Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Wednesday Art Journal Prompt

The New Year Resolution is an old and established tradition. But for me, I could never gather much interest in writing out a list of resolutions for the coming year. The reason is simply that I don't like being told what to do (even by myself, tee hee).

This year, rather than coming up with a list of things I have to do, I thought it was might be more interesting to think about what I want to leave behind.

With that thought in mind, here is this Wednesday's Art Journal Prompt:

For the coming year:
What are 3 things you are ready to be finished with?

It could be a state of mind, a certain attitude, a bad habit, a specific food, anything. It could be big thing, or something quite small. The idea isn't that you necessarily have to do anything to be rid of these three things, it is more like you are just consciously letting yourself know that you are ready to let them go. Then we will see what happens, if anything happens.

We might check when the end of 2010 rolls around.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

A Multitiude of Art Journal Backgrounds

Yesterday I did a bunch of beginnings in my art journal. Backgrounds. Whatever you want to call them. It was a lot of fun.

I thought I would talk you through them in the hope it might give you ideas for your backgrounds.
I began with gluing down a page from a book on the right page. I used a glue stick, rolling over it with a brayer to get out any air bubbles. Sometimes I use a plastic ruler for the same purpose. The left page had writing from a prompt I did with my class the final day of the term.

Then I coated both pages with gesso. I painted with some orange and green acrylic paint (mixed colours rather than straight from the tube, so they weren't too bright) and pressed the pages together before they dried.
These pages I didn't gesso, just painted with more mixed colours. A combination of cobalt blue and light cadmium red - less blue and more red for the red-brown, more blue and less red for the blue. Before it dried, I wiped it with a paper towel to get rid of most of the brush marks and make the paint thinner - it's easier to glue stuff onto the pages if the paint isn't so thick. .

I cut out the inbetween page to make more room for collage.
These pages were similar to the first ones, except I used pages from a childrens book. In places I wiped off the gesso before it dried to reveal more of the picture. I painted the orangie colour all over and then wiped it off. It gave it a bit of retro look that I liked. After it was dry, I added a bit of the mixed blue in places for interest.
I was liking the pictures underneath the gesso and paint, so continued on that theme. This time using cobalt blue mixed with a purer red, and putting the blue down first. Then mostly red with a little blue mixed in.
Continuing on with more pictures as part of the background. I didn't cover these up as much because they are smaller. I used the cobalt blue with sienna this time to mix my colours.

The bird is from a Christine Willcocks' painting, a photo of which was in an art magazine.
More of the same.

I like gesso underneath the paint because the paint doesn't soak in as quickly and I get more texture when I scrub it back. It also makes the pages thicker.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

an Art Journal Prompt every Wednesday

I promised my art journaling class a prompt every Wednesday, the day of the week that we normally have our class. I will do this over the holidays until the beginning of February to help keep them journaling. Please feel free to jump in whether you are part of the class or not. I would love to see what you make -so please leave a link in my comments.

As always, these are suggestions, jump-starts, inspirations, not assignments. So, if your inspiration alters the idea or leads you somewhere else, related or not, always follow the energy! And feel free to link whether you have followed the original prompt or not. I love to see where people allow themselves to be taken.

So finally, here is the prompt. I had to do something with Christmas, even though personally I don't celebrate it, ha ha. But I know just about everyone else does.

What do you miss about your childhood Christmas?

It might be a person, a tradition, weather, food, anything.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Just be Creative

Just be creative, any which way. It doesn't matter how you do it, or how it turns out. Just have fun. xox

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Making a Travel Art Journal

I am intrigued by the idea of making my own art journals. I like the thought of trying different papers, sizes and ways of putting it together. Having the freedom to just stick stuff together and call it an art journal.

My DH and I are off to Adelaide to visit family. I want to bring a journal to work in, but I don't feel like taking my usual journal. I want to work differently while I am away. Because I won't be working in the studio I think that I will want to do more drawing. Because I will be somewhere different, I like the idea of drawing what is around me. A travel journal.

I wanted something really simple, without a lot of pages; so I decided to try Teesha Moore"s 16 page journal. It is made from a single sheet of watercolour paper. She has a how-to video.
Some of the pages fold out. This is the first page. I made up a square for each day that I would be gone so I could do a little synopsis of that day.
Some of the pages I left completely blank.
Others I just did some subtle backgrounds.
I quite like the way this spread turned out.
Because it doesn't have a hard cover, it is more like a large pamphlet than a journal. I don't think it was the best choice for a travel journal, too large and unprotected.

Oh well, life is one big experiment.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Our Art Journals are for Us

Our art journals are here for Us. They are not another thing that we have to do 'right' or make look good. They are here to serve us, nourish us, play with, and be whatever we need. In that way, they become an agent of our soul rather than our ego.
Nothing wrong with the ego, we need one in order to function in the world. But it is not who we ARE, and there is plenty that we do in the service of the ego, to serve how we see ourselves. It is some other part of us that needs our art journal. A part that is bigger than who we think we are.

A part that contains everything we think of as Me. Not really a part at all.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

One Reason I Love Ugly Beginnings

Ugly beginnings are freeing.

I have noticed time and time again, when I make an ugly background, I feel free to do almost anything on top. I can't mess it up and that is terribly freeing.

On the other hand, when I do an exceptionally beautiful background, I often avoid doing any more, afraid that I will lessen its beauty.

Friday, 4 December 2009

What Bores me to Tears in my Art Journal

Continuing on from what makes me hate my art journal pages, is what makes me bored with them. So boring that my eyes skip over them as I turn the page. That they make me cringe if someone else likes them because I am embarrassed they are so boring.

What makes them boring is when I do someone else's idea. Often I find them so tedious that I can't finish them.

Or, related to that, when I do someone else's idea because I think it will look good. But it has no emotional resonance for me. Yuch, yuch, yuch.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

What Makes me Hate a Journal Page

As I went through my journals, looking for some of the ugliest pages, I noticed something. That what makes me hate an art journal page isn't whether it is ugly or not. In fact, quite a few of the ugly ones I really like.
What makes me not want to look at a page again, what makes me want to rip it out in anger, what makes me hate a page is when I feel I 'played it safe'. When I went for it looking 'good' rather than being real. When I went for giving a good impression rather than honesty.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Often It's the Composition that Makes my Pages Ugly


One of my weakness is composition. I was never taught composition in my art studies, and hence I still have a lot to learn.

Some of my art journal pages that don't work are because the composition is wrong. On this spread all the bits are too small for my large art journal. They just kind of float around, not really related to each other or the page.

Sometimes our journals are a place to get stuff wrong so we can learn.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

What Makes an Art Journal Page Ugly?

It could be many things.

We tried something new, and it didn't 'work'. We need to realize this is a success not a failure! Being creative is not efficient! You will have learned something, even if it is just that you don't like what you tried. (An art journal is a place to experiment.)

With the first spread, I found out that if you use really bright colours underneath, it is hard to get the foreground to compete. The 'background' became the foreground.
Sometimes the colours don't look good. Or the composition is all over the place.

Sometimes it has to do with how we were feeling, maybe we were getting out something ugly - in which case maybe the pages should be ugly?

Often it is just our viewpoint, and other people don't think the pages are ugly. In which case, who is right?