*Guest post by Art Journal Kickstarter artist Jessica T. Kovan.
As an avid journaler, for years I threw my journals away. But then I became inspired to start tearing them up and using them within my art. My handwriting in my journals is basically illegible and provides a perfect starting point for background texture. I also like experimenting with different mediums for creating color (coffee, beets, tea, etc.) I created the beginning of The Beetnik while making Thanksgiving dinner. I had just cooked beets, looked down at the beauty of the beet juice, stopped what I was doing, quickly fully covered a canvas randomly with my journal pages and poured the beet juice onto the canvas. Art took priority over the preparation of the meal! After much staring and with the addition of a little acrylic paint and some cut up journal pages, my husband’s image emerged from the beet juice start. And The Beetnik was born.
Old journal pages
Matte medium archival quality
Old plastic credit card
Tombow black marker
Step One: Boil beets in water. Save the water to use on the painting. Eat the beets!
Step Two: Tear old writings, such as old journal pages, into various sizes. Randomly affix them onto the base surface using gel medium, covering the entire area. When covered, paint a coat of gel medium over the entire surface. Push out air bubbles with a plastic card (old credit card or hotel key). Let dry.
Step Three: Pour beet juice onto papers. Cover as desired allowing white spaces to show. Let dry. Repeat as many times as desired.
Step Four: Find an image in the beet juice. Using a white pencil, sketch the outline of the image onto the collaged surface.
Step Five: Use a black Tombo brush marker to outline design. The water-based ink is blendable. Using a wet brush, blend until desired effect is achieved.Finish the painting by mixing a paint to closely match the beet juice color (ex. alizarin + black). Paint in areas until get the desired effect. If desire highlighted areas, cut extra journal pages into desired shapes and glue down with gel medium.
Step Six: After the painting is dried, spray or paint with varnish to seal.
Know yourself, be daring, do good work and try not to worry. Follow your dreams with courage.
Jessica Kovan Bio:
I am a full time artist working in collage, painting and mixed media. I am in awe of the power of art to share ways of looking at the world. I love working in mixed media because of the meanings that can evolve out of the layering as well as the richness of color, patterns and texture that help to tell a story. One of my life’s journeys was obtaining a doctorate in Adult Education. I truly enjoy teaching. I offer workshops focused on helping students find a personal and playful approach to the creative process.