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Art as a Form of Meditation

#itac17 #itac17challenge2 #aallandcreate

Hi everyone, today I have a another art journal project for you all: this is my entry for the second challenge in The International Tournament of Art & Craft :

You’re asked to use certain elements in your project (this time there also is a mood board / set of images) and if you would like to know what these elements are, than follow the link.

I’m working in my Winsor & Newton Heavy Weight Wire-O Sketch Book. I took pictures of the different steps so that you can see the project grow with me:

Step 1:

Since there is the spiral in the middle of the sketch book I decided on working on a different sheet of paper and adhering it in the book when I’m finished: I started by measuring the space I was having on each side of the page: in my case that’s 14,5 x 20,5 cm. So I cut that out of some nice watercolour paper twice (one for each side) and then taped both parts together on the back with tape.

For this second challenge the theme is Asia! And what a fun theme this is, my head was instantly spinning with all the possibilities this would give, but I also wanted to create a harmonious piece so I decided to stick with only Chinese/Japanese inspiration.

To get my project started I applied The Crafter’s Workshop (white) Modeling Paste (TCW9005) over one of the gorgeous new Summer 2017 The Crafter’s Workshop stencils called “Celtic Design“ (TCW732s), which doesn’t sound very Chinese/Japanese but worked out nicely for this project in the end I feel. I choose three different places for this geometric shape / tile design. I set this panel aside to dry while I worked on the other elements.

Next I dyed a piece of white fabric: I re-inked my Distress Ink pad in the colour “Antique Linen“ heavily and applied some of the ink from the ink pad to my craft sheet, spraying the ink with some water and then putting the white fabric in this mixture, working in layers (on the fabric I used it takes about ten layers to show up nicely), drying in between with a heat tool, until I liked the end result. I didn’t wanted to dye the fabric too dark because I wanted the paint that I planned to apply over it to show up well. When I was happy with the result the fabric looked aged. I set the fabric piece aside to completely dry.

Then I traced a cherry blossom flower image on parchment paper using India ink (in French it’s called “encre de Chine“) and then set this element aside to dry.

Step 2:

I went back to the two connected pages, over which I applied embossing paste through the stencil, that now is fully dry. I used powdered pigments in the form of PaperArtsy Infusions to start bringing colour to my piece. The challenge mood board / set of images was showing a beautiful dark yellow pigment powder from which I took inspiration. I used Infusions in the colours “Golden Sands“ and “The Sage“ for this project. I added some powder to the project, sprayed with water and dried when I liked the result, working in layers until I was happy and set those panels aside to dry completely.

Then I started working on the parchment piece with the cherry blossom image: I tore of pieces of the parchment paper to size the paper down and coloured the image using Pintura paint from my Pergamano days (these are paints especially made for painting on parchment paper). I used Pintura paint in the colours: “White“, “Fuchsia“, “Cinnamon“, “Yellow“ and “Light Green“, mixing the colours that I wanted as I went.

When the painting was finished I set the flower aside to dry and started working on the fabric piece. I cut a strip of the fabric with my scissors, printed characters from the internet on regular printer paper (when I did this part okay the characters should say “spring, summer, autumn, winter “ (I figured that when I messed up one character the intention would still be clear), traced them onto the fabric with carbon paper and painted over them with a mixture of The Crafter’s Workshop Heavy Body Acrylic Paint in “Black Licorice “ (TCW9015) and The Crafter’s Workshop “Shimmery Goodness“ (TCW9012) creating a slightly lighter black and a little shimmery too. I was inspired to use these characters by the lanterns with the characters in the moodboard / set of images and the element calligraphy. Painting on the fabric wasn’t easy to do, but the end result I liked. After the paint was dry I applied some “Antique Linen“ re-inker straight from the bottle to the edges of the fabric and blotted with a paper towel and when that was dry I also applied some of the black paint that I used before on the edges.

#itac17 #itac17challenge2 #aallandcreate

Step 3:

Both the piece of fabric and the cherry flower blossom will end up on the right hand side of the page. So, now it’s time to start working on the left page. First I traced an image featuring a Chinese building, which has pantiles on the roof, using carbon paper and then tracing the lines using India ink. The watercolour paper, which is my base for this page, is a little rougher then the parchment paper, but drawing carefully it went okay. I also choose this building because of it’s geometric shape.

Next I started working on the title: I looked on line for a quote about meditation and I found this one from Confucius which fitted the Asia theme nicely. I wanted to write my quote on grey paper to create some contrast (using Strathmore “Toned Gray“ paper). I first tore the paper in the shape that I liked, then drew in the Yin Yang symbol (which is a motif often used in mandalas) and then free hand wrote the quote over this symbol, using a calligraphy style that I taught myself when I was a child. When I was happy with the result I traced the quote with India ink and went over the remaining visible Yin Yang lines with a grey Stabilo marker (when everything was dry I erased the pencil marks).

To let the pink from the cherry blossom flower come back on the left page I used two Faber Castell Polychromos coloured pencils: a pink one (number 119) and a white one to colour in the Yin Yang symbol. And to create a more weathered look I edged this piece with Versafine “Smokey Gray“ ink.

Then I decided where to adhere the cherry blossom down, first using see through tape runner (behind the painted flower) en then using gold metallic thread and a needle, after poking holes with a poky tool (because the tape runner will only adhere to the embossing paste temporarily and I liked the added stitched detail). I adhered the ends of the thread to the back of the page using regular tape. Some of the flower parts went over the left page, I cut that piece of and adhered that by itself. Then I adhered the fabric piece with the characters in the same way using the same gold metallic thread and a needle. And finally the quote on grey paper using silver thread.

Then it’s time to put the pages in the Sketchbook: I separated the pages and adhered them with matte gel medium into the Sketchbook.

Some more pictures to give you a better look:

And that finishes today’s art journal page: I really love how this page turned out and how the different textures contrast each other but other elements put the piece together (like the torn edges and the stitching). I think I managed to put all the elements from the challenge into this art journal page without the page looking cluttered.

I must say that I really enjoy the way ITAC formulates their challenges, with the little story up front to get in the mood and the awesome elements given.

If you haven’t looked at the ITAC Challenge page yet, then you really should, it’s so much fun!

I would like to submit this project to the following challenges:

- The International Tournament of Art & Craft: #itac17 #itac17challenge2 #aallandcreate

- SSS Wednesday Challenge: Ad a Sentiment:

- Lil Patch of Crafty Friends: Anything Goes:

- Colour Crazy Challenge: Anything Goes:

- Creative Artiste Challenge: Anything Mixed Media Goes:

- Crafty Friends Challenge Blog: Anything ggoes:

- Eclectic Ellapu: Anything Goes:

- Love to Create Challenge: Anything Creative/Mixed Media Goes:

I made it in the Top 3 with the project:

#itac17itac17challenge2aallandcreate #TheCraftersWorkshopCelticDesign

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