I’m finally back to exploring some art classes and using my paints. I feel like I’ve been separated from my paints for too long. It has, however, been a good break. I was able to explore using inks in Inktober so that was good.
I haven’t gotten much further with my last ink drawing. Here is my progress so far:
This one is taking a while which I don’t mind. I would rather take my time than rush through something and be unhappy with the results. That isn’t to say I’ll be happy with the results when I take my time but at least I know I will have given it my full attention. There is nothing worse than completing a project and knowing I could have done better if I hadn’t rushed through it.
This journal first started out to be just about my art with sketches or pictures of art I’ve done and writing about them. However, as life will be life, I often find myself including other things about my day in the handwritten part of this journal so, I decided as part of my art journal I would add in calendars. In the calendars I am including my work schedule and appointments, holidays and so forth which, in and of itself, is a sort of record keeping journal that can help explain my absence from creativity and handwriting in my journal.
I guess you could say it is a limited take on the bullet journal concept except I’m not tracking any bullet items. I tried that for almost a year and found it was too repetitive and too time consuming. It just took too much time away from the actual art I wanted to do. I suspect in time, this journal will start to include rough sketches of concepts I come up with which happens all too often and more often than not, get lost because I don’t put them down anywhere to be discovered later.
While working on the above ink drawing I was drawn towards a desire to use my paints. This is the result. The colors didn’t come out the way I had hoped they would, however, it did make me realize Christmas themes in the stores maybe having a subtle influence on me. I think its influence shows up in my color and shape choices. The center looks very much like a poinsettia, at least to me.
I knew I wanted some writing on this one but didn’t know what. A phrase came to mind just before bed so I wrote it down. It wasn’t until I was trying to figure out how to incorporate it into the page that I realized one letter would fit into each of the shapes. This was not planned. I love how this happens. I love when things just fall into place as if it had been painstakingly planned. It happens more often than anyone would think it would.
Because of my angst with the background and colors not working out the way I had hoped, I turned towards Life Book 2017, Week 29. I had recently watched the videos for week 29 so I went back to them to try out her technique for backgrounds. I had planned on doing the whole class but ended up with this page as a result. This girl insisted in being created upon this page after I had created the background using the technique from the class.
I first painted the background using pink and yellow. Once it was dry, using graphite pencil, I drew her face. When I had much of her face drawn in, I used white paint to fill in her face. I could still see some of the drawing underneath the white pain. I then when back over it with graphite pencil once the paint was thoroughly dry. Most of what you see here for her face is all graphite over white paint. I added a bit of color to her eyes and lips and only used black ink in the darker areas of her face where I needed deeper shading. Her headdress was done over the pink and yellow background and is mostly done in ink, and Prisma Premier colored pencils, with some white paint for highlights. Oh yes, and some what paint for highlights in her face and eyes.
I know a lot of the issues I have with faces is because I sit with my art pad/paper on my lap and tilted at an angle. This throws off the lines I draw for proportions and trying to get things straight. I don’t see it until I take a photograph. I did in fact do some adjustments on her before I did anything that was permanent but she is still a bit off kilter. I’m okay with that. The more I draw faces, the more I will improve and find ways to catch these things before I get too far and it is too hard to change it. I still love her and think she is beautiful.
I started to go on to Week 30 in the Life Book classes and actually watched the videos but then decided I hadn’t really done the lesson for Week 29. Not in the way it was meant to be done. I decided to go back and do it for real this time. The lesson is called “The Story Within”. The artist is France Papillon. Her lesson is more about creating an abstract image of your story, whatever that might be at the time you sit down to create an art journal page. This is what I created when I really focused on what I learned from her instruction:
The outer dark border was done digitally using Photoshop Elements 10. My page wasn’t dry enough yet to ink the outer edge so I did it digitally for the purpose of this post. I found myself surprised by how much I enjoyed the process of creating this page. When it was complete, I realized it very much represents where I am right now within my inner self and how I am connected to my past selves.
I often wonder whether I will remember what inspired me when I created a particular art journal page. This is why I started writing about what I create. This one in particular I want to remember so I wrote extensively about what it means to me. I keep two journals. One is handwritten and the other is digital. For about a year or so I was having wrist pain which limited my ability to keep a handwritten journal, therefore, to do the kind of writing I need to do, I started keeping a digital journal as well. Then I guess you could also include my blog as another type of journal. I still limit my handwriting because it can aggravate my wrist, so most of my journaling is done digitally. I miss doing it by hand though.
I am thrilled to be back using my paints again and mixing it up a bit with other art supplies. Adding texture and actual objects to my last page was more enjoyable than I had expected it to be. After thinking about it, I understand why. The objects have special meaning that brings the whole piece together. Before this, whenever I was following a class or trying to incorporate techniques of adding embellishments or found objects into something I was creating, there was no symbolism behind it. It was just something I added for no particular reason. With this page, each object, each splatter, each color was chosen to represent something meaningful to me while at the same time I was also trying some things out to see what would happen, and joyfully finding out, in all cases, what did happen, fit very well with what I was trying to create.
This is something I want to incorporate into my art practice every single day. I want what I create to have meaning to me. Up until now, if I sat down to draw a face, it was to just draw a face. If I sat down to draw a mandala, it was to just draw a mandala. If they came out good enough for me to be happy with what I did, then all the better but there was something missing. Each time I sat down to create something, I felt myself searching, trying to find something more, something to connect with. France Papillon’s class may have just helped me to figure out what that something is. Only time will tell if this is something that will stick with me.
That doesn’t mean I’ll be doing abstract art all the time. It just means, when I sit down to create, it will be with a different purpose in mind. It will be to find that story within, which needs to be told.