Thursday, July 21, 2011

Altered Book - Project 3 (WIP)

I would have had project 3 done yesterday, but I ran into a major problem. Gluing vellum. Who knew? I certainly didn't. Below is the mess I made, and thankfully, was able to fix.

Puffs of Smoke
Bad Vellum!

So, what did I learn? Right away, I learned that vellum curls and buckles, not adhering to the paper surface like I thought it should. I continued gluing more onto the page hoping that I would get some cool effect, but I did not. So, I learned not to use wet glue, like gel medium. I haven't explored other options, but I read that spray adhesive may work. I have sticky dots, but I don't know how that will work with the translucency I want.

I got VERY lucky by starting this on a signature page not backed by other artwork. I was able to tear out this page, along with it's corresponding other half (in the signature) without too much fuss. I redid my collage work and prepped the background to match the other side of the spread. Now, to start again.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Altered Book - Project 2

Today's Special

Project #2 was inspired by a discussion I had with a friend who was annoyed by her date telling the waitress she'd be "well compensated" for her extra attention. It made me think of other things a waitress or waiter would be annoyed by, that person that needs special attention, for example. A single customer can cause a lot of additional running around.

Today's Special (Detail)

I layered the original page with a coat of gesso, brushed on magenta acrylic paint, and spritzed with my walnut ink. I also used the ink on the bottom of my coffee mug to make coffee rings...though I do think they are way to dark. I'm not sure how to lighten them up effectively. I perused fonts at My Fonts and found one under the search of "diner" called Coffee Service. I used this for the title of the piece on top of one of my favorite collage scraps, the paper doily!

As a last minute detail, I added the aqua stripes that I smeared with brown stamping ink. I think it really pulled the piece together, giving it a more diner like feel.

For all you Big Lebowski fans...The Dude: "That rug really tied the room together."

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Altered Book - Project 1

"My Explorations of the World"
Altered Book - First Project

My altered book theme is going to be centered around lists. An easy start (on page 5, mind you) was to list the countries that I've visited...inspired by an old atlas I bought last year at a garage sale for $1. The saying, one person's trash is another person's treasure rings true in this case. I used the maps as well as the selected text from the atlas for this piece.

I also tried out my new acrylic paints and walnut ink spray. The spray was used on the plant to tone down the green and give it a splotchy look. It turned out well. I started to fuss a bit trying to make it perfect, so reminded myself to just enjoy the process. This is just an exploration of paints, sprays, and papers...not a masterpiece. A good exercise for me. I called it done and started working on Project #2 with great success.

I'm having fun and that's the important part.

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!

Friday, July 01, 2011

The Big Send Off

I was trying to work on another set of houses for the Cloth Paper Scissors contest...but procrastinated too long and wasn't able to get to it today. I was going to add wheels and have them be "mobile" homes...they would have been so much cuter than the ones below...if only...

But, since these are done, I'm sending them off to the "Home Sweet Home" contest.