Fern & Oak


Art journalling with prompts

I created a large journal spread a couple of weeks ago, inspired by a lesson from the yearlong mixed media online art course I take, LifeBook. The lesson was by Tamara L'Aporte and Effy Wild and involved journalling using prompts. I thought this sounded fun and challenging so I diligently printed out all the given prompts, cut them up and put them in a box and every ten minutes, picked out a new one; working for about two hours. 

It certainly was a challenge! I'm quite used to how I art journal now, and comfortable with certain techniques. I don't tend to collage much (although recently I've been on a bit of a spree!) as I dislike(d) the messiness of it and often I don't have a lot of time in the evenings to wait for stuff to dry etc. However, I decided to put all preconceptions a try and give it a go. My prompts were these:

  • Use a stencil
  • Add love hearts
  • Wavy shapes!
  • Flip spread upside down
  • Quick drawing of a flower
  • Add overlapping circles
  • Make some mud by mixing a warm and a cool colour and it to your spread
  • Orange
  • Use a colour you don't often use
  • Add acrylic paint using bubble wrap
  • Dots
  • Add some gold/silver

When I pulled out the first one, "use a stencil" I was like @are you kidding me?!" as I would never normally start a spread with a stencil and I only have one and couldn't find it! But, I took a deep breath and dug out some paper doilies and off I went! Interestingly, by the time I go to the prompt for making mud, I was really enjoying my painting and then I added a big bloody smear of greeny-brown right in the middle of the page and felt my skin go cold with dreaded feeling of what the f*** have I done, I've just ruined my painting. Oh no! Oh... Yes? I decided I wanted to continue until I liked the painting again - even though I knew this was more focused on process, not outcome - so I started layering inks over the top and actually,  I really began to love what had happened. I finished fairly quickly after that, as I felt in a good place and really liked the painting, despite it being much more abstract than what I normally create. 

This approach really took me out of my comfort zone and has encouraged me to try new things and keep on going even if I worry I've "ruined" a painting. After all, it would be pretty boring if I just painted the same thing over and over again, right? 

Here is the finished artwork:

and here are some close ups, as it's fantastically layered and rich in detail: 

Lastly, thank you to Tamara and Effy for pushing my creative boundaries! You can check out their websites here for Tamara: http://willowing.ning.com/ and here for Effy: http://effywild.com/

Please note, this is not a sponsored post, I just really loved the lesson, and LifeBook :-)