Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Where My Feet Go

I'm making up for my slacktitude since vacation with this second post (that ended up pretty long!) in short succession.  Woo Hoo!
I've also got a few more vacation photos at the end of this post (though not all of them, because...lazy photo editor...), so yay for that too!

This week's Documented Life (DLP) prompt was "Polka Dots" and here's what I came up with:

How can there be so much white space and it still be so busy!?!

As you might be able to tell, I had gone a completely different direction for my first attempt at this spread...but I REALLY hated it, so I gessoed over it...one thin coat...clearly too thin...and tried again.  Even though you can see the first try through the gesso...which I didn't really pay attention to until it was too late... I like it much better now.  Mostly because of the quote:

"Your feet will take you where your heart is." -Irish Proverb
I'm giving myself high fives over my slow but steady lettering improvement...VERY slow, but when I actually take my time I can see it getting a better...in 20 or 30 years, I may be an expert letterer!

That quote makes me feel better about the busy background.  When I look at this page, it makes me think that, despite all the noise and chaos and distractions around us, there's some small piece of ourselves that keeps pushing us towards what we want without us even realizing it!  I feel so woowoo/new age/hippie weirdo saying that, but hey, even I can be blindly optimistic from time to time!  (I think the beach vacation helped...) :)

For Journal 52 (J52) this week, the prompt was "Experiment", which has to be my favorite prompt so far!  I like to think of everything I do as an experiment...because if I mess up I can just giggle and say 'Oh well...it was just an experiment...' and then experiment some more!  Experiment and Play have to be in my top art journal words...right next to Try!  Because it's all fun and doesn't have to be serious...or, in my opinion, should NEVER be serious!  (But then again, I don't think there's a whole lot out there in the world that I actually do take seriously...haha...no really...)

At any rate, because I liked this prompt so much, I have two pages ready to show you (and possibly a couple more that I'm still working on).  First page:

"I found the colors and shapes of a perfect autumn."

For this page, I started out with blank watercolor paper and used gel medium through a stencil.  Then after it dried...or more correctly after I thought it dried...I sprayed it with Dylusions ( Lemon Zest, Pure Sunshine, and Squeezed Orange).  You can tell the that some of the gel medium was still wet, because it sucked up some of the Dylusions.  In the areas that are still white, that gel medium had already dried and I could just wipe the Dylusions away.  After that layer of Dylusions dried, I doodled in some of the spaces with a white China Marker and then sprayed those doodles with Dylusions (After Midnight, Cut Grass, and Postbox Red).  The page made me think of patterns found in plants and the colors made me think of the fall, so I wrote my little journaling on a piece of gold painted book page that I had left over from another piece and used gel medium to glue it down.  You can see that the gel medium reactivated the Dylusions and made swipe marks around my triangle...which reminded me of the tiny ripples that might happen when a leaf drops into water...another lovely autumn image!

And then there's this page:

"That was just a dream some of us had." -Joni Mitchell

I got the lyrics on the page from "California" by Joni Mitchell (who, for the record, has a lot of theft-worthy lyrics...I just love her!):

I REALLY like how this page turned out, and it was all because of experimenting.  You see, I've had this tube of gloss gel medium for a LONG time, and I really don't use it...because it's so shiny...ugh.  So I thought to myself, I wonder what would happen if I stuck down some stuff (like tissue paper, napkins, oil pastels, stamping, random papers, etc) in between thick layers of gloss gel medium?  And so that's what I did...I'd stick down napkin bits, then a thick layer of the gloss medium, wait for it to dry (which basically takes overnight, by the way...as in FOREVER to an impatient sort such as myself!), add some papers and stamping, another thick layer of gloss gel medium, and so on.  I think there are either three or four layers of gloss gel...  Then I used cheapie acrylic paints and made this girl, inspired yet again by Mindy Lacefield's art (I can't get her style out of my head!), and wrote Joni Mitchell's lyrics and called it done!  

