Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Some paperwork

Today I'm going to look at a few pages in my sketchbook and one of my artbooks
This page is one I did recently, when I was designing pages for a fabric book.  The top sketch is obviously just some leaves, but I was interested in contrasts and the shadows of the leaves.  The bottom sketch is of a pomegranate, inspired by a design of Judy Coates Perez'. 
On this page at the bottom is a modification of the pomegranate that I was happier with.  At the top is a doodle of a dragonfly, where I intend to thread paint dimensional wings and bead the body.  There is also a little scribble of my cat's ear, since she was handy, lol.
This page is just drawn in pencil, and generally, that is where I start, then I go back and rework the pages later with color.  going back over the sketches this way allows me to revisit ideas and remember what I was going to do.  It's a great way to find inspiration when you are at a loss.
This is a reverse applique sample in my leaf art book.  I was playing with Gesso and decoded I liked the washed out effect it gave.  The leaves at the bottom are just stickers I found in a bargain store, which i used to balabce the page a bit.
This is a half  finished collage in the same book.  You can see that this is not an artist's sketchbook, but a reclaimed book (you can just see the writing on the page in the background.  I like to use an altered book for my art books.  A page which has been painted over with gesso or medium to wash out the text is much easier to get started on than a pristine white page, which can be daunting for most of us.
This page looks like a mess, doesn't it?  I purposely tore the picture so that I can complete the picture myself, sort of like a drawing exercise (an idea I got from Laura Kemshall).  This is another way to overcome the clean page block.
Another thing I learnt when doing this page was that ink jet prints do work with medium and PVA and will not bleed - BUT  you have to leave them for a few days, maybe a week to allow the ink to set and use neat PVA or heavy medium (the less water, the better) to glue and gloss over them.
I have had bleeds when using ink jet prints in the past and now I think that perhaps I really did not let them set properly in this way and used PVA with too much water.

Any way, that was just a brief look into my always incomplete and sometimes messy paper work.  Perhaps because of my painting and drawing background, I find this work invaluable to my textile work.  Like this blog, keeping a record of what I do and how it all turns out does come in handy down the track.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Design is knowing which ones to keep.
Scott Adams


  1. I like to use an altered book for my art books. A page which has been painted over with gesso or medium to wash out the text is much easier to get started on...

    What a great idea! Thank you for sharing this. (I can't believe how many useful tips I've picked up since I subscribed.)

  2. Vicki, how cool! I haven't used my sketchbooks much to work on idea to translate into fiber. Wish I did more! I love the quote!

  3. I'm still at the "you shouldn't do THAT to a book" stage - it frightens me more than a pristine book, let alone a blank page, lol!
    I've also found that if you leave injet prints to "cure" for at least a week, longer is better, then you can do all sorts of things to them, including transfers. I use cheap bulk inks in my "past its use-by date" old printer that keeps on keeping on, and have no problem with bleeding, even when using a liquid medium.

  4. Thanks, Triche, It's a bonus to know that I am being of help to other people, especially since I just post about my daily "stuff" - much appreciated.
    And Lisa - I think your stuff is cool, too
    Caroline, I agree with you about using some books. I use books from the opp shop usually, they are more durable and it's recycling to boot, but I will always cringe when I see an antique book destroyed.

  5. Its just the way I was brought up! There are a lot of rubbish books around; they never seem to get to my local Op Shop with hard covers intact so I have not had the chance to gesso over one yet!
    I'm with you on the handmade doilies; I have found some exquisite crochet, bobbin and needle-lace at my local store, until someone realised they could work out how much they were really worth by watching Antiques Roadshow.

  6. Vicki, as always I love your posts. They are a cornucopia of ideas, tips and inspiration.


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