Thursday, October 11, 2012


I figured I'd get to keep Lex through tomorrow, but it turns out she has a doctor's appointment tomorrow at 10:00, so I guess she needs to be back in Austin before then. I thought about taking her back this afternoon, but I'm just not sure I'm ready to let her go yet. I suppose I could take her back early in the morning. Then I'd have a good excuse to spend an entire day knocking around Austin on my own. It's been absolute ages since I've done that.  Where would I go? Well, I think I'd start with a trip to World Market, to look at their white dishes. Then I might head down to S. Congress and have lunch at my favorite little Enoteca. After that I'd mosey on down to Great Outdoors. I need to add some more perennials to the Cantina Garden, and I need to get them in by the end of October. If I have any energy left after that, I may even stop by Archivers on my way home. I've been working on a two-page spread in one of my art journals, which has an oriental feel to it, and I thought I'd take a look around, to see if they have any interesting ephemera I could add to the pages. This could turn out to be one of my perfect days, no?

That reminds me of an expression that keeps popping up amongst my art journaling friends -- flopabilities. A flopability is something that looks like a total disaster, but if you just play around with it a bit, maybe walk away from it for a while and come back later, then play with it some more, it could very well turn into something uniquely wonderful.  That's what I love about art journaling. It's not about creating masterpieces for others to judge. It's a place of freedom -- freedom to experiment and try new techniques. Freedom to flop! Come to think of it, these oriental journal pages started out as a major flopability. Are you familiar with masks and stencils? If you took a piece of cardboard and cut a shape out of the center -- say, a Chinese lantern shape -- the outer piece would become a stencil, which you could lay on a background and paint or draw through. The piece that you removed from the center would become a "mask", which you could lay on a background and paint over and around, so that it leaves an area devoid of color when removed. Anywho, I saw something online where someone did a black and white piece using Chinese lantern shapes, and decided to play with that idea, only of course I wanted lots of color! I decided to try it with my new Dylusion sprays, only the sprays warped the cardboard stencil, got up under it, and went drizzling down the page. My lanterns looked like they had melted. A total flop, right? No, a flop-ability!

I just printed up some more Chinese text, glued it to the opposite page, then tried using the stencils with Pan Pastels this time. Perfect! But what to do about the other page? Well, I started by laying the masks over the lantern shapes, and tried covering up the oozy parts with more sprays. Not quite the effect I was after, but I figured I could do some journaling with a white pen in the big blotchy space. Meanwhile, quite by accident, my masks ended up with this fantastic verdigris patina! I could never reproduce it in a million years, so I decided to preserve it by gluing them onto the little card separating my two pages.

I've been playing with the layout all week, and each time I walk away from it for a while, I see it through new eyes, come up with new possibilities. Should I add a dragonfly to this page?

Should I cut up this Malaysian notecard I've been saving for years and years, and collage it on, or photocopy it and try an image transfer?

Haven't made up my mind about those last bits yet, but I do know that, with each new step, I'm loving the pages more and more. Just shows to go you. When your day, week, or life doesn't go according to plan, don't think of it as a flop. Think of it as a flopability!

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