Thursday, June 25, 2015

Journey to the Masculine

I love seeing  the inspiring makes at Mixed Media World, and this time the theme is Masculine/Father's Day.  Working toward a masculine look or theme is a challenge for me, increased by the fact that I am not preparing a card for a special someone.

Thus, I turned to a steady source of inspiration - the relationship between people and healers.   I have focused this make on a shaman.  The word originates from the Evenki - an aboriginal people from what would now be known as the far north of Siberia.  I chose an image of Shaman Feder Poligus, whose picture dates from 1907.

I decided to make something that would look like a page from a diary kept by an anthropologist traveling to Feder's tribe (as someone obviously did by the fact we have his photo!)

 I took regular white card, and after crumpling it and flattening once again, spritzed with Ranger's Ink Refresher (or glycerin for those of you who can find that).  Once damp, I crumpled it again, flattened and spritzed again, and repeated one more time to get a very supple page.

This was then spritzed with Distress Ink Sprays in Wild Honey, Gathered Twigs, and Vintage Photo, and left to dry. The example on the right is the result of drying overnight, and it was still somewhat damp - it lightened a bit as the project progressed.

Meanwhile, I prepared another piece of card by applying Distress Paints in Mustard Seed, Wild Honey, Vintage Photo and Gathered Twigs to my craft sheet, spritzing generously with water, and swiping my card through several times (whilst spraying the results each time with water if I thought they needed a bit more mixing.)

I did not want to transfer Feder's picture by printing on tissue paper, as it would be about 5 inches by 4 inches (tricky to apply to the surface) .... so I decided to try a gel skin, inspired by Darlene McElroy and Sandra Wilson from their book Image Transfers Workshop.

This involves painting the photocopied (not inkjet!) image several times with gloss soft medium, each time in a different direction, and letting each coat dry before applying the next.  I used a rough (cheap) hardware paint brush because I was interested in the brush strokes.  I left it to dry for about 48 hours (I live in a humid climate, and we have had a lot of rain - drying would take perhaps less time in your area).
Once dry, I removed the paper on the back of the image by generously spraying with water and gently rubbing with my fingers, persistently repeating until the image was clear.

Meanwhile, I took a baby wipe saved from blotting up in a previous project that had lots of yummy browns and a bit of copper spray on it, to use as the second layer on top of the leathered paper.

 I took my painted card, and tore it down to something just larger than Feder's image, and then distressed the edges with Wild Honey Distress Ink.

 I crumpled a piece of Kraft Glassine paper, and sprayed it with deep brown colors from the Distress Sprays and Ranger's Color Wash, and then put Prima's copper crackle paste (from the Art Basics line) through the Tracks Tim Holtz stencil.  I coated this with a layer of matt medium to keep the crackle paste in place.

I secured the sprayed glassine to the baby wipe layer with four small copper brads that I further distressed with Aged Copper embossing powder and a swipe of black archival ink.

 I crumpled several times a piece of waxed brown paper bag (I use these for my lunch),  and traced with a Sharpie pen a version of the Mongolian alphabet spelling "shaman" from a font I found online.  I exaggerated the strokes and added some dots for interest - hopefully I have not turned the word into something unsuitable for polite company!

 I layered the waxed paper over the texture paste on the glassine paper, and tucked the end under the portrait.  For the last bit, I glued a small branch from my hydrangea, to represent the shaman's staff, which in many cultures is itself decorated with feathers, seed pods, beads, and other symbolic items.  However, for lack of most of these things and because I am rather late to this party already, I chose to keep it simple.

Thank you so much for stopping by, and if you've time, please do leave a comment!  I always love to hear from you!  xx Lynn

I will be posting this at Mixed Media World.


  1. A totally stunning piece Lynn, each of the layers themselves are like a little piece of art, - the end result is stunning!

  2. Your anthropologist's diary page is wonderful, Lynn - full of texture both actual and metaphorical. I love the leathered paper, and the image is stunning.
    Alison xx

  3. Wow! I'm so impressed! Not only with this amazing piece and how you created it, but also with your thought processes and the way you find your inspiration! Loved your post and love your project! Beautiful piece of art! I hope you can join us again! Thank you for sharing it with us at Mixed Media World! Ingrid x