Art From May ’17 Vacation

finally got around to photographing all of the art that I created during the wonderful vacation that I took in  May! This first image is of many different spreads that were (mostly) created while en route during my trip. For occupying myself during the car ride, I took my Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers (click HERE for my review), some black pens, and a small set Copic markers to pair with a Moleskine sketchbook. The four spreads below are the result of sitting in a passenger seat for about 24 (nonconsecutive) hours with those limited supplies. All four of these spreads are in my 5″ x 8¼” Moleskine journal.

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Art Journal Spreads in Travel Moleskine

Besides the small bag of art supplies and Moleskine journal, I also took a larger bag with many more mediums and journals. Among these other supplies were: watercolor paper and a small watercolor journal, my altered book journal, acrylic paints, Jane Davenport’s watercolor palettes, multiple waterbrushes, several Pitt pens, a white gel pen, a bag of collage material, gel medium, black & white gessos, and matte varnish. It sounds like a lot, but I knew that a week up in the mountains with no internet, tv, or cell service would be difficult for me when night fell—there are only so many books this night own can read! (I read three, by the way, or about 3000 pages of a comic series.) The first night in our rental property, a yurt, I played with Jane Davenport’s watercolor palettes, the Bright Palette and the Neutral Palette. The watercolor of a Buddha statuette is what came about that night, inspired by the motif of the yurt.

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Small Watercolor Buddha

I was also  inspired by the feminine faces that Jane Davenport in known for, which cover the majority of the packaging found on her supplies. Being an artist who very rarely does any kind of portrait work, I decided to attempt to use Jane’s watercolors to paint a face of my own. The image below was my attempt. Though the portrait is slightly overworked, I absolutely love the effect that I created in the pupils. This was done by dropping in some white (“Unicorn”) paint while the black (“Raven”) watercolor was still puddled up and wet. I definitely don’t hate this little half portrait for it being my first attempt at using Jane’s Neutral Palette!

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Small Watercolor Half Portrait

After getting my paints wet, I decided later that week to work with them in an experimental fashion inside of my favorite art journal: my altered book. Knowing that this spread would be created mostly with watercolors, I covered the majority of my spread with white gesso. Being a lover of found ephemera, I also adhered some tissue paper that was wrapped around a blouse, which I had purchased earlier that day. Journal pages that include something tangible from my life—like the tissue paper—are always very special to me. The image below displays the journal spread in progress and remnants of the tissue paper.

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Work in Progress of “Spread These Wings”

As you can see, I had a large wooden table in the yurt to work on, and I spread out on it for 5 wonderful days! I wouldn’t say that I accomplished an incredible amount in that time, but for my first vacation as a working artist, I’m quite pleased with the quantity and quality of my finished pieces!

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“Spread These Wings” Art Journal Spread

Have you ever taken your art journal on a trip? What supplies did you miss? (I so very much missed my collection of fluid acrylic paints.) What supplies were you thankful to have taken? (Those Mermaid Markers were pretty great for me!) Let me know in the comments below!

Season of Color!! (Blog Hop)

Oh where, oh where has EmK gone? Mostly vet offices, unfortunately. Two sick little boys have been keeping me busy these past couple of weeks, and I’ve become a full-time pancreas for one of my furbabies. Unfortunately, blogging had to take the back seat for a while as I got into the groove of learning how to watch insulin levels and convincing fuzzies that not-so-tasty medications are worth the far tastier treats and cuddles. (The only sugar level that I was ever used to watching was the decent of Ben & Jerry’s as it slowly disappeared from the pint.) But I’m happy to say that all surgeries are scheduled, I’ve become a master medication granter, and I am so ready to get back into the studio and share my love of all things creative! Starting next week, I’ll be back on the following schedule!

I’m beyond thrilled to share with you that this post is more than just a recap on where I’ve been—it’s also part of something MUCH BIGGER! This is stop number three of nine on a rainbow road, aka The Blog Hop of Color! The Creative Team for the art journalling community Get Messy is connecting today to celebrate Season 15: Color! We are sharing spreads today from our personal art journals…featuring specific colors of the rainbow! I am sharing a yellow page with you today, the happy color of life, warmth, and enlightenment. I think we all could use a little more yellow in our lives, so this spread was just the kind of art that I was needing to make!

