Colourful Hands – Art Journal Page

As a family, we Picts are usually in rude health.  We rarely get sick and until this year one of my sons had never had a day off school ever.  This Winter, however, has been a relentless battle against germs.  While Mr Pict and I have escaped the various plagues, our four boys have been felled by one thing after another.  My preschool students have also been dropping like flies.  The whole community apparently needs to be disinfected.  This week, my youngest son came down with a vomiting bug for the second time in six weeks.  The only slight silver lining to having to take time off work for nurse duties is that, between looking after the little chap and bleaching and boil washing, I could grab some time to play around in my art journal.

This week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was to transform the edges of the page by shaping them.  I was glad of this prompt as it represented a nudge to try something new.  I usually operate pretty strictly within the boundaries of the page, neither extending it with a tip-in or subtracting from it by removing areas.  I sat at my art table, struggling for inspiration, and saw the shape of my hands on the blank page.  I decided that my hands should be the shape I created.  I simply drew around my hands and cut out the shape.  I painted both sides of the hands with black acrylic.  Once that was dry, I used my Dylusions paints to add dots all over the hand shapes.  I like those paints for the vivid colours and for the thick texture so they worked perfectly for this particular job.  Now I just need to figure out what, if anything, to do with the reverse side of the hands.

8a Hands - Shaped Page

8b Hands - Shaped Page.jpg

Deli Paper Boulders

October’s theme for the Documented Life Project is use of translucent papers.  The prompts for this first week were to use deli paper and the phrase “You had me at hello”.  The phrase did not speak to me at all so I decided to just focus on using deli paper.  I have some very limited experience of using deli paper in art projects so I was glad of the opportunity to create a page focused on this material.

Since I had just returned from a trip to the Boulder Field at Hickory Run State Park, I took my inspiration from the rounded shapes of the boulders and decided to create an abstract page focused on shape.  I painted up some sheets of deli paper in autumnal colours, given the turning of the leaves that is happening all around me, and one sheet in black in order to provide some contrast.  Once I had cut out my shapes, it was just a case of layering them with overlap so as to make the most of the translucency of the paper.  It is a really simple art journal page but I am quite pleased with how it turned out.

Week 40 - Deli Paper

History of Art #22 – Escher

School was closed for two days this week for Rosh Hashanah so my kids were home and we could crack on with our History of Art project.  It has had to extend beyond the summer break but hopefully we can get it finished up before Thanksgiving.  I ran a project on the 50 states of America a few years ago that was supposed to last the summer but which went on for months.  Clearly I have a tendency to over-plan learning activities with my kids.

MC Escher was the subject of our next lesson.  The boys really enjoyed looking at Escher’s art work.  They oooohed and aaaahed over how clever each piece was and marveled at the skill of the composition.  It would have been just shy of impossible to teach the kids how to create an optical illusion type piece – especially given that I could never accomplish such a feat – so we chose to focus instead on Escher’s use of tessellation.  We looked at several examples and different types of tessellation – rows of tiles, flipped and rotated – and I demonstrated a simple way to construct a tile through removal and addition of elements from a geometric shape.  It was a little too close to a Math lesson for some tastes.  My 9 year old opted out.

Can you guess what my oldest tessellated?  Yup, rows of rainbow coloured penguins.

22 - Escher - AB

My 8 year old came up with a shape for his tile and then decided that it looked like a robot head.  You can detect the influence of Baymax from ‘Big Hero 6’ in the way he has drawn the eyes.

22 - Escher - E

My 6 year old created an arrow tile but, once he had lined them up on his page, he decided they looked like a shoal of fish so he turned them into striped fish.

22 - Escher - AR

I liked the shoals of fish idea too so I constructed a fish tile and used it in my art journal, using watercolour to colour them in.

22 - Escher - Laura

My pack of Escher bunnies is over at my other blog.