hmm, Hanna was kind enough to link to my sketchbook in her blog and I realized it’s been 2 months since I posted the cover to my sketchbook. I’m almost finished with it. I’ve worked in spurts, sometimes letting the book collect dust for days or weeks, and have experimented with pencils, crayons, paints, collage, and ink. My chief inspiration seems to have been my inability to sleep and the spooky night-fears I get from listening to “Inner Sanctum” or reading Cornell Woolrich late at night.
Kraft envelope scraped & spritzed with acrylics, punched into squares, and reassembled with news clippings.
Collage over children’s crayons. “On her first night out in the Big City Mary Jean sampled a Manhattan. After her 4th one she knew it was time to reach for the stars. “
I started my 6×8 moleskine from the Art House Coop a few weeks ago. It’s been a challenge. I usually work in a 3×5 moleskine, so this feels like four times the amount of space to fill. It’s hard to just casually start a sketch; I have to think about how to enlarge things to fit into these gigantic pages. Maybe it will help to enlarge my vision, ha! I’ve managed to fill about a dozen pages.
My theme is Nighttime Stories. Real stories, invented stories, nightmares. They probably won’t be pretty.
The instructions that came with the sketchbook suggested you try to make the cover more durable, in anticipation of thousands of fingers prying it open for a look. I glued my collage pieces to the cover, then wrapped it with clear packing tape. I liked the weight it added and the vertical lines it created.
I bought a small container of clear gesso to compare with the regular white stuff. This was my first experiment. I brushed the gesso onto tan tissue paper, remembering what great results I had with the GPP Tissue Crusade. I then applied crimson, purple and yellow acrylic. The clear gesso left a sandpaper-like finish to the paper which feels great to the touch, but the surface wasn’t very friendly to most of my pens. I have been able to doodle with Micron pens on tissue coated with white gesso but not 0n this stuff (I used Liquitex brand). I really like the way the colors came out, though, so I cut some shapes to put into my moleskine, a la Hanna’s “Evidence Pages”. I doodled a few lines with a Gelly Glaze Pen and finished by practicing crosshatching around the pieces. I used another piece of the painted tissue for the collage below.
I have been making up stories with clipped type since I was a teenager, so this month’s GPP Street Team creative crusade on “Text Messaging” was right up my alley. I usually prefer black and white type, but the last few weeks of hot weather have turned the shrubbery around here to dry yellow so I was attracted to soothing shades of green this time. We’re in the midst of our summer crunch at work, too, so I clipped words about things I’d rather be doing. I had to turn the page upside down to fill some of the spaces, so it turned out to be readable from all directions. Thanks for the suggestion, Michelle; the break from work was just what I needed!
It’s the third or fourth day in a row we’ve been under a heat warning. Yesterday it was 103 and up to 80% humidity. How there be so much humidity without at least a few rain drops falling? Oh, yeah, they never make it to the ground. Still, I can dream of Cool Water with my pens and moleskine (it is not true that all Texans own swimming pools!) Meanwhile we and our dog take refuge indoors. The house has a working air conditioner, there are two oscillating fans blowing the cold air around, and I have a tall glass of Lipton iced tea, with no sugar, plenty of lemon and enough condensation on the outside of the glass to drip down my fingers when I pick it up.
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to main, to whom thou sayst,
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty” (John Keats)
Practicing with my pens, drawing around blobs of paint to see what they make. Kind of like cloud-watching…This is a lightning goddess about to hurl a bolt of golden electricity to earth.
I liked the color combination so well I hated to journal over it. Two light coats of Golden acrylic glaze, Sea Foam Green with Violet Earth on top, and then a bit of brown crayola. Rubber stamped borders and my favorite red Gelly Glaze pen for contrast. I do love my Gelly Glaze! I bought a couple of bottles of glaze a long time ago when I first began experimenting with paint and collage. I thought I ought to use them up. I lean more to acrylic in a tube.
The blue down the center is leakage from another page. I accidentally bought the moleskine sketch book instead of the notebook, and I’m still getting used to the way it’s stitched, as well as the color of the paper. It leaks more in the gutter than the notebooks I’ve had.
Ok, it’s been 3 months or so since I updated the blog; maybe I should begin again. I’ve had brain blight; in other words recurrence of depression. When it happens I usually crawl into my protective shell and live in my own little world until I feel like poking my head out. As an analogy, I posted the above photo from our garden. Our tomato plants started out like gangbusters this spring; we had lots of blossoms and SO many tomatoes of all sizes. The plants started wilting and we thought it was the hot weather, but now we know they have “early blight”, an incurable fungus. These two cherry tomatoes are about all that’s left. You can see the blight in the lower right corner of the photo as it works its way up the plant. Apparently the only thing you can do is to pull the plants up, put in some new plants, and hope for another harvest in the fall. My mom put in two new plants today, so I thought I’d start “re-planting” my blog as well.
I added the “and graveyards” to the blog title because lately I’ve been photographing headstones in a local historic cemetery and I may end up writing about my experiences. The photos are uploaded to a searchable site, findagrave.com, so anyone can see them. The site is a wonderful tool for genealogists.