It has been a few weeks since I did anything in my art journal. Life just got crazy busy and my free time has all but vanished – more of which at a later date – and what time I have had has been used to try and keep on top of my art courses. My poor art journal has been neglected. When this week’s Colour Me Positive prompt appeared, however, it was the shove I needed to actually open the journal and do something. The result was my quickest journal page ever. This took me five minutes. That’s it. Five small minutes. And the page shows the total lack of investment and effort. Ha! But that is OK because at least I opened the art journal and did something.
The theme was Change and the quotation was “Life does not get better by chance; it gets better by change”. I googled and it turns out it is from some motivational speaker named Jim Rohn. It is a little bit trite for my taste, the phrasing at least, but I a) agree with the concept and b) did not have time to contemplate an alternative so I decided to use the quotation. I had a page in my art journal where I had been experimenting with watercolour, testing out how the pigments would mix, run together, and what the resulting puddles would look like once dried. Just random shapes and marks all over the page. I thought I might repurpose it eventually but with no idea when, how or why. So why not just write the quotation over the top of the watercolour blobs? After all, transforming the purposeless page would chime with the theme of Change. So I shoved a paint brush into a bottle of India ink, scrawled the quotation across the page, roughly encircled it with a thinner brush in the same ink. Five minutes maximum. Done. Not very arty or creative but job done. And maybe now I can get back in the habit of cracking open the art journal at least once a week again.
This week’s Life Book lesson was taken by Melody Ross of Brave Girls Club and was a meditation on the wisdom that is generated by life experiences, both positive and negative. The idea was to create a figure holding a box. The box would be the receptacle for all the wisdom we possess. From the box would emerge statements about our life experiences, how those translate into lessons, and the wisdom gained. While Ross made suggestions as to composition and media, it was pretty much free choice and open to interpretation. I, therefore, chose to work in ink, my favourite medium. The idea of possessing a box containing concepts automatically made me think of Pandora’s Box, from Greek Mythology, and from there my imagination leaped to Louise Brooks who portrayed Lulu in the 1929 movie ‘Pandora’s Box’. That, therefore, was the imagery I used as the inspiration for my response to the lesson.
You may note that I do not have any typography or text integrated into the illustration. This may read as odd coming from someone who writes a personal blog but I do like to maintain my privacy. As such, I did not much fancy sharing my educational life experiences on the internet. I, therefore, decided to share my illustration online prior to working on that section of the lesson. Furthermore, I have not yet decided how to incorporate that element into my art work. I may opt for the suggestion made by Ross and either write or print onto paper and adhere those statements to the box; alternatively I might turn the box into an envelope, with a pouch on the reverse, and place the statements inside; or I might write the statements on the reverse of the drawing.
This week’s Documented Life Project prompt was to construct a storyboard depicting a week in my life. There is nothing inspirational about my average week so I was a bit stumped as to how to embark on the page. I had the option of either depicting a more interesting week in my life, such as a trip, or somehow creating a page out of the everyday and mundane. Technically I should have been thinking in terms of photography too since journaling with photos is still the over-arching theme for the month. I did not, however, have time to take photographs, get them off my camera and print them before working in my art journal so I decided to jettison that element of the prompt. Since for me one average day is much like any other, I decided to depict a day in my life rather than a week. It is just a quick drawing, entirely self-explanatory and as uninspiring as the average day that inspired it.
I love to draw jellyfish – as I have shared before in this blog – and I was recently inspired to draw more of them after looking at Leanne Cole’s superb photographs of jellyfish over on her blog. I was itching to get drawing jellyfish but could not seem to find time to make a start. Then the prompt for this week’s Documented Life Project prompt arrived in my inbox and I knew immediately what I wanted to create in my art journal: jellyfish, of course! The theme continues to be photography, which tied into me using Leanne’s wonderful images as the scaffolding for my drawings, and the prompt was silhouette, which I thought I could happily interpret as meaning the strong and black inky lines of my drawings against a bright background.
I usually only create one page in my art journal for my DLP challenges but this week I got entirely carried away and made three. Having sketched several jellyfish in my small sketchbook, I could not decide between the three I liked the most. Three drawings was a good excuse to experiment with different backgrounds – spray inks in different colours and watercolour – so I had a lot of fun playing around with the creation of the bright backgrounds and with drawing the jellyfish with a brush and my trusty pot of ancient India Ink.
Please do let me know which jellyfish and/or background you like best of the bunch.