Welcome to another post for Gwen Lafleur Studios Artist Tribe. Today I'm going to share with you one way to use Gwen's fabulous Downloadable Collage Cutouts in your ATCs, collages, and other mixed media projects. I have to say that I really do find the images in Gwen's Irresistible India Collection irresistible. It contains two pages of colorful images including a peacock, elephants, and other exotic royalty and deities. It was quick and easy to download the sheets and they printed beautifully on my color inkjet printer on plain copy paper.
The Irresistible India Collection included a beautiful Indian Princess that I decided to use as a focal point on a canvas page in my Dina Wakely Mixed Media Journal. To give her the attention she deserves I decided to showcase her using an embellished frame base that I cut from a recycled cardboard cereal box.
One of the reasons that I was so attracted to this image was the colors. Now that September is here and there's a nip in the air, I yearn to work with rich-warm red and gold color. Add in a little orange and some teal to make it pop and I'm a happy camper.
I painted the smaller panel with Golden's Cadium Red Medium Hue and the larger panel Golden's Teal.
I didn't do too much more to the teal panel since I knew that most of it would be covered up in the end. Instead I focused the bulk of my time where it would be seen and aged the red panel with layers of Primary Yellow and Cadmium Red fluid acrylic paint over the gold.
Then I added another layer of stenciling with Jet Black StarzOn ink through the Ornamental Compass Screen again. The second inking onto of the thin layers of paint really added a lot of depth to the panel.
Finally I edged my image and both panels with my gold Sakura Pen-Touch pen.
I embellished my princess with lace and then glued her to the teal panel. But when I stood back to look, I realized that this wasn't making me as happy as I thought it would. It just didn't feel "weighty" enough for me. I decided to emphasize her some more by adding a third panel which I painted Teal and stamped around the edges using a Seth Apter background stamp with Black Ink. Now these three panels together put a smile on my face.
I pressed my panels overnight sandwiched between deli papers in the pages of a heavy book weighed down with two vintage hand irons. This really flattened them out.
To add more interest and texture, I cut a die cut in half and positioned the pieces to cap and foot my Indian Princess. I also glued a string of faux diamonds to the bottom of my new teal panel because every princess I know absolutely needs her jewels!
I learned a lot of tips and techniques for adhering wrinkle free collage elements and embellishments into my collages from the talented collage artist, Crystal Neubauer. She is the Author of three books including The Art of Expressive Collage: Techniques for Creating with Page and Glue and really knows how to make vintage paper sing.
- Crystal's recommends using a concoction of YES! Paste thinned with Matte Liquid Glazing Medium to adhere your collage elements to a page or panel. YES! Paste is a non-toxic, organic, Neutral pH, acid-free, archival, slow drying glue that is clear when dry. Now I always have a sealed plastic container of it mixed and ready to use on my desk top.
- "Butter" a thin layer of the YES! Paste all over both surfaces to be glued. (I use a Princeton Catalyst 01 Mini Spatula for the job, but an old paintbrush will work fine too.) Then pick up and examine the surfaces from an angle to check and see that the entire surface is shiny with glue. Oops, can you see where I missed a spot in the pic below?
- Position the buttered surfaces together and place a piece of deli paper over the top. Then firmly, but gently push the excess glue out with a Princeton Catalyst Wedge or store credit card. Start from the middle and work outward to the edges taking your time and making sure that there is good contact all over both surfaces. The Deli Paper will help to protect the delicate pieces in the collage from ripping and tearing. If I've used dimensional elements in my collage, like the string of faux diamonds in this project, I use my fingers to burnish on top and all around the element.
- Remove the deli paper and use a baby wipe to clean up any excess YES! Paste that has oozed out from the edges.
- I placed an old book behind my journal page to level it and to provide extra support when I adhered my princess and other elements like the vintage book spine below to the page. My collage also included a vintage book page that was stenciled with Gwen's Ornamental Petal Mask.
- After Crystal finishes her collages, she places a ginormous,(Yes, that is a real word!) bag of rice on top of her work and lets it dry overnight. In the morning she's rewarded with a extremely flat and perfectly glued collage. Since my work is a lot smaller than Crystal's and since I don't have her gorgeous studio space to store such a huge bag of rice as her's, I improvise by placing a bag of brown sugar, heavy books, and my two vintage irons on top of my collages. The rice and the brown sugar both work by conforming to and applying pressure on the irregular dimensions of the collage.
I'm really happy with the way my Indian Princess page came together. Gwen's Collage Cutout Collections makes it so easy to add a focal point to your ATCs, art journal pages and other mixed media projects.
Thanks so much for joining me on my quest to uncover more Infinite Possibilities. I love hearing your comments and would be happy to answer any questions I can if you leave them below. Thanks so much for stopping by.