Maybe it was because I recently collaged a lobster into an art journal page or maybe it is my fondness for all things monstrous, but the next subject in my Rainbow Art Journal turned out to be a Lobster Girl. It’s the page where I am transitioning between red and orange so I guess that combination of colours sparked my imagination and set it off in that direction. Whatever the inspiration, when I put pencil to paper, this was the illustration that emerged.
It has been months since I completed a page in my Rainbow Art Journal but the winter break afforded me the opportunity to sit at my art table while my kids played video games or otherwise kept themselves occupied. This particular page has been progressing for a good couple of months now as I just kept adding on layers of collage and then of paint.
The background is a photo (by Yan Gao) from a National Geographic magazine depicting an aerial view of a town in Tibet. I thought the pattern of red roofs might prove to be an interesting background to a page in the red section of my Rainbow Art Journal. I then glued down a random face cut from a magazine, some raspberries, red butterfly wings and a lobster just to add to the red theme. Apart from ensuring the face was central, it was all placed in a pretty haphazard way. It then sat at that stage for many weeks until I could return to it and practice painting over collage.
It is interesting to me that the face ended up so flat. Having started with a photograph of a face as my scaffolding, one would assume that the face painted on top of it would be similar. I suspect I layered the paint too thickly and lost all sense of there even having been a face below. The wings and berries became a sort of headdress or headband and the lobster became a sort of outsized brooch I suppose – unless we choose to imagine that the woman is being attacked by a lobster. I painted the lobster a more vivid red, however, so he’d have to be an undead zombie lobster attacking the figure.
Not a very successful page by any measure then but I am glad to have finally completed this page after the journal being untouched and the page having been in stasis for so long. Onward and hopefully upward.
Today I went on my first field trip as a parent helper since we relocated to America. The preschool class from my 4 year old’s nursery were being taken on a guided tour of a local independent grocery store. I not only transported my own child there but was also asked to take another child in my car since I already have a bunch of child car seats. I was not 100% sure where I was going and have only been driving in the US for a few short weeks so that felt like a heap of responsibility but, of course, everything was just tickety-boo.
The store manager took the kids on a tour of the store, the shop floor and the back rooms. It was cute seeing the wonder in all of their little eyes as they learned new things. They got to see someone making sushi and were allowed to sample a California roll, they saw the machine in the store room that compacts cardboard boxes, they had a geography lesson about locations for obtaining fruit and vegetables throughout the seasons, they saw meat being shrink wrapped and they got to see a checkout in operation. My 4 year old’s favourite part was getting to stroke a lobster. All the kids lined up to pat it’s shell. So much affection before it is boiled to death.
After the tour, the kids each had a shopping list to use as a treasure hunt around the store and they were each sent back to nursery with a paper sack filled with a pretzel, carton of juice and piece of fruit.
It was fun to accompany the trip and I got to meet a few more of the parents which was nice. Best of all though was the fact that on the tour I spotted a display full of imported European cheeses. I may have found a source of decent cheese!