Take Heart

The Art Journal Adventure prompt this week was “heart” but, of course, I did not go all sweet and whimsical with my take on that prompt.  Rather than the typical “love” heart, I decided to create an illustration inspired by an anatomical heart.  Don’t expect it to be medical-textbook-accurate, however, because realism isn’t my thing either.  What I came up with was a female figure with an exposed heart.  I used her hair as a sort of curtain being pulled back to reveal some abstracted ribs and that bright red heart.  My first impulse was to show her peeling her skin back to reveal the internal organs so I am glad I came up with the more aesthetically pleasing option of the long, dark hair.  I do enjoy working with a limited palette so I kept this illustration to just the monochrome and splashes of red.

14 - Take Heart

 

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Rainbow Art Journal – Golden Sun

I had this idea that I should create an illustration of a sun goddess in the yellow section of my art journal.  Once I got started, however, the figure evolved into a pseudo ancient Egyptian woman and the yellow sun ended up golden.  I basically cannot be trusted around metallic paints as I almost always go overboard with them.  There’s so much gold and bronze all over this piece that there is barely any yellow left beyond the background.  Oops. I guess I was still in a Klimty mode after the piece I did a few weeks ago because I ended up creating all sorts of Klimt-esque patterns all over the figure to.  If this is the type of thing that happens when I go with the flow without having a clear plan in mind, I definitely need to leave my control freakery be and let it come up with a vision to work towards.

32 - Golden Sun

Rainbow Art Journal – Sunrise and Sunset

This page is the transition between the orange section of my art journal (which is finally completed after a year – woohoo!) and the yellow section.  Those colours combined with the idea of transitions made me think of the cycle of sunrise and sunset and gave me the inspiration for this illustration.  It also left me with the earworm of “Sunrise, Sunset” from ‘Fiddler on the Roof’.  Sidebar: when I lived in Edinburgh in the 1990s, I saw a production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ at the Playhouse starring Topol.  It remains one of the best productions I have ever seen, especially the set design.  So, yes, while that song played on repeat in my head, I created this art journal page.  I plagiarized my own artwork for the concept and composition as this is a version of my “Alpha & Omega” page from last January.

31 - Sunrise & Sunset - Art Journal

Rainbow Art Journal – Cosy Sweater

This is the last illustration in the orange section of my Rainbow Art Journal.  Phew.  Orange is not my favourite colour so it has been a bit of a slog to get through this section, which also coincided with a lean period when it came to free time.  Looking back through my blog posts, I learned that it was almost exactly a year ago that I created the first illustration in the orange section.  Yikes.  That isn’t very speedy progress, is it?  Let’s hope it doesn’t take me a year to complete the next section which is, of course, yellow.

On the subject of transitions, this illustration was inspired by the transition between seasons.  As frequent readers will know, I am very much not fond of Winter.  This Winter has not been too abysmal in that we have not had any big monster storms.  We had a surprise snow storm in November that caused a lot of chaos but we really got off lightly in terms of quantity of snow.  What we have experienced instead is a number of smaller winter weather events that caused disruption – days when my kids had snow days or late arrivals when I had to still go to work, for instance.  The landscape looks beautiful when blanketed in sparkling white, but shoveling it is not so appealing.  Shoveling it while your husband is working in Hawaii is even less appealing.  Anyway, there are finally definite signs of Spring around and the temperatures are steadily increasing.  This means we can venture out wearing slightly fewer layers and can feel comfortable in less bulky coats or in cosy sweaters.

I wanted the composition to be quite narrow in order to accentuate the idea of cosiness.  Since this is a page in a journal with an illustration already on its reverse, I could not crop the paper down.  I, therefore, used strips of washi tape to “frame” my drawing.  The tape then inspired my colour palette.

30 - Cosy Sweater

Matchstick

On Friday – thanks to another dose of snow because this Winter is apparently never going to end – the school district gifted my kids with a delayed arrival and an early dismissal.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Both ends of the day were curtailed meaning they were in school for a whopping two hours and twenty minutes.  My four kids attend three different schools, each of which operates on a different schedule.  This staggering meant that my youngest had not long since gone to school before my oldest arrived home again.  Meanwhile, I still had to go to work on my regular schedule but with extra Dr Seuss party fun thrown into the mix which meant I was dressed as the Cat in the Hat all day.  I got some very peculiar looks and a few chuckles from the other parents at pick up time at my youngest’s school.  So, yes, Friday was a bit of a stressful day and that meant that, when I got home that afternoon, I decided to sit at my art table to decompress – and fortunately my late afternoon schedule was flexible since all my kids were home by that point.

Last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was “Flame”.  Fire and ashes have been recurring themes in my art journal.  This time I thought about a figure representing a matchstick.  I used orange and yellow ink for the background, letting the ink do its thing in wet paper to create random forms and puddles of pigment and hopefully suggest flames.  My Daniel Smith Lunar Black was the perfect paint for the torso of the figure since the way it granulates and separates was so reminiscent of a struck, burned out match.

 

8 - Matchstick Girl - Flame - Art Journal

Rainbow Art Journal – Orange and Blue

It seems like eons since I last cracked open my Rainbow themed Art Journal and created anything in its pages.  It’s definitely been a good few months.  Thanks to a Snow Day, however, I found myself with an extra ration of free time so I decided to produce another piece in the orange section of my art journal – which is only the third section – I am really not making great progress with this project.  As we all know, orange and blue are complementary colours so I decided to play around with that palette for this page.  The subject is another one of my reworkings of one of my older illustrations in a different medium.  I much prefer the proportions of the face in the ink and watercolour original but I like the strength of the colours in this piece.  I do enjoy the asymmetrical composition too.  I will be glad to see the back of the orange pages of this art journal, however.  That should motivate me to keep working in it.

28 - Orange and Blue

Rainbow Art Journal – Flame Sprite

In addition to being a place for creative play and experimentation, I am aiming for my Rainbow Art Journal to be a record of what I can do with the various art materials and media I own.  This page, therefore, is a record of how three of the Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers interact with each other.  Consequently, I knew that I wanted to produce an illustration that was splotchy and liquidy and involved puddles and blossoms of pigment.  I decided that flame would be the perfect subject for such an experiment in the orange section of the journal so I chose to draw a flame sprite.  The page got very wrinkled from all the liquid media but I am happy with the final outcome.  I think she is a pleasing wee character and I got some lovely interactions between the different watercolour markers.

 

24 Flame Sprite