I desperately needed some art time but I was completely lacking in motivation and inspiration. I did, however, have my November Art Snacks box sitting untouched on my art table so I decided to tackle this month’s challenge as a way to jump start some creative time.
I did cheat a bit on the challenge because I used a black ink pen that did not come with the box. The bright pink of the marker, the citrus green of one of the pencils, and the neon yellow of the brush pen suggested a 1980s pop vibe so I sketched out a girl wearing 1980s fashions – based simply on my recollection rather than any references so probably not super accurate.
It’s certainly far from my best work but it felt therapeutic to create something in my art journal and, as I have written many times before, often the journey is more important than the destination.
Between completing my Star Wars illustration challenge and participating in Drawlloween, it took until mid-November for me to find the time and motivation to experiment with the supplies in my October Art Snacks box. Even when I did break them out, I kept things very small and manageable. This illustration is the scale of a bookmark. Indeed, I have a number of these skinny drawings now and I think I am going to laminate them so they can all become bookmarks.
I think this drawing ended up with a bit of a 1910s vibe to it. The combination of the lavender paint pen, which I watered down as well as using straight out of the barrel, and the bright sunshine yellow of the ink brush is quite a pleasing colour combination I think.
I have been neglecting my art journals these past several months because all of my art time has been focused on my Star Wars character challenge. I have especially been neglecting my Rainbow Art Journal, a project I really should have completed by now whereas in actuality I don’t think I am even half way through. This month’s Art Snacks box, however, contained a colour palette that was perfect for transitioning out of the green section of that journal and into the blue. On the theme of transitions, this weekend was really the first feeling of Autumn nipping at the heels of Summer. After a hot and humid Summer, we have had some misty, chilly mornings and I actually donned an extra layer of clothing. Maybe that was what inspired me to sketch out a figure being blown in the wind.
I had a bit of a cruddy day yesterday. We’ve had some flooding to deal with (a lot) lately and the day started with lashing rain yet again, I consequently changed my plan for the day which is something I always find unsettling and disappointing, and then I spent hours problem solving another unexpected problem that cropped up. It was all small beer in the greater scheme of things and certainly all piffling in the context of a global pandemic. On the other hand, living in the midst of a pandemic is also mentally and emotionally fatiguing so maybe that is why smaller problems are getting to me more.
The point of this preamble is that two things that do the best job at calming me down when I am a powder keg of stress and anxiety: art and horror movies. So I settled down with a cup of tea in front of ‘Shadow of a Doubt’, one of my favourite Hitchcock movies (and not strictly a horror), and decided to draw Alfred Hitchcock using the supplies from this month’s Art Snacks box. I thought the combination of black ink, the sepia ink pencil, and the crimson paint suited the subject.
All of my art time lately has been funneled towards my Star Wars challenge. It is always good to have a break from things, however, so I opened up my art journal and decided to create something using the supplies from my July Art Snacks box. I received two Kurteake watercolour pans in a dark grey with hints of indigo and a sort of citrus chartreuse and a Daniel Smith watercolour stick in vermilion so I basically had a slight twist on the three primary colours. The lime-yellow-chartreuse immediately made me think of a raincoat I had when I was very wee and then I thought about how the grey-blue was reminiscent of heavy rain clouds on a stormy day. That, therefore, gave me the theme for my illustration.
Incidentally, I painted this while I was on a lengthy phone call – having done the drawing earlier – so how is that for multitasking in order to ensure I still got my art time?
This illustration is what I came up with using just the contents of my May Art Snacks box. There were brush markers, a coloured pencil, an India ink marker, and a copic fineliner. I appreciated that all of the items were portable art supplies (when combined with a water brush) because I was able to knock this drawing out while supervising my youngest doing his distance learning lessons for the day. I have been doing the drawing part of my Star Wars illustrations while supervising the boys’ education each morning (and then painting them in the afternoons) so I took a break and knocked this out instead. Messing about with the shapes in the cloak was a welcome distraction from 5th Grade algebra.
As in so many of Greek myths, Daphne’s is the story of a woman victimised by a man and ultimately punished by the patriarchy. Essentially poor Daphne was used by Eros to curse Apollo, one of Cupid’s arrows having created his obsessive infatuation with the naiad Daphne. An arrow fired at her ensured that she would always flee Apollo. Therefore, poor Daphne was basically stalked by Apollo, which effectively means she was being punished for no reason. In order to escape Apollo’s sexual violence, Daphne pleaded with her father, a river god, and his solution was to transform her into a laurel tree. Daphne, treated like an object by these male gods, was therefore rendered completely and utterly passive – so much so, in fact, the Apollo ended up possessing the laurel as his special tree. Ugh.
Anyway, still plodding on through the green section of my Rainbow Art Journal, I decided to illustrate Daphne’s tragic story. I wanted to communicate something of the violence of her situation and of her transformation while also suggesting something of the fact she was forced to become even more passive.
I just realised I had never written a blog post for this illustration in my Rainbow Art Journal. My entire county is, as of last Friday, under lockdown for at least the next two weeks because of the Covid 19 outbreak. My kids are, therefore, home from school and, as a teacher, I am obviously off work. I, therefore, thought I would return to working on this project and I found this page. Maybe I had considered it unfinished and was expecting to return to it. I am calling it done.
Anyway, this is a quick little ink and watercolour illustration I knocked out in response to the prompt “Relax” in the Art Journal Adventure group. I drew it a few days before Christmas so I was pretty much the opposite of relaxed. I thought about where my “happy place” is. I am not very good at getting into a zen headspace when doing yoga but, when I am in shavasana pose with my eyes closed, I often think about being in the woods, among the trees, smelling the leaves and moss. So I drew myself lying in a pile of leaves. You may spot a good few little insects among the leaves too.
This page in the green section of my Rainbow Art Journal was created in response to an Art Snacks challenge. I actually painted it all the way back in April 2018. At the time, thought I might add more to it but, given I did not, I am considering it done. All the green is ink used at different levels of dilution and the orange is a watercolour pencil. Green and orange are among my least used colours but I actually quite like the combination of the two here.
For the first page in the fully green section of my Rainbow Art Journal (as opposed to the transition page) I wanted to work entirely in green (excepting a little black ink). I, therefore, decided to draw one of my sprite figures. I have a fondness for moss so decided my illustration would depict a moss sprite. I also used it as an experiment in layering my green watercolour paints. For the body I used a wet-in-wet technique and as such achieved lots of blossoms and pigment blooms where the different greens puddled and met each other. For the hair, I allowed a layer to completely dry before I added the next layer of paint.