Rainbow Art Journal – Snow White

Perhaps it was because the adjacent page was inspired by the fictional, dreamy world of Oz, or perhaps it was all the shiny red apples in the fruit bowl, but when I sat down at my art journal and looked at the blank page I decided that it should be a fairy tale and that tale should be Snow White.

I had fun experimenting with lots of different mixed media techniques on this journal page.  I collaged tissue paper, painted with gesso, and lifted paint to create texture.  I also forced myself to draw hands in a particular gesture.

9 Snow White

Pearl Girl

Last week’s Life Book lesson was one I really struggled with.  I had never taken a lesson with Lindsay Weirich so it was great to see a different approach to art demonstrated.  The lesson involved using pearly paint and gouache.  I have a little of the former but none of the latter so I improvised and used other media.  Stenciling was involved and I suck at stencilling but I decided to force myself to not skip that stage.  It started well enough with a pleasing blend of blue, pink, and yellow pearl paint; but then it entered an ugly phase and – when I tried to rescue it –  into an even uglier phase until it looked like sparkling sewage.  It took layer after layer of paint and more time and effort than I actually had available to try and eliminate the glittery poop stage and haul it screaming and kicking back into something half decent.  Then, frankly, I was all out of time and all out of willingness to invest in this one piece.  Time to stop flogging the dead horse and move on to new and less poopy pastures.

11a Pearl Girl

Rainbow Art Journal – Ruby Slippers

This page of my art journal was inspired by my very own ruby slippers.  I bought a pair of red, sequinned, cosy, comfy slippers a couple of months ago and I premiered them on my feet on Oscars night.  Nowadays I watch the Academy Awards while wearing my jammies so the sparkly slippers were my nod to red carpet glamour.  I love ‘The Wizard of Oz’ which was why I had to have the pair of ruby slippers for my feet in the first place.  Oddly, however, Oz only crops up ever so often in my art work.  Possibly my favourite illustration in my altered book was of one of the Witch’s flying monkeys wearing ruby slippers.  Anyway, that was the inspiration for the page.  It does not show very well in the photograph but there is metallic red on the shoes to make them glint and glimmer, as close to a suggestion of rubies as I could muster with my supplies.  I framed the illustration with text and regret that I did not map it out before I started writing because, clearly, I got the spacing and composition of the typography out of kilter.  But that is OK because I am only playing in my art journal.

8 Ruby Slippers

Rainbow Art Journal – Lady Death

Continuing with the monochrome black and white theme in my Rainbow themed art journal, I decided to challenge myself to work in white on top of black.  I did not have a subject in mind as I loaded the black acrylic on to the pages and actually cannot remember if anything in particular sparked the idea but I decided to draw an illustration of a female Death figure.  I opted against using pencil to sketch anything in so I worked directly in paint pen and gel pen to build up the figure, shape by shape, piece by piece.  The lack of pencil scaffolding meant that some of my proportions went skew-wiff (the arm on the right is too long) but otherwise I thoroughly enjoyed the freedom and spontaneity of working directly in pen and piecing all of the fragments together into one whole.  I did, however, completely use up my broader tipped paint pen so I really put the tools through a work out.  It took me a few sessions of drawing to complete it but it was a relaxing activity.

7a Lady Death

Roots and Branches

For this week’s Life Book lesson, the tutor was Effy Wild.  The visual elements of the lesson were connected to some introspection but I mostly choose to gloss over the more art therapy aspects of Life Book and just focus on the art.  I also did not have time to view the video demonstrations so I relied on the accompanying PDF to provide me with an understanding of the steps involved.  As always, my finished outcome looks little like that of the tutor but I utilised techniques and approaches that she demonstrated.  I think the finished treeis reminiscent enough of a plump baobab tree that I wish I had thought of the resemblance sooner in the process and made it completely like a baobob.  It was at its core an exercise in patchwork collage and negative space.  I used bronze paint over the collage layer for the tree trunk and gold for the leaves so that it would glint in the light and because I look for any excuse to use metallic paints.  The tutor’s version incorporated text.  I wasn’t feeling that way inclined but do feel my piece lacks a focal point.  I just need to ruminate on it for a bit and return to it once I have an appropriate epiphany.

10a Roots and Branches

10b Roots and Branches

 

Rainbow Art Journal – Night and Day

I rarely ever work across two art journal pages.  The fact that I use a spiral bound journal does not lend itself to double spreads.  I thought, however, that I might attempt a sort of diptych, two pieces on two different pages but somehow visually linked.  I am glad I tried something new but the results didn’t leave me feeling I had accomplished much.  There is a strong visual connection between the two pages, which could be regarded as a success.  I introduced colour in order to differentiate between the two pages.  One of my kids suggested the idea of blue and yellow to represent night and day so I opted for those colours but otherwise did not pursue the idea of different lighting conditions.  I wanted to maintain the monochromatic theme and to connect the figures through use of silhouette.  Not being overly keen on the outcome of this pair of paintings, I kept circling back to these pages in my art journal, adding a tiny bit more here and there.  But I have now reached a point where I no longer feel inspired to tinker with the pages and want to call these pages done and set them by.  So done they are.

6a Night & Day

6b Night & Day

6c Night & Day

 

 

Blue Sisters

Last week’s Life Book lesson was taken by Tamara Laporte and involved drawing two figures.  I had not gotten around to working on Life Book lessons for a few weeks so I was keen to tackle this one over the weekend.  I find drawing more than one figure in a piece to be fairly challenging because of the need to make them cohere and keep proportions and angles of light consistent.  That was another good reason to complete the lesson.  I had to improvise a lot with the lesson because I don’t own the markers that Laporte demonstrated.  I, therefore, used ink and watercolour instead.  I tried to stay true to one of the focal points of the lesson, however, by working on creating a range of skin tones.  This is a skill I definitely still need to develop but I was nevertheless reasonably pleased with the flesh tones I created in this piece because at least I avoided making them too sallow or adding too much ochre.

9b Blue Sisters