Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Leftover Pages Journal Number 3

I always have a love/hate relationship with new journals, so I'm going to make this one a "project".  I'm not going to try to finish in any sort of spectacular time or fashion, but I am going to document it more completely than the last two I have worked through.

One thing I regretted in the last one was not having pictures of the pages when I started.  Often the entire existing image is gone and I forget what it all looked like to start.

This time I took a complete inventory of the pages, but I am not going to post them one by one because my poor reader would die of boredom.  Instead I used the wonderful Picasa, without which I would never ever find anything,  to make a collage... actually 2 collages ... of all the pages.  SO, before I started, here it is:

This is the first half of the book

and this is the second. 

One thing I did somewhere along the line which I now regret is that I waxed the covers with silver wax.  Oh well... we shall see how it goes.  I numbered each spread, as you can see if you biggen the pictures, and I can refer back to them since I have never even considered working in order through these books.

There are still a couple of pages in Book Number 2 that I want to document, so they will pop up at some point, but at least now I have a frame of reference for Book Number 3

Months of being trapped in the house by freezing cold will make you get organized or go crazy or both.. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

The end of Book 2...

I was going through older magazines the other night and tossing the ones that I will never use, tearing out single articles and generally doing a bit of streamlining.  I don't generally read Art Journaling, as I seem to go my own way and I am not a big sharer of pages full of writing about my internal thoughts and workings, and that is the trend now it seems.

I bought this issue, Autumn 2012, because of an article about Lynne Perrella,  I generally like her work, she has a style of her own and uses photos in ways I like.  In any case, she was quoted as saying that she worked on a page off and on until she thought it was done.  Each page should be finished, not a rough draft.  I like that ethic.

I have declared Book 2 done, much as I finally did with Book 1.  There is nothing more that I want to do to the pages, and I have not given up on any of them.  I kept at it until the page felt "right" to me.  Having only about 24 page spreads in the book let me get to that place and I am REALLY happy with having learned that.  Nothing was more annoying to me than having a collection of "journals" with 5 to 10 pages done and a huge number of blank pages sitting around but I never feel right picking them up and starting again! Maybe now I will unbind them and go smaller.  Binding these things into smaller collections is like being born again!!!

The other thing that I am learning in this process is to let a page just sit, not to force myself to stick on a page until it is done but to let some pages rest until I can see them with clearer eyes and then go after them again. That mind set has let me go back to a page many times until I felt I had solved it to the best of my ability. Some went through more iterations than I would have thought possible for a single page before getting somewhere.  For me "somewhere" is that I learned what I could and it looks finished and not overworked.

This particular page has been SO many things.  At one point it was totally covered by a map of New Mexico.. Don't even ASK what I was thinking because I don't know.  I peeled a lot of it off, left some, painted parts blue, etc etc etc.

Now it is this page:

I am learning about gel medium transfers as a different way to get my photos into the pages and I like the results.  This paper is heavily textured so the transfer is a bit sketchy, but I liked the overall effect and decided I was going to call it finished. (As an indication, this is the second time I tried the transfer.  The first time only the baby looked right so I took off the other people and gessoed over the place where they were and tried again.  The baby is from the first transfer, the other two are from attempt 2. This time Mom didn't do perfectly, but the problem is the texture in the paper and though a hammer might help I decided that it is ok as is without resorting to banging on pages!)  This page is opposite the transfer page, 

Yes, I have noticed my recent obsession with circles, this book is full of them, and I am not sure where that appeared from but there it is, and on a lot of pages I like them.  This one, not so sure.

This page was sitting there feeling not so great, and the black tape across the top with some bubbles across it did, for me, the trick of anchoring the page and breaking up that huge expanse of color with nothing else going on.....  

and the covers, front and back.

I haven't shown all the pages, but most of them, and it is time for me to move on.  My current thought is that when all 4 of these books are done I may bind them all back together as 4 folios of a single book.  This one was started in September of 2014, so I may have all 4 ready to go before the end of 2015.  I am trying to be more organized about the next one.  Let's see how that works out. I mean by that more organized in documenting what I have done.  I still can't/won't work by starting on page 1 and moving through the book.  I jump around based on what I want to work on. My word for the year was DO!  maybe it should have been ITERATE!

in response to a request

I am adding  a  photo of my Spanish Water Dogs Sienna 10 years old (white) and Tinta 3 years old  (black) who have not been appearing here recently.  This is after shearing and they are being observed and kept in line by Romeo who is, overall, the boss of them...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Journal 2 - More pages

These are a bit of this and that, but I do want to remember where they are and this blog is the current place for that..

