Visual Journal Page 67: Find Humor in Art

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As I have expressed in past posts, I love street art.

Not too long ago I had the opportunity to interview a well known, and very talented street artist, Chor Boogie. I loved the way his artwork makes walls come alive, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to learn more about his creations (read the post here).

This visual journal page pre-dates the interview with Boogie. My love for street art had already begun to stir around the time I moved to Atlanta.

While in college I spent some time studying the street art genre, focusing on the more well known artists such as Keith Haring, Banksy, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. I loved the images that flashed up on the screen in the large art history auditorium. The artwork found a way to present important messages in a fun, vibrant, and inviting way.

Although I did enjoy my time studying these graffiti artists, the artwork didn’t resonate with me the way other genres did. It wasn’t until my move to the “big city” of Atlanta, that street art began to take hold.

Growing up in the suburbs of Roswell, GA, you aren’t exposed to much street art, except the occasional suburban gang tag. When I made the move to Atlanta, the gang tags did grace many buildings, bridges, and walls; however, interspersed with these negative scribbles were beautiful, planned, and well executed works of art.

Not too long ago Atlanta began hosting a Living Walls Conference, which promoted street art through murals. Suddenly amazing, vibrant murals were finding their way to every street tunnel, and concrete, roadside wall. As I made my drives from here to there, I was continuously distracted by the beautiful shapes, colors, and messages.

The words “never give up” greet me on my way from East Lake to Decatur, Edgewood, Candler Park, and Downtown. Friendly bubbles and bulbous shapes make me smile as I had to Edgewood shopping center. A long mural depicting local flora, fauna, and waterways educates me as I go about my day.

However, as much as I love my neighborhood murals, my favorite examples of street art are the more illegal works, which appear over night.

Something about the ridiculous images that find their ways on the walls, the hurried feel to them, and the conversations that emerge peak my curiosity. I especially love witnessing the conversations between works of art. “Don’t stop art” is added to a stop sign, a few days later a “b” is added in front of “art”, spelling out “Don’t stop bart”, with a picture of Bart Simpson skateboarding accompanying it. Another nearby stop sign became littered with phrases such as “stop eating meat” to “stop eating “plants”, to “stop, it’s hammer time”. I looked forward to driving past one wall where a stenciled bunny rabbit was added, who was suddenly being chased by a pack of foxes, and later had carrots flying around.

One day, while making my way to my local Target, I discovered one of my all time favorite works of art. It immediately made me laugh out loud as I turned the corner, and suddenly discovered two Tom Sellecks staring back at me.

Two splashes of yellow were quickly added to a bridge before a two black Tom Selleck stencils were added on top. I loved the crisp stencil over the dripping yellow spray paint. It was beautiful, funny, and added a moment of happiness to a bleak overpass.

It reminded me that not all art has to be serious. It is just as important to have light hearted moments. Artwork is about pulling a feeling out of the viewer, and I felt a lot as I passed by the spray painted Tom Selleck. I felt my smile spread across my face, and the laughter move from my belly to my lips. I felt my day get just a little bit better as Tom’s mustache smile and dark eyes watched me head on my way.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • White paper
  • colored pencils
  •  Magazines
  • Yellow watercolor
  • Water
  • Sharpie

HOW TO

To create this visual journal page I used a range of materials to create more of a patchwork feel. I wanted a mix of crisp lines, with sketchy scribbles, and paint drips.

I started the the background first. I ripped up sections of blue, green, and gray to create the sky, trees, asphalt of the road, and grass. Next, I began drawing out the bridge using pencil on a separate sheet of paper. I opted to draw the bridge out, and fill it in with colored pencil, rather than use more magazine pages, to make it pop against the background.

After the bridge was drawn, and filled in with colored pencil, I carefully cut between the bars on top using an Xacto knife. The bridge was glued on top of the background using rubber cement.

To replicate the yellow spray paint splatters I mixed water with watercolor, and placed a blob of the mixture on a separate sheet of paper. I carefully blew the blew of watercolor at an angle, until it splattered. I repeated, let the two splatters dry, then cut them out and glued them on the bridge.

