Friday, December 22, 2017

Fly Your Freak Flag

On Saturdays and Sundays, I relax and unwind from a long work-week by puttering in my art journal. Collage seems to be one of the most therapeutic art forms for me. I pull out items from my drawers and shoeboxes that, at that moment, speak to me. Some days earth tones call to me, sometimes bright vibrant colors and shapes.

A few weekends ago, pink called my name. One item in particular was a pretty napkin that was tucked into an envelope full of Paris-themed ATCs. I decided to use it as a background. It seemed to clash with the other pink tidbits that I had piled on my work table, but I pushed ahead anyway. I also used a pink carnation printout that was gifted to me from Kelly Kilmer when I took a class a few years ago. I had been holding on to it, waiting to find just the right collage to use it in, and decided that I had waited long enough so I used it in the center of the page.

When my pink collage was done, it looked kind of yucky. I had mixed the napkin with some old dictionary pages, a pink argyle piece of washi tape packaging, fabric scraps and paper scraps. I put the collage page aside and left it for a while. Something wasn't working but I couldn't put my finger on what exactly went wrong.
The unfinished, too pink collage page
The next weekend I was playing with some Jane Davenport washi tape facial features. I had been waiting almost a year for my local Michaels to restock the tape and was so happy to find it. I made some peculiar faces and dolls with the tape, and one face with oversized eyes looked freaky-wonderful, but I didn't quite know what to do with it.

The face was too big for a paper doll, so I auditioned her on the loud pink collage page, and it seemed to work, but I decided that I needed to knock back some of the brightness of the collage with white paint and gesso. I also added Gwen's Ornamental Petals stencil/mask in a few places in the background for a subtle texture. It looked better...but not done. I decided that the page was already looking pretty strange, so I decided to try adding some Dresden Trim. One extra-large gold wing seemed to suit my girl, and a tiny gold Bourbon Crown added a touch more of whimsy. I liked the weird proportions of the giant wing versus teeny crown, with the round head and oversized eyes. I thought about giving her a second wing but she looked like she could fly with just one.
An oversized face, gold wing and tiny crown, background stenciling,
and white body suited the overly pink collage background
Still, the page didn't seem done. It was too clean, and too pink, so I decided to add contrast with a Scribe All black watercolor pencil. I added a little hair, some chin definition, and gray tones around the figure and in the background, which brought out the stamped design nicely.

It occurred to me that she looked decidedly freaky, and that she seemed to make no excuses for her oddity. The words "fly your freak flag" popped into my head so I wrote them big and bold on the page. Even with just one giant wing, she is certainly ready to fly, and not afraid to be a little unusual.

The words "fly your freak flag" popped into my head as I was finishing the journal page
If you like the German Dresden Trim wings and crown, take a look on the website to see Gwen's amazing collection of Dresden items. While made of paper--not actual metal, they are strong and flexible, hold their shine and have fine details. And here's a coupon you can use for a discount until the end of the year for Dresden Trim and/or German and English Scrap. Happy shopping, happy New Year, and happy creating!


Renee said...

Love this and the title!

Jill McDowell said...

Linda, I just love how you embraced her freakyness. She’s wonderful!its amazing how giving things just a little time they seem to find
D their voice and shine,

Kate Yetter said...

This is so amazing. I love how you used that gorgeous napkin in your background. Unusual faces interest me and I love this one!
Merry Christmas!

Gwen Lafleur said...

This is such a cool page Linda. I loved reading about the process - sometimes setting something aside for a while is the perfect approach! Your funky washi tape face combined with the Dresden turned out great! Love it!

Jackie PN said...

Out of this world way too cool Linda!! I so love how that brain of yours works!!
Flying that freak flag was surely the way to go with this and I do love the way you knocked back the color- perfect!
Merry Christmas my friend!
Jackie xoxo

Lynda Shoup said...

I enjoyed seeing the process as well. The way you tackled your concerns and kept the conversation with the piece going. In particular, I am impressed with the way you first added white and then mellowed it down with some shadow to blend everything. I think this strikes me because I am a "the more bold the better" kind of gal and don't really understand how to achieve this subtle blending. Great piece.

SandeeNC said...

Love your thought process and how you embraced the good, the bad and the freaky!