This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending a grid journaling workshop by artist Kellee Wynne Conrad. She was in San Jose for the week, and offered a couple of in-person classes at the wonderful A Work of Heart store and art studio.
Kellee was teaching the class Grid, Gridder, Griddest, where we start with small squares in a journal, and work to larger sizes using similar themes as we create our larger pieces. Here’s an example of Kellee’s work.
I was a little intimidated, at first. I am someone who works primarily with papers only, so I don’t have a lot of confidence with my skills with mixed media. I decided that I would be open to experimenting with things other than paper, so I combined a few new elements.
I used the same elements for my larger piece. Before I describe them, I show you the picture.
I started with a water soluble graphite pencil/stick. After I made some marks with it. I wet a paint brush with water and smeared around the marking. On the white rice paper I painted some marks with a stencil and some heavy body white paint. Once it dried, I could tear out the pieces that I wanted and layer them.
The text was a couple of pieces of something torn from a Chinese language book. The colorful bits were from Japanese rice paper. Once I had all my bits placed and glued down, I used a bit of pink acrylic paint in the shape of circles to bring out some of the pink in the bright paper. Lastly, I used a stencil and some ink to put some numbers in black for contrast.
I tried a second set of grid collages using some stamps, but I wasn’t too pleased with it–it just seemed so similar to the other kinds of art collage art that I make, but I guess that’s not surprising! I then tried to add some interest by coloring the space between, but I didn’t care much for that either. I also stenciled a bit with white paint again. I have a lot of experimenting to do before I can be confident in what I am doing.
Still, the experience was so much fun! I got to hang out with a bunch of really kind and encouraging women who also had a great time watching Kellee demonstrate her techniques and then guiding us to creating our own grids.
I didn’t complete the last largest grid collage, which would have been done on a square block of wood, but that’s fine. I had really wanted to work on those tiny squares in a journal, and that’s what I did!
Kellee offers a free course on grid journaling that you can find on her website. In it, she shows you several different types of grids you can create, and demonstrates several kinds of techniques. Check it out to get you creating some grids of your own!