To imitate the stenciled Tom Selleck I found a silhouette image of his face online, printed it out, then traced it onto the yellow splatters. I filled in the tracing with sharpie. Finally, I added the words under the bridge “find humor in art”, because sometimes you need a little comic relief.

I have never been satisfied with the way I wrote the words under the bridge. I wish I had centered it, wrote them bigger, or even tried them smaller, and off to the side. One day I may even choose to simply cover them up. Before you commit to writing in sharpie on your book, sketch it out first!

CHALLENGE

Create a visual journal page that incorporates magazine images, colored pencil, sharpie, and watercolor. Have fun!

Thanks for taking the time to check out this post and read my blog! Help me spread the word about visual journaling by sharing with others. Comment below with your own visual journal tips and stories. Thanks for stopping by!

Visual Journal Page 66: Just a Plane Ride Away

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My very first roommate was my best friend from eighth grade, Elly. I don’t even remember how we met. I felt like we spontaneously began hanging out, and something clicked. All of the sudden we were at each others houses every weekend, she was coming over after school, and we would talk for hours on the phone. It felt like I had known her forever, I could tell her anything, and everything was funny, no matter how stupid it was.

Our friendship continued to grow as we entered high school and faced the many challenges of being angsty teens.

We whispered about our crushes, we gushed over first kisses and boyfriends, and we got into and out of trouble together. We prepared for homecomings and proms, we experienced first loves and heartbreaks, we had endless and ridiculous inside jokes. She was my El and I was her Whittr, and for a long period of time we were inseparable.

As we entered our senior year of high school we opened to a new chapter. We discovered new, lifelong friends, new boys to crush on, and had many new experiences, but through it all we experienced it together, even if it was through secondhand story telling. We applied to colleges, eagerly awaited acceptances and denials, and soon we found out we would both be attending the University of Georgia in the fall.

It was a no brainer, we had to live together, we were destined to be at UGA together. After all we had already closed out middle school and gone through the entirety of high school side by side, adding college to that list seemed natural. We spent the entire summer planning our dorm room. Comforters, rugs, curtains, posters, a refrigerator, futon, and everything in between was purchased, packed, and ready to make the move to Athens, GA.

For five years, post high school, Elly and I were roommates. We moved from a tiny dorm room, to a tiny apartment, to an adorable house. We lived with four different girls in five years, but the two of us were always consistent. We went through roommate drama, long term boyfriend break ups, new boys, new friends, and a lot of growing up together.

Suddenly the tiny, former, silly middle school girls were about to graduate from college and enter into the real world. Suddenly, topics of conversation were being directed towards our career, paying bills, future engagements, and marriages. Long gone were our giggling talks of which boy we wanted to say hi to in the hall, here we were college graduates, soon-to-be workforce members, discussing the real possibilities of our grown up lives.

It felt like the past ten years had flown by in a blink. One minute we were whispering in our basement, the next we were standing in our empty house in Athens, GA ready to move to the big city of Atlanta. For the first time in five years we were going our separate ways, living with different people. Shortly after our “separation” Elly began throwing the word “LA” around. We already had two friends out there, and Elly was ready to pursue her dream of acting.

I brushed it off, yes it would happen eventually, but I assumed it wasn’t in the near future. A few months passed with no new updates, and suddenly Elly announced she would be leaving. Come spring she would be making her way to Los Angeles. I was excited for her. She was finally going after her dream, finally putting her drama degree to use. I wished her all the happiness and prosperity in the world.

We made a point to hang out often in the last few weeks, and before we knew it the day before her departure had arrived. We agreed to meet at a pizza place in Buckhead, I was sad, but knew her move was for the best. I don’t think I realized how sad I was until our final goodbye. I couldn’t hold it in any longer, tears streamed down my face. It finally hit me, she was actually moving, she was about to be 3,000 miles away. After over ten years of friendship and five years of living in close quarters, she was putting a lot of distance between us.

