This week was hard for me. More the doing…the ideas came and then I procrastinated away, putting it off. I am loving the elements course, that is fast approaching it’s final week even though I am only just done with week 3 (so there are some benefits for procrastination). A self-directed Elements of Art Journaling course is opening up soon and I really recommend this course if you are feeling called to it. There is such a lot of information in it about the elements, as well as art journalling. I am not so much into doing courses anymore where I can learn how to draw or paint exactly like Ms. X, but one of the good things about this course is that you can entirely interpret the elements your own way and do your own thing, taking from the course what you need.
I did three spreads for air week. Again, none were directly modeled after Effy‘s page but were based around my own relationship with air. I really think it would be worthwhile to work through all these again and see how the pages and interpretations change, based on where we are in our lifes.
The first spread had me journalling out about my depression and where I am at the moment in my important relationships. Filling the pages and turning the book over and writing some more until I was out of writing. It was what was taking precedence in my head, so out it came, and once that was done, I covered the page with some neocolours II and then acrylics. And then my script stamp, and some smudgy water and then I started drawing with my pastels. Seeing shapes that came out. The page is quite rough and ready but I like that. It looks sombre, but when I look at it, I just feel such a sense of relief that it is out of my head. It is ironic to me that in journalling about not having a voice, and sometimes feeling like I am walking on eggshells not to offend people, so much so that my soul sometimes feels like it is crumbling, that I have literally lost my voice at the moment. Signs from above or getting so excited about the snow that I was out there for an hour with barefeet!? :)
I journalled a bit more on the other page and then I covered the page with clear gesso so the pastel wouldn’t smudge all over, and I like it. It did smudge a little, but I was feeling smudgy, so it works well for me. I was going to add some more paint, but I just wanted to leave her as is, so I listened :) And I like that my original journalling is still visible a little, not completely silenced…
My second page…I did the journalling prompt suggested in the class and what came out of the journalling was the image of a concrete wall covered in graffiti, and the strength of the wall under the chaos on top. And that for me my concrete wall that I need when life is messy and crazy and I am feeling all over the place is my to-do list, and my timer. I need a plan and to just start moving in some relatively organised way to start coming back to myself where I can find some space to breathe. To start bringing order to what is immediately around me first gives me the space to start looking at the bigger picture. Rather than getting overwhelmed and then procrastination stopping me from moving anywhere.
So that is what I did and I am crazy in love with this spread. The journalling exercise was done on this page and then to get my concrete wall I put on some modelling paste and pushed some through a stencil. After that dried I did a bit of sanding, and at this stage I was going to leave some of the writing underneath visible, but after I started painting, I realised part way through the page was covered, and such is life. I did a bit of painting with a bamboo skewer and investigating shapes left in the background and I love this page. The texture looks and feels stunning up close. I took a lot of close up shots of this page! :)
The last spread came from my intrigue when Effy said one of the traditional air colours was yellow, this isn’t a colour that immediately comes to my mind when I think air. I wanted to explore that a bit and not have any preconceived ideas about this page at all. Just to play and explore, especially after the heaviness of the past two spreads, and I am in love with this spread as well. I was going to put some words on the page, but it turns out I didn’t want any. AND, I mostly took photos throughout the entire spread so there is a post coming on the progression of this page.
Now for the journal I have been working in…The cover is cereal box, covered in book pages and paint and varnish and then the front of the cover I glued some old cut jeans onto it. I loved these jeans and wore them to death, and have been using the fabric for different projects and I liked the idea of a pocket on the cover so that I could add stuff into it if I so desired. I painted the cover up with acrylics and some stamping with punchinella and my texture stamp I made, and then a bit of doodling, and I gave it a couple of coats of varnish.
The paper is a mix of Canson XL mixed media that I ripped out of a sketchbook and cut to size and some 300gsm watercolour paper that I had and wanted to try that as well. So far I am really happy with the Canson paper, and no spreads have been made on the watercolour paper yet…(it will be the next element that gets that experiment!:)).
This is my first handbound journal I am actually using as an art journal and I am loving it. I attached a plastic tiki I had lying around from another project and when the journal is finished, I may well add some more dangly bits, but didn’t want to add too much now in case it got in my way.
Doing this course with my own handmade journal is just adding to the whole experience for me. I smile whenever I see it. There are things I would do differently next time, but on the whole I love it.