Sunday, April 26, 2015

Deli Paper Freedom & My Junque Journal

When I signed up for a class with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, one of the items on the "to bring" list was painted deli paper. I was clueless, so I emailed Julie and found out where to buy it. She sent me a link, and it was shipped, from Amazon, quickly. It came in a larger box that had two pretty large boxes of deli paper in it. I was pretty clueless about what the deli paper would be used for, and what kind of paint to use on it.

I experimented with a couple kinds of paint, and found it took acrylic well. I had a box in my closet full of assorted bottles of acrylic paint that I had inherited from my sister in law, so I started experimenting. I also liked Lumiere paint on the deli paper. I also liked the smears of paint on the newsprint that I used to cover my work surface.

orange pocket folder, covered with painted deli paper,
painted newsprint, washi tape and printmaking experiment

Remember those days in elementary school when the art teacher would come, and a half hour later everyone has paintings drying all over the floor and counters? Big brush strokes of bold color on cheap paper? Yeah, I was right back there. The deli paper dried quickly, and many had a see-through quality. They were so lightweight and colorful and fun.

painted deli paper page from "junque journal"

Rather than purchasing expensive canvas and doing what I would hope would be a masterpiece, painting on the deli paper was very freeing and therapeutic. The deli paper also takes stamps well, and you can layer it too.

I decided to use the paper to spruce up the inside of my junque journal that I made in Julie's class. I applied the deli paper pretty randomly, tearing it with a metal edged ruler, and didn't worry about precision or right angles. The junque journal is the perfect place to make a mess, glue in not quite perfect designs, and experiment without worrying about any kind of self-judgment. I include a few pocket folders that are great for tucking in notes, sketches, ideas and instructions. Deli paper is my new "go-to" surface to paint on. It is inexpensive, light, flexible, and unpretentious. And great fun.

orange pocket folder covered with painted deli paper

Monday, April 20, 2015

Black Butterflies with Stencils, Stamps and Vintage Collage

Butterflies are popular image, symbolizing freedom, beauty, fine weather, release of emotion and much more. Even the word is beautiful--Papillion in French, mariposa in Spanish and Kamama in Cherokee.

Many people use butterfly images with light pastels and girly colors. These ATCs are unusually dark. After several hours of experimentation with various paints, stamps and printed images, and having no success with my butterfly ATCs, I decided to try using a black butterfly stamp over an existing background.

I started with a digital collage that I made in Photoshop using Graphics Fairy vintage advertising images. Using white printmaking paint, I sponged through various stencils to give the collage another dimension.

After the white paint had dried, I used a black Stazon ink with commercial square stamp of a butterfly and vintage French images. Since the stamp had a black border around it, I used two different washi tapes to hide the horizontal lines, which also unified the design. The washi butterfly tape repeated the theme, and the airmail tape repeated the French postal elements from the stamp. The white printmaking paint under the black stamp gave the cards a texture that isn't visible in the photo, but adds another dimension of visual interest.

These three ATCS will be traded with the Yahoo group Paper Traders. I made a total of six--I usually make extra ATCs, and keep the one that is my very favorite and also the ones that didn't come out quite right.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Balzer Junkie and Junque Journals at the Ink Pad

A couple weeks ago I took a class at the Ink Pad with Julie Fei Fan Balzer. What a dynamo! With some people, I kind of wonder how they got so well known or why they have a big following. Or why they have a line of products on the market.

 After taking a class with Julie, the answer is: because she deserves it. She is really funny, really talented, and a very good teacher. I am now officially a "Julie Junkie."

We made "Junque Journals" took all day, but is usually a two-day class, so she packed a lot of info into one lesson.

I couldn't resist buying a couple of her new stamp designs, which I used in this little piece above, which I will soon be adding to my junque journal.

The thing that kept me, for many years, from doing journal pages was the blank white page. Or the expensive blank white watercolor paper. I felt like I had to do something deserving of the high quality paper or the beautifully bound journal.

So, it was very freeing to make a journal out of junk. We used paper that was lying around our "stash", unfinished paintings, designs that weren't quite right, and quite a few file folders. Yup, those manila ones that are in every office. Here's a few photos of the journal I made...I must confess, I don't love the cover. But that's okay. I will probably be more apt to use it than one that is beautiful. I do love the ribbon though. I went minimalistic and used some Artistcellar stencils on a plain black gessoed background.