Personal Journal Artifacts 2017

January 22, 2017 at 3:42 pm 1 comment

I’m starting to make a journal to participate in Seth Apter’s “Artifacts 2017”


Front of first page



Back of first page


I’m interested in making a book of my years of sumi and Chinese painting that I did.  I have a huge fascination with oriental art and I started to do Sumi painting several years ago to satiate my apetite for it.  I have a large compilation of practice paintings that I’ve done and I want to incorporate them in a combination art journal/sumi paintings book.

I want to find an old hard cover oriental book to make the journal book just like Seth did in his aricle “Inspiration Journal” (starting page 67) in the September/October 2016 issue 68 of “Cloth.Paper Scissors”  However, eveytime I find one I end up not destroying it because I want to keep it intact with the pictures inside.  Eventually, I will find one and then I’ll make the actual book cover.

For now I’m going to start on the pages.  I started by making a big collage of my cut up sumi paintings arranged with other papers and printed words.  I collaged eveything on a large sheet of freezer paper that I covered with gesso on  the back side.  Even though I covered it with gesso, this paper was so thin that it puckered and warped all over the place.  At first I was abhored with the results, but now I like the inconsistency of the papers and how they’re bent and warped.  I think because it goes against the oriental tradition of having everything so perfect and warp free.  There’s a nice tension going on there and I find it appealing.

After I collaged the big sheet I cut it up into smaller pieces.  The first piece I picked to alter futher is about 4 1/2″ X 9″  It’s not cut perfectly straight.  I wanted things to be slighly askew.  After so many years of having to be so pecise about everything, I’ve just let go..

Following is a photo of the first sheet.



Photo of first sheet

I added the word “forever” by using a “Litte Yellow Bicycle” die which I cut out of some contact paper.  I found that it didn’t cut through the contact paper too easily so I ran it through several times.  I then removed the back and stuck the word to the collage.  I then spread black acrylic paint (Deco Art Lamp Black DA067) over the word loosely.


First sheet with “forever” added

Then I took two strips of 3/4″ masking and attached them to the middle of the page about 3/8″ apart. I put matte gel medium (Liquitex) over the sticky part of the tape before I adhered it to the page because I knew I was going to put matte gel medium over the tape and I was afraid it might not work with just taping it down.


I then arranged some old adhesive cardstock letters the way I wanted them over the top and bottom layers of tape.


I removed the adhesive letters and put painters tape along the top and bottom edge of the first layer of masking tape (you can use masking tape here as well but it’s easier to see with the blue painters tape).I then stuck the letters one by one on the masking tape again and painted around them with various colors of acrylic paint.  Here you can see I did the first “A”.


I continued in this manner until I got all the letter outlined with acrylic paint on the first row of masking tape.


Then I repeated the process on the second row of masking tape.



Then I centered a 2″ wide piece of masking tape over the two rows of letters that I outlined with acrylic paint.  I adhered the masking tape in  place with matte gel medium like before an then painted over it with matte gel medium.


Then I adhered painters tape across the edge of the top and bottom of the 2″ piece of masking tape, adhered really big self adhesive card stock letters that I have and painted around them with various colors of acrylic paint.


I took a Dark Brown water soluable oil pastel (Prima Colour A La Cremes Water Soluable Oil Pastels) and I ran the tip of it over the edges of the masking tape to bring out the letters a little more and then I took a brush and smeared the pastel a little here and there.  I sprayed some Krylon 1311 Matte Finish over this area because I wanted to outline the “sumi” with a fine black marker and I knew the marker wouldn’t work over the oil pastel.  After the spray dried I outlined the “sumi” letters with the fine-line black marker.


The top of the page wasn’t resolved so I added a little dimension to the top of the page by spreading on a little flexible modeling paste (Liquitex) with a palette knife.  Then I added some strips of paper, a piece of dry wall tape, and a heart sticker from an old Christine Adolph Valentine paper collection around the sumi painting. Using a Magenta oil pastel I added color around the entire outside edge of the page.  I used a brush with water to spread out the color around the edge here and there.I then spryed over this area with Krylon 1311 to keep the edge from smudging further.


I cut out another large piece of a sumi painting to fit on the back of the page.


I turned the painting face side down on a craft mat and spread matte gel medium over the back.


Then I placed the opposite side of the page over the painting and pushed it down all over to get the painting to adhere to the page.  I pulled the page up and the painting was attached.  I tried to remove as many air bubbles as possible.  The bottom part is just a piece of newspaper that had stuck to the back of the collage, but I really liked the way it looked on the page.


Next I stamped some Chinese writing on the left side of the page to give it more interest and then I stamped over the Chinese writing with this stamp I made (explained below).  I painting over some of the stamping with gesso and reapplied the circle stamp here and there. I added my chop (stamp with my name on it in Chinese) on the bottom right.


Circle stamp made from used pop dot sheet

I made this circle stamp by spreading gesso over the sheet that pop dots came out of.  I had used all the pop dots, but I thought that the left over sheet with the circles missing would make an interesting stamp.  It’s about 1/8″ thick so it is easy to handle and quite sturdy.


Entry filed under: Art Journal and Painting Techniques, Chinese painting in art journaling, Seth Apter Personal Journal Artifacts 2017, Sumi Painting in Art Journaling, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , .

12 Tags of 2016…September Personal Journal Artifacts-installment 2

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Seth  |  January 26, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Looks amazing already. Can you email me at and send your email address? That way I can include you in the mailings.Thanks!


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