Matryoshka Spectrum

The dual prompts for the Documented Life Project this week were Colour Wheel and a quotation from Georgia O’Keeffe: “I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way”.  When prompts lean towards the broad and vague, it can be hard to know where to start.  There are so many options and possibilities that it becomes hard to narrow the focus to one idea and thus inspiration is in short supply.  The beauty of such open-ended prompts, however, is that every member of the group is bound to have their own unique take on the prompt(s) and put their own individual spin on it.  Once inspiration comes knocking, each person is free to run with it and see what emerges on the blank page.

Recently it has rarely been the case that I have created my prompt response so early in the week.  Finding time is my major artistic challenge right now.  Today, however, I happened to have my monthly Art Journal MeetUp group so I was presented with a wonderful opportunity to get the page done.  We meet at a coffee shop so travel art supplies to hand and hot chocolate to mouth (because I don’t drink coffee) I set about creating my page.

My 7 year old and I have been cutting out shapes to use in our art journaling.  The O’Keeffe quotation inspired me to include a repeated shape on the page and one of the shapes I have is a matryoshka doll.  Each matryoshka doll could, therefore, represent a different wedge on the colour wheel.  I used watercolour, pencil and pen to create my spectrum of matryoshka.  This is actually the second time I have created a journal page based around matryoshka.  I don’t know why I am so drawn to that shape or idea.  Answers on a postcard.

Although I had plenty of negative space on my page, I did not have a great deal of free space.  I, therefore, focused the O’Keeffe quotation down to the most relevant part and used pen to add it to the bottom of my page.

Week 3 - Colour Wheel

Matryoshka Momma

The Week 24 challenge for the Documented Life Project was to incorporate a text page into the Art Journal.  This was a difficult one for me because I am normally so very precious about books that the idea of tearing one up and cutting it was anathema to me.  However, having purchased an old dictionary from the library for the purpose of collaging, I decided to just go for it.  I did, however, plump for a preface page rather than attacking the actual dictionary.  Baby steps.

I don’t actually know where the inspiration for the page came from.  I must have been mulling over creating something that represented myself and my four sons, however, as the idea of a matryoshka doll suddenly hit me.  If only giving birth to them had been that easy!  I was short on time last week so the idea of a simple page containing simple shapes also appealed.

The background was just blobs of acrylic paint spread with an old store card in order to keep it uncontrolled and random.  I then cut the matryoshka shapes from the preface page and glued them down with gel medium.  I added the details with pen and kept it all quite naive in style because it was a page about kids and that childlike simplicity seemed apt and – mostly – because I was seriously short on time.  I then added to some of the negative space by sticking in some washi tape.  The whole thing probably took me under ten minutes if you subtract the drying time for the paint and glue but I think that sort of slapdash energy complements the subject matter so it’s all good.