This week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was “7”. It’s the type of prompt that allows a lot of scope for interpretation and creates a lot of possibilities. I was thinking continents, layers, or colours of the rainbow. I liked the idea of working with lots of vibrant colours as an antidote to all of these desaturated winter days so I decided to go with the rainbow idea. I divided my page up into seven strips and then the little figures with the curling hoods just emerged on the page. They are a little reminiscent of the Alpha and Omega figures I painted recently, though the echo wasn’t conscious. I filled the figures with watercolour, added the facial features, and that was it. Quick and easy.
Can you spot the mistake?
After two weeks of travelling and zero time for art, picking up my art journal again was a great means of getting back into a creative groove and add oil to the old and creaky art joints. The Colour Me Positive prompt for last week was “Alive” so I decided to create a page on that theme.
The wee me character is one I previously featured in an art journal page for the theme of “Balance” and it was fun to feature her/me again in this page. Alive made me think of vivaciousness and zest for life, diverse experiences, just the essence of vitality. That was when the image of a figure leaping from a ring of rainbow colours entered my mind’s eye.
I am sure you spotted the mistake. When adding watercolour into the ring encircling the figure, I let the yellow wander beyond the interior circle shape. Doh. Guess I need to add more oil to those rusty creative joints still.
The second Life Book lesson of the week turned out to be a bit of a labour of love. The lesson was taken by Tamara Laporte and the idea was to create a self-portrait as the focal image of a piece all about dreams and affirmations.
As I explained recently, I am not averse to creating self-portraits as they are very good practice. However, I don’t like to work on them too frequently so I decided to make a little twist on the theme and paint a portrait of me as a child. I used a photograph of myself when I was three. That is a time for limitless dreams after all. I also borrowed ideas from my own art journal page as the inspiration for elements of this painting. There were lots of layers and processes going on in this piece. Because I work in fits and starts, it felt like it was taking me ages to get it anywhere.
I am not sure how I feel about this piece. I think it probably needs more work to pull it completely out of the “ugly stage” but I was in danger of turning areas into mud or pilling the paper by over-working the layers so I had to step away from it and leave it be. Frankly, I also ran out of time to devote to it. I can see that it does very much look like little me so that is a plus. I have also learned a lot from the things that went right and the things that went awry. Ultimately, I think this piece is probably too personal for me to be able to have any objectivity.
As ever, I drifted quite far from the exemplar, taking ideas from the lesson and making them my own. This time the elements I took from the tutorial were colourful spatter on a black background and incorporating the oenochoe jug.
I wanted to give my figure’s body a gentle curve to echo the curve of a rainbow. I also had the idea of letting her lower body fade out rather like the ends of a rainbow fade out. I am not convinced that latter decision has worked well in the composition, however. I like the spectrum dots behind the figure but am not wholly convinced that they read as wings.
This week’s prompt from the Documented Life Project continued the theme of doodling. The specific challenge prompt was Borders and the journal prompt was a Madonna lyric, “Borderline feels like I’m going to lose my mind.” I love doodling. I don’t have the patience or precision for zentangle but I like filling spaces with doodle shapes and adding dots and dashes here and there in my art work. I don’t, however, tend to use borders, especially not decorative ones, in my art work so that for me was the challenge.
Since it was Mr Pict’s birthday, time was understandably tight so I decided to keep it simple. As I often do for some peculiar reason, I defaulted to drawing a funny bunny. I framed it within a border which I doodled in black to keep it monochrome. I then doodled the negative space created with a spectrum of coloured pens. The positive shape of the bunny then emerged from the negative shapes within the drawing, if that even makes any semblance of sense.
PS If you want to see a new horde of my zombie bunnies, they have just invaded my art blog.
The dual prompts for the Documented Life Project this week were Colour Wheel and a quotation from Georgia O’Keeffe: “I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way”. When prompts lean towards the broad and vague, it can be hard to know where to start. There are so many options and possibilities that it becomes hard to narrow the focus to one idea and thus inspiration is in short supply. The beauty of such open-ended prompts, however, is that every member of the group is bound to have their own unique take on the prompt(s) and put their own individual spin on it. Once inspiration comes knocking, each person is free to run with it and see what emerges on the blank page.
Recently it has rarely been the case that I have created my prompt response so early in the week. Finding time is my major artistic challenge right now. Today, however, I happened to have my monthly Art Journal MeetUp group so I was presented with a wonderful opportunity to get the page done. We meet at a coffee shop so travel art supplies to hand and hot chocolate to mouth (because I don’t drink coffee) I set about creating my page.
My 7 year old and I have been cutting out shapes to use in our art journaling. The O’Keeffe quotation inspired me to include a repeated shape on the page and one of the shapes I have is a matryoshka doll. Each matryoshka doll could, therefore, represent a different wedge on the colour wheel. I used watercolour, pencil and pen to create my spectrum of matryoshka. This is actually the second time I have created a journal page based around matryoshka. I don’t know why I am so drawn to that shape or idea. Answers on a postcard.
Although I had plenty of negative space on my page, I did not have a great deal of free space. I, therefore, focused the O’Keeffe quotation down to the most relevant part and used pen to add it to the bottom of my page.