Half A Dozen Narwhals

Hello!  I am still here.  I have not disappeared or abandoned my blogs.  I have simply been wall-to-wall busy doing things that are not worth blogging about even if I had had time for writing a blog post.  I am stuck at the coal face of life right now and it is all a bit crazy and stressful.  Nothing major, nothing dramatic, just the type of stress level that accumulates from a zillion little things piling up.  Some of these things might be blog worthy once they are completed but most of it is just run-of-the-mill boring stuff.  Anyway, that explains my absence.

Needless to say, with everything I am juggling, I have had little time for art.  When I have had a gobbet of free time, I confess that I have been devoting it to family history.  This is because I had my DNA tested at the end of 2017 which has put me in contact with lots of other extended family members, including others like me who are very into family history, and we have been exchanging information.  I have also found, however, that my creative mojo has been lacking lately – I assume because my stress levels are elevated and my brain just cannot relax and focus enough.  This past weekend, however, I decided to force myself to sit down with my art journal for 20 minutes in order to stop my creative joints seizing up and going entirely rusty.

The result of this speedy art session is an illustration of half a dozen narwhals.  Why?  Why not?  Partly I was inspired by two Art Journal Adventure prompts – N and 6 – and partly it was just that I have not drawn narwhals for a while.  It is just a simple ink line drawing filled in with some watercolour and scattered with salt.  Quick.  Simple.  Done.  Hopefully it will get me out of my art-free rut and back into the swing of creating more regularly again.

13 & 16 - A Dozen Narwhals - Art Journal Illustration

Improvising with Wax and Salt

This week’s Life Book lesson was a bonus, mini lesson with Alisa Burke all about using everyday things in our artwork.  I am a big fan of the “make do and mend” philosophy in all aspects of my life.  Remember that I take great joy in being thrifty and also in recycling.  This applies to my art supplies too: I strive to use what I already have and improvise when a supply is needed that I don’t possess.  This lesson, therefore, really just reaffirmed my own approach.

Burke provided some exemplars of utilising stationery supplies and household objects as mark making and other tools to deploy in creating art.  I decided to challenge myself by mark making with something that was not designed for that purpose: a candle.  I decided to draw with the candle and use it in a wax resist technique.  This proved to be more challenging that it sounds because I could not see the wax on the paper at all, no matter what angle I held the paper towards the light at.  I was, therefore, forced to produce a blind drawing and keep things very simple.  Consequently, it was interesting for me to see what emerged on the page when I added the watercolour wash.  As an afterthought, I sprinkled some salt into the areas of the watercolour that were still wet and puddly.  I have used salt in my ink work before but have not used it for a while.  I need to remember it more often.  I am not that happy with it but it was a fun experiment and I appreciated that it was a very quick and accessible tutorial this week.

Week 42 - Improvise - Wax, watercolour and salt

Registration for Life Book 2016 has now opened.  I have enjoyed participating this year and have learned loads of new techniques and skills so I am going to be taking the course next year again.