Sunday, November 5, 2017

Trees for Louise by Jenny

Sorry its taken so long to add my blog post ... time escaped me again - but I also was a tad overwhelmed of where to start talking about this page. I took so many photos along the way - only 152! lol :) Who knows what I was thinking at the time!

Louise's book is incredible! I love it. When I first saw her theme, I was going to paint or draw something like one of those abstract modern trees with all the curly branches, then I thought of that night / day painting I love... then the book arrived! Wow :D It had to be a page that was worthy of Louise and her beautiful book. So I decided upon a flowering Red Gum. But of course they're tall and strong and huge ... this book is a wide landscape. When searching for pics of trees I came across bonsai trees, why didn't I think of that before? So a Bonsai Red Gum was what I've grown for Louise. Hope she likes it!

I love stencils :) There are literally thousands of them out there plus the blank sheets of plastic (packaging, paper, card, scraps ... anything can be a stencil or mask). I seem to have collected a few over the years! lol For Louise's page I've used stencils from Tim Holtz and Darkroom Door's Wildflower (small clean one on the right, its not clean anymore).

The page started out being a whole background of Tim Holtz Melange Tissue Paper. The one with music and butterflies :) Trusting the mess is really hard. The colours aren't what I wanted, the stencils didn't look like a forest of wildflowers... but "trust the mess" we're always told. Its just a background...!

How pretty and delicate are these Tim Holtz wildflowers? They've been die cut using both sets of Tim Holtz Thinlits Wildflower Dies with my Cuttlebug. The flowers on the left are handmade ricepaper and the others are made of kraft cardboard.

Layer upon layer the picture started looking like a tree with a garden. The tree was painted (planted! lol) using a mixture of watercolours and pencils. All the browns turned grey and the reds looked too red and out of place. Trust the mess... who invented that phrase anyway? How did they know to trust it when the art just doesn't look how you want it to look? Breathe... what will be will be :)

All the wildflowers were glued in place using gel medium. At least they seemed to calm down the mess. It needed to dry so gave up looking at it and went onto making the flowers and leaves.

The gum leaves were made from Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Adhesive Backed Textile Sheets and watercolour paper.

This pic shows the lightest piece of Tim's textile sheeting before I misted it with water.

Here is the string ready to be coloured. My first idea was to paint the blossoms and just attached bits of string but that soon changed to having more string and less card!

To colour the string, I used Derwent Inktense art sticks. I used three different reds and then sprayed it with water and squished it around. I did this a few times until the string was totally soaked in red ink. I guess using a dye bath would have been better, or I could have soaked the string using Distress Stains but I just wanted to use my art sticks! They're so cool :)

I love string! Dying the string with the Inktense art sticks coloured the card at the same time. I had such a lovely time :)

Love the red in this photo! Such a beautiful colour, one of my favourites :) Its only here because of that! lol :)

Almost dry... string, card and fabric ready to get turned into flowering red gum blossoms.

Luckily it was windy when I hung out the string to dry so I was able to make the flowers the next day (instead of waiting till later). So grateful for my Tim Snips because their micro-serated blades cut the string bulk alot easier than my other craft scissors.

A bit of yellow Enamel Accents (3D paint) was spotted delicately on the printouts and smooshed everywhere on the ends of the string flowers.

All the gum leaves were handcut ("fussy" cut... not that I was too fussy!). Some are a better shape than others, but I do love how the colours have behaved and dried the proper gum leaf green.

Pegs are the best invention!

This is a closeup of the leaves and gum blossoms. The veins were drawn with red pencil. It always amazes me how things change after they've dried and been put together! So pleased with how these flowers have turned out :)

These adorable little birds and leaves were made by my Dad (handcut between pieces of craftwood on his scrollsaw).

I used watercolours to paint the birds... it soaked in a bit but once they dried, they looked fine. These are a new species of bird - a spoggiestar! Spoggy is sparrow, star from starling... not that they need to be real birds, its only art :)

Learning to Fly ... art journal page by Jenny James using stickers from Tim Holtz

A few stickers by Tim Holtz were added. I love the sayings Tim's found and collated together for his sticker packs and washi tape. I have a computer and printer with the whole internet filled with quotes and clever sayings, plus hundreds of books! But there's something awesome about stickers and I don't know what it is, I just know I love stickers :)
We have an advert down here in SA about teaching kids to budget (from a bank). The Dad says, "is it a need or a want?" and the little girl says "but Daddy, they're stickers...". Yep. I totally get what she's saying :) lol

finished page using many textiles, inks and paints

So here it is, a bonsai flowering river red gum (eucalyptus camaldulensis). Thanks to Louise for such a wonderful theme. I loved making this page :) xx Jenny

22 comments:

  1. That is so amazing Jenny. You are truly talented, not only in capability but also to come up with such a multi-level concept' I can assure you that Louise will adore your spread.

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    1. Now its my turn to blubber! All I did was create with Louise in mind :) The reactions and everyone’s comments are imcredible, so unexpected. Thank you so much Pam. xx

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  2. I enjoyed reading about your creative journey Jenny...I love stickers too...teehee.
    Love your flowers and the whole spread is wonderful❤❤❤

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    1. Thank you Roz ❤️ So happy to hear you enjoyed it.

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  3. OMG - you've outdone yourself Jenny, this is so amazing. What a truly wonderful spread! 💚💚

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    1. Thank you Lisa 😻 The whole book is amazing, so inspiring :D

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  4. Absolutely love the page. It's wonderful to Australian birds, flowers and trees being immortalised in an art journal. Great work.

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  5. OH MY GOSH. WOW! WOW! WOW! You are are amazing Jenny. I adore your spread, & the bonsai red gum is a great idea. Your gum blossoms are just divine.

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    1. Thank you so much 😻 It was a wonderful page to create :) xx

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  6. This is so wonderful Jenny. I love everything about the pages. I am sure Louise will be very happy with it.

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  7. Oh wow Jenny I am so moved by your beautiful work. I have to tell you both bonsai and river red gums are very dear to my heart.
    I cant wait to see your beautiful art. I absolutely love the layers, the colours and texture and layout but Jenny thoae flowwrs are sensational and your tree is so very beutuful. Thank you so much. I an honored to have your work in my journal. Xx

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  8. Everyone has been incredible with their beautiful kind words 😻 I’m so happy to hear you love it too. Thank you so very much! ❤️ xx

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  9. wonderful, amazing, stunning, superb; there are not enough superlatives to describe how amazing your work in Louise's journal is, and hey, I'll be seeing it in real life pretty soon. A huge amount for me to live up to; you've raised the bar pretty high; LOL

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    1. You're so very kind Janie <3 Thank you so much! I don't think you'll have too much trouble, your artwork is amazing!

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  10. I also meant tto i mention Jenny how grateful I am to have some of ypur dads scroll saw work in there.
    This journal is developing so beautifully and I love seeing the pages on our blog.

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  11. These are seriously awesome! Love seeing Aussie stuff on the page, brilliant way to make the flowers!

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  12. Awesome work Jenny, love it ! xox

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  13. wow jenny your page is stunning, loved your process :)

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Thank you so much for popping in to see our lovely journals as they are developing. We love to see your comments.