Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hmmm....a red journal....I wonder, what can I do for red......?

It was a bit of a no brainer for me, this one.... of course this red themed journal was calling out for a tribute page to the fantabulous Red Hot Chili Peppers :)

This has taken a few evenings to pull together, lot of stamping and tearing and glueing and gessoing and painting and cutting and waiting for things to I had a night off creative endeavours altogether on Tuesday to go and see the fab Ed Byrne on his live stand-up tour, so I'm afraid I've been slacking on the Art Journal Every Day front again.

But I figure this almost counts, as it's in a circle JOURNAL after all.....?

The photo of the boys on the left forms a pocket for the tag (we were all asked to include a tag on our pages to sign in, and also to explain what red means to us)

Now you've had a close up, 10 Scott Mills points to the first person to identify the writing in the background....

The chilis and the tag were made in the same way, lots of stamped images on heavy watercolour paper, torn into small pieces and reassembled.  Then the whole lot was gessoed over and cut into chili shapes, and then they were painted with a couple of different shades of red and green paints, and outlined with a black paint pen.

This was one of those slightly self indulgent layouts, but I happen to know that the owner of this CJ, Ally, has impeccable music taste, so I think she might be ok with the subject matter :)

Guns n Roses up next, plus a John Frusciante canvas of mine is the current guest post over at the songs in my heART blog - it's all music this week!  Rock on!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shout, shout, let it all out....

Oh my, this was fun, I have to do this again one day :)

This page is in response to a prompt on the excellent Year In The Life Of An Art Journal site, where they offer three part prompts every fortnight, including a theme, a technique and a song, any or all of which you can use as a springboard for a journal page in any way you choose.

The current prompt is as follows:
I'd never heard of the song before, or even the singer (according to Wiki he's an American Idol contestant), and it wasn't totally my kind of thing, but I did love the lyrics - especially the part "open your mouth, open it wide, let the freedom begin!" -  so that was my starting point

I wanted something to illustrate the shouting out part, and as I was the only model I had on hand, I used a self portrait

It was entertaining watching "cartoon me" evolving, so here's a few photos I took along the way:

Original photo.  I'm supposed to be joyously shouting.  instead I look like I've just seen a ghost :)  acting is not my core skill!
Photo lightly gesso'd, and skin tones, teeth and whites of eyes painted double chin obliterated :)

Jewellery, clothing, and rather glam red lipstick added....instead of the eye shadow mentioned in the prompt - I didn't want to make myself look too Bet Lynch! 
...with the addition of hair and a tongue, cartoon me is nearly done...

The black outlines finish everything off nicely
I really enjoyed this, right up until the point when my 18 year old son walked past after I had been painstakingly painting for a few hours, and announced that I was wasting my time as "mum, I could have done that in 30 seconds in Adobe Illustrator"... bah ... I think he's missing the point :)

So - what does all this have to do with a "confidence shot"?....let me tell you.....

The reason the "let the freedom begin!" part of the song lyrics appealed to me so much was that it worked on two counts... in the short term I feel freed from stress this week, as my fortnight-from-hell is behind me at work, and now that we have recruited an extra team member, hopefully it will never get that stupidly busy again....and in the broader sense, I have more freedom in my life now than I had in the first 40 years put together.  Part of this is undoubtedly down to being in the best relationship I have ever had, part is down to finally feeling secure in my job, but it all boils down to feeling in control of my own destiny, not being limited by fear or insecurities - and THAT comes from confidence.  I don't know exactly where this newfound confidence and feelings of security have come from, but please can I keep them???

Life is good for me right now.

[I have to add, I feel a twinge of guilt writing those words today of all days, thinking of poor Sian O' Callaghan whose murdered body was found today :(  RIP Sian, the whole of Swindon is in shock and mourning, nobody can quite believe this has happened to one of our own]

AJED : 69 / 365

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    Always leave your mark...

    It feels gooood to be back in the swing of things with my journal, I really enjoyed putting this page together.

    It's one of those that just kind of fell together with very little effort from me, it's always the pages that make themselves that end up being my favourites.

    I've had this fingerprint stencil for yonks, but I think I've only ever used it once before, which is a crying shame because isn't it FAB???

    AJED : 67 / 365

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Yay!!!!!! I've got my life back!!!!!

    Hello poor neglected blog, sorry for going AWOL on you.....

