Wednesday, May 14, 2014

High and Low

The prompt for Journal 52 this week was to use a photograph in your art in some way.  You can read more about that HERE

I love what other people can do using pictures and seamlessly blending them into their art.  Major gorgeousness!  I, however, am not very practiced at doing this.  So, because I don't actually have a huge amount of photos, and because I was scared that I would ruin one of the few photos that I do have, I used a photo from an Ikea magazine.  I think this is actually a really good way to practice putting photographs in your art, without the fear of ruining said photo.  I am going to keep practicing with magazine pictures till I get better, and then I will start incorporating actual photos.

So here's what I did:

I looked high and low.

First off, not to shabby for one of my first attempts, right?  I started off with a page that had spray inks already on it, I think from a failed experiment with stencils...basically, the page was a scrap piece of watercolor paper when I started out.  It was horrible looking.  

So I was going to just cover it over with some gesso and start fresh...but when I did that, the ink smeared around (duh, water-soluble spray inks!  I knew that...) and I really liked what accidentally I absolutely knew was going to happen...  

When it was dry, I glued down my magazine photo, and covered it with a thin layer of Glossy Accents so that I easily wipe away anything that accidentally got where it shouldn't get.  It ended up making the picture have those neat ripples in it, which I think makes it look like an older photo.  I imagine if I had done this with a black and white magazine photo, it would totally look like a weather beaten vintage pic!  Again, hooray for happy accidents absolutely knowing what was going to happen from the moment I started...  

Then I used gesso mixed with Dylusions to try and make the image look like it was part of the page instead of sitting on top.  I think this could be done a little more effectively, and I will try more/different things to blend it in next time. 

 Then I added the big lettering at the bottom, and when everything was dry, I took a white pen and did all that scribbley, messy journaling around the photo.  Yes, there are words.  Yes, that is my actual handwriting.  Yes, I can read it.  I know!  I keep telling you I have 12 year old boy handwriting!  To get to the point where I was sure no one else could read it, I wrote down the page first, then turned it horizontally and wrote over that, then turned it diagonally and wrote more and then diagonally the other direction and wrote even more.  That's a good way to get things out of your head, while ensuring no one else will be able to read what you wrote.

I used this song as part of the inspiration for my page:

I think it describes my feelings pretty well in regards to the loss of my friend.  I don't walk around in a cloud of despair everyday like I used to.  I'm learning how to live with what happened, and be happy with the world as it is.  I don't look for him anymore.  I have stopped trying to find pieces of him in the people I meet.  It was driving me crazy to live like that.  And I'm better now that I have come to realize that, even though he's gone and even though no one else in the world will be exactly what he was, I am lucky to have had him in my life and I should take that for what it is and be happy for it.  And most days are happy days.  But the anniversary of his death was Saturday, and I have come to understand that it seems no matter where I am or what I am doing, May 10th will always be tinted with sadness for me.  I imagine that too will get easier with time, but I can't imagine never feeling at least a little sad.   And that's ok.  I don't think anyone gets through life with a pristine heart.  They're all all a little scarred or a little broken.

To paraphrase Rumi, the cracks are where the light shines through.  We take what we have learned from those we love, and we share it with others, consciously or unconsciously.  We empathize with the pain of other people, even if the reason for their pain is not the same as ours.  We just know it hurts, and we can feel that hurt in our own hearts.  Maybe we help them get through it in some small way.  And maybe we learn to love our scars and our broken hearts, not because we wish for them, but because of what they mean...because of who they've made us...because we're lucky to have them...  Because even though they're banged up, they're still beating.


  1. Your page turned out perfect, as I call my husband, you too, are a blithering genius! Your son made me sad, but your words make me happy! Your moving on? Sorry about the hard day, in May...... Maybe you can make it a day to do something special for yourself day? May 10 th will be Sweet Tea day, you can still remember what you lost, but also who you are now! Hugs, my friend! Xoxo

  2. That was your song!!! Damn it!;)


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