Then there is this page..

I don't remember how it started, but there is, in there, a picture from the NY Times.  I don't usually use imagery from other sources but I was playing with my silhouettes and they came into this picture really nicely.  So there it is.  There is some texture at the bottom of the page which is hard to show.  I had buff colored gesso in a plastic tub and when it dried up I peeled it out.  The peelings hung about a while in a little plastic container because I somehow felt they were going to be useful and they became rubble under the feet of the silhouettes.  I like the feeling but they are hard to see so if you are not fondling the pages they are probably lost to you...

Saturday, February 21, 2015

strangely simple

I just left these pages alone for a long time, adding occasional shapes of paper to the left side and mostly staring at the shapes that gelli printing had left on the right side.  The doorway on that side just occurred to me one day and that made me have to really make the splotch of color into a figure.  I really liked that page once I was done with her and with the bubbles.  The left page, however took a lot longer.  It sat there with random strips of color on it for ages and one day I was doing something else and my fathers collection of stamps got opened.  

I got the "Collector Gene" unfiltered from my dad.  When he died there were stashes of envelopes full of stamps, old photos, letters, badges and certificates hidden all over the house.  Since my mother's sight was pretty good, he hid them in strange places.  I'm not even sure I found all of them...

And of course, I KEPT all of them.  

He had stamps from all over the world, some torn off the envelopes and some with complete envelopes attached. I am still looking at them and wondering what to do with them, but these two stamps seemed to pull all those disparate shapes on this page together for me, so you can see what you think..  I loved the shape of what was left of the envelope, the postmark and the tiny bit of writing. ...

Friday, February 20, 2015

This took a long while to gel, but

now I am quite pleased with them as separate pages and they actually are ok side by side, I think.  I tried a gel medium transfer on this one, actually 2, one that worked out really clear and clean and one I wanted to be degraded and I think I made it.  These are from my dad's stash that I have talked about previously and the background is a piece of old paper that I found in trash ages ago.  The clear shot is my father's best friend, my aunt and a friend with Dad's friend's new car... in 1929 ish.

This is one of MY photos from ages ago.  The marquee is talking about the original Guardians of the Galaxy movie, not the current - ish one. The paper for this page is very textured, handmade I think... and the way background is from a journal I found in the building trash ages ago that was someone's monthly spending... lovely old paper..

and this is how they look together...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

I guess this is done...

but I honestly don't know.  I guess that if the 3 pages I am still pondering over get done then this one is done by default because I'm not thinking of anything else to do with it.  I wanted the vertical text, and then I found a couple of pages of transfer symbols that can be rubbed onto pages and did that.  They included that little bicycle person and the trees etc.  Sort of think it is too cute by half but there it is and I'm not starting again because I am doing that on another page.  So, for your entertainment......

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

More Journal

I have been working in this journal for around 4 months.  I am not a planner.  What I do is look through the book for a page that interests me and do something on that page.  Then I might well move on to another page and do something on that page. Then I circle around through the book doing bits and pieces until a page feels done and then I stop with that page for a while.  Often I come back to that page after a couple of weeks and leave the book open and back off from it and sometimes I go back at it.

This page for example, became this after much playing around.  The right hand side was originally blank and then I did a Purell transfer of a photo I had taken of some letters to my father from his family in Germany around 1930 or so.  I just wanted the writing to be graphic when I did it and had no clue what I was doing next.   When I was looking at the pages like this one day the photo I had taken of the Reservoir popped into my mind and over the next couple of days it got transformed.  The left side is half of a Gelliplate print that I didn't particularly love, so I included it into the book. 

Often I tear off things that I have glued to a page thinking I liked them.  This next page is one of the first that I did in this journal and after a while I came to not like it at all,  At first it looked like this:

This was in late December and I was marginally pleased with it.  You will see that the next page has also changed a LOT since then but that is for another day.

