The point of the exercise was to use gesso (normally used to prep paper and canvas to hold paint) for "resists" meaning that you create a background with gesso, then paint over it. The gesso remains somewhat visible in the background and creates special effects. This is definitely a mixed media approach - I don't think that a classical painter would ever quite venture that far out of the box with gesso.
This page was done by stamping with black gesso (not the usual color, but Golden paints makes it) on the left onto pages torn from an old book, and using the same stamp, with white gesso. I then used cheapie acrylics over the gesso, and made all the blue swirlies by painting with blue interference paint (Lumiere HiLite Blue) over the stamped lines. I sat with this page for weeks until I needed something to journal on, and well, this page came in handy. After all, backgrounds are just that - backgrounds.
You can also use gesso on rubber stamps as I used above (note: wash the gesso off the rubber quickly, or the plaster that is part of the gesso's makeup will stick like glue. I wish some of my glues held this well.)
The best example of the resist with gesso is now my new banner for my blog (see above.) Cool, huh? I definitely got some Teesha Moore inspiration on that one too.
My favorite use for gesso though is still for clearing my mind and warming up for art. I love to just paint a coat of it on everything I do from canvas to paper to assemblage. I'd say thats what I use it for most. Just slapping it on paper and clearing my head.
Thank you Michelle for another inspirational crusade - sorry I missed it!