This week’s Life Book lesson was another exploration of layering, this time tutored by Kristin Van Valkenburgh. I took careful notes while watching the videos and followed the directions for each of the layers. I was forced to improvise a little since I do not own all of the materials used. Maybe that is where I went wrong because I did not manage to pull this piece together very effectively. I ended up with what looks like a puddle of brightly coloured ice cream as opposed to the lovely piece Van Valkenburgh ended up with. Oops. That said, the piece is incomplete. I am supposed to add a heart shaped pocket to the background to hold a letter written to my younger self. However, I don’t have any suitable material for constructing the pocket at present so that will have to wait until a future date. This piece, therefore, is the background.
This was a great learning opportunity though and I have a few things I can take away from this piece and apply it to future art projects. One layer involved stamping with and into gesso using a tool constructed from a cardboard tube. That is responsible for the textured circles in this piece and I liked the technique so I can see me using that again. The second layer was a liberal spraying with Dylusions ink and, because it can be reactivated, it was a bit of a pain to work with in subsequent layers. I am sure more experienced mixed media artists can manage with that quality of the product but in my case that is why everything became so overwhelmingly pink. I think, therefore, if I am to use Dylusions ink in a layered piece then it has to be one of the last layers. I feel as though I am taking one step forward and two steps back when it comes to layering but at least that means I am making some gradual progress, however plodding.