Sunday, 6 March 2016

Voyage of Discovery

Hi Everyone,

We're in week ten of Life Book 2016 - how the time is flying! Every week I'm learning so much from this amazing experience. Life Book is an online mixed media art course put together by Tamara Laporte of Willowing Arts. At the end of the year, Tam is going to show us how to put all the pieces we've made together into a book - I already love how my colourful pile of pages is growing.

This week,  we had a lesson with the wonderful Mary Beth Shaw, who gave us several fun and useful techniques and ideas to try. Here's a peek at part of my final result (although as always, I'm trying to tell myself that it's the learning process which is important, not the end result!) ...


We started by covering the page with pieces of old book paper (Mary Beth had some great tips on how to do this), then gessoed over it, looking for words which "spoke" to us in some way, and leaving those areas exposed. This was a really absorbing and meditative process and I was amazed at some of the words and phrases which came up for me from these random pieces of text. I wish I had taken a picture at that stage, but I was so immersed in the process that I forgot!

Then, Mary showed us how to use stencils, sponges and brushes to build up layers of paint, adding collaged pieces to create a pleasing background with some areas for writing in. Mine went through a couple of "yukky" stages, but I persevered, and got to a point where I was quite happy with it ...



But of course, this was just the beginning, now it needed something to give it some oomph. I decided that a splash of bright colour with some pops of black and white would be just the thing EEEEEK!!!!


By this stage, I had almost completely lost the words I'd found at the beginning, but we'd written them down and some of these were collaged into the background. I felt that the most important word that came up for me was "discovery", because I feel that this reflects the process of finding meaningful words in the background text, and because Life Book has been such a voyage of discovery for me.

So "Discovery" became my focal word, the letters dotted randomly about the page. Mary Beth stencilled hers directly onto the background, but I chickened out and used letter stickers!


Another idea from Mary Beth was to scribble some journalling in overlapping lines - it's there, but it's almost illegible to the onlooker and just becomes another texture ...


We tried to make sure that the piece could be viewed whichever way up, and that there was plenty of contrast in light and dark. I added more pops of black with rub-ons, washi tape and text stamping to reinforce the idea of hidden text in the background. I also did some doodling with a fine black pen ...


Well I seem to have taken far too many pictures, here's the last one ...


If you're still here (?!) thank you for your patience and persistance! I'm not totally happy with my page as a whole, but there are parts of it that I love and yet again I learned some new techniques and had a lot of fun with it. Also, I think I really NEED some of those Golden Fluid Acrylics which Mary Beth was using :o)

Tomorrow will be the start of week eleven, so I will be checking my emails for the next exciting stage of my Life Book journey - I think it MAY be a lesson with Tam wooHOOO!!! 

Thanks for visiting my blog today, see you again soon!

Annie xxx

4 comments:

Helen Wallace said...

Sounds like a wonderful course Annie. I like the way the words "popped up" for you and the splash of fuchsia gives the page warmth and vibrancy :D

Zsuzsa Karoly-Smith said...

Such a cool page, Annie! You're a step ahead of me! I've done mine too but haven't blogged it yet! I really liked the finding of the words as well - I will use this technique in other projects for sure! Like your colours! Mine looks somewhat similar! Don't you just love the scribbling in the box technique! Have fun with this week's lesson! Indeed - it is one by Tam!

Lizzy Hill said...

WOW! I would not have the patience to persevere with this, I think....good on you....LOOOOOVE that overlapping journaling idea, especially. And the pops of pink....BRILL!!!

Val Thorpe said...

Yeah wow... great page and I love the splashes of the pink. Love how you process your pages. Fab... sounds like a cool class.