New Moon Art Journal Spread #1

I have had one art journal open, literally for weeks now, with a partially completed spread…some charcoal scribbles of a face and some hearts on strings…and one full page of the two-page spread completely blank.  I used the original blank page to smear paint from other projects on…and even after sketching in the face and hearts, I still tended to add whatever I might have on hand, just because the book was open and the piece unfinished.


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WIP quick sketch in my art journal

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I had intended to finish this spread for the New Moon this month.  That was my goal…at this moment, the piece is in a very different place, but not quite complete…she will be finished before this night is through…

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WIPS. ..playing

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But–as I sat at my desk yesterday afternoon/evening, the first time I have really been at my computer in about four days…I pulled out my very first coptic bound journal (the one I have been grousing about for a while now)–and — I pulled out a charcoal pencil and sketched some things out, over the washi tape and everything.  Then, I had a toddler who was not feeling all that well (and who, frankly, still isn’t) call me away …

This morning, when said toddler was feeling a bit better for a moment, I grabbed paints and brushes and stopped thinking…

I decided last night to ignore the washi tape.  I know that the tape won’t take paints well–and I am not all that worried about it.  It’s my art journal–not meant for showing in the Louvre or anything.

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The first thing I did was go in with an off-white paint and basically obliterate most of the sketch that I had done.  Yes, the original intention may have been to blend the charcoal in with the paint to start adding values…but it also became something else…I don’t always like the faces that I make to be clear, well-outlined, well-drawn, perfect perfect little things.  I have begun to enjoy allowing the process to have a say in things.  So if this paints blurs and blends here in unexpected ways, good.  If the brush was a bit large to do the mouth perfect justice, good.  If I paint over all the eye detail and it’s gone, good.  It gives me more room to play and I have found out that I love the way these imperfect faces come out in ways that I don’t much care about the perfectly drawn faces I used to do…

I let the paint dry, the layers and layers of paint.  I sat the book down, open, in front of a fan, and walked away–which is really the hardest part for me.  When no one is calling and needing me…I want to keep going…which may be why I sometimes work on more than one project at a time…but…both journal spreads had reached that point of…now it has to have time to dry and dry thoroughly…and I had to walk away.

I did paint–I painted my fingernails…what can I say?

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Then, once everything was bone dry, three hours later, when my toddler settled down into reading his books (he has to do it himself right now–he doesn’t want you to read to him, well, not me, nor his sister today…), I pulled out my colored pencils and I finished her out.

The message here is Speak.

You can’t really tell because of the watermarks, but speak is written so that the p is sort of stacked on top of the e…because when I started to sit down and write about this piece in my written journal…it struck me that there are two messages to this piece.  The first is Speak…which I won’t get into–but I well understand…

The other message is Seek…I won’t explain what that means here…but this message and what came up in the second half of the process (writing it out) was…satisfying, shall we say?

The second New Moon spread should be posted in the next couple of days.  I won’t work on it again until late tonight (more than likely) and that means it will be wet when I go to bed/will dry overnight…and I will scan it tomorrow.  There is already enough happening on the blog on Wednesdays, so I may post the completed spread Thursday or Friday…sometime before next week…