Both Sides, January baby

I was born in January, my birthday is coming up in one week’s time and this art journal spread turned out to be about January and also the song ‘Both Sides Now”. both-sides-background

I had this image I wanted to use sometime of the woman looking thoughtful…it’s a 19th century¬† painting by Frederick Leighton called Solitude. I sort of chose colours for the background that I thought would tone in with the image, I didn’t want really bright colours as the painting is quite muted. I used a stencil I had cut a while back with a circle punch and tried to make it look like those lights or orbs that you sometimes get in photographs (some people I know think that they are actually photos of spirit beings but being a Capricorn I’m a bit skeptical!)

Anyway I duplicated the painting and flipped it on photoshop, because Janus, the ancient God for whom January is named, has 2 heads, looking in 2 directions. As I worked on the spread the words of Joni Mitchell’s famous song “Both Sides Now” came into my head, so I printed out the words in a script font, painted and cut them out to roughly look like clouds (“I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now…”) The significance for me of this page is that I have always felt that I am someone who is able to see both sides of a situation or argument. Sometimes this means that I don’t have very strong opinions and can be a bit of a fence sitter. On a more positive note though, it gives me the ability to empathise. I don’t know whether this has anything at all to do with being born in January, but you never know!

Happy birthday to me. Blessings to all of you art journalers out there, thanks for visiting.


An art journaling month

My first attempt at a calendar page! I had seen some other art journalers that did a calendar page and was inspired to begin one on 1st January. I really enjoyed this process and I LOVE looking back at it now and remembering all the events,¬† but it was a big commitment at the time. I decided to use photos for some of the days, but not all. I was after a variety of different ideas and media. Apart from printing out little photos to fit each day’s unique shape (thank God for photoshop and a laser printer) I used acrylic paint, inktense pencils, prismacolour pencils and stamps.

I started carrying my camera around with me everywhere, keeping in mind that I might want to get a picture for this calendar. This changed my consciousness in a way…it’s hard to explain but my life seemed to take on a new significance because everything was potential fodder for this calendar page. Each event and each day somehow became more important, and I even seemed more important, which was quite a nice feeling. So I will definitely do it again sometime, not next month because we’ll be going away for 2 weeks (away from my computer and printer!!) but maybe in May.

One thing I noticed was that because the photos had to be fairly small,¬† they looked much better if they were close ups. January 1st was the last day of my son Eirinn’s 2 week Christmas visit before he went back to Holland. I probably won’t see him now until April NEXT year (sigh!) so I love that there is a photo of him (with his partner Rowena) at the beginning of this calendar.

I almost immediately regretted writing the John O’Donohue quote down the left hand side because the calendar actually looked much nicer without it. The writing around the edges makes it all too busy and detracts from the calendar in my opinion. We live and learn!