Monday, August 1, 2016

Hotel Motel Art Journal, Page 1

By now, you probably know I'm cloistered in a hotel for an indefinite amount of time. I brought a bunch of art supplies with the only thought in my head being "make something with paper".  And so, I am making things with paper.

Witness the Paper

So far, I've made this art journal but before that, I started a hotel specific art journal. It was a sales newsletter thing for some product line I've never heard but is basically the Avon of soaps and lotions. I shoved it last minute into one of my bags because it's an already made book with fairly sturdy pages, I could just gesso over and do whatever.

Perfectly Posh
I left the cover and the first page blank for now and opened to the first page spread. The left hand page has a gorgeous picture of spices and produce that are the ingredients of these soap products. I instantly knew I wanted to leave that as it was.

Initially, I thought I might do a food related spread since I have a whole paper pad of food related papers and that I would use the large quote on the page "It's what's inside that counts." But I couldn't get the food papers to work in my mind.

As I gessoed the page and chose coordinating papers from my supplies, I kept thinking about what to do and how this page might look in the end, or how I could get it to look with what I had on hand, and also a title for the journal.

I decided it should be called "Hotel Art" because it was literally art I'd be doing at a hotel and I'm not that creative. However, once the title was in my head, I couldn't help but think it would be even better if the pages inside were actually inspired by the art of the hotel I'm in.

Hotel Art morphed Hotel Motel when this song got stuck in my head.  

Let's backtrack a little bit. One of the first things I check out when staying in a hotel is the art on the walls. I don't know why, I'm just sort of fascinated by it. Most of the time it's unsigned and usually random as hell. But somebody made it and somebody else saw it, thought it looked like something they wanted, and bought it. In the case of my current hotel, they bought like a million copies because every suite here has the same prints, or I assume they do because our two suites have the exact same art. But in general, motel and hotel art gets a bad rap. I wanted to see if I could be inspired by it and, if so, what would that look like. Would it be more interesting? Could it even be done? That's the basic concept and exploration of this particular art journal.

So my one hotel suite has five paintings in it, plus there's tons of art in the hallways too, plenty of inspiration.

I started with the big piece in the living room.

The art itself is just sort of, I don't know, 'eh?' and makes me think of fall. I don't particularly like it but I went about trying to be inspired.

The final result
Here's the video of the process.

After painting the background and taking a few pictures, I realized that paint I'd used, Buff Titanium, was far more yellow than I imagine. I actually spent a lot of time thinking about how to correct this but I don't have any experience with color correcting anything outside of Photoshop. In the end, I applied the same technique, just add more blue.

I made a very thinned out wash with a mixture of purple, blue, and matte medium and applied several layers. Next I added a touch of white to the mix and a few more layers. While I was getting a cooler and more grayed out look, I was also getting a lot of purple in all the white spaces. I touched up the white again, then added a few washes of the purple mix on the opposite page. In the end, I was much happier with the background even though it took some doing to get there.

As for the foreground leaf image, I really would have liked to do something with transparent papers or tissue paper because the original image has a lot of transparency in it but I didn't have either of those at the time. Instead I went with layers and made a couple of small books instead. I chose papers in my color scheme and with blank spaces or lines, in case I wanted to add some writing or doodles or pictures. I also added a number of extra little journaling cards and whatnot for even more writing and photo space.

The book is bound simply, with masking tape, like a flipbook. Originally I was going to do a more fancy binding, with a hidden hinge sort of thing but after I spent a lot of time trying to get the folds right, without a score board, I abandoned that idea. I just slapped on some masking tape and did a bunch of weird cuts and folds to put the book together. Since I didn't really know what I was doing when I started doing it, I didn't try to capture it on film (this is the same reason you don't see the color correction process as well).

Even though this piece took a long time, compared to my other projects this past week, and took a lot of twist and turns, I am very, very happy with how it turned out. I might a few touched here and there. As soon as I have access to a printer again, I definitely will be adding pictures to that flip book. I'm considering listing the titles of any new movies or shows I watch on that library tag, or books, if I read any. There's also a little sale icon on the facing page, near the coconut, that I want to cover, and I have the perfect coconut like paper to use too. Unfortunately it's not at the hotel, so it will have to wait. In the meantime, I keep having to stop myself from flipping through that leaf book nonstop. Seriously, I love this.

Next I'm going to use the turquoise piece as inspiration, mostly because I want a lot of color and saturation and not more muted tones. Plus, I've just been craving to do something with teal or turquoise. Isn't that weird? Have you ever had an art craving?

Until next time,