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.
Perhaps it was because the adjacent page was inspired by the fictional, dreamy world of Oz, or perhaps it was all the shiny red apples in the fruit bowl, but when I sat down at my art journal and looked at the blank page I decided that it should be a fairy tale and that tale should be Snow White.
I had fun experimenting with lots of different mixed media techniques on this journal page. I collaged tissue paper, painted with gesso, and lifted paint to create texture. I also forced myself to draw hands in a particular gesture.
This page of my art journal was inspired by my very own ruby slippers. I bought a pair of red, sequinned, cosy, comfy slippers a couple of months ago and I premiered them on my feet on Oscars night. Nowadays I watch the Academy Awards while wearing my jammies so the sparkly slippers were my nod to red carpet glamour. I love ‘The Wizard of Oz’ which was why I had to have the pair of ruby slippers for my feet in the first place. Oddly, however, Oz only crops up ever so often in my art work. Possibly my favourite illustration in my altered book was of one of the Witch’s flying monkeys wearing ruby slippers. Anyway, that was the inspiration for the page. It does not show very well in the photograph but there is metallic red on the shoes to make them glint and glimmer, as close to a suggestion of rubies as I could muster with my supplies. I framed the illustration with text and regret that I did not map it out before I started writing because, clearly, I got the spacing and composition of the typography out of kilter. But that is OK because I am only playing in my art journal.
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.
Continuing with the monochrome black and white theme in my Rainbow themed art journal, I decided to challenge myself to work in white on top of black. I did not have a subject in mind as I loaded the black acrylic on to the pages and actually cannot remember if anything in particular sparked the idea but I decided to draw an illustration of a female Death figure. I opted against using pencil to sketch anything in so I worked directly in paint pen and gel pen to build up the figure, shape by shape, piece by piece. The lack of pencil scaffolding meant that some of my proportions went skew-wiff (the arm on the right is too long) but otherwise I thoroughly enjoyed the freedom and spontaneity of working directly in pen and piecing all of the fragments together into one whole. I did, however, completely use up my broader tipped paint pen so I really put the tools through a work out. It took me a few sessions of drawing to complete it but it was a relaxing activity.
***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.
I rarely ever work across two art journal pages. The fact that I use a spiral bound journal does not lend itself to double spreads. I thought, however, that I might attempt a sort of diptych, two pieces on two different pages but somehow visually linked. I am glad I tried something new but the results didn’t leave me feeling I had accomplished much. There is a strong visual connection between the two pages, which could be regarded as a success. I introduced colour in order to differentiate between the two pages. One of my kids suggested the idea of blue and yellow to represent night and day so I opted for those colours but otherwise did not pursue the idea of different lighting conditions. I wanted to maintain the monochromatic theme and to connect the figures through use of silhouette. Not being overly keen on the outcome of this pair of paintings, I kept circling back to these pages in my art journal, adding a tiny bit more here and there. But I have now reached a point where I no longer feel inspired to tinker with the pages and want to call these pages done and set them by. So done they are.