Tag: silhouette

Visual Journal #3: Between the Lines, Year 2011-2012

Between the Lines Cover

Once upon a time I became inspired to share my visual journals with the world, via a blog. It was a bit overwhelming at first, learning how to design, post, and attract readers. Here I am,still blogging, still sharing, and still creating. I can’t believe three years have gone by, two visual journals blogged, and another on the brink. I remember typing up my first post, hitting the send button, and thinking to myself… “Who am I talking to? Who is going to read this?” Now, a few years later, I have picked up 420 subscribers along the way, and had numerous people around the world stumble upon my blog and send me a quick note about them and their creations. Starting this new book I hope I can continue to keep my pace up and continue to share my pages. Hopefully, someone new will stumble upon my posts and be inspired to go on the hunt for their own book, and start their own visual journal.

I have poured my heart, aches and pains, good and bad into the pages of these books; and I’m so glad I decided years ago to share them with the world. Although my original goal of completing a book every year has fallen to the wayside, new jobs, hobbies, and artistic endeavors have filled much of the space, I hope I always continue to add to my books, discover new techniques, and share my findings.

Between the Lines reflects a book of change. I had many plans for the coming year. I had my goals tucked in the back of my mind, and I was determined to record my journey between the pages of this book. To date, this was my favorite book to work in and I am most proud of my creations. I carefully selected this book from the dusty shelves of my local antique store, and fell in love with the decorating tips, vintage styles, and red and black ink that filled the pages.

Typically, when I begin a new book I work on a few pages, decide what the tone will be, then create a cover to align with my plans. However, going into this book I already knew what I wanted it to be. I wanted it to reflect the growth and change I was determined to experience in the next 12 months. I decided the cover needed to come first.

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Since I wanted to visually represent an idea of growth, I chose a tree. For a long time I have experienced a slight obsession with the shape of a tree silhouette. Someone once told me if they could choose any object to represent me, they would choose a tree. And it stuck. I admire the long branches, the constant change. Over the years trees grow larger, extending their branches like fingertips. Every season they show change, rebirth, new growth, and a shedding of the old. Trees are interesting and metaphorical in so many ways. Perhaps I also strive to be interesting and metaphorical.

While creating the cover I continuously brainstormed title ideas. Nothing seemed to fit, until one day, while listening to NPR on my daily comment home, a program came on called “Between the Lines.” My ears immediately perked, I liked the ring of it. Everything seems normal, predictable, same old, same old on the surface, but when you look a little closer, you discover something else. This visual journal and title are what inspired me to try something new and different, share my stories and techniques with the world, and finally enter into the ever-popular blogging universe.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Large, white paper
  • Old book pages
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • Xacto knife
  • Bleeding tissue paper
  • White tissue paper
  • India ink
  • Sharpie
  • Paint brush
  • Red details from the book
  • Laser printed images
  • Packaging tape
  • Laminator

HOW TO

I took a large, white sheet of drawing paper, and wrapped it around the book. I trimmed off the edges, leaving the flaps to hold the cover onto my journal. I then ripped up discolored book pages from antique books and layered them over the white sheet of paper. I trimmed off the extra book pages around the edges, and began on the next layer.

Because I loved the way the discolored book pages looked, I knew I didn’t want to completely cover them up with the trees. To allow the text to still show through I decided to paint my tree forms using India ink, on white tissue paper. While I love the end product, the process was excruciating. The tissue paper fought my intent the entire time. As I placed the brush on the paper, it would try to wrinkle up. As I used an Xacto knife to cut out the branches, the tissue paper would rip, and threaten to loose limbs from my trees. Once I had all of my trees cut out, showing the transition from sapling to full grown, I glued them down in order, going from left to right.

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Next, I added color to the background. I stacked yellow and green bleeding tissue paper and dripped water on top. I wanted a light tie dye effect, and using analogous colors allowed me to get the results I wanted. I let the paper dry, then cut it into strips. I began gluing the strips to the background, but carefully ripped the green tissue paper around the tree shapes. I wanted to still be able to see the book pages in the background and the shape of the trees. In the end, it almost looked like the book pages were the canopy of the trees.

After the background was complete I began on the border. I painted a circular pattern on old book pages, cut them out, then layered them on white tissue paper. I cut them out again, leaving a thin white border around the design, then glued it to the edge of the book.

I felt the background still looked a little empty after adding all of my planned elements, and I began brainstorming things I could add. In the end, I decided the perfect addition would be tape transfer frames (read how to do a tape transfer here). The empty frames helped reinforce my idea of growth, change, and trying to accomplish future goals. I chose a range of shapes and sizes, and added them to the back of the cover. I chose a decorative oval frame to add to the front, overlapping the largest tree, to bring even more focus to it.

Once I was satisfied with the overall design I began adding the details. I cut out red ink designs from inside the book, and added them to the trunks of the trees. I did a tape transfer of my book title, Between the Lines, on top of the red detail on the front of the cover. Last but not least, I added a framed seed just beginning to sprout to the front, inside flap.

Between the Lines Cover Shots

After my cover was complete I had it laminated, and covered my book with it. It was no longer an antique, interior design book, it was now my book. For the next year every page would slowly be transformed to something new, different, and so very personal.

