Back story: Day by day, I add to my art journal. Over several days I complete a spread. And then I begin again. These are my notes where I reflect on my pages and record what I learn. If you're curious about how much time I spend and generally why I spend time in my art journal, I can tell you this: Some days I spend only five minutes, some days I look up after an hour or more, and some days—yes, I skip. But most days, I art journal. I do not art journal to record time, but to make it a practice to BE in time. Time to be creative, to experiment, to play and to learn. It’s a regular date with myself. Like what I used to do on the yoga mat. Breathe. Check in. How are you? How’s the universe? What should we create today? This is my practice.
January 16th: Just Feel
I completed two spreads in about a week. This is the first one—and I won't spend too much time on it now. Completed in one day, I tore pieces of several different papers—a napkin, scrapbook paper scraps, old papers/copies of old journal pages—and then stamped the numerals and quickly wrote a note. I worked on a four column grid (which looks more like eight, I think, now that it's done). I planned to layer on top of it—but then I decided it was complete the way it was. It reads: Some days you don't wanna think—Just Feel! That about sums it up.
January 17th-22nd: Into the Wild
Oh boy, this spread just kind of took over and became itself! I started by collaging some random papers in the background and then adding paint. From there I chose a few images kind of without thinking and before I knew it, I had this story going on. It's interesting that the main figure looks both afraid and shocked and also excited--like being on roller coaster, maybe (if you like roller coasters, which I do not!) This page developed intuitively and I like how all those emotions fit. I took my time with this spread over six days (a little here, a little there), and overall, I like how it turned out—although I definitely have some criticisms (see below).
How I mixed the media
Collage papers and images (both in background on on top), gesso, acrylic paint, ink, stencils, ink pens (gel, Micron, Uniball),
What I like about this page
- The images and the story they tell, expressing some of the complexity of feelings and experience.
- The doodling of the hair (which was originally a purple flower), the wheel, the hearts...
- The wings, the hearts, the black body...
- The collage elements peeking through the background.
- The use of black across the spread unifies it.
- The text lettering.
What I learned
- It really is more interesting to "cover up" elements and let them peak through, even though it means losing some images/marks altogether--as a result, there is more depth to the background.
- I played with tints and shades of the main color (purple), which is so much more effective than just one hue.
- I played with india ink on the leaves, mixing it will water and acrylic paint. The leaves aren't that great (see below), but I can see where ink, paint and water CAN mix for interesting effect. I need to experiment more with that.
- Both the doodling and the lettering are not techniques I use enough and I was happy that I pushed further beyond just the collage. It really incorporates the collage into the page and makes it my own image.
What I could have improved
- The background is too dark and muddy. What I really need to to do is learn how to make my backgrounds more light and luminous. I need to learn how to do that!
- Ugh, the leaves. They really didn't turn out well. Yes, they do the job of symbolizing "the wild", but overall, it's a hack job. Next time, I need to make lines thinner...maybe draw with pencil and then fill in...
Notes for Future Pages
- Keep doodling! I think I resist whimsical because I don't see that as my style...but maybe I'm attracted to ink embellishment and I want to push that further.
- Tell more stories with collage. It was fun to find the images, combine them and make them my own.
- Work on backgrounds and use of paint. Go lighter and find out how to do luminous!