Rainbow Art Journal – Thrive & Survive

This page was another one where I had lobbed down scrapings of leftover paint and scraps of collage material.  As with the majority of the pages in the green section of my Rainbow Art Journal, my brain wandered to plants.  Because I was thinking about all of the weird bits of rejected odds and sods that made up the substrate of the page, I thought about weeds and that idea that weeds are just plants growing where someone doesn’t want them.  The plant doesn’t know it’s a weed; the plant thinks it is a flower with as much merit as the one a human is caring for in a garden.  So then I thought about the fortitude of weeds and their feisty attitude.  I pretty much started identifying with weeds.  So that was the theme and idea for this journal page.

I used a negative space painting approach to pick out the shape of a weed growing across the page.  I then stamped “survive” and “thrive” on to some green paint chip cards I had.  Unfortunately, I was distracted when gluing them onto the page and transposed the words.  Oops.  It didn’t bother me enough to either remove them or cover them up, however.  Anyway, survival and being determined to thrive no matter what seem like good messages for these pandemic times we find ourselves in.

54 Thrive & Survive

 

Rainbow Art Journal – Sea Glass

This page was one of those messy pages crammed full of pieces of collage, odds and ends of washi tape, and surplus gesso and paint.  It was, therefore, very textured and incredibly visually busy.  It has been in my Rainbow Art Journal for months waiting for me to finish it.  I focused on on the wine label that reads “seaglass” and used that as my colour palette inspiration.  I used to collect sea glass as a child.  I had different jars for the different colours.  I found some really cool pieces.  I have a vase filled with sea glass from Scotland in my home now.  I collected it when I went back home to Fife in 2015 so it’s a visual reminder to my childhood.

I struggled to pull this page together partly because the lumpy, scratchy texture made it hard to work with and partly because I was so sick of looking at this unfinished page for so long.  The page was just annoying me and I wanted to get it finished so that I could move on and forget about it.

53 - Seaglass

PS There is a weird colour caste in my photo of this piece, a sort of pinkish glow.  When I try to adjust it, it just throws the greens and aquas out too much.  The background colour is white gesso so that should give you some indication of the actual colours.

Rainbow Art Journal – Daphne

As in so many of Greek myths, Daphne’s is the story of a woman victimised by a man and ultimately punished by the patriarchy.  Essentially poor Daphne was used by Eros to curse Apollo, one of Cupid’s arrows having created his obsessive infatuation with the naiad Daphne.  An arrow fired at her ensured that she would always flee Apollo.  Therefore, poor Daphne was basically stalked by Apollo, which effectively means she was being punished for no reason.  In order to escape Apollo’s sexual violence, Daphne pleaded with her father, a river god, and his solution was to transform her into a laurel tree.  Daphne, treated like an object by these male gods, was therefore rendered completely and utterly passive – so much so, in fact, the Apollo ended up possessing the laurel as his special tree.  Ugh.

Anyway, still plodding on through the green section of my Rainbow Art Journal, I decided to illustrate Daphne’s tragic story.  I wanted to communicate something of the violence of her situation and of her transformation while also suggesting something of the fact she was forced to become even more passive.

 

48 - Daphne

Rainbow Art Journal – Valley Cottage

I had this page that was covered in smears and spatters of leftover green paint, washi tape, and offcuts of origami paper.  I had placed the collage elements with the intention of them eventually becoming some sort of landscape.  Once I began to draw lines around the patches, the drawing started to take form and I had the idea of where the cottage should be placed within the scene.  The finished piece is reminiscent of a journal page I created in 2017 and a page from the orange section of this rainbow art journal.  I guess this is my style and approach to landscapes.

49 - Valley Cottage

Rainbow Art Journal – Among the Leaves

I just realised I had never written a blog post for this illustration in my Rainbow Art Journal.  My entire county is, as of last Friday, under lockdown for at least the next two weeks because of the Covid 19 outbreak.  My kids are, therefore, home from school and, as a teacher, I am obviously off work.  I, therefore, thought I would return to working on this project and I found this page.  Maybe I had considered it unfinished and was expecting to return to it.  I am calling it done.

Anyway, this is a quick little ink and watercolour illustration I knocked out in response to the prompt “Relax” in the Art Journal Adventure group.  I drew it a few days before Christmas so I was pretty much the opposite of relaxed.  I thought about where my “happy place” is.  I am not very good at getting into a zen headspace when doing yoga but, when I am in shavasana pose with my eyes closed, I often think about being in the woods, among the trees, smelling the leaves and moss.  So I drew myself lying in a pile of leaves.  You may spot a good few little insects among the leaves too.

52 - Among the Leaves

Rainbow Art Journal – Heart of the Forest

Will I create an illustration in the green section of my Rainbow Art Journal that does not involve foliage?  It is looking doubtful based on the evidence so far.  Women with antlers crop up in my artwork from time to time and I really don’t have an explanation for why or what they might symbolise for me.  I wish I had a deeper explanation than the fact I just seem to enjoy drawing this subject.  Also, I should probably develop my skills with painting leaves as I am pretty sure my abilities in that regard have not developed since my age was in single digits.

47 - Heart of the Forest

Rainbow Art Journal – Skeleton Deer

If my calculations are correct, then this is the 50th illustration in my Rainbow Art Journal.  If my assessment is correct, it is going to take me several years to actually complete every single page in this particular art journal and complete this rainbow themed project.  I need to pick up the pace.  This page was super quick and easy to work on because all of that background layering of green paint had accumulated as side projects over time.  When I have some leftover paint (or scraps of paper or whatever) I have just been lobbing them on a page in this art journal and that way some pages just fill up over time.  Therefore, when I was in a coffee shop with my local art journaling group, this page was ready and waiting for me to add to it.  Maybe it’s the time of year – Rudolph and all that – but I almost immediately thought about drawing a deer skeleton.  Part of my inspiration certainly came from the Ouroboros I drew a couple of years ago.  That illustration was more effective, perhaps because it could pass as more anatomically correct.  This deer skeleton is, however, weirdly proportioned and overall looks pretty dorky and derpy.  But that’s OK.  Whimsically weird has its charms too.

50 - Skeleton Deer