Yellow Art Journal Spread

If you just ran through the old “ROY G BIV,” you may have realized that there are seven colors of the rainbow, not nine.  But what about the combination of all to create white and black?! Every color combined in the visible spectrum creates white, and every color of pigment combined creates black. Two very talented Creative Team members have been granted these colors to portray in their art journals, and I’ll be the first to admit they have fabulously succeeded!! Want to know how? Stay on the train and get off at the next stop to follow the links!

Yellow Instax Instant Camera

As you can see in the picture above, my yellow spread features a photo in a golden hue and a yellow instant film camera. That’s because I took the photo with that camera using a golden filter, and then adhered the picture to my spread with a liberal amount of matte medium. I specifically purchased this camera for instant photos that could be used in my art journals. So far, it has been a perfect fit! The photos are small enough to fit on any page without giving my spreads a scrapbook look. I even found a set of physical filters for the camera, which clip to the lens and change the  hue of my photos, guaranteeing any photo that I take to match my style of limited color schemes!

Do you have any new supplies that you’re in love with?! I’m always on the lookout for fun and unexpected supplies like this camera! Thanks for visiting me, and don’t forget to follow the rainbow by hopping along for the Get Messy Celebration of Season 15: Color!

NEXT on The Blog Hop of Color:
The beyond talented Vanessa aka Dans Mon Crane!

 

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Live Recap: Celebration

The live stream from yesterday (3/26/2017) produced a barely complete spread—but today I was able to totally finish the large spread in my altered book…it took a bit longer than expected. (Forgive the late post, dear artsy friends, but the paint was louder than the computer, and the blog was neglected.) However, I am so glad to say that this spread came out far better than expected, and it was one for which I can be proud! This spread of bright pinks and chocolate browns is chock full of layers and happy thoughts. It’s titled: Celebration. Below is the way that this spread appeared at the end of my Instagram live stream.

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“Celebration” Art Journal Page, Work in Progress

It began with one page painted pink, and one page painted brown. After the acrylics were dry, I went to town with more matte acrylics, irredescent paint, and collage material! There were two things that I had in mind when I began the is spread, one being a hanging banner with triangular flags, the other being Neapolitan ice cream; these were items that I saw yesterday which cause me to think, that would be good for journal fodder! I don’t frequently have this thought, so both items stayed on my mind until paint was put to paper. It’s spread like this one which perfectly embody’s Picasso’s quote “Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.”

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“Celebration” Completed Art Journal Page

For my hanging flag, I chose a large page from my designated book of collage material, Extreme Adventure (2014), painted it with the Golden brand acrylic paint in Interference Violet that I’ve come to love, and chopped them into neat triangles. The collage material already contained hues of pinks, so I knew a thin layer of the transparent violet interference paint would be a good combination. Layering gold, white, and fluorescent pink paint on and around the flags gave them some definition, and keeping the imagery on a neutral background of light gray allowed for the shapes to stay obvious.

 

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“Celebration” Completed, Golden Interference Violet Acrylic Paint

I choose some other collage material, but ended up tossing it aside this morning the more that I worked on this art journal spread. It was a good jumping off point, which helped move my hand painted imagery along, but seemed to not work with my spread the longer that I worked on it. It’s a good lesson, however, to appreciated the things that inspire you without the need to take them so literally. This is often also how I approach journal prompts as well, taking them with a grain of salt, appreciating the inspiration that they provide, and then letting them escape me once their job is done. Even though I did not choose to use my collage material, I was not without imagery! As seen below, the item which inspired my color scheme also ended up inspiring my main imagery: ice cream! Very fitting for a journal spread, as it’s my biggest weakness.

