Paper Towel 'Canvas'

Mixed media memory of Thanksgiving weekend at Mo Ranch.
When I feel like experimenting with something new I randomly pull one of my art "how-to" books off the shelf and turn to one of the pages marked with a post-it note. Mixed Media Revolution by McElroy & Wilson suggested using a paper towel for the "canvas" for a mixed media art (experiment). I used the materials in my travel art kit and made this experiment on Thanksgiving weekend.
I put a paper towel on top of a piece of wax paper (to protect the table in the hotel room), and then I randomly laid down liquid acrylic in nearly all the colors I had available in my mini travel tubs. It was pretty wet once the paints were laid down so I let it dry overnight before continuing. Fall leaves were lovely at the retreat facility where we were staying, so that seemed symbolic of our Thanksgiving weekend and important to include in the art. I dipped the leaves in the acrylic and pressed onto the canvas. The imprint of leaves around the borders were made from two leaf stamps and four colors of ink.

Altered Art Bookmark

 I was tired of flipping back-and-forth in my art journal looking for the current page I was working on so I made a super simple bookmark. I used a piece of pretty cord (this was intended to be a belt; I purchased it on a mission trip to Guatemala but never used the belt). Cut it to size and then squirt a big blog of Sobo Premium Craft & Fabric Glue in the space in the binding; insert fabric; press tightly until the glue sets. Voila! Instant bookmark.

Thanksgiving 2013

Mixed media reflection on Thanksgiving 2013
Choose a clean/un-prepped page and use Xylene to create an image transfer of a labyrinth.

Fall foliage leaves painted with acrylic and pressed onto the journal page.
Tube acrylics work best, but I had my travel kit with only liquid acrylics.

Write your prayers of gratitude as you "walk" the labyrinth in your journal.

Trust & Respect & Grace

This captures the essence of my experience in officiating at a funeral for a teen.
 Some events have such a level of intensity that they require intentional time to reflect on the experience, in particular, where GOD is present amidst the chaos. This journal entry captures the key theological themes I experienced in the process of officiating a the funeral for a teenager.

Souvenir elements from the bulletin, prayers of the people, etc.

 The background prep includes the sponge painting in the teen's favorite colors and a collage of elements from the funeral. Then I identified my overall experience of response from the community-at-large regarding this tragedy, and it was clearly GRACE. I wanted to show the overwhelming response of people coming to grieve with the family. I layered a piece of art paper with holes to give texture and depth and to symbolize the 1,600 people in the "sold out" congregation. I facilitated a conversation on this them-grace experienced amidst the tragedy-with our youth group to help the teens identify God's presence amidst a tragic event. The journal and interactive teen conversation complements a theme we talk about often-what I call the "theology of the pit." When we fall into the inevitable pits of life and invite God into those pits, they become holy ground.
The black square is the pulpit and "RESPECT," and "TRUST" my experience from the host senior pastor.

Repeating the favorite color theme, I "stamped" people using a hollowed out end of a wine cork.

Abundance with Encaustics

 Background prep: white gesso in an altered book. Smudge on several colors of Inka Gold Metallic Rub. Add a layer of pretty paper. Cut out a watercolor flower from another piece of art paper and layer on top. Edge the page with washi tape. Now: time to experiment with encaustic wax. Begin by coating the pages with a layer of clear wax/encaustic.
 This is the "disappearing tissue paper" technique in Encaustic Workshop by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch. Draw a design with very soft pastels on a piece of tissue paper cut to the appropriate size. Layer it on the pre-coated (with clear wax) page and seal with a heat gun. I added encaustics on top of the watercolor flower and fused the wax with a heat gun. During the art process of I had been thinking about my prayer for our son & daughter-in-law. I kept thinking "abundance" but I waited and listened, and prayed, and I realized that my prayer for abundance for this is peace, hope, and love. I added a second "disappearing tissue paper" with the words "Peace Hope Love."
 Then I stenciled "abundance" into the wax with a graphite pencil.

Experimenting with Encaustics

Dry pastels and oil pastels on corrugated cardboard.

 I had a fun evening experimenting with encaustics (hot wax) with an avid high school art student who also wanted to experiment. We fired up the pancake griddle, filled the mini muffin tins with assorted colors, and experimented with mixed media and encaustic wax. Among the experiments, we used soft (dry) pastels on corrugated cardboard with oil pastels topped with encaustics. We also used dry pastels on tissue paper that we then embedded on a board using layers of clear wax. There was no goal; simply to experiment with some of the ideas I've ready about in books on how to incorporate encaustics into mixed media art.

Dry pastels on tissue paper topped with clear wax.

The palette: wax in mini muffin tins.

Adding hot wax selectively with a paint brush to board covered with dry & oil pastels.

Using a hot (travel) iron to spread the previously applied encaustic wax.

Heart-Cry of Prayer

 This altered journal entry begins by subtracting text on the right side of the page (use a dark marker to scribble out the "extra" words on a piece of text until the remaining words form a core theme for your reflection). The remainder of the pages are covered over with white gesso EXCEPT the lower left side which is a  photograph that has been covered with clear gesso so that the photo shows through. Take key words and phrases from the remaining words left exposed by the "subtracting text" and create a series of words/prose. Here I used upper and lower case letters to individually stamp the words. I embellished the edges with B&W paper strips and flowers cut from art paper. The words (bottom left) are key themes of my prayers and they are written in basic graphite pencil on top of the clear gesso which is over an image in the (altered) book.

Use baby wipes to clean the edges of a rubber stamp to make a clean print on the letter.