THE TOPIC IS:
PEELING BACK THE LAYERS
THE TECHNIQUE IS:
AND THE JOURNALING PROMPTS ARE:
WHAT'S UNDERNEATH? & WHAT MAKES YOUR HEART SING?
But first, a word from Susie about "Why all the focus on technique if this is a process-driven practice?!"
1. PEELING BACK THE LAYERS
We are multi-layered beings.
I remember once, in my mid-twenties, attending a poetry reading with one of my best friends, my former college roommate. Unbeknownst to me, she was planning on reading several of her poems that night. At some point she got up and read about six poems. They were earth-shatteringly beautiful. I was flabbergasted. I knew she was an English major and even a high school English teacher. But a poet? A heart-stoppingly gorgeous wordsmith? I had no idea at all. She had never shared even one poem with me in all the years I had known her.
Even to our closest friends we don't show every part of ourselves.
My whole view of that friend changed that night, and today, 30 years later, only rarely has she shared that layer with me...but I do know it's there.
What about you? What layers do you bring to the surface and what do you keep under cover? This week, I want you to work in that realm. When you approach your journal pages, hold this question in your heart: What layer can I uncover today?
What's on the surface? What do we show others? What do we see when we look at our own reflections? Do we really see ourselves?
Surface...skin...how does our skin feel to the touch? Is it hardened, calloused? Is it sensitive? Does the hard stuff roll right off it or soak in? Is it in pain?
Surface...The outside or upper layer of something.
OUTSIDE • EXTERIOR • VENEER • SUPERFICIAL • OUTWARD • APPARENT • COSMETIC
What lies just below the surface? What is covered and hidden but not by much? What is barely protected from the veneer of your surface layer?
Underneath...that which is hidden; that which is covered; that which is taking cover just underneath the outside layer.
BENEATH • BOTTOM • COVERED • LOWER • NETHER • UNDER • BELOW • BASE • BASEMENT • GROUND • FLOOR • TERRA FIRMA
DEEP DOWN, CORE
What do you find when you uncover your core? What is essentially you? And then, what is down deep, maybe that you don't really want to examine? What are the parts of you that you keep away from the light of day?
Core...The innermost tough or most important part, the center.
BASE • CRUX • ESSENCE • FOUNDATION • HEART • ORIGIN • ROOT • FIBER • DEPTHS • GUTS • INNARDS
What goes on beyond your awareness? What is the inner monologue of which you have no memory? Where does your intuition live? What is your instinct born of? From what vat of memory and imagination are your dreams concocted?
The Subconscious (sometimes called the Unconscious)...The aspect of the mind that is not readily accessible to our conscious awareness and which deeply influences our behavior, thoughts, and dreams.
SUBCONSCIOUS • UNCONSCIOUS
INMOST • INNER • HIDDEN • INTUITIVE • SUBLIMINAL
2. TECHNIQUE: STAMPING
Like collage and painting, stamping is another avenue to creating interesting layers on your journal pages. Don't worry about if you're doing it "right"...just get in there and try things out. Experiment and explore the different effects you can come up with when you combine something textured with paint or ink.
PATTERN, VISUAL TEXTURE, INTEREST, INFORMATION, HIDING, COVERING
Creating backgrounds with stamps is super fun. You can take any kind of stamps at all to do this. Some stamps are background stamps and are patterns designed to be used as visual texture (you can think of them as visual white noise). Try stamping them all over a page, then painting a bit over them, then stamping them some more. Some stamps are images. You can repeat an image over and over on a page and create a background layer that way. Try stamping an image upside down and rightside up to create your pattern. Or leave a blank spot in a page covered with an image. That adds interest. Some stamps are letters. (I, admittedly am a bit obsessed with alphabet stamps and have waaaaay too many to choose from. Not that that's a bad thing!) Anyways, you can use letter stamps to create a background too, the same as you would with an image stamp. Just stamp away. Remember, there are NO rules!
HERE ARE SOME OPTIONS:
Stamp with found objects/surfaces: Use bubble wrap, scrunched up paper towels, old sweaters, corrugated cardboard, things from the hardware store, kitchen utensils, body parts, etc. Use your imagination and share it with us in the Flickr discussion board!
Foam stamps + Paint: You can find foam stamps at thrift stores, art supply stores, online, and home decor stores as well. Foam stamps are great to use with paint. The paint likes to cling to them and makes great impressions. To apply paint to a foam stamp, spread paint out on a palette and with a foam brush, brush an even coat over the stamp. Avoid thick, wet, and/or gloppy paint (this will make for messy impressions). If the paint is overly thick, just stamp it off on a file folder first before applying to your page. To clean foam stamps used with paint: drop in water, scrub with a toothbrush, blot dry and you're done! NOTE: I don't recommend using foam stamps with ink pads because they are sponges and suck up the ink. It's a pain to clean them off. That being said, they certainly can be used with ink, just be aware of the clean up issue.
Rubber stamps + Ink pads: The thing about rubber stamps is that you can get much finer imagery. The depth of detail is greater with rubber than foam. I prefer permanent ink pads because the ink will not wipe off when I use anything wet on it or near it, such as Mod Podge or paint. As you collect stamps, shop the sales, garage sales, and ask your friends. Many folks have collected rubber stamps and don't use them any more! Look for images that resonate with you and make good metaphors for journaling. In general, I avoid "cutesy" but that's a personal choice. Cleaning rubber stamps: I go over cleaning rubber stamps in the following video, but here are two more tips: 1. Make sure you clean your rubber stamps if you use them with more than one color of ink pad in a sitting. 2. Also, make sure you page is dry (paint or mod podge) before stamping with ink pads because the paint can get onto the pads and ruin them.
HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF WAYS I'VE STAMPED ON MY PAGES TO CREATE BACKGROUNDS. CLICKING ON A PICTURE WILL ENLARGE IT. FEEL FREE TO ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT THEM IN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP.
And here's a special bonus quick tutorial on making and using a foam block stamp!
Stamps definitely lend themselves to adding imagery to your pages. I have a large collection of stamps that I've made myself and that I've bought that call out to be used with regularity on my pages. Some of my favorite images are feathers, wings, eyes, and keys. What are some of your favorite symbols? Look for them in stamps when you start collecting.
HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF WAYS I'VE STAMPED ON MY PAGES TO ADD SYMBOLISM. CLICKING ON A PICTURE WILL ENLARGE IT. FEEL FREE TO ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT THEM IN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP.
LETTERS AND WORDS
I love using letters and words in my journal pages as both information (telling the story) and imagery or pattern. You will find more of my pages taken over by stamped words than images.
HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF WAYS I'VE STAMPED ON MY PAGES WITH WORDS. CLICKING ON A PICTURE WILL ENLARGE IT. FEEL FREE TO ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT THEM IN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP.
3. JOURNALING PROMPTS
A JOURNALING PROMPT IS LIKE A LITTLE SHOVEL...IT HELPS YOU DIG UP MATERIAL FOR YOUR PAGES!
Here are Lesson 4's journaling prompts. Remember, using a prompt is always optional. Coming from a place of "I don't know" is always the first goal of art journaling from the heart!