To Write Love On Her Heart


January Theme
The Blank Page and How to Face It!
Week 4:  January 24
Art Challenge: Writing
Journal Prompt:  Words With Friends

This week's art journal page was tough . . . and I don't mean it was a difficult challenge . . . I mean it was tough for me personally.  And this is the nature of Art Journaling for some.  For me, it is a place to work things out in my heart and in my head.  A diary of sorts, a way to document feelings.  And sometimes, those thoughts come tumbling out onto the page like verbal diarrhea.  I had this idea that I was just going to write a letter to a friend all over my journal, then cover it up with paint, then draw something on top.  But my heart had other plans.  For some reason, a poem I wrote over 30 years ago came bubbling up and as I worked on my page, I knew that it had to find a place in this journal.  So scratch all of my other ideas.  And because it was a difficult thing for me to express and brought up so many uncomfortable things, the page was hard to create -- full of corrections and changes.  But that's my process and as raw as this is, I decided to go with it.  I'm not one to share very personal things, but somehow I thought this page may be meaningful to some of you.

I started with a collection of old papers, maps, vintage wrapping paper, and bits and pieces from previous art projects.  I began to randomly adhere the papers with Gel Medium, leaving white space.

Once the papers were dry, I used a palette knife to spread Texture Paste all over the page.  I decided I wanted a more opaque covering, so I squeezed out some Gesso on the page and spread that on top of the Texture Paste.  Much better.

While the Texture Paste was still wet, I used a Ranger Ink Texture Tool and dragged it across the page in various areas to add some dimension and interest.  You will see how the grooves come into play a little later.

As my page idea came together, I was thinking that I would like to create sort of a plastered wall, with ripped wallpaper.  I wanted my writing to look as if someone was scratching markings on the wall.  In order to achieve this look, I used a Chalk Paint to rub into the textured page.  I used my finger to do this so it would not look uniform.

I started feeling like I had lost all of the color from my page, so I took some watercolor and splattered some red onto the page.  Then I spattered black.  Then I decided it looked like a CSI crime scene, ick.  Since it was splattered with watercolor, it was easy to dab at it with a baby wipe and only remove the watercolor without disrupting the layers underneath.

At this point, I was feeling very uncomfortable - not happy with the way the page was coming together . . . and I realized I was messing around too much with the background because I was avoiding writing out that poem on the page.  I decided to walk away and leave it alone for the evening.  Sometimes you need to just take a step back.

The next morning, I approached the piece with fresh eyes and felt better about conquering the page.  I sharpened my Stabilo Aquarellable Pencil and began to write, holding the pencil way back at the end so I could achieve a messy, scribbly sort of handwriting.

And there you have it. 35 years after writing this poem, it ended up here.  So my "words with friends" ended up being a love letter from my young girl self to the woman I am now.  An exercise in healing through art.

Here are the products I used this week:

You can learn how all of the Art to the 5th Artists have created their Journal Covers in our new class entitled, "Cover Story."  You can find it HERE.

For more information on this week's challenge you can find us here:
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Looking for previous challenges? click HERE

Visit our blogs: Sandi Keene, Roben-Marie Smith, Rae Missigman

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