Art Journal: Background



I’m late in posting because Mr. G and I were trying to figure out how to post multiple images without wordpress freaking out and messing things up. WordPress is really NOT intuitive. I still haven’t figured out how to put words under each image without the formatting messing up – if i’ve done it in the past it was just a fluke. Arrrggggghhhh.

So this is what I did with my background.


  1. I splurted a few folkart paints onto a piece of watercolour paper (often I use ordinary cardstock)
  2. Then with a discarded credit card I scrapped the paint onto the page
  3. The colours were a wee bit bright so with some gesso I toned them down a bit
  4. I threw a few water droplets onto the page, waited a couple of minutes then patted them off to create a cool water droplet effect
  5. Next came the texture – I brushed on some green paint onto the bubblewrap and then pressed it onto my page.
  6. I added a bit more gesso to the page in certain areas with a brush as well as a bit more green on some of the edges.

The page is now ready for me to collage or paint my images and add text to it. You might want to make a few backgrounds using a variety of techniques and have them handy for when you get the urge to do some art journaling! When i’ve created a background I really like sometimes I color copy it so I can use it again.


Natski wanted to play along but didn’t have a blog or a flickr site where she could post her page so she sent it to me….here it is. Isn’t it fun? Her action was: smush (used oil pastels), Texture – gesso-d wings, props – flower and a crown, word – skewered. The flower has been skewered by a toothpick.

If someone has a Meldown is it a Meldown if no one is there to Witness it?


Yesterday I was having a meltdown – so many things were happening with the new site, getting a kajillion wordpress messages (which is wonderful but overwhelming), trying to figure out all of the nuances, losing e-mails because of it, needing to do some social networking, more art, the challenge, a couple of online classes i’m taking etc. So I plopped on the floor in a crumpled heap and began to cry. Okay….i didn’t cry a lot but did manage to squeeze out a few tears. I waited for Mr. G to find me there crying but he didn’t come. Because of his back and rib injury he moves very s-l-o-w-l-y. So I waited for about 5 minutes (however it felt like an eternity) and finally got up. I mean what’s the point of having a meltdown if no one is there to witness it? It’s sort of like the zen koan “what is the sound of one hand clapping?”. I received a couple of kind supportive e-mails – thank you Gail and Wendy  for telling me to take care of myself.

When Mr. G finally saw my sad little face he was sympathetic. So I had to ask myself what did I really want to do? I wanted to go for a walk to my park (even though I had a kajillion things to do). On the walk I found myself deep in thought about all of the things I must attend to. I reminded myself to enjoy my surroundings so I began to look up and I noticed the birds chirping in the trees and marvelled at the variety of birds and their different songs. I delighted in looking at the cherry blossoms and watched as the tiny birds flitted in and out of the blossoms causing the petals to flutter around me. How magnificent is that? Then I came home, had dinner and lay on the wooden deck so I could soak in some of the suns rays – then my back went out! Doh!

What is the Overwhelm all about?

I think one of the reasons i’m overwhelmed and stressed out – and this is where many of our fear of success issues come from – is that I am afraid that if I become too successful I will no longer be able to respond to e-mails or do the social networking stuff by myself. I will no longer be accessible. I’ll be like some of the other artists who are so big they don’t respond to e-mails and let you know that they won’t because they are inundated. I remember how wonderful it would have been to have my art heroes respond to my messages from the past but they were too busy with too many messages to respond. Anyways….i think that’s one of my big fears….and naturally I’m dropping balls. So there you go – I said it.

Happy Earth Day everyone! What will you be doing for Earth day? I am thinking of looking into getting someone to rototill the back corner of our yard so we can grow some vegetables.

8 Comments on Art Journal: Background

  1. Wendy Fedan
    April 22, 2010 at 12:18 pm (10 years ago)

    I love that! Why bother having a meltdown when there’s nobody there to witness it?
    Thanks for sharing your heartful humanity with us, Violette!
    Take good care of yourself ~
    I love this analogy: it’s like when you’re on an airplane – the flight attendent says to put the oxygen mask on yourself FIRST, and THEN assist others. This means you won’t be any help to assist others, basically, if you don’t take care of yourself first! This thought really gets me over the thought that I’m being selfish by doing so!
    Love and blessings to you, Violette!

  2. kelly McMichael
    April 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm (10 years ago)

    but you are sharing and talking with us all everyday through this blog! I (we) don’t need you to respond to all our emails or comments–we love that you just talk and share via the blog. So just create so we can go along for the ride with you

    And take long walks and relax!

  3. nakcus
    April 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm (10 years ago)

    Your blog is our connection and we love it. I love the colors you used in the journal page. I’m off to find some bubble wrap!

  4. Wendy
    April 22, 2010 at 3:19 pm (10 years ago)

    I’ve been known to give lessons in how to say “no”. Put your tongue behind you top teeth, lips apart and say “nnnnnnn” – not too long or it will tickle your nose! Now, make your lips a circle, drop your jaw a little and make an “oh” sound. When you have that mastered (mistressed?) make the 2 sounds in quick succession. Will that help?

    Of course you have to decide when to use this handy-dandy word in it’s many guises.

  5. bettyann
    April 22, 2010 at 3:58 pm (10 years ago)

    I love that..yes I wait for DH to come home and re-live my meldown lol..Yes, do take care of yourself Violette..I believe you are already successful in my, loving, generous to your friends and fans…walk in nature is a good peacefu, blissful place..

  6. tinker
    April 22, 2010 at 11:50 pm (10 years ago)

    Sorry you had a rough day, Violette. You have so much talent and heart, and I’m sure most people understand if you can’t respond right away – life gets busy sometimes…
    I know you didn’t ask for advice – but I can’t help myself from wanting to talk gardening…You might not need to rototill for your garden (sometimes that actually just dredges up more weed seeds into the light). We just pulled/dug out any major weeds where we wanted to plant (some people just put a layer of mulch & newspaper) – then put the raised bed boxes over the area and filled them with a mixture of compost, peat moss and vermiculite. We never rototilled, and 3 years later, we still really haven’t had a problem with weeds, knock on wood (just the occasional visiting critter, lol). At the garden at the school where I used to work, they had someone rototill where they wanted to put a garden, and more weeds came up than had ever been there before. Just a thought….
    Anyway, hope you’re feeling better by now, Violette. xox

    • admin
      April 23, 2010 at 9:31 am (10 years ago)

      Thanks Tink…….you’re sweet. I don’t think my back could take pulling the weeds that’s the thing………maybe i could hire someone? Thanks for the advice!
      Love, violette

  7. tinker
    April 22, 2010 at 11:52 pm (10 years ago)

    Just realized when I said ‘raised bed boxes’ that makes it sound like they have a bottom – but they’re really just squares or rectangles of 4 connected boards that are open on the bottom and just sit on top of the ground. Hope I’m making sense…mercury’s retro again, right now…


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