Art Journal: Heart Work

I am so glad summer is here! Time to get out of the classroom and into my paints!

Today’s post is a throwback to an art journal page that received a lot of positive feedback on my Instagram and that I wrote about here. Here’s a process post so you can get an idea of how I work, and so I can think through some new ideas for the summer! Enjoy!

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All of my art journal work happens in my Canson XL Mixed Media Pad which I covered some time ago with this great “Shine” paper.  For this project I turned to a fresh page and covered it with matte Modge Podge.

Then, I wrinkled up some tissue paper that I had received as wrapping paper on a purchase from my favorite Etsy store, By The Well 4 God.

[The shop owner, Lori, always wraps things in great patterned paper, which means I’m always saving pieces for future project!]

I quickly stuck the crumpled tissue paper to the page. Once the tissue paper was spread across the page, I added a bit more Modge Podge with my fingers to make sure it was secure.

I typically work on several pages at once, but this one was pretty wet already so I set it aside to dry, then I used scissors to trim the edges to fit the page when it was ready. What to do next??

I knew I wanted to add some color, and Distress Ink, one of my very first art supplies, is still my go-to for color. I held my journal up at an angle over a towel and swiped a section at the top near the spiral with each of the mini Distress Ink pads. Then I sprayed the ink with my water mist bottle and watched the colors run down the page. [Very satisfying I must add.] I continued to swipe and spray until I had the color saturation I desired and then gently set the journal down to dry again.

 

 

I knew I was not finished, but I was a bit stuck with what I wanted to do next. So once again I set it aside until I was inspired by some hearts I was working on for my cardmaking. I got out some computer paper and cut out some hearts of various sizes using the templates I already had lying around. I arranged the hearts on top of the page until I settled on three with a layout I liked. I wanted to make sure each color was represented in the design.

Then I used my black Pitt Big Brush pen to trace the outline of the hearts onto the colored tissue paper. I applied a thick coating of white gesso over the entire page, except the hearts, using my fingers to get into all the creases and crevices the tissue paper had created. Here’s a close up of the gesso around one of the hearts:

The last stage of the project was to decide on a background color that wouldn’t compete with the hearts. I was inspired by DianaColors to try gray. I mixed together the gray acrylic paint I had with a little bit of white and applied it over the gesso with my fingers and a makeup sponge.

I really liked the concrete-like texture the makeup sponge gave me, so I dabbed on more white in a few areas while the gray was still sticky. I also used the edge of a paint card to drag a few lines in the paint to bring out a little of the color beneath the gray. I smeared on just a little black paint on the edges as well.

For the finishing touches, once the page was dry, I outlined the hearts again with my black brush pen to help them pop (and correct my aggressive painting!).  I added a few pieces of Tim Holtz Small Talk that spoke to how I was feeling (for more, see my previous post).

This was a great project to get messy with. I had a lot of fun painting over several days. I think I am going to see what else I can do with Lori’s tissue paper this summer. Maybe canvas next???

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Day 21: Play Time

Do you want to build a snowman?
Come on, let’s go and play!
–Disney’s Frozen

When I think of our marriage and play, I think about snow. We live in the South and there is rarely snow, but whenever it happens, it brings out my husband’s playful side for sure. You can guarantee that at some point there will be a family trek outside and a snowman building contest or a snowball fight will ensue.

Men, especially when they become fathers, are often natural players. They love to tickle and wrestle and invent games. I am so grateful that my husband brings this to our marriage! It keeps things fun and light and helps to provide joy at the end of a long work day.

imageSo tonight I’m filling my journal with memories from early in our marriage (pre-kiddo) when we could meet up at the community center and have basketball shooting contests or stop in somewhere to play a round of pool. Although the nature of our play has changed (just last night we all did the Kinect together), it makes my heart smile that we have consistently found ways to weave play into our time together.

What does play time look like in your marriage? How do you have fun?! Share via #WriteLoveChallenge!

Bonus Love: When was the last time you played a card game with our spouse? Find some time for a round before spring arrives!