Rainbow Art Journal – Snow White

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.

9 Snow White

Rainbow Art Journal – Lady Death

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.

7a Lady Death

Rainbow Art Journal – Night and Day

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.

6a Night & Day

6b Night & Day

6c Night & Day

 

 

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

Change and Grow – Self-Portrait

My schedule was utterly slammed this week.  Every space on the wall calendar was crammed with appointments and commitments and things that needed to be done.  I thought there was not the remotest chance I was going to get to even view this week’s Life Book lessons let alone sit down and do something creative.  However, two things happened this week that utterly jiggered my schedule and caused a great deal of hassle – one of my kids was off school sick for two days and then we had a snow day – but which actually meant I had more time stuck at home.  More time at home meant I could actually get stuck into the lesson and art time was probably just what I needed to take the edge off the stress of a totally bonkers week.

The lesson was taken by Tamara Laporte.  Tam always provides wonderfully in-depth videos for her lessons but there was no way I was going to find time to both view the videos and then still have time to create.  I, therefore, read the accompanying PDF, modified the lesson by eliminating certain stages, and got stuck in.  The crux of the lesson was a self-portrait scaffolded on an image transfer.  I have never had much success with image transfers but I thought that was precisely why I should have another crack at it.  The outcome was not ideal – I think I spread the gel medium too thinly in places – but is definitely the best I have produced so far so represents progress.

6a Self-Portrait - Transfer

I then proceeded to paint on top of the image transfer and this was where I diverged from the lesson.  I did not have time for layer upon layer of media so I limited myself to acrylic paint, Neocolor II crayons, and Inktense pencils and blocked in areas of colour and built up the detail of my face.

6b Self-Portrait - Middle

The idea of the painting was to include personal, symbolic elements and text alongside the self-portrait.  It is not really my thing to be that personal and emotional with my art work.  Art is definitely therapeutic to me but only in terms of the act of creating.  I don’t need it to be a form of processing and expressing my thoughts and feelings and I am also too intensely private.  I decided, however, that the self-portrait did need some finishing touches so I added some collage elements in the form of butterflies and leaves formed from text pages.  All of those things could be interpreted as things that are important to me as a person – words and learning, growth, and change.

6c Self-Portrait - Grow & Change

Rainbow Art Journal – Faun Among Vines

I go along to an art journaling group once a month where we all work in our art journals while chatting and relaxing.  The coffee shop setting, however, is a little restrictive in terms of what sort of art dabbling can happen.  I am limited to things that dry quickly and don’t make a mess.  I, therefore, often resort to just drawing with pencils and pens.  This page was the result of one such meet up.  I had passed a deer as I drove to the coffee shop so I guess that was the germ of the idea that turned into a faun as I sketched on the page.  I added the vine frame to fill more of the page.

4 Fawn among Vines

Rainbow Art Journal – Honey Bee

This is the second completed page in my “rainbow art journal”.  Right now, of course, it isn’t very colourful since I decided to start with absence of colour in the form of black.  This page was inspired by my friend Krisje over at her blog, Art is my Favorite Color.  She recently blogged about an art journal page where she painted over collage which reminded me that I have not attempted that sort of approach – using a collaged figure as scaffolding – in ages.  I, therefore, decided that would be the technique used on this page and I actually remembered to take progress photos.  First I laid down a pretty random collage comprising the interior of a security envelope, washi tape, text pages, a figure clipped from a magazine advert, and the labels from a bottle of wine I had consumed that week.

2a Honey Bee

What became evident fairly quickly was that the collage elements became all but lost beneath the black paint, even when it was thinly applied.  I just went with it and made a mental note to revisit this technique when using a lighter colour of paint.  Perhaps because of the nature of the material, the Honey Beast wine labels were the one collage element that really came through the collage.  I was glad because I loved that honey bee design and that then provided me with a theme for my art journal page.  I picked out the bee design a bit more by filling it with white gel pen.  This was definitely the “ugly stage”.

2b Honey Bee

Once the base layer of acrylic paint was dry, I used other media to layer, refine, and add detail.  An art friend had passed me a collection of little stamps on an insect theme and among them was a bee.  I stamped this throughout the hair of the figure to tie her to the honey bee and then I used white Posca paint pen to give her bee-like wings.  While the technique was not wholly successful, it was fun to do something I had not done in a while and useful to learn that painting over collage does not work so well with very dark colours.  That is what my art journal is all about after all – experimentation through fun.

2c Honey Bee

2d Honey Bee