Live Recap: Our Wilderness

After an accidental two week long hiatus from this blog, I’m returning to you with a bombardment of posts! Hurrah for filling up you email/blog feed with artsy goodness. (But my apologies for taking so long to get back to you.) Since I’ve been gone, I’ve been obsessively playing with my new Daniel Smith watercolors—a medium that just doesn’t fit among the pages of my art journals. With the holiday last Sunday, I also didn’t engage in a live stream, causing my only scheduled journaling time to be neglected. It’s rather difficult to post about art journaling when one is not art journaling. However, I did host a live stream this past Sunday, and the following photo is of the page that I began during that stream!

Our Wilderness Art Journal Spread copyright emk wright 2017 wwwdotmadebyemkdotcom (4)

“Our Wilderness” Work In Progress Art Journal Spread

Usually, my spread’s meanings are influenced by the imagery that I use and the color schemes that come about organically. However, this page was directly inspired by a single piece of collage imagery—a picture of two silhouettes at the edge of a canyon, looking out into the long stretch of stone. You see, the husband and I are going on vacation soon, and I have reserved us a stay in an isolated yurt among the mountains of a faraway state; it’s no wonder an image of a couple in the wilderness would speak to me on the cusp of our private adventure! The natural colors of the landscape determined my color choices as well, a collection of browns and greens. It’s a combination that I may not have otherwise used. The following photo is of this spread, after about two days of work, as I struggled to get myself away from watercolors and into an art journaling head-space.

Our Wilderness Art Journal Spread copyright emk wright 2017 wwwdotmadebyemkdotcom (5)

“Our Wilderness” Completed Art Journal Spread

I was able to test out a few new supplies in this spread, including the Mermaid Markers from the new Jane Davenport series. The colors used in this spread include “Seaweed,” “Siren,” and “Reef,” which are two green colors and a brown. The set of Mermaid Markers includes a piece of paper that discuss the contents of the brush markers, stating that the ink is a dye base (rather than pigment) and are not lightfast. While I have no issue using products that are not lightfast within the confines of my journal pages, it was a little disheartening to see that the markers—which cost over $3 a piece at $40 for 12—cannot be used in any for-sale artwork due to not being lightfast. Please note that this is not something stated on the exterior of the packaging, and—at the time of this post being published—not disclosed on the two exclusive websites that sell the product. The “Siren” color can be seen in the photo below, used to outline the silhouettes in the collage imagery.

“Our Wilderness” Closeup of Left Bottom

Like some of my other liquid ink markers, the colorants in the Mermaid Markers bled up through the acrylic paints applied over top of the marks even though the marks were dry. In this case, the acrylic paint that I used was the Liquitex Professional white gesso, so I feel very confident in saying that only a very thick coat of paint would be able to hide the marks made by these markers. Although I wouldn’t call this a “con,” as it could be used very effectively as a base layer beneath gesso and paint, it’s definitely not a “pro” when it happens unexpectedly. I will, however, be playing with the Mermaid Markers quite a bit, especially during my vacation, as they are wonderfully portable colorants and complement my current infatuation with watercolor. You can see the bleed-though of the “Siren” color in the white icicle shapes in bottom right corner of the image below.

Our Wilderness Art Journal Spread copyright emk wright 2017 wwwdotmadebyemkdotcom (2)

Our Wilderness” Closeup of  Right Bottom

I didn’t mean to neglect my blog duties, and even though this post is coming out Wednesday evening instead of Monday day, I want you to know that Wednesday’s usual Freebie post will still be coming out this week, just a day late! I sincerely thank you for sticking around while I found my footing earlier this month, and want to remind you: I will be streaming every Sunday at 8 pm EST on my Instagram, working in my art journal for all to see! I hope that you can join me sometime, and I especially hope that you’ll be making art with me, chatting about how awesome art journaling is, and letting me know if you have any questions about the many art supplies that I seem to be hoarding. Also, feel free to drop me a line by commenting here on the blog with any questions—or just to say hi!

 


Disclaimer: I have recently become an Amazon and Get Messy affiliate. Amazon links and Get Messy links are affiliate links. I will receive a small portion of the sale if you use these links to purchase  the art supplies or subscribe to the Get Messy community for an annual membership, without any extra cost to you. You support this blog and my ability to continue making awesome content through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) The Jane Davenport website and all other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

Finger Painting for Adults*

The term adults implies persons over the age of 18, and is not indicative of a stage of maturation.

I’m never afraid to get my hands dirty…well, with paint anyway. I think of paintbrush strokes as being less than subtle, and an old card always ends up spreading paint over a huge amount of space. Diluting paint may make it less pronounced when pushing it around the page with one of these tools, but sometimes it still does not provide me with the look I’m going for. This is where my fearless fingers come into play, ready to smear, dollop, and spread!

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Finger Painting on an AJP

Dragging paint is something easy to do that creates a unique effect, and is something I do often with paint. However, there are so many different ways you can move paint around with your hands! Using my fingers provides me with control, allowing me to use as much pressure as I choose. I can leave thicker places in the paint, causing more opacity, or I can push and smear, making it thin enough to expose layers underneath. Covering my entire finger in paint allows me to create oval shapes on my page that slowly fade out, like using a stamp repeatedly; I also do this with just flecks of paint on my fingers, which create small, odd shapes. “Stamping” with your finger may sound primitive, but below is a landscape that I created by finger painting in this manner. No so primitive, is it?

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Finger Painted Landscape

Finger painting is something child like, and embracing it may help you reach back to the uninhibited creative roots of your youth. Those of us who make art are often worried that our creations are not pretty enough, but even a child can see beauty in a simple streak of color. Keeping an art journal isn’t like working on canvas: there are a hundred fresh starts just waiting for the turn of a page. It’s okay to make weird blobs and abstract shapes on a spread, even if you hate them, because you can always layer over it or continue further into your book.

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Finger Prints in My Art Journal

Smacking my fingers against a piece of paper can let out a little frustration for me, and making art in the process of relieving my anger or irritation just puts more meaning into my work. I feel more connected to pages with my finger painting, knowing that the individual curves of my finger prints are embedded in the paint, making the image something only my hands could create! It also creates unique shapes, unlike a stamp, which will make perfect O’s every time. That means it’s impossible to recreate, and is something special from a particular moment of my life.

I invite you to get your hands dirty too: don’t be afraid of your paint! Painting tools are wonderful, but sometimes its more about fun and less about pretty. Enjoy yourself while you’re creating, because beauty without soul is boring!