Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Death 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.
This is my Death Journal Page. I guess you gotta have a death page.

I found a little bat dead in my studio. I drew him. I felt bad that he had died caught in my louver windows. He stank a little. 

After the drawing, I glued down  a magazine photo of a man in a graveyard. Then I added some dictionary pages about death and bones and the brain. 
I must have forgotten to scan my pages. I think these pages were freaking me out a bit.
I gessoed lightly over and around the dictionary pages and the man. Then I did a wash of umber acrylic paint.
I added the other magazine photos of brains and organs, the bone and the bat. 

Then came the quotes from Rumi, a well known 13th century mystic and poet. I wrote with a Staedler fineliner pen. It isn't waterproof, but that doesn't matter as I won't be adding anything over the top. I used the Staedler because I have a set with 20 different colours, and I wanted a muted brown that wouldn't stand out too much from the rest of the page.
It needed some kind of border to pull it together. I am not sure what the train track like border represents, but it kind of fitted into the general mood.

You gotta have some dark pages in with the light, don't you reckon?

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Monster 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 are a couple of journal pages that I was excited about when I made them. Why? Because they were an indication of where I wanted to go next with my art journal. More drawing.

I try to allow the direction of my creativity to move in terms of what makes me feel excited. Sometimes my head gets the better of me and says "no, you need to continue on this or that path because... some fear related reason. Some "should".
Following the excitement often involves facing some insecurity like 'it won't be very good' or 'I don't know how to do that'.

This started with drawing. I didn't have any idea in my head what to draw, just started with its face and continued. Then I put down a wash of watercolour in the background and some water soluble pencil on the monster and the little people. Its dress is cut out fur from a magazine photo.

These pages stayed like this for ages, maybe a month. I would just look at it and not feel any inspiration.

I think it was actually avoidance. I didn't want to jump in again. I judged the drawing as 'silly' and didn't want to continue this juvenile piece of work.
I finally pushed myself to go back to it. I drew in the tree and then the girl came in, sleeping at its roots. The last to enter was the little man feeding the snake. At this point, I was finding the drawing interesting again. 

I ripped out some sky from a magazine and glued it on the two pages. I left the words on even though I didn't know what it said.
More colour. More strengthening of darks. A dress for the young woman, cut from some pattern that I liked in a magazine.
Finally the writing. Something that had come through a while ago about how humans are able to bring things from the psychic realm into the physical realm. Pretty amazing ability that. It is,  of course, what creativity is all about.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Liar Liar 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.
This page makes me smile. I like the contradictions in it. It basically began in an explosion of self loathing. (Guess who the liar was?)
The very beginning wasn't self loathing. It was removable masking tape with a wash of watercolour paints. I was trying out a new technique. It was fun.
These are magazine cut outs. I liked the bold, black accusation against the pretty pretty pink and orange background. And the ambiguity of the woman's hands holding an apple.
I am enjoying my letter stencils. 
Finally the quote on the left page is from a blog friend who is no longer online. I found her words a tremendous comfort against the arrows of self-judgement.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Loving Insight from a Friend 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.

I wasn't sure what to call these pages, but finally decided the emphasis is on the beautiful bit of wisdom I received from my friend Rose. I had been complaining of what I felt was my inability to understand and follow social conventions.

I think it is interesting that this quote is on a page of my ancestors. 
It feels like some family karma that has been released. I recognise a freedom that I didn't used to feel.
I started with gessoing the pages and then painted them with acrylic paint. Apparently it's a good idea to water the paint down a bit, that way the pages are less likely to stick together. (Which is also why you never put gloss acrylic medium or varnish over the top of a page - the two pages will stay sticky).
The diamonds are printed with a homemade background stamp, made with craft foam glued onto wood. Fun, fun. I will have to do more of that. I brushed acrylic paint onto the stamps for the stamping.

Strangely enough, as much as I love the background stamping, these pages stayed at this point for months. I think the pattern intimidated me a bit. 
But as soon as I slapped a few photocopies down I was away. I love working with black and white copies of photos. I don't do scrapbooking so my old photos are just stuffed away in a plastic box. It feels wonderful to use them in my art journal. 

I actually hadn't realised that I had a photo of my father's father. He died before I was born.

The camels and the building are magazine images. I also added a few rub-ons and stickers.
Lastly the quotes are written with Uniball Signo gel pens.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Hated Art Journal Pages

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.
This were my most hated journal pages. The ones that I wanted to cut out. (In the five years I have been art journaling, I am happy to say I have never cut out a single art journal page.) These are the pages that  I would rush by when flipping through my journal. What was I ever going to do with them?
After leaving them for a few weeks, I ventured in again. 
The left page was intriguing so I drew into the splot of paint. I saw a bird woman.  I wiped out the right page with black gesso. I felt stuck.  
I gessoed over the right page.

I knew what I 'should' do. I felt I should complete the left page as some kind of drawing. But I just didn't want to. It didn't inspire me. 
I left the pages for 6 weeks or more before I played with them again.
When I did return, it was play that got me over the hump. Without too much thinking I stuck down strips of magazine, a photocopy of an old photo from younger days, and a piece of colour photocopy of an earlier journal page. I cut out more magazine bits to create a new hat and dress for myself.
I brought in pieces of photocopies of my wonderful students' pages. And of the Fool card in the Tarot. A photo of me as a toddler. I wasn't thinking out any of this - maybe I was attracted to images and writing because of colour, I don't know. 
I used my new ZIG opaque writer fine tip pen (white) for the fool's sun and mountain peaks. It really blocks stuff out.
Finally the writing. The question is mine. The answer, I don't know where it comes from.