ARTfusion Gallery in Bigfork has been asking for more journals and I have been dragging my feet about getting them ready to go (I needed to make them because I have no inventory). The paper art I do is fairly involved and it ties up the studio for an extended period of time because everything needs to be dried under weights to prevent buckling of the paper after it is painted and/or glued in place.
A couple of days ago, I set up for painting covers for the hardback sketch books I order wholesale - and sell as journals after I have added the original cover art. Since I was already set up for working with paper, I decided to continue on and make some notecards, which were very popular in Elements Gallery last summer and fall.
My process involves taping the paper to my work surface (to prevent buckling and warping). Then, I apply a color wash to the surface - usually using old MX dye leftover from fabric dyeing - this makes a very vivid background.
After the wash dries, I block print using my hand cut rubber stamps.
After the block printing dries, I will add screen printing. The screen prints are Thermofax screens made from my own photographs. I really take my time and think carefully about the colors of each layer, focusing on blending and also on contrasting.
My journals and notecards are each individually hand painted and hand printed.
The other reason I've been dragging my feet is that they are time consuming and not a very good return because the retail price must stay low and by the time the commission and shipping comes out - it is not a very good use of my time.
Oh well, they are kind of fun to do every once in a while and it gives me an opportunity to explore different imagery and color combinations guilt free.