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“Celebration” Completed, Closeup of Left Page

Because I was working in an altered book format, I was able to use some of the imagery already printed on the page—as seen in the photo below. It portrayed the silhouettes of three individuals waiting at a pier, but was altered in order to show only the shapes of the individuals and a poster seen in the background. I love silhouettes, because viewers can understand a representation of human existence, while still providing an element of personal interpretation. I enjoy blending specifics, like shapes, with ambiguity and anonymity. Another great example of this is the illegible cursive writing found on the majority of my spreads; this can also be seen below.

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“Celebration” Completed, Closeup of Right Page 

Hopefully, you were able to join me for this week’s live stream on my Instagram, but if you weren’t, fear not! I will be streaming every Sunday at 8 pm EST, 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. You support this blog and my ability to continue making art through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) The Art Snacks website and all other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

Live Recap: March Art Snacks & “Embracing New Waters”

I’ve been doing a live stream on Instagram (@emmykait) once a week for a month now, and the experience of sharing my art journaling process has been amazing! Being live on the internet is a totally new experience for me. Although I found it nerve wracking to do my first live session, the art journaling community on Instagram is so friendly and supportive. I don’t believe that I could have picked a better site to do live streaming through! I have met some genuinely talented and kind individuals though Instagram since going public with my profile in April of 2016, and with risk has come reward!

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Setup for Instagram Live Streaming

Yesterday’s Instagram live stream (3/12/2017) consisted of unboxing my March Art Snacks subscription box, and of creating an art journal spread from beginning to almost completion. For this live stream, I was working in my smallest art journal: a pocket size Moleskine brand sketchbook with 111 lb cream colored paper. This month’s Art Snacks box held the following items, as shown in the image below:

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Art Snacks Subscription Box Contents for March 2017

I was very pleased with the contents of this month’s Art Snacks, which was valued by the subscription company at a total of $32.05. After opening and testing these supplies on camera, I used the watercolors and paint brush to coat the top half of my spread; I also drew randomly with the pencil on the pages. After using these these supplies, I decided to try to finish creating the art journal spread using only supplies that I had received in this and other Art Snacks boxes! With the exception of my collage material, my favorite matte medium (Golden brand), and some grey acrylic paint (also Golden brand), I succeed in this personal challenge. The following image is of what the art journal spread looked like by the end of my live stream!

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“Embracing New Waters” Work In Progress

Even though Instagram only allows it’s users to stream live for an hour, it’s possible to go live again immediately. When my live stream automatically ended, I was tearing my collage material, about to affix it to the spread.  I came back online for a few minutes, though, as I was in the process of adding the collage elements and wanted the live broadcast to end with my journal spread being close to finished. Although I absolutely loved the results of my journal spread as created during the live stream, I didn’t deem it finished. I prefer to alter any collage material that I use, and also wanted to add some black lines to the page. The image below is of the spread after I altered the collage material and added more details to the pages. I would now consider it finished! It is titled “Embracing New Waters.” Aside from the Golden brand paint, all art supplies pictured have come from Art Snacks!

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“Embracing New Water” Completed, Surrounded by Art Supplies Used

As you can see in the images above and below, I added a lot of detail to the swimmer pictured in my collage material. I added outlines around the body in white and black. I then mixed the Terra Rosa watercolor with some of the gray acrylic paint to create wild wavy hair, using the red and black markers to detail. The boldest addition to this spread is the thick black lines radiating from the image of the girl, highlighted with white watercolor paint, which was not diluted, but rather straight from the tube. The inspiration for these expressive lines comes from a tutorial by the talented Julia Thomas via the Get Messy blog!

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“Embracing New Waters” Completed, Closeup of Center

This spread came together in about an hour and a half; I could not have completed it so quickly were it in a larger journal. I also like to use this Moleskine for live sessions as it can comfortably fit within the view of the camera without loosing much detail onscreen. I have used my larger altered book journals during past live streams, and will probably continue to do so on occasion, but find this Moleskine becoming my go-to for art journaling during these hour long stream sessions! Thankfully, I have amazingly supportive parents that watch a lot of my live streams, so I get frequent feedback on what works and what doesn’t. (What I mean to say is that my parents think I’m cool—but they’re also pretty cool, so I’ll take the complement.)

