Visual Journal Page 4: To My Husband

Visual Journal Page 4-To My Husband

As I worked through my three books, traditions began falling into place. First, came the quote at the start of the book. A way to set the tone for the pages to come. Next, came the dedication to my book. The final page, a space for me to acknowledge the sacrifice and inevitable change in meaning for the book being used. By the time I settled into my third book, I began using the layout of the book as another source of inspiration for my pages.

As I worked through the first few pages of this book, I found myself on the original dedication page. The author of “Early American Dedication” had a simple, yet powerful dedication: “To my husband.” An entire page with blank space made the single line even more meaningful, “To my husband.” The sense of a strong marriage, support, love, care, and encouragement resonated off the page. I made an immediate connection with the three word sentence, and suddenly felt a sense of comradery with the author.

As I approach my 5 year wedding anniversary, and 10 year dating anniversary, I feel a strong set of emotions. When I turn 29 I will have already spent almost a third of my life with the man I plan to spend the rest of my life with. At a young 19 I unknowingly met my match. A lot of changes take place between the ages of 19 and practically 30. The years of care-free, irresponsible, fun moved towards the first very broke years of being on your own. As you transition to your mid-twenties the inevitable first life crisis approaches, in the newly coined and very real quarter life crisis. Marriage, talks of children, and more responsibilities are added. I’m still a year and a half from thirty, but I am already terrified of what it means to be thirty. Thirty means real adulthood and real responsibility.

Through many major life changes, difficult transitions, and amazing amount of fun, my main constant has been my Nick. Together we have grown up and grown closer as we dealt, and continue to deal, with the realty of adulthood and the inevitable bumps along the way. A lot happens in the course of ten years, and I still feel just as connected to him today as I did when we first started dating.  I can’t wait for him to get home after work each day. He is the first person I tell exciting news, disappointments, frustrations, and ridiculous stories I read on the internet. I can’t imagine life without him.

As I worked through art school, exhausted myself trying to stay afloat my first years teaching, and as I explore new career options as a working educator and wanna be working artist, he has always been right by my side providing the encouragement I need. When I joke about quitting my full time job, and tells me to do it. He tells me we will find a way to make it work, because he wants me to be happy in whatever I am pursuing. When I look back at my income and expenses for my part time, working artist job, and realize despite a ton of hard work and successful shows, only a tiny profit was made, he points out how great it is that I am in the “black” my first year. He is the positive voice whispering in my ear, counteracting the negative voices in my head.

Nick makes me feel like I can accomplish whatever I want. He gives me the confidence I need to take the first step and try something new. After thinking back on all he has done for me, and how we have only grown stronger through the years, I realized this book also needed a simple dedication with endless meaning behind the words… To my husband.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • Xacto knife
  • Laser printer
  • Laser printed image
  • Mod podge
  • Water
  • Old book pages

HOW TO

When I decided to keep the original dedication as a part of my visual journal page, the design came together fairly easy. I had a wedding photo I loved, and it was perfectly cropped with us positioned on the left hand side of the frame, leaving space to allow the original text to show through. To start the visual journal page, I printed the picture on a laser printer. I opted to do a mod podge image transfer, and reversed the image before printing it, because mod podge transfers create a mirror image of the original.

Once I had the image printed, I pulled other pages from my visual journal book to use as the base to transfer my image on. While I still planned to incorporate the original text, I decided I still wanted other text to show through the image. By completing the transfer on a separate sheet of paper, then gluing it back into the book, it also keeps the pages flatter, and less wrinkled, after it dries. I painted two layers of mod podge on the image, allowing them to dry between layers, then added a third layer, and while the mod podge was still wet, I laid it face down on the book pages. I allowed the mod podge to dry a third time, then wet the back of the image and rubbed the paper off. The end result is a semi-transparent image. To read more about mod podge transfers check out another post here.

After the mod podge transfer was complete, I laid the page on top of the original dedication page, and marked where the “To my husband” text was. Using an Xacto knife I cut through the page with the mod podge transfer, allowing the text to show through. I used rubber cement to glue the mod podge transferred pages on top of the dedication page.

Through the mod podge transfer process the edges of the image became a little messy. To cover this up, and create a more complete looking page, I ripped up and glued down pieces of paper from an old, discolored book and another print out of the original image. When doing a mod podge transfer details often become fuzzy. I loved the lace at the bottom of my wedding dress, and decided I wanted to re-emphasize it. To do this I printed another copy of out wedding picture, ripped the bottom and top of the picture, and lined it up with the mod podge transfer. I used rubber cement to glue it down. To further emphasize the dedication, I added another section from the picture and old book pages beneath the line of text.

