Sunday, July 12, 2015

More Documenting...

Hello there, it's been a while. I'm going through a bit of a crafty re-think at the minute. After a few weeks off The Documented Life Project I've made the decision to stop doing it. Whilst I like it, it's just not achieving what I want to achieve. It is giving great art prompts for experimentation but I don't feel like I'm documenting my life which is what I wanted. I've decided I want to incorporate more writing and to try and do a little each day. I was just never getting around to doing my DLP art journal. I don't have room for a dedicated art space so by the time I had everything out I wanted to use I didn't have much time left for creating. I do have a couple of pages done I haven't yet shared so I might yet get around to putting them up.

I'm not sure yet what the solution to this is. I have a few idea's though. I've been quite inspired by pepperandtwine on instagram after stumbling across her whilst surfing pinterest looking at Hobonichi planners. I know! Isn't the internet random but great? Anyway, I love her work. It's a great way of documenting, and would be fun to look back over. Especially when the Kid is older.

Unfortunately it's not practical to start in a Hobonichi as much as I would if I could. It's halfway through the year for one, and for another I can't get the larger size over here, I'd have to pay to import one and get stung for import duty and taxes. Expensive. I might consider getting the smaller size at a later date but it's not really the size I'd like. I think I'll take a wander around the stationery shops and see what I could use as a substitute. If I love doing it I might splash out on a Hobonichi Cousin next year.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week 17

April Theme: colour safari (exploring inks and paints)
Challenge: inks
Prompt: before the ink is dry

Lots of ink, some collage and a few other materials in this one. There's also a fair bit of metallics so it was hard to photograph but I did my best. The journaling is about the earthquake in Nepal. I was really just playing around with materials and techniques, seeing what worked and what didn't.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week 16

April Theme: colour safari (exploring inks and paints)
Challenge: gelli plate
Prompt: a lot on my plate

I don't own a gelli plate and whilst I have wanted one for a while it's not top of my list of things to spend money on so I improvised and used a sheet of glass for the monoprinting. I also don't have any good inks or paints for printing with, acrylics was the best I could manage which isn't ideal as they dry too fast. I didn't particularly enjoy this process because of these limitations. I did some printing as the base layer but ended up going over much of it anyway, very little is still visible in the finished page. I ignored the prompt as usual. I really am finding them pointless. Instead there was a bit of an Edgar Allan Poe reference because I've been watching The Following which brought it to mind and who doesn't love a good bit of the supernatural?

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

"Give it a go" May

I haven't done any fantasy illustrations for quite some time now. It wasn't a deliberate decision at the time but now I wonder if it was a subconscious one. That side of my brain is a dark place to live and maybe I needed to live in the light for a while. My imagination is always exceptionally better at creating images than my hand can illustrate and it can be hard to shut them out. I miss it though. Fantasy and sci-fi art was always my big love, even as a kid.

I've designated May as "give it a go" month. The list so far:
We went Geocaching at the weekend for the first time (it was loads of fun).
Watched a tv show that's not my usual thing but I discovered I love it.
Started reading a book which I wouldn't usually touch with a barge pole (the jury is still out on that one).
Ordered a weekly veg box and started eating healthily for a change (most of the time).

I also want to go back to doing some fantasy artwork. My self-confidence with this is pretty much rock bottom but I want to start anyway. I'm one of those artists who hates everything I ever do, sometimes so much so I never finish pieces. They never look how I see them in my imagination and I see every flaw and mistake the minute I do it. I need to get past that and just get it out on the paper. So that's this months goal. A bit each day, starting now.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week 15

April Theme: colour safari (exploring inks and paints)
Week 15 Challenge: acrylics
Week 15 Prompt: cry me a river

Flying visit today as it's Bank Holiday here and I'm grabbing a few minutes while the kid naps. I found this page really hard to photograph. It's a beautiful day outside and frankly I'd rather be out there having fun than fiddling with photographing this so sorry about the poor pictures. There's a fair bit of texture and the glossy acrylics are causing reflections. This week was mainly spent in the garden and out at the park as it was lovely weather so that is reflected in my doodles and the mood. Again I ignored the prompt. I try to remain positive in this art journal and I thought that a very negative prompt. Instead I used a happy quote of my own that popped up in my internet wanderings again this week. It comes from the poem below. Have a happy day!

The Magic of Sound

I've heard the soft whisper of wind in the pine trees,
The silvery ripple of brooklets at play;
I've heard the low voice of a sweet singing mother
As she sang to her child at the end of the day.

I've heard the faint rustle of sails in the sunset
And blue waves caressing the wild, rockbound shore;
The whistle of trains as they cross the green prairie
And mountains re-echo the cataract’s roar.

The notes of the organs in ancient cathedrals,
Where hearts of the faithful are lifted in song;
I've heard the gay laughter as children were playing,
The chatter and buzz of a large, happy throng.

The earth has its music for those who will listen;
Its bright variations forever abound.
With all of the wonders that God has bequeathed us,
There's nothing that thrills like the magic of sound.

