SJJ – Photocopy collage

16 08 2008

For this two page spread we were instructed to photocopy at least three of our journal spreads and pick out our favourite bits to re-use here.   I knew which bits I wanted to use in the main, but decided to use all of the photocopied pages.  I tore out the images I wanted to keep whole, the stencil figure, the face and the tree and glued them in place.  I then ripped up the rest into smallish pieces which I glued to the pages, sanded and then painted with a yellow wash which came out green – I did this a couple of times to get some depth to the colour.  I added the quote, which comes from a traditional women’s circle song, in between the washes.  I am happy with the finished effect.



In case you cannot see it the quote reads:

“Be careful what you lean on

It may not hold you up

Or lean freely

And be prepared to make an art of falling”



SJJ – House

10 08 2008

The next spread in the Soul Journal Journey was to create our house in a child like style – enjoyed that loads even though it falls off the bottom of the page.  The right hand side is of the flats on the other side of the green and behind the trees, which is the view from my window.  I am lucky to live where I do – almshouses which are listed buildings within a beautifully green oasis in the middle of the inner city.  A young friend visiting from Spain on her return home reported that,  “Jill lives in a park!”

We were then to collage making a pocket on the main body of the house.  As I am playing catch-up I could see what the next step was to be and this was to make paper dolls which represented our family – an interpretation of that was fine.   I am thinking to do family/relationships spreads later on perhaps – but I really didn’t want to do paper dolls.  Not meaning to offend anyone, each to their own and all that,  but it was just too cute for me – I cannot do cute.  So being who I am I did my house and surrounds but no folks.

My house actually does look like the sort a child would draw, a friend described it as looking like a fairytale house.  Here is my spread before and after collage:

Pages 3,4,5 and 6

4 08 2008

Pages 2 and 3: squares

This spread is all about layering. We were given a list of 27 images to find and put on our pages in any order we chose, previously having coloured the pages with a dark colour.   Returning to this after pages 4 and 5 we were instructed to draw squares etc around pics of our choice and to spread on and wipe off a pale colour.  I did this and ended up with a basically pink page which I really didn’t like at all – hated in fact.  The pictures sank into the page and it just looked awful to my eyes.  I know the point of this is not to make pretty pages, but it is about getting to know ourselves – and I definitely did not like what I had acheived so I decided to go over it with, firstly oil pastels and then paints of various dark hues.  I am much happier with this now and will leave it alone until I decide to fiddle some more :).

Pages 3 and 4: “I forgot to tell you….”

The pages were gesso’d first of all to prep them.  Next the instruction was to write in a stream-of-consciousness style filling both pages, starting with the prompt: “I forgot to tell you…”.   Well, I was surprised at what came out of this for me, it was really quite cathartic, as is often the case when writing in this way.  It ended up as an almost letter to my mother who died earlier this year, many of the things I never got to say.  I knew the next step for this spread was going to be to cover the whole thing up and I really wrestled with this as I felt that what had come out in the writing was important for me and I did not want to suppress it again.  So I left it for a day or so until I came to a firm decision about what I wanted to do:  leave the writing totally uncovered as was my initial emotional response, or follow the instructions and see what happened.   As you can see I opted for the latter, however I did copy the text before doing so – so yeah it was a bit of a cop-out but I am happy with that.  Next it was tape, all sorts anywhere, then gesso, then sanding that lot, then paint.  I like the effect of this and am happy that I am getting to do the sort of backgrounds, many layered, that I have wanted to achieve.


Soul Journal Pages 1 and 2

30 07 2008

I started thisproject a few days late but never mind.

I’ve never been one for starting my journals at page 1 and continuing until I reach the end. I’ve always opened them at any page and just carried on working in that way, a page here and a page there. This has already taught me something new, working in sequence can have benefits! The claiming my book exercise at the start of the book got me straight over that sinking, daunting feeling of a blank book. I’ve done similar exercises before but somewhere in the middle of the book!

The armour exercise was an interesting one for me, ignoring the martial aspects of the armour, I saw it as building a protective shell around what I think the most important part of being creative is… a brave heart.

Page 3 and 4, I was limited by the magazines I had on hand, so I probbly spent way too much time being picky about the pictures, collecting and saving them in order. So much so I missed the word “art”, and I seem to have ended with a very blue page rather by chance than design. I will be going back to the spread to add more drawing.

I’m not sure about the dolls, and if I’ll make those, we’ll see.

colour does the soul good…

27 05 2008

on my return from a weekend artists retreat, exhausted and not really sure which way was up, i needed a little bit of cheering up. i pulled out a collection of papers, a couple of favourite collage books and tubes and tubes of bright paints…… ta dah!

and bound into 8 individual signatures, the following a particular favourite, has become my journal of the weekend retreat’s thoughts and photos….

there’s more here



Bookmarks for the Bahamas

10 10 2007

I made these 3 bookmarks in response to a request posted in another group for bookmarks. Each person was asked to make 3 bookmarks which will be sent to a school in the Bahamas which was destroyed by a recent hurricane. Apparently the children love books and these bookmarks may bring a spot of happiness to their lives. If anyone wants more details of this project please contact me privately.

The base supports are ordinary luggage labels covered with handmade paper on which I have glued postage stamps. The tags are old Pokemon gaming counters which have been given a new lease of life.

Twisted Tuesday – fish out of water

6 10 2007

A new challenge blog started up this week, called Fluffy Flatbottom’s Twisted Tuesday and the first challenge was to make a postcard sized piece of art on the theme of Fish out of Water.

In the second half of the eighteenth century the hair of the fashionable world in England soared to new heights and some truly preposterous hair-do’s were seen out and about. This is my tongue-in-cheek version of an aquarian-themed hairdo.