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.
These illustrations were created with the contents of my April Art Snacks box. It has been a while since I completed a proper illustration of my zombie critters, as opposed to a doodle. I have drawn zombie bunnies in any number of compositions and colours but I think this is the first time I have drawn a tower or stack of zombie cats. I used the warm colours (two watercolour pencils and a water based marker) for the zombie cats and coloured the zombie bunnies in shades of blue using different dilutions of ink from the blue marker. The darkest blue right at the top of the illustration is the colour straight from the nib. These were fun to draw. I hope they are also fun to look at.
This page was another one where I had lobbed down scrapings of leftover paint and scraps of collage material. As with the majority of the pages in the green section of my Rainbow Art Journal, my brain wandered to plants. Because I was thinking about all of the weird bits of rejected odds and sods that made up the substrate of the page, I thought about weeds and that idea that weeds are just plants growing where someone doesn’t want them. The plant doesn’t know it’s a weed; the plant thinks it is a flower with as much merit as the one a human is caring for in a garden. So then I thought about the fortitude of weeds and their feisty attitude. I pretty much started identifying with weeds. So that was the theme and idea for this journal page.
I used a negative space painting approach to pick out the shape of a weed growing across the page. I then stamped “survive” and “thrive” on to some green paint chip cards I had. Unfortunately, I was distracted when gluing them onto the page and transposed the words. Oops. It didn’t bother me enough to either remove them or cover them up, however. Anyway, survival and being determined to thrive no matter what seem like good messages for these pandemic times we find ourselves in.
This page was one of those messy pages crammed full of pieces of collage, odds and ends of washi tape, and surplus gesso and paint. It was, therefore, very textured and incredibly visually busy. It has been in my Rainbow Art Journal for months waiting for me to finish it. I focused on on the wine label that reads “seaglass” and used that as my colour palette inspiration. I used to collect sea glass as a child. I had different jars for the different colours. I found some really cool pieces. I have a vase filled with sea glass from Scotland in my home now. I collected it when I went back home to Fife in 2015 so it’s a visual reminder to my childhood.
I struggled to pull this page together partly because the lumpy, scratchy texture made it hard to work with and partly because I was so sick of looking at this unfinished page for so long. The page was just annoying me and I wanted to get it finished so that I could move on and forget about it.
PS There is a weird colour caste in my photo of this piece, a sort of pinkish glow. When I try to adjust it, it just throws the greens and aquas out too much. The background colour is white gesso so that should give you some indication of the actual colours.
Today marks 21 days since our lockdown started. Life has been transformed pretty rapidly. As a preschool teacher, I am now unemployed for the foreseeable future; we’ve had to create a home office space in our bedroom for my husband – who is thankfully still able to work; and the four boys are now having to adjust to distance learning. Overseeing four kids who are using technology to learn is a massive challenge for me. While the older three boys have lots of experience with using chromebooks for learning, my youngest son (aged 10) has not had that degree of exposure. It is, therefore, a steep learning curve for both him and for me. I am not finding any of the processes to be intuitive and it seems every teacher and every subject area is intent on using a different mode. Thank goodness my oldest son is a bit of a computer whizz and can step in to problem solve and guide his little brother through all the technological hurdles. I did not anticipate transitioning to distance learning being a smooth process but it is proving to be a more stressful experience than I predicted.
After a particularly snaggy and challenging morning, therefore, I was feeling particularly frazzled. It was critical that I find a way to decompress before I combusted. Last month, I received a bonus box from Art Snacks containing Tombow products. I had not done anything with it because I am not remotely skilled at using alcohol markers. However, I decided that I would delve into the box and try to produce an illustration using just its contents. An art challenge is, after all, much more preferable to me than a technological one. This is the illustration I produced. I am happy to report that I did not combust today. Not yet anyway.
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 had this page that was covered in smears and spatters of leftover green paint, washi tape, and offcuts of origami paper. I had placed the collage elements with the intention of them eventually becoming some sort of landscape. Once I began to draw lines around the patches, the drawing started to take form and I had the idea of where the cottage should be placed within the scene. The finished piece is reminiscent of a journal page I created in 2017 and a page from the orange section of this rainbow art journal. I guess this is my style and approach to landscapes.