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Interesting art journal technique – mask stamping

Once again, I’ll begin with the page and then tell you how I got there:

I’ll show it bigger at the end. I was looking at the page from yesterday and it was kinda a hot mess. No, that isn’t really right. I find that sometimes a large, close up photo of a page has a different impact than a more distance shot, with a little bit of breathing room around it. In any case, all the dark made me want to do a light and airy page. I decided to give myself a bit more space too – the problem with the junk journal is the pages are half-A4 size. Not huge. That’s fine for experiments, and two side by side pages equal A4, but I have maybe 10 pages (single sides) in my old paper bag journal and I was keen to finish it up. So I slapped on a bit of gesso at night so when I got to my desk in the AM it was dry and ready to go.

I began with some watercolours. Not my thing. My sister will remember gifting me a set of watercolours, goodness, 30+ years ago and me telling her Thanks, but no thanks. Shockingly ungrateful, I know. Anyway, I have gained a little more of an appreciation for them. I’m not GOOD at using them (YET) but playing with them is fun. The flowy, watery colour is different than even heavily watered down acrylic paint is.

Hard to tell, maybe, but this page is on the back of a page where I stuck a gel print that was on firmer cardstock. Can you see the defined edges of it? I grabbed another one of the circular masks, from the same set as yesterday and masked off with gesso. It was pretty insipid. You can kinda see it in the upper right corner below.

I also used my ink minis to stamp a bit of text and bits of the butterfly – a very old stamp but still a good ‘un. Then I had an idea. I liked the cascading foliage effect so I thought I could ink the back of the mask and use it as a stamp. I inked it with Versafine cause it was a juicy pad and stayed damp long enough for me to clean up the frame edges and still be able to stamp

Not rocket science, but when I tried it, the effect was…different that I expected. It had an almost ghost-print effect, not solid at all. And I had brayered over the mask to try to get the best contact I could.

The strange sketchy-ness of it was interesting. The brayer makes the mask skip about a little, so you get a slightly off double print. I really want to play with it more – I suspect it might give a different effect if I used the OTHER side of the mask – knowing stencils have distinct side, one being more smooth, I suspect this was the more rough side. I picked the side that matched the masking I had already done, which would have been, by default, the less flat side, if you follow my logic! Anyway, I inked and stamped (brayered) the mask on the page.

I like it!

Not perfect so far as placement, but no matter. I stamped the butterfly and coloured it with some purchased-but-never-used Lidl art supplies, watercolour pencils and markers, and aged it slightly with Old Paper distress ink.

Then back to my little text stickers to compose some words of wisdom to myself. 2021 is the year I push negativity to the side – it’s a battle, one I do NOT always win, but after a good 60 years of viewing the world as glass-half-empty, I hope I can be forgiven for taking a bit of time to accomplish that.

Perhaps a little cheerleader-y, maybe too much so? Or is it just my negativity, bleeding thru?

{sigh} It’s a challenge.