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“Embracing New Waters” Completed, Closeup of Left Side

Hopefully, you were able to join me for this week’s live stream, but if you weren’t, fear not! I will be streaming every Sunday at 8 pm EST, 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!

If you’d like to read more about Art Snacks, check out my blog posts for the unboxing of the following months from 2016: May, June, August, and October. All you have to do is click the month mentioned, and you’ll be there!


 

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. You support this blog and my ability to continue making art through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) The Art Snacks website and all other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

Art Journal Speed Process: “Enlighten the Untransformed”

I (finally!) got around to finishing a spread that I’m currently recording the process of, and I’m sharing it with you today! I don’t know how excited about this you are, I’m pretty stoked, because it’s a rarity that I can focus myself long enough to make sure all aspects of a page get recorded. If you’re like me and leave your art laying out, you probably find yourself stepping past, only to double back in order to make a mark or two. I often can’t cram everything onto a page in one sitting, simply because a completely detailed art journal spread usually takes about six or more hours to finish. I know many other artists can bang pages out in just an hour or less, but my aesthetic is all about clutter and chaos, so I love lots of little designs and details…which can take a LOT of time.

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This journal page, which is all about trying to enlighten those who are unwilling, is both a statement about myself and others. I think that everyone should strive to have an open mind and an open heart, and even though many people believe themselves to be ‘open minded,’ I’m not quite sure they’re correct. The Socratic paradox says that a wise man knows that he knows nothing, and to accept that you have ignorance is to accept that there is always more to learn and understand. This page speaks both to my personal beliefs and to my political beliefs. As an American, I think that this message is especially relevant right now, during the 2016 presidential election.

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Although this page was not specifically created in response to anything, this is one of those spreads in which the meaning developed as it took form. I’m a strong believer that inspiration comes most often when we aren’t looking for it, and sometimes my muse doesn’t speak until I’ve already started working; this was one of those times.

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Anyways, lets get past the heavy stuff and enjoy how our minds can take the ugly and form into something beautiful, which, in this case, is providing me with reason to reflect and create! Being able to create another art journal spread (where I can meditate and breathe easy for a while) is great comfort for my anxious mind. I invite you to watch this process video, take a moment to unwind, and even play in your own journal! Enjoy! (If the video below doesn’t work for you, click HERE.)

 

Finished Spread: Catcher of Dreams

For a week, I’ve been out of arting commission, babying a bruised hand. Thankfully, none of my knuckles retained any of that lovely plum hue that both inspired and impaired. I’m not at full capacity, but I decided to take a peek at the Get Messy blog, and couldn’t help myself from shifting from computer to art journal. One of the many lovely prompts from this past week recommended using the imagery of a dream catcher, and while I’m not one to interpret prompts too literally, I decided to have a go at it. Little did I know, my inability to think in geometric shapes would cause me to spend hours trying to figure out how to draw the netting of the catcher. That being said: I’m 99.9% happy with the finished net design of my dream catcher! (My favorite dream catcher, a heart shaped frame wrapped in teal leather, was the only one that followed me into my teenage years; after this drawing experience, I thank myself for not attempting to draw it and it’s complicated net work!)

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“Catcher of Dreams” Art Journal Spread: Upper Left

As someone who doesn’t include a lot of text within the spread of my journals, I can be pretty picky with the imagery that ends up on my pages, but a dream catcher does speak to the memories of my youth. Living in an area where sacred burial mounds and beautiful Native American earthworks speckle the landscape, I was always aware of native culture, especially because of the the annual festival of Native culture that is held in my hometown. I was afflicted with night terrors as a child, and the ceiling above my bed held as many dream catchers —mostly from that festival—as I could ration for the thumbtack holes, like constellations, above my head. For this reason, my spread also portrays an eye (on of my favorite images) crying, the coloring mimicking the dream catcher and its blue dangling strings, a representation of the fear and panic that sleep can cause me.

