Wednesday, May 16, 2012

making a journal page

A Nat Geo cover with gesso drying.
Journaling is a fine way to express one's self. While I could get lost for hours on the computer either typing or searching the Obscure (like this, perhaps), it's grounding to get back to the ol' pen and paper. The problem with using a journal or writing anything for that matter is the use of paper. And if it's a rough day, it could be a lot of paper. Hence, not a very ecologically sound activity. So, when the whimsy hits me, I make a few journal pages out of recycled magazine pages. Covers are more likely to hold up to the materials I use, but some magazines still use good sturdy stock on the inside and may still work.

I start by finding an image of interest. It doesn't have to be pertinent to the writing that may ensue ~ especially if pages are being made long ahead of time. Then that page is cut down to a size that will fit my journal.

Some images are light enough to simply write over; then the words become a part of the scene. Others require a bit of toning down. Gesso is a fine base for blotting out enough of the photo for writing. This can be done in two ways 1) blocking out areas to be written in on in flat white or 2) applying gesso to the entire image, but sparingly. (It's as if reducing the opacity of the photo in Photoshop from 100% to 50% ~ just enough to see the image, but still transparent enough to show whatever is put in the foreground clearly.) In my sample, I've opted to gesso both sides with the second application.

Now, personally don't like the feel of gesso under my hand while writing with the archival, permanent Micron pen. I add a layer of (my favorite substance) Mod Podge over the entire surface after the gesso is bone dry (a hair dryer is a nifty tool at this juncture). In between applying gesso and Mod Podge, sketches or small collages could be added for more visual interest on the page. Before writing, the page needs to be, again, bone dry.

I find making journal pages a good activity for those fallow times in creativity. Make pages randomly. Make them tactile and sturdy. Make some with just the gesso to leave room for other kinds of creativity before adding the Mod Podge and writing. Set them aside for when something needs to be written from your soul. They'll be waiting with smiling faces to receive your words.
The back side of that cover with gesso,
pencil shavings and Mod Podge.

A nifty page waiting for whatever is on my mind.

No comments: