Friday, January 30, 2015

Living in the Layers

Well, this page certainly didn't turn out at all as I had even vaguely imagined when I started thinking about what to do for the latest PaperArtsy challenge "Shiny Stuff".  All of the samples from the team are luscious, and had my head spinning in many different directions.

My thoughts seem occupied by translucence, however, so I decided to start
with a
Quinacridone Gold wash on gessoed pages, to which I added crumpled tissue paper with Glue and Seal, and topped with a thin wash of Smalt Hue.

All of the lovely textures seemed made for sprays, which could wander down and among all of the rivulets.  I have quite of few Lindy's Stamp Gang sprays that have gold or other metallic effects, and some Prima sprays that are also quite shiny.

I was really starting to like this, but still had no "story" to tell..... oh, well - just  keep playing then!

I wondered what some darker spray would do (I think it was distress stain in Stormy Sky).

It is hard to see but I also put some Clear Rock Candy in some of the larger flat spaces before applying the darker aim was to accentuate the lovely resulting crackle, but I don't have a good picture to show.

 I do love the results though....

By now, the piece strongly reminded me of the large granite sheets one can see along the remote hiking trails in New Mexico's mountains, where I grew up.  That brought me to another thought, as these rock sheets often have mica and other shiny pieces.  So I dug out my Frantage and Finnabair's Charcoal Art Sugar as well as her gold glass glitter.

I would have preferred to apply using Versmark and heating from underneath the page, but I was working directly in the journal, and didn't think the heat would penetrate the many layers of media by this point.  So I decided to try Finnabair's Soft Matte Gel, as it is quite loose and I wanted to paint it along the veining.  For some reason, I used my finger instead of a brush, and got way more on the surface than I wanted....

so I just kept going and dumped a couple of colors of mica flakes on, as well as the gold glass glitter and the Charcoal Art Sugar.

Once dry, I brushed off the loose bits, and wondered what next?  BTW, that brown bit to the right in this photo is the crackle.

Thinking of the American Southwest got me in search of a poem or evocative piece of writing from Joy Harjo, one of my favorite poets.  But in cruising through my bookshelves, I happened upon a volume by Stanley Kunitz, who is also in my pantheon of favorite poets.  His poem "The Layers" is my most loved of his large body of work; he wrote it in his seventies in looking back over a very productive life.  So I decided to try printing on tissue the very last of the poem, and adding that as my last layer.

 A close up of the beautiful Charcoal Art Sugar....
 and of the mica flakes and glass glitter.

My original thoughts in thinking about the challenge started with alchemy, which is the changing of common materials into metals (which would get me to the requisite "shiny"!).  And though this page took a very different turn, I think this poem brings me back to that concept.....

"Though I lack the art to decipher it, 
no doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written. 
 I am not done with my changes."

I am also posting this at Brenda's Visual Journey.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and please leave a comment - I'd love to hear your thoughts!

xx Lynn


  1. What wonderful layers and texture you've created, gorgeous! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving such a lovely can probably guess I love texture and you've used all the things I love to great effect. You've incorporated that beautiful poem so subtly. Fabulous page! Ruth x

  2. Beautiful - love how you arrived at the final piece. Adore the poem too, who is the author?

  3. Wow, this absolutely stunning. I love the textures and the addition of the poem onto tissue paper is genius. Makes me want to play. Thankyou for sharing this beautiful art with us!

  4. Oh wow, what a gorgeous page, you really created some wonderful textures. I have not heard of charcoal art sugar before but it looks beautiful! Thank you for your visit and lovely comment, much appreciated. Anne x

  5. Gorgeous Lynn! I love all the texture and shimmery detail!

  6. Gosh, this is absolutely gorgeous - I love the textures and it's been fascinating following your process. Thank you so much for visiting my blog - I appreciate your kind comments.

  7. Your whole post took me on a wonderful journey Lynn thinking about textures, rivelets, crackle and then into the Mexican mountains (never been there but I started to imagine what they were like), deserts, sands I even had pictures of the gold rush in my head. Thanks for taking me away from a cold UK for a few moments and thanks for linking to a visual journey.
    hugs Brenda xxx

  8. Gorgeous outcome and such an interesting journey too!
    Thank you for sharing the process.

  9. the close up pics really show the detail perfectly - beautiful piece xx

  10. Wow, this absolutely stunning Lynn, love the textures.

    Hugs Diane

  11. This is spectacular! I want to see more....

  12. What a glorious piece, Lynn. The textures are simply amazing - somehow like an ancient landscape - and I love the layers of translucent colour (don't you just love Smalt Hue?!). So great to read of your creative journey too, and how the right words bubbled to the surface of your mind at the right time. And they are wonderful words.
    Alison xx

  13. Hi Lynn, what a fantastic textural project and I can see the resemblance to a piece of granite as you said, totally love how your story of creativity absorbed you in this journal page.
    Have a great weekend, Julie x

  14. wow, stunning!

    add a little glimmer to your life...sparkle & shine *~*

  15. Hi Lynn, I just came by again to say thank you for your visits and lovely comments, I truly appreciate them! Anne xx