CHALLENGE

Create a visual journal page dedicating your book to someone supportive of your ventures in life.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and read today’s post. Help me spread the word about my blog and visual journals in general by sharing with others on your social networking site of choice. Thanks for stopping by!


 

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Visual Journal Page 3: The Wrong Way Down a One Way Street

Visual Journal Page 3- The Wrond Way

Pre-planning had officially begun. Another summer passed by in the blink of an eye, it was time to go back to the grind. It was the start of my third year teaching high school art. I couldn’t believe two years had already passed. I had survived, so far, with only a few hiccups along the way.

The start of this year felt different than the rest. I suddenly felt like a veteran. For the most part, I knew what to expect. I recognized at least half of the names on my roster, I knew what I needed to accomplish in the week before students arrived, I already knew what my project timeline was for the entire year. However, despite a new feeling of confidence, there was something else brewing underneath.

I already felt exhausted. Not even two days had passed in the school year, and I wasn’t sure I would make it to the end. Two years of begging for supplies, tripping over backpacks and students in my 35+ student classes, dealing with unnecessary meetings, testing, and other complete wastes of time. Despite my attempts to find another job the previous year, I was returning to my school, my classroom, and the same issues.

I wasn’t sure I could deal with it all again. I wasn’t sure I could make it to January, only to find myself scouring job listings, sending in applications, going on interviews, only to be let down once again. This was not what I had planned for this school year.

I envisioned the start of something new. A closet full of supplies, a classroom with a reasonable number of students, everyone is happy, everyone loves art, everyone works hard. Wishful thinking, I know, but I wanted to love my job, and this school would be the end of my art education career, not the driving force behind it.

However, here I was, standing in my classroom once again, and the only thing I could do was get back to planning and make the most of a disappointing situation. It felt like driving the wrong way down a one way street.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Mod Podge
  • Scissors
  • Paint brush
  • Water
  • Old book pages
  • High quality magazine iamge
  • Black paper
  • Silver sharpie

HOW TO

One day, while flipping through a National Geographic, my favorite source for high quality images, I found this interesting image of a car driving towards an obviously flooded road. It appeared as though the water was closing in behind the car, but there was nothing for the car ahead of them, only more water. It made no sense, they seemed stuck in an impossible situation, yet there they were, persevering.

I felt like there had to be more to this picture. An inspirational story, a devastating circumstance. It peaked my interest, and I ripped it out and added it to my visual journal folder.

A few months later, the perfect page came along for this picture. I was starting another school year with a less than positive attitude. While flipping through my visual journal folder, I discovered it once again, and felt it summed up my situation. I was stuck, just like the car, driving to an inevitable end. Whether that end was a new career, a new school, or yet another new year, I had no idea, but I had to continue moving forward to find out.

I wanted to put focus on the image, so I opted to create a neutral background by layering ripped up book pages. I used rubber cement to glue the pieces down. Once I had a solid collaged layer, I created a mod podge transfer of the car picture, which created a semi-transparent image. To create a mod podge transfer read the instructions here.

After the transfer was complete, I glued a strip of black construction paper gong across both pages. This created a space to include text, which I wrote out using a silver sharpie.

CHALLENGE

Create a page about a time in your life when you were stuck in a rut.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog. Help me spread the word about visual journals by sharing with others. I couldn’t do it without you!


 

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Visual Journal Page 2: Some Things Make Me Wonder…

Visual Journal Page 2-Some Things Make Me Wonder

I loved the book I chose as the base for this visual journal. “Early American Decoration.” The book was filled with off colored pages, interesting fonts, pictures, and had a sturdy cover and binding. I couldn’t wait to start filling the pages.

As I moved from the first page to the second, I realized two of the pages were stuck together. I immediately assumed rubber cement or Mod Podge had leaked from the previous page, causing the pages stick. As usual, I ran my fingers between the pages, expecting them to easily separate; but, they didn’t budge.

I took a closer look and realized the page was actually one large piece of paper that had been folded in half, then both edges were attached to the binding. I could see between the pages, but without ripping the pages apart, there was no way to separate them. This combined page made no sense, and served no purpose. With the exception of one other page buried towards the back of the book, every other page was your standard, single sheet, run of the mill, book page.

I had plans for this page, but had to push them back to the next one. I needed to make a visual journal page about this strange part of my book. I had to put my confusion down on paper, some things just make me wonder… why?

SUPPLIES

  • Visual Journal
  • Rubber Cement
  • Scissors
  • Book page paper
  • Magazine image
  • Gesso
  • Water
  • Paintbrush
  • Sharpie
  • Xacto knife

HOW TO

When I decided to make a visual journal page about the oddity of my book, I knew I had to emphasize the double page. To do this, I cut a rectangle out of the first page using an Xacto knife. I then flipped through magazines looking for a light bulb. I finally found this image of multiple hanging light bulbs, and knew it would be perfect. I carefully cut around the shapes using scissors and an Xacto. When I placed it inside the rectangle cut out, I realized the text competed too much with the light bulbs. To help tone down the background I painted watered down gesso inside the rectangle.

