Friday, September 14, 2012

I adore Patterns!

Hi gang!  Kari McKnight Holbrook  here.  I could NOT have been more excited about this month's challenge!  I ADORE patterns!  My work is almost always heavily patterned.  At the risk of being truly tickle-brained, 'Patterns complete me'...*sorry *  Hand done patterns help me claim my art as my own, no matter the subject or color or whatever boxes people might want to put it in.  I also hold near and dear to my heart the notion that when it comes to pattern, MORE is BETTER!  And Even MORE than that is BETTER yet!!!  As far as journals go, lately I've enjoyed  lots of 6-12 page ones that I make myself out of large sheets of watercolor paper.  I work out color schemes and ideas here first, then go on to canvas if I like what happened in the journal. 

My process is this.  I take a HUGE stack of deli wrap or bleeding artist tissue and my GelliArts Gel Printing Plate and my 8.5 x 11 stamps.  I print with wild abandon until I have an enormous stack to rip and cut and tear.  While these are drying, I tear strips of old text and use Pam Carriker's Mixed Media Adhesive to paste the text randomly onto my watercolor paper pages.  I love the old text as a graphic pattern.  I love the rhythm the words form with their lines.

Next, I cut or tear the pattern printed deli paper, and glue it down.  I prefer to work one color family at a time, to keep my color story tight throughout the journal.  After it dries, I work on the next color, gluing it down.  The deli paper is translucent, so you can see previous layers underneath.  Let it dry again.

Now I will sketch in pencil.  Once I have what I want, I will use Pan Pastels, or colored chalk or watercolor pencils to color my sketches.  Sometimes I use a layer of MMA or clear gesso in between to build more layers.  Sometimes I do the journaling at this step too, if the mood strikes, with highly patterned letters.  The final step is the MOST enjoyable to me, that's when I go in and pattern over everything!!!  I use PITT artist pens or Sharpie Twin-Tip markers.  Something about it is so soothing too me.  I do happy things, just for myself.  For example, in this girls sweater, in order to make it look like a knitted or crocheted weave, I just wrote and wrote and wrote the word repetition over and over again.  2 or 3 pen sizes. In the end, it worked.

Thanks for letting me share my passion for patterns with you!  If you're still hungry for more, pop on over and visit my blog.


  1. Thanks, Kari. I enjoyed reading about your process and your love of using patterns!

  2. YES! Now we are talking interesting patterns. Thanks for the fabulous post!


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