I started art journaling and mixed media in February 2015. When I started I would often find myself staring at a page too afraid to put something down OR I would get one or two layers down and not know where to go from there. I often suffered from what I called ” background love” too afraid to mess up the beautiful background I had created. I lacked the confidence to design and create a complete page. But I didn’t give up.
Right about then I discovered the thing called ATCs or Artist Trading Cards. These cards measured 3 1/2 inches by 2 1/2 inches- the same size as a standard playing card. I bought a deck of cards at the dollar store and cut up the thin cardstock that often comes in packaging of stencils and stamps to the required size. I painted them all with a layer of gesso.
Now I don’t know if it was because it was cheaper or because it was smaller, but suddenly my creativity started flowing . There was little risk. I wasn’t staring a huge 11X14 size white gessoed page. I tried some of the techniques I saw on the YouTube videos that I watched hours on end. I tried things that worked and I tried things that didn’t .
I learned that everything can be covered by another layer of gesso and that you can always start again. I discovered that many times what I thought was a mistake was a new creative way to create. I gained confidence. I figured out what kind of mixed media artist was-and what MY personal style was.
Outside of a very few art journal pages created using the Journaling by 5s process I worked primarily on these ATCs from February into July. Then suddenly I wanted more and I started working in my 11X14 journal. I approached my journal with new found confidence and a well developed skill set. My time doing ATCs was incredibly helpful.
The ATCs that I created during this time hang in baseball card protectors in my studio. I look at them for inspiration. A few I have made into full size art journal pages. I wish to share with you how I created some of them.
This ATC started with a layer of gesso, followed by mod-podging on background papers to add some texture. I then sprayed on two colors of Lindy’s Stampgang Starbursts Sprays. I’ve just got to have shimmer. When dry I used my bubble stamp with black StazOn. Then I applied Liquitex Flexible Modeling Paste through my Folkart Spiral stencil ( this is my all time favorite).This I only put on the bottom 2/3s of the card.
I printed off my quote onto copy paper. I get most of my quotes from PInterest ( If you go to my Pinterest site, link at top right of blog, I have a board entitled Inspirational Quotes and one called Creative Quotes. You will find lots of good ideas for your pages). I usually color the paper but this time I wanted to keep it white. I adhered it with Golden Gel Medium so I wouldn’t activate and disturb the effect I got with the Lindy’s sprays. I then used my black Inktense pencil to outline the words. I used my black Micron liner pen to outline the white “waves”. I rubbed the black StazOn ink pad around the edges to frame the card.
If you’re wondering why a prairie girl from Saskatchewan Canada makes art about the ocean you aren’t alone. I have always loved being on the water, especially the ocean. My husband and I plan to retire to Vancouver Island. It is as the quote says ” The waves of the sea, help me get back to me. ”
If you have any “ocean” inspired art. I would love for you to share it on here.