This is what that page looks like now:
I tore off the little Siamese figures, and the magazine cut out girl also.  I like this better but I am not sure if it is done.
Since there is a little page in the middle I will show you how it looks with that page open also
That is where we are on those two pages right now.  I will turn the page again tomorrow...

Sunday, February 15, 2015

another page..

I'm not too sure this is done.  I think the left side and the small insert page is done.  The right side... not sure about that yet so I am holding off on showing the whole thing.  It has gone through many versions and I have pictures of some of them.  I think with that one I might do a series of pictures showing some of the earlier states.
The insert page is more found poetry from Jane Eyer.  I love that book and the gorgeous way she expresses herself. It gives me a lot to work with when I am looking at words to join in different ways.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

More journal pages

This page came about when I was playing with packing tape transfers.  I had a two page spread with an almost heart on the left side and a blank page on the right.  I think that the almost heart was a wing shape from an angel silhouette, but I'm not sure.  In any case, I painted, gessoed, glued and ended up not quite anywhere. There was, in the back of my mind somewhere a memory of a photo from about 10 years ago or more of the fence around the reservoir at central park and a woman with a hat and a lamppost.  I tracked it down, it was originally a black and white photo from when I was printing my own photos and scanned it in.  I printed it in several orientations and styles, colored her hat and off we went with a piece of clear packing tape.  Originally she was only on the left side of the page but all of a sudden I could see the mirror image and there we were.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

And this is a third part of the journal

This was a strange page, I was playing with the right side, and the dog appeared.  It was not a dog when I was looking at the ink already on the page, but when I finished messing about with gesso and ink, there he was.  Additionally part of what I was using for backgrounds on this page are bits of pages from a very disintegrated copy of Jane Eyre.  In the process I found a bit of poetry in the page I was covering up, so I recreated it.

The left side of the page came together when I was playing with some photos I took from the second floor of MOMA when I was there to see the Matisse Cut Outs.  I took a whole series of people talking to each other in the garden and then turned them into silhouettes.  These two didn't start off like this, she was talking to him originally, but then she walked away and I realized she had been going to do that all along.  When I was trying to position them as if they were talking the distance between them was hard to find.

The Delicacy of Pride, ...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Another Journal Page

This page is a bit further on in the book.  It is something that defied me by coming together in about two short sessions and refusing all further work.

The page background is from silver Joss papers with some various other bits of scrap from my scrap bag.  I try to limit myself to a single small bag of bits and pieces of interesting paper that might fit in a collage.  I have a couple of boxes of larger pieces of paper, wrapping etc. but one bag of little bits.  

when I had the paper pieces glued down I thought I would try a transfer onto the Joss paper.  It didn't take well, very faint and smeary, but it let me play on it with an italic fountain pen and some generally semi-permanent ink. When I was through playing around with the pen I strengthened some of the dark spots and declared it done.  I have looked a number of times but I am pleased to leave it as it is...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Book 2 is nearly done.

I am still pleased with the decision to make the "leftover" prints and other types of images into small books to play in.  I hesitate to say they are "journals" since They don't reflect my day to day life, but rather my eye and where it goes, and those two things are different.  I have shown pages one and two before on this blog, but here they are just to start me off from the beginning.  I don't work in order, I work where something catches my interest and play around on that page until I decide to move on for a while. I never seem to finish a page or a group of pages, in one sitting.  I have worked at this book for several months and I rarely leave a page on the first stab at it and continue it until it feels done.

My joke is that I am a process knitter.  I don't care WHAT I am knitting I only care that I AM knitting.  It seems that is how I have been about these two books.  I just do things until I feel like it is done without, I hope, being overworked.

OK,  These are the first two pages: They should get larger if you click:

I am skipping the next two pages... they belong in the "nearly" done section and I am not pleased with where they are yet.  However, this single page is especially interesting as it is a quote from the book We are All Completely Beside Ourselves  by Karen Joy Fowler.  I have now read it twice, and it was better the second time.  The quote in the picture is what I refer to when people ask what the book is about.

In case it is not readable: 
"This doesn't mean that this story isn't true, only that I honestly don't know anymore if I really remember it or only remember how to tell it.
Language does this to our memories -- simplifies, solidifies, codifies, mummifies.  An oft-told story is like a photograph in a family album, eventually it replaces the moment it was meant to capture."

Hmmm... do you have to be old before this resonates?