I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

When butterfly met Papillon

Hello all!  I'm dredging up some fairly Ancient History again.  Recently I shared the altered book made during a fabulous weekend workshop with the amazing France Papillon back in November 2014, and in that post I mentioned that we'd done lots of other things with her too and that I'd try to track them down.

Well, by chance, the art journal I grabbed to bring with me to Columbus, Ohio, as part of my travelling stash is the one we got at that workshop and did some experimenting in.  It's the Ranger/Dylusions small journal, 8x5 inches.


While I was playing in it today, I thought I might as well grab some photos of some of the exploring we did over that weekend, so this post has more of what happened when butterfly met Papillon (which is French for butterfly, in case you didn't realise!).  I like some results better than others...






France explained how she often uses her journals just to find out how products will work together, so the early pages were our chance to mess around with some of the sprays and pastes and other toys she'd brought for us to play with.

(The trouble with sharing this now, of course, is that it's making me crave access to the many and varied products I have at home, whereas I've got to make do with my limited Ohio craft kit!)











There's more shimmer around than I'm used to working with, but it made such sense to play in this way - trying out some of my favourite colour combinations but in three different colour mediums over one page spread, and with different finishes.










Whilst I like the mysterious look of some of that shimmer over black gesso, especially with the added texture, it doesn't feel very me.

I'm an occasional user of black gesso, for sure, but in limited amounts, and it usually vanishes under layers and layers of other stuff.






This page spread feels a bit more like a butterfly one - from grass to sky, texture, crackle and text...


This was a chance to create with the products or effects we'd enjoyed the most so far, and I leapt at my often-favoured blue/greens (second only to the blue/browns here at Words and Pictures).






I enjoyed "messing up" the clean edges of the harlequin crackle texture - I think I was going off-piste with that, as is my wont in classes.














I really love the script stencil - might have to track that down and put it on the Christmas wishlist, I think.  And the spattery water droplets in the background do make me very happy.














I find myself quite taken with the level of shimmer here - as you know I love things that catch the light... I'm just not used to so much mica.  










I was in two minds about whether to share this next page - it took me a long way out of my comfort zone and I remain pretty ambivalent about the results.












France set up the process deliberately to take away our control.  On each table of crafters, we had to take it in turns to say what would be the next element added to the page, whether that was to use a specific colour, technique, or even a particular stamp.












As I've just mentioned, I really don't go for black in my crafting very much (it's even rare for me to stamp in black), so I was very resistant when somebody required the addition of the black stencilling.  I do like the spatter though.










We happened to have the lovely Magda Polakow at our table and this little Nina figure had just been released by Stampotique as part of her range of stamp designs.

It's not an image I would usually go for and again I was aware of a crunch of resistance in my spine, but what's a workshop for if not to try new things?  And I do now think she's pretty cute - if still not very me!











Orange is, if anything, even rarer than black here, and I nearly went nuts when I was only allowed to add my fabric texture to one side of the spread, which upsets my sense of balance.  So overall, this page feels a long way off from conventional "butterfly" creativity.  I don't know... what do you think?

Actually the quote on this page is very apt because, in being made to do this, I learned a lot about myself as a crafter.  My heart spoke loudly throughout, and I took good note of its protests for future reference!!









For the next page, France herself called out the stages.  She kept it much vaguer - add texture, add colour with sprays, add some stamping - so it was possible to be both out of control of the process but also make it feel like one's own work.












Given I'm known also as butterfly, and given the workshop was being run by France Papillon, it seemed only right that they should be my featured theme on these pages.














Lots of my other usual suspects are here too - lots of texture, as well as lots of text...












...tissue wrap, lovely inky blues and greens...

(I love these Stampotique hearts, which I do actually own, but they're only rarely inked up - time to change that when I get home eventually.)












... some metal and some book page scraps...

Definitely a good sentiment for the weekend!












And the tiny bright red heart is a deliberate homage to France's own work - she very often uses one as an accent in her beautiful journalling.

Sadly my train home was booked at a time which meant I had to leave before the very last exercise of the day, in which France was making the group create to classical music without any chatting at all - something I'd have loved to do... though, of course, to be honest, it's how I create almost all the time, so it would hardly have been new to me!!









It was an absolute joy to meet France Papillon in person.  She's been a huge inspiration to me online, and the chance to take part in a whole weekend of playing with her was fantastic.

There are some (as yet unfinished) ATCs hanging around somewhere in my craft room from the same workshop.  If I ever get them done, I'll share those too!




Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I'll be back in a few days with the new page spread I've just been working on in this same art journal, and then at some point I hope to catch you up with some more of my real-life travels.  Shanghai (from back in February this year - I'm a long way behind!) should be our next port of call for that, so I'll hope to see you again soon.

The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.
Kahlil Gibran

36 comments:

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Wonderful spreads Alison! Fabulous techniques!
That's the great thing about workshops.. we can integrate the techniques into our own style - at least after a while, when we have assimilated them.
Not all the new things are for us.. but if at least one new technique is brought to our repertoire. ..it's an extension of our own style! I like it when artists have their own unique style but if they don't develop further it gets boring after a while.

Happy week to you !
oxo Susi

Helen said...

It is lovely to see these again - and having just been to Seth Apter's workshop with Paperartsy I am now ready to try anything... can't wait to catch up on your travels (and see your new journal pages!!)

Jane said...

How lovely to see your journal Alison and your play time. I agree coming out of your comfort zone often opens up new thoughts and ideas. However we all go back to creating how we feel comfortable, after all that's our style and I love your style very much indeed. It must be frustrating whilst traveling not to have access to all your lovely stash. Take care xx

Brenda Brown said...

Loved looking through these pages with you and seeing you in and out of your comfort zone, we need to do both at times don't we to feel both challenged and very satisfied with our artistic endeavours? Huge hugs xxx

Astrid Maclean said...

Ha I loved the title of this post and it was wonderful to be witness to your exploration, both in and out of comfort zone. Having said that, by far my favourite (and most you) is the feature one. I also so agree with Susi's first comment, she put it really well.

pearshapedcrafting said...

It's great to see these pages and read of your being led outside of your comfort zone! Workshops, very strangely, can feel like that until, as you are doing here, you reflect on them and then you see the parts that you will (or definitely won't) use! Looking forward to seeing views from your travels! Hope you are getting some 'play' times! Hugs, Chrisx

Hazel Agnew said...

Simply scrumdiddlyumptious! X

craftytrog said...

A lovely look back at that wonderful class with France! Beautiful blues and greens Alison.
Makes me want to play too!
Alison xx

Amanda said...

Great to see your journey it's always great to step off the path we choose to walk along. Great record.
Love
Amanda x

Cestina said...

Oh I love that quote. I hope that remembering what you have back home does not lead you to try and emulate it where you are! You would need more than just one extra suitcase.
xx

chrissie said...

A wonderful post and amazing spread with lots of new ideas to inspire and admire.

Hope all is going well Alison

Love Chrissie xx

Lys Scrap said...

I also love when you experiment outside your comfort zone, Alison. Your journal pages are full of inspiration and thanks for telling us your process all along this workshop.

Redanne said...

It is great to see the processes you used in creating these wonderful pages Alison - both in and outwith your comfort zone! Just in case you have not yet looked for it - the stencil is called 'ART Is' and it is by Crafters Workshop. You have reminded me that I have that one stashed away somewhere safe..... Anne xx

Corrie Herriman said...

Great to see ! I love France's workshops too, she is a fab teacher and a lovely person !
Corrie x

rachel said...

wow alison - this is a real trip down memory lane for you but how nice that you found that journal and was able to remember so much of the workshop - I think if it were me I would have trouble remembering what I did. I think the results are brilliant and I like the idea of different people determining what happens next - thats a very different way to work. I love the shimmer on the black and the black stencilling - hey - we're all different aren't we?? Thankyou so much for your visits today - you are very kind - I do hope you are having fun out there! Big hugs rachel xx

Kay Wallace said...

Just fantabulous, Alison! I especially love how you created the branches from the underlying paper! Wow!

Julia Aston said...

How wonderful to review art work done in the past - we often do it - then file it away and almost forget what we do along the way - just keep moving forward! lovely designs and textures on these pages Alison! Julia xx

brenda said...

I've probably said it before, but I do love the combo of blue and green Alison. Thank you for your kind words.

B x

Sara Barker said...

Wow, that was quite a long time ago! It is so fun to share this trip down memory lane with you, and I can't wait to see what "new" explorations you will enter in your journal. I really do love that butterfly page, though! I can almost picture you cringing when someone called out what do do next on that page! That would be so me! Big hugs!

Paper Profusion said...

Super timing Alison! To be honest, Im not really very into journalling but Im very interested in seeing your gorgeous work and play. I've my first art-journal venture this Saturday - I'm a tad apprehensive really. Hope your work and travels all going very well. Nicola x

Mrs.B said...