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“Catcher of Dreams” Art Journal Spread: Upper Right

I also liked that using a dream catcher in this spread would date it for me, as the Dakota Access Pipeline protest continues to dominate the news. With the beautiful people of Flint, MI still struggling with ruined water pipelines, and now the Natives in the Dakotas struggling to guard their water sources, my heart aches for those who must fight for their freedom to drink clean water. I don’t usually get political when it comes to art journaling, but sometimes your subconscious speaks before you can censor it.

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“Catcher of Dreams” Art Journal Spread.

Now that I’ve been a part of the Get Messy art journaling group, I have a lot to say, and say I will next post. Thank you guys for hanging out with me! Feel free to drop me a line via comment below; I’m thrilled to be back in business and painting away!

Art Journal Speed Process: “Making Shadows”

I have a certain love for hanging lanterns. Honestly, all party supplies stir something inside me that just gets me in a good mood, whether it be streamers, balloons…presents. I have a bad habit of leaving decorations up far beyond a reasonable time frame, and in fact, have a string of green paper lanterns dangling from the ceiling in my studio; as of now, there are no plans to remove them. It’s should be no surprise that hanging lanterns would eventually find themselves layered into the artwork of my journal.

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“Making Shadows” Art Journal Spread

Unlike most of my journal pages, which are created impromptu, this spread had a moment of conception when the muse struck me outside of my studio. I had this strange urge to use a wet paint technique to create red, multi-hued hanging lanterns. I wasn’t quite sure what this journal spread would be about (other than my affinity for celebratory ephemera) but I got to my desk ASAP, and started gluing down collage material to get my creative juices flowing. It wasn’t long before I had thick circles of red paint adorning my pages! For this spread, I also brought out my inks, KRINK paint tools, pens, and markers and let the magic happen.

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“Making Shadows” Close Up (Left)

Some of these collage images came from my purchase of a coffee table book about National Geographic photographers, which will be my next altered book. Before I begin altering a book, I always remove some pages from it to alleviate stress from the binding, as my altered pages thicken the book quite a bit. The pages removed from my NatGeo book had some pretty interesting images, so I kept them for collage material. If you have interest in this book, you can find it on Amazon.com HERE. At his time, a new version of this book is available for $3.24 (plus shipping), which is an awesome price for the amount of beautiful images this large hardcover holds.

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“Making Shadows” Close Up (Right)

To see the creation of the journal spread “Making Shadows,” you can watch the video below or click HERE.

As always, if you have any questions about supplies used, applied techniques, or just want to drop me a line, feel free to connect with me in the comments below!

“Creatures” Spread

About 5 months ago, an artist who specializes in art journaling, Roxanne Coble, released her first solo online art class called Creatures. I had previously taken a class from this individual from a group course that she was involved in, and was very interested in taking another class with her. She’s had professional training in art, meaning she knows what she’s talking about, her illustration style is cute and quirky, and she has great eye for detail. After months of thinking, “Should I, shouldn’t I?” Roxanne released her second solo online class, Lyrical, and began selling the two as a package deal; I finally broke down and spent the cash. When it comes to the new dual course from Coble, I have only taken the time to sit down and work while watching the set of Creatures videos, and today I’m sharing with you my first (and so far, only) spread from this course.

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For those of you who have never taken an online art class, let me explain the basics. The first thing you do is give someone your monies, usually $25-$75, via paypal through etsy or another similar website. This cash gets you a PDF, which usually contains a supply list, some words from your instructor, and instructions on how you can view the how-to videos that pertain to the course. These videos are either emailed to you or online and accessible via a password, which may be included in the PDF file. I’ve purchased about 4 online art classes now from different instructors, and it has always worked this way for me.

The Creatures course is available on etsy HERE for $55, and the Creatures and Lyrical course bundle is HERE for $95.

