This year’s final Documented Life Project theme is “storytelling with the written word” and this week’s challenge was to use words front and centre. As you will have observed, I am not someone who tends to write much in my art journal. I much prefer all of the visual elements to the written word when it comes to my creative experiments and I also shy away from recording anything too personal in my art journal too so I don’t use it as a visual diary. Therefore, when I do use words, they tend to be very brief or else be the words of someone else.
I decided to focus on the word “centre” in the challenge prompt. A quick google turned up a quotation attributed to Karl Wilhelm Friederich Schlegel, the German philosopher and poet. That quotation spoke to me amid all the other quotations that google had turned up because it seemed to connect to my word of the year, which was “Balance”. I have worked really hard to restore some balance back into my life this year, making some time for myself, recharging my own batteries so that I can keep on investing in my family to the best of my ability. It’s not a perfect yin-yang balance, of course, because that would be both impossible and unreasonable but I am definitely starting to feel more level, more centred. Centre. Ta da.
I kept the page pretty simple as I was working on it in very short bursts throughout a busy day. The background is lots of liquidy watercolour. Playing on the idea of extremes and balance, I used cold colours at the top of the page and warm colours at the bottom so that they merged in the middle – or the centre as it were. I then sprinkled salt onto the page, more so on the left than on the right, just to create some visual interest and a subtle difference between the two sides of the page. I have used salt before with watercolour but have never had it stick fast to the page but it did so this time. Maybe it was because I was using watercolour paper before whereas my art journal is mixed media paper and is much less toothy. Maybe the pigment was just far too liquidy for this technique and I should have let the puddles dry a bit first. Whatever the reason, I am glad I have these oops learning opportunities in my art journal as that is the place for such experiments. I then wrote the quotation across the page using a black gel pen. The font is one I found on Pinterest which I thought would be fun to try out as the curls and tendrils of it appealed.
So another year of DLP prompts is almost over. I won’t be continuing with it in 2016 as the organisers are taking the challenges in the direction of planners rather than art journals and that’s not my bag. I will continue to work in my art journal, however. I find I enjoy the quick bursts of art I can achieve in my journal as well as the experiments and development of ideas. As the year draws to a close, I will also need to revisit my goals for 2015 and see which ones I achieved and which I need to roll forward into 2016 in my continuing quest for balance.