{ organic alterations }


Organic Alteration: the creation of artwork from scratch, using only patterns and papers created by an artist, the combination of hand-made elements to change the face of a journal page or piece.

This is all Hanna's fault.

A few weeks ago, I made myself a new journal with paper suggested by Roben-Marie while I was interviewing her for the most recent issue of Page by Page (available to the public TOMORROW!), and started painting and generally having fun. Before binding it, however, I cut down two sheets and splashed paint, ink, water, spray-paint, and whatever else I could find on them to use as end papers. Things didn't work out how I'd liked, so the sheets became patterned collage papers for journal use.

It was then that I
read Hanna's review of Collage Unleashed by Traci Bautista while wandering around her blog. One sentance jumped out at me:

"In her collages she does not use any magazine images, drawings or even ephemera or photos. Traci makes her own papers (and painted fabrics) that she combines in a more naive, fun and non-figurative way."

This got me thinking: what if I didn't use any magazine images or ephemera in my journal?

I wasn't ready
to leap past that and take out photos or drawings, and just removing magazine images and ephemera from my stash has proven to be difficult enough. I've been creating for the last two weeks using mostly patterned paper I've created myself, paints, and quick drawings in my journal, and let me tell you -- a switch-up like this is HARD!

very lovely

No collage sheets, vintage photograph heads, magazine cut-outs....more than half my stash is gathering dust. I've started to allow myself to use small amounts of scrapbook & old papers, but feel like I'm "cheating" if I rely too heavily on them.
:: uncoupled interests ::
For border sheets, etc, I've created doodle sheets
-- writing and doodling on a page until every inch is covered, then covering it with a thin acrylic glaze in several colors. I've also been making copies of old journal pages to use for these colorful patterned papers I'm used to using as my borders & shapes. I've also been using my markers and water-color crayons more to create swirls, doodles, and handwriting on my pages. For faces, I've also drawn some and made copies to use over and over again.

:: let them go ::Taking a page from Randi's Wide Open, I staged a photo shoot in my hallway. Basically, you set up your camera on a tripod, hit the timer, and run in front of it to pose before it snaps a photo. Sometimes, your poses are clear. Other times, the timer's up while you're still moving. Ten minutes of this gave me 15 photos to alter, color, cut-out, and paste into my journal. Using your own head for a journal paper doll (my term for Teesha's characters) makes it so much more personal -- it's no longer an image representing your feelings, but you experiancing and sharing them.

Going from using the types of images I've been using for the last, oh, I don't know, four years, to limiting myself to these Organic Alterations has been challenging but VERY rewarding. I feel like, by limiting myself, I'm stretching how I see and share images and journal pages. It takes a lot more work, but I've got that push I've missed since beginning. Insanity is defined by doing the same thing expecting different results; this new method of journaling has helped me push past the same old pages into new, undiscovered territory.

My goal is to complete this journal in such a way, which is ambicious in two ways: a. I haven't truely completed a journal in a year and a half (I bounce to something new too fast), and b. keeping to a set of restrictions such as these is going to get hard, and I'll have to stay comitted to keep from giving up when the going gets tough.

I'll be updating my Etsy shop tomorrow with the first 5 hand-embelished journal bags (three of them being from the article in Altered Couture), a couple journals, and some collage jewelry! I'm really excited to have a diverse set of items up for sale. I'm thinking of creating kits -- one being to make felt and journal fabric charms and jewelry (as I've had fun creating my own collage sheets on fabric), pattered and doodle collage sheets, and maybe DIY journal kits that would have corresponding videos. If you missed the Artistic Alchemy workshops, I'll be putting the workbook up for sale next week.

But the BIG NEWS for tomorrow's update is the release of Page by Page #3!
I'll be putting up a video with a "preview" of this issue's contents -- I'm really, really excited as there's TONS of stuff in this issue, and I hope all the issues to follow will just continue this growing trend. I'm also up for suggestions on who YOU would like to see interviewed next!

See my flickr account for more exaples & pages from this journal thus far!