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While We Are on the Topic of Backgrounds…

September 18, 2009

090914Pears

Above: journal page spread where rubberstamped text forms the background. Click on the image to view an enlargement, and read below for more details.

I'm still fighting a cold and suffering from Fair Withdrawal. I am aching to sketch something, anything, including two not-too-attractive pears (I like pears with a little more variety and oddness to their shapes) that were on standby for Dick's lunches. So I flipped over the page in my journal and the next spread was covered with pre-stamped text. (The text is actually a line out of an article I read a couple weeks ago. "This insistence on open endings and on feelings." I had stamped it, running right off the edges of the page spread, with a large stamp typeface and Brilliance stamp pad inks, which have a nice metallic quality.)

I picked up a Faber-Castel Pitt Artists Brush pen that is a sort of periwinkle blue and started sketching the two pears I'd put on my desk. I was sitting on my foot-rest close to the floor. (Yes some of the handwritten text at the bottom of the verso page has been obliterated in the scan.)

Then I started scribbling with my Stabilo Tones to add color to the pears, their shadows, and the table top. The thing I love about Stabilo Tones is that you can scribble, then wet the lines and move the paint around, and finally blend with you finger.

If you want to read more about Stabilo Tones go to this post, and then read several of the posts which follow it. I was on a Stabilo Tone kick at the end of the summer. Just like me to love a dead medium. You could have similar fun with Caran d'Ache NeoColor II—which are also wax and watersoluble.

The blending with your finger is the real joy here—especially when you are fighting a cold and dying to sketch something (and there's no puppy in the house).

So next time a cold has you trapped in the house with nothing but produce, cover a journal page spread with text for the background and start to paint over it. Don't worry about the finished product. Just be sure to pick a medium that is tactile and fun, because the process will perk you up, even if the chicken soup isn't working.

    • Alex
    • September 18, 2009
    Reply

    This is brilliant! What a great idea! And I loved the tongue-in-a-cheek tone of your post.

    A quick question, if you don’t mind… Did you paint pears in the actual magazine, or did you make an image of the magazine’s spread in your book and then painted pears over it?

    Sorry to bother you, I love this idea!

    • elizabeth
    • September 18, 2009
    Reply

    Roz,

    These pears are great! I really like how they are superimposed on the background text. It also gives me a great plan for all the quotes I hear/read and don’t quite know what to do with them. I sheepishly admit that after reading your prior posts on Stabilo Tone that I scoured the internet trying to find any remainders out there. While I was not able to get the full collection, I was able to score a small pack of them and can’t wait to play more with them. I hope you are feeling better and your doctor’s appointment went well.

    • Roz
    • September 18, 2009
    Reply

    Alex, I’m a little confused by the question. There is no magazine involved in this process, except that the text line I stamped was something I read in a magazine.

    What I did was I stamped the text a couple weeks ago after reading it. Don’t even know why it stuck in my mind, but that doesn’t matter for these purposes. It’s the same as cutting text out of a book and sticking it on a journal page.

    I do a lot of that. You can see several examples of it in “The Cold” journal in my journal selections at my website, but here’s one example from that group https://rozwoundup.com/Cold0711.html

    Also in that journal you can see another use of stamped text as background https://rozwoundup.com/Cold0704.html

    On that spread in the second link, I FIRST stamped my Guinea Fowl carving (which I made from one of my State Fair Sketches), then covered it with a mask and typed the large bluish letters (which are actually metallic). And finally stamped the black text on the verso page on top of everything else.

    Hope that gives you some other options for your experiments. Just a heads up that if you are going to paint over magazine pages you’ll probably need to work with acrylics. Watercolor, gouache, and watersoluble wax pencils like Stabilo Tones won’t “stick” to most glossy and coated paper stocks that magazines are printed on. You could buff the the paper up lightly with a fine sand paper to give the surface some tooth, but even so I think there would be problems.

    If I’m going to paint over a page of text like I did here https://rozwoundup.com/Early0805.html I select pages from books that have uncoated paper. (For the last couple of years I’ve actually been using pages from a mystery book that is printed on acid free paper!)

    Anyway, to get back to the method for today’s example. After stamping the letters the page just sat until I worked my way there through the journal.

    When I did get there I went to the pantry and got Dick’s pears, put them on my work table, adjusted the light, sat on my footstool and drew the pears directly onto my journal page, ignoring the already present rubber-stamped text.

    After drawing the pears I took the Stabilo Tones and started building up color.

    I find that Brilliance Inks are pretty much waterproof if allowed to dry. I use these inks because they don’t smell, don’t seep through the paper like Ranger’s Archival Ink line does over time, and because, as I’ve said, they are pretty much waterproof.

    One could of course paint in a magazine, or layer magazine pages in one’s journal and paint over them (I paint over collaged items all the time and provide examples above) as you ask, but for this spread it was all just working on the journal’s own page spread with stamps, pen, and Stabilo Tone.

    I hope this clarifies things and you have great fun with all the experiments you do!

