Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Bloodlines, an Art Journal Page

I am taking a blog holiday, so forgive me if I don't get back to your comments. I am reposting some older art journal pages that I created when I first began.
Here is an art journal page I call Bloodlines. I love the way connections can happen during art journaling without any previous intention. I will tell you what I mean.
I gessoed, then painted the pages with acrylic paint. I had no idea what was going on here, just a feeling that I wanted an olivey green.
Later I began drawing this woman. I just had the thought of a woman in 17th century dress. I looked up the clothing on the internet. I drew her on some paper that is heavy enough to carry light washes of colour. I planned on cutting her out. I painted her with watercolours and watersoluble colour pencils.

I used some decorative paper for her overdress. You just trace the shape with tracing paper, then use it as a pattern to cut out the dress. You can see the 'pattern' on the right bottom of the drawing above.
Here she is, cut out and ready to be glued down. I glued her with matt medium. You need to be generous with it for the medium to work well as a glue.
I first thought the frog would be in her hands, but then I came across this cutie frog on the internet. I printed him and cut him out. Then I drew in the well and the trees. It is all looking very fairy tale, which I like.
I drew in another tree, and then I had the impulse to add the photo of my sister. I photocopy the photos first before I use them in my art journal, for two reasons. One is that I get to keep the original photo, and second is that the photocopy paper is thinner and easier to work with.

The leaves are shapes cut out from a magazine outdoor scene. I coloured the trees and the well in with some water soluble pencils. I just wanted a hint of colour with the line drawing. I also brought a little coloured pencil over the photo to bring it into the rest of the page. Click on the picture if you want a closer look.

Now,  what I find rather strange is... the writing was something I just had lying on the desk. I liked it and just added it not thinking about whether it went with the picture. 
I love the way the subconscious works. 

Finally I added a bit of a border. I like the way it turned out.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

the Ego and the Inner Child Duke It Out, an Art Journal Page

I am going on holiday for two months.

While I am away, I have set up a series on Wednesdays reposting some of my art journal pages from my first year of art journaling. They are laid out step by step as to how I made them. I thought these might be interesting for art journalers who want to see different approaches to art journal pages.

I hope you can read what I have written on these pages, it's pretty funny. (you can click on the picture to see it larger.) I was having an inner dialogue and who should pop in but my inner child. She is written in green.
I started these pages with black gesso, two coats. It gives a nice matt black that is easy to work on. 
Later I doodled the guy with the birdie in his hand. He really looks like an ordinary Joe doesn't he? except for the bird. I cut Joe out and glued him onto the page. He is actually wearing a tie, maybe he is some kind of accountant or something.
Then I drew in the design (which I had seen in some magazine, might have been from a piece of fabric) with my metallic gel pens. Don't you think they come out well on the black gesso?
The birds in the top left corner are cut from a magazine. The page seems to be getting a real theme. Click on the picture to see it bigger (if you can't see the birds.)
Then another bird. This one is done with a packing tape transfer. I like the grunge effect of the transfer.
As always, I didn't know why I wanted to add this writing but I decided to trust the impulse. Afterwards, it felt right
I think the little bird represents some vulnerable and precious aspect in myself, maybe the inner child. 

Friday, 13 July 2012

Amazing Art, a Giant Dollhouse

I have a thing about doll houses, or dioramas, miniature stuff. Little miniature worlds. I also have a thing about abandoned buildings, photos or the real thing. Fascinating stuff. I have fantasized about combining the two and making abandoned doll houses.

Here is another take. A giant dollhouse. Artist Heather Benning found a two-story abandoned farmhouse in Sinclair, Manitoba and made it into a giant dollhouse. She rebuilt and painted the inside.
 And cut off the back wall and put in plexiglass.
 How cool is that?

If you want to read more just google Heather Benning. Or go here.

Monday, 9 July 2012

"Calling the Bees" a Finished Painting

My most recently finished artwork is "Calling the Bees". 
It is pen and acrylic paint on wood.

Bees are so important. They are little instigators of fertilisation and integral to the dance of plant life. I understand that they are dying all over the planet from the varroa mite. Fortunately this mite has not reached our continent of Australia. 

I don't want our bees to die. 

There is a story from my childhood that when my brother was three years old he used to pet the bumble bees in our garden. I love that image. Perhaps another painting...

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Could Shopping Malls be a Creativity Substitute?

I tried to go shopping today, but I wasn't terribly successful. I need a winter coat.

I hate shopping malls. Badly designed ones, mediocre ones, even beautiful ones I dislike -though I can't think of any beautiful ones at the moment. Maybe where we live the malls are especially bad? Very possible. But the ones in Sydney that I have been to, and Brisbane, and Seattle, I hate them all. Upsetting. I get upset in shopping malls. And I get mad.

I worry about the people in them. Many many years ago, soon after arriving in Australia I was working in a shopping mall. The shop was a few counters making up a little island in the walk through. We monogrammed robes and towels. I got a tic above my eye. It was so weird, I could feel it jerk. I don't know if anyone else could see it, no one ever said anything. I was 26 and it hasn't happened since that time. I think it was the stress of being there.
( a small watercolour of mine called "at the mall")

I worry more about the people walking around than the ones working there. The fact that most shopping malls are completely closed off freaks me out. We are walking around in a huge closed off place full of internal shops. No plants, no earth, no sky, often no natural light. I used to have dreams where I could fly and I would go up and up and then bump up against a ceiling like one in a shopping mall. It was very disturbing. I wanted to keep going up and up but I couldn't. I felt trapped.

But the worst thing is all the stuff. Shops and shops full of racks and racks of stuff. And we are walking around like rats in a maze looking at all this stuff to buy it. What do they do with all the stuff we don't buy? What do we do with all the stuff we do buy? Why aren't we having picnics or bike riding or making things instead of our entertainment being buying stuff. This can't be good for us.

And what is it doing to the natural environment? I don't need to get started on that! When I think of what it takes to make all that stuff and get rid of it all, I get so mad. Not at anyone, because I wouldn't know who to blame. And I don't feel blameless, it isn't that. But I would like to do something about it.

I think that is one of the reasons that I teach art journaling. I know that the more I make things the less I care about buying and owning stuff. It isn't that I can or even would want to make everything I need, it is something more mysterious than that. Something about being creative that is nourishing and I just don't feel the same need for new stuff.

I just want people to be doing something that will really nourish them. I think shopping as entertainment is kind of like imitation creativity. It is like eating fast fake-food when what you really need is a good nourishing home made meal.