I don't know how well you can see it, but this page looks VERY different with the thick layers of gloss medium in between as opposed to if I had just glued everything down thinly and painted over that.  In person, you can see how each layer kind of pops forward from the one beneath it!  Now, even though I called it done, I'm pondering whether I should add one more thick layer of gel medium over top of the girl and journaling?  But...I kind of like how the girl and the lyrics are matte compared to the high gloss of everything else...  It makes me want to make a second page like this one, and experiment with adding the final thick layer of gloss vs. not adding it...  Which means I'll have to go buy more gloss gel medium...even though the point was to get rid of what I had because I don't use it.  Now I think I might be warming up to it...  Oh, the perils of being an art journaler!!!

And finally, here are some more vacation photos (although not all of them...):

This is an outdoor corridor at Atalaya.  You can read a little bit about Atalaya itself and see more pictures HERE.  And if you go HERE and scroll down, you can watch a short video about Atalaya.

A big fantastic part of our trip was going to an art show held at Atalaya...I didn't get too may pictures from the show, because it's frowned upon by some artists, but I did get to take a picture of our favorite pieces that I'll share with you in another post...seriously, stay tuned for that, because the artwork is AWESOME!

This bird is, I believe, called an Anhinga.  You can find out why it's sitting like this if you read the "Behavior" section of THIS article!

Please take note of the sign in the picture above...and then take note of this:

I'm an alligator.

You can read a little bit of history about Huntington Beach State Park, which is where the Anhinga and alligator pictures were taken, HERE.  

All the rest of these pictures were taken at Brookgreen Gardens, which you can read about and see more of on their WEBSITE.

I love this picture...the sculpture, I believe entitled "Diana", was one of my favorites!

Brookgreen Gardens is SO cool, and there's so much to see, especially if you enjoy art or flowers/plants...I wish we would have had more time...and that I had worn a more comfy pair of shoes!

Sign describing the really old tree you're about to see in the next picture...

Me in front of the Live Oak tree that was mentioned in the sign above.  Now, I'm a big kind of gal, but look how huge that tree trunk is!  I think it's cool to know this tree was around when the Declaration of Independence was signed!  It reminds me of the Greek proverb "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in." 

This is my mom with another Live Oak in the background...the Live Oaks in this section of the garden are all over 250 years old...  Mom said this particular Live Oak reminded her of a 'byser', which is what my 2 year old nephew, Remy, calls spiders...Can you tell that Mugga (what Remy calls my mom) and the little man spend a lot of time together?  I think we both wanted to see his reaction to Brookgreen Gardens...he has an appreciation for nature well beyond age!

And lastly, but definitely not leastly, here is one of the SEVERAL pictures I took of my favorite statue at Brookgreen, Don Quixote:
I wish you could have been there to see him with me!

I think it's really interesting how I've branched out internally since taking up art journaling.  Whereas before, I could look at artwork and tell you I liked it or didn't like it, I now look at these works in a different, deeper way!  The statue of Diana above makes me feel energized and alert...there's something about it that makes my blood move a little faster.  The statue of Don Quixote on the other hand, has a slower, more determined air to it.  It seems to me, that he and his horse, Rocinante, plod on towards their goal.  Despite the more melancholy nature of this statue, it seems hopeful, as though they are not giving up...It makes me root for them to make it.  

Sorry, that was just a little brain fart that came to me as I was looking over the pictures...

Did I mention I was NOT ready to come home...I could have spent a whole week just at Brookgreen Gardens itself with no problem...

I'll share more vacation photos with you next post, but for now, I'm off to try and get a little bit of paint on my fingers before bedtime!


  1. So glad to see that you had an awesome time on vacation. Lusting after the Diana statue. Love the art, you did awesome! Hugs, Pamikins

  2. Love your experiment art and the Mindy inspired art girl! Great vacation pictures!!!

  3. There's so much amazing goodness in this post, and I always have great fun reading your blog Amy :D I wish I had time to visit more often. I love the pic of you near the oak tree, and the one of Diana is stunning <3 You really captured her essence there. Do you know why they call them 'Live Oaks" by chance?

    Your resist with the gel medium came out beautifully.... I always wish I'd include more resists in my journal.... as did your gloss-gell-Mindy-Lacefield inspired page. I can only imagine how groovy the texture is on that page. I love your quote for your DLP Polka Dot spread too.

    As usual Sweets, it's been a real joy to visit you here. I'm glad you enjoyed your vacation so much and hope you get to do it again very soon!


I'd love to hear from you!