Making β€˜zine’ formats

I can’t remember if I have written about these before. I like working in a ‘zine’ format because of the 3d element. My friend @dar63 on Instagram started making some recently and I loved her lush layers and jewelled colours do I asked her if she fancied doing some collaborations. We have worked together in the past.

You can tell which pages are mine because of the black ink doodles πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I have been experimenting with using water soluble pens and spraying my mandalas so I used some of these as a base layer.

I added designs to the front and the back and added gesso to surface to seal it and add texture

I added a variety of things to the surface

Strips of typed text, large text, more gesso, stitching, white pen , spray ink and magazine images.

I like drawing of the inside of the zine. So that when they are standing up you get an interesting juxtaposition of the two sides

The bottom design in the above pic includes a zine designed by a friend Fran that is based with me in Edinburgh.

I hand stitched the edges in this case

Preparing a found book for art journalling

I like to use second hand books for journalling. There is a comic book range in Scotland called ‘the Broon’s’. They produce cook books and gardening books( Waverley Books) that look like old journals and are a nice weight of paper and size for art journalling.

The paper is a bit smooth so I like to prepare a few pages before I start journalling

Today I added gesso to a page with a credit card and then dabbed acrylic paint through a commercial stencil. By adding the paint first it means that you can rub the paint off the page with a baby wipe or damp cloth to get a more interesting result

I like commercially produced stencils but they can look a bit samey when lots of people use them.

So I use doilies that I find in second hand shops. Lace or crochet work well. If you do use them – make sure you dry them well in-between use or they rot and smell bad .

I covered the print below with a layer of watered down paint.

I always use acrylic for mixed media journalling because I make lots of layers that I don’t want to run into each other. I am dyslexic and have trouble with upside down and the wrong way round – I added the cover design on the back of the book so all the pages are upside down …….

I always try and make paint go as far as possible so I spread what was left of the blue onto some pages with a credit card and through another stencil.

The pages of the book are such fun I don’t often add a lot more before journalling.

The cover of the book is quite shiny so I scored it with a scalpel blade before I decoupaged it.

I used a selection of different papers – the back is upside down tooo. And then added details, texture and random text from magazines

Lace doilies as stencils

As you know if you have been following me for any length of time I am really into circles, drawing them, printing , stencils etc.

One of my favourite found items to use are crochet and lace doilies. I am fascinated by the intricacy and tiny stitches. Since arriving in Edinburgh I have been amazed at how cheap I can buy them in charity and thrift shops.

This week I found a bundle of lace ones in three different sizes

To use them as stencils with paint you need to cover them in a layer of acrylic and let them dry. Each time you use them they need to be allowed to dry thoroughly or they start to smell and rot.

Yesterday I was playing with a friend using Brusho powdered pigment ( https://theartshopskipton.co.uk/brusho-crystal-colour-assorted-packs-of-8-12-or-24) and gesso. I wondered how the dollies would respond.

I am not sure I like the weight of the gesso on paper like this – the doilie covered in blue paint responded very well.

I added the gesso over one of my pink ink mandalas

It was taking ages to dry so I put it in my oven at 100degrees C – which is probably not very healthy because the kitchen stank of cooking gesso very quickly.

I wet the page with a thin layer of very dilute blue acrylic paint and sprinkled the crystal inks on top

The inks are very concentrated so I took a print from the sheet using another page with a red mandala on it. The paper I am using is recycled old printed letters so it is very thin

I also pulled gesso through a couple of mandala stencils

These were quite successful too , but I think I like the doily better because it is less recognisable as the commercially produced stencils.

If I use these in mixed media work. They will need sealing because the crystal inks are water soluble. Clear Gesso or Mat medium will do the trick dragged over once with a credit card. I think you should probably coat both sides of the paper.

Another application of this I think could be to make a printing block. If you pulled gesso through a doily onto a wooden / acrylic block it would be fun to print with paint – I am not sure how a commercial ink pad would work with the gesso.

Irritable bowel syndrome

I have had IBS for about 7 yrs now – it all started with a summer of tummy migraines that only children, not 46yr olds are supposed to get. I don’t know what started it off – stress? Loosing my mum the previous year?

I haven’t always had a problem with food – my family has a round shape on the female side, too much food and not enough exercise?

Las year my daughter persuaded me to get tested for food intolerance so I try and be gluten and dairy free- I am fine as long as I don’t get emotionally upset or get exposed to too many allergens- which set of excema and asthma.

I think the most annoying aspect is the lethargy which has improved with cutting out gluten – I have a sweet tooth and am constantly bashed by packaged gluten free alternatives which are packed with chemicals – that I can’t seem to stay away from

I have a love hate time with it. I tried to do two images today in my journal- one which showed a healthy gut filled with all the foods i can’t eat and decorated with flowers ( trying to represent the love side) , the other page an unhealthy looking gut and my latest favourite doodling – the wave pattern – which I have used to represent migraines,thresholds and several other concepts lately.

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I was frustrated by the layouts – the documented life journal prompt this week is ‘more is more’ so I stuck some of my ubiquitous magazine letters on top of the drawings

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I was not happy with after I tried to outline the letters with ink – to add impact

So I covered the page in gesso – dried it and added more letters – it is very messy and complicated but is a good representation of how I feel about food and my stomach

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The documented life journal

Last year I used the prompts provided by http://www.arttothe5th.com. I enjoyed working with an art prompt every week and I haven’t kept a chronological record of my art before. I am amazed at what a useful resource it is – it’s a nice object to pick up and flip through.

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This year I have started again , the prompts this month are working through techniques to help working with a blank page . Here are my responses to the first 3 prompts of the year- 2015 Goals – Gesso – Colour Wheel

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