    I've got a good excuse though.  Work has been INSANE for the last fortnight, I've basically worked every waking hour (and many hours when I shouldn't have even BEEN awake) for the past two weeks, and all creative endeavours had to come to a complete stop.

    There goes Art Journal Every Day :(  and my stencil tute (coming soon), my quilt square for skull-a-day (ditto), all CJs, all ATCs, all everything.

    I have missed getting painty SO MUCH.  But then when I sat down at my messy table tonight, I just couldn't get going.  It seems that two weeks off = death of mojo :(

    So what you have here is an ugly old page.  But I think it needed to get itself out of my system, like an exorcism.  I needed to get all of my frustration about work OUT onto paper.  And I do now feel much, much better.

    So it might not be the prettiest page you've ever seen, but as cheap therapy, it did its job just fine :)

    As for the flowers mentioned - here they are:

    Bought for me by the big boss man to acknowledge that I've been having to put in hours waaaaay above and beyond the call of duty recently.

    They are lovely, and I definitely do appreciate them, but I really hope that everyone knows that that level of stress and tiredness wouldn't be sustainable going forward, for all the flowers in the world!

    So let's hope that things at work calm down significantly over the next few weeks, because I'm just frazzled.

    AJED : 65 / 365

    Tuesday, March 08, 2011

    a stencil tute?

    I've had a couple of people ask me now, both here and on Facebook, if I'd blog a step-by-step on how to cut a portrait stencil, like the self portrait one I used in my journal t'other day.

    I'm no Banksy, but I'd be happy to oblige - I need a subject though......

    So please feel free to use the comments section on here to suggest who I should cut a stencil of for the tutorial....

    Suggest your favourite celebrity, and I'll choose the one I like best and see what I can do!

    Sunday, March 06, 2011

    Too nice to succeed? Probably, but that's fine by me.

    Another not desperately exciting or artistic page, in fact this probably wouldn't have made it to my blog under normal circumstances, but I want to be sure that this Art Journal Every Day journey is fully documented, just to prove that I actually stuck to it.

    I must admit that some days finding that ten minutes feels a lot like a chore, especially if I am really tired.  But other days it's great to have an excuse or encouragement to start playing.

    Anyway, this little rant page was three days in the making, believe it or not! 
    • One day to stamp the background with smiley faces and the repeated phrase "it's NICE to be IMPORTANT, but it's more IMPORTANT to be NICE" - very much my life philosophy. 
    • One day to gesso and colour the background with various paints and sprays, and stick it into my journal
    • One day to add the journalling, stencilled image, photo and stamped dotty border
    The words are about my realisation that I just don't have what it takes to achieve lofty heights in my career, as I don't have the velociraptor instincts needed.  But I'd genuinely rather be a nice, kind poor person, than rich but a nasty piece of work.  So more power to me :)

    My favourite part of the page is where the uninked dots on the border stamp have lifted the stencilled image, which I hadn't realised wasn't quite dry.  Neat, if unintended, effect.  I must try that again deliberately one day :)

    AJED : 64 / 365

    Thursday, March 03, 2011

    4 goals down, 97 to go!

    Just a quickie page to celebrate the completion of another one of our Project Zero goals - to take the kids (and us big kids!) to a Disney theme park.

    In real life it's more terracotta/orange, and less pooey brown :)

    AJED : 61 / 365

    Tuesday, March 01, 2011

    I am contradictory, apparently

    So here's that stencil in action again, properly this time, and with considerably less bling! :)

    I cut it in the first place following a prompt from the excellent "A Year In The Life Of An Art Journal" challenge blog, as they suggested the use of a self portrait. 

    I love cutting stencils, and I think this one has turned out pretty well, all three of my kids reckon it's instantly recognisable as me, anyway.

    Then, just after I had finished stencilling, and I was sitting there wondering what to do next, another blog - Journal Fodder Junkies this time - popped up with their own weekly prompt - which was "I am".

    That seemed a pretty good fit, so I simply rattled out some bullet point journalling about who/what I am....

    ...and in doing so discovered that some of my bullet points were a little contradictory...I'm "happy in my skin", but I also felt the need to put down that I'm "overweight"....I'm "good at my job", but "frustratingly unambitious" and "terrible with money"....I'm "a good mum" but a total "soft touch", two things that don't always sit well together.

    But, well, contradictory or no, I'm me, and I'm also "happy" and "contented" and "in love".  And that's a pretty good place to be :)

    AJED : 59 / 365