Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Art Journal About Love

Yes, this week's Positively Creative journaling prompt is about what you love, and I've got to say, I'm not lovin' my results. I made several silly mistakes doing other things before I even started the exercise, a sign I should recognize as things being off and I should get out of the studio. But it's Sunday and I pressed on. Not much new in the way of technique here, just lightly paint the page (purple with a little white mixed in) and use a sharpie pen to make marks - any marks. "They may not even show after the next step," the directions said, which always makes me wonder why to do it in the first place? (You can see my attitude is not positive nor loving here.)

I've not used the yellow paint since the first exercise and thought it might look good over the purple, especially if a mixed a little white into it to make it paler before scraping it down the page. Well, THAT didn't work too well - it really looks horrid and didn't do much to cover up my marks. Since I'll be journalling when all the painting is done, I think they need to show through much less than this. You can see the blobs of white paint at the top of the spread, ready to be scraped over the yellow in an effort to lighten it while covering up the marks.

That didn't work either and I added two more layers of paint before calling it quits - the purple without any white mixed in, then more white over the top. Bleh bleh bleh. However, I'm remembering other spreads I questioned that actually looked ok as the backdrop for the "creative" stuff on top. Let's hope...

I really don't want to show you this, I'm so disappointed with it. A lot of the problem is with the colors I chose - I never should have paired that particular yellow with this purple, not in this way.  I'm remembering this same frustration back when I was playing with marbling and sun-printing and other painting on fabric. I only seemed to have a few colors that coordinated well with each other, the rest frustrating me at every turn. I'm having the same value struggles that crop up in my textile work. Those hyacinths faded into the background without help from a darkening pen, yet the lettering in black equally struggled to be seen on the page.  I even managed to copy the quotation given in the exercise wrong.

These sorts of setbacks are so demoralizing, making me want to give up on this class and toss it all. I recognize this feeling; it's these kinds of failures in the past that kept the paints in the cupboard for so long. It's realizing I've made these same mistakes before and apparently can't keep myself from repeating them. I know. Some of you are probably rushing right now to leave me a comment that this is not a failure if for no other reason than I have learned something from it. Don't try to make me feel better!!! ;-) Trust me - it is a failure and this spread in my happiness journal does not make me happy. However, it can be a failure AND teach me much. I've already run through a few positives, like sensing my comfort level with approaching paint itself increasing. And finding the teapot to symbolize the filling up in the quotation instead of defaulting to the ubiquitous heart symbol pleased me. But overall, I did not enjoy this process today, not even listing the things I love. Too focused on the thing I did not love before me!


ZenQuilter said...

Oh, Sheila.... I do recognize the frustration, which (for me) comes when I am too focused on the outcome, rather than the process. I really can distance myself from the result if I am just "playing". It is when I need/want to show it to the world that the stakes are higher and it becomes something other than play. I will not rush to your side to tell you that it is not a failure... if you didn't enjoy the process OR the result, then nothing will convince you otherwise. Just move on to the next assignment, but do try to not beat yourself up too much! --Donna

Connie Rose said...

Easy fix ~ just glue something over those pages! Hope you're feeling better about yourself tomorrow. xo

Living to work - working to live said...

There's a you tube video somewhere on how to like your own journal pages. I will see if I can find it for you.
H xxx

Lucia Sasaki said...

HI Sheila, thanks so much for updating.
Well, it happens... failures... I experienced a lot of them myself, with bookbinding and patchwork.
But is is part of learning process, don't worry so much about it!
Thanks again for sharing and showing that creative process has its failure moments, it is very corageous, other people would show only the bright side.
Great week!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Ha! I knew you guys would come to my rescue (whether I needed it or not). Connie - you made me laugh. By the time I saw your comment, I'd already thought about going one better - gluing the pages together!

Donna, even play for me often must legitimize the time spent - nothing to do really about whether I'm sharing it or not - the stakes are strictly personal. Going through these exercises is indeed about process for me, but it would be nice if the results were a little more pleasing. ;-) Not in my nature to shake it off - like it or not my mind's been working on what went wrong and in order for me to really learn from what happened, I need to try out my theories on how to make it work - on another spread that is. That's got me interested again. In the meantime, I got the nasty taste out of my mouth last night by working on another Zentangle in my button notebook - with success, I might add! Ahhh, better.

Lucia, you get it! If it was just a failure and I couldn't figure out why, then it would be wasted time and nothing learned. I decided to share because I know I always feel better about my own struggles when someone I admire shares it's not all easy peasy