“Ugly” Journal Pages & How To Deal With Them

I am struggling with an art journal spread right now. Unfortunately, it’s the first one in my newest journal, which is not the best way to start! I purchased the Dylusions brand Creative Journal a while ago from a craft store, and while it’s a well known art journal book now, I had never heard of the item upon purchase. When I saw the journal, I was in complete awe of it’s thick pages, hard cover, handy inner pouch, and it’s unique horizontal elastic closure band; I had to own it! Well…now we’re fighting, and I hate to abandon it. Because of this current situation, I wanted to discuss how I “fix” my “ugly” journal spreads, and what that even means to me.

In my opinion, an “ugly” art journal spread is not necessarily ugly to look at, but causes it’s creator to become stumped and ultimately abandon the journal spread. Do you find yourself thinking, “I don’t know what to do next!” because you don’t want to ruin what you’ve already created? The moment that happens, my page becomes an unfinished and lackluster piece. I sometimes believe that abandoning a piece that’s almost finished helps to tell my story, but other times, there’s not enough imagery to even call it “good enough.” When that happens, and I feel like I can go no further, I know it’s time to cover up and create something fresh. I’ve had to start telling myself, “If I don’t want to ruin my journal spread, then it’s time to ruin my journal spread.”

I would like to share with you some techniques that I use to purposefully alter a stumping  journal spread instead of abandoning it:
1. Take a XL paint brush, cover most of the spread in a dark colored (blue, purple, red, etc.) india ink, so that only hints of old shapes peak through.
2. Adhere collage material sporadically on the pages, covering the parts that originally controlled the spread.
3. Paint chunks of the page with a completely different color of opaque acrylic paint. (The change in color is always a huge inspiration!)
4. Drip inks and paints from the top of the page to the bottom, so as to hide some of the old imagery.
5. Use a large tipped marker (usually my black Big Brush Pitt Pen by Faber-Castell) and make huge doodles, creating new imagery or a new background to work on.
6. Find (or make) new imagery in a sketchbook that can be cut out and adhered to the spread as a new jumping off point.

I know that a lot of people will gesso an art journal page that they perceive as hopeless, but I don’t (always) mind if some of my original page peeks through; it makes for good background fodder. Also, unless you prefer to start with a stark white page, gessoing a page already thick with previous paint and collage material can be wasteful. If I plan to use acrylic paint or collage material in moving forward with a spread, then I know that the opacity of those items will be enough to hide my old pages, and there is no need to waste expensive thick gesso. If not using gesso to cover a spread, an artist does not need to step away for drying time, and the continuation of working on a piece will keep the artistic energy flowing. That being said, if you feel like you’re ready to just rip out your pages and throw them away, sometimes gessoing your piece and taking a breather is required!

Finished Spread: Space and Clusters

This is a spread that has been sitting quietly, half finished, in my art journal for about two months. The colors are great (pastel blues and greens paired with their more vibrant counterparts via india inks and transparent acrylics) but there is just something really off about the whole spread that kept me away. Honestly, I think that the biggest issue I have with this spread is how dense the right page appears as compared to how much negative space is seen on the left page. Understand: both pages are 100% my style…just not coupled together. To me, the pages on either side of this spread contrast so harshly that they may as well be different pieces entirely. But, good news: they’re just pages in art journal! Here I was able to be creative, explore a color palette, and lose myself in a world where the only thing that mattered was the time spent making something.

So, I’m sure you’re curious to see this monstrosity, no? Well, it’s really not that bad, so I’ll share. (Insert winking emoji here.)

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“Space and CLusters” Art Journal Spread

And, while the spread itself may be lacking, the individual elements are pretty fun. Here are some closeups for your viewing pleasure:

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Center Close Up of “Space and Clusters” Art Journal Spread

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Left Close Up of “Space and Clusters” Art Journal Spread

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Right Close Up of “Space and Clusters” Art Journal Spread

Thanks so much for blinding yourself on this spread (joking…kind of) and don’t forget to visit me here again Wednesday! I’m in the process of editing a new speed process art journaling video, which is of a page that I actually think is pretty cool! For a sneak peak, you can visit my instagram by clicking this link: EmK’s Instagram.