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Swapping For Inspiration

10 Mar
artistic journal

Smash Art Journal

Mail Art Wrapping

I know swapping sounds like “shopping”, but it’s not.  This is less expensive and more fun.  For fun, I began swapping art with a couple of artistic friends in other states.  Receiving artwork from friends in the mail has been just as exciting as sending things back to them.  One of these friends sent me some collage pieces and a mini scrap journal you can see in the picture above.  She calls them “Smash” journals because they include whatever comes in the mail or whatever paper she comes across during her week.  They are filled with common everyday items, such as advertisements, tags and junk mail, but then she took it one step further and added gesso, acrylic paint, stamps and collage on various pages.  She kept with a yellow and purple theme and did a great job.  The second photo is a collage sheet she used to wrap up the journal for shipping.  Doing creative swaps can add new ideas for your own art.  If you are looking to join a swap you will find some in yahoo groups.  Other places you may find artists willing to swap would include your own local art guild, church or local college or university.  Swapping can inspire you creatively, give it a try.

Mixed Media Art Journal: How to Make a 3-D Cover

30 Nov
Spiral Journal Cover made with shells, drift wood, leaves and feathers

Shells, drift wood, leaves and feathers adorn this Art Journal cover by Katie Turner.

I find it invigorating to switch to a different medium once in a while.  It seems to help keep my art fresh.  My art journal is where I can do that.  Actually, I keep several journals and use certain ones for watercolor ideas, other ones for mixed media ideas and even one for business ideas.  The picture above is the front cover of a Mixed Media journal.  I made this into a three-Dimensional cover by using shells, drift wood, leaves and feathers I found at the beach.  Using found objects is a great way to remember a special trip or event.

To make one of your own, follow these steps:

  1. Find a sturdy cover to use as a base. If it’s too flimsy, it won’t hold up to paint or epoxy.
  2. Paint cover. I used a deep red acrylic.
  3. Clean the shells and wood with bleach and let dry several days.
  4. Cut and layer several different textures and colors of paper for center piece.
  5. Place all items in a pleasing arrangement before mixing the epoxy.
  6. Mix epoxy and pour onto items and page. Remember to protect other pages with plastic and work in a well ventilated area.  My favorite product for this is Envirotex Lite.
  7. Sprinkle glitter and beads into center area. Let dry several days or until it’s not tacky.