This week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was “Triangles”. I did not think I was going to find any available art time for my art journal this week. I have been using all of my little rations of art time for keeping up with my Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbook and participating in Inktober. However, today I was on a field trip with my preschool class and that meant I managed to get home an hour earlier than usual. I, therefore, sat down with a hot mug of tea and decided to play in my art journal. This week’s prompt allowed me to keep things simple. I just opened up a box of watercolours (ones that belong to my children actually as they happened to be to hand) and started doodling triangles using a medium sized brush. The triangles are very imprecise as a result but, hey, it’s not a geometry lesson and these aren’t architectural or engineering plans so who cares.
This week’s Documented Life Project prompt encouraged group members to create a page that somehow depicted our older selves dispensing advice to our younger selves. I decided to put a slightly different spin on the prompt, just a slight tangent.
Firstly, as I recently discovered, I don’t really like to use my art journal for the more emotive stuff. It’s escapism and stress-busting for me to work in my art journal rather than it function as a route to introspection and reflection. Secondly, I don’t really chime with the idea of giving my younger self advice. Even if such a thing were possible, I wouldn’t do it. For a start, I don’t give unsolicited advice plus there is nothing I really regret that I would steer myself away from. Sure there are many things in my life I wish had worked out differently but for the most part those are things over which I had no control anyway so nothing I did or didn’t do would have made one iota of difference to the outcome. I also feel happy with where I am in life and I have watched enough sci-fi movies to have contemplated the idea that I am where I am because of all the things I have been through, good and bad, and any small change might have had a ripple effect to land me somewhere else in a different set of circumstances. So, in short, no advice is being dispensed to my younger self.
What I did decide to do was write some words of encouragement to my younger self and I plumped for the vague “Life is full of possibilities”. I drew a simple version of myself aged about 5 in the centre of my page and then surrounded it with triangular doodles, making the words emerge in the negative space. Simple. That was a lot of doodling though. My hand was a bit achy by the time I completed the page.
The August theme for the Documented Life Project prompts is to be “faces, the human form and characters” which very much appeals to me. The first prompts were expressive faces and “what I see clearly now” which suggested to me a focus on the eyes.
I had a page in my art journal where I had doodled triangles using watercolour. I had no intention for the page so I decided to use it as the background for my response to this week’s DLP prompt. The fact that the triangles were all towards the left hand side of the page made me want to balance out the composition by having the face on the right hand side. That thought led to the decision to only draw half the face. In order that the focus be on the eye – as per my interpretation of the prompt – I drew the face in ink and only coloured in the eye, using the same watercolours that I had used for the triangles.
I am pretty happy with how this art journal page turned out except that – had I actually planned this page – I would have completed the ink drawing first, since the ink is waterproof, and then would have added the watercolour triangles. Constructing the page in that order would have avoided the watercolour bleeding into the ink drawing. That’s what I get for being spontaneous.