Lesson 2 -Making Magic

Week 3 in Wanderlust wasn’t really a lesson, but a create-a-long.   (That is like a sing-a-long for the creative types). The artist was leading us down a path of creativity, where we were constantly adding things and then covering them up hoping to free ourselves and create magic.   I was an exercise I struggled with in so many ways.

This was at layer two.   I had gone outside my comfort and usual medium zone and started with acrylic paint as my base layer and then added some stenciling as my second layer


One of the reasons I struggled was the this lesson occurred during the same time a close co-worker committed suicide.   I wasn’t finding magic in anything as I struggled to find my new normal after the loss.

And then layer three and four happened. One of paper and a layer of Modge Podge that magical medium that never goes out of style….or never leaves our shelves is more likely.

Another of the reasons is that the leader of this exercise, continually covered up work completely, not sharing information or tips as why to do this.  Are we covering up everything because nothing that you have put down speaks to you or seems to work?   Are we continually layering and covering things up because experience tells me that it takes five or six layers before a person drops preconceived notions and starts freeing up their mind?  No hints on why we want to try a paper layer or do some hand-drawn pen work only to cover it all up.    I watch and watched my video lesson again hoping to find what I was missing.

At this point I mad a critical mistake I added red in this layer and it would forever haunt me.   I was looking to improve my mood, my outlook, my anything with bright and warm colors.   It did not work instead I could not cover this layer up fast enough.  I did paint over it, then gesso because it bleed through and then another layer of paint.   It would never leave me.


I was frustrated and the exercise seemed to be one of futility.   Had I not been working in my art journal and backed it up to a completed page I would have quit.  I would have removed it from my journey.   Instead I plugged along layer after layer.   Watching my surface become more and more grungy.   Not in a good artsy sort of way, but a crappy kindergarten sort of way.  The textures that we created and covered up had nothing that they contributed to the look or feel of the work.   I learned that my red paint once put on the surface would continue layers later to migrate to the top and everything would have pink cast to it.

I was back to my angel wings, and now feather fallen from the wings for friends and family gone before.   I love a good brush when working, but when a brush won’t do I use one of the ten magical fingers I have.


I kept on plugging away and finally migrated back to my original direction nine layers later.   I wanted to say goodbye to my friend.  I had started with angle wings and I finished with them.

My butterfly was three-dimensional.   I placed it over angel wings.


I was pulling in other things such as butterflies as well.   I wasn’t exactly sure.   I am still uncertain why, but they worked and so I included them.   I included loose feathers, fallen from the angels in my life as they spouted their wings.

Finally it all came together not only homage to my most recently lost friend, but other friends and family who had already gone ahead.   Here is the final spread, with close-ups of each page showing some of the detail.



  1. It certainly will have a memorable place in this art journal! You will remember it for both the fun and not so fun parts but it will not be forgotten!!

  2. Wow! I really love how this turned out! It would not be the same without all the layers leading up to it. Once you went back to your original idea and relaxed into it, it all came together – even with the red peeking through. Personally, I have not done this exercise, but I will. You have given me the inspiration to push through my fear of it! Take care.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s