Rib Cage

Knowing me as you do, you may not be surprised to see the direction I took this week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt.  The prompt was “Opening” which could be used in either a literal or metaphorical way or both.  I immediately visualised a rib cage opening to reveal a heart.

I used Dylusions black marble paint to coat my page because it creates a really rich black with a lovely smooth finish which is perfect for drawing on with paint pens.  The approach I took was the exact same as the one I used to create the Lady Death page in my other current art journal but this time I kept it the doodles much simpler because I wanted to get the whole thing done and dusted within one week’s rations of art time.  I think it goes without saying that I did not use any references when illustrating the skeleton.  Anatomical accuracy was not remotely going to happen.  The rib cage I drew – however short of a few ribs – opens like window shutters to reveal the interior of the body.  I knew I wanted to include the heart as a reference to the idea of opening up to someone, thus connecting the literal and metaphorical possibilities of the prompt.  Having drawn the heart into the centre of the opening, however, I decided that there was too much empty space.  I, therefore, added a pair of lungs.  I repeated the pink and red colours elsewhere in the drawing of the skeleton to make the interior and exterior visually coherent.

I had a lot of fun creating this journal page and hope you find it fun to look at.

11a Open Ribs to Heart

11b Open Ribs to Heart

Shark Reverse Silhouette

This week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was to incorporate a silhouette as part of the art journal page.  Some weeks I read a prompt and have no ideas and some weeks I read a prompt and am overwhelmed by too many ideas at once.  This was an example of the latter.  There were so many ways I could have taken the idea of a silhouette.

I had a page already underway in my art journal that was going nowhere in particular but where I had plonked a wine label slap bad in the middle.  I had actually intended to glue the wine label into my rainbow themed art journal but I guess I was rushing and it was late at night so it ended up in my regular art journal.  There were also some scraps of text paper already adhered to the page, leftovers from some other project.  I decided that should be the background of my silhouette page.  But then I realised that the wine label would likely end up completely covered up.  That was when I decided I would create a reverse silhouette with the surrounding area being black and the chosen shape emerging in negative rather than positive.

Something you may not know about me is that I love sharks (and whales).  It has been a lifelong thing.  I would actually dearly love to dive with sharks but its the claustrophobia of scuba gear underwater that deters me.  Despite the fact – or maybe because – I doodle sharks frequently, a shark has only put in one solitary, rogue shark appearance in my art journal.  It was a messy collage of torn paper that resulted in a rather dorky looking shark.  After adding a light paint layer over the collage, therefore, it was just a case of quickly drawing out a shark silhouette shape and then painting black into the negative space.  Quick and easy.

10 Shark Reverse Silhouette

Lady Liberty Weeps

***NOTE: This blog post is about my art work.  This is not a political post and I am not inviting political discussion.  You are, of course, entitled to hold different political opinions from me and I respect that.  I, therefore, ask that any comments left on this post are similarly respectful and civil.  Any nastiness will be deleted.***

 

This week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was “Travel”.  Normally my imagination would be sparking and fizzing with ideas about dream destinations and bucket list travel plans or else memories of wonderful travels from times past.  However, the prompt happened to be revealed on the exact same day that President Trump issued his revised Travel Ban.  As such, my creative impulses took me in an entirely different direction.  As an immigrant, legal permanent resident in America, I felt compelled to follow that impulse.  The result is a depiction of Lady Liberty weeping.  I drew the face rapidly using black acrylic paint (having roughly mapped out only the proportions) and, once that was dried, I added some Dylusions spray ink in teal and turquoise to suggest verdigris and add some additional visual texture.

9 Lady Liberty Weeps

Colourful Hands – Art Journal Page

As a family, we Picts are usually in rude health.  We rarely get sick and until this year one of my sons had never had a day off school ever.  This Winter, however, has been a relentless battle against germs.  While Mr Pict and I have escaped the various plagues, our four boys have been felled by one thing after another.  My preschool students have also been dropping like flies.  The whole community apparently needs to be disinfected.  This week, my youngest son came down with a vomiting bug for the second time in six weeks.  The only slight silver lining to having to take time off work for nurse duties is that, between looking after the little chap and bleaching and boil washing, I could grab some time to play around in my art journal.

