.

5.) Problem: I'm a known procrastinator. I need a deadline or I'll tinker with other projects.
Solution: Well, I'll do that anyway. BUT, I'm going to enter it as a Cloth Paper Scissors Artisan 2011 contest entry, due the end of summer. There's my deadline. Now, it's time to get started.

First Step - Rip It Up
Removing Signatures

First things first. I've already removed additional pages by finding the threads to each signature and tearing out 2 sets each. This will give me room to add my collages with the hopes my altered book will still close at the end. I used opaque white gesso for the first time, painting over the first spread of calendar paper readying it for ART!

I've cut out my pieces for the first image...and...that's as far as I've gotten. Hey! It's progress!

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