Yes, it's been a while. I've been working on a few things but nothing finished so far. I'm always doing other things in the spring, although it's been a slow spring to get going here.
I'm finished with this journal spread unless I decide to actually journal on it. It was mainly an experiment with shading. Next time I won't use the mechanical pencil to do the outlines. I used charcoal for all the shading over Dylusions sprays and stamping using Archival ink, then a couple of layers of workable fixative.
Remember that song? I mean the old one, by the Monkees. 😉 This spread in my Moleskine journal started as several waste strips from a Tim Hotz alpha die from different papers: a map, an old dictionary page, and Coredinations paper. Glued those down with Collage Pauge and painted over with matte acrylics mixed with gesso. I did some really light stamping with black Archival and a text stamp and wondered what to do next. 😉 I noticed some Ranger glossy cardstock I hadn't used yet and decided to do something I haven't done in ages: use a photo stamp. First, though, I wanted to try some techniques that were the reason I bought that cardstock in the first place. I got out some alcohol inks and the alcohol (70%, the non-drinking kind) and played around. I used two regular colors of Adirondack and the silver metallic. I had too much silver to start and had to work a bit to move it out of the center. I used the rubbing alcohol to create lighter areas, splats and splotches. I kept working it until I was happy with the look, even using white Dylusions spray and wiping it off at one point to mute the brightness some. Then I got out the brayer and the black Archival. I think this might be a stamp by Elements but I have no idea. It's one of the last photo stamps I bought, years ago, at Ruby Dog's Art House in Vancouver. I remember when photo stamps were the rage and going through piles of glossy cardstock trying to get a perfect stamped image. Gah. This is good enough. What looks like white is silver; that's glare.
I put some washi tape down first as a sort of frame and stuck the photo down with foam tape. Then I added the quote–found on Pinterest–using letters from that Tim Holtz alphabet die. I finished off by rubbing some black Archival around the photo and on and around the edges of the pages. It really makes pages more dimensional so don't skip it!
Moose said that as long as I was cutting up his muslin (see previous post) I should try some gesso experiments. I've used gesso as a resist on all kinds of paper but never on fabric and it seems like less effort than batik. 🙂 I'm also still working on that wonderful blending of orange, green and purple that I like to call 'octarine' (a la Terry Pratchett). All of this is in aid of a future project that gets more massive the longer I plan. I should stop planning and just do it, but this experimentation really is part of it. Really. Really!
Anyway, I started by tinting plain, rather thick white gesso with a little Naples Yellow Golden fluid acrylic because I didn't want stark contrast and I wasn't sure how much it would be stained by the sprays. Turns out I could have used more tint, but it's okay. Then I used a palette knife to scrape it through a couple of stencils and 'freehand' onto the muslin. My gesso is thick enough and the layer I scraped on was thin enough that I didn't have any problems with seeping under the stencils or pooling and sticking to my work surface, but I did this on waxed paper just in case.
I let the gesso dry completely and wet the fabric with a mister until it was wet but not soaked. I used dye sprays, orange Colorwash and crushed grape and dirty martini Dylusions. Yes, I know Dylusions aren't meant for fabric, but they're what I had in the colors I wanted. I'm not going to wear this or wash it.
The purple stained the gesso most, then the orange, and the green almost not at all. I let this dry completely and decided the purple wasn't dark enough. There were also some pink and blue places that, although cool, were not what I wanted.
So here the final product.
As cool as this is, I think I may like the back better! The gesso didn't permeate the fabric completely so the contrast isn't as great but the texture is still there.
Another shot of the back. The gesso makes a slight relief here:
There's some nice blending in here. Not as nice as on watercolor paper, but nice enough. I think I might try it on linen if I can find some. That's for another day, however. Seems we get one nice day out of this holiday weekend, and I'm going out to enjoy what's left of it!