Art Journal page: Random Thoughts

I had so much fun making this spread in my journal…. it's got a ton of layers and as my friend Lynne says, you can't fake layers. There's something really satisfying about building them up.

I started with some of Tim's grunge letters and embedded them in a thick coat of gesso. I really spackled it on and had to let it dry for nearly two days.  Here's how it looked in the early stages:

I attached several torn pieces of book text for Simon Says Stamp and Show and started building up color with paints, gelatos, and ink sprays.  I quickly veered away from the bright colors and ended up with a rich mix of orange, rust, purple, brown and black. Water soluble oil pastels helped with that and it all blended pretty well:


All the texture from the gesso still shows. I've never put it on so roughly before, and I definitely want to do it this way more often. I used some favorite word stamps (serious and silly) and lots of stencils, too. 


I paired a Teesha Moore face (stamped repeatedly) with a favorite Tim stamp.


You have to wonder, don't you? Besides using that stamp from my old-time stash, I broke in a new stencil that's been waiting for awhile - Julie's splat stencil – which I used for the September challenge (Splatters and Speckles) at The Artistic Stamper. 


I've been experimenting with photo size and would love to know if you had any trouble opening this post. The first photo up top is 'full size' which is not a size I've used in my posts before, and the rest are all a size larger than normal.  If it's too hard to open, I'll do more tweaking.

Thanks so much for the visit! 


Your comments are very much appreciated!


  1. I love this page with all the layers! It’s one of my favorites. I really like how the “Random Thoughts” stands out. Great color choices.
    ‘ve been hoarding onto your newsletters until I get get a chance to pop on in. Thank you so much for your comments on my blog too. I’ll be post pretty sporatically this year as I’ve been teaching a lot, and then there’s the prep for college…sigh. I love getting your posts via email. It helps me to keep up. LOVE your journal pages, Marjie!!

  2. Hey we both used the same sentiment this week – that IS cool! This is an amazing art journal page Marjie!! Stunningly creative & love the layers!!

  3. Wow! Really fantastic Marjie! All those layers make it so fantastic!

  4. This is a classic page that i look at and think: why am I not able to do a things like this? Arsty, messy, meaningful, texturized and so rich in colour! Brava!

  5. This is stunning! Love all the layers, the textures, sentiments and colours. Thank you so much for sharing with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show!

  6. no problem opening here! i love all your wonderful layers!

  7. just Stunning!!!!!!!! have pinned to pinterest too 😉 Debi x

  8. Very Fun! And the random thoughts…a hoot. Do you ever rest? LoL

  9. Wow, two fantastic pages, great colors and texture.

  10. Stunning pages! Love all the build up layers. Gorgeous colors too! Thank you so much for joining us at Simon Says Stamp and Show. Hugs, Sandra

  11. WOW – that is one of the loveliest pages I’ve seen in ages. The gesso has worked brilliantly – I’m pinching that idea for sure and giving it a go! Gorgeous!

  12. The photo size picture at the top SO works Marjie. LOVE this double page spread. The colours work so well and the dark ‘highlights’ really make each of the elements and the wording pop. Love it. Hugs, Buttons x

  13. Awesome spread, Marjie!!! I didn’t have any trouble with the pics.

  14. This layout is amazingly detailed. You have so much going on my eyes go crazy teying to figure out what to look at first! Love everything about it!! Must have been fun to make!

  15. Those are layers! Love how you embedded the letters!! I am very impressed that you were able to wait 2 days- that is the part that gets so very tough for me. Patience is a virtue I have not mastered (or come anywhere close to it).

  16. Just beautiful, Marjie. I had no problem with the sizing; in fact, the top one was great, because I could really see details. Thanks so much for your thorough explanation. Great work!!

  17. This isn’t a mere WOW this has been up-graded to a POW!
    Those layers, those colours the texture. This idea of random thoughts yet when brought together are so cohesive, that is incredibly clever.
    This would look incredible as wall art.

  18. Beautiful and deep all the way through, I like seeing the stages this came together in. Pics were easy to open and I like to be able to hone in on the details.

