Black and me and scrapbooking have been a team for a very long time. First it was bits of black used as a design technique to enhance other colours on a page. Once familiar with using black as a design element I wanted more black. I needed to use black on a larger scale. Onward and in full swing the dynamic impact of black paired with photos or used as a background for a scrapbook layout became present in many of my designs just because I like black that much!
But, now looking back black could have also been used as a signifying colour of mood and healing along my art journey. When I look at my work, objectively and over time, I can see emotion and moods expressed through colour and design and with black especially. I cannot ignore this aspect of self-expression in creativity.
I first came upon mixed-media artist Renee Stien when her paper and canvas bouquet jumped through my screen filling up my heart and eyes with pure joy and excitement. Paper, flowers, scraps, paint, pens and a quote on a canvas would easily transfer into my scrapping world. My creativity was set in motion almost instantly. Renee’s mixed-media techniques are easily transformed into a mixed-media scrapbook layout.
So much of what I do with art and craft crosses over into scrapbooking. Sewing, embroidery, painting and mixed-media show up in layouts and keepsakes because as I embrace art techniques more and on a deeper level as I learn new skills I can’t help myself but to experiment with them on my scrapbook pages.
Doodling with a pen is a recent art technique introduced onto the scrapbook layout. Although as scrapbookers we have be writing with pens in recording what is known as “journaling” (writing the story) the art of free flowing doodles and mark-making has recently made its presence with memory keeping. As an artist it is easier to embrace memory keeping with different mediums since the familiarity with materials easily flow onto a scrapbook page. Experience with artist materials and techniques makes for an easy transition when memory keeping in the scrapbookers arena - you already know how materials will react with paper.
For me coming from a background as scrapbook artist first it has been a very long and slow journey in giving myself permission to experiment with artist’s materials on my pages. Bit by bit I am letting go of control and allowing myself to experiment with mixed-media in scrapbooking.
Yes there has been a huge influx of mixed-media materials introduced into the scrapbooking world but I for one am a timid crafter when it comes to using a paintbrush or spraying anything!
Rolling and tearing paper are nothing new to my years of working with and manipulating paper on my scrapbook layouts. I almost always work in layers and have what is known as 3D pages versus the standard flat layout.
Renee’s technique intrigued me enough to experiment and create my own version of her designs and I even used a stencil and some paint combined with experimental doodling. Allowing flower designs to surface as they wished rather than controlling the outcome to create a ‘perfect’ or realistic flower shape has empowered me to let go further while creating.
As I let my pen draw the petals in Renee’s style and with the guidance of her step by step tutorial I was delighted to discover what flower shapes needed expression from within me and I let them bloom spontaneously. It was hard at first when I saw the elongated oddly-shaped petals but almost immediately I decided to let myself go with it to see what my imagination could stir up. The more of these petals I doodled the more company each flower had and the more I wanted to see them surface.
Lately I have been learning if I continue with an idea that surfaces the more I repeat it the more inclusive and central it becomes to the piece. That is what self-expression is all about - seeing what comes up and out of me and allowing it to flow freely.
Thanks Renee for the journey into your mixed-media world inspiring me to continue experimenting in my scrapbooking world in a new way.