One of the most therapeutic art things I do is create journal pages. Years ago I tried off and on to keep a journal. Mine never looked anything like the beautiful journals I saw in magazines and books. They were awkward and incomplete. I was intimidated by all the white pages staring back at me, and felt pressure to do a masterpiece…at least on the first page or two.
All that changed when I took a course offered by Ink Pad NYC with instructor Kelly Kilmer. Not only did I create my own handmade journal that day, I learned a step by step technique for journaling and created several good journal pages. Now I’m addicted to art journaling.
When I saw Gwen Lafleur’s Stencil Girl Art Deco stencil series, I just had to have the one with a triangular design that reminded me of the Chrysler building. I am inspired each time I see that art deco structure, and often pass through the lobby of the building on my way to take the subway to and from work.
|First, I gathered my stencil, paints and other supplies.|
|Prints of the deco stencils done with acrylic paint on deli paper.|
Following Kelly’s formula, I rummaged through my scrap box and piles of hand-painted and commercial papers and pulled out whatever caught my eye at that moment. I also pulled out some papers that Gwen carries on her website. They were a miss-mosh of colors and styles from several different countries, but that seemed right. I also chose a strip paper from a Chinese newspaper, which added to the multicultural theme. I was aiming for a page about New York, with the many cultures and nationalities living and working side by side, so the unrelated designs made sense to me.
|Blank journal pages, with assorted favorite papers and ephemera.|
|Final selection of papers, fabric and images for the journal collage.|
For this page, the focal point was the deco stencil print. I carefully trimmed away the excess deli paper around the image, and later, used a glue stick to hold it in place.
|Deco image, printed on deli paper, suggesting the top of New York City's famous Chrysler Building.|
|Liquitex matte medium was spread on the blank page with an old credit card, and first layer |
(hand printed in white on blue painted deli paper with a Nathalie Kalbach art foamie set) was added.
|More base layers from Gwen's paper collection were added instinctively.|
|Yet more layers of fabric and papers were added. Using two of my own fabrics (the green batik and dotted leaf) |
seemed especially appropriate because I came to New York to fulfill my dream of becoming a textile designer.
|The final base layer is finished, with the cutout deco stencil and butterfly positioned, but not glued.|
|A butterfly was torn from the Beautiful Butterflies sheet.|
|The edges of the butterfly were aged with distress stain and a sepia ink pad.|
When the page was nearly done, I took an old favorite lacy stamp, and, with white printmaking paint, added some soft touches on the right side to represent clouds.
Last, I added a stamped (on deli paper) Dina Wakely quote: “Give the historians something to write about.” It seemed the perfect quote for a journal page about hopes and dreams. The page is a bit autobiographical; 39 years ago I was a bit of a starry eyed young woman, coming to New York to study textile design and hopefully find a fulfilling career. Almost four decades later, I am still inspired by New York, the Chrysler Building and other architectural wonders, and the energy of the millions of people who live and work here.
|Close up of Deco Dreams journal page.|
For more information about classes sponsored by Ink Pad NYC, click here.
To find out about Kelly Kilmer's technique, click here.
To see Nathalie Kalbach's art foamies, click here.