For 2018, I want to do more than survive. More than endure. More than count the days until I can retire--which is quite far away. I feel like a delicate plant that was accidentally ripped out of a garden and tossed to the side like a weed. I decided to be the weed, to let myself take root where I have landed, and bloom. So, my word of the year is "flourish."
To celebrate my word of the year, I wanted to use it on the cover of the blank handmade journal that Gwen Lafleur gifted me with for Christmas. Being part of Gwen's Artist Tribe creative design team helped me get through the rough patches of 2017, so the new journal seemed an appropriate place for my new word of the year.
I decided to use some of my favorite stencils from artists Jessica Sporn, Tim Holtz and of course, Gwen. I pulled out my favorite colors of paint, some molding paste for texture, and got to work. It started off okay--a little messy, but okay. Then the colors got ugly and muddy and I was discouraged. I painted over it. And painted over it all again. And yet again until I had just a textured black page.
Here's the process I went through:
|A wash of yellow ochre muddied up the design|
|I tried wiping off the yellow ochre with a baby wipe|
|I tried adding a mask/stencil combination to fix the design|
|Even with the addition of the mask/stencil, I wasn't happy with the design|
|I refit the first stencils, and tried adding a darker blue accent|
|Still messy, and not at all what I envisioned, and the black word is too harsh.|
|White gesso fixes everything, right?|
|Or does lime green fix everything?|
Instead of using the handwritten word "flourish" that I had intended, I used circular mini alphabet stamps for the word, which I applied carefully to a piece of cardstock, then attached with metal brads. I liked the contrast between the feminine stencil shapes, the geometric lettering, and the metal brads. I also embraced the imperfection of both my stenciling and stamping techniques. The flip side of having a "loose hand" is that it is really hard for me to be neat and tidy.
While the black was drying, I had smeared the leftover aqua texture paste on a piece of deli paper. Once it dried, I used the leftover white paint to randomly stencil designs onto it. I liked the result. It also reinforced that I am, at my roots, a textile designer. Can't you just see this on fabric or wallpaper or as gift wrap? I used the same Gwen Lafluer, Jessica Sporn and Tim Holtz stencils I had been working with all afternoon.
With the tiny bit of blue textured paste that remained, I stenciled one of Gwen's Art Deco designs onto my new bullet journal. It fit perfectly!
I covered the imperfections (because I am not a perfect stenciler!) with a black textile marker, then with a fine tip sharpie, added 2018 into the center circle.