Art Journal: Fly


Golden heavy body acrylics, airbrush colors, machine stitching, gellyroll, Uniball marker, ephemera, japanese washi papers, Caran D'Ache Neocolor II wax crayons.

In early 2012 I started with a hardback book and transformed it into an art journal. These are pages from what I call The Noticing Journal. It contains my messiest, most paint-filled journal pages EVER. In this journal, I focus on simple ideas that I might otherwise overlook or forget to document. The journal has been through so much that it has literally fallen apart. Having loose art journal pages {or pages that have fallen out of a journal or altered book} is a wonderful opportunity! Before stitching or binding the pages or gluing them back inside, you can take the chance to sew them with a sewing machine!

After I’d painted blues and whites and the pages had dried {this takes up to a few days, depending how much paint... dry to the touch is not dry to the core}, I decided to attach two things with stitches. I attached the photograph of my daughter using a zig zag stitch. The print is from my Polaroid PoGo Printer, by the way. It has a nice retro feel and a peel-off sticky back. {PS. When I bought the PoGo it was under $50, and so perhaps they've updated the functionality because now it's more expensive.} Then I used a straight stitch to attach a paper I’d dotted with neon acrylics. If you don’t have a machine, you can hand stitch metallic embroidery floss around a photo to add interesting texture to the page.

As I worked, I thought about what I wanted the page to symbolize. The key was the swing. I still find it difficult to come up with words to write. And remember, no rules! But I "like" having at least a few words on my pages. One trick I use is to find something on the page to focus my attention. So I wrote about my daughter’s lifelong love of playground swings. I considered stamping the word FLY with alpha stamps but envisioned something larger with movement to echo the word and the photograph. I painted the word FLY directly on top of the hand-painted paper on the left in bubble gum pink.