Below is my latest art journal page. I came across Journal52 which is a challenge run by Effy Wild. Once a week a prompt is given. When I came across Journal52 they were in week 3. At this writing they are still in week 3. Their week 1 prompt fit my previous art journal page to a tee so I counted it as week 1. Week 2’s prompt is HOPE. I wanted a fitting affirmation statement so I went on the search for one. As soon as I found “I look towards my future with hope and happiness.” I knew it was the right one. Coming across a photo to use as reference for my focal figure of the woman with a shaved head was also perfect for the message I wanted to relay.
I’ll talk about the message in a moment. First, I’ll describe how I created the art journal spread.
I did a rough sketch of the layout with graphite, some of it changed as I went but mostly it is as I intended it to be. I painted the girl, starting with an Art Crayon in flesh tone, then laying with acrylic paint until I had her the way I wanted her. I then used some prisma colored pencils for finer details and to adjust some shading.
Once the girl was done, I collaged in tissue paper in green, yellow and blue using watered down glue. I used watered down white glue to reduce costs. If this was a commission item I would use collage medium or gel medium. I crumpled the tissue paper to give more texture to the page. I also used red and green for the center of the large flower.
Once the page was dry, I used a brayer to apply acrylic paint over the tissue paper to give it more visual texture, then I used my homemade stamps to stamp in the flowers. The rabbit is a commercial stamp. I added Faber-Castell PITT pens for color and details on the flowers and rabbits. On the large flower I used Prisma Colored Pencils.
After stamping in the flowers I realized the original position for the dove was going to be all wrong. This is the only alteration to the original sketch. Placing the bird much higher has given the spread a more balanced appearance. If the bird had been where I had originally intended it to be, the painting would have been bottom heavy. I then added in the lettering using my black Painters permanent marker.
There are a lot of things I love about this art journal spread. First and foremost it is completely my own. I wasn’t following a video, or in a class, I only used the prompt to help inspire an idea. It isn’t whimsical and it is about my life.
This is where we come to the message. The affirmation statement is how I need to look at my life and future right now. Since 2014, it has been a long and difficult road. The woman with the shaved head represents me two years ago when in 2014 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and yes I eventually shaved my head when my hair started falling out. In 2016, I was laid off of work after 33 years of devoting my time and expertise. Finding another job has been difficult and I’m still looking.
So this is very much about me surviving cancer and the blow of losing a good job I had devoted my life to and trying to maintain hope and happiness in the midst of it all.
I am doing what I love…. being creative… taking care of my daughter. These are things to be happy about. I see this in my painting.