    • Roz
    • September 18, 2009
    Reply

    Thanks for the good wishes Elizabeth. The doctor’s appointment was a bit of a mixed bag. Some things ruled out which is good, but I’m still straggling a bit. Which is frustrating when I want to work in my JOURNAL!!!

    I’m glad you enjoy the painted-over stamped text and that it is going to be useful for you. I find it has an interesting look that appeals to my cluttered mind when I have a cold (which seems to be when I use my alphabet stamps the most).

    Sadly the full range of Stabilo Tones are no longer available and that means that the lovely colors I have are not replaceable. There are cool and warm grays in the large selection, as well as a range of blues and reds and, well, it’s useless thinking about what was.

    You can do much the same thing with NeoColor II or NeoArt, both from Caran d’Ache. I recommend the Neo Art because they the company’s artist grade of that type. So when your standard set of Stabilo Tones is used up keep your eye open for one of those.

    • Alex
    • September 18, 2009
    Reply

    Oh WOW! What a super detailed reply! Thank you so much Roz for taking the time! I am sorry my question was so unclear, but you gave me the answer I needed anyway. I have a very good idea what to try and how to go about it. The idea is wonderfully clever and fits my cluttered mind too.

    Anyway, I can’t express how much I appreciate the effort you took to answer a question from some unknown Internet person.

    Wish you to feel better soon!

    • elizabeth
    • September 18, 2009
    Reply

    Roz,

    I just tried to access the links you have listed from your “cold” journal and it appears they are not accessible from the links you provided because you put a period after the “html”.

    Thanks for the advice regarding the NeoColor II and the NeoArt. I shall keep them in mind once I have used up my Stabilo Tone.

    Sorry to hear about your doctor’s appointment. I am a physician, myself, and I understand how frustrating it can be to be a patient! Personally, I find it is much better to be the doctor! 🙂

    Cheers.

    • Roz
    • September 18, 2009
    Reply

    Alex, I’m glad I was able to clarify it. Have fun. Thanks for the get well wishes, I’m working on it—more chicken soup tonight.

    • Roz
    • September 18, 2009
    Reply

    Elizabeth, thanks for the heads up about the broken links. I love my doctor so I don’t have dissatisfaction with her, I just wish things would move along faster. You must get that all the time from your patients!

    I’ll try to fix those links.

  1. Reply

    Roz…I just love all of your work and subscribe to your blog feed. Someday I’d love to take one of your classes. In the meantime I find so much inspiration…especially this post. I posted a link to this post because you inspired the journal pages in my post. Thanks so much and let me know if there is more that I need to do on my post to give you the “props”. Hope you are feeling better soon, fondly, Roberta
    http://con-tain-it.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/09/day-8-the-21-challenge.html

    • Roz
    • September 19, 2009
    Reply

    Roberta, thanks for writing in and for showing what you did in your journal with your letter stamps and painting over type. It is great fun for me to see how others take an a suggestion and run with it! I love it.

    Also you have some seriously large stamps and a seriously large journal. It must be 12 x 14 or so? What fun to have such great space to fill.

    I hope you have many opportunities to revisit the use of background stamped text. Your joy with this piece really shows. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Reply

    roz, i have a love for stabilo tones too. it’s a shame they don’t make them anymore. i really like your stamped text here. i can never get the letters so neat.

    gerri

    • Roz
    • September 21, 2009
    Reply

    gerri, any neatness to the letters comes from letting go about neatness when stamping. You can see the O in open is a double impression. These stamps are cut out so you can see where you are putting them, which would make for very neat applications if someone was so inclined. Thanks.

    Yeah, about Stabilo Tones, why is it they don’t ask us before the ax something!!!

    • Donna
    • September 22, 2009
    Reply

    Roz, I can’t believe that I actually went out yesterday and bought my first rubber stamps, an alphabet one and a couple of single things. How would the Rozettes (my term for Roz fans) get by daily without you?

    BTW, after seeing your cold journal and noting a late September date, I am wondering if there is a connection between the fair and your colds? I know that you would shudder to even consider such a connection, but still……………

    (I could rubber stamp this message faster than my one finger typing–hand surgery last week).

    Get over that cold! THIS JOURNAL PAGE IS FAB!

    • Roz
    • September 22, 2009
    Reply

    HaHaHa Donna, Rozettes. That’s funny.

    There is a connection with the DATES and colds, but happily it isn’t with the State Fair. I have allergies that are the worst at this time of year when the temps start to change as well.

    It’s been a year since I last had a cold, and that was August 2008 BEFORE THE STATE FAIR.

    So WHEW, we know it’s not the Fair. I just have to be a little more careful and get my rest.

    This year, though I am pretty sure I got sick at the Fair the second day I went. The news was full of H1N1 among 4H-ers and as is usual with crowds…I actually think it was the kid at the spin art booth I caught my cold from!

    But who knows.

    At least I know it isn’t the Fair all the time, thanks to 2008.

    This one has been BAD. No “Cold Journal” this year. But at least I’m able to do a little drawing every day.

    I’m grumpy though!

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