Clone Children

This weekend, I grabbed some small parcels of time and used them to create an illustration in my art journal.  I used last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt, which was to use an element and repeat it at least three times, and combined it with a prompt I had missed that involved the number 5.  The idea of repetition made me think of clones and that made me think of the pod people from the movie ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ and then that segued in my brain to thinking of the book ‘The Midwich Cuckoos’ and thus I arrived at a decision to draw five clone children with expressionless faces and soulless eyes.  I did the grey and black inkwork first and had intended to leave the hair white as a nod to the movie adaptation ‘Village of the Damned’ but, on a whim, I decided to add a splash of colour with red ink.  I am undecided as to whether that was a smart move or not and my children – who I use to judge my art work – are split 50/50.  What do you think?

24 & 21 - Clone Children - Art Journal Page

 

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Frankenstein’s Monster

Last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was to use black and white with one colour.  By coincidence, my Art Snacks box had just arrived and it contained a black fineline pen and a green alcohol marker.  I, therefore, decided I could combine the challenges while giving myself the additional challenge of working on a narrow piece of paper.  A childhood spent watching classic monster movies means I have a Pavlovian response to black and green.  The combination always makes me think of Frankenstein’s Monster.  I, therefore, set about drawing the Karloff version of the Creature in the narrow space of the paper.  I was very happy with the ink illustration but then worried I would wreck it when adding the green.  I have never been much good at “colouring in” plus I have never used an alcohol based marker before.  I rubbed some of the marker on a piece of wax paper so that I could dilute it with water and brush it on as a light wash first.  That then gave me the confidence to go in directly with the marker to create darker green areas.  I am pretty pleased with how the illustration turned out.  I had envisaged using it as a tip-in for my art journal but two of my kids want it as a bookmark so I guess that’s its destiny.

23 - Frankensteins Monster - Art Journal Tip In

Big Blue Bear

Today was my last teaching day of the school year.  I am working at my preschool’s summer camp for the next fortnight but summer break is in reach.  I am looking forward to a summer spent hanging out with my kids, relaxing, travelling, spending time on hobbies and interests, and generally having a much more flexible schedule.  This week, however, was completely hectic and crazy in the way that the final weeks of the school year always are so this week’s art journal effort is still sloppy and rushed.  That’s OK, however, because I needed those 20 minutes of art time as a brief escape pod from my ridiculous schedule.  I used this week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt – the letter B – so I created a watercolour illustration of a Big Blue Bear.

22 - Big Blue Bear - Art Journal Page

Bunny Girl

I think the thing I enjoy most about art journaling is the lack of pressure.  This art is for absolutely nobody but me, it is not outcome focused so the merits of the completed page don’t matter, I can feel free to experiment and mess around with materials and see what emerges, and as such I can step out of my head a bit and just let my hands and eyes do their thing.  This latter aspect is so important in my life and might be the thing I miss most when I don’t have time for arting.  I spend a lot of time in my head, the cogs in my brain constantly whirring, thoughts in constant motion, and combined with my control freak, overly organised ways, it can all get a bit mentally fatiguing.  Sitting down at my art table with a mug of tea and the birds chirping outside the window is, therefore, super relaxing and recharging.

All of which preamble is to explain how this somewhat bonkers image appeared in my art journal and why I really like it even though it is pretty random.  Over the course of a few days, I took a breather at my art table and added to this page in gradual increments until I felt like it was done and needed no more messing with.  What I ended up with was a sort of bunny girl with a bit of a matryoshka shape going on.  I have no idea what it means or what it might say about my psyche but it most definitely got me to step outside my busy head space for a bit.  And very refreshing that was too.

19 & 20 - Bunny Girl - Art Journal Page

PS You might recognise the paper from my recent tea cup collage.  It turns out that failing to tidy art materials away helps with creative spontaneity.

1980s Disco Pig

Mother’s Day was the excuse I needed to step away from the laundry, leave the vacuum unplugged, ignore the fact the basement playroom looks like it has been ransacked by raccoons, and instead spend some time at my art table.  My monthly Art Snacks box had arrived the previous week so I thought I would have an experiment with the supplies within it and participate in the challenge to create some art using only those resources.  Given I had a highlighter yellow paint pen and a bold orange chubby Pitt pen, the colour scheme shouted 1980s at me.  I, therefore, knew I was going to end up creating an illustration with an ’80s vibe.  What emerged as I sketched was a pig sporting various 1980s fashions.  I  actually did not wear any of these types of clothes in the ’80s because a) I have never been fashionable b) I think I was still wearing 1970s hand-me-downs when neon and ra-ra skirts were in style and c) I was a non-conformist as a child.  I did have a pair of legwarmers that I wore when roller skating so I guess I dipped my toes into this style, though my legwarmers were grey.  But I digress.  My pig looks confident and ready to throw some shapes on the dance floor.

1980s Disco Pig - Art Journal Page

Ghost Woman

On Sunday a very rare event occurred: I found myself at home alone for over an hour.  I decided that this  was such a blue moon alignment of schedules that I was entirely justified in spending the whole time on myself.  Of course, inevitably I pottered around and frittered away time for a bit but I did settle down at my art table, open up my art journal, and set to work.  For the first time in a very long time, I completed an art journal page, from beginning to end, in one setting.  I used the drying time of the first layer for a cup of tea.

I decided to work on last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt which was the letter G.  As I have mentioned before, I like vague prompts because they are so open-ended but I appreciate having a prompt as a nudge to just get on with something, anything.  I was in a spooky, monster making sort of mood so I decided that G would be for Ghost.  I wanted my ghost to be appearing out of the gloom so I started by making the page dark and gradually pulled in lighter layers while narrowing the focus until I was using white for the highlights on the ghostly figure.  The proportions, especially of the arms, are terrible but who cares really.  It’s only an art journal page and, besides which, she’s a ghost.  Perfection isn’t an option when you are the wailing, moaning, unsettled undead.

Ultimately the outcome on the page is irrelevant.  What really matters is that, after a long period of meagre rations of art time, I got to spend a whole feast of time playing around with art materials and getting messy.

18 - Ghost - Art Journal Page

On the Wings of a Dove

This was the second of the art journal pages I created while at my monthly art journaling group.  I created it in response to two Art Journal Adventure prompts – bird and the letter I.  I am being a bit cheeky with the letter I since I decided it is covered by my use of indigo.  What inspired the illustration, however, was the song ‘Wings of a Dove’ by Madness.  I have been on a bit of a musical nostalgia kick recently, introducing my sons to more of the music I was into when I was their ages and younger.  For that reason, I had been listening to the track shortly before heading out to the meet up and, with the lyrics still in my mind’s ear, I decided to come up with an illustration.  It’s drawn with Inktense pencils with a little bit of micron pen for the vine patterns on the clothing.  I find my Inktense pencils are ideal for portable art because they can be easily activated with a water brush, are fixed when dry, and dry pretty quickly.

15 & 17 - On the Wings of a Dove