The Emerald Casket

The Stubborn Heart

I have another art journal entry. And depending on your preferences, it’s either a mess or a messy piece of art. I love color—so for me, I love it. The 7-year-old couldn’t stop hovering over me while I…ahem…painted, and she said, “Nina, you’re an artist!” I laughed and said, “No hon, I’m an accidentalist.” To understand, let me tell you how I did this one.

  1. After masking out a square in the center of the page, I painted the page a salmon pink-orange with acrylic paint.
  2. Then I pasted a raised green paper over the upper-right corner and a piece of tissue paper with a musical score printed on it in the lower-left–because don’t all mixed media artists glue something on the page?
  3. Next, I got out a small square Gelli plate and painted it with crimson and cerulean. I then “stamped” around the center, reapplying the colors as needed. When I was done, the piece was way too dark.
  4. So, I used the sharp edge of the card I used as a mask to scrape off the paint, which made those interesting scrape marks in the blue, but overall the border was still too dark.
  5. I got out a baby wipe and began to buff off the color all around the page, taking off layer after layer to expose bits of the salmon, but leaving enough of the streaks and interesting bits I uncovered.
  6. I was still bored and irritated with my messy mess, so I got out the blue, mixed it with a little Gesso and made squiggle marks around the white space. At this point, I was sure I was going to have to Gesso the entire page because it looked like hell. So, I did squiggles in red.
  7. I took a deep breath, decided I wasn’t going to brayer the page with glue to stick it the back of the one in front of it, and instead, decided what I needed was more paint. So, I blopped a bright green, the blue, and the red onto the mat beside me, put a clean baby wipe around my fingers and blotted up the color to begin splotching it all over the border.
  8. Surprise. I liked it then. I used the baby wipe to clean off a couple more areas, and scraped the paint off the raised texture of the paper in the right corner.
  9. I had a piece of deli paper I’d used to clean off my brush, and I thought the paint on it was pretty, so I cut out part of a heart. Couldn’t do a whole heart because the paper wasn’t wide enough. I glued it to the center.
  10. Then I put a glop of blue water color on the white space, wet the area and moved it around the space.
  11. Last step was using my Micron pen to outline and write the quote on the page. I really must practice my calligraphy.


I like it. Everything happened by accident and stubbornness. So, that’s what I’ll call it—The Stubborn Heart.

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