I have not used gold leaf – not even faux gold leaf – in many a long year, not since I left High School actually. It is wonderful stuff and I love the impact it has on a piece of art. However, one of the commitments I made to myself was to work with the materials and media I already have and to make substitutions where required. Other than a splurge on Neocolor II crayons and Posca paint pens – which I assessed looked pretty necessary for the Life Book course – I have been very self-disciplined and stuck to that. Of course, my Amazon wish list grows longer every time I watch a tutorial but as someone who enjoys being thrifty none of the wish list items are leaping into the virtual cart. So I had to make my response to this lesson work without gold leaf. My solution was to paint a piece of paper with three different gold acrylic paints blended together by scraping them on with an old plastic card. I was then able to use that “gilded” paper for collage.
Mati Rose McDonough’s video tutorial encouraged we Life Bookers to create an abstract background using whichever techniques we felt inclined to use. I struggle with creating truly abstract art work. I can work in an abstract style so long as I am making the shapes and marks resemble something. Therefore, I could not stop myself from seeing the paper as being divided up into sea and sky. When I added the drips, in three different colours of blue, at the top of the page, I saw them as storm clouds and rain. When I added spatter at the bottom of the page, I saw it as sea spray. I added the hot pink dots, in three different sizes, for a punch of colour contrast and also to try and add a slightly more random element. A line of sparkly tape and some flags cut from gelli plate prints helped tie the colour scheme together. I used paint pen to add the mast and anchor and alphabet stamps to add the phrase “find it and treasure it” to the golden hull of the simplistic boat.