In a Station of the Metro

I was inspired to create a page for the “Postcards” theme over at Try it on Tuesday where the lovely Sabine is Guest Designer, as well as Art Journal Journey’s theme for August which is “Poetry in Motion” where you are asked to create a page inspired by a poem, quote or saying.

As postcards are synonymous with travel, I chose a poem about the Paris Metro (subway/underground) by Ezra Pound. I used a colour palette of pinks, neutrals, brown and black to illustrate the faces, petals and black boughs of these beautiful words from the poem “In the Station of the Metro”:

“The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough”.

This page started by collaging the background using some book pages, three different design papers and a postcard which I situated in the top left-hand corner of the page. Like all of the pieces on this page I used a UHU Stic to glue them into place. Then I added white gesso using my finger over some of the papers to push the colour back. To tie into the postcards theme, I added a Hessian texture stamp and a postage stamp image around the edges of the page and a script stamp over the background using black Archival Ink. I used the same ink to add a foliage stamp to create the black boughs of the poem. Next I used a paper punch to cut out some hearts from the three design papers and arranged them in a garland across the right-hand corner of the page. Once in place I joined the hearts together using a black Uni Posca paint pen. I stamped various images that reminded me of Paris onto a page from a book using the black Archival Ink and then fussy cut them out; these included the words “Paris” and “amour”, also the Eiffel Tower, a key, birdcage, bird in flight, French postage mark, compass and a couple of heart tiles. I arranged these on the page with some brown vintage decorative tape and a trunk image which is a rub-on transfer. I crowded these images to represent the crowd aspect described in the poem. I fussy cut the poem, the title and the Metro filigree image from a book of poems that I bought in a charity/thrift shop. I think the Metro image is the most complicated image that I have ever fussy cut; it took a good hour to cut out all the detail and I needed to use a craft knife and cutting mat as well as scissors. I outlined this image and the poem, title and edges of the stamped papers with Derwent Inktense pencils, black and white Uni Posca paint pens, a black Uni Pin marker and a white Uniball gel pen to add detail and make them stand out from the background more. I coloured the metro sign and the hearts using a red Uni Posca paint pen and added the two vintage embellishments; the Metro signage and the other of a ladies face surrounded by flowers to tie into the poem. To finish, I stuck on some mini white flowers and gemstone flowers to the black boughs and added some dots of Glossy Accents to the leaves so they looked like they were wet.

By pure serendipity when I created this page I added a heart garland, so I’m also pleased to be able to join the “Banners and Garlands” theme over at Moo Mania & More (grin!).

This poem was published in 1913 by Ezra Pound who is an American poet. He founded a poetry movement called Imagism which shared the aim of traditional Japanese art; to paint wonderful pictures with as few brush strokes as possible. The Imagist poetry stresses clarity, precision, economy of language and forgoes traditional rhyme.

Even in 1913 it seems the Paris Metro was a busy place because in the poem he describes seeing a crowd of faces in the subway and suggests they look like flowers on a tree branch.

Of course a poem is always open to interpretation, so you may view it another way (grin!). If you are interested here’s my thinking:

  • The subway is crowded with people, like they often are.
  • Using the word “apparition” suggests that people’s faces are becoming visible then disappearing again as the people come and go. If you’ve travelled on the subway then you have probably experienced this.
  • It is implied that the faces look like flower petals on a branch of a tree, which like the people in the subway usually appear for a moment in time as the tree flowers.
  • The tree branch may represent the train lines which branch off in all directions or it may be symbolic of Japanese flowering trees to link the style of poetry from which Imagism is derived (who knows – grin!).
  • I think the subway may have been darker and wetter back in 1913 than it is today, so he describes the bough as being wet and black.
  • The faces appear out of the darkness just like flowers do from a flowering bud.

We enjoyed travelling on The Metro when we visited Paris and the Metro is famous for its art and décor with each station having its own theme. This is Hector Guimard’s original Art Nouveau entrance in Abbesses station. Other examples include the Bastille station where the walls depict the historic French Revolution and the Arts et Métiers station which is designed to look like a submarine.

Whilst on the Metro a Mariachi Band got onto our carriage and started playing music, it was such a wonderful experience and after all these years it still fills me with joy and makes me smile (grin!). I’ve since found out that since 1997, the Espace Metro Accords (EMA) started holding auditions to decide which musicians could showcase their music in the Metro. 100 lucky candidates are selected each year to play their music – how amazing is that!

 If you are interested, here are some more Paris Metro facts:

  • The Paris Metro is the second busiest metro system in Europe.
  • Paris has the most comprehensive underground rail system in the world with each station being situated a 550 yards away from another. Although today you can find ghost stations all around Paris, these are stations which haven’t been used for years and are now closed to the public.
  • The Metro runs more than 600,000 miles per day which is equivalent to going round the world 10 times daily!
  • The first Metro line was opened in 1900 and it is the fourth oldest metro in Europe after London, Glasgow and Budapest.