This week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was to transform the edges of the page by shaping them.  I was glad of this prompt as it represented a nudge to try something new.  I usually operate pretty strictly within the boundaries of the page, neither extending it with a tip-in or subtracting from it by removing areas.  I sat at my art table, struggling for inspiration, and saw the shape of my hands on the blank page.  I decided that my hands should be the shape I created.  I simply drew around my hands and cut out the shape.  I painted both sides of the hands with black acrylic.  Once that was dry, I used my Dylusions paints to add dots all over the hand shapes.  I like those paints for the vivid colours and for the thick texture so they worked perfectly for this particular job.  Now I just need to figure out what, if anything, to do with the reverse side of the hands.

8a Hands - Shaped Page

8b Hands - Shaped Page.jpg

A Bunny Timeline of European History

This week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was Time which was ironic because it took me the entire week to find the time to even sit down at my art table.  I was, however, thinking about the prompt all week and had all sorts of ideas running around in my head.  I initially thought of time travel and HG Wells.  My 9 year old Steampunk fan was very keen on that idea but just the thought of drawing all sorts of cogs and gizmos made me feel stressed.  After that, I had all sorts of different ideas.  It was, however, a chat with a friend about our shared love of ‘Blackadder’ that led to what finally appeared on my journal page.  The idea of taking a character and plonking them in different periods of history combined with my habit of drawing funny bunnies.  I decided to limit myself to eight drawings and to European history so that it did not become a crazily big project.  Once I had the idea and some time at my art table, I was able to whip through the illustrations really quickly as they are just ink and watercolour.  I chose to depict a bunny as a neanderthal, Roman, Viking, in a Medieval costume complete with codpiece, as an Elizabethan with a large ruff, as a Regency dandy, as a Victorian gent, and as a World War One Tommy.

7a Bunny European History Timeline

7b Bunny European History Timeline

7c Bunny European History Timeline

7d Bunny European History Timeline

 

All You Need Is Love

Last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was to use text as the initial layer in an art journal spread.  I am not the greatest at layering so it was useful to have the nudge at having another attempt at it.  It happened to be valentine’s week last week so I took “love” as my theme.  My valentine’s week was actually themed around stress – two valentine’s parties to organise and run at work, three class parties to attend that afternoon for three of my kids, and cooking a dinner the kids complained about, and we don’t even celebrate Valentine’s Day – but I decided my art journal page should focus on “love” regardless.

Layer one was my handwriting in ink covering the page, running in multiple directions, overlapping, until it became completely illegible, and all I wrote were whatever love song lyrics happened to drift into my head.  Once that layer was complete, I decided to scrape some acrylic paint over it.  Annoyingly, this all but concealed the handwritten layer.  Ugh.  I just cannot get this layering thing right.  Ploughing on, I decided to reintroduce text again so I used negative space painting with white gesso to carve out the word “love”.  It was all still a bit meh and blah so I picked up a paint pen and scrawled “all you need” across the bottom of the page.  I am going to be happy that I was intuitive about adding an element but I rather suspect it was a wrong move.  The whole page, therefore, is very ho hum.  But that’s OK because, in a crazy busy week, each layer was a moment of calm in a day.

6 Layering with Writing

Cup of Tea

Last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was to use a subtle colour palette.  I like limited colour palettes so I thought it would be fun to try one that was muted and subdued.  I had some free time on Saturday afternoon which was a cold and dull day, the sort of day when I drink copious mugs of hot tea, and that became my inspiration for the art journal page – a figure holding a cup of steaming tea and a background the same colour as milky black tea.  I worked on it in stages during the course of the afternoon and it was really pretty simple and straightforward.

5 Cup of Tea - subtle-muted palette