Earlier this year I spent an absolutely lovely weekend Art Journaling with a group of fellow Art Journalers. It was inspiring and freeing to know that there was nothing I *had* to do for a couple of days other than experiment with paper, ephemera, and my imagination. What a treat!
Maybe that’s why I took on such an <<ahem>> ambitious project. Which I’ll get to in a moment.
Sidebar: I am an ephemera hoarder. I come by it quite naturally and without apology. I love to go junking and whenever I see a stack of old photos, I am drawn to them. As soon as I start leafing through the stack, I begin crafting stories behind the images. I find it sad and fascinating that family histories end up in shoe boxes at flea markets, antique malls and on eBay. It's my duty to save them for a higher purpose: Art.
One of my all-time best finds is a stack of over 100 headshots from a carnival photo booth. Based on the clothing, I’d guess they were taken sometime in the 1940s. I haven’t been able to bear to use an original one, but have scanned them for reuse as copies. Aren't the faces amazing???
I also love dogs. All dogs. Any dogs. If I see a dog in person, I am going to pet it. When I find the stacks of photos, I cull out the dogs and keep them in a special place. You might begin to see where this is going. And, a few cats may have slipped in, as well.
|Dog pictures culled from years of "junking" as well as ordering off of eBay. I love dogs.
Totally inspired at this point, I decided that during our Art Journaling Weekend I was going to use copies of Carnival photo booth photos, pictures of the dogs, and create stories or vignettes for the images in a small journal.
I've got an Epson inkjet printer that I used with regular old copy paper. I used Matte Medium as my adhesive and there was no problem with ink running. I also set the copier to print everything in black & white. Even the modern-day photos I used.
And then, we added in prompts…
While we were Art Journaling, we thought it would be fun to throw prompts into a bowl for when we were stuck or wanted a challenge. I had to pick:
“write a haiku for your page.”
You remember Haikus from 7th Grade English — 3 lines,
Undaunted (and naive), I dove into my project. Determined.
Since I had sooo much going on — dogs, random people, haiku — I thought it best to pick a limited color palette and stick with it. To give it some ooomph, I laid down Gold Gesso on each page. After that I used Paper Artsy paints and my favorite painting tool, the yellow scraper, to quickly spread color and texture on each page.
|So hard for me but I stuck to the same colors throughout.
|The journal is wired bound and 6" square
Since that time, I’ve been filling in the pages. I choose a spread and add some interest with stencils. I scribble with a grey Dina Wakley Scribble Stick, Signo Uniball white pen, and a use fineline black pen for the poetry. (The best part is giving the dogs and people names.)
Bobby loved time travel,
but it wore him out!
|Mr. Barton loved Jane.
He called her the Cat's Meow.
Jane's love was elsewhere.
|Tim was a cat guy.
Decidedly, Pat loved dogs.
Could this ever work?
|While minding his shop
Stan dreamt of bucolic days
romping with his pup, Max.
|When Fran was naughty
her kitten was taken away
Fran never held her.
See what I mean? Kind of additive, right? Some of the texture you're seeing is stamps on tissue paper then embossed. For a simple effect, it's pretty much a "kitchen sink" kind of project.
Here are some without the Haikus. Feel free to help out in the Comments section!
|I think she's comforted by her fluffy pup while her sailor is out at sea.
|I really want to name this dog Mr. Pickles. The bride & groom are Tim Holtz cutouts.
|These sleeping beauties are all mine. Granddaughter and grand-dog on left and husband and prized hound, TeeJay on right.
|My Uncle Billy is in the photograph.
|I love their outfits - all three!
|This stencil added so much drama! Stern parents sending the twins to the basement???
|On the right is my dearly departed old beagle, Daisy.
|From the Photo Booth stash.
I hope you are inspired to dig out your stash and commemorate your favorite images. There's something about seeing a collection, isn't there?
Now, onto those Haikus....
Stencils used in this project:
ATC Mixups 1, 2, Apter, Borloz & Dube
Wieber Caves & Ladders StencilClub 09-2018
Rosie O StenciClub 06-2018
Dube Circles Layer Me
Stegmiller Inky Hearts
Wolf Brick Factory
Mary Beth's Private Collection StencilClub 01-2017
Mary Beth's Private Collection StencilClub 04-2016