Behind the Art with Jen Matott

I am beyond thrilled to be back on the Scrapbooking From The Inside Out DT again!  It's such a wonderful family of artists and I'm honored to be back! It's like coming home...

So, as my first month back, I am going to share one of my Empathy kit projects with you and tell you a bit more information about my process here.  My layouts this month have a bit more behind the scenes info that needs to be shared.  The stories are personal and meaningful to me.  I love the whole guiding principal behind SFTIO.

 My layout "Tough Love" started with my thoughts on how I deal with tough situations that require problem solving and how I look at others who complain rather than act.

 It all started with this thought... "Do not let the world make you cruel" that was spray painted on the wall in an elevator at Syracuse University's Visual Arts building.  I was taking an encaustic painting class there last spring and everytime I rode the elevator, I saw this phrase.  At first the red made me think it was a negative statement but as I thought about it, I realized that it seemed to call to me.  I can be hard on others when I think they are being less than what I think they should be.  For example, my husband has had a job change and it's very different than what he was doing (and loved to do), but it's a promotion of sorts.  He has complained about changing for almost a year now.  It's become more of a whining and less of anxiety about a new position.  Mostly it's when something is difficult or change is occuring.  I used to be sympathetic and listen but now I'm annoyed, tune him out and snarky.  I get sick of hearing his complaints about a decision he made a year ago!  I feel bad later but sometimes tough love is what people need.  I can't keep encouraging his "what if" mindset.  He needs to move on or find a solution rather than whine about it.  Often in school, I feel this way with students.  They stall, whine, and try to manipulate me into doing the hard stuff for them.  I rarely give in to it.  Often I sympathize with them and try to boast their confidence but often it comes down to tough love.  Give them to the tools and walk away... let the person decide to do it on their own and 9 times out of 10 it is successful!  They get a boast from accomplishing something difficult for themselves rather than being coddled.  I don't do coddling well...

Here's the process for the art part of the page:

 I used texture paste or light modeling paste through the stencils using a palette knife. Kind of like frosting a cake.  Just make sure you life the stencil straight up to avoid smearing the paste.  It dries hard, but flexible and then can be painted over.  Make sure the wash you stencil right away to avoid the medium drying on it!

 Here is what the paste looks like when the stencil is removed.  It's dimensional and white.  I love the texture it adds!
 Then I made a Gelato spray with the gold and silver Design Memory Craft Gelatos.  I have a tutorial on how to do this on the Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft blog.  Just click the link and learn how to do it!  It's fun to make your own sprays. I  combined the gold and silver together to get a bit of a muted gold.   Spray on and let drip down by holding the page upright. You can spray with some plain water too to get it to flow more but it will dilute the color a bit.

 Some of my journaling reads:  I am not a warm, fuzzy person.  I can come across as bitchy or standoffish to some.  It's usually a defensive mode.
Tough love works when someone just won't act without a good reason to... you will not get empathy from me if you constantly complain about the same thing without action.

It's not that I don't sympathize with someone's plight, but I just cannot enable status quo behavior.  If something is bothering you or is in need of change to make things better, ACT, don't complain about it!  That's just how I roll!

I love the embellishments and papers in this kit!  They inspire me to make fun, artsy pages and I hope you enjoy them too!  Happy New Year!


bonnie b said...

Love it Jen! Amazed you made your own sprays - I'll have to read that tutorial. I just love your work. oh and after a year - I'd be doing the tough love thing myself - Its last years problem, get over it and move on!

Kelly Jean said...

Beautiful page and I love the story behind it. I too give tough love. Sometimes it's not always welcome.