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Old 05-03-2010, 02:58 AM
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Fragments of Life Journal

I'm so glad this Art Journal / Sketchbook forum has come into being. Since I voted for it to happen, I'm showing up to participate with my "Fragments of Life" journal. The subtitle of the journal is "as told by the Artist."

The pages done so far were mostly completed during an Art Journaling class I took at our local community college last year. I have several pages done that I will catch up over time and then will post new pages as I do them. My concept for this journal is very loose - it's only about creativity without restrictions on media or subject. The class was a chance for me to try a number of different mediums that I had not used before and I will continue playing with them, working both in the journal and also incorporating other bits and scraps by pasting them onto a page.

The journals we were given for the class are great. They are Holbein Multi-drawing journals, 11" x 14". The paper is 90 lb (I think) watercolor paper. Heavy enough to stand up to a variety of treatments and large enough to make the think BIG!!! It's spiral bound, so it lays flat while you are working in it.

Here's a picture from the front cover. if you're interested in checking them out:



Okay, enough of the preliminaries. Here is inside cover and the first page:



The inside cover is covered with decorative paper.
Page 1 includes:

White Gesso
Orange and white acrylic paint
Misc. stamps and ink pads
Transfer of a black and white photo of me as a little girl (done with gel medium)
Acrylic painted paper doily, cut up and arranged as a frame
Ribbon
Butterfly stickers
Collaged words made with alphabet letter stamps and ink

The next 2-page spread:



These pages include:

Handmade purple rice paper
(left hand page) Meditation artwork done with Inktense pencil and watercolor pencils, adding water when done.
Butterfly done with Watercolor Crayons
"Daisy" ATC card, done with
Small oragami crane, made from oragami
Practice watercolor paintingov some colorful eggs. (credit goes to someone here on WetCanvas, who did this exerciseand posted it Unfortunately, I can't remember who, or where I saw it.

More to come in the next few days.

C&C's always welcome.
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Last edited by Jakesgram : 05-03-2010 at 03:03 AM.
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:52 AM
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Re: Fragments of Life Journal

Looks interesting Jean.

Doug
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:52 AM
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Re: Fragments of Life Journal

Very colorful Jean. You noted on the materials, "hand made rice paper, purple". Did you make your own paper?
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:42 PM
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Re: Fragments of Life Journal

Wow, Jean! This is big, bold, colorful and ambitious. I don't know if I'd dare try to do something with 11" x 14" pages. The combination of collaged elements and painted elements is great, it's so cool you painted some of your collage elements. Like the daisy ATC included.
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Old 05-03-2010, 04:53 PM
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Re: Fragments of Life Journal

Thanks for your comments everyone.

Doug - thank you. And thanks again to you and Jaimi and Robert for working so hard to get this forum set up.

Debby - thank you for your comments. If there is one thing that I think links all of my works together it is my love for bright, bold color. I see these colorful pages and they make me smile.

No, I did not make the rice paper. But making paper is on my long list of things I plan to try as soon as that 'round tuit' becomes available.

Robert: Thanks for commenting. Going forward, I plan for more and more of this to be elements of my own work, although there will always be other papers, collaged bits, ephemera, etc.
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Old 05-03-2010, 04:56 PM
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Re: Fragments of Life Journal

Jean; lovely Journal pages! I like your collaging and the colours you've used are gorgeous. That's the wonderful thing with these Journals, they're all so different and the personality of the Journalee? comes through.
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:28 PM
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Re: Fragments of Life Journal

When I went back and reviewed what I posted last night, I realized that I had intended to include a couple of details about page 3 that I left out.

First off, the meditation cards are created in a very right-brain manner, by putting on inspiring music and then using some sort of "starter," just documenting images that come to you, whether they make sense to you or not. In this case, the starter was something about "symbols that are meaningful to you. I have always been drawn to nature and to the ocean in particular, so it is not surprising that my images ended up being turtles and dolfins and waves and such. Along the top and right hand edges is a border of tiny little pine trees, signifying the beautiful wooded places I have been. Here is a close up so you can see the trees:



Also, I meant to copy what is written on the page, since it is hard to read from the photo.

The card is titled. "I am Pisces, watch me Splash!!!"

Life
is so very surprising! Just when you think you have it all figured out, along comes the most delightful little surprise you ever met! And then come TWINS!!! (ed note: my 3 grandsons) and even butterflies and eggs are more astonishing than you ever even dreamed they could be.

Since I have a few minutes, I'll post another few pages today:



The picture on the left side is my first use of oil pastel, copying the room that Van Gogh lived in and was in when he died. It is on pastel paper and is surrounded by rice paper.