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils (Baked Earth 1800, Charcoal Grey 2100)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pen (White, Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Hessian CS253, Script CS752)
  • Hobbycraft clear stamp (Love Hearts 50402HC)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamps (Pressed Leaves MIN-CCS102, Journey MIN-CCS104)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies Vintage cling mounted rubber stamps (Birdsong ICO151)
  • Penny Black 2007 wood mounted stamp (City of Love 3800K)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted stamp (B-2414)
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Lion Brand (White Postcards 11711)
  • Poundland Design Pad (Changing Seasons CR0701/16PL1)
  • Poundworld Design Pad (Pastels & Whites CR0260/PW)
  • Collins Publishers – David Copperfield
  • Miles Kelly Publishing – 100 Great Poems
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Soft Sweetness 154897)
  • Tonic Studios Paper Punch (Classic Heart Sider 858E)
  • Crelando Decorative Tapes
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (Travel Collage #ROY-871)
  • Home Bargains Special Occasion (Mini Decorative Stickers 22740)
  • Poundland (Design Gems 134240)
  • The Works (5 Embellishments)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic
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Dancing is an art

I’m so excited and honoured to be hosting Art Journal Journey this August and for this month’s challenge you are invited to use your favourite quotes, sayings and poems to inspire your designs for the theme “Poetry in Motion”.

As some of you may know I really like to create pages with meaning and I’m often inspired by things I see and do, including quotes and my page today is inspired by these wonderful words:

I started by painting patches of white gesso over the page then I added Peacock Feathers and Cracked Pistachio Distress Inks by applying the ink pad to an acrylic block, spritzing with water and then pressing the block onto the page. I also dragged the ink pads over the edge of the page to concentrate the colour. With the quote in mind, I stamped some filigree images by Hampton Art using London Fog Memento Ink. Next I sprinkled Ultramarine Colourcraft Brusho Crystal powder onto the page and spritzed them with water and just watched the magic as the colours burst into life. I then added pieces of washi tape, which I had torn so the edges didn’t have such straight lines and flowed with movement.  I stuck down some torn pieces of music paper using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium and also dragged some of the Brusho colour from the page over the edges of the music to blend them in.  I added plasterboard/drywall tape to add more texture and then I layered on torn pieces of a baby wipe which I had previously used to mop up some acrylic paint. Before applying the baby wipe I stretched it so it looked like fabric and used matte gel medium to stick it down so the wispy edges danced across the page. The beautiful dancer image is fussy cut from a leaflet and stuck down using a UHU Stic. I stamped the words onto some paper by Craft Sensations, fussy cut it out, edged the paper with a black Sharpie permanent marker and stuck it to the page using double-sided foam. To finish I added two cream Button Heart embellishments.

I love the way this page has turned out and I feel the words could be applied to my art journaling and to the creation of this page.

I do hope that you are inspired to get creative by the “Poetry in Motion” challenge over at Art Journal Journey too! I’m looking forward to visiting you to see all your wonderful creations.

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang and wishing you all a Happy T Day! Today I’m enjoying a refreshing drink of apple juice with ginger beer, in my craft room while creating a new journal page (grin!). It’s served in one of my favourite glasses, which I bought during a tour of the Maine Mead Works in America whilst there on holiday.

Mead is an alcoholic drink made from honey, hence the bee which greeted us on their fabulous sign! If you look closely you can just make out this bee symbol on my glass too (grin!). The mead that they make is a modern style of mead which is similar to wine and is light and refreshing, whereas I think of mead as a winter drink served hot with spices. Both of which are delicious!

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

“Poetry in Motion”

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Peacock Feathers, Cracked Pistachio)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (London Fog)
  • Colourcraft Brusho Crystals (Ultramarine)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies cling mounted rubber stamps (Birdsong ICO151)
  • Dovecraft upper and lower case alphabet stamp set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Music Book (Bosworth Violin Studies)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Endless Love CRO260/A)
  • Used dry baby wipe
  • Leaflet
  • Crelando Decorative Tape
  • Home Bargains Self-Adhesive Button Hearts (Sweet Hearts 22809)
  • 151 Adhesives Plasterboard/Drywall Tape
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Love Gelato

We love summer because of all the ice cream we can eat, so I thought I would create a page to celebrate this summertime love and join the many others who have created ice cream pages over at Art Journal Journey for Bleubeard and Elizabeth’s “Summertime Love” theme.  My page focuses on gelato rather than ice cream though and also the delicious flavours that you find in the many gelateria (ice cream shops) when holidaying in Italy.

