Rainbow Art Journal – Beetle

Peaks and valleys.  Rough and smooth.  Successes and failures.  Not every experiment in my art journal is going to be a success.  Indeed, most are probably lacking in some way but that’s acceptable to me because they are just experiments and my art journals are for relaxation and play.  Some pages, however, are just abject failures.  This is one such page.  I almost didn’t blog about it because it is so bad but every failure is a learning opportunity so here it is.

My Rainbow Art Journal is a work in progress, evolving all the time.  Some pages I complete from start to finish but others are more dynamic and shifting, emerging from leftover paint smooshed here, scraps of collage pasted there, until ultimately I decide what to do with that page.  This page had had lots of red, yellow, and orange paint scraped onto it.  I had also had to slap on some washi tape to reinforce the perforations.  It was a pretty ugly base layer but it was something to work on.  Incidentally, the background colour is much more orange than it appears in the photo.  I think the metallics throw the camera off.  Anyway, unfortunately I didn’t manage to lose the ugly.  I painted on a beetle in a pearlescent yellow.  The shimmer was nice but the whole thing looked washed out in comparison to the background colours.  I, therefore, smudged on some gold to make the beetle a bit warmer in hue and add yet more shimmer.  The idiom “You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear” came to mind.  I added some ink and some paint pen for detailing.  Nope.  Still ugly.  That’s when I decided that I hated this page and that I was investing no more time in it.  Time to abandon it and call it quits.  On to new and hopefully better pages.

25 - Beetle


16 thoughts on “Rainbow Art Journal – Beetle

  1. I can see it hanging on a banner in a Chinese restaurant, making people wonder if they were born during the year of the beetle, and furiously hunting across their red place mat, only to discover they are a cock or a rat. I wouldn’t mind eating my basil shrimp next to it.

  2. No art work is a failure. We all have those days when our art work is less than ideal… ! But as long as we’ve learnt something from our process (ie. what is wrong, why it’s wrong and what we could do different next time) then we can move forward and progress. All that said I like your beetle… !

  3. I like your solution of just letting it be and going on. I do that often. Sometimes when I look at it later I can see what to do to make it work. Sometimes not. After some time has passed tho I allow myself the option to collage over a journal/sketchbook page and do something else there. A few times I’ve just cut out the page and disposed of it (without harming the book). I’ve found that the cut out page often allows space in the binding for another thick-collage page within the book. In all cases I find it important to just go on to the next page!!! Onward!!!!

    • I would have removed the page had there not been a finished page I liked on the reverse. However, I may well cycle back to the page eventually and either try to improve it or else collage or gesso over it.

      • I hear you! Been there too. For collaging over a page I like to use the flexible archival glue from Twinrocker (www.twinrocker.com) and some thin-ish but opaque paper. I’ve even used thin/opaque decorative papers to cover-over something. It makes for a nice look on a journal page even if I do nothing else to that page. Twinrocker has some nice papers too… 😉

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