Friday, July 25, 2014

A New Beginning

the big cry, art journal page, gallery juana
The Big Cry, journal page, july 2014


The last couple of weeks I've been reading The Tell-Tale Brain by V. S. Ramachandran and the section on perception complimented the journal prompt, tears, over at A Year in the Life of an Art Journal.

Although this journal page is titled the big cry, there wasn't any actual crying. It is more about my changing perspective and moving forward. This is the first summer I've had without any stressful life transitions. I've been able to focus more on living each day and appreciating what I encounter. I am amazed that even though I have been here for two years, there is so much I have not noticed and am seeing for the first time.

The fact that your perception of an unchanging image can change and flip radically is proof that perception must involve more than simply displaying an image in the brain. Even the simplest act of perception involves judgement and interpretation. Perception is an actively formed opinion of the world rather than a passive reaction to sensory input from it.
V.S. Ramachandran

journal page, the big cry, galleryjuana
the big cry, journal page wip

Man himself must first of all have become calculable, regular, necessary even in his own image of himself, if he is to be able to stand security for his own future.
Nietzsche


art journal page, the big cry, gallery juana
the big cry, art journal page, wip


This journal page began with writing whatever thoughts came to me for the prompt tears. I wrote three pages worth but all on one page. To do that I would turn the page 90 degrees and begin writing again. I did that three times, each time with a different color pen. I was hoping that the writing would still show through the layers. To help that along, I covered key words with masking tape so they would stay clean throughout the layers. The words new beginning and reborn ended up being the only words that I kept visible in the end.



A short video demonstrating the journal writing

I also decided to block in the figure and leave only the outline of the figure. Toward the top of the journal page, I drew necker's cube which is named after Louis Albert Necker who discovered that our perception changes even though the image is stagnant. If you stare at the cube (first image on this blog post), it will change it's orientation. Let me know if it works for you:)


joining sunday sketches and A Year in the Life of an Art Journal

Sunday, July 20, 2014

the act of drawing

art journal page, july 8 2014
art journal page, figure and quote, gallery juana

The act of drawing serves to remind us that hands are agents of thought and experiment. Its expressions have the potential to leap across great divides of time and place, but its practical utility is as a manisfestation of the Mind struggling with the meaning of what it encounters and what it wants to explore.
Jonathon Kingdon


Since April, I have been focusing on the brain and learning what I can from cousera lectures and books. I love this quote by Jonathon Kingdon. It not only reinforces the idea of the connection between action and the brain but also touches on how art is my tool for understanding my experience.


So how did this journal page come about? I had laid down a wash of walnut ink on the opposite page and then closed the journal. After the walnut ink dried on both pages, I applied some gesso on the opposite page and closed the book again. I then worked on this actual page with the derivative print and outlined the figure with pen and added the facial features with pencil and acrylics.

The opposite page is inspired by a year in the life of an art journal's prompt to fill our silhouette with things we love. I have loved long distance riding since university and have kept it up sporadically since living overseas. Last year my husband and I purchased some touring bicycles and we've been riding more consistently. There is such a liberating feeling and I return home rejuvenated after a long bike ride. How do you rejuvenate for the day?

art journal page, bicycle
it's a good day to ride



joining sunday sketches and a year in the life of an art journal

Friday, July 11, 2014

birch trees, mixed media, collage art tutorial


birch trees, mixed media art tutorial, gallery juana
birch trees, mixed media art tutorial


I have never used alcohol as a treatment for watercolor and wanted to try it out recently. Here is a step by step tutorial for my collage of trees.

Materials:
  • watercolor paper
  • alcohol
  • watercolors
  • acrylic painted tissue paper
  • acrylics
  • sandpaper
  • matte medium

Step One

watercolor and alcohol effect, gallery juana
sepia watercolor and alcohol



I washed a layer of sepia watercolor onto the paper and dropped alcohol onto the paper. The watercolor formed rings where the alcohol interrupted its flow. It looked like some alien ships flying in space and then it reminded me of knots on birch trees.

Step Two

painted tissue paper added


I cut the watercolor paper into two 3 x 3 inch squares which would now be the support for my collage. Searching through my stash of painted tissue papers, I found one with a titin Buff-ish color and glued that to my supports. You can see a hint of the rings showing through the tissue paper.


Step Three

art tutorial, gallery juana
sandpapered and added color



Next, I sandpapered some of the tissue paper off to allow the rings on the support to show through more. I added acylics to separate the background from the foreground. Right image above photo shows sandpaper effect only while the left image shows both the sandpaper and acrylic steps.


Step Four

art tutorial, gallery juana
color added to background

I continued to add acylics to separate the background from the foreground. I also painted parts of the trees to bring out the rings and give the trees form. I also added a bit of black pen to highlight the knots and twists in the trees.

Finished Result
birch trees, gallery juana
birch trees, 3 x 3 inches, mixed media collage




joining sunday sketches