It was a happy, sad goodbye. Elly was about to start an adventure and get on with the rest of her life. I knew I would visit her and she would be back when her budget allowed, but she was still leaving. There would be no more spontaneous brunches at “The Biscuit”, no hang outs in the park. Now our hangouts had to be pre-planned and budgeted.

Despite the distance and time that has passed I am happy to report we talk regularly. Some days it feels like she is right down the street, rather than across the country. In a sense our conversations have become more meaningful, as we update each other on big events in our lives, rather than small, daily occurrences. I feel just as close to her on the other side of the country as I did when she was just across the hall.  Although it feels like she lives in a different world, she is in fact only a short plane ride away.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Scissors
  • Rubber cement
  • Magazines
  • Blue watercolor
  • Book page
  • Paint brush and water
  • Sharpie
  • Maps

HOW TO

As the day approached for Elly’s departure I began to plan out her page. I couldn’t let her leave without acknowledging her in my book, creating a memorial to our friendship and this first big step away from each other. After some thought I decided it needed to be a reminder to me that even though she is far away, we can still visit each other.

I found two maps, one of California and one of Georgia. I decided to cut them in circle shapes, with our respectable cities in the center. The circular shape hinted towards the feeling of us being in separate worlds. To further push that idea I added rings around the “planet” shapes. The first set of rings were cut from a larger North America map. The next set of rings were cut from a blue and green page from a magazine. I added a few other green pieces behind the Los Angeles world and blue splatters behind the Atlanta world.

To finish off the page I glued down an airplane cut out and added the words with sharpie. If I could do this page over again I would put the LA words in a different space, they are a little too hard to read in the crease of the book.

CHALLENGE

Create a page about a move that somehow impacted you.

Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog and check out my post! Keep checking back for more visual journal tips and how tos. Help me spread the word by sharing with others! Thanks for stopping!

Mixed Media Vs. Multimedia : Making A Distinction by Alison Lansky

 

 

There are so many different styles of art that it is easy to get some of them confused with others, especially if they have similar names. One area where there seems to be a great deal of confusion is in distinguishing between mixed media art and multimedia art. They do sound similar and it is common for people to assume that these terms both refer to the same type of artwork. However, there are some very clear distinctions that set these apart. When you understand these distinctions it becomes clear that the two are actually very different!

What Is Mixed Media Art?

Mixed media art is a type of visual art which incorporates various different types of art media. For example, a canvas which combines paint, ink and collage techniques could be considered to be mixed media artwork. Similarly, a sculpture constructed from clay with other materials embedded would also be considered mixed media. In short, mixed media is artwork which uses more than one medium in its creation. The image below shows Kyle Boganwright’s ‘Whale’ which is a good example of mixed media art as it incorporates pen, ink and watercolor paint in its composition. If you are looking for more examples of mixed media art, then you can look out for books about the topic. There is a great selection available from www.jacksonsart.com including ‘Exhibition 36: A Gallery of Mixed Media Inspiration’ by Susan Tuttle which is a personal favorite of mine.

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What Is Multimedia Art?

On the other hand, multimedia artwork covers a far broader spectrum. Often the term relates to art installations which combine both audio and visual components. This might include merging drama, dance, film, graphics, music and even interactive elements.

Often multimedia art galleries will display artwork with lighting and sound incorporated in the display to give viewers the complete multi-sensory effect.

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Key Differences Between Mixed Media & Multimedia

In order to separate these two postmodern art forms, the key difference is that mixed media art covers all forms of visual art (sculpture, painting, drawing etc.) which incorporates two or more mediums. This is often done by layering materials to create more interesting textures. However, multimedia not only incorporates these visual arts, but also additional audio visual elements and also other arts such as literature, drama and dance. Multimedia is by its very definition the broader of the two while mixed media art has more limitation.

Examples of Mixed Media Art

Once you understand what mixed media art actually is you may start to notice many different examples of it in everyday life. Like all art, it is all about freedom to express yourself so examples of mixed media art are varied. Some of the common examples that you may have noticed include some greeting cards which are often created using scrapbooking techniques where the main painted or drawn image is embellished with other materials such as glitter, ribbons and other types of decoration.

