Friday, July 2, 2010

From the Art Journal: Simplicity

"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!  I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail.  In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds.  Simplify, simplify.  Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one; instead of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion." --- Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Lately, I have found myself turning away from multi-layered, complex journal pages, and turning instead to simple collages composed of squares of paper glued on a page with minimal pen work.  Clean lines and muted, earthy colours are what I find myself craving.  I have been re-reading Thoreau's Walden and these words of his were repeating in my mind as I worked on these pages.  This page spread is probably my favourite that I have done recently.  I have also been trying to simplify my notebook use.

Do you feel the need to simplify your life?  If so, how are you doing it?


  1. Wonderful! It looks weathered and richly layered. Excellent choice of images and background.

  2. Thanks, Palimpsest! I'm glad you like it. I never thought of using the word "weathered" to describe one of my pages, but now that you have used it, I think that it is a pretty good description of the effect I was aiming for in these pages.

  3. What types of glues or adhesives do you recommend using for these types of layered, collage pages?

    1. For most pages, I use UHU glue sticks. These are simple to use and relatively cheap and easy to find in stores (I've found that they work best if you make sure to apply a thick layer of the glue - and the purple ones are useful for seeing where you have applied it).

      However, on the pages here I used liquid white glue (PVA), which you can also find in many places (it's sometimes called school glue or craft glue). This is a bit fussier to use, since you will need to apply with a brush and allow more time for it to dry. And it can wrinkle thinner papers. But it will work on surfaces where the UHU glue stick will not, such as on a background that has been painted with acrylics (as on these pages) or when using thicker paper or paper with a rough surface.


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