PB AJ – made a page


Well, a few things to mention,

First, I have to wonder if the paper bags are too thin.  I’m not entirely sure how well they will stand up to loads of paint and ink.  The first clue was brushing on the Gesso.  It was hard to get good coverage.  As the brush pulled the paper bag paper it wrinkle and shifted.  OK, when the Gesso DRIED it seemed a lot more stable a surface, and I suspect with both sides covered it will be even better. but it is a worry.  I did find that spreading the Gesso with an old gift card worked great and will do that on all future pages



I spent quite a bit of time cutting up old magazines, thinking back to things I’ve seen, work I admired.  But really, is my goal to mimic some other person’s style?  Do I really want to be a poor imitation of Teesha Mooore?  Perhaps not.



While I am not opposed to using TECHNIQUES I’ve seen, I am more interested in my pages being, well, MINE.  For example I did a technique I had seen, perhaps in one of the Interweave videos, perhaps on You Tube, but DEF. from JournalArtista, where she painted then laid on a stencil (or in my case, sequin waste) and rubbed away the still wet paint to leave the Gesso (or in my case the background layer of already dried paint).  Def. wanting to play with this a bit more – I have an idea….



What is the thing I hope has come across as the one thing I totally love?  Well, fonts of course.  I figured that as long as I had cut up all those magazines, and since there was a LOT of text I might as well figure out a way to use it.



Lots of layers, stamping, painty play, etc.  and the writing is around the edges – that appeals to me and might be my unifying element.  There is plenty of space and isn’t to focus of the page.  At this point that is what I am comfortable with.



And of course I didn’t miraculously fall in love with my own chicken-scratch handwriting overnight so…

I am also a little concerned about the machine stitching.  I did say I feared it might not hold and I am trying to decide if I should make use of a new tool (Japanese book drill with 6 different tips – kinda like an Anywhere Punch but without the need for a hammer) and go ahead and sew the signatures as well as having them machine stitched.  Still dithering about that – might give it a few more pages as so far it seems to be OK but I don’t want it to slip past the point of repair without me realizing.

It was enjoyable.  But I fear I am over-thinking it.  The whole process needs to be a bit more….medatative, I think.  Problem is I have so much on my mind I am flying off in 20 directions at once.  Maybe this will help me focus on one thing at a time and really think it thru.  That can only be a good thing, right? Hummm. We’ll see….

Now, I went back to a font site I haven’t been to in YEARS and found a whole load of fun new ones so I may just have to switch gears and play with them for a bit…

9 thoughts on “PB AJ – made a page

  1. MaryAnn, I’m wondering if maybe covering the stitching with the GESSO as you do the pages will be enough to strengthen the stitching. Or maybe go over the stitching with just a swipe of clear medium.

    I love that you are finding your style through this process. Trust your HEART, not the voices. Creative Blessings!

  2. Hi UK Mary Ann, I think I must have missed an earlier blog because I don’t seem to be able to figure out the context of your project. Or perhaps you are just practicing and playing with new techniques. I do very much like the page you are showing. Would love to know how you built this page. Keep it up.

    I do have another question…where can I look up what gelli prints are and how to make a ‘plate’?

    Thanks. -Sandy

    Sent from my iPad by Sandy


  3. Where do you find sequin waste?

    • There is a local fabric store that sells it off a HUGE reel in maybe three colours and for sure two different size holes. Apparently there are other local ladies who use it a lot and he stocks it due to the demand.



  4. I feel an essay coming on…get your tipple of choice and some food, this could be long…or not…lets see where this takes me.

    I have spent the past month assessing myself. My style, my artwork, am I distinguishable from the rest, my likes, my dislikes, what makes me tick, when I pin to Pinterest, why do I like it…etc, etc, etc!

    It turns out that I am a chameleon. I can make what ever I see on line or in books or mags. I can copy a style to a T and even though I don’t do the same design, it looks like their style.