Another popular form of mixed media artwork is the artist trading card (ATC). These small 2.5 inch by 3.5 inch cards art not exclusively mixed media, but it is a popular technique which many artists use to create tiny pieces of art which are swapped or traded with other artists.

In conclusion, the easiest way to tell the difference between mixed media and multimedia is to keep in mind that mixed media art will combine two or more forms of visual art whereas multimedia art will combine visual art with audio visual elements and even elements of other art forms includings literature, drama and dance.

 

–Alison Lansky is a mother of two great kids and loves to blog on a variety of topics which catch her interest including art, parenting and family.

A big thank you to Alison for sending me this interesting and informative article. I would also like to extend a big thank you to you, for checking out my blog. Help me spread the word by sharing it with others, thanks for stopping by!

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“Whale” image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kylebgalleries/4317292826/in/photolist-7zvfKd-bfZGXM-9A258y

Multimedia image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremyschulz/2897028170

Visual Journal Page 62: A Harvest Moon

Visual-Journal-Page-62-A-Harvest-MoonThis visual journal page is probably my favorite page I have made so far. I am very pleased with how it turned out visually, and although it doesn’t represent the most meaningful moment in my life, it still represents an important memory, a feeling I had and can relive when I look at it.

This page represents a road trip to Kiawah Island with my Nick, a long six hour drive, and a sudden harvest moon surprise.

We were on our way to a much needed vacation. We were meeting a handful of our friends at one of their parent’s beach house, we were looking forward to the relatively low cost beach vacation and a weekend away from home. After work we ran home, threw our bags in the car, and headed on our way.

Friday after work is already a challenging time. I start crashing as soon as I get home from another long week, around 9:00 I’m ready for bed and lam already thinking about sleeping in the next morning. But here we were, ready to hit the 5:00 rush hour traffic, prepping for a 6 hour drive, willing to stick it out for an extra day of vacation.

Sometime after the sun went down, a few hours into the drive, the sleep began to hit me. My eyelids felt heavy, my attempts to be a good, entertaining passenger began to dwindle as we feel into sleepy silence.

Driving down the windy, two lane country roads there was little civilization, and little light. It was a dark night as we wove through the woods towards the coast. Just as I began nodding off we made our way around a curve, and a massive orange, harvest moon greeted us on the other side.

It was a moment that took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting this beautiful sight, I couldn’t believe how huge the moon looked, and I almost missed it as sleep tugged at my body. We sat in silence admiring the view until another curve took as away and the moon settled behind trees. As we continued our journey the moon continued to follow use, peaking through the forest, from behind buildings, and every now and then showing itself in open spaces.

Although the moment came and went, and may seem insignificant, it made an impression on me. It woke me up for the remainder of the drive, and kept me watching the scenery as we continued on. As much fun as we had that weekend the moon is what I most remember. I love that I still have moments of awe, amazement at how beautiful this place is that we live.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • India ink
  • Book pages
  • Gesso
  • Watercolor
  • Paintbrush
  • Xacto Knife

HOW TO

Before I even began making this visual journal page, I already had a plan for it. I knew I wanted a completely black and white page, with only the massive moon in color. I knew I wanted to recreate the scene, the winding road, forest lining on either side, and the moon at the center. I opted to use India ink to create the black foreground and background, since it has such a rich, dark color. India ink is such a liquidy, wet material, it absorbs through everything. Because of this I decided to layer extra book pages together outside of my journal, paint the pages, then glue it into my journal.

After I layered the base pages I painted a solid layer of ink for the sky. Although India ink is very dark, it can also be very streaky. As I laid down the ink with my paint brush I made sure I evenly space the lines, and kept it as consistent as possible. After the background dried I took gesso and splattered it over the background to create stars.

After the sky was complete I began painting the trees on a different set of book pages, followed by the road. Once they were dry I cut out the trees, glued them down onto the left and right sides of the page, with the cut out road in the middle. I knew I wanted the moon positioned at the end of the road, so I left areas where the trees and road would overlap the moon unglued.