I started by covering the page in Aquamarine, Kingfisher, Topaz and Gold Spectrum Aqua markers; I did this by scribbling the marker onto an acrylic block, spritzing the block with water and pressing it onto the page. I also used a paint brush to transfer some of the diluted ink across the page. Next I fussy cut magazine images that reminded me of our holidays in Italy. I also cut out some birds, an Italian ice cream shop banner and an ice cream cone which details possible holiday destinations. Once they were cut out I stuck them to the page using a UHU Stic. As I chose Italy as the destination for this page, I coloured the word “flavour?” with green, white and red Uni Posca paint pens to represent the colours of the Italian flag and outlined them with a black Uni Pin marker so they stood out more. Then using black Archival Ink I stamped the names, in Italian, of our favourite flavours of gelato that we had when we visited Italy (you will find an English description of each of these flavours below). I created the border using a heart stamp and the black Archival Ink and I also top and tailed the gelato names with this stamp. I coloured each heart with the green, white and red Uni Posca pens to represent the Italian flag design; this took some time as there were so many hearts but I think it was well worth the time and effort as I love the detail. Next I used some gold alphabet outline stickers which I coloured black with a Sharpie permanent marker to add the words “Love Gelato”. I connected the gelato names, created a heart and embellished the magazine images using some small green, red and clear gemstones. To finish I added the ice cream cones which I made using some leftover petal outline stickers that I crisscrossed with black Uni Pin marker to represent a waffle cone and a large gemstones that I placed on the top to represent the gelato.

There are gelateria everywhere in Italy and it wasn’t hard to find this shop in Verona. It had the most beautiful display with the carved fruit, intricately shaped gelato and corresponding toppings to depict the flavour, such as a lemon, coconut or strawberries.

Needless to say we couldn’t pass by without trying some, so we had three scoops of different gelato piled into a waffle cone. It was so yummy and although I could have probably eaten both of these, one was for my hubby (grin!).

When we were in Tuscany, we had this Amarena, Tiramisu and Stracciatella gelato.

Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, so you could argue that gelato and ice cream are the same. However there is a big difference and it comes down to these factors: fat, air and serving temperature. If you are interested to find out more, then:

  • Gelato has less fat than ice cream because gelato uses more milk than cream compared to ice cream.
  • Ice cream is churned faster and harder than gelato which is churned at a much slower pace. As a result, gelato is denser with less air while ice cream can consist of 25% to 90% air. The higher density gives gelato a more intense flavour.
  • The temperature at which the two are served is different too. The higher density and lower fat composition means that gelato is typically served at a higher temperature than ice cream. If gelato were served at the same temperature as ice cream it would be too hard and if ice cream were served at the same temperature as gelato, it would melt and become soupy.

On summer evenings you will find that the Italian gelateria is the busiest part of town, often opening until midnight. There are so many different flavours to choose from including:

  • Fragola: Strawberry and this is usually a deep pink colour due to the addition of crushed strawberries.
  • Limone: fresh, tangy lemon flavour. This is a traditional flavour in Italy as lemons were introduced into southern Italy in the first century and are still grown there today.
  • Tiramisu: One of the most popular Italian desserts is turned into a frozen delight. The name tiramisu is often translated figuratively as “pick me up” or “cheer me up” in Italian, in reference to the effects of sugar and coffee and also traditionally Marsala wine.
  • Stracciatella: chocolate chip style, this gelato was invented in Italy and is a light vanilla gelato with crunchy shards of chocolate running throughout.
  • Vaniglia: Vanilla and the colours and taste varies depending on how many vanilla beans are used to make the gelato.
  • Crema: Italian crema is a pale yellow colour and is more like custard than cream.
  • Frutti di bosco: translates to fruits of the forest and is normally a mixture of strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, blackcurrants and raspberries.
  • Cioccolato: good old chocolate, my favourite!
  • Panna Cotta: this is the frozen version of the traditional Italian dessert; it is rich and velvety due to the addition of heavy cream.
  • Amarena: Plain ice cream with swirls of cherry sauce which is made from Amarena cherries which are small, slightly sharp cherries that are grown in Italy.
  • Malaga: Rum and Raisin.

My hubby loves this gelato sandwich called “brioche con gelato”you can choose your gelato flavours, this one if filled with Tiramisu and Panna Cotta, and they are served in a brioche roll. These can be found in gelateria across Italy and this particular one was in Lake Garda – yum!

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Sea Green, Kingfisher, Topaz, Gold)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pens (White, Red, Dark Green, Light Blue)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent marker (Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.3mm)
  • Pentel Arts Hybrid Gel Grip (White)
  • Dovecraft Essenitals Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Old Magazine
  • Docrafts Anita’s Outline Stickers (Modern Alphabet Gold ANT8101000, Simple Flowers Gold ANT8101102)
  • Hobbycraft Rhinestone Stickers (Green Rhinestone 5971381004)
  • Oaktree UK Eleganza Craft Stickers (3mm 418 Gems Red No.16)
  • Poundland (Design Gems 175751, 504 Gems 128133)
  • UHU Stic