    I am now in the process of trying to make stuff that looks like ME. But the problem in the crafting world is that you are always using someone else’s stamp or stencil, inks or paints and it comes out looking like a generic. It comes down to HOW you use their stuff.

    Each designer we buy from has a signature style. Dyan Revely, Wendy Vecchi, Tim Holtz, Donna Downey and the rest. I can immediately picture their stuff in my head as I say the name. Say my name and a whole lot of hodge-podge comes to mind with nothing specifically standing out as my style.

    Take Finnabair for though. She uses Tims ideaology and dies as well as Prima stuff and then some paints from some other manufacturer, who’s name escapes me right now. She has found a way to use all their stuff and make it look like her own. It is her layout and grouping as well as her colours that makes me able to see her stuff anywhere on the net and recognise it as hers. She has now come out with her own range of stencils, stamps and embellies with Prima, so now she too has her own personal line and look. I don’t aim to get to that level, but designing my own stuff for me to use at home, seems to be the way to go. This way it is all mine and no other influence can be seen.

    I think ultimately it is about combining techniques learned from others in a way that makes it our own.

    I like your chicken scratch writing, it is personal to you and really makes it YOURS.

    Good luck on this mission…I am on it with you.

    • YES! This is all so very true. One way that I try to get to my OWN style is to use things that are unique to me – making my own stamps and stencils for example, so that MY tools look different to what is commercially available. I can copy a style too, up to a point, but then I tend to head off in some other directions. Like if I am watching a YouTube video, of a piece of art from start to finish. There ALWAYS comes a point when I think “Why did they do THAT? I would have done THIS instead” THAT is what I want to identify – that tipping point is what (I think) is the key to my own style. Part of the benefit of reproducing a style is to learn the technique. Once you know HOW to achieve something you can take the next step and make that something your own.

      I took an Interweave class that was fab – Paint, Print, Layer, Collage. What I loved about it was all the tips she gave for bringing what she calls “personal imagery” to your work. Some of the things she suggests are to scan and print out your own work and reuse it (so make an AJ page, print it maybe resized, then cut it up to use it completely different on another page) and making Thermofax screens for printing from images. The same thing can be done by making a stencil from something you’ve done. That way, even if you use the same technique your core IMAGE is going to be totally unique to you. I love that. So if you are setting out on a journey to create personal imagery, I would say grab the download – when I bought it it was on sale and I don’t think it cost me more that £6. It was just eye-opening and crystalized the reason WHY I spend so much time making my own versions of things and tweaking them to fit my likes. I mean circles, fine, everyone has some sort of circle stamp/stencil right? But how can I make one, playing with the placement, the “shape” (wonky circle? true circle?) sizes (same or varied?) etc so that circles tool speaks to me, of me?

      I think the access we now have to all the resources of the Web makes it so HARD not to be influenced. How can you balance the desire to learn with the influence even seeing an photo briefly in say a Google image search display or Instagram or Flickr gallery will burn into your subconscious? And what to do when when you then create, step back and go “Oh crumbs! That looks just like xxx!”

      Thorny issues, indeed. Thanks for the comment – it was certainly food for thought!


  5. It’s really hard to slow down when your mind is racing a thousand miles an hour, but sometimes that is needed. Changing courses may slow you down a bit, but I don’t see that happening with you.

    I have to agree that I also want my art to reflect ME, not someone else. One time two of my art friends and I got together and made tags. My friend wanted us to make some TH tags and wanted them to be exactly like he made his. I can’t do that, even after she bought all the things needed to make a specific tag. I believe in creating things that are meaningful to me, even if it’s a tag, something I would NEVER choose to play with on my own. So I totally understand and agree with your thoughts on that.

    I LOVE your Just Play advice, too!!

    • Thanks to your comments here, I’ve found your blog and Email subscribed. I love when I find new artists through networking. Creative Blessings!

Thanks for dropping by. I hope you found something interesting and welcome your feedback. If you ask a question, and don't add your email, do either subscribe to replies or check back. I try to answer every question if I can. Cheers!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.