both of whom are art journal afficionados (which is Dyan’s speciality), but I went to learn how to better use her products (paints and ink sprays). You can watch tons of Dyan’s videos over at Ranger’s blog but nothing beats some hands-on practice with the expert at your shoulder!
Class One was Incorporating Rubber Stamps into Your Journal Pages but, since one needs backgrounds to stamp on, the first half of the class was learning to use inks, stencils and water to create the backgrounds before adding stamped images. Basically, we made a “primary” background and secondary (or accidental) backgrounds in several color ways (each using three compatible colors of Dylusions sprays) on larger sheets of Mixed Media Cardstock. Each secondary background came from pressing the primary on to a second sheet of card to soak up the excess ink. Then, using stencils, we added “texture” to each background using the stencil as usual (but with misted water instead of pigment) on one version of the background and as a mono-print on the other. This bleached out some color, leaving paler ares of the ink pigments on the card. Some of the backgrounds can be seen here (I forgot to take photos of each and every one before we moved on to stamping. Oops!):
We also stamped through stencils, creating a window-like effect:
Class Two was Writing in Your Journal, which wasn’t a class I was particularly interested in… I am not a journal and have never been a journal. I simply do not relate. However, Mary and Janice were keen and we were there for the weekend so…
But I did benefit some from the class in that, again, backgrounds were necessary before one could write in a journal so Dyan taught us how to use baby wipes to apply her paints to Mixed Media cardstock.
I hit the wall at that point because we were suppose to have brought magazines (no specific magazine stated) and Dyan wanted us to cut out short phrases or words that would trigger a journal entry. Well, that was NOT going to happen with the magazine I brought (one of Charlie’s gardening magazines as I thought we were going to collage pictures) as there isn’t a lot one can write about azaleas in the spring unless you are a gardener (with this magazine, even if you ARE a gardener - not a lot of words and no advertising) and I am not. And Mary’s magazines totally turned me off (I am NOT a Vanity Fair kind of gal). So I didn't do this…
Finally, we used masks to cover colored backgrounds with black paint in a pattern, which would allow someone who was writing to obscure most of the text, thereby making the writing less legible.
Class three (and day two) was Art Journal Painty Extravaganza, where we used small journals and mixed media pages torn from those journals to learn three techniques of using Dyan’s paints.
The baby wipe technique, we we all learned in Class Two, was repeated as the first technique (because it was assumed that not all who attended on the first day would have stayed for the second - and indeed, the second day had twice as many people in it). At any rate, we did four two-page spreads in the journal, taking the paint-filled baby wipe from the first page and creating “accidental pages” in a different location. Once we managed the painting, we used the same three colors in each color way and stenciling details to add texture to the backgrounds:
Here you can see my two-page spread:
The we were to add some black through a stencil to each of the "Accidental" sets:
Using a blending tool and paint on our craft sheet, we created color block patterns in two different colorways on a two-page spread of our journals. More stenciling, and black was used as an accent here as well:
The end result?
- I am not now, not am I ever likely to be a journaler (sp?) Probably should sell off those blank journals I have because I’m not likely to use them for the purpose for which they were designed - a shame since I do love blank books for some strange reason, and have a huge collection of them.
- BUT… I did learn how to more effectively use Dyan’s sprays and paints, which was why I went (along with the fact that my two friends were going), and I can see how those could translate to the kind of paper crafting I like to do.
- A large portion of the classes were devoted to color theory, which I already am familiar with due to embroidery, quilting, and high school art - so that didn’t really add to my knowledge. (Now, if only I could get the concept of value down… that is my weakness in applying color: I know what it MEANS but I never can see it when choosing colors.).
- My back is killing me from hard chairs, too-low tables. (It may take more than a week to recover from that as, sitting here at my laptop, my back has started spasm-ing again!)
- My hands aren’t as stained as they might be but they have dried out from all those baby wipes so I’m using tons of hand lotion today. (Another shampoo - my go-to method for cleaning and conditioning my hands - and that will be solved…)
- And I feel like I have been sleep-deprived after spending 8 hours a day in the “classroom” , two nights in a hotel, and two long rides to and from the class. (It may take the rest of the week to recover from that.)
Would I recommend this series of classes (or any series featuring Dyan) to anyone? Heck yes! She's a great teacher, a marvelous personality and a talented artist. One can't help but learn, even if her style isn't your style!