Saturday, 28 April 2018

Wobbly Circles

Hello all!  This weekend I will mostly be singing, so in my absence I'm leaving you with a few more details about the first of the journalling pages I shared in my Birthday Blues (and Browns and Greens!).  It's as much for me as anything - so that I have a record of what I did in case I want to create similar effects in future.

It's the only completed page so far in my Dina Wakley journal - though some of them are growing on me, and I might just decide they are finished after all, and leave them alone. 

Since it's full of finger-painted circles and meadow grasses, I thought I'd squeeze this one in under the wire for the April themes at That's Crafty Challenges where they are Going Round in Circles, and at Stamps and Stencils where they are In the Meadow this month - I couldn't miss that one!

There are so many layers here, and it was all done some weeks ago while I was still in New York, so I'm not sure that I can remember exactly what I used for all of it, but there are a couple of progress photos which will guide us through at least some of the elements.

I know I started with some Idea-ology tissue wrap in the background, the Postale version, stuck on in scraps.  Over that, I added some torn book page scraps, gesso, and Distress Paints in (probably) Broken China/Tumbled Glass and Pumice Stone.

And I also remember very clearly deciding to do some finger painting.  That's how the gesso circles appeared... the larger ones swept around and the smaller ones simple dabbed on in one movement and lifted away to leave some dimension.

Next I added some teabag scraps and some charcoal pencil, smudged with my fingers...

... to add a touch of shading to the large circles and around some of the paper scraps.

Then my lovely walnut ink came into play - partly applied with the dipping pen, sometimes allowed to dribble and drip, and sometimes splattered on from the pen nib.

And I also used some of my much loved Indigo and Indanthrone Blue watercolours by Daniel Smith.  They are perfect for creating melancholy shadows.

I scribbled on some journalling with white pen - look closely, it's mostly over the teabag scraps - and then decided everything needed softening a little...

... so I applied Picket Fence Distress Crayon over all the texture, sometimes smudging it, and sometimes just leaving it in its natural state.

I love the combination of colour-softening and texture-highlighting that this achieved.

I couldn't resist adding some meadow grasses and flowers.  These are from Rubber Dance's Weed Love plate, and stamped in Archival ink.

They're such delightfully delicate and intricate images.

I wanted the Queen Anne's Lace to have a touch more presence...

... so I added first of all some dark pen work...

... and then some highlights with white pen to those flower heads.

Finally, I sought out some Clippings fragments which fitted the thoughts underlying the page.

The phrases are linked in some cases by words added with the dipping pen and walnut ink.

None of it is particularly neat and tidy, but then life isn't neat and tidy, is it?  I wanted a sense of spontaneity and freedom, so I tried really hard not to try really hard with the writing!

I love how the texture of the watercolour cotton paper shows through in places, even after all those layers.

And my finger-painted circles make me happy...

... as of course do the clambering vines and twining grasses.

I had a semi-gloss gel medium with me in my travelling stash, rather than a matte one, so in sunlight you also get this rather magical glimmer in places.

I was cross at the time that I had no matte gel to hand, but in the end I rather like the effect of the glossier medium.  As you know, I've always loved trying to capture light in my work as well as shadows.

Thank you for spending some time with me here at Words and Pictures this weekend.  I hope you've enjoyed getting a closer look at some of what is going on in this page, and I hope you're all enjoying some "me-time" doing whatever it is which brings you joy.

There are patterns which emerge in one's life, circling and returning anew, an endless variation of a theme.
Jacqueline Carey

Life is a full circle, widening until it joins the circle motions of the infinite.
Anaïs Nin

I'd like to enter this in Going Round in Circles at the That's Crafty Challenge Blog
And at Stamps and Stencils where they are In the Meadow this month


  1. Those colours are lovely Alison, such a delicate touch! I love the blue shadows, very expressive and the Rubber Dance Weed love are one of my favourite stamp set.

  2. Wonderful journal page, love the delicate colours. Hugs, Valerie

  3. what a beautiful, soft dreamy page. Enjoy your weekend!

  4. A fabulous soft and beautiful page, those shadowed circles look wonderful and I adore the effect of the Picketfence crayaon, - one to remember!

    As you know I have been on a blog break, so apologies for lack of visits, - but now I look forward to visiting more regularly again.
    Happy weekend!

