Have I mentioned (more than a zillion times?) that I am over Winter and yearning for Spring?  A couple of weeks ago, I saw a rabbit bound across my yard and I thought that was a sure sign.  Turns out that bunny was just a dimwit who needed to stay in his burrow a bit longer.  I also noted that our daffodils were sprouting out of the dirt.  That was another hopeful sign.  Then the shoots got buried under a foot of snow.  Spring has to be soon though.  It has to.

My latest art journal page was, therefore, inspired by thoughts of Spring.  The Art Journal Adventure prompt was S which fitted perfectly with my intention of creating a Spring themed art journal page.  The idea is a personification of Spring waking from a slumber and starting to bloom.  I must confess that this was a far better idea in my head than translated on the page.  I had to work in a whole load of small rations of time which certainly did not help in terms of cohesion and the fact that I rushed through some of the elements is very visible.  I like the idea, however, and might return to it when I have more time to accomplish a better execution.  I will state that my art work is perfectly straight – it is my iphone photography that is squint.

10 - Spring - Art Journal Page



Rainbow Art Journal – Fire and Ash

This art journal page was really an exploration of ways to create visual texture.  My inspiration was a painting I did for Life Book last year because I like the visual imagery of flame and ash.  I actually thought to take progress shots of this art journal page so I can show the different stages of its creation.  I started with a really simple line drawing.

19a Fire and Ash

To create the background texture, I scraped some orange paint onto the page with an old hotel room card.  I then used that same card to lift up some of the paint from the page so that it created some texture, sort of feathering and ripples.  To create the texture on the torso, I painted it black and then layered some red paint over the top.  Before the red paint had fully dried, I pressed down some damp paper onto the surface so that it lifted up some of the paint and created a visual texture that I hoped would be reminiscent of charring.

19c Fire and Ash

The final element of visual texture was my old friend spatter.  I spattered some black and red paint to create the idea of ash and embers floating upwards from the flames.

19d Fire and Ash

I liked the effect of all of the techniques I used in this page.  It might be a bit much that I used them all at once but maybe it works for my thematic purposes.  I am definitely pleased that the finished page still resembles my initial sketch as  that has not always been the case.

19e Fire and Ash

19f Fire and Ash


We are almost at the end of this week and yet I have only just completed a page for last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt.  Of course, participating each week is not compulsory and there are no deadlines and I can even skip weeks.  I am part of this group simply because a weekly prompt reminds me to at least try to find the time to play around in my art journal.  For that reason, however, I really notice when I don’t get around to responding to a week’s prompt.  It means I have not even managed to find some little slivers of time, a ration in my week, in which to crack open my art journal and splash some media around.  It is a sure fire sign that my life has been too over-scheduled and too hectic when I don’t even find the time to dash off a quick 15 or 20 minute piece of art on a journal page.  Ironically, it is when I am most stressed and over-stretched that I need art most as a means to slow down and decompress.  Funny how that works.

The prompt I have been trying to find time for is the letter D.  I ended up with D standing for Dracula.  The Dracula who emerged on my page definitely has the look of Count Orlok of ‘Nosferatu’ rather than Bela Lugosi’s more suave vampire.  I actually have a tendency to draw Orlok over Dracula when it comes to vampires, despite my love for the classic Universal monster movies.  It was Orlok who appeared in my 2016 Inktober sketchbook and in my altered book of monsters.  Maybe I should challenge myself to depict the dapper Dracula next time I am in the mood to draw a vampire.  I am not entirely happy with this journal page as far as the art goes – my vampire looks a bit too much like a house elf – but I am happy I finally managed to get some art time.

8 - Dracula - Art Journal Page

Rainbow Art Journal – Lobster Girl

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.

18a Lobster Girl

18b Lobster Girl

Love Bug

I find I am going long stretches at the moment between creating any art.  Life is just getting in the way too much plus I am also still (!) a little wiped out by that post-viral fatigue thing.  I am a happier, more balanced person when I have regular doses of art time so this is not a good state of affairs.  All I have just about manage to keep up with is cracking open my art journal about once a week, usually on the weekend.  I need to eke out a decent chunk of art time soon.  I am getting artsy-antsy.

Last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was Love/Hate since it was Valentines Week.  I happen to loathe Valentine’s Day but I decided to go with the love them rather than the hate option.  Let’s focus on the positive.  My starting point was to adhere a Valentines theme paper napkin left over from my preschool class party onto the page to create the repeated pattern of love hearts.  Then the page sat like that for days since I could not find the time.  My original plan was to draw a figure on the page and do some sort of negative shape painting shebang and, if you look closely, you can still see the pencil marks since I could not erase them.  I decided to be pragmatic about my available free time so I instead chose to paint a beetle so that it could be a Love Bug.  It does not show up at all well in the photograph but I used pearlescent and metallic paints in order to suggest the shiny carapace of a beetle.

7 - Love Bug

It is not a great art journal page by any measure but it isn’t one that makes me want to tear the page out of the book or gesso over it either.  Fingers crossed that I can find a bit more time for art in the next week or so.

Rainbow Art Journal – Red Column Woman

Someone asked me recently if I ever return to past works and have another stab at them in order to apply sharpened skills or a more developed style.  I do return time and again to certain subjects – zombies, Red Riding Hood, skeletal elements, mythology – but I don’t generally have another crack at a past artwork.  I thought, however, that maybe it could be an interesting exercise to take a few works in a medium I am more comfortable with -namely ink and watercolour – and try depicting the exact same subject using mixed media.  I decided to use some of my illustrations from my 100 Faces challenge.

First up for the experiment was my 85th drawing in the series, which I had titled “Confidence”.  I chose it largely because I was working in the red section of my Rainbow Art Journal and I had remembered how much I liked the effect of the bold red ink pooling and puddling.  I also chose it because it was an illustration I actually really liked in the series.  I lost the more diagonal composition, which I definitely prefer, and I think the new version of the face looks more sullen and bored than confident.  I am also not happy with that busy, blotchy background and may paint that out at some stage.  However, as first experiments go, it is not such a failure that I will abandon the whole enterprise.  Not just yet anyway.

17 Red Column Woman

Ouroboros Skeleton

I hate to waste paint so, if I find I have some paint left over from a project, I smear it into a page in my art journal where it stays as a potential first layer for some future creating.  One such page of leftovers was the basis for this week’s art journal page.  It was created in response to the Art Journal Adventure prompt for this week: the letter O.  I like vague prompts because they give me the nudge to create while giving me the scope to really do whatever I want.  You may have noticed that I like to illustrate skeletons.  They are never anatomically correct and I cannot really put my finger on why I am so drawn to them as a subject but I just go with it.  Do what you enjoy, right?  I, therefore, ended up illustrating the skeleton of an ouroboros.  The O had made me think of circles and hoops and infinity and that made me think of ouroboros, which handily begins with the letter O, and it instantly became a skeleton in my mind’s eye.  An ouroboros – just in case you didn’t know – is a serpent consuming its own tale, an image found in many mythologies, symbolising eternity through the endless cycle of life and death.

4 Ouroboros Skeleton - Art Journal