Monday, July 11, 2011

From Orientation Week to Earth Week

I have been loving Earth Week! I honestly did not know what to expect when I signed up for this class. This is the first class I have taken like this, an online video type of art journaling class. I'm loving it and I'm super very mucho inspired. I've done a lot of art over the past few days.

This is the mostly finished cover. I like how it looks now, I feel like it's perfect. But what I am not super happy about are the ribbon and yarn dangly thingies, and I'm going to go back in and redo those. I'm going to make this journal so super perfect! I just need some more ribbon, some raffia, some hemp, I also need a tapestry needle. I did end up finding my awls, but that will do little help without the needle and the stuff I want to use.

I watched the video where Effy diagonally painted her page with Red, yellow, blue, and green and then put her hand prints on the page and journaled about the different elements. I really liked the idea of having a spread, first thing in the book, that included all the elements, as kind of a "Table of Contents" page sort of. So I did my own, but I did it my own way. I am kind of stumped with it now, it looks and feels so incomplete. But I can't do anything with it yet. I think I need to let all the info and feelings really sink in and then let the inspiration lead me.

I just gesso-ed the inside of the front cover, and painted waves, hills, a sky, and sun. Then I added letter stickers identifying the elements. A pretty simple little page.

I really enjoyed the entire process through which my next page came about:

The brainstorming was wonderful. I love brainstorming. I do it often in my journals. I love word association, too. And then the list of "I am" using the brainstormed words from earth was very very deep and meaningful and felt so good. The "My body is" was really difficult, though. I, like many women, have body image issues. It was really difficult to think of these beautiful earthy descriptive words and apply them to my body. I was drawing a blank. Effy suggested that I detach for a while, and describe someone else's body or Mother Earth's body with those words, and then when I have a list, switch it over to *My* body. That advice worked PERFECTLY for me.

I absolutely loved creating the texture background. I gessoed the page, and painted it with earthy greens browns and gold. Then I took green tissue paper and a really gritty clear gesso, and used my fingers and applied it with my hands, feeling the wonderful earthy wrinkly gritty beautiful texture. It was an amazing sensory experience. I left it to dry, but before it was completely dry I peeled up some of the tissue paper and I loved how that made it look.

I used the image of Effy's back to create an Earth Goddess image: I just outlined Effy, and painted my own lady.When I put her down on the page, deciding what I wanted to do with her, I felt that the background colors and the colors of the lady were too close and it became difficult to really see the lady clearly, and I wanted to make sure she was a focal point, so I added more tissue paper, and then positioned the Goddess lady. I liked the way that looked, but was unsure where to go from there and it still felt unfinished. So I gave it some more time to sink in. I started working on some other spreads, and then came back to it afterward. I'm glad I did that, because the ultimate end result, I LOVE! I am so happy when I love the way my art looks.

The first thing I thought of with the image of a woman's arms raised like that, was that she was a tree. So I searched on the internet for a good picture of a tree, and it took probably about an hour before I found one that I really liked. I used the basic outline of the trunk and branches and painted it with shades of brown and gold, then I added the lettering. I'm so happy with this page. I love how earthy it is, how Godessy it feels, how it just makes me feel really good.

This was the main project for the week. I could have stopped there, but I really really couldn't. This element is just speaking to me so much, I am so inspired and really feeling it HARD, so I made some more pages. One of the other things I was feeling from "I am" is "I am a wildflower" and thus, this page was born:
It's a painted background, and collaged flower shapes which I painted over to make them look how I wanted. It's *finished for now* because I like how it looks, a lot, but I MIGHT add the words "I am a flower" or something, I might leave it as is. I'm not too sure yet.

During the creation of my Goddess tree page, I put some earthy hand prints down, and decided I loved them, and I colored them in. I wasn't too sure where I was going with it, but it really felt good, it felt right. I am reading this series of 500 page childrens' books called Fablehaven. And the characters in the books are fairies and all sorts of magical creatures. These hand prints kind of made me feel like a wood nymph. With that feeling, I decided that some flowers growing out of my hands would be good, so I went with it. I think this page has super awesome symbolism and feelings. I love how everything from this class just makes me feel so good, it resonates with me.

 I have another earth page that is in the works but I haven't scanned yet. It has layery stripey tissue papers on it, and I want to do something relating to the Earth's crust and layers in the magma and all that kind of ka-junk-a-junk beneath the surface. I may need to do some research on that.

I also have another spread, inside me somewhere, trying to get out. It's very much in an inspired conceptual state, and I don't exactly know what it will be yet, but I think it's at least going to be about Gaia.

I find it fascinating that so many art journalers are of the Pagan/Wiccan persuasion. I was raised agnostic, and have dabbled in all kinds of religions. I haven't found one that really suits me perfectly, so I just kinda grab what I want from different places, when it feels like it fits at the particular time. This kind of Earth Goddess-y stuff is feeling really good to me right now.

As someone who is concerned with the quality of my writing technique, I feel sad that I don't have much of a conclusion. But it's just a blog! I can say whatever I want!!!


  1. Love your pages! They look (and I'm sure feel) so earthy! Thank you so very much for sharing the process and the results!

  2. I loved reading this! Loved the descriptions of your process and the enthusiasm in your 'writing' voice. Just lovely, Rainbow! Thank you for sharing!