Aug 4, 2010

into the world of secrets and sorcery ...

my folk art teacher use to tell us that we should always buy art materials that are compatible to the paints we're working with. so since i've been painting with waterbase acrylics, i've been just buying stuff that are compatible with acrylics, be it base paints, varnishes, sealers, fixatives etc. so i guess what she said really stuck ...

but you know what, i realized that it's not necessarily true. i realized that you don't always have to work in compatible mediums. sometimes incompatibility can create amazing alchemy! last week i was looking through some videos on youtube and came across an australian artist, gary reef, who lives in the forests of norway. i was so mesmerized by the way he mixed and matched painting mediums and the fabulous results that came out of it. for instance, so many wonderful surfaces can result from using acrylics with spray paint! you may want to check out his tutorials on his channel on youtube ... CapricornArtist73

inspired by gary's work, i proceeded to do a couple of experiments myself. of course i ruined many covers in the process but finally, i am utterly delighted with the result of this journal ...

book of secrets ... inspired by the world of ancient magic and sorcery ... and the sorcerer's apprentice ;) and you know what ... i think this is worthy of inspiration avenue's challenge this week "other worlds" :)

(back of the journal)
if you look closely, the blue blotches are created by alcohol ink and methylated spirit on acrylic paint and water. the spreading of the alcohol ink was so fun to watch when in contact with acrylics and water :) gary also reminded me of highlights and shadows in one of his videos ... which i had forgotten to include in my work for so long!

the white part on the top of the cover is spray paint over acrylics and then distressed. the image of the clock is a transfer using transparency film (also from gary's tutorial), but instead of using a gel medium as suggested by gary, i simply used water (as shown by angie of artangel ;) ... yup, i still remember that tutorial)

my focal motif is an assemblage of a large brass gear which i salvaged from an old clock, my self-rust washer and a dragonfly charm.

and for the finishing touches, black paper handtorn pages, sewn on a leather spine and a unique page marker made out of antique brass chain and a rusted key :)

all in all, i think i really love how this journal turned out!

now before i leave, just wanna show you my make-shift photography station :) LOL!

happy pimping! :)


  1. This is stunning!! And yes, I actually am a subscriber to Gary's you tube channel--he is sucn an inspiration!

  2. OMG. So nice. Looks lie a spell book lol. My birthday coming soon. *hint hint* :p

  3. Oh I knew you would not disappoint with this challenge! And there I was expecting some elven jewellery! This is utterly stunning my friend - a perfect spell book. There's a blog party coming up called Practical Magic - link on my blog - you should enter one of these spell books.
    Can't wait to watch The Sorcerer's apprentice... Just my kind of film :)

  4. always amaze ans astonish me with your magical way of creating...i l♥♥♥ve every tiny bit of deatil added to this enchanting journal...imagine what those pages will hold...beautiful always is the mind of you...much l♥ve and light~

  5. Hi Luthien,
    Oh dear, we as teachers really must be careful what we say to our students. I remember when my son was in primary school and his teacher made a silly statement that he repeated.
    I had to tell her how much of an impact she made on her students and to be very careful!

    I love this latest "book of secrets" and how it came about. Your run down on how you achieved it is fantastic.
    Thank you sooo much for sharing,
    Happy creating,

  6. Gorgeous !! It's look such mystique !

  7. Very earthy! Very nice. Love the clock motif. Love the dragon fly too.

    We have lots of them where I live from little to quite big.

  8. OMG OMG OMG Luthie!!!!
    I swear we are soul sistahs!
    I just spent a whole bunch of time on Gary's youtube today (when I should have been doing a million other things)
    I was memorized.
    You did fabulous work, Luthie as always.
    Love to you...hope you are well :)

  9. OMG Luthien, I´ve missed my words.
    This absolutely outstanding. Wonderful book. So unique. Love it.

  10. Luthien this is so rich and gorgeous! You are amazing! Just goes to show it's always worth breaking the rules once in a while :)

  11. That is amazing - I truly love it! Such luscious texture and detail.

  12. Gorgeous..spellbinding and inspiring!

  13. you are quite the magician, aren't you?

  14. Hi, hope it's OK to contact you here. We would love to include your blog on our giveaway search engine: Giveaway Scout ( Have a look and if interested, use our online form to add your blog ( ). thanks, Josh

  15. Dearest Luthien, WOW! You are fast! Thank you for coming to visit my Patina Post! I enjoy the crafts of which you speak and have mastered here....I have been into creating handmade books and anything I can get my hands on to embellish with dragonflies, crowns, glitter and such. HAPPY CREATING and thank you so much for visiting! Anita

  16. What beautiful effects on both sides of you lovely journal. It is fun experimenting and breaking the rules thats what ART is all about ~ having fun!! Gorgeous! 80))

  17. What a gorgeous, gorgeous journal Luthien and thinking outside of the box is the only way to go, look at all the new things invented by doing just that!
    L♥VeD seeing your photo box, I honestly would never have known - too fabulous!!

  18. hi there :)
    thank you so much for all your wonderful and uplifting comments on the journal :) it's one of my favs so far ... i'm gonna be making a couple more with the same feel, cos i just love the way it looks :)

    have a great weekend and happy creating! :)

    luthien :)

  19. OMG, Luthien, This is just FABULOUS!!! SOOO INSPIRING!!! I know Gary and I love his work and his super cool techniques!
    Lots of love, Sanda xoxo

  20. Luthien, you always amaze me! It's such fun to create all that alchemy isn't it! Or I should say to watch you create it. Mixed media is such a joy ~ the happy surprise of blending all the elements together and seeing how it all comes out. Never the same twice...I love every part of this latest journal from the covers to the black pages. I can just imagine writing on the pages in white or metallic ink! I will have to check out Gary's videos ~ they sound fascinating.

  21. where oh where do they ideas come from? you truly inspire me luthien! i definitely want to check out gary's video. happy sunday dear!

  22. This is fantastic! I love all the detail, the words,the patina the textures and all.

  23. Oh how wonderful! Plus I love hearing about how you made it. Just magical. Such a great prompt!

  24. Wow, Luthien. I just love this book and all of your books, actually. I also am impressed by your photo station. Very exotic and you'd never know it wasn't in some tropical place. Beautiful!
    Well done as always.


thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my post :) it makes my day!!
Luthien :)