Thursday, 6 August 2015

7 Directions : Lessons 2 & 3

During the last week, I've been continuing with the 7 Directions art-journalling workshop from Hali Karla. See my post on Lesson 1 here.

Lesson 2 was about colour and movement. This time we worked with paints. I was surprised and a little perturbed to read that we would be working with the same page again. After the first lesson, I considered the page to be, not exactly quite finished, but close. I came to terms with it fairly quickly though, when I realised that it would be a chance to re-work the parts I didn't like. I had a second chance!

Ironically, the part I didn't like the most took a lot of work to paint over, as the texta kept bleeding through and I had to add more and more layers of paint. Then I accidentally painted over a part I did like and the paint wouldn't wipe off enough to see it again (hence the irony). I was a little upset at that, but I tried to let it go and concentrate on what would come next. I started having fun, and even tried some of the same practice in my other art journals. I felt more confident that I could 'draw' with paint.

The Familiar: Combining different colours.
The New: Adding many layers of paint. 'Drawing' with paint. Putting paint on the page in a 'painterly' way. To me that means less controlled, working more in a flowing motion.

Lesson 3 was about letting go, which was interesting as I'd already started to do that in Lesson 2. It involved writing words on the page and adding collage elements. Adding new ideas, moving away from what was, towards what will be. I have to admit, writing words and using collage were techniques I'm already familiar with, but again, adding them in this order was new to me and took a bit of getting used to. I had to decide which parts I was happy to cover up -- to sacrifice, in a way. I must have found that difficult, because afterwards I realised that I'd only chosen small collage pieces, and stuck them around the edges. As I usually do! I wrote a long passage over the part that I'd accidentally covered in the previous lesson, and this felt really cathartic. Like I was making a statement that I was going to start afresh. The passage expresses something private, that I don't want anyone else to see, so in a way I was saying: I'm prepared to add even more layers, to go even further. I tried to choose words, images and colours that are symbolic, not just because they look pretty or relaxing to work with at the time. All of the collage pieces have a meaning.

I'm starting to become more confident that I can improve the parts that I don't like. I can go over them in layers without 'ruining' them. This lesson has also encouraged me to see art less as 'just' a hobby and more as an expression of myself, more the way an artist might. I'm looking forward to the next lesson.

The Familiar: Writing on the page; using collage.
The New: Choosing elements and their location for their symbolism; telling a story.

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