Wednesday, December 9, 2015

New art journal project: December 2015 Sharing the process (1)

Up for discussion on thought processes, techniques, aims and outcome for artists.

To create a journal 'page' (pocket) to insert into an art journal, to hold 'secrets', without being too obvious about it (even though I was going to create a sign, 'Secret Thoughts' to go on the front of the page, on the diagonal slant!).
Strangely enough, the first thing was to create a page behind it. I wanted something to entice someone to turn the pocket to discover what is underneath, and what would view, or photograph well. It had to reflect the diagonal format of the pocket, so that it was a good mate for the pocket. It needed to be simple, but interesting.

Diagonal, beauty, simple, but interesting. I like using old papers so the background paper is a page from a 1930s botany book. I chose one with floral illustrations. The top is purely a piece of scrapbooking-type paper, but with a glistening gold upon a floral background. Giving a pretty interest and incentive to turn the page.
I cut it to size, on the diagonal, and adhered it with Yes! glue - I love that it is not a wet glue, and stays flat. I then used a continuous border punch to punch out the right side of the page. So simple, but this did what I wanted. For the journalist, I envision either cutting out phrases or sayings or words in strips, and pasting them upon the surface, or shaping some lined or plain paper in a random shape, with torn edge on the lower portion of the page, trying not to cover too much of the illustration.

My original idea was to provide a 'secret pocket' with a 'secret thoughts' graphic that could be coloured with pencils, pens or paint. I did not do the graphic, as it worked out. But have provided the graphic at the end of this blog entry to be downloaded (.pdf) if you'd like to use it.
I folded a piece of regular vellum paper in half (portrait orientation - fold bottom half up to cover top half) and cut it at journal width. This then seals the bottom of the 'pocket'. I then added washi tape to the open edge on the right, overlapping the edge, to close the side up. I thought of sewing up this side. I also thought of using hand-stitching, doing blanket stitch with beads on the edging, but wanted this to be a page that a viewer might turn, without worrying too much about what it contained. For the 'secrets' to be added.
I made a tag from brown cardstock that mimics a cardboard finish. Again, the shape was made in simple form, to that It doesn't seem too complex. I carefully lined up the same washi tape for the pocket edge and filled most of the surface of the tag. But I didn't want it to reach the edge of the tag. It was a bit fiddly to do, but I did it! I found a piece of striped bakers' twine to top off the tag. I recently bought 3 old cigarette cards for the princely sum of $1.50, and had one of them in mind, but had forgotten about the hollyhock one. Once I saw it there, I knew that was the one! I haven't glued it on as yet, but will. I love that it shows through the vellum, letting the journalist know there is something important in the pocket, but no so obvious to a visiting viewer. Because of the diagonals, then the tag needs to be placed nearest the binding edge (left). The tag back is then used for writing thoughts on the back of it!
I then added a vintage paper from 1898, and folded it to size, in 3 portions (2 folds). I cut it to the height and almost the width of the pocket. Again, this is simple, and not 'too' interesting - the vintage handwriting giving some sign of life, but not 'advertising' what might be inside once unfolded. So, this piece of paper, with writing on the outside is meant to be opened to the journalist's secret writings, photo, or treasures. CAUTION: If using a pen to write your 'secrets', first make sure it doesn't bleed through to the outside - or you can write on a different piece of paper, and just place it inside for safe keeping. The open edge is to the right, and placed to the right of the pocket.
What I'm outlining aren't 'rules' but just part of my own creative process and reasoning. Why do people even think that we just slap paint and paper around, with no thought behind it? True, our original ideas might not be what eventually comes out, but being able to process and act upon what 'works' and what doesn't is a big part of the artistic process. Here is the final result:

If you'd like the graphic that I was going to put on the diagonal on this page it's here. To download click on the image, then right click and select to save - it's .png format, Enjoy! ~Jillian

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Artists Discussion Topic - Essential Questions for the Artist

I found this on Pinterest, but it hold some essential points that every artist should look at, and possibly employ.
It's how we, as artists, should perhaps consider our Artistic Process.
This visual diagram outlines 8 key areas:
Envision, Connect, Observe, Expressive Spirit, Develop Craft, Stretch & Explore, Engage & Persist, Reflect.
Would you add more? If so, what would they be? Are some more important than others? If so, in which order would you place them? Which ones might you consider dropping? Why? How likely are you to adapt your process to fit in with your concept of what your artistic process should be? How can you adapt it? Record your process? What are the benefits? What are the failures?
Specific to the 8 key areas, this diagram questions each one.
  • Envision - What inspires me?
  • Connect - What do I have to say?
  • Observe - How do I see the world differently?
  • Expressive Spirit - What do I love about art?
  • Develop Craft - What do I need to learn to express my idea?
  • Stretch & Explore - How do I use art skills to make art?
  • Engage & Persist - What can I do to better focus on my work?
  • Reflect - Why am I creating this work?
There are some great discussion points here.
What would your response be to each of these? How do you react to the questions this artist wrote? Do you share these thoughts, or have totally different ideas? Now you've seen the question responses does that alter your order of importance of the key areas?
You are welcome to share you ideas on this, especially if you use this as a discussion point at your own artists salon or art gathering.