  5. I think this is lovely. Intrigued by the crayon you used.

  6. A stunning beautiful page and lovely photos to show the details.
    Yvonne xx

  7. I am glad you showed us now also the steps.. that's like a tutorial your shared with us! Much appreciated dear Alison!
    Hugs, Susi

  8. Love the soothing color palette and design.

  9. A gorgeous page, and I love the delicate stamping of the weeds.
    Avril xx

  10. I always love your meadow grass pieces and this page is no exception. Nice finger painted circles, such an interesting idea. x

  11. Love the circles, fab page and a great start to filling your journal with fabulous art.
    Amanda x

  12. So very pretty Alison - looks as if this piece came right out of my great grandmother's trunk in the attic. Long forgotten now cherished.
    sandy xx

  13. what a beautiful piece Alison - really love the meadow grasses in this - gorgeous colours too! Thanks for joining us at stamps and stencils this month too! Hugs Rachel x

  14. Your journal page is so beautiful, I love the way you added shading to the circles, they look positively 3D - so wonderful! Your favourite colour tones are always gorgeous together. Love this page! Anne xx

  15. This is a beauty Alison, I always love your blues and browns, and the slight sheen really does look like sunlight! Have a very happy weekend, Sue xx

  16. A gorgeous page, still in your favourite shades and so peaceful. I love the circle shapes and the depth you gave to them, and of course how you added handwriting to the beautiful quote stamps!

  17. How lovely to see this page in more detail! I hadn't noticed how you linked the clippings word but I will definitely be borrowing..(i.e.stealing ) this idea! Hope you are enjoying your weekend! Chrisx

  18. So lovely to see all the layers/ colours & process! I'll be keeping my journal super simple in the coming months so I'm glad I have some background pages laid down but I really must remember to paint with my fingers more often.

    Sally xx

  19. A gorgeous page Alison, lovely colours and layering.
    xxx Hazel.

  20. It is so beautiful, Alison, and lovely, also to read your how to, this time- showing the many steps, the beauty of layers , colors, stamps, and words. Gorgeous, dear.
    Hugs, Dorthe

  21. You just transported me to another place with this. I feel as if I am in a meadow surrounded by beautiful things but all the picture is in these colours and is so peaceful. Idyllic!
    Stunningly beautiful work
    Hugs, Neet xx

  22. Wow! This is so beautiful!!!...
    Loving all the layers and depth here. Really a fabulous page! xx

  23. Just wanted to add that the whole composition, and all your circles painted with Gesso using your fingers is really unique and awesome!!! xx

  24. Wow! Beautiful journal page. I love all your wobbly circles and your neutral palette.

  25. Absolutely stunning Alison. The textures you've achieved with gel and colour look amazing and the circles really pop from the background. Love the gorgeous blue and brown too.
    Glad you managed to enter our challenge this month and wishing you lots of luck.
    Fliss xx

  26. I always love when you work in these colour ways , Alison so it kinda goes without saying that yes, I love this page . So much depth that the eye never bores of exploring the page to capture the delicate texture and intricate marks, the contrast in light and shadow and the free spirit of the page.
    ♥ x

  27. Such a beautiful spread Alison!
    Those finger circles remind me of Cotton Bolls and everything here is against a rickety aged barn. So beautiful! As always your art makes my mind wander and enter a place of bliss!
    Beautifully done and I love the bit of glimmer!
    Jackie xo

  28. Beautiful journal pages, Alison!!! Your hand-painted circles are awesome and your colours are fabulous!!! Big hugs

  29. Splendid page Alison!! Fantastic details and lovely images. Great successful page!! I love it. xx

  30. Your work is so beautiful Alison ! I love the restrained colour pallette and the dreamy layers of stamping and stencilling. Thank you for sharing your lovely journal page with us over at Stamps and Stencils. Toni X...........p.s. I was at the motorcycle museum craft fair on Saturday and I was thrilled to see your gorgeous text stamps,! Brilliant ! Toni X

  31. This is such a fabulous page. Using paint to give the illusion of texture is something I want to try - the circles look like blobs rather than flat. Love the pale blue colour palette with the brown stamping. Thanks for joining us at Stamps and Stencils.


Thank so much for taking the time to stop by. It's lovely to hear what you think - every comment is so much appreciated.