  19. This must have been so much fun Marjie…what a way to go to achieve the final result…amazing…Indeed so many layers and gorgeous journaling. Very very creative result!!!
    Have a nice weekend, Alie 🙂

  20. Oh my Marjie, what an extraordinary page full of rich, vibrant colours and wonderful textures and layers. Love the effects you have achieved…… and no I didn’t have any problems opening the post.
    Have a great weekend.
    hugs {brenda} xox

  21. Ooooh-weeeeee…LOVE IT!! All that texture is so awesome! Looks like it was a lot of fun to create. (and no problems opening this post) 🙂

  22. Completely glorious, Marjie – your page has such depth, texture, humour and thoughtfulness – just wonderful! And the post opened perfectly, all the photos are fab!
    Alison x

  23. COOL!

  24. Gorgeous pages…loving all those layers of color! The Hokey Pokey stamp is one of my favs. Has been sitting on my desk waiting to be used with some of the Stampotique Originals images.
    Thanx for the inspiration! 🙂 Love your creations

  25. What an amazing page Marjie!!! So many nice details and colours are like always beautiful!

  26. Christine Ortman says:

    Love this!!! I’ve been hesitant to try using gesso, but now see I’m going to have to give it a try. Thank you for sharing. It has been such as joy to see your explorations of new products and techniques. You are truly inspiring. P.S. no problems with the pics

  27. No problems with the pictures here! And oh my gosh, I cannot believe this is on paper! Truly this looks like canvas…it’s so thick and texture filled…I’m BLOWN AWAY! This is so flipping wonderful…craftgasm!!!

  28. Me ha gustado mucho tu pagina toda esa capa de textura, los colores y tonos usados.Una gran inspiración.

  29. Oh Marjie, I facebook liked it, I pinned it, I love it!
    You are such an inspiration. This is wonderful. Michelle x

  30. Hi Marjie, no problem at all opening it, love the size of the first pic, it really shows the pages off in their full glory. Really, really love the depth of colour you have achieved (I would have stuck with the first colour!- lol) and you can really see the texture created by the gesso. A really fabulous couple of pages. A x

  31. Sorry in all that gushing I forgot to add that I had no problem with the photo size and opening up.

  32. Marjie, it’s official: I’m in love with this page spread!! Not that I don’t love your other work but this is superb. I adore the rich, passionate colours (that’s what they evoke in my book anyway!), the torn pages, the heart, the letters under the ‘spackled’ (never heard that word before!!) on gesso and . . . . oh, just everything!
    I’m not one to wax totally over the top lyrically but this is art for me.
    Off now to stop being over the top and gushy – I’m a Brit after all and we’re supposed to be reserved etc.
    Have a wonderful weekend you talented girl!

  33. Wow!!! This is flipping fantastic Marjie!!!

  34. Fantastic! But I bet you can’t close the book now, lol lol lol.
    Just makes me want to touch it and and stroke it…

  35. Fantastic pages!. Screaming with lovely texture. I MUST try bold gesso like this, worked superbly!. Great move to darken the colors a bit :), loving all the quotes!. I had fun admiring your work today :).

  36. Trace metcalfe says:

    Fab pages , gorgeous colours and textures !!! Love the way you have used the gesso . The photos are fab too ! Trace x

  37. Great, fun journal pages. The pictures cannot be too big for me; as I see very badly it is a big help for me, and I don’t have to glue my nose to the screen of my lap-top! Valerie

  38. Glorious journal pages, wonderful depth of colour in the background and I love the text. Love the addition of the heart too. Love that you used book text in the background. Thanks so much for joining in the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge. Tracy x

  39. Can we say, “Gorgeous” and then some! Marjie, I really do love all these layers. So much details and very cool again! Hope you have a great weekend!

  40. I like the big photo on top. But if it takes up too much space, I like that you can click on the others and look closely. But, your third picture doesn’t get bigger when I click on it.
    But…. I love this spread! My favorite part is the splat. =)

  41. Jennifer Rogers says:

    No hassle opening this at all and the detail of your lovely page is great to see! No faking there whatsoever. (BTW although there is no such thing as the stereotypical “cleft-stick” internet here in Darkest Africa on normal days, we have had a week of phenomenal thunderstorms which slowed everything up until repairs were done– so if I can open it, should be fine).

  42. Couldn’t fake this if you tried! Wow. Love the layers and the sentiments. It looks deliciously thick and so funny. Especially the Hokey-Pokey one.

  43. Marjie…your journal layout is so cool. You and Lynne are so right…you can’t fake layers. 🙂 Love your layers and colors. I also love all of your random thoughts. Some are hilarious and some are such words of wisdom! Thanks for sharing your art with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show. <3 Candy