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Friday, 20 March 2015

Compiling a Masonite Album Part 1 of 3

I have talked a lot about masonite albums for art journaling and scrapbooking in previous blogs. In the next three blogs I am going to show you how to bring it all together. But let's first recap what has already been covered:
At this stage we have a lovely album and a number of loose pages that need to be slipped into the album. This is not tricky, but I would like to give you a few tips on compiling the album that will assist in improving the visual experience. In this first blog, we concentrate on the front cover and the first page.

I am working on the album that I decorated with tea bags on the outside and wish to carry that theme a little further into the first page. For this reason I choose to paint both the back of the front cover, as well as the first page with Acrylic Raw Sienna, which compliments the colour of the tea bags. The first page is also the back of a page I had done previously and discussed in a blog called Mixed Media on Paper. I have already treated the page with two layers of gesso. If you do not want to risk working directly on the back of another page, you can always glue two pages together. More about that in the next blog. I used a brush with stiff bristles to apply the Raw Sienna and disregarded all rules, painting in different directions. This will assist in creating the impression of distressed age on the surface. I allow both the board and the paper to dry before continuing.

I have a rather long poem to add the back of the album cover and I jot this down first to ensure that I will have enough space to fit everything in. I use a Pigma Micron 01 Pen with Sepia ink for the journaling. Here is a copy of the poem I added:
(translated from the Afrikaans Outeur)

I, Author, abduct you to take a journey with me
along the highway of my mind, where I force you
to comprehend my understanding, experience my emotions and
support my priorities, you my hijacked passenger.

We travel along roads of hope and hopelessness, love and hate –
we linger at  God and Abuse, pause at Social Responsibility,
visit Humour and  rush past Politics and History.
I don’t ask for your opinion and don’t visit your acquaintances – only I matter here.

And when I am done, you disembark from my bus, but I live on in your thoughts and
you transform me into something I never intended to be, until eventually
I fit comfortably in a space in your mind, where you turn me into yourself.
But sometimes you depart before I grow quiet and discard me like yesterday’s rubbish.

I, Author, can never leave myself behind to be discovered
by you who follow me, because you who follow me are searching
for yourself, and not for me, and I am turned into a mote leading unto yourself.
And so I die at the end of every sentence and this dot becomes my grave.

I had these perfectly beautiful stickers in stock and could not resist adding some of my favourite things in life. You will note that the paper has become very crumpled. Don't get overly excited about this. If it really bugs you, you can iron it flat by placing it under a towel or folded cloth. Otherwise, you can simply wait for it to straighten on its own once its in the album. There is no reason why it shouldn't recover well.

I used a permanent marker to add some decorative twirls and swirls and flowers to the designs.

I chose a second colour in a permanent marker and, using a ruler, I drew some half-frames around the stickers. I love the combination of contrasting formal and informal lines.

A friend had sent me something from the Netherlands a few years back and these flowers formed part of the packaging of one of the items in the parcel. As is my habit, they were cut out and retained for future use. They seemed to be perfect for the designs and I attached them with double-sided tape.

It was time to add a poem to this page as well. Being a short poem, I was able to wait until now to decide where to fit it on the page. I used the same Pigma Micron 01 pen to add the journaling. This is the poem I added:
In the dead of the night quiet reigns
and stillness settles on the living.
Loneliness rises from its slumber
and subdues every creature to its bidding.
Its beastly bravado punishes harshly
with blow after blow of self-pity
and the meek and the mindless
seek selfless and soulless
to be part of a bigger belonging.
This is what the double spread looks like when I was finished.

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