Abominable Snowman

It is only January and I am already so over Winter.  I like to be warm and cosy.  I dislike shovelling.  My kids have not and will not have a full week of school this month thanks to snow days, early dismissals, and late arrivals.  While I love spending time with my kids, it has been pretty disruptive and we are a family who does better with routine.  Winter is the price I pay for getting to enjoy the other seasons of the year.  Alas, it is too early for me to even start searching out the first signs of Spring.

Anyway, thoughts of snow, ice, and winter chill inspired my most recent art journal page.  Technically it is a response to the Art Journal Adventure prompt which was the letter A.  I had already been thinking about creating an illustration of a Yeti so I am just labelling him as the Abominable Snowman to fulfil the prompt.  I love monsters and mythology and cryptids so I always enjoy drawing them.  This yeti is inspired by a painting I did in my altered book of monsters a couple of years ago.  That painting was just the face but this time I drew the whole body.

2 Abominable Snowman - Yeti - Art Journal Page

Advertisements

Rainbow Art Journal – Masque of the Red Death

Since visiting two of Edgar Allan Poe’s former houses recently, I wanted to include something Poe-inspired in my Rainbow Art Journal.  So, still focusing on the red section, I decided to create a page inspired by the story ‘The Masque of the Red Death’.  I enjoy working with a limited colour palette and that was true of this page which is restricted to just red, black, and white.  You may have noted that I also return fairly regularly to the subject of skulls and skeletons.  I don’t think I am generally a macabre person; I just find that sort of thing fascinating.  I am fairly pleased with how this page turned out.  It was a struggle to maintain the proportions across the two pages and ultimately I failed to do so but I think the illustration still works.  Just.  I use spiral bound journals for convenience but they definitely hinder my ability with double page spreads, that’s for sure.  Still, I like the finished pages enough that I may use them as inspiration for a proper painting at some stage.

16a Masque of the Red Death

16b Masque of the Red Death

Rainbow Art Journal – Visions of Lobster and Berries

It has been months since I completed a page in my Rainbow Art Journal but the winter break afforded me the opportunity to sit at my art table while my kids played video games or otherwise kept themselves occupied.  This particular page has been progressing for a good couple of months now as I just kept adding on layers of collage and then of paint.

The background is a photo (by Yan Gao) from a National Geographic magazine depicting an aerial view of a town in Tibet.  I thought the pattern of red roofs might prove to be an interesting background to a page in the red section of my Rainbow Art Journal.  I then glued down a random face cut from a magazine, some raspberries, red butterfly wings and a lobster just to add to the red theme.  Apart from ensuring the face was central, it was all placed in a pretty haphazard way.  It then sat at that stage for many weeks until I could return to it and practice painting over collage.

15a Visions of Lobster and Berries

It is interesting to me that the face ended up so flat.  Having started with a photograph of a face as my scaffolding, one would assume that the face painted on top of it would be similar.  I suspect I layered the paint too thickly and lost all sense of there even having been a face below.  The wings and berries became a sort of headdress or headband and the lobster became a sort of outsized brooch I suppose – unless we choose to imagine that the woman is being attacked by a lobster.  I painted the lobster a more vivid red, however, so he’d have to be an undead zombie lobster attacking the figure.

15b Visions of Lobster and Berries

Not a very successful page by any measure then but I am glad to have finally completed this page after the journal being untouched and the page having been in stasis for so long.  Onward and hopefully upward.

Year of the Dog

We had a Snow Day yesterday with schools closed and my preschool closed due to the winter storm and the bitter temperatures.  It was definitely a day for hibernation.  I tidied and read and baked and found time to work in my art journal.  My January Art Snacks box had just arrived the previous day and I was eager to experiment with the contents.  I used the Art Journal Adventure prompt as my starting point – year of the dog.  As a cat owner, that might be a bit treacherous but it has been a while since I drew a dog so I thought I should take the opportunity to practice.  My dog ended up super goofy and long and bendy but he’s playful and that is what guddling about in my art journal is all about.  It was also fun to experiment with the products in the box, all of which I liked and all of which I will use again and again.  The photos are not great thanks to the very dull lighting conditions and the fact that I was wrestling one of my cats at the time.  He definitely did not approve of this dog illustration.

1a Year of the Dog - Art Journal Page

1b Year of the Dog - Art Journal Page

Alpha & Omega

Happy New Year!

My final Art Journal Adventure prompt for 2017 was “Endings and Beginnings”, obviously an apt subject for the turn of the year.  This year there will be no page in my art journal that sets an inspirational, aspirational or encouraging word to focus on, no listing of goals, nothing like that.  I have never been one for setting resolutions but I have previously fallen prey to setting myself goals.  I am increasingly failing to achieve (m)any of the goals I set for myself.  Apart from participating in and completing a set of drawings for Inktober, I achieved not a single one of my goals for 2017.  Not. A. One.  In fact, I still have a goal for 2016 that I did not complete in either that year or last year.  So my sole goal for this year is to not set myself up for failure.

Therefore, my turn of the year art journal page is neither about reflecting on the year past or looking ahead to what 2018 might have in store for me.  Instead, I chose to focus on the theme of beginnings and endings, of cycles of time, of opposites, of cusps, alpha and omega.  This is what I came up with: two figures in a composition that has echoes of yin and yang without the required geometric precision.  Once the figures were dry, I decided to unify them in some way and plumped for writing.  I defaulted to my own handwriting, albeit a little higgledy-piggledy, for the phrase “Alpha & Omega” but I think my own handwriting works effectively enough in this piece.

52a - Alpha & Omega

52c - Alpha & Omega

52g - Alpha & Omega

52h - Alpha & Omega

Frosty Tree

Last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was “trees”.  The obvious subject would have been a Christmas tree but I really was not in the mood to draw or paint one.  I, therefore, chose to depict a frosty tree but in a slightly abstracted way.  I worked on this page gradually over the week before Christmas and got it finished thanks to having two days off work while my kids were still in school.  It is a bit sloppy and imperfect thanks to being worked on inconsistently and in a bit of a rush each time but it’s only an art journal page so that’s quite OK.

51 - Frosty Tree - Art Journal Page

Next year, I am not signed up for any courses and I have no art based commitments or obligations.  I am just going to do my own thing and will try to be disciplined about eking out some art time each week without having a prompt to do so.