Oh yes, here we goooo! Time to dive in. I am very happy to be here. Already I have learned some stuff, mostly about getting to know the book I’m altering and how much wet media it can take! First here is a look at the cover. I used some modelling paste and a stencil by Orly Avineri called Subliminal Skull. Perfect. 
My first spread is a mix of my tutorial and an identity collage.
Only instead of making a collage, I doodled some of the elements that make me, me. Here you can see the trowel for archaeology, bones, crystals, wine, art tools, constellations, Frida, The Dark Tower, cats, books and crowns for Basquiat.

I had so much fun coming up with doodles to represent parts of myself. There is a unicorn, the moon, V, a feminine symbol, coffee, a Victorian hand (funerary imagery), a rose, a crystal ball, a camera, a vampire, my mystic jackalope, bread and cheese and a sugar skull.

Sweet serendipity: that black smudge looks like a fish to me and I am a Pisces. Coincidence? I think not.

 This second spread was quite the learning curve and great fodder for #theimperfectartist.

The first thing I did was put clear gesso on both pages to give them tooth and make them more apt to take on wet media. Then I used red and gold watercolor on the left page. It was UGLY. I hated it. So I took out my mists, gold and red again, and misted. Still didn’t like it. I think it’s because I felt the red took away from the blue feeling of the page. I wanted to show enchantment but didn’t play off the colors that were already there.

But I kept going: I pushed through the ugly. I added some gold leaf. I feel that it looks so weird. Still didn’t like it. So I outlined the cavalier. OH! LOVE! Then I decided to add some white charcoal around the cavalier to make him pop. YES! Now I love it. So here is a good lesson: keep going.
I wanted to show that books are the sanctuary I run to and also the gift I give myself at the end of each day. I love that the words on the bottom of the right page of my drawn book are ‘he was in an enchanted world where anything might happen.’

 I think I did a better job with working with was is already on the page on the right side.

The next spread I have to show you also came out of an experiment. I decided to use my gelli plate to print directly in my book. I had this vision in my head that I wanted to translate into my book.
I started with the image on the left. I painted the page gold. Then I used my exacto on some cardstock to create this skeleton. I put the skeleton on the page and covered my gelli plate with black gesso. My idea is that the cardstock skeleton would act like a mask and let the underlying image show through.

It worked fairly well, even though I was imagining much cleaner lines.

Then I used the cardstock skeleton that was full of gesso and transferred it to the facing page. This is where I hit a snag: the pages in my book are glossy, so the skeleton was sliding around a little. Then, the cardstock got too wet and I couldn’t peel it off without breaking it.

So I lost a lot of the detail (especially in the vertebrae), some things are misaligned and I had to clean it up a bit by scratching off the gesso. But in the end, I like its imperfection and I learned how to better work with this book.

This last spread was born out of needing to sort my feelings and put them to paper. I am in a huge period of transition and those are really hard for me.

Not just me. Mys husband and our kids too. My relationship to each of them is strained. We have a lot to do, we get tired, we get impatient.

Even just these few minutes in my journal, the act of putting down layers and meaning has helped me tremendously. I loved the two found phrases on the right side.

I hope your Season of Introspection started off nicely too. I am looking forward to seeing everyone’s take on this week’s prompts.

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