I wanted to make sure this moon had almost as much impact as the actual moon I saw. I decided to cut out a circle and layer gesso on top to create a three dimensional look. After a day or two of drying the gessoed moon was finally read to be painted. I began with a light layer of gray watercolor, which settled into the groves and low areas of the gesso. I then layered orange on top. After just two coats of paint, I took a step back and to my surprise I realized the moon was complete. I carefully glued the moon to the background, and glued the remaining edges of the trees and road. My beautiful moon inspired visual journal page was complete.

CHALLENGE

Use thick layers of gesso to create a more three dimensional look on your next page!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and harvest moon post! Help me spread the word by sharing with others, I couldn’t do it without you!

Visual Journal Page 61: Walking Down this Path

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Hilton Head Island is my second home. When I think back to my childhood many of my memories stem from this small island off the coast of South Carolina. Learning to ride a bike, collecting sea shells, playing games, and as a teenager trekking down to the Marriott to meet boys.

Since I can remember my parents have had our house off of Hickory Lane. It was purchased when I was barely walking, and we still own it today. Even though the house is split between good friends and extended family, the 6 weeks we have every year makes it feel like our house.

It feels like our home making the 4 1/2 hour drive down familiar interstates and roads, pulling into the driveway, seeing the screened in porch, the gray/blue color of the house. Every moment is nostalgic, with glimpses of past years. What really completes this sentimental feeling is the first walk to the beach. After quickly unloading the car as a family we walk to the beach. Down our street, across Pope Avenue, and finally down the path.

Hilton Head is a very bike friendly place. Bike paths parallel streets, wind through trees, and take you anywhere you want to go on the island. The beach consists of compacted sand, unlike the white loose sand of many coasts. The compact sand allows bike trips up and down the shoreline. Because so many beach goers are also beach bike goers the beach paths have to accommodate the bikers; and the houses along our beach path decided strips of discarded carpet was the way to go.

Layers upon layers of carpet has been laid on this path for years. Slowly the carpet began creeping from the entrance to the beach all the way to the intersection of Pope Avenue. Covering tree roots, and loose sand blown back from the beach, the carpet does wonders for a bicyclist trying to reach the beach.

On our first night I always take a minute as we hit the path and consider how strange it is to have a carpet trail leading us to the beach. The moment we hit the end of the carpet, the beginning of the sand, and crest the final slope allowing us a glimpse of the ocean, I truly feel like I am home. I have come from home number one in the city to home two on the beach. Even though walking down that carpeted path to the beach is leading me away from my house it some how feels like I’m going home.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement or mod podge
  • Old book pages
  • Water color
  • Paint brush
  • Water
  • India ink
  • Colored pencil

HOW TO

To create this visual journal page I started with a base of layered book pages put together outside of my visual journal. Since I knew I wanted to use watercolor I decided it would be best to paint it on separate paper, then glue it into my journal. By doing this I avoid wrinkly pages and the color accidentally seeping through this journal page and staining others.

I used rubber cement to glue the pages together to create a base. I then got out my watercolors and got to work. I wanted to keep it loose, so rather than sketch everything out first, I went for it. I started with the sky and layered blue watercolor. Every now and then I took a paper towel and dabbed area of the sky, pulling the blue paint back up. This is a good technique to create clouds. Next I painted in a slightly darker blue for the ocean, followed by green lines for the tall grass. I decided to leave the path unpainted, letting the color of the pages in the background define it.

After I had my base painting down I went back in with gray to create shadows in the grass, and yellow to create the tops of the sea oats. I then used India ink to better define areas. I painted a loose line between the ocean and the sky, and used short, wiggly lines to bring out the shoreline and waves. I randomly scattered black lines in the grass and outlined the tops of the sea oats to create shadows.

After the background was complete it was time to add the words. I wrote them out with pencil first, then outlined them with a black colored pencil. They looked a little too plain, so I outlined them with a yellow colored pencil that matched the yellow in the sea oats.

CHALLENGE

Create a visual journal page about your nostalgic childhood vacation spot or home.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and read today’s post! Help me spread the word about my blog by sharing with others. Thanks for stopping by!

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