Friday, May 1, 2009

Keep an Art Journal for Experimenting

Another way to use art journaling is as a place to try out something new.

About a year ago I kept reading about people using mica in scrapbooking and could not quite figure out how they were doing it.

To make a long story short, my husband and I went on an extended hiking trip and came across an old mine that had large chunks of mica lying about. I examined it and then put a few pieces in my pack. As I hiked along I started to see in my mind how one could indeed use mica as window panes. And how this was particularly suited to the art journal format, with consecutive pages adding to a layered effect. The pieces we found had the largest mica sheets I had ever seen, lots of pieces bigger than the palm of my hand.

In case you don’t know, mica is a rock comprised of tightly compressed layers of shiny, see through mineral. I was only carrying out a few pieces for obvious reasons – you don’t add tons (or even 25 pounds) of rock to your pack when you are hiking above 10,000 feet in the mountains.

I have since found that there is processed mica available in craft stores. Regardless of where you obtain your mica or what the form is, the flakes or sheets can be carefully peeled apart for thinner and thinner panes. The effect is nice, kind of like beveled glass. The real fun which I discovered while experimenting in my art journal, was layering two or three pages where the ‘window’ looked backwards and forwards. The main subject is the same picture seen through thicker or thinner layers (or no layer) and the picture itself can be entirely different.

I will try to get more than one photo into this post showing the same 3 – 4 pages. What I don’t think I captured in the photos is the quality of light that comes through the mica and thus through the image.

This is just one example of ways to keep an art journal for trying out new methods and materials
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