Friday, January 26, 2018

More is More

Weekend puttering seems to often result in art pieces that I like, often more so than projects that I plan in advance and carefully create. Maybe it is that when I don't plan, and just dive in, I am more relaxed and more in touch with my instincts than when I follow a careful plan. (Some carefully designed and planned posts were the Humong Star Medallion Choker and the Deco Dreams journal page.)

Similar to the process used when I created the Vintage Circus Journal Page, this page started with a "mop-up page" where I simply cleaned my paintbrush on a blank white page.

A journal page background was created by using leftover black paint,
and cleaning my paintbrush on top of the painted black pages.
I selected a few background papers to go behind a copy of a vintage photo.
I kind of liked the colors, and thought I'd use it as a base for a collage page. I rifled through my boxes of paper scraps, photos and ephemera and pulled out a few things I liked. Next, I "auditioned" them on the page to see what colors and shapes and images worked together.

A leftover scrap of an original flora and fauna
Photoshop collage was placed on the page first.
 The background paper was something I created in Photoshop with many, many layers, using royalty-free flora and fauna images from The Graphics Fairy. The page had both a dog and part of a kitten. The dog ended up being covered, but I did take care to keep the kitten unobscured. The copy of a vintage photo of children was gifted to me in an art exchange, and had been sitting around in my art box for a while. The whitish paper (with a touch of blue) is painted deli paper. I intentionally tore the edges rather than cutting, and did not make perfect corner angles so that it would go with the roughly painted background.

Painted deli paper was added to the page, with the vintage photo on top.
It was intentionally not centered.
After I had decided on a few papers and adhered them to the page, it said "scrapbook" to me. Not that scrapbooking is a bad thing, but it wasn't what I was in the mood for creating. If the children in the photo were actual relatives and I were making a family scrapbook, I might have stopped here and called the page done. Since I wasn't honoring some of my own relatives, and was using the photo as a design element, I wanted to kick it up a notch. I decided to add some stencils. I started with the Ornamental Petals mask.

I selected a stencil/mask combo and decided where it would be placed on the page.
The mask was used with white acrylic paint.

After the white paint dried a bit, I lined up the stencil to fit in the masked area.
With a dabber tool, I carefully applied brown ink through the stencil.
The first stencil/mask test (center left) was successful, so I repeated it on the right page.

One stencil was not enough, so I added it in a few more places. The words of a favorite college art teacher rang in my head. In a world where the sophisticated fashion people were saying "less is more," my textile design teacher shouted repeatedly, "More is more!" and "Schmaltz it up!" I decided to add white Nuvo Drops to tie the elements together.

I glanced at the page late in the evening as I was walking by my art table, and decided it needed some washi tape. I knew that the beauty of washi tape is that if you change your mind, you can easily peel it off without damaging the layers underneath. I stuck on some beautiful yellow floral washi tape and went to bed. In the morning, I still liked the washi tape, so it stayed on the page.

The yellow washi tape added a nice burst of color and
enhanced the vintage look.
 But still, the voice in my head said "more more more." Inspired by a bloghop celebrating Emerald Creek's embossing powders, I decided to give the page some bling. The left side of my journal became the test area, and the right side the finished area. Using the art deco corner medallion stencil, I tried an olive green embossing powder that I had in my stash. No good. It blended into the page too much and seemed wimpy. Next, I tried the same stencil with a gold embossing powder over white acrylic paint through a stencil. Not bad, but the details got lost. Then I went back to the old standard: a dabber tool with ink. Bingo! That worked beautifully.

Step one: testing the stencil with embossing powder over a base of white paint.
Step two: sprinkling gold embossing powder over the wet paint.
Step three: the embossing powder adhered to the wet stenciled image.
Step four: the heated embossing powder beginning to melt and shine.
I added gold embossing powder here and there on the right side of the journal until I was happy. I used ink and a dabber tool, then quickly sprinkled on the embossing powder, tapped off the excess, and heated it until it the magic happened.

Sections of a corner stencil were masked off, leaving a petal shape.
I decided it needed a touch more gold here and there, but only in small doses. So, I masked off most of the corner stencil until I had just one petal shaped area, and used that in strategic areas with gold embossing powder.

The final pages. On the left, the test area, and on the right, the finished journal page.
On the final journal spread, you can see the test areas on the left, and the finished page on the right. Note the difference in appearance between the gold shape on the top right and the one on the top left. The gold stencil on the left had a base of acrylic paint, and the details are not as distinct as the one on the top of the right hand page.

Although the left side is somewhat imperfect and I didn't spend much time worrying about the design and placement of elements, both pages look good side by side. One of the quirky aspects of the page that I really like is that down at the bottom right corner, the little kitty face is still visible. How sweet is that?
A little kitty peeks out from underneath the gold stencil.


Gwen Lafleur said...

I love seeing how this page came together Linda - so many great elements, and the final version is fabulous! More is definitely more!

Jackie PN said...

Me too!! I swear, I never even look at all of the stencils until I see the way you use them- and then I have to have them! heeheee
This is a gorgeous spread Linda- I love more is more!
Well done! xxoxoo

Kate Yetter said...

Your collaged background is so pretty! And those stencils... Just lovely.

Lynda Shoup said...

Linda I'm loving this page spread! Both left and right. Your thoughts on how sometimes winging it really does yield great results resonates with me. The way you use that mask is masterful - or should I say Maskerful? So fun seeing your process. That picture may have waited a long time, but it sure looks like the wait was worth it.

ann barnes said...

This is such a beautiful page! I love the gold embossing stencil marks, they are beautiful and its always so fun to look closer and see the different layers and gorgeous background peaking through.