Today, I was working on free-standing journal pages. I love the idea of combining fabric and drawing. A drawing of a cactus with a sheer fabric seemed intriguing.
Fabric journal pages open up a whole new genre of writing and drawing in your art journal. I’m creating free-standing or unbound pages–experimenting with creating unsequenced book pages. So far, I’m liking it a lot.
My idea was to use fabric as a background. The way it turns out, it’s sewn on as a foreground and takes just a bit of planning.
The fabric is a sheer polyester in yellow, orange and red. I thought of sunsets and desert evenings when I purchased it. The woman behind the cutting counter looked at the sheer, bright fabric and at my request for a quarter yard and asked, politely but with great wariness, what I might be making with this. I’m sure she was terrified at what piece of clothing I might have in mind. “Art project,” I smiled. She broke into a big, relieved smile and then said, “It’s so much fun to play crafty games with the grandchildren for Easter isn’t it?” I smiled back. No sense to disturb her fantasy of happy Easter projects.
First I drew a cactus on a piece of Strathmore pre-cut, cold-press watercolor paper. I added a scrap of landscape to anchor the image and explain the sunset colors. To give the cactus and landscape colors, I used Derwent Inktense and Caran D’Ache watercolor pencils.
Next, I cut a piece of lightweight fusible webbing the size of the page, and a piece of the fabric just a bit bigger. I covered the entire work with a piece of cooking parchment, to prevent the iron from sticking to the melted webbing.
After ironing the fabric to the postcard, I trimmed the fabric and using a sewing machine set on zig-zag, finished the edges of the page.
By placing the fabric carefully, you can create different lighting effects.
The back of the page is for writing. I don’t show those parts here because the writing is personal. Eventually, I’ll do some samples and show those, too.
—Quinn McDonald is the author of Raw Art Journaling. She will teach these techniques in a class called Postcards from the Other Side of Your Brain at Valley Ridge Art Center on May 5-6, 2012. There are still places left if you’d like to join.