I had hoped to get farther along in the studio this week, but I have some ongoing health issues that make some days more challenging than others and some weeks just disappear altogether. I used to try to fight through these difficult days, refusing to succumb to them, but keep on working on my projects, but over time I've learned this is not always the best tact for either my body or my studio work. For example, I kept looking at those fabric strips meant for piping and didn't think I had it in me to deal with them. Each day I'd peek in at the fabric needing cutting into binding, think about the process of adding piping and said no, no, no, I don't have the energy to fuss with it. Turning those strips into fabric coiled baskets sounded more appealing. Then Friday I suddenly had a good day and the piping no longer looked so daunting as I lay it at the edge of the quilt and covered all but that 1/8th inch that would show next to the binding. I didn't get much at all done this week, but I did get my binding strips cut and found my resolve to add the piping. We'll see if that holds!
And then there are things that I simply get tired of looking at that are waiting for me to take the next step. Not to mention I'd like to clear these things off the table so I can square up my big quilt for binding. I'd been auditioning placement of some pieces on this art journal spread as well as looking for some additional things to add. It was time to trim everything and stick them down. As I used the X-acto knife to cut interior sections and small outer curves too difficult for scissors to do well, I mused about the first time I'd been introduced to this type of cutting. It was in the 6th grade and our teacher gave each of us a single edge razor blade with lots of threats about using it carefully as to NOT cut ourselves with it. I remember this so well; we were to cut out from black construction paper an old-fashioned train engine pulling cars which meant there were many windows to cut out as well as the spaces between spokes. I really took to the challenge and loved all that careful cutting. And I still do.
I also wanted to try using matte medium as the adhesive to stick down my pieces cut from magazines. Honestly, I've gotten a little tired of the ubiquitous suggestion of using matte medium as the cure-all for all your mixed media needs. So many actual glues on the market, many developed for specific uses, that it's almost irritating that few people mention them. Need to glue down a piece of paper? Do it with matte medium. Need to protect your collage or other piece of art? Slather matte medium over it. Need to adhere a button or piece of metal to a flat surface like a book cover? Use matte medium. I have tried it to adhere things like tissue but let's just say it has never been my go-to answer for everything like it seems to be for so many. But I decided maybe I should give it another go, bought the recommended Liquitex brand and used a paint brush to add it to the backs of these pieces now added to the spread. I have to admit it worked pretty well, not wrinkling up the paper as some glues will, and was even forgiving enough to allow me to reposition pieces if I moved quickly enough. I didn't add any over the top of the pieces as I see most artists do but maybe I'll get to that too eventually. In the meantime, a day later I am still peeling off medium that got on my fingers. I haven't had that problem with acrylic paint. It reminds me of that liquid bandaid stuff.
Now I think it's ready for some text. I've jotted down a few things I'd like to find room for that will help explain where I'm going with this. I started with a concept that was really bugging me that I wanted to rant about, and where better than on an art journal page? To my surprise, even before I get to the ranting in words, I am feeling better about what was driving my emotions. That's kind of the point of any kind of journaling. Art journaling is not making mixed media art, although mixed media plays a part, any more than written journaling is creating a novel or essay, although relating stories may be a part. Art journaling might lead to a finished piece of art just like journaling might lead to writing a short story. At least that's my take on it. With this in mind, I really appreciated Laly Mille's blog post where she shares step by step how her art journal spreads evolve. You might find it interesting. She titles it "All I Have To Bring."
If you take a look at that post, you will see the final steps I'll be taking on my own spread, the "tricks" that help bring it visually together. We'll see how well I can do that.