Last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was “wing it”. Finding time for art this week was a major challenge. We are all adjusting to a new routine. My four kids are in three different schools; the oldest has to catch a bus half an hour earlier than last year, which means pulling our morning routine half an hour earlier. It’s a chaotic transition period. I feel like I am either chasing my tail constantly or trying to catch myself up throughout the whole day. Exhaustion is the dominant theme of my life right now. We will keep tweaking things until we get the schedule running like a well oiled machine but, until then, my free time for art is severely curtailed.
Therefore, “winging it” is exactly what I did with this journal page. I decided to not put much thought or planning into it, to just use my art journal as a decompression tool and enjoy the process rather than focusing on the outcome. Winging it made me think of bird wings and feathers so that gave me my subject. To ensure that I didn’t get too fussy or tight with my drawing, I decided to “wing it” again: I dipped a chubby paint brush in black acrylic and drew the wing with my non-dominant hand. In retrospect, using my left hand maybe wasn’t the best idea. After filling in the negative space with black acrylic and letting the whole thing dry, it was time to add colour. I did so by just splashing some pigment rich watercolour paints into the feather shapes and letting it run all over the place.
It is just as well that I was not focused on the outcome because the outcome is pretty rubbish really. My ten year old tactfully told me it was “not the best”. I like the idea of a wing made of rainbow feathers and might return to that at some stage. This page, however, is what it is. I “winged it” for sure.
What a difference from one week to the next – last week was an art time famine and this week I have managed to squeeze in three different doses of art time. This week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt to use colours outside your comfort zone. Since I had enjoyed the abstract lesson from Life Book so much this week and had found it so quick and easy, I decided to take a similar approach with my art journal page. I again chose to use my non-dominant hand and used a wooden skewer dipped in ink. I could tell just by glancing at my set of watercolours which colours I used least because they had barely been touched: green and orange. I decided to throw in some yellow for a third colour and to connect the green and orange. Not wanting to create another abstract and not knowing what else to draw, I settled on a self-portrait. I really enjoyed working in this way. It was quick, easy, and relaxing. I will be squirreling away this approach so I can use it again in future.
I was so happy when I viewed this week’s Life Book lesson because I knew I could actually get my response completed within the week and that, in turn, motivated me to find the free time required. The lesson was taken by Melissa Dinwiddie and her ethos was all about being playful and getting the creative juices flowing by working on quick, minimalist pieces. Further, the media used were ink and watercolour which are comfortably within my wheelhouse. The lesson still presented a challenge to me, however, in that I don’t find I have an instinct for abstraction generally. I, therefore, decided to work with my non-dominant hand in order to ensure that my mark making was loose. It was a whole lot of fun and very relaxing so in the end I created four pieces, each measuring 4.5 by 6 inches.