June 27 – Week 26
Art Challenge: Photos and Words
Journal Prompt: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
I have had to work way ahead in my journal as I am traveling most of the summer and at times was at a loss for inspiration. Sometimes, creating on demand like this really zaps my ability to be intuitive and let things just “happen” artistically. Fortunately, one of our Documented Life Members, Angela Elizabeth Harding, posted a picture that she created in her journal. I instantly felt a connection to this post and asked her if I could use it as my inspiration and she graciously agreed!
Isn’t her journal AMAZING? I ADORE how she sketched her photographs and it gave me an idea for this week’s challenge! I love how we can learn from each other and how our members constantly inspire ME! By the way, Angela has a beautiful blog – she is an incredible artist and I would love to sit and flip through her sketchbooks. I hope you will check her out HERE.
So what I took from her “Say Cheese” challenge was the idea to create polaroid-style photographs for my journal and tacked them onto my pages much like my mother and grandmother used to do. This was LOOOOOOONG before scrapbooking, and they would write directly onto the strip at the bottom of the photograph. Today, looking at these phot albums I can see the integrity of the photos didn’t hold up well and I love their worn, yellowed and scratchy look. I tried to recreate it in my journal.
I started by painting my pages with a mixture of white and payne’s gray acrylic. Just a quick cover with a dry brush to get lots of texture and movement.
I printed out some photos I had from a trip to Santa Monica onto inexpensive plain copier paper. The color is not as vibrant and they don’t even look like my original photos, but it didn’t matter for this challenge.
I cut each of them out, and adhered them FACE DOWN onto scraps of cold press watercolor paper with matte medium. All I wanted was an image – I knew it wouldn’t be clear and it certainly wouldn’t be perfect. When you use this technique, words will be backwards and everything in the photo will be in reverse. I scraped each picture on the back with a metal rib to get out any air bubbles or blobs of medium. The ink ran a little underneath but I just wiped them clean with a baby wipe.
I let them dry COMPLETELY. Several hours, in fact. Once dry, I taped around each photo with painters tape to prevent the ink from running and I painted a good bit of water onto the back of each photo and let them sit for at least 5 minutes. You can see from the photos, the ink bled through the piece of paper – this is what you want to happen. Once they were saturated and the water had a chance to absorb, I gently rubbed the back of each photo until the paper came off and only the image remained. In some places, the image even rubbed off and sometimes it didn’t transfer at all. It’s OKAY – I want it to look aged!
Once dry again, I tore the pictures out into polaroid-style size and wrote a little caption underneath. I tacked them onto the pages of my journal with a glue stick and was thrilled with how it all turned out! This was definitely an experiment and I feel like it paid off!
I’m so pleased with the final journal page – its a wonderful memento of my visit to Santa Monica. The aged look is a nice compliment to the iconic image of the Santa Monica Pier! They appear to be worn as if someone has flipped through the photo album often! They almost have an illustrated look to them! Can’t wait to see how you all document with photographs this week – you all truly inspire me!
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