Thursday, 25 December 2008

Beginnings or Backgrounds

Some days I just feel like splatting a bunch of backgrounds into my art journal. I like working all over the place, leaving pages and returning, - and working on several pages at once. I do the backgrounds out in my studio as they are usually a bit messy for my desk. 

I thought I would give you a variety of possible beginnings - some techniques worked how I hoped and some didn't.
This was my first attempt at what Claudine Hellmuth, in the book Collage Discovery Workshop, calls plastic wrap crinkle. Because of the finish of the pages in my Moleskin journal, they soaked up the acrylic wash I put down and I couldn't finish the technique.
Tried again on the following pages. This time I gessoed them first. I painted a wet wash of green acrylic paint and quickly covered with plastic wrap. I left it alone to dry (which takes a while) and when I took the wrap off - voila'!  I like it.
Here was another attempt at one of Claudine's techniques. It is how to do a crackle finish without the expensive medium.  You use elmer's glue - but we don't have it in Australia. So I used PVA. It didn't work. Just ended up with very shiny. 
Here I used masking tape to make the grids and then painted over the top with black gesso. It was old masking tape that I got from the shed and the glue was extra sticky. It ripped some of the page off in places and left sticky residue in others.
My dh brought me home some masking tape that you can take off for up to 3 days. Highly recommended! That worked much better. I painted a blue green acrylic over the top of the tape. After drying, I took off the tape and added a glaze of yellow.
On these pages the technique was to use plastic needlepoint canvas as a stencil. I looked and looked but couldn't find my plastic canvas so I tried cross stitch canvas (cloth) instead. It didn't work very well. Most of the paint got caught up in the cloth and the paint smudged. I am going to buy some more plastic canvas and try again. Unfortunately it is difficult to find here in the country.
I want to get a little stash together of textures I can use as stencils.

Even though quite a few of the backgrounds didn't work out, I don't mind. They are all beginnings and that is all that really matters. If the background isn't too perfect, I don't have to worry about messing it up.

I am excited to see what will come of these pages.

19 comments:

PJ's talkin'.... said...

I love the tape idea. Got to try that on my next book. Sometimes I spray the page, then do a glaze with a design/graining effect. The backgrounds are so fun, it's hard to cover them up sometimes. thanks for sharing the photos & info. ~PJ

luthien said...

background look really interesting! i like the plastic wrapper ones. i'm waiting to see how you are going to journal the black and white one because it's really dominating (the background) i didn't know elmer's glue can create the crackle effect... i must try it.

also... just wanna wish you and your family a blessed christmas and a smashing new year :))) may 2009 bring you tonnes of joy and fulfillment, great abundance, good health and tubs full of creative juices... in all colors :DDD

~Barb~ said...

Oh yes, the plastic wrap pages are fabulous and so are the taped pages. We can get the plastic canvas easy-peasy over here in the states...if you need me to send you some, just say the word. We artists must stick together, right? *smile*
Peace & Love,
~Barb~

luthien said...

hey zom :)
i've passed on the christmas spirit award to you :) you can see it in my blog :)))

nanakin1 said...

Merry Christmas, Zom! I love your backgrounds, especially the one using plastic wrap. I think I am going to start doing nothing but backgrounds at least once a week, just to get me in the mood.
Peace, joy and hugs,
Nancy

carlikup said...

I hope that you are having a marvilous Holiday my dear!

Lots of love,
Carla

Zom said...

Christmas is finished here, lol. Hope you guys are all having a good one.

Kimmie said...

Cool....I am in the mood for something different. I hate when I fall into the same routine.


Happy New Year!

Artiste Nouveau said...

You know what's funny is that I especially like the cross-stitch canvas one :D

Lucy said...

Another idea for the cross stitch look is to use drywall tape found in the hardware department, that's what I use and I love it because it has a tacky side that is easily removed and reposition while you stencil. Try using a dry sponge with just a little paint for a crisp look, or a slightly damp one for a more washed look.

Thanks for sharing your techniques, trials and errors-I love seeing WIP!

PJ's talkin'.... said...

Nelda Ream says if you use glue stick to glue pages together, you don't get the ripples. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds good. Just thought I'd share that one. ~PJ

Sydney said...

I'm interested too in seeing what comes of them, but would you think I'm crazy if I said I also really like them ALL as they are? One by one I thought, hmm, that's good! Once they are in your journal, do these ever translate to canvas or pieces that could be hung on the wall? (if you have written about this I haven't seen it, so sorry if it's asking you to repeat!)

Zom said...

Sydney, do you mean that they could be finished as is? I do find that a little crazy, but then I seldom 'get' abstract art - so it's probably just my limitation.

I haven't made art from this art journal, but when I was doing an earlier, more sketchbookie journal I did. I think this new stuff will filter through eventually.

Walk in the Woods said...

Love them! I'm intrigued by the plastic wrap technique ... and I *fully* understand your phrasing, "I like working all over the place, leaving pages and returning, - and working on several pages at once." I do the same!

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