Wednesday, June 20, 2012

a Solstice page, step by step

Today is the longest day of the year, Solstice; and a time I am grateful to be in this sunny climate, able to be telling the stories of my life by working in my journal.
I thought I would show you step by step the process of making a page. Mixed media really is all about layers, layers, and more layers. The richness in the collage comes from using lots of different media to add depth to the work. So, let's begin: I started with a fold out page in my hand-made journal, sprayed with a bit of red ink.
Then I assembled a little pile of papers that seemed to like being near each other; some wrapping paper, a page from a book, some painted paper I had scanned and printed, and bits of a map.  Keep that scrap bag of papers handy, you might be grabbing some more as you go.
Tearing bits and pieces, I made a layout that I liked, with a few large images in the center and a border made of strips of different torn papers.  I used a metal tear bar with a crinkly edge to help make straight but interesting looking strips.
Outside, I spray glue on the pieces a few at a time in the glue box.  I use an old catalog under the pieces I am spraying, so I can turn the page each time and always have a clean underlayment to spray on.
Here's what it looked like once I got those papers attached; yup, it's a bit different from the layout, that's what happens when you take your work outside and take it apart to glue it, some things end up in new places.  That's okay!  and the page from the book tore because it stuck to my fingers, again, not a problem.  Happy accidents = interesting work.
I draw a light pencil outline of a figure on the page, and get ready to paint.
Some watercolor to outline the figure, keeping the wash light enough to let the papers show through.
I add some marker to outline the face and figure a bit, and start lettering.  I like to use lighter color Copic markers to make the larger letters, and outline them in black.
I felt like the figure needed more defining, so I stamped a spirally pattern on the clothes.  Seriously, I have never been sorry when I stamped a spirally pattern on anything.  You just can't go wrong with spirals.
and a few details showing some of the stamping.  I like to use a date stamp somewhere on each page.  and that confidential stamp always works.
and here is the finished page:
"Let us now crawl under the canopy of the currant leaves, and tell stories.  Let us inhabit the underworld.  Let us take possession of our secret territory."  --Virginia Woolf


  1. So beautiful. I need to do more layers in my work. Just when I think I'm done, nope! Its just the beginning. Thanks.

  2. I think it looks really interesting, creating different layers to work on can really transform a drawing into something unique and simply adds another dimension.