Falcon Travelers

Dutch Design Leather, Est 2013

I must admit, I am afraid of a blanc page. Even to the extend of leaving a canvas sitting on its easel in my livingroom for more than a year, before moving it to the attick. Avoidance and denial are my middle names.
It seems I’m not alone in this and, as it turns out, there is a way around this. To do away with the dreaded white…just make a background!

I have been watching a lot of youtube video’s lately, about art journalling. techniques and tutorials. One lady in particular, struck a chord with me. Her YouTube channel is JournalArtista as is her blog. I find her approach to art journalling and art very refreshing. If you haven’t seen her yet, go and check her out, she is briljant.
What I love most about her is that she works in several journals and several different pages at the same time. This way, you can do away with the white, play and experiment with all kinds of materials, without the threat of this one page staring you in the face. Urging you to make it happen. The trick is to just to go with the flow, let it all happen and when you get stuck, just move on to the next one.

I love this idea of no restrictions, You don’t even have to like what you did. Just let it go and (maybe) come back later, when inspiration hits you. I find this very freeing and it works perfectly with my state of mind at the moment. So I have been trying to approach my art journal this way for the past few days and produced some backgrounds, some I like and some not so much. Some I worked a little and some a lot.

Just to be fair I will post them all, in random order. I’m curious to find out where they will all go… it’ll be an interesting journey.

All backgrounds have been made with either collage, acryllic paints, soft pastels (only recently rediscovered in my closet with art supplies), aquarel paints and pencils, or any combination of the above. Most have been very quick and random, in order to stop my mind from overthinking things.

The picture below has a page from a twilight saga book my daughter is altering to a “bookcase” for a school project.

Here I’m just practicing my diamond shapes and playing with pastels.

In the background of this one there was a ink splotch and I saw a bird in it…so I made a birdy…I gave it a perch. Saw a tree somewhere in the background, made that. Then gave the birdy a tree to sit in expanding into the white left page. I like it when that happens.

This one I like very much, even though the colours are so not me… It has been done with aquarel paints. I actually wouldn’t touch aquarels before, because they took so long to dry and I am a very impatient kind a girl. Since I discovered heat guns…anything goes.

Here I just got some new stamps and inkpads, I obviously had to try them out.

I just love this picture, so I pasted it in here, how fitting, to loose one’s head.

Playing with pastel gradients… and some stencil with butterflies and dragonflies.

This one is a “lucky” mistake, the pages got stuck, hence the funny centre.

Gradients again and some perfect pearls scattered around. My first time using them, I’m still thinking about what you can do with them, but just to open the packet and see them and feel them, makes this easier.

Just some random collaging.

Again random collaging, this time with an old dictionary. I like how the pages have turned yellow with time…

The one below is my favorite, the only trouble is, I wouldn’t want to touch it now…I guess as an art journal page, it isn’t finished, but I would hang this on my wall as is, without any hesitation.
Do you ever run into this “problem”? What do you do when you do? Do you leave it, or do you alter it just like any other art journal page?

Some random numbers and some cute washi tape.

Here again there was some faint shadow and I must be seeing things, because this time I saw a lady. So I scribbled her and built a little on that.

Some very fast background and bringing back the white…

Went a little overboard with this one…did use a cute new technique with melting some oily, waxy crayons my kids used to draw with. As I have tons of those, I might have to try that again.

And, since I’m seeing cutesy little houses on almost every blog I visit, I thought I would throw in some houses as well. All done with soft pastels. I think I will build on the spooky feel they have, or could have with their screaming little faces…

This one is me trying out my new aquarel paints. Added some swirly thingies and a song text that’s been haunting me. I thought it had a very retro feeling, so I went with that, we will see where it goes from here.

Just some pastels, rubbed with a (very) watery glue solution and then sprayed with water. I like the effect.

Some acryllics, some collage and some rub ons.

I like how this one turned out. It started out as some really silly balls and swirls, you can see them shining through here and there. I had to paste the dictionary pages in the middel, because I wet the paper so much it was all leaking through to my other pages. I kinda like it this way.

So that’s it for now. Learned a lot, specially about letting go.
The only thing is, I now filled this art journal, so I have to start another journal with even more white…

Thank you for watching and should you have any questions, tips or remarks, please leave a comment below.

5 thoughts on “Who’s afraid of white …

  1. Tracy says:

    These are great! When I make a background that I like as it is I tend to just leave it as it is. I also take photos of ones I particularly like and work on the copies. That way you don't ruin the background you like 🙂
    Have fun with your next set of white pages.


  2. Monique says:

    Thanx, Tracy, that's a great idea. I will try that. I guess it wouldn't be exactly the same (missing some texture and interaction with previous layers), but it would be close enough to play and get ideas =)


  3. hope says:

    your getting some fab textures. must try this i feel a bit stuck at the moment.


  4. Monique says:

    Thank you, hope =) and yes it's a great way to get unstuck and just start playing again.


  5. sara j says:

    I have several pages in my journals that other people may see as background, but to me they are good just the way they are and so that's how I leave them. Sometimes I might go back and write a quote or a sentence that strikes me later, but sometimes not. The splotch that turned into the bird and the tree and the perch made me smile. I too, love that when it happens. I like your page with the warm colors and the black more around the edges…
    Fun to see so many pages


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