It is Week 51 of the Documented Life Project. The weekly prompts provided by the group have not only encouraged my experimentation with art journaling but have also given me the impetus to create at least one item of art per week. I have, therefore, decided to follow the Project into 2015 and will see where it takes me. I shall, of course, continue to share my output – the good, the bad and the ugly – on this blog. What will be fun next year is that my 7 year old son has decided to take up art journaling to and is going to respond to the prompts alongside me. He’s going to be my little creative buddy and I am sure his partnership will provide me with extra inspiration.
This week’s challenge prompt was simply “Arrows”. I personally was quite glad of such an open and vague prompt as it enabled me to produce a quick, simple page in a short space of time. Time is a rare commodity right now as there are so many festive treats and chores filling up my schedule. Perhaps because we are on the cusp of a new year, the word “arrow” automatically made me think of direction. Where will life take me next year? What will I find in my near future? What direction might my art take? What new challenges and opportunities will I face in the coming year? And perhaps because I am immersed in children’s literature or perhaps just because it really is a splendid quotation, my mind immediately settled on the lines from Dr Seuss’ book ‘Oh! The Places You’ll Go’:
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
I used watercolour to paint a warm hued background and then used metallic and dayglo gel pens to doodle in a scribbly style all over the page. I wanted to be a bit looser in my style than I usually am but my scribbles were rather too unintentional and, therefore, too ugly so I grabbed some more watercolour and dribbled it down the page in an attempt to try and subdue some of the ugliness. In vain. Where dribbles failed, perhaps splatter would succeed. I grabbed some small pots of paint and flicked and spattered strong colours onto the page. Where some of the paint accumulated in large droplets, I decided to try and create some splattery dribbles by blowing at them through a straw. Alas, the paint was too thick to move much so all that I accomplished was the creation of some rather big blobs. I then took an arrow stamp and some black ink to create a line of arrows marching up the left hand side of the page and wrote the Dr Seuss quotation in the remaining space. Once more, the “font” is merely a more controlled version of my own handwriting but I figure I should just go with that for now until time allows me to properly practice typography. I allowed key words to be emphasised by their scale on the page and by having the other words in smaller, upper case letters.
Despite its messiness, despite all its shortcomings, I am quite pleased with how this page turned out. I certainly learned that creating aesthetically pleasing splatter is more difficult than it looks.