Holmes, Reginald Vincent (1955). Fireside Fancies. Edwards Brothers, Inc.: Ann Arbor, MI.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week 14

April Theme: colour safari (exploring inks and paints)
Week 14 Challenge: watercolours
Week 14 Prompt: it's water under the bridge

Week 14 was about watercolours but I have to say I snuck some acrylics in there too as I was using them on the other page which I did at the same time. This was my holiday at home week so we all had a great time doing whatever we felt like. There's some journalling as well as some doodling just talking about what we were up to. Acrylics, watercolours, pencil, biro, ink and a bit of collage. There's a bit of a bridge reference purely by chance, apart from that I again ignored the prompt. They're just not really connecting with me.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week 13

March Theme: making your mark (doodles and mark making)
Week 13 Challenge: make a custom element
Week 13 Prompt: "ride the energy of your own unique spirit" - Gabrielle Roth

This was the start of the Easter holidays when we travelled down to Bristol to see family and then had a week long staycation. This week and the next week link up for me because of this so I did them together. It's about here I realised that next time I would get a non-ring-bound art pad as I wished I could have gone over the two pages better. Shame really because I really love the paper in this one. Maybe I'll see if they do a bound version.

Anyway.. the weather was fantastic all week, in fact it has been great all month with it only cooling off now towards the end of the month. I've noticed good weather seems to inspire brighter colours in my art journal. There's collage, watercolour, acrylic, tape, pencil, and my custom element was the wire circle. Again the prompt didn't speak to me so I ignored it. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week 12

March Theme: marking your mark (doodles and mark making)
Week 12 Challenge: as a focal point
Week 12 Prompt: coming into focus

This week the clocks changed. Finally it's getting closer to summer. I don't think I really followed the prompts much on this though I guess they are in there without really trying. The page is mainly collage and watercolours and I didn't have much time to do it so it's a speed page and fairly basic. Not lots of layers to it. I'm going to rush through these few pages to catch up as I have three more waiting to be photographed and posted.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Where I'm at..

This is basically a really late catch up post. I don't know where this month has gone! I really must try to catch up with where I'm up to. I'm lacking motivation to photograph things rather than actually create. I'm pleased to say I've kept up to date with my documented life project so that makes me happy. I just haven't got around to blogging about them yet. I did have a great and busy holiday though so that's more important.

I have also finished my crochet. Giant granny square scrappy blanket is completed. It turned out pretty well in the end. I can just see us lounging around on it in the park this summer. It's already had some outings to the garden with all this sunny weather we've been having.

The other things I hoped to do didn't have such luck though. I didn't get any quilt done or any Project Life. Never mind. This month (actually it's so far through the month I realistically mean next month) I want to get my sewing machine out and finally have a go at making some clothes from a pattern. I've got everything ready to go I'm just scared to start. Everyone has to begin somewhere though right?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week 11

March Theme: Making your mark (doodles and mark making)
Week 11 Challenge: Borders
Week 11 Prompt: "Borderline feels like I'm going to lose my mind"

So this is where I'm at with The Documented Life Project 2015. I made some decisions with this. For one, although I have done a little more of the February challenges they are still not finished and I'm not feeling the love enough to do them which is stagnating the whole thing so instead I've LET IT GO. I may go back to finish them if I feel the urge but I'm not pressuring myself to do it any more. Instead I just started a new page and went onto the current week, which at the time was week 11.

I've also chosen to make them more about what was going on that week. This means I don't do the current challenge until the next one is up but I'm ok with that as it's more "documenting my life" that way. So technically I'll always be a week behind but what's new!

As this month is about doodles and mark making I started with my favourite doodling tool - a biro. Very underrated is the good old biro. I often use them, especially for sketching rough ideas that pop into my head as they give a really interesting line quality. Anyway.. it was the Spring Equinox and the solar eclipse this week so that was my inspiration. I was planning on leaving it as biro when I started but then it felt like it needed some colour so I added some pastels and a little gold pen. I wanted to go over some areas with white pen but as usual it wouldn't oblige. I really must find a better white pen. I know loads of people use the Uni-ball Signo but honestly mine NEVER draws over what I want it to, no matter what that might be.

I only loosely used the borders challenge really and I totally ignored the prompt as it just felt, well a bit naff. I could happily go back and do some more to the border but then I'd start to get behind again so instead I'm calling it done and I've begun the next one.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Must finish month

This month is going to be all about finishing off and catching up projects I've got on the go. Since having the Kid I find the only time I get to myself to create is weekends and February was a busy month so I've lots to catch up with this month. This is my top four.

My Documented Life Project is no further on. I'm now a month behind. However I am having a bit of a think about this. All of February's prompts were actually a bit samey so I think I need to shake this up a bit. Also there's not really much documenting my life right now in the first few pages I did so I think I want to incorporate more of this myself as the prompts aren't really encouraging me to do that. Hmm needs some more thought yet.

