Mindful Mark Making

Hello friends

I hope all is good with you.

We just had a bank holiday weekend in the UK and the weather was glorious, hot and sunny (still hot today too). Seems like the summer, which has been pretty good this year anyway, has decided to go out in a blaze of glory. There has been a lot of stuff going on over the weekend near to where we live, but we decided to avoid the crowds and mainy stay at home and chill out.

A week ago today we arrived home from a week’s holiday in Amsterdam, Holland. We rented an apartment in a quiet residential part of the city, it was a lovely apartment on the ground floor with living room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and a small garden. AND best of all the apartment came with a cat called Tiger. We just had to feed him and be nice to him, which was easy as he was so adorable. We always miss our two cats when we go away, we know they are OK as a friend comes and looks after them, but we still miss them terribly, so spending a week with Tiger was excellent. In fact holidays looking after someone else’s cat could be the future for us 🙂

Tiger our host for a week 🙂

The holiday was not completely stress free but on the whole we had a good time. The weather was a bit cold and wet but Amsterdam is a lovely city, we did a lot of walking, had a canal boat cruise and saw some amazing art.

Banksy at MOCO Amsterdam
Street Art at NSDM Wharf

So this recent bank holiday weekend was mainly been about relaxing and doing very little.

On Saturday I took my landscapes journal into the garden and spent about 4 hours just making marks on the page without any thought as to the end result. The finished page can be seen above. I love making repetative marks, I just get lost in the rhythm of the process and hours go by and I really don’t care much what it looks like in the end 🙂

I had already started on the page some time ago and blocked in some colour. The centre image below shows what I started with on Saturday morning.

Original page, blocked in colours, finished with mindful doodles 🙂

On Monday I worked on another journal, just putting paint onto the page and creating layers, waiting to see what might materialise from this fairly new way of painting for me.

I have been back to work today but now I’m home and the weather is still hot and sunny, this fantastic weather can’t last much longer so I’m off out into the garden to enjoy it while it’s here. I hope you are enjoying this time of year too.

Take good care of yourselves and I’ll try and update again soon.

Big Love
AJ xxx

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2011-2019 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The ABC of ME :-)

Hello friends

I hope all is good with you, me, I’m doing OK 🙂

I finally completed a whole project, it took a year but I’m chuffed with it. In July 2018 I was doing my regular trawl around all the local charity shops looking for a bargain when I found this book. I can’t tell you just how excited I was 🙂

It’s chunky book to help young children learn the alphabet, the pages are thick board covered in a plastic wipe clean surface.

First of all I carefully removed the cover and put it aside to reconstruct it later. Then I stripped all the plastic from the pages, it pealed off really easily and left me with a pristine blank book. To strip the pages gently start rubbing at one of the corners until the plastic begins to separate from the board page, then, if you are careful (and a bit lucky) you can usualy pull the whole plastic covering away from the backing.

Because blank pages are a bit scary I coloured every page with a random colour and then starting at A and finally finishing at Z I made my very own personalised ABC of Me. I used quotes and words that I find inspiring and to keep my spirits lifted. After I had removed the cover I was able to work on each spread flat, which made the job so much easier,

Once it was finished and because I still wanted to be able to open the book out flat I strengthened the spine with fabric and PVA glue, I also covered the front and back covers of the book with fabric and then stuck the first and last pages to the covers with more PVA glue. I made the titles for the front cover and the spine from an old piece of bandage which I coloured with ink and used alphabet rubber stamps for the lettering on the cover.

Here is the completed book, it took me a year to finish it: If you click on the Vimeo link you can watch it full screen, you will probably have to pause it if you want to read all the words. I have tried to attribute the quotes to the appropriate author, but didn’t manage with every one of them.

If you would like to create your own ABC book, the original My Big Alphabet Book is available from Amazon (and presumably other suppliers) at a reasonable price.

That’s all for now folks, take good care of yourselves and I’ll be back here sometime soonish I hope.

Big love AJ xxx

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2011-2019 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.