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Visual Journal Page 47: The Las Vegas Skyline

Visual-Journal-Page-47-The-Last-Vegas-Skyline

Las Vegas. A simple name that has grown into an icon, instant imagery, thoughts of gambling, over the top shows, and other adult activities. Smack dab in the middle of the desert this iconic light, metal, poker chip and slot filled city seems out of place. As you fly over endless sand, the Grand Canyon, and beautiful mountain ranges, the last thing you expect to see is a cluster of skyscrapers.

My first trip to Las Vegas was incredible. It was so much fun, like nothing I have ever done before, and I got to experience it with the most important women in my family, my mom, sister, and aunt. Together we boarded our Delta flight, flew from one coast to another, until we found ourselves in sin city.

The first thing that struck me as we prepared to land was the Las Vegas skyline. It was as if the city suddenly sprouted out of nowhere. The desert that had been stretching for hundreds of miles, took a break for just a few miles, before continuing onto California.

Once we arrived, we checked into our first hotel of the stay, Mandalay Bay, and hopped into the elevator that went up more stories than I could count. We entered the room and immediately I saw the full window wall and another view of the desert city. I couldn’t wait for the sun to set that night. From the moment we planned the trip I couldn’t wait to see the neons ablaze, the millions of flashing lights that would make it seem as though nighttime doesn’t exist inside the Las Vegas city lines.

As I eagerly sat on our giant hotel bed I watched the sun slowly set and the lights come on. It was everything I thought it would be but bigger, brighter, and more colorful. Every day that passed as we sat at dinner and list the highlights. At the end of the trip we each shared our top three favorite moments, and this was one of mine. The skyline, the visual impact of the city itself is something I will never forget.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Book pages
  • Rubber cement
  • Paint brushes
  • Watercolor
  • India ink
  • Gesso

HOW TO

For this visual journal page I decided to focus on the silhouette of the city, with a light color pop in the background, and a bright white color pop to emphasize the light coming from the Luxor and the Bellagio fountains. I opted to use water color and india ink, which easily bleeds through thin paper like book pages. I planned ahead, glued together book pages outside of my book to paint on, and once dry, glued it into my book.

Once I had my book pages set up and glued together I loosely sketched out the skyline as a guide when I started painting. I reference a skyline picture on the internet, while making sure I focused on the buildings I liked the best. Once my outline was complete I began painting the sky, always work from the back forward. I used yellow and gray watercolor to create the eerie nighttime glow. To get the two colors to blend together in the center I moved the brush in circles using yellow, overlapping into the gray at the top, and while the yellow was still wet, added gray and swirled it in, overlapping into the yellow at the bottom.

As I painted in the sky I made sure I didn’t paint in the area where the Luxor light would be shooting up. I wanted this to be bright white, and it’s hard to achieve that if there is a base color. Next, I went in with India ink and filled in my Las Vegas skyline. India ink is a very thin, very dark black ink. It works well if you want a rich black color, but because it’s thin it can look streaky. I tried to plan for this and carefully painted vertical strips, which helped it look cohesive. Some areas still look a little messy, a second coat would have helped a lot.

Last but not least I filled in the fountain and spotlight with gesso to create a strong contrast to the skyline and focal point. Once everything dried I glued my mini painting into my book using rubber cement.

CHALLENGE
Create a visual journal page that focuses on contrast. Incorporate a dark black and bright white to create a graphic, bold image with a strong focal point. Good luck!

Thanks for checking out my blog! I hope you found tips and ideas that help inspire your next project or visual journal page. Help me spread the word about my blog by sharing with others. Thanks for stopping by!

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Art: The 6×6 Series

 

Snapshots- The Progression of the Telephone

After working large scale for the past five years I decided it was time to try something new, and downsize. Fueled by my desire to live off of my art and sell more art on Etsy, I began looking into cheaper ways to make art in order to make it more marketable to the masses. I didn’t want to lower the integrity of my work, so the best way to achieve this was to go small. I made a trip to my local art supply shop and picked up 6″x6″ panels.

I knew I wanted to continue experimenting with mixed media and encaustic waxes, and it didn’t take long for me to realize I could combine my love for visual journals and painting into one work of art. I turned to my bin of pattern paper and began cutting, ripping, and layering. I loved the flattened look I could create by using sections of patterns to create a sky and ground. From there I began incorporating silhouettes, and my 6×6 “snapshot” series came to life.

Snapshots- Chicken

These images are meant to be snippets, snapshots of life. They reflect my life, thoughts, memories, and fleeting images that have found spaces in my brain. I look for interesting shapes, appealing images, and something that brings to mind a story. This idea of a story doesn’t mean it has to have a beginning and an end, it is simply a section, and snapshot.

One of my favorite things about this new series is how they can come together to say something. By grabbing a chicken, bicycle, and pinecone, and hanging them in a group, something begins to emerge. Somehow these images reflect me, my past and present me, and it says something. I also love that I can sell them for $35. Anyone can afford a one of a kind work of art, a Whitney original. There is nothing more special than finding a piece that speaks to you, knowing that someone put their thought and time into it, and having something one of a kind decorating your home. I hope as Etsy, craft fairs, and other methods of selling art become more popular more people realize how accesible the art world is.

Snapshots-The Progression of the Bicycle

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