Once the gesso dried I glued the light cut out using rubber cement. To help the image flow from the left to the right, and to create a space to include words, I glued down ripped up book pages. To finish it off I added the text with sharpie.

CHALLENGE

Create a visual journal page about a situation you just couldn’t figure out. It can be as simple as a drawer that won’t hope or as complex as a relationship that just doesn’t seem to work.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help be spread the word by sharing with others. I couldn’t do it without you. Thanks for stopping by!


 

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Encaustic Art: Exploring Mixed Media and Carving Wax

Panetta_1

For the past three years I have dabbled in the world of encaustic art. I began incorporating it into sections of my mixed media paintings, and slowly it became my primary medium. I have learned so much in the last three years, how to achieve smooth surfaces, how to manipulate the layers, and most recently, how to incorporate carving into my designs.

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As I began working with encaustic, I primarily focused on black and white paintings of singular objects on top of collaged layers and encaustic medium. A water tower from my years living in Athens, ginkgo leaves from the tree at my Atlanta home, and images of chickens, among many other things, began finding their way into my works of art. I realized each of these objects represented a different piece of my past and present. They were self-portraits through objects, small snippets of the memories that make me up.

Panetta_3

As I began exploring the concept of self-portraits and representing memories further, I realized specific objects would immediately come to mind as I reminisced on certain events and moments in my past. Likewise, when I saw certain objects, memories would begin flooding back. These fleeting images in my mind became the basis for my newest works of art, objects carved out of colored wax, revealing the collaged layers in the background.

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The lines and shapes of the objects are mimicked in the background, making them feel like one. The carving out of the objects, creating a negative space, represents the fleeting images that come to mind as memories are processed. I want the objects to almost feel temporary as the viewer looks at them.

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Perhaps my favorite part of my recent artistic journey, is hearing how my images have also brought memories back to the viewers who see them. As they take in the lines, shapes, and colors, they tell me how their grandfather used to have a camera like that, or how they used to live on a farm. Their stories intertwine with my own, and continue to inspire these encaustic works of art.

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Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word about my art by sharing with others. Link over to your social networking site of choice! Thanks for stopping by.


 

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Crafted Westside Holiday Pop Up Shop

pop up shp

With three arts and crafts festivals, a donation to a benefit, my artwork at Crafted Westside full time, and my actual full time job, teaching, I decided I didn’t have enough to do in the month of November. To help alleviate my boredom, and I think in a moment of madness on my part, I decided to jump on board with a pop up shop through Crafted Westside at the adorable Westside Provisions, next to J. Crew and behind Yeah! Burger.

The pop up shop will run this Friday, November 21st, through December 24th. It is an amazing opportunity to check out the talented artists at Crafted Westside, at a new location. Despite having moments of feeling overwhelmed, I am excited to be a part of the venture with Crafted. It will help the artists and store gain exposure, and provide yet another space for holiday shopping.

At the shop I will have items available both at the pop up shop and Crafted, as well as a few new additions only available at the pop up. Check out my pottery below, and don’t forget to check out the shop, located at 1100 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA 30318.

Joe-MugsMy “joe” mugs will be at the pop up shop as well as Crafted Westside. At the pop up shop I will have them in blue and green, check out Crafted for a wider variety of glaze colors.

Decorative BowlI used to do playful patterns using underglaze, but set the techniques aside to try new things. I had an extra bowl laying around, and decided to try my hand at whimsical patterns once again. A few more additions in a similar style may be coming soon!

Hydrangea BowlI love decorating my larger, wheel thrown bowls with clay flowers. This bowl is covered in clay hydrangeas, and is glazed with beautiful blue/green and celadon glazes.

Doily BowlsMy doily bowls will be making an appearance at Crafted Westside and the pop up shop. A serving bowl and three matching cereal/soup bowls are available at the pop up. A wider variety of options are available at Crafted.

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My flower mugs will also be available at both Crafted and the pop up shop. A wider variety of color options are available at both!

Slip Cast Bowl Set

 

I am finally trying my hand at slip casting, and my first completed pieces are these wheel thrown bowls, decorated with slip cast pieces. Leaves, flowers, parts of squids, and jellyfish decorate the rims of these bright colored bowls

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In addition to my pottery, I will also have my matted letter prints available at both Crafted and the pop up. At only $15.00 each, they are an easy, personalized gift to grab.

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Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word by sharing with others through the many social networking sites listed below. I couldn’t do it without you. Thanks for stopping by!


 

 

 

 

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