I do a little bit of Project Life too although I've not really blogged about it. I started it after the Kid was born. I know a lot of people do this every week but that's not what I use it for. I use it instead of a traditional photo album. This is therefore always behind and I'm ok with that but I do want to get a few more pages done this month. The photos are piling up on my computer.

The giant granny square blanket is coming along well and I'm pleased with its progress. However I can see the end very nearly in sight as the yarn is going down fast so I just want to do one last push to finish it off ready for spring.

The shirt scraps quilt however hasn't been touched in months. I really should pick this back up and try to get it going again. Maybe straight after the blanket is finished. It's just sat in the cupboard looking abandoned making me feel guilty every time a see it.

There's also some new things I want to get done. So I somehow want to squeeze them in without ignoring the million things I already have started. I am great at beginning, not so great at completing.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

February catch-up

Quick catch-up post. I am now officially way behind with my art journals. We went on holiday, then it was Valentine's Day, then it was The Kid's birthday so I've barely touched them in weeks. I'm hoping now the run of busy-ness is over I can get some catching up done.

I have done some stuff.

Weeks 5 and 6 for my Documented Life Project are underway, just not nearly finished. There's a few layers done but that's about all.

The Kid and I finished one of our anti-journal pages for Valentine's day. This one was "highlighters".

I also did a crochet heart for The Kid and a few extra to leave around the village.

And my huge granny square blanket is coming along. There's not much more yarn to use up so soon it's the boring job of weaving the ends in.

So that's that. I need to crack on with stuff and get it finished.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week Four

January Theme: The blank page and how to face it
Week Four Challenge: Writing
Week Four Prompt: Words with friends

I had already done a bit of colour on this page before the prompt came out. Instead of wasting paint etc.. I tend to smear it over another page further on in my sketchbook (after seeing this week's prompt I should use my under paper more, lol) Anyway.. it meant it wasn't white to begin with. I journalled about the prompt both right way up and upside down. I knew I would just be using it as background so I didn't care if it was illegible. Then I began adding new layers.

There's lots of materials used, acrylic, metallic poster paint, ink, biro, gesso, stitching, tea - yes tea. It makes a great colour. 

That's about it really apart from I have an awesome new cabinet to keep all my art materials in which makes me very happy so I thought I'd share a little happy dance. It's amazing the supplies you forget you had.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week Three

January Theme: The blank page and how to face it
Week Three Challenge: The Colour Wheel
Week Three Prompt: "I found I could say things with colour & shapes that I couldn't say any other way..." Georgia O'Keefe

I think I'm finished with this page, however I did think I was done yesterday and got as far as photographing it but then when I left it for a few hours and came back to it I added a bit more. So I think I'm done but I may come back to it again. I've enjoyed this prompt the most so far. It's been really dark and miserable weather for the last couple of weeks so the colour was a welcome relief, although it has been difficult to photograph. If I hang on and wait for better light though I could be here until July so bugger that. I started with the basic colour wheel but soon added plenty more. I did a small abstract watercolour and added some journalling. I also used some found objects from my stash, acrylics, gesso, inks, biro, this really is a mixed media page.

I have to say I am loving this art pad so far. It's a Strathmore mixed media pad and it is taking everything I'm throwing at it. I didn't get the recommended pad for this year's Documented Life Project as it looked nice but was really expensive to get hold of. I took a chance on this one after searching about. I'm fussy about paper and hadn't tried this before but it's fab. I'll certainly get one again. I also got a smaller size than the Dina Wakley book as I knew I would struggle to find the time to fill bigger pages and I really didn't want to give up halfway through. I'm all caught up now though, my week 4 page is well under way.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week Two

January Theme: The blank page and how to face it
Week Two Challenge: Gesso
Week Two Prompt: "The beginning is always today" Mary Shelley

I'm calling this page done. The prompt quote appealed to me this week so I included it. I won't use it every week on the page, just as a starting point. I don't really have lots to say about what I did as I've never been a fan of talking about my artwork. It's usually pretty personal to me and trying to explain why I did this or that is difficult. Often because half the time I just did what felt or looked right. Trying to explain it is pretty much impossible. I do like to share though, as much as to keep a record for myself if nothing else. You know what it's like. You finish a piece or a journal and put it away and before you know it you've got boxes full of stuff that never gets looked at. At least by sharing I can look back over what I was up to.

I've been working on week two and three together so I'm almost finished with the next one and then I'll be all caught up - hurray! We'll see how long it lasts. I also have a new little project I want to try and get the kid to join in with me. I saw these anti-journals were on sale so got one for me and him to do together.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week One

I finally managed to get some art time at the weekend so I got some work on my documented life project done as I was way behind! I've now got week one finished - for now, and started on weeks two and three.

January Theme: The blank page and how to face it
Week One Challenge: Book Paper
Week One Prompt: Be your own goal keeper

Rather than "goals" this year I have areas I want to focus on. I've put these on the tag in the pocket. I've decided to keep them private so I've blurred them out but I have four areas I want to improve this year. On the back of the tag I painted a moon gazing hare. I might go back to the background at a later date but for now I'm calling it done.