Hi everyone. It’s Bonnie here with Week 42’s prompt for the Art Journal Adventure. My idea for this week is Puzzled and it came about because of an early morning idea (you know the ones where you are still half asleep and still in bed) to use jigsaw puzzle pieces on an AJ page. I thought both the challenge and the dimension would be fun.
I started with a 7 x 10 inch piece of mixed media paper to which I added torn papers from an old puzzle book. Using gel medium to adhere the pieces, I made sure to leave some white space and to take some of the pieces over the edges which I trimmed off when dry.
Next, using a heavier gel medium, I adhered some jigsaw puzzle pieces from an old incomplete puzzle. Some I attached in sections that interlocked and others I applied singly or in small piles. The subject matter and colours of the pieces didn’t matter at all since I knew they would be covered but if I was doing this again, I would sand the shiny front of each one slightly to give it more tooth. It was a very shiny coated puzzle.
Out came the gesso both to knock back the background papers (using a little water in the brush) and also to cover the pattern of the puzzle pieces (full strength gesso, two coats).
If I had wanted more vibrant colours from the Lindy’s Stamp Gang Starburst Sprays, I would have applied a coat of Golden Absorbent Ground over the gesso. I was going for a more subdued background which I could pump up with Gelatos so I skipped this step. I spritzed Yellow Rose of Texas, Marigold Yellowed Orange, and Hottie Patottie Hot Pink sprays, drying and adding more where I wanted it until I was satisfied.
I added scuffs of Watermelon, Tangerine, and Lemon Faber Castell Gelatos both to the background and the puzzle pieces, and blended with my fingers. Then, because the pieces were not standing out enough to suit me, I took a charcoal pencil and a blending stump and outlined each of them. I then took a black pen and outlined over the charcoal and also along the joints between pieces. Love the contrast!
To add more texture as well as connect the background and puzzle pieces in a stronger way, I added stamping with Archival Inks. I used Jet Black with Stampotique Originals Circles Cube stamp, Tiger Lily with Carabelle Studio Quadrillages, and Magenta Hue with Joggles Nonsense Latin Text. I also went back with a little more gesso on a finger and dabbed some on a few pieces. I must say I was liking it a whole lot more at this point…phew!
All that was left was to find a focal image and the wording. I wanted a confused baby face and found this adorable guy who seems to epitomize confusion or puzzlement. He was printed, fussy cut, and matted with black. The wording was printed on white cardstock, cut into individual words, and matted with black. Confuzzled, a mixture of the words confused and puzzled, is on of my favourite expressions. Both the baby and the words were popped up on foam tape.
Before I added a variety of question mark stickers, different fonts and sizes, to a few puzzle pieces, I stencilled gesso through TCW Tiny Circles stencil to introduce a little more white as well as texture/pattern to the design. I also doodled a black border which was broken up by clumps of 3 question marks. You know I love those details!
And here’s my finished page adhered to the black matting common to all my pages in this journal. I might have to leave him sitting out for a while before inserting him into the journal. He cracks me up every time I look at him.I keep expecting him to say, “Whatchu talkin’ about, Willis?”. LOL
Have fun with the Puzzled prompt! It certainly doesn’t have to be about a feeling or about the puzzle hobbies which I enjoy. Let it take you wherever you want. I can’t wait to see the results 🙂