Journaling and art practice…

I enjoy working in this particular journal because one side of the page is blank for drawing while the other side of the page has lines for writing. Most of my journaling these days is done in a word document on my computer due to my wrist pain but occasionally I like to do some handwritten journaling which makes this journal perfect for doing just that along with practicing my art.

I generally write about my art but sometimes some personal elements creep in which is why I won’t show the handwritten side of the page in this blog. I have only recently decided to treat my handwriting more as art than writing to try and add some artistic elements to the written side of the page. I’m using some very poor pens which is frustrating. I wanted to use them up but will probably end up throwing them away before the ink is all used. They were cheap so it won’t be a huge waste, just a disappointment. I dislike throwing away something before it is completely used up.

 
I can also adhere some small individual pieces I’ve been creating to practice some tangle patterns and white on black technique. Black and white and white and black has been a secret love of mine since art class in school when our teacher had us take black construction paper and white chalk to create a portrait of a classmate. Sometimes I wish I still had my art from school but alas that isn’t the case.

These black and white tangles are part of the Project Pack #1 series of videos on YouTube, you can find them here. I started doing this a couple days ago and have done about two a day. I’m not buying the Zentangle package you can purchase to go with the Project Pack videos so I don’t have all the supplies they mention. I am using what I have. For the black paper I am using 8 1/2″ x 11″ 65lb card stock cut into four pieces, then I round the corners with my corner punch. I have a Sakura white gelly roll 08, white charcoal pencil and a tortillion. Sometimes a graphite pencil is used to add some shading like in the first spiral.

The white on black is a lot of fun and I wanted to keep what I’m doing so I used double sided tape to adhere them into my journal. This might cause me some issues with drawing on the following pages but I’m sure I’ll find a solution around that, possibly putting a layer of a couple papers between the pages will be enough to resolve any texture issues.

I need to talk about this page:

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This is my pride and joy the past couple of days as I watched it develop. I have tried, unsuccessfully to create a drawing of flower bunches or a sort of abstract garden. I found it quite frustrating to try and find ways to incorporate different designs into one piece and make it look cohesive. I finally had an idea of trying to think of it as a mandala, by creating one central flower, then branching out from it adding different elements. This seems to be the solution I was looking for.

I am now able to visualize how I can do this on a larger scale by creating three or four main focal images and working out from each of them. It might become a challenge when the designs meet at some point but I’m sure it will work itself out.

This piece is still a work in progress. Even so, I am thrilled with how it looks now and would be perfectly happy if this is all the further I took it. I will mention when I first started drawing it, I was less than pleased. It looked rather ‘blah’. The central part of the main flower didn’t seem to work for me even after the first initial inking of the basic design. I was sure this would end up in a rather ‘blah’ final piece.

Then something happened. I kept going because I remembered how ‘blah’ some of my drawings for Inktober looked until I added in some bolder lines and shading elements, so I persevered. When I added in the stippling to the center of the main flower, everything started coming together. The bolder lines, the checkerboard pattern, then the lines in the petals of the flowers, one after the other brought more depth and dimension to the piece. This thrilled me to no end.

I’m not done with it yet. I will, most likely, add more to it. Not sure what at this time though I do want to experiment with different elements of different shapes. Even if I do something that doesn’t quite fit, I know it will be okay because it will be something I will learn from.

This mandala is something I started working on towards the end of the journal spread from my previous post. I find after working on something so challenging I need something to help me relax or center myself again. Mandalas seem to help me do that.

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I don’t work each mandala the same. Sometimes I approach each one quite differently. After putting in my grid and guidelines, the guidelines being the major shapes within the mandala, I ended up working from a variety of locations. Usually, I work from the inside to the outside and on rare occasions from the outside to the inside. This one just seems to call to be from a variety of locations.

Sometimes, I look at this one and feel it is complete and at other times when I look at the details, it feels like there is a lack of detail and incomplete. I may come back at a later time and add to it but my focus right now is on my flower page above. I don’t always feel like I have to finish something I create and that is okay.

One of these days I’ll get the nerve up to create on a much larger scale. I feel pulled towards creating one of my mandalas on a wall in my house. It is frightening to think about it because no two mandalas are ever alike. I can try to recreate one of my own but it is never identical, which is scary when considering creating one on a permanent space like a wall. Yes, I can paint over it if i don’t like it but to be honest, I’ve never painted walls in my home so just the thought of needing to do so is also a bit scary. I think I’ll work my way up to it by just going to larger and larger paper, and then canvas. Maybe I’ll just save up to buy a large canvas which I can then hang on my wall.

 

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