Wanderlust: out of chaos

Series: Wanderlust 2021 #26

Some of the Wanderlust lessons can be a bit formulaic — start with collage, add paint, stencilling, focal point, more paint — but so far they’ve all allowed for a lot of interpretation and adaptation and the teachers all have numerous other techniques and strategies in their own work. This week’s teacher is one that I hadn’t come across before and she has a very particular approach to art journalling: she picks a quote and then essentially, literally, illustrates it. It’s a perfectly reasonable method, but it just struck me as odd to have such a singular focus on one process; she does make cards and other mixed media pieces in different styles as well, so there is variety elsewhere in her art. I’m really not criticising her for it, it’s good to have comfort art to turn to (I have my Copic colouring). I think it was more the literal interpretation — “so many books, so little time” illustrated with a row of books and a clock — that jarred with me.

So, it took me a while to get started on this one. The first thing I had to do was find a quote to work with; after spending far too long browsing quotation sites and being uninspired, I remembered a Visible Image stamp set I have which has the phrase “out of chaos comes creativity” in it, and decided to use that. That also justified using butterflies in the design as a nod to the butterfly effect.

The background was simple to make: uneven patches of modelling paste through a stencil, allowed to dry and then coloured with spray inks. Well, I say simple, and the process is indeed simple, but this was my second attempt at the background… I actually prefer the look of the first one I made and I’m hoping I’ll be able to use that in the future if it ever completely dries (I’d normally throw out pages with sticky ink on them but this one does seem to be drying out slowly). I’m not sure what the problem was: the mix of inks, the gessoed page, just too much ink, or something else entirely.

While I was waiting for a background to dry, I made the other elements. I heat embossed the butterfly on acetate and coloured it using Pebeo Vitrail glass paints — to stop it disappearing on the brown background I backed it with some white card. The chaos and creativity words were die-cut; I glued chaos to some black card and hand-cut the borders. The small words were made using a Dymo embossing labeller.

A bit of stamping and all that was left to do was put it all together. I’m quite happy with how it turned out, I particularly like the background effect, but it’s really not my style of creating.


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