I started with a piece of 140 lb. hot press watercolor paper, and over a piece of lace, misted the page with sprays I've made with water and dye ink. I ended up with a soft print of the lace that needed a bit more color so I sprayed some more ink in spots.
Next, I collaged on some torn pieces of a city map of Melbourne, Australia. The map has some cool red letters and numbers around the edge but the pieces were a little too stark white for my taste. I sponged on a tad of yellow dye ink to soften the white of the map.
Right now the map pieces look simply stuck onto the page (since they are) and the next few steps are aimed at integrating layers together so they appear as a cohesive unit. Think of it as knitting or weaving...layer intertwines with layer...the artist weaves back and forth between the intial layer and the next and the one after that.
To start knitting the layers together, I picked up some sequin scrim in a couple of different sizes and chose some acrylic paints in colors that coordinated with the spray inks I used earlier. I began stenciling on lots of spots, paying particular attention to the edges of the map, trying to soften the transition between the collage item and the intial sprayed background. It is important not to get too attached to something on your page, at least at first, as often, most of what you layer in will get covered up by subsequent layers. Notice how the edges of the map pieces are starting to get lost as the spot pattern blurs the boundary between the background and the first layer. Cool! Tomorrow, I post the next three steps (there's nine in all). During this entire process, I don't have a final product in mind. I'm just playing at this point, although one could say I am playing with a direction in mind: to create a unified and interesting background for focal imagery and journaling.