Kelly Kilmer has been teaching a lot of classes online, which are fantastic. She’s also running her ongoing art community activities in what she calls The Art Life. So. Much. Fun. Each month there’s a class, there are 2 Art Salons, and every Friday morning, we spend an hour painting some object. All of this is for the members of The Art Life to learn, express, and grow in their creative lives. And I have been growing a lot. I wasn’t really feeling it, you know what I mean? And I realized that I needed Kelly’s workshops to really stretch me.
I never thought of myself as a painter, but I’m learning how to be one and how to incorporate my art into my daily life. This is from a recent workshop. Kelly had a sample page and then we “recreated” it using her process. This time, I remembered to take photos at almost every step/layer. I love it. It doesn’t really look like a lotus, but it’s MY lotus. All me.
It was an exercise in my friend’s art group. We were going to finish a whole journal in one sitting. Five layers, fifteen minutes each. If I could remember the name of the gal who came up with this idea, I’d share it here, so please comment if you know her name.
Below are the eleven pages/spreads that I did, each grouped by page, showing all five layers, which are mostly in order. Here is the order of layers:
Put down color.
Stencil and/or stamp.
Focal image and words.
Pen and pencil doodling.
Dude, this was HARD! Each layer had its own challenges, and it helped to have all of my materials out and ready, rather than digging for things. I also tried to keep to just a few colors, though you’ll see I got carried away with that.
The color layer was relatively easy. I used some Blick matte acrylics and Distress Stains. The stains made it super easy to put down the color, so I might need more of those if I’m going to keep trying this technique. I also sprayed a layer of shimmery gold during the first step because I’m incapable of not having some sort of glitter going on.
Page one was was definitely one of my favorites by the end of the exercise.
The second layer, collage, got a bit more challenging. I mean, I could have taken the easy road and just put one piece of paper or tissue on each page and called it done, but no!
Like everything I do, I did it the hard way.
I think my saving grace was that I decided to treat each page spread as one page, rather than two pages. It seemed to work well for me.
Layer three: Stenciling and stamping. I definitely should have had more stamps and stencils handy. That way I wouldn’t have had to reuse. I would have liked those cool faces on only one page, looking back on it. I love the stencils that look like orange slices. And that hand-carved horizon sun stamp I got at an estate sale. Page five turned out pretty well, I think. (I love Converse high tops.)
Layer four was focal images and words. I tried to limit what I was doing here so that the pages didn’t get too busy (ha!). A focal image is a focus for a reason, yannow?
I really tried not to think much, and it was interesting that the word “believe” ended up on the same page spread (page seven) as the church steeple. Someone might be trying to tell me something.
That bright pink/orange color on page seven is a magical color that Kelly Kilmer uses. It’s called Luminous Opera and it’s from Holbein. A little goes a long way and I like how it layered over that yellow underneath. I do think that the background color on page seven can use a little bit of pushback, which I’m working on a bit now.
The final layer was using pens, pencils, markers, to make marks and doodle. There was SO not enough time for this!
On page eight, I decided to let my little girl out and used a fat graphite pencil to scribble on the page. It is so freeing to do that…try it! I guess I have a thing about feet…here with the feet in the water and also the sneakers up above. My poor feet have been traumatized over the years with various ailments, such a peripheral neuropathy, so I must be working through that via my art journaling.
On page nine, those little dangles over that dark photo of the man hunched over do NOT go well there. Something I’ll be working on.
Page ten, in my opinion, is a nightmare and I don’t know what I was thinking by coloring in the eyes of those stenciled faces. Barf. This one is going to need some work.
Page eleven turned out to be one of my favorites, especially the colors. It may stay the way it is, or it may get more pen work.
Overall, this was a great exercise that got me out of my head for an afternoon. I had been looking forward to doing this with my art friends for a couple of weeks before we actually had the session, but when we sat down to do it, I was so nervous! In the end, I was freakin’ exhausted. One of the girls and I stayed later and started doing more on our pages when we were finished.
I’m still doing some pen work on all of these pages. When I feel better about them, I’ll share them here. Oh! I’ve also created a video flip-through of this book for you to see on YouTube if you feel so inclined. There’s commentary there, of course.
Hope you enjoyed checking this out. I’d love to hear your thoughts!