Thursday, February 05, 2015

Documented Life Project 2015 - Week 2

The Challenge for week 2 was Gesso. I find gesso difficult, I have to admit. I never seem to be able to apply it in the way I intended. I hate to cover the beautiful colours on my page with it. I can never use it as a foundation, because I don't know how to apply strong colour over it. So, for this week, I decided to take baby steps. And even then it wasn't easy.
I chose a page in my sketchbook to which I'd applied acrylic paint with my brayer. As you know, I hate wasting paint, so when I'm doing a Gelli print, I always roll my brayer onto a blank page. You will see a lot of these over the next few weeks. I picked a Japanese wave stencil, and I applied the gesso through it (on the left page). But more gesso got through the stencil than I had intended, so it's a bit of a white smudge, with a wave pattern emerging through it. I then applied the stencil at the bottom of the right page, and it delivered the effect I was after. But it was so messy that I didn't really pursue that idea.
I then applied gesso over part of the right-hand page with an old credit card, and I used the corner of the card to create a groove. It doesn't look great, but at that point, the gesso was starting to solidify, so I left it like that. I don't like gesso.
Other elements on the pages:

  1. The journal prompt for the week was “The beginning is always today.” -Mary Shelley. I decided to turn it on its head and use an old quote from a Snoopy shopping bag I have had for a very long time. I'm not good with calligraphy. So I pencilled in lines to keep my writing straight, and I wrote the letters in pencil so I could correct them if something went wrong. I then traced the letters with one of my white pens. My "Ss" look like "5s", and I had to cover the first letter D to hide the horrible 1st effort, but otherwise, this is probably my best handwriting in art so far.
  2. I carved a new flower stamp, based on a vase I have that used to belong to my grand-mother. (I took a picture of the vase and glued it onto the tip-in). I stamped onto my sacrificed book.
  3. I tried a new watercolour technique, using the same flower design. The technique is to apply the paint fairly thick and then pull the paint with a wet brush.  I had come across this technique a while back and stored it into my Pinterest. Pinterest is always a good source of ideas. Note to self: use my Pinterest pins more often! And practise practise practise
  4. I glued on a lovely piece of origami paper, and also a square of underpaper that I like a lot. 
  5. A few squiggles, and we're done!
What I struggled with:
  1. The gesso
  2. The writing
  3. How to bring all my elements together. I feel the right-hand page is a bit disjointed. It will probably look ok after I use it for journaling, but right now, it lacks focus.

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