“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.–Charles Dickens
So on my last blog I mentioned I was taking a year-long series of art classes called #wanderlust2021adventurers. This is a series by #Everything-Art.com for which they have been doing for several years now. I just found out about it about four months ago. We will be keeping art journals with most of the techniques we try out. I’ve never done an art journal before, but have kept word journals many times for different purposes and circumstances. This journal will be to record art techniques and a place to play with the methods and themes. It may also include words. My goal is to use it to record thoughts, experiences with materials, and convey thoughts, vision, emotions and ideas using art medium.
The first assignment was to reflect on 2020. WOW! What a mixture of feelings to record. My first thought was – ‘Thank God I haven’t come down with Corona 19 virus’. This virus which practically closed down much of our social interactions for the year created loneliness, boredom, and at times depression. Along with contentious political news on a daily basis, the world often seemed like a hostile, lonely planet at times. Still, I fought to remain upbeat concentrating on art and writing and counting my blessings.
In the journal we started by scribbling on a blank page, just letting go making marks, writing feelings. Then we added pictures, text and color to add more about the subject 2020. We also used some composition to tie things together. Here is what I came up with. Composition-wise I probably should have placed the two pictures closer to the center of the page rather than on the edge, but I pasted them down before I remembered the rules of composition that Kasia gave us.
I loved this photo of the Beatles and thought of John Lenin’s song “Imagine” that an artist sang on New Year’s Eve celebration in New York this year. Many people used their imagination to help others and make the world a better place despite the virus. The other photo is about knowledge and it reminded me of all the scientists coalescing to find a vaccine for the virus. The colors were chosen to illustrate fear, anger, and in other cases calm and cheer at seeing light for the future. If I wanted, I could have moved the photos because in journaling you can always fix or change things to suit yourself. As the artist you can layer something over or paint out an area and place something over it. Even on a canvas you can change certain things, although, watercolor is less forgiving.
Our second project was to create a Gratitude Garden using paint or inks, crayons, magazine clippings, torn paper and also thoughts of gratitude. Our instructor for this project was Laly Mille. Her emphasis is inspiration and delving into our spiritual side. It was a delight to take her class. Here is my spiritual gratitude garden.
We first wrote down what we were thankful for, then did the art on top. Sometimes the words were incorporated into the design. It is all up to the journalist if they want the writing underneath or on top. I let some of mine show through. I suggest everyone try this for 2021. I gained insight for how much I have to be thankful. It changes my attitude and gives me a positive outlook. I hope you try some of these projects on your own.