Monday, December 26, 2005

Feeling Inspired by Susan Cohen’s Journal

I was reading a back issue of the art zine “Play: the Art of Visual Journals”, issue 4, for the first time. This is a back issue which I received as a gift for Christmas (yesterday). The back issues of this zine are still available for purchase from the editor, Teesha Moore, on her website.

I saw Susan Cohen’s work for the first time in this issue of “Play”. I was inspired by her use of rubber stamps and color to make collage images.

Here is a technique which is my interpretation of how she did her artwork.

I see color on pages such as is applied with paint. Rubber stamping is then done on top of the colorful page. Most of the time she is using colors other than black as her rubber stamped image’s color. Some of the rubber stamped images are on the larger side. Then she cuts up the images so that not all of the rubber stamped image is visible. These various pieces are then collaged into the journal. The journal page of hers which I am looking at uses lots of squares and block shapes. The background colors are varied as are the rubber stamp colors. There is a mix of text, numbers, and drawn rubber stamped images. There seems to be many layers of collage here. The page is full of color and images. I absolutely love the look of her work and am inspired to try it.

Follow-up: I wrote the above last night. I then went to work putting acrylic glaze (paint product) which I tinted with acrylic (craft) paint, onto white paper using a stipple brush. This dried overnight.

Today I am working on using lots of different rubber stamps in various colors all over these three pages. After they are dry I will cut them apart and will use them to make collages in my journal or perhaps even to make ATCs with.

About Using Parts of Images
I am still trying to get over my “issue” with not showing entire images or entire documents. I have blogged about this in the past. If you missed it basically I have a hard time cutting up ephemera or images and not showing the whole thing. I love the look in other people’s work but it almost feels painful for me to do. I guess I have this thing with liking the entire image and wanting to preserve, keep and remember all of it. I fear that the unused portion will somehow be missed or forgotten and therefore the journal page or ATC or whatever I am making will suffer for it. However always using entire images, especially if they are large, is not always possible or really restricts the options for what can be done on a certain sized canvas. Also I have noticed that including the entire image or document sometimes ends up dominating the whole piece in a negative way.

Back to Susan Cohen
So that I could share it with you, I looked up “Susan Cohen” on the internet and found a site just loaded with her journal art. Here it is. I don’t see an example that is very close to what I am looking at in Play but these images are inspiring also. Enjoy!

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