I finally finished the Week 12 of Life Book. a dimensional mixed media piece taught by Anna Dabrowska.  I love her work and this technique, although I admit to struggling with it, at first.  The theme for March was Connections and my intention was to celebrate my connection to art by my dad.

Dad took a correspondence course in Commercial Art from the Famous Artist School.  I don’t remember exactly when he took this class, but it must have been in the late 60s early 70s.  I inherited his art books, including the 4 very large 3 ring binders of this class, which is awesomely mid-Century in style. After we moved to Chicago, he took art classes at the Art Institute. Among his books were his sketchbooks and when I looked through them, I recognized some of the places he drew. So that’s what he did all day!  Wandered around Chicago with his sketchbook.

My first attempt for this week was to follow Anna’s instructions and use photos. I made a 9×12 version and class journal version.  However, I got a bit enthusiastic with the 3D portion and they became overworked and unfocused.  I set them aside, stared at it, contemplated my options.  I know there is a way to fix it, but I still have not figured it out yet. So they sit and wait for inspiration.

I really liked the technique and decided to try another piece a little more in my own current style.  I flipped through my art journals, looking for inspiration and found a page of a gal with an umbrella, which I drew from a Sybarite photostory in Haute Doll magazine.

I sketched my gal out then decided I should work the girl last and went to town on the 3-D portion.  For the background, I used various beads, charms, old watch pieces, ribbons, laces, rickrack, sequins, foreign coins, all glued down using the faux encaustic mixture recipe I found in a recent Somerset mags.

The awesome part of the technique is that the color of these items makes no difference because you slather the whole thing with a layer or two of gesso.  For color, I used Daler Rowney acrylic inks, Neocolor 2s, Prismapencils, washi tape, Pitt and Sakura pens.

Every week of this class introduces me to an awesome new technique. It’s a good thing Tam builds in less intense weeks because sometimes a week is not enough to incorporate these into my work. Week 12 was one of those weeks. Last Monday was the start of Week 14 and I’m trying not to think of being behind.  It’s all a learning process and I can go back at any time. I’m still very much enjoying Life Book and am glad that I let of go the fear of being new at this type of art and took the class.