Love the butterfly spread, and it's was great to see how you coped out of your comfort zone, sound like a very challenging class for you.
Looking forward to se how this journal progresses with your limited stash.
Avril xx

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Loved seeing your process Alison. I have actually , finally purchased a journal, now I just need time to create in it lol. Love,your pages particularly those turquoise/teal tones. Tracy x

Coco said...

Not really you indeed, but very interesting;
With a profusion of colours, textures, and techniques...
Thank you very much for sharing Alison. I don't know France Papillon myself, but that's true that she has a very lovely name for our ears here in France!
Well, your first spread is the most beautiful one for me, also the most delicate for a butterfly... :D
Hugs, Coco xx

Sue said...

Now this sounds like a fun workshop Alison, and also quite scary at the same time! I like the idea of using the first pages for techniques, it gets you over the 'new journal' syndrome. I do like the little bit of black on your pages, but the blues are much more Alison colours. Try not to think too much about your supplies at home, it'll only make you go to Michaels again xx

Meggymay said...

Awesome journal spreads with wonderful techniques and what a special meeting you must of had.
It was good to see you out of your comfort zone using the cute little figure, she does look so good on the page.
Yvonne xx

Mary Elizabeth said...

I love your 2nd layout. I really like it better than your first one and here's why. You pushed yourself to find "balance" in other ways when you were only able to add the fabric texture to one side. I see balance in color and dimension. I love the "orange" hue that you chose. It is muted and very "vintage-y". I think of it as and orange-tinged brown. (Maybe that will make you feel better about it.) And above all it just plays so well with that lovely vibrant turquoise color. I love the structure of this piece with its "X" make of stenciling (turquoise from top left to bottom right and Black from top right to bottom left). The orange give the viewer 'windows' into the turquoise. Love the way that pulls me into this piece. The black anchors dots anchors it and also give it more that vintage feel. I love the whimsy (and still vintage feel) of the lovely stamped Nina. Really I just keep staring at it and finding more to love. So ... there you are ... eye of the beholder and all. I'm so glad you shared this with us. -- ME

Candy C said...

Alison, I really enjoyed your post and following along your journey in this art journal with France. That experience sounds amazing! I love how she really stretched you guys to create and use colors and things that you would. It normally use. I love what you ended up with! Just beautiful! I also wanted to thank you so much for stopping by my blog. Now that school is back in session, I am hoping to visit blog's more often.

Gio said...

I love to read all your words about the course you attended, the feelings and thought about it. Some experiments are gorgeous, and some are still you and others not, you can tell!
I confess, I just play and try to adsorbe the most during a course, nothing more :-)

Lynn Price said...

Yep, this is pretty different!! How fun to see, though, and hear your own thoughts! I will admit I prefer your usual.... but I know that even when going down paths not chosen by one's self, there are great lessons - and one that I see here is your ability to proportion your pages not only with images, but color and texture, etc. Hope you are enjoying Ohio and look forward to hearing about your work there someday! xxx Lynn

Diana Taylor said...

The pages are fabulous and although you found it a somewhat restrictive way of working I think your style shines through. The pale green butterfly pages are absolutely gorgeous and that shimmery blue/green just works so perfectly.

Anneke said...

This looks amazing .love every part of it!

Jackie P Neal said...

good morning again Alison!
I am truly enjoying our catch-up journey together this morning while I sip my coffee!
First up, what does this mean? "I think I was going off-piste with that, as is my wont in classes."

I love how you were able to remember just how discomforting it was to be out of your own comfort zone-must have made a big impression!
I do love your blue/green spread very much.
I must admit, the orange spread is so not your style! It is very lovely, but I am not a fan or character stamps and I don't ever recall seeing any on your art. The colors while warm and beautiful, well, it's just not Butterly's! I am glad that you ventured out of your zone, we all need to do this once in awhile!
What an interesting post- I could feel your angst while reading it! heehee
Have a beautiful day!!
Jackie xo

Barbara Schiassi said...

I'm speechless Alison! these pages are absolutely wonderful! Butterfly and Papillon are a fabulous duo of artists! Barbara

Matilde said...

I love your journal pages! Amazing projects :)

Princess Judy Palmer said...

How fun to get to play and try different things out. It's interesting that you encountered some new things given that you have a vast array of supplies of your own. It's also interesting to hear of your inner rebellion and the little voice going, "Nooooo!" I got to play with stencils and sprays once and could see the appeal to it if you have room to spread out and no fear of little cat feet entering the project. I got something metallic and shiny on me and it immediately gave me a terrible taste in my mouth and I felt all funny. I woke up the next day feeling very ill. Now I'm a bit afraid of metallics and shimmer, especially together.

Dani Cristina said...

Beautiful journal....love the experiences here!!!! :)