The first full lesson of Life Book was taken by Tamara Laporte. As with previous years, the first lesson focused on creating a whimsical figure using mixed media techniques. The concept for this figure was that she was to be holding a star. I messed around for a while with a star shape between the hands but I just couldn’t get it to work in harmony with the figure. Perhaps because my figure is not whimsical enough, the star just did not look right. I, therefore, resolved it by creating a golden glow between the hands. I then added more gold around the piece with a bit of spatter and a halo around the head. Although there is room for improvement, I think this is my best Life Book first week lesson so far. That is a good way of measuring my progress with mixed media techniques.
This week’s Documented Life Project prompt was simply “stars”. I immediately thought of Van Gogh’s painting known as ‘Starry Night’, which has been one of my favourite paintings since early childhood and decided to use it as the inspiration for my Art Journal page.
I started by creating a monoprinted background using my gelli plate. I layered up a light blue paint then a mid-blue pearlescent paint in order to create a sheen and lustre to the night sky. I then added a stronger blue and dragged swirling marks through it using a pencil top eraser that I had snipped to turn it into a tiny comb. Added to the previous layers, this then became the swirling sky for my piece. Once dry – because I am learning my lessons about not rushing things – I splattered gold paint onto the background. Having enjoyed the loss of control that came with splattering and splashing to create my Autumn journal page a few weeks ago, I deployed that technique again in order to create the stars. I had so much fun splattering that I did not notice I was spraying not only all over the table but also the kitchen seats and wall. Oops. It all cleaned up OK thankfully but it took a lot of elbow grease. Another lesson learned. It created a lovely, glistering look to my page though. With the bigger blobs, I dragged a toothpick from the centre in order to create rays for the stars.
While the sky was drying, I decided to make some little houses. I followed the steps laid out in a tutorial I watched recently because the houses created by the artist looked cute and naive and I liked the collage element. I gathered together some scraps from gelli prints and also some pages from a book. The little houses were so easy to make that I was able to construct them while watching a movie. Multitasking. I ended up making way more houses than I needed but that meant I could choose the ones that worked best on my page and I also have some spare for another project. I adhered my little row of houses to the bottom of the page to be my little village nestling under the stars.
So here’s my Art Journal page inspired by Van Gogh and created to the tune of Don McLean’s ‘Starry Night’. It’s a big improvement on last week’s terrible DLP page.