The book mark is one that I repurposed, by painting over with gesso and writing, and then covering it with rice paper to semi-obscure the words. It is something I copied out of a magazine, so I will not reprint it here.

The right hand side border is copper acrylic paint. The collage is another meditation card, collaged largely from magazine images. In gold ink, I wrote: "If I had a Crystal Ball. . . " In this detail, you can see that I used rice paper to make a lift-up flap which covers. . . Ta-da: A Crystal Ball (of sorts - in reality it was the top of a perfume bottle)

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Old 05-03-2010, 06:27 PM
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Re: Fragments of Life Journal

Very interesting.
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:43 AM
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Re: Fragments of Life Journal

Awesome. They are like slices of time
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Old 05-05-2010, 01:43 PM
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Re: Fragments of Life Journal

So elaborate. Love the butterfly colours on dark ground. Will check back again
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:27 AM
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Re: Fragments of Life Journal

Very interesting!
I liked the interactive feature of the rice paper that lifts up especially.
I notice you listen to music when you create also.
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:13 PM
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Re: Fragments of Life Journal

Thanks everyone for your nice comments. I really am enjoying this forum. I love seeing all the different approaches that people take to their journals and what great artwork comes about in a little more "casual" way than we usually approach our work.

Now for a few more catch-up pages.

Pages 7-8 have very personal meaning to me. They are about my three grandsons. Both are collage, mostly magazine images, but chosen specifically for the concept. The black and white photo on the left hand page is my Grandson, Jake. At the time, Jake was 2 - he's 3 now. He is the most amazing little guy I could imagine having in my life, made more special by his autism. Thanks to early diagnosis and early intervention, I believe that Jake will function quite well in the world as he grows to be a man, but his brain does function in a different, sometimes frustrating, and often delightful way.

At the time I did these two pages, my daughter had very recently discovered that she was pregnant with twins and that they are both boys. This is worriesome for parents with one child who has autism, as the odds for a male sibling to be on the autism spectrum increase dramatically. So these pages are about my concerns for all 3 boys, my acknowledgement that the brain is such a mysterious, complex mechanism and my hopes that the mysteries of autism will soon be unlocked by current and future research.

The two little boy baby pictures are NOT my grandsons, but I found and used these images to represent the yet-to-be born babies.

The right hand page holds another picture of Jake, this time in color, representing the amazing hard work he does every day and the growth of his capabilities. The perfume bottle is actually another little doorway, which you can see in the close-up below. Behind the doors is an ultrasound picture of the twins, Luke and Ryan. At that point, we were still several months away from meeting them in person.





By the way, Luke and Ryan are now 9 months old, and bringing ever more joy into my life. It is way too soon to be certain, but so far, they do not appear to be showing any of the autism early red flags that we now see in hindsight were there with Jake.

***Disclaimer: this is my only issue, where I get a little bit political. Hope I don't offend anyone but. . .

April was Autism Awareness Month, so I am a little late, but I want to point out that in the US, 1 in 110 children is diagnosed with autism, 1 in 70 boys is diagnosed with autism. My bit for awareness is to suggest that if you have the time and inclination, educate yourself about autism (www.autismspeaks.org is a good place to start) and lobby our governments to accelerate funding for research and treatment. (in the US, www.autismvotes.org)
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:30 PM
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Re: Fragments of Life Journal

The next two pages are more about color and play. The backgrounds are tissue paper (probably not acid free, so I may be sorry some time in the future.) The left side is bits and pieces of "stuff" found around my house. For example, the Japanese bookmark has been hanging around for 25 years since I got it on a trip to Japan. Because it is bamboo, it is akward to actually use as a bookmark, and I never knew what to do with it.

The teapot is a sample ATC card I made, using a combination of watercolor and irridescent watercolor on w/c paper. The words say: "I choose to believe that "everyone is always helpful." Therefore, wherever I go in life, people are there to help me." This is an affirmation I copied from somewhere into the front of my Daytimer many years ago. (can you tell I'm a glass-half-full kind or gal?)



The Lucky Bamboo plant on the right was a gift from a friend and I drew it from life in my first attempt with pastel pencils. I actually liked them a lot, but have not gotten back to trying them again.
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"People's dreams are made out of what they do all day. The same way a dog that runs after rabbits will dream of rabbits. It's what you do that makes your soul, not the other way around."

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Old 05-07-2010, 02:02 PM
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Re: Fragments of Life Journal

Jean, I am starting to be more aware of autism. Maybe because there's more in the media about it.
I was going to say that recently I saw the movie "Temple Grandin" about an autistic person who pioneered some techniques for ethical treatment of animals in the farming industry. My wife went and saw her, very interesting.
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Old 05-07-2010, 02:49 PM
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Re: Fragments of Life Journal

What an interesting journal!!
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