Friday, November 12, 2021

VIDEO: SQUIRREL! Art Journal Page + Falliday Fest Challenge

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A few thoughts today on the importance of walking away.

When I was teaching in person classes, I tried to steer people away from critiquing their work - especially when I was teaching watercolor.

I'm not talking about actual mistakes - like let's say you didn't put your paper in the corner of your MISTI, and so you stamped a blurry image. You're allowed to criticize yourself for that - hopefully with humor - during a class. 

But on style and composition, etc. I would always say no - don't say you don't like it, or it's missing something, etc. 

Instead - walk away from it - in two ways. First, actual physical distance really helps you overcome design issues. When you've worked on something for an hour that's ten inches away from your eyeholes, you don't have the perspective to see the whole composition for what it is. So get up out of your chair, and stand back a few feet and see what you see.

Second - walk away in time. Preferably a day or more.

I didn't realize it at the time, but when my dad was solving complex math problems that took days, weeks, months or years to solve, he would separate himself from the problem in time - leaving that problem and playing games with us. Leaving that problem and starting another one - which is my favorite way to work on art too. People call it procrastinating, but starting a second project in the middle of the first is not that at all - it's putting distance between yourself in space and time to work out what might be wrong with the first thing.

Please note - I highly value procrastination! But this is a different process.

Today's project is a great example of that.

The very first day I got these acrylic sprays, I tried them on my daily live in a few different ways - and I conducted those experiments in my art journal on two pages (you'll see the other page in the video, and in an upcoming video.)

On this page, I watered them down and used a makeup sponge to apply the turquoise spray through this layering stencil - I wanted to see the transparency of them - it's beautiful. They have a shiny finish too, so you automatically get a contrast in texture with the rest of your page. I splattered the page with this orange to get big, dimensional shiny dots in a complementary color. 

Then, over the weekend, I "finished" the page by collaging this gorgeous rice paper in a strip across the center, drop shadowing it with an art crayon, using DOX Black Soot ink with both the circular ArtFoamies stamp and a floral one, and also using the ink through this beautiful script stencil.

I took two words from this sticker book and added them to the page too, drawing inspiration from some of the words related to time in the tissue paper. What I didn't realize at the time was that I was creating this during the time change weekend (I was in denial - such a dumb thing we all have to do), and so that ended up being pretty fitting. 

I was pleased with it - I loved the detail, and I had my complementary colors - so I thought it was finished. When I finish a page, I always stamp the date on it, which I did. I left it open on my desk and went to bed.

When I saw it the next day - Monday - I knew it wasn't finished, and I knew exactly what it needed - a BIG pop of a complementary color in the form of this adorable squirrel!!

So in the video you'll see the process of how I ACTUALLY finished the page, and to that end, I stamped Monday's date on it as well. 

That magical time period away let me focus on what was missing. So give yourself those breaks. They really help! And you might end up with an adorable squirrel!

So here's the video and all the supplies I used on this page.

Clear Squirrel Stamp Set
[ JGG ]
Collage style rice paper
[ JGG ]
Word / phrase stickers
[ JGG ]
Layering Stencil
[ SSS ]
Writing Stencil
Art Foamies
[ ART ]
Black Soot Oxide Ink
[ JGG | SSS | ACH | BLIC ]
Art Crayon - Black
[ JGG | BLIC ]
Orange Gloss Spray
[ JGG ]
Turquoise Gloss Spray
[ JGG ]
White Gel Pen
[ BLIC ]
Graphit — coupon code UNDERSTANDBLUE15
[ MRK ]
Nocturne Ink
[ SSS | ELH | ACH | BLIC ]
Precision Glue
[ HA ]
Matte Gel
[ BLIC ]
Transparent Gesso
8.5 x 5.5 Mixed Media Journal
[ BLIC ]
Date Stamper
Blending Sponge

I forgot a step - before I collaged the rice paper on, I used a Copic Multiliner to outline the stenciled bits. Sometimes with paler colors that makes all the difference.

Also up the left side of the page, I did the secret writing technique. That's a go-to journaling trick for me. 

My challenge for the last day of Falliday Fest today is also honoring Clarence! You can make a card with a squirrel, or any of Clarence's favorite foods - peanuts, acorns, sunflower (he loves the seeds) or pecans! Please join us! There are also six great holiday tutorials packed into this week. 

I hope you have a great weekend ahead of you.


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