This week’s Documented Life Project prompt was to use a crossword puzzle, Sudoku or wordsearch. I had also set myself the personal challenge of breaking out of my usual style and trying something much more loose. I always work towards something representational both in my regular art and in my art journal. Even my more abstract pieces are clearly representing something, usually the human figure. This week, therefore, I decided to just put my page together without much thought so as to avoid any intention creeping in.
I started by sticking down one of the monoprints from the gelli plate session I did with my kids because I liked the warm colours. I then tore up some pieces of crossword puzzles and other word puzzles from my eleven year old’s Mensa desk calendar and stuck those randomly onto the page. I had to resist the temptation to overthink the placement so I worked very quickly. I have some pots of cheap tempera that I bought half price in Walmart and decided to use those. The colours are quite lush but the paint is very translucent which means it works perfectly as a sort of coloured glaze. I dabbed some colours here and there so as to knock back the puzzle papers and make them blend a little better into the monoprint background. I felt it still needed a bit of something so I dipped the end of a wine cork, the twisting end of my glue stick and the end of a toy wooden mallet into various colours of paint and randomly dabbed those onto the page. Finally, I edged the page with some washi tape, some in black and white to tie in with the printed puzzle pages and some that tied in with the colours of the background page. I was tempted to add some doodles or some words but decided that I would risk over-working the page and was also stepping back into my comfort zone so I left it as it is.
It was fun to do something quick that was just playful – and this was the quickest I have ever completed a challenge after the prompt reveal – and I am hoping that working against my usual style might expand my creative horizons, get me to incorporate new things into my usual approach to creating. Nevertheless, this week’s page does not feel quite “me” so I am not overly happy with the page in terms of outcome though I did enjoy the process.