Golden Years Art Journal page

I’ll walk beside you through the Golden years

This page was inspired by an old song that my mother used to like, “I’ll walk beside you”. I also used the ideas from one of the Wanderlust 2020 online course lessons, the one by Kate Crane. I took quite a few process photos so I decided to make a little video with them, with a voice over explaining my process. Towards the end of the video I included a recording of some of the song. You can see it here.

This page is very meaningful for me because my husband and I are now in our autumn years, both being in our 60s. We are very happy to be walking through our golden years together.

Wanderlust 3 Flourish

Flourish finishedHeal and Flourish.

This is my tribute and prayer for the Australian flora and fauna following the recent devastating bushfires. I followed the main steps of the Wanderlust 2020 online course, week 3 but ended up putting my own spin on it.

We were encouraged to draw our own profile to start…I gave myself a bit of a face and neck lift (cheaper and less painful than the real thing!!) The next step was to add some neutral coloured undercollage. I put a light layer of gesso over it.

Flourish 1

Next I added some colour. I really appreciated my transparent yellow iron Oxide paint because it’s TRANSPARENT so it didn’t cover the undercollage too much. Flourish 2

Next I had to paint the face…this was a bit nerve racking, especially trying to put shadows in the right place. afterwards it looked a bit less like me, but that’s OK. The next step in the class was to add inks to the hair in blobs and then draw some hair like strands with the ink. I only had one ink, in a sepia colour, so i used watery paint as well in the redder brown colour. Flourish 3I had decided by now that i wanted to use some Australian animals and plants for my collage elements on the hair. It was actually supposed to be about our relationship with self, and what we wanted to bring into our lives this year. I think. But I am upset by the plight of our native animals so that’s what I wanted to do…a prayer for them, for healing, and for Mother earth.

I printed and cut out some animals and birds, but when i tried placing them over the hair they became a bit lost in the busy background. As you can see here: Flourish 4For me this is the downfall of this particular lesson..I would never usually choose to place my collage elements on such a busy/messy background. What to do? A trick I’ve used before: sponging! I sponged a darker area and a lighter area as well, to place the collage on. Flourish 5

Flourish 6

As you can see, this improved things somewhat. The animals and birds stand out more, and you can still see the background peeping through a little bit. For finishing touches I added a stencil along the bottom, some penwork in black and white around the collage, a few white dots and some writing. Sending my love to all the creatures of Australia, heal and flourish, heal and flourish. Flourish finished


Wanderlust experiments

I’ve signed up for wanderlust 2020, an online art journaling course, because I want to be pushed to try some new things in my art. So far we’ve had 2 weekly classes and I have actually completed an art journal page for both of them, so I’m quite pleased with myself. For week 2 we we encouraged to paint a portrait of an ancestor, either real or imagined, copying from a photo or internet image. I didn’t have any good photos of grandmothers so I decided to paint my daughter as an imaginary Scottish ancestor. I have Scots ancestors on my father’s side, but my daughter has them on both sides, (the Mackays from the island of Raasay on her father’s side, and the Frasers and MacDonalds¬† from Skye on my side)….plus, she’s beautiful!

Scots Ancestor

I imagined her as a kind of Celtic warrior queen. I draped her in the Mackay tartan and added a wolf as a power animal companion (there were wolves in Scotland until the 17th century) because she is a strong person and a sheep or rabbit just didn’t feel appropriate!I googled Scottish flowers and painted those orange Gazanias as a contrast to the blue/green background.

In this class we had to do a tonal underpainting first in black and white, then put colour over it. It was all quite challenging, I haven’t ever tried to paint a portrait in acrylics before. I was going to trace the main outline with carbon paper but decided to just print a desaturated photo, glue it down and paint it with clear gesso and then paint over it. At least then I’d have the proportions correct. My tonal underpainting I did with brown and white: Katy for portrait B&WPhoto of my daughter, desaturated. Ancestor 1Tonal Underpainting, Van Dyke brown, white and Paynes grey. Neck is far too dark!!

Ancestor 3Next I painted over it with colour, skin tones (this was very challenging!), plus I  added some appropriate ephemera undercollage on the left page and gessoed over it with a mix of clear and white gesso.

Ancestor 4I painted the background with some blues and greens (all mixed with a bit of Paynes grey and Raw Umber, I didn’t want bright colours) and added some stencilling (a beloved Stencil girl gnarly tree stencil) Ancestor 5Next I added the wolf, the tartan and jewellery embellishments and I painted the celtic shield at the top with gold. To finish I painted the flowers, then did some writing.

Google translate once again came in handy….Tha Sinn Comhla Ruit means “We are with you” in Scots Gaelic. I wanted to convey the idea that she (and perhaps, I ) have received gifts of strength, canniness (love that word!) and resilience from our Scots ancestors, and also that somehow they are watching over us, protecting and assisting us.

For the first weeks lesson we focused on creating an art journal page about our 3 major relationships, using scraped on paint, ephemera and patterned papers and choosing images to symbolise those relationships. Here is my finished page: In my heartI used an image of Artemis to represent my daughter, planet Jupiter for my son (he’s a Sagittarius) a tiger for my husband (Year of the Tiger) and a fish for my Piscean sister. Tying it all together was a bit of a challenge. Here’s how it looked a bit earlier: In my heart 1We were directed to use a stencil in the centre in a dark colour.

I pretty much followed Kasia’s instructions for most of it, and added a few ideas of my own. For example I did a bit of sponging in a dark colour before I glued down the Tiger and Jupiter (so they would stand out better) and then painted some floaty clouds to tie it all together. I used the words of the poet e.e.cummings to convey my feelings.

I like the page, It’s a bit different to what I usually do, and that is why I signed up for the course, to try a few different things.