Weeping  woman 

  My journal prompt today was to do an expressive self portrait. I have always liked Picasso’s weeping  woman. 

http://www.abcgallery.com/P/picasso/picasso204.html

  I love the way the hands and the face are shown behind the handkerchief and the strong colours 

  

I wanted to do something that used elements of this but made it my own – I am still sad inside about my mum dying 10 years ago and more recently about my son moving to America. 

I drew a line drawing and used blue tones and  added a flat  layer of colour. I quite like the energy but it was too derivative   

  
      I added pieces of faces from magazines – ideas about burning bridges, travel – the mouth feels a bit like a heart in my hand  
   
I added the saddest face I could find – which could represent my daughter or a younger version of my self and then scribbled some more details to accentuate features and add more layers   
I had wanted to add white hair so that it looked more like mine but I couldn’t find any in my magazines. I may paint it 

I decided that I needed to manipulate it in my iPhone apps instead  

 
Layered with Picasso’s original in the Diana App 

  
Layered and manipulated in Image blender 

  
More Diana App – I like how these turned out more than my original – the more manipulation a and layers added seem to make it grimmer and more unhappy 

  

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Wax resist and ink flowers 

Every so often I do a demonstration at an art group. I was asked to do pen and ink washes and layering. I used to do this technique a lot a few years ago – it is soooo messy I haven’t done any for a while .

I decided to do some passion fruit flowers- it’s the wrong season, but I always liked the shapes. I used photos and images from the internet as my source material. (https://www.pinterest.com/LindeeGEmb/  & https://www.tumblr.com/search/akuacreative)

My first doodle attempts felt a bit clunky. I dreamt of big 3D close ups of the centres by kept putting it off. When I am nervous about something I tend to resist getting  started  until the last moment ,then I have fun and go a bit mad  

   
 
I wanted to play with different types of lines so I used pencils,a dip pen and my usual the liners – water proof and soluble 

   
    
 
The dip pen was very messy and I kept smudging the ink ….. I filled larger areas of ink with a brush 

I like wax resist because it adds texture. I added layers of diluted black ink and straight from the bottle. 

   
    

  
The green and pink/ purple are wax crayons. 

I was begining to feel braver so the fuschia pink came out, I also added details in pen and more layers of wax to get stronger contrasting colours

   
   

The above pic was an experiment – not sure if I like it – but it was fun playing – it needs to be larger really – the drawings are on A5 sample papers or A4 water colour   
As prep for my class I did some more pen drawings 

  
And couldn’t resist starting  one as a doodle 

  

100 days of art therapy Journalling 

  I enjoyed my 30 days of journalling with Lisa Sonora so much that I didn’t want to stop. I had signed up to 10 days free journalling prompts with Shelley Klammet so I decided to sign up for her 100 days course. 

I am finding it very powerful – there is usually a written prompt and an art prompt everyday – I am feeling a bit vulnerable and peeled back after 10 days. 

This is a paid for course so I don’t think it is appropriate to discuss each prompt in detail. However , I can show my journalling responses 

  I have been having a tricky situation at work recently and I have felt very emotional in response to it . In some ways my reactions have felt  to over the top. I have been surprised how angry a couple of friends have been when I discussed it with them. 

I painting a wall in my living room red and the colour seems to be seeping into my journal.

Yesterday’s prompt was to use pastels in a gestural way and to meditate and sit quietly with the materials and be intuitive. 

I meditate a lot an whenever we have a prompt to be still and quiet – I find my self going some where deep and still. I didn’t want to use oil pastels in my journal because they are so messy. So I drew with my Neo water colour crayons. I was a bit diaspointed with the result 

  
Imeadiately afterwards I decided I wanted to tackle my work problem and put it to bed. 

   
 
I was very amused at the violence and power that resulted from this exercise – I comparison with the crayons. When I meditate I seem to put aside my emotions and go to a safe calm place.

 The juxtaposition of the insipid curly lines with the violence of my collages amused me no end. 

I had been dreaming of ripping up one of my neatly drawn flower mandalas for a couple days – it felt very satisfying and I am pleased to have the explosion down on paper. I think I am going to put a much heavier cross over the woman’s mouth on ‘feeling disempowered’ 

 
Yup that does it for me ….. 

 Nope …..  it needed some more violent red gestural stuff  lol!   

  

A journalling page process 

I decided to write in a bit more detail about one of my journalling pages from my last post. 

This was produced in response to a journalling prompt from Shelley Klammer based around the ideas of enjoying the little things 

We had to only work from one magazine and choose things that we liked or appealed to us. I worked very quickly – this probably took about 20 mins. Scanning through magazines and cutting out images and text is a thing I do – I didn’t enjoy being restricted to one magazine – but I like what I chose and the end result 

 

I chose images that appealed to me for various reasons: 

1) top right – Game of thrones 

2) bottom left Bowie died recently – so there are images of him everywhere, I liked the direct ness of his gaze and his Aladdin Sane make up 

3)  The pattern and colours used in the comic , ( top left) even though I didn’t really appreciate the subject matter 

4) The technique of the child drawing mid: top right 

5) The pose the man from The 1975 

6) I chose the text because either because liked the font or lettering style or the words 

7) ‘Things we like ‘ fulfiled both thesubject matter and I liked the font and the colours

I started by layering the larger images onto the page – then it is  a case of balance and form – 

I work quite quickly and cover each layer with glue as well as sticking the first layer down- I use a diluted cheap PVA . 

Working in this way means that the paper doesn’t buckle so much and the layers don’t peel off as easily – also cheap PVA dries Matt and you can draw and paint in a variety of pens and pencils afterwards 

When I talk about balance and form – I always like to have small , medium and large elements in a picture, and a sense of some foreground, medium ground and background 

So the man from 1975 is infront of the boy looking out of the window and the text ‘list for life ‘, but behind the ‘Radar ‘ and ‘Gobsmacked’ 

I should divide my page up into 3rds according to the ‘Golden Rules’ but there is no ‘should’ in art journalling so I regularly find I divide the page almost but not quite equally 

Bowie’s eyes seem to focus the bottom left section and allow everything else to float about a bit – I think that’s another reason I chose to put the ‘things we like ‘lettering at the top because it looks like bubbles floating 

I work very fast – this took about 20 mins from start to finish- I become completely absorbed and don’t really analyse the process as I do it. 

I didn’t lay the images out before glueing or really think about what I was doing at the time – all the analysis happened  after I had finished just to explain to you 

Art journalling and counsellors 

I am teaching a couple more sessions to counsellors soon and I have been reading and making notes for a hand out 

“Art journalling is the process of working through ideas, and feelings intuitively. You can use any method e.g simple collage techniques or doodling. ‘The key is to create for pleasure, to engage in the process, and let go of the product. ‘( Lisa Sonora 2016)” 

Below are some example of mixed collages produced during a journalling project with Shelley Klammer  – The first one is a more complicated page produced using lots of layers , doodling and kidnap note lettering 
  

This one is more simple – I went through a magazine I didn’t particularly like – the February edition of NME and I picked out text and images that jumped out at me 

This one is an example of a very simple page – I used 2 pictures as a background and then added text and images
 
    
“As a counsellor you could use art Journalling regularly as a method of self care and that is kept in a form that can be closed and put away. It is an effective means of stress reduction, and cognitive“workout” that flexes your creative muscles and sensory parts of your brain. ( Cathy Malchiodi 2013) 

It is important as a counsellor that you have ways to look after yourself and ‘creativity is restorative, mentally, emotionally, and physically’ (Lisa Sonora 2016) ”

There are lots of more complicated-journal   pages on my blog feed 

I do a weekly session with my friend Deb in Oxfordshire  (over Skype) we call our posts #soulseedsessions ( which can be found on Instagram) Deb organises a meditation session with a group of friends and then I join in with the art.

 We are working through some Buddhist principles at the moment it is “Equinamity ” 

Below is this weeks journal page- I used collage to make a more complicated design than those shown above – I built up layers of background using an image of a tree – Deb provides the layout and ideas; I tend to develop it in my own way.  
Last night I had a bit of a wobble so this morning I made this  it’s called ‘whoops’ 

 
The back ground is acrylic paint that I used in a teaching session – to wipe my brush inbetween colours and to use up paint that would other wise be wasted .  The stones are cut out of a magazine page and then shaded with watersoluble wax crayons. 

At the moment I am going through a phase of working on water colour paper – then when it is dry peeling off a layer of paper from the back  so that I get tears and rips in my images and uneven edges – it all helps with my equilibrium ( lol) 

References 

Lisa Sonora – email news letter Feb 2016 

Cathy A. Malchiodi ‘Psychology today’ 2014 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/arts-and-health/201312/visual-journaling-self-care-in-the-new-year

Day 25- Dare to be powerful 

When I read this prompt from Lisa Sonora- an image popped into my head of one of my mandalas and a tornado 

“When I dare to be powerful—to use my strength in service of my vision—then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”

— Audre Lorde

I really enjoy doodling and I use it as a stress reliever, we watch crime dramas on the TV that used to make me really tense – if I doodle I seem to be able to distance my self and enjoy watching – I seem to be able to do it even with subtitles.

  
I sometimes think what am I going to do with this now, I send them out as happy mail but really I have too many. So I stuck this one in my journal 

  
The pages were already orange – I smear left over paint in my journal so that I don’t waste paint 

I wanted my power to come from the centre of the doodle – I researched some tornado photos and realised that they don’t seem to touch the ground visually. I sketched in a shape and added doodle lines as if the tornado was affecting the page 

  
I finger painted white acrylic to start adding the power and energy of the storm 

  
I added more finger painting in orange and added thin black line definition onto the tornado 

  
I thought it was finished so I added my kidnappers text – but the tornado didn’t pop enough. I always like to use some complimentary colour 

  
Teal glaze 

  
Final details