This past week ought to be the final week under the umbrella theme of texture for the Documented Life Project. If I have learned one thing from May’s theme it is that creating texture does not especially inspire me. I love texture in nature and in photography; I like to have a range of textures in my home decor; I like to use shapes and patterns to provide contrast and interest in my art work. However, I just don’t seem to be into actual dimensional textures in my art work. Horses for courses, of course, and learning what doesn’t work for you is as important as finding out what does. That’s the joy of exploring different things in my art journal: it’s all experimentation.
This week participants were encouraged to use textured paper and the text prompt was “I’m so not feeling it!” As I have mentioned before, I tend to shy away from the phrase prompts that to me carry negative connotations. Art – and art journaling in particular – about escape for me, about doing something that makes me feel fulfilled and happy. While I can and do explore negative emotions in my art generally, I prefer the short burst creativity in my art journal to be all about the positive and happy. That is not how it works for everyone but that is how I like it to work for me. I, therefore, had to look to the textured paper alone as my jumping off point.
I had a rake through my stash and I had some embossed paper that I had received in some Happy Mail (bits of artsy ephemera sent by other artists), some origami paper and a paper doily. Without having much of a plan beyond a colour scheme, I sprayed some Dylusions ink spray through the doily. I made rather a mess but if I can’t make a total clarty mess in my art journal then when can I? The colours made me then think of water and grass and the idea of a dragonfly then came to me. I used metallic gelatos on the embossed paper and used it and the origami paper to collage a dragonfly. The page was lacking something at that juncture but I could not figure out. I picked the brains of some members of an online mixed media art group I belong to and they all suggested adding some black accents. I, therefore, added the smudgy charcoal border to the page and the words “fly free” in black ink. Those elements did indeed help balance the page. I think it still lacks a bit of oomph but I could not justify spending more time on the challenge page so I decided it was done.
Hopefully I will start to see more real dragonflies soon. They are one of my favourite things about summer.