February 16, 2012

Fearless Friends in Art Guest Blogger Series- Jen Matott!!!

Hello everyone and welcome to another fantastic Fearless Friends guest blogger post.This week, I'm over the moon excited to share with all of you, a woman who completely rocks the Art Journal among so many other things. I have the blessing of working with Jen Matott on the Wow Embossing Powders design team and talk about opening my eyes to being free with your art. Once you read the post, you will completely understand why I say that. So without further adieu, Let's welcome Jen Matott and her amazing talents.

I am so honored to be asked to guest post on Erika's blog! She is a super person and artist and I love her humor and style! Thanks girl! I want to share with you some of my pages from an exciting project that I got involved with last year. The Sketchbook Project is a traveling exhibit of sketchbooks designed around a theme. Art House Co-op is an independent Brooklyn-based company that organizes global, collaborative art projects.

What started out in 2006 as a small artist community has now grown to over 60,000 artists online. Their website can be found here "The Sketchbook Project". If you haven't heard of it, you should check out their website and see what other projects they have that artists can participate and collaborate in with other artists.

It's a wonderful mix of artists from graphic designers, illustrators, mixed media artists, painters, amateurs, students, and just lovely hobby artists. I found it when I was looking for something for my high school art students to participate in that went beyond a basic sketchbook assignment. It was a random search that led me to their page. I participated last year with a computer generated theme, "Maps". It was a theme that generated lots of meaning and symbolism for me. I had saved maps for years.... atlases, book maps, local maps, etc... So, the material was there for me to use.

I had just joined Faber-Castell's Design Memory Craft team so a lot of my pages used their product! I had a blast creating it! The only glitch is that you have to give it up... permanently. You send it back to them and it gets housed in the Brooklyn Art Library with all the other sketchbooks for people to view and check out on the tour. I plan to stop in there to see it in person in March when I travel there for a conference.

Here are a few photos from 2011 book:

Those are just a sampling of the pages from the first book in 2011. I did make color copies of my pages so that I had a copy for myself. I also made extra color copies to use in other artworks for collage... thinking ahead.

Fast forward to 2012... I signed up again and paid my $25 for the journal that you get that was made specifically for the project so that everyone has a consistent size and shape. You can alter the cover and pages within. It just has to stay the same size overall. I picked a theme from their list this year of "Writing on the Wall". It spoke to me of images and words, of text, of quotes, of graffiti!!! I KNEW how I would approach this one and I enjoyed every moment of creating it. I used Faber-Castell product, art mediums, stamps, sprays, and collage. It was awesome! I felt free and got it done in 3 days! The other one took me months.

The pages are thick with mediums such as texture paste, gel mediums, gesso, and matte medium. I glued pages together to make thicker bases in which to add the mediums.
Here are a few of the pages where you can see the texture paste built up and stamped into.

Those are just a few places in the book that I used texture. I got so carried away with stamping into the paste that I had to quite literally scrap the paste off and start again. BUT it was therapeutic and fun at the same time! I built them up and added color afterwards.

The final book was a conglomeration of symbolism, text, stamped images, color and texture. I am a huge hoarder when it comes to materials that might find their way into my art. I have a huge bin full of bits and pieces of stuff. My husband calls it junk but I call it collage fodder!

Here are a few more pages in which I use stencils and color.

And finally, here is my cover:

I enjoyed every stage of the journey with this project and it was sad to send it all off to be housed somewhere else, but I love the idea that others will be able to page through it and see my work. I love that it will be part of a traveling exhibit. How cool is that? One of thousands perhaps, but my book is there! I plan to do it all over again next year! Will you join me? I hope that you do

Thank you for letting me share my art with you and I hope you will visit me on my blog for more photos and technique.


  1. I adore Jen!!! She is amazing!! Beautiful work!!

  2. Wow... amazing creation!
    The butterfly page leave me without words!!

  3. Thanks Erika for having me! Thanks for all the kind words! I'll be checking back for more inspiration from your other guests and from your creative mind!

  4. This is incredible!!!! Great job Jen!!!

  5. Oh Jen This is spectacular-it really had to be therapeutic -love the pages
    Thanks so much for sharing

  6. Wonderful and inspiring work....I am truely enjoying These Guest Blogs...Thank you so much!

  7. Wow, Erika... thanks for the introduction! And Jenn, your work is amazing. Just checked out your blog, too. Wooohooo!


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