An Art Page for an Art / Writing Journal


By Sharmini Jayawardena

We are on total lock 🔒 🔐 down mode due to the COVID-19 pandemic, right now, and I’m keeping myself entertained with creating in all sorts of ways.

I’ve been cooking 🍳 Mexican these days, which is venturing in to uncharted territory for me 😊

Dividing my time between cooking, gardening, writing ✍️ and getting ready to make an art journal, has been awesome 😎.

I created this art page for the journal that I have in mind for an artist 👩‍🎤 who is also a writer. So, I have to work out both areas of interest to her, the artist/writer.

I think I’ve figured out how it is all going to look like. But, to start with, I created this art page as I hope to have colored paper, dyed in coffee ☕️ , tea ☕️ , avocado 🥑 skin, beetroot, turmeric and pandan or screw pine leaf, in between the artist’s card stock, where writing can be indulged in. I found out you could also dab a hint or hints of food color to the tea and coffee aged paper while you are in the making of it.

My avocado 🥑 skin dyed paper 📝 which was absolutely pale in the making, lo and behold turned a firm pink as days went by! Unbelievable!

Updated on 16/02/22: Dipping the dyed paper in soya milk and drying it will ensure the color fastens to the paper. More on this in a later post.

Updated on 25/05/24: Having had more experience in creating pages for journals, I have decided to stick to tea dying, coffee dying, dying with henna, turmeric and mangosteen skin as they are the most reliable to not change color in the long term. Avocado skin turned a deep brown in the long term. So that’s not an option.

You can use a soya milk mordant or not. In the case of using a soya milk mordant, which will seal the color while also acting as an alkaline, you can do so by adding two tablespoons of soya milk to two cups of water and bringing it to a steady boil and then simmering it. Pour the solution into a tray with about three large white copy papers, allowing it to cool down. Then remove them on to old towels, letting them dry there over night and on to about three to four days, before dying it in your desired dye solution.

To make it exciting I decided to have one or two art page inserts within the colored paper, for added luster.

So, here’s the art page I created.

I was too involved in it, that I couldn’t do the step by step pictures of it. But, I’m giving you the run down to the making of it, here. I am super happy 😊 about the way it turned out.

1.I started by pasting a junk mail paper on a regular computer paper.
2.I then did a collage on it with old newspaper 🗞 and pieces of other paper from my stash and applied some matte medium here and there on the page. I diluted it with a little water. I used Mod Podge.
3.Then, I painted on it in acrylics thinned in a little water, here and there in Phthalo blue, Rose Madder, a buttercup yellow and light green. (I believe you can also use food coloring in place of acrylics. I have not tried this as yet). Let it dry completely.
4.I inked an image on the page with a thin nib-ed black pen and made use of two images that were already on the junk mail paper.
5.I layered over the page, here and there with old sewing 🧵 pattern paper.
6.I wrote out some meaningful words and outlined it in black and glued it on to the page.

Up to this point, I followed the advice of a fellow art journal-er or is it journaling artist? 😄. (Whose name if I remember right is Maria Garcia).

Updated on 20th July 2023: I found out yesterday that the correct term is journal artist😊!

7.Parts of the page was outlined with dark brown marker.
8.Some parts of the edge were stitched in black blanket stitch to give it texture.
9.I created a gathered trim with black netting from stash, and glued it on to the top right side corner going down the edge a little.
10.Then I folded the art page like so ⬇️ for added dimension.

I may do some more stitching along the top edge in black thread and add an image or two in black, later on.

Hope you enjoyed 😉 this page.

Ok. I did go ahead and stitch the top edge and also paint two motifs on the right side of the page in dark brown marker, and glue two pieces of white net on the motifs 😊. That’s it! I don’t want to do anymore work on it 😉.

I’m feeling so happy with my work right now😊.

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