A Thousand Words

June Theme
Travel Journaling
June 27 - Week 26
Art Challenge: Photos and Words
Journal Prompt:  A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words


I have had to work way ahead in my journal as I am traveling most of the summer and at times was at a loss for inspiration.  Sometimes, creating on demand like this really zaps my ability to be intuitive and let things just "happen" artistically.  Fortunately, one of our Documented Life Members, Angela Elizabeth Harding, posted a picture that she created in her journal.  I instantly felt a connection to this post and asked her if I could use it as my inspiration and she graciously agreed!

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Isn't her journal AMAZING? I ADORE how she sketched her photographs and it gave me an idea for this week's challenge!  I love how we can learn from each other and how our members constantly inspire ME!  By the way, Angela has a beautiful blog - she is an incredible artist and I would love to sit and flip through her sketchbooks.  I hope you will check her out HERE.

So what I took from her "Say Cheese" challenge was the idea to create polaroid-style photographs for my journal and tacked them onto my pages much like my mother and grandmother used to do.  This was LOOOOOOONG before scrapbooking, and they would write directly onto the strip at the bottom of the photograph.  Today, looking at these phot albums I can see the integrity of the photos didn't hold up well and I love their worn, yellowed and scratchy look.  I tried to recreate it in my journal.

I started by painting my pages with a mixture of white and payne's gray acrylic.  Just a quick cover with a dry brush to get lots of texture and movement.

I printed out some photos I had from a trip to Santa Monica onto inexpensive plain copier paper.  The color is not as vibrant and they don't even look like my original photos, but it didn't matter for this challenge.

I cut each of them out, and adhered them FACE DOWN onto scraps of cold press watercolor paper with matte medium. All I wanted was an image - I knew it wouldn't be clear and it certainly wouldn't be perfect.  When you use this technique, words will be backwards and everything in the photo will be in reverse.  I scraped each picture on the back with a metal rib to get out any air bubbles or blobs of medium.  The ink ran a little underneath but I just wiped them clean with a baby wipe.

I let them dry COMPLETELY.  Several hours, in fact.  Once dry, I taped around each photo with painters tape to prevent the ink from running and I painted a good bit of water onto the back of each photo and let them sit for at least 5 minutes. You can see from the photos, the ink bled through the piece of paper - this is what you want to happen. Once they were saturated and the water had a chance to absorb, I gently rubbed the back of each photo until the paper came off and only the image remained.  In some places, the image even rubbed off and sometimes it didn't transfer at all.  It's OKAY - I want it to look aged!

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Once dry again, I tore the pictures out into polaroid-style size and wrote a little caption underneath.  I tacked them onto the pages of my journal with a glue stick and was thrilled with how it all turned out!  This was definitely an experiment and I feel like it paid off!

I'm so pleased with the final journal page - its a wonderful memento of my visit to Santa Monica.  The aged look is a nice compliment to the iconic image of the Santa Monica Pier!  They appear to be worn as if someone has flipped through the photo album often!  They almost have an illustrated look to them!  Can't wait to see how you all document with photographs this week - you all truly inspire me!


Our Featured Artist this week is the incredible Linda Woods!  You can see her take on this week's challenge HERE.

 


For more information on this week's challenge you can find us here:

http://arttothe5th.squarespace.com/
Flickr
Instagram: #documentedlife #documentedlifeproject

Looking for previous challenges? click HERE

Visit our blogs: Sandi Keene, Roben-Marie Smith, Rae Missigman

Join us on The Art to the 5th™ Academy™ - a thriving "community" and classroom for "The Original" Documented Life Project™!  Find us on Instagram: #documentedlife

Home

June Theme
Travel Journaling
June 20 - Week 25
Art Challenge: Hometown Inspiration
Journal Prompt:  There's no place like Home

 


"You had the power all along, my dear."


Who doesn't think of the Wizard of Oz when you hear the phrase, 'there's no place like home?'  Picture closing your eyes and clicking those ruby slippers together three times while little munchkins sing sweetly in the background.

No matter how hard I tried to create a journal page with something inspirational about my town or my neighborhood, I just couldn't get this scene from the movie out of my head.  If there is one thing I've learned about my art, I can't move forward until I get ideas onto paper and they usually morph into a creative idea of some kind.

So here I start, sketching Dorothy's lovely slippers . . . you can probably see a lot of erasing as I struggled for proportion but I eventually gave all that up and just let it go.

I stuck to simple, basic primary (and secondary) colors for this page.  I really knew this page was 'meant to be' when I pulled out my green and the name of the color was 'emerald.'  Get it?  Emerald?  Emerald City?  And then after it was all painted, I had to glitz up those slippers and reached for some red Stickles and would you believe . . . 'Ruby Slippers' was the name of the color?  Meant to be.

I added some Neocolor crayons to the acrylic paint to add some value and make the piece a little more finished.  I am always surprised at how just a few shades and some mark-making can change an entire painting!

So this is what 'home' means to me.  I lived a lot of places in my life, several different countries, many states, and lots of addresses.  But to me, home is not a physical place--home is in my heart.

Home is a place we all must find, child. It’s not just a place where you eat or sleep. Home is knowing. Knowing your mind, knowing your heart, knowing your courage. If we know ourselves, we’re always home, anywhere.
— Glinda the Good


This week our featured artist is: Paivi Eerola!

Paivi's take on this challenge can be found HERE.


For more information on this week's challenge you can find us here:

http://arttothe5th.squarespace.com/
Flickr
Instagram: #documentedlife #documentedlifeproject

Looking for previous challenges? click HERE

Visit our blogs: Sandi Keene, Roben-Marie Smith, Rae Missigman

Join us on The Art to the 5th™ Academy™ - a thriving "community" and classroom for "The Original" Documented Life Project™!  Find us on Instagram: #documentedlife

The Road Not Taken

June Theme
Travel Journaling
June 13 - Week 24
Art Challenge: Recording Memories
Journal Prompt:  Taking the Road Less Traveled


This week, I am focusing more on my memory than on my art journal.  When I read the prompt, I instantly thought of Robert Frost's famous poem, The Road Not Taken.

My Journal page ended up being a hot mess anyway, but as I worked through it, so much bubbled up to the surface, that I decided to leave the art alone.  It happens.  I may go back to it at some point but not today.  Not this week.

This poem evoked many beautiful memories and happy times for me. I was fortunate enough to spend so much time with my grandmother growing up - large chunks of time - entire summers and nearly every weekend.  I was in awe of her.  She was a working woman in a man's world - not because she had to, but because she wanted to.  She graduated at age 45 from the University of Maryland.  In her college yearbook, she is one of only two females in a sea of male graduates.  She wasn't even going to go to her graduation - the ceremony was unimportant to her, but her professors urged her to attend, just so they could present her with her degree and the distinction of Summa Cum Laude (highest honors).  She was surprised to find she was Valedictorian, selected from a prestigious faculty and her peers.  She was unassuming and smart and kind and had a career long before women even thought about that {or men accepted it}.  She taught me 'how to play the game' in the business world and her lessons helped me many times while I was making my own way through the ranks.  She encouraged me to 'pick my battles' and let the rest go.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
— Robert Frost

Besides being a savvy and successful business woman, my grandmother also was a Dreamer, like me.  She read poetry and traveled and hung out with intellectuals and artists.  She and I would read poetry for hours and I was always her companion when attending gallery exhibits and art shows.  She introduced me to the poetry of Shelley, Keats, Lord Byron and Frost. She showed me Monet, Manet, Renoir and Vermeer.  At a very young age I was exposed to a treasure trove of the written word and the visual world.  All of this inspiration and guidance molded me into who I am today.

So back to Robert Frost's poem . . . she used it as a metaphor for me.  I remember the day exactly.  We were walking along a beach on the Chesapeake Bay and discussing Frost.  'You can follow the pack and do what everyone else is doing, or you can forge your own way and make your own path."  She did that in her own life, and I am doing the same.  I am so grateful for the encouragement and the freedom she gave me to do that.  No matter what obstacles come my way, I make my own path and keep searching for my own True North. So I dedicate this page to her memory and as a thanks for all of the wisdom she passed on to me - I use it every day!

I created this collaged page using an old Atlas I found in an antique shop, some acrylic paint and a few stencils from StencilGirl; Around the World Latitude by Mary Nassar and Compass Rose by Julie Snidle. *NOTE - the geo tag stamp from Studio Calico is stamped outside the perimeter of the map . . . I took the road less traveled!



This week our featured artist is the amazing Lindsay Ostrom for ZIG!  Lindsay's take on this challenge can be found HERE.


For more information on this week's challenge you can find us here:

http://arttothe5th.squarespace.com/
Flickr
Instagram: #documentedlife #documentedlifeproject

Looking for previous challenges? click HERE

Visit our blogs: Sandi Keene, Roben-Marie Smith, Rae Missigman

Join us on The Art to the 5th™ Academy™ - a thriving "community" and classroom for "The Original" Documented Life Project™!  Find us on Instagram: #documentedlife

Handmade YOU!

September will be here before you know it and with that comes the 9th Semester of Handmade U, where Rae Missigman and I will be teaching! There are only 9 seats left so read on!  We have been wanting to share a few sneak peeks of the projects that we will be teaching at this year's retreat.

You will be taking your canvas & painting to a whole new level with this colorful and creative class. Peel back the layers of your inner artist and build them anew to create a unique and beautiful masterspiece.

A new uptake on a quilted project, you will be selecting your own hand dyed vintage wools and buttons. Create gorgeous hand dyed faux fabric out of recycled materials, then stitch, stain and bind your way to a lovely art journal. Read more about Handmade U here

To stay connected with  Handmade U updates, or to contact Rachel with any comments or questions please just click on the button below! 

Take Me Away . . .

June Theme
Travel Journaling
June 6 - Week 23
Art Challenge: Illustrative Art Journaling
Journal Prompt:  Take Me Away


These are some of my travel journals.  I love these books more than anything I've created.  They are chronicles of my adventures ... tiny moments and sketches of things I might not have remembered if I hadn't  documented them.  I love to go back through them and read about my travels, and one day, maybe grandchildren will enjoy flipping through them.  These particular journals are handcrafted by Mychal at Iona Handcrafted Books.  I love the hand torn heavy watercolor paper and the beautifully tooled leather.  They are a bit heavy but the size is great and I can easily tuck them into my tote bag with my art kit when I am on the road!

This is how I document.  Little sketches with watercolor and LOTS of writing and explanation.  For example, my cafe in Vienna, Austria, with a lesson on what to order.  For instance, I love lattes.  If you ordered a latte in Austria, they would have no idea what you were talking about.  You would order a 'melange' instead!

For this week's challenge, I decided to recreate my packing list for a trip I will be on as you read this!  Right about now, I am leaving Stockholm, Sweden headed for Russia, Finland, Norway and Denmark!

The Dylusions journal we are using for DLP is not like my watercolor travel journals, but here is an easy way to get a little "tooth" on your page to enable you to paint with watercolor on the pages of our DLP journals.  I painted the surfaced with white gesso and once it was dry, I lightly sanded it down until it was soft and smooth.  Next I painted the surface with clear gesso.  Clear gesso is very gritty, but watercolor will 'stain' a surface with clear gesso instead of puddling up!  Once the clear gesso is dry, lightly sand again.

I start every travel journal with an illustrated packing list!  It is a real list that I actually use, and I like to document it in this way.  Once I write the list with a Pitt Pen and sketch a few of the items in, I use Dr. PH Martin's concentrated watercolor in an enamel butcher's tray to stain the illustrations.

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And one other tip for watercolor is to use one of these babies . . . a Masterson's Rinse Well - clean water at the touch of a button! 

My finished packing list is above - I can't wait to go!  Want to know what I carry with me as far as art supplies?  Here's a video I created because I am asked so often.  Hope you enjoy and I am looking forward to seeing how you get 'taken away' this week!


I'm so excited to announce that Connie Solera is our featured artist this week!  Join Connie as she shows us her approach to Illustrative Art Journaling HERE.


For more information on this week's challenge you can find us here:

http://arttothe5th.squarespace.com/
Flickr
Instagram: #documentedlife #documentedlifeproject

Looking for previous challenges? click HERE

Visit our blogs: Sandi Keene, Roben-Marie Smith, Rae Missigman

Join us on The Art to the 5th™ Academy™ - a thriving "community" and classroom for "The Original" Documented Life Project™!  Find us on Instagram: #documentedlife