|Separating the layers of a portion of napkin ready to affix it to my map-trail|
We were out again yesterday, seeking solitude; this time in our motorhome. Not a repetition of our days away last weekend with car and caravan in the Welsh Marches, but less than twenty miles from home; a secret spot we have loved for years. I started to write this post whilst sitting on the banks of the River Teme not far from it’s source, but had no WiFi signal. So this is a bit of a mixture prepared over two weekends but one topic, with text somewhat modified:
|Two of many diaries: the one on the left is a journal - illustrated -|
of my creative endeavours over the last four months; the pink
'blossom' notebook contains my latest poem-spills (most are written
on scraps of paper, which I am apt to mislay
“I cannot recall which of my LAYOUT-SKETCHBOOKS would have been appropriate for this away-from-home project. Whichever, I did not bring it with me(!) though I had loaded the car and caravan with a bag full of others. So here goes with my latest 'Map Travel Trail' - more an amalgamation of that whole weekend, which had no title until just now: MALVERN to MONAUGHTY.”
|Double-click on this image to read my notes (you will see a draft pagination|
top left, and various figures dotted about which relate to word-counts
“I am not even using a sketchbook/diary for my thoughts and ideas, just a journalist's lined jotter; maybe at last intending that the end result is more important than how I get there. Actually, this IS different, for the words I will use, and the images I have taken, are destined for many things: work (travel and gardening features), ETSY/WOS, and new experimenting. But I could never forsake LAYOUTS and PLANNING, and trying new techniques or variations when I have the time. Even this is an exercise in what can be achieved almost from scratch in a caravan or motor home. So I am in part writing this on the spot for a potential article.” (NB WOS = Warwickshire Open Studios, in which I am participating.)
When I start visualising a project, I am full of ideas and enthusiasm, start to make a few notes and invariably get cold feet. In the past, this is the point at which I would put everything away and forget it; so many unfinished projects. Nowadays, I think of a theme and stick with it even if it changes along the way. This one is to be milestones encountered on our recent away-from-home days. Words are written (usually as we travel). I pick out and précis to fit the six-fold map, each 'page' measuring 7.5" x 3.75". I have learned to limit what I do in any one project, being selective with the nature and type of materials in any one creation: less is more, and gives more impact.
|Experiments on map sample, more-|
or-less as described here
(double-click on image
to see it at a larger size
I trialed some of my ideas on a spare map page, discarding from my mind what did not work, or seem appropriate. Before leaving home, I painted the map folds with child's poster paint – ‘Primo Tempera Liquida’ from Sainsbury’s – much cheaper than gesso. Text will be hand-written, and most if not all decoration will be paper napkins. So experiments were to trial the nature of my chosen napkins. Usually I fuse these with Bondaweb, but I wanted the map to show through so first tried GEL MEDIUM, but this was too tacky and scuffed the paper as I applied it. ACRYLIC WAX bought from Art Van Go (their own formula) was perfect. The map still shows and the application of the wax renders the white paint less opaque. I loved the way the text on the chosen napkin gave the whole thing a medieval feel. Which set my theme and title, and caused me to abandon some of the napkin images, partly because Spring was not as advanced as I thought it would be. (NB Acrylic Wax is in the Gilding section of the pdf catalogue that you can download from the link I've given.)
Text Experiments – three trials, as follows: words in an ordinary biro, and pen (Signo Gel Grip 0.7), both overwritten with sepia alcohol-based permanent ink from a ‘Zig Artist Sketching Pen’. The biro does not work over the white paint after the first word, so that has been discounted. Neither the biro nor Signo pen writing tool works well over a napkin surface, so that idea cannot be used either. But I liked the effect of the napkin toning down the writing, so tried laying a napkin OVER the words once written, waxing it in place. Perfect!
A final trial was choice of napkin-text image for the overlay. My original choice is better as it in no way obscures the writing, just tones it down. I also tried a rubber stamp of grass that I might use, or some other floral stamp; can't tell until the layout is done whether there will be room. This is what I call the THIRD LAYER - final embellishment, just that extra touch. A theme had emerged.
|Working yesterday on the actual map-trail: top border first, then text - |
images and lower border come after text as the position can be adjusted
(just in case my lettering was not as accurate as planned)
Panic! The map-folds I had prepared were wider than my sample layout. No matter, better that way as at least I will not have to re-edit the words, and there will be more room for embellishments. I cut and waxed into position an upper border of napkin pieces, but will have to re-size the map-band for the bottom (Photoshop). I copied the text for the first two folds and then realized I had left the layout and words for the middle folds in the scanner at home !!
To be continued: (Oh, and if you are wondering what has happened to the ‘Winter Trees’ project, it’s almost completed, but a sewing machine in the mo-home or c’van is as yet impossible, though I’m working on it and in the meantime can relax by created crocheted or knitted textile borders which quite often feature in my work.)
P.S. Some very odd things have happened to this blog layout. Sorry.