Sometimes, when I am beginning an art journal entry, I like to give myself a challenge. Let’s face it, for me, art journaling is challenging enough, but for some reason, adding on arbitrary parameters can help me focus and jump into an entry a bit easier. So, as I sat down to create a new layout, I decided to focus in on two parameters:
1. Work primarily with Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers.
2. Work horizontally on the page, with all of the focus being pulled from an invisible mid-line across both pages.
When Jane Davenport first released her Mermaid Markers, I was enthralled by them! I stalked the Michaels website for sales and hunted down coupons to slowly but surely acquire all the colors. Truth be told, I haven’t used them nearly as much as I thought I would, and I believe it is because they intimidate me a bit. And, because I haven’t worked with them very much, I certainly have not become any more comfortable with using them! So, I figured that challenging myself to use them in this entry would be a great use of the resources that I already had and force me to get more comfortable with the supplies on hand.
As for working from a horizontal mid-line, I felt this would be a different starting point for me, and perhaps a bit challenging. Generally, most of my spreads start from one of the four corners and then I work outward from there. I have never focused the elements along the middle of the page, so I also looked at this as an interesting, yet simple, challenge.
I began with covering the whole spread with clean water. I wanted to saturate the pages in hopes that the ink in the mermaid markers would move a bit easier across the page. Then, I selected a few of my favorite mermaid marker colors and just “plopped” ink onto the page. Using the markers themselves, I worked the ink up and down as if it were flowing from the center point. I wasn’t completely happy with the harsh lines I was getting, so I brought in some more water with a small mister and my water brush. This successfully diluted the colors and aided in the blending. As I let the pages dry, I searched for my next elements.
I have not had a chance to collect many of Jane’s stamp sets, but I do have one of her original face stamp sets from Michaels and I LOVE it! Drawing faces is not my strength, and I love that she has basic looks that I can create with. I grabbed a couple of the different faces and using Versafine black ink, I stamped out the images in two different places on the page. I chose these places because the ink that was already on the page sparked inspiration for hair in both of these places. And, I love a good flowy hairdo!
The page really started to take on a look of mermaids in the sea at this point, so I took that direction and ran with it. Using one of Jane’s collage napkins, I cut out an image that I felt looked like a woman rising out of the water. I also cut out several other sea elements from the napkin, including various seashells and a wave element. I pulled the back layer from each element and adhered them down using Liquitex matte gel medium.
While loved how this page was beginning to come together, it felt a little one dimensional to me. So, I opted for a Tim Holtz stencil and texture paste. I used another mermaid marker to add a bit of color to the paste, and also a bit of Dylusions shimmer spray. My hope was that it would add shimmer to the paste, but no such luck. I added the texture paste through the stencil, framing out each of the three women on my layout. I also used one of Jane’s glitter markers, in “arctic ocean” to add hints of glitter to the women’s hair.
For the title “Rise”, I challenged myself to create lettering with the mermaid markers. I’ve never taken the time to work on hand lettering (a goal for the future), so this did not turn out quite as crisp as I had hoped. I layered on different colors of the mermaid markers, and then blended them with a water brush. To cover up some of the blurred edges, I used a .005 micron pen and added squiggle marks as the shadow.
This page had to be completed over several days, because life got too hectic to finish it in one sitting. I am pleased with it, but still have a feeling like it is missing something. I just can’t quite put my finger on it….any suggestions? Leave them in the comments below!
Keep it creative,
-The Scrappy Wife