I've gotten flack for being more of an arty art journaler than a writing or cute art journaler. I don't do pretty faces with cutesy quotes. Instead I write my heart out and cover it with paint. I let my writing become part of my finished pieces, even these faces that I've been painting, they have been born out of my art journaling process. Not all of these pieces have deep writing behind the paint, but I learned this process through my art journal.
My art journal is my greatest tool in my art making arsenal. Without it, I'm not sure where my art would be today.
In the images below you can see the words peaking through the layers of paint. Sometimes my journal contains simple lists- like the lists of things I ate during a road trip, a list of purchases made one weekend, beers I tried. Other times it's long paragraphs about influences, things I've read, people I've interacted with, gripes with life. I hang my paint on top of these words, not needing to add a quote or make it pretty. My art journal is a place of no fear. I don't always show it, sometimes it's too raw.
My art journal influences my art and is influenced by my art, it's a never ending circle.
Facebook changed how it's pages interact with the people who like a business page. We were all good doobies and made our business a page instead of conducting business on our personal profiles or just using a personal page for our art. So FB put the screws to the pages. If I want to reach all 402 people who have "liked" my page I need to pay $5 per post, then they guarantee all 400 people on my page will see it, if I don't pay $5 then only about 130 people see it. Additionally if I go ahead and schedule updates they meterout the number of people who see the posts across all the posts per day so the maximum number of people who see the posts totals 130. Pretty god damn sneaky if you ask me.
I won't be eliminating my use of the Comfortable Shoes Studio page but I won't be using it as much and I'll probably use my blog more. Hopefully I'll be writing more over this winter and spring.
Somethign I can't wait to share with everyone is that I have scored a wall at a local cafe to hang my art. It's not a big space, a spot for 10 or so paintings and the ability to have an opening night. So I'll update you all more on that. It's a long way off, August of 2013, but that's good, I'll be able to get a lot of ready for it.
The new blades I ordered for my cricut let me cut through painted papers. I really like how the cuts look.
I ordered a few roland blades for my provocrap Cricut machine. They are sharper and work better than the Cricut blades. I got 10 for $20, free shipping from this guy on the 'bay. No affiliation, just happy to get blades that work and are cheaper than $5 to $10 a blade.
This is letting me make more cuts. I've done a new series of ovals and circles, much like punchinella, or sequin waste. This time I've been smarter and saved them all, so I can cut them as I wish instead of redoing them again and again.
I also picked up a couple of EF Montana paint pens and replacement tips. I've been filling them with liquitex acrylic ink, awesome, awesome stuff. You can see their work in the images below. Full review to come.
In other news, I got braces. They hurt, like a lot. More than I expected. A great thing about them is that I can see results already. I had this one tooth I called the "snaggle tooth," and it's already straighter and closer to my other teeth than it was before. Soon enough no one will be asking me on my YT videos if I'm missing teeth. Which, has to be the worst youtube comment I've ever gotten.
I start with pages like these. I build up a textured base layer of bright vibrant colors.
I look for spots that have interest, like these.
And then I add an area whre my paint will stick, using a mixe of white acrylic and gesso, sometimes just white acrylic.
Sometimes I add more stencils, so they overlap the whtie area.
I've been using heavy cardstock for my stencils for the last few years. Previous to that I would cut my stencils from thick pulpy paper that reminded me of super thick construction paper. The cricut does great work with cardstock, I've not looked into plastic, I like the way cardstock stencils handle.
I start out with a clip art image. I pull that into GIMP remove a lot of the detail and adjust the light and dark. I then print the image and thicken lines with a marker. I also add bridges, so that every area that needs to be connected to another is. The last thing I want is an island that shoudl have been connected not connected. This process takes quite a bit of time. After I'm done with the manipulation of the image it looks nothing like the original I shoot a pic and adjust the light and darks so that it's a crisp black and white line art image.
That image gets cropped to size and then pulled into MtC's pixel trace setting. I manipulate it in pixel trace a little bit and then import the image.
Here are a few process shots:
Above you see the scanned in image, below the actual stencil. This stencil needs a little work, some of the areas are too small to be effective and will quickly clog with the thick paint I'm using. I'll probably import the image again and see if I can thicken those.
I've been wanting a good brain stencil for awhile now. Back in the late 90's I made a series of large sized internal organ stencils, all handcut and all bassed on old school medical illustration, but highly modified.Over time and moves they were lost to the shuffle and I miss them.
For this project I printed off a mid sized medical illustration of a brain. I highly adapted it by whiting out areas and thickening areas and creating bridges so it would work as a stencil. That took the most amount of time. I then used my new ScanBox to snap a perfect clear picture of it, uploaded that to my computer and then pulled it into Makes the Cut's pixel trace setting. A few clicks and whirs here and there and in a few minutes I had a background brain and an internal detail stencil cut. There are a few areas where I would probably simplify it a little bit if I had more time but as is I like it a lot.
You'll probablly see a few more internal organ illustrations show up.
I've been using my cricut by Provocrap to cut more stencils, Makes the Cut still kickin' it. I just ordered myself some fresh Roland blades to further hack my cricut.
I wanted to add some alphabet stencils to my work, so I cut stencils form the stencil font. I started out with letters and numbers but pretty soon I was looking up words in binary and cutting those out. One of my favorite songs has a word sung in binary in it. So I cut that lyric out in several sizes. Of my new stencils, it's my favorite. I'll be looking into cutting out more words in binary.
These are backgrounds, nothing exotic going on here, just loads of stencils, over stencils and scraped paint to create loads of texture. I need to transfer this technique more to loose sheets of paper. Totally digging it. Totally digging the capability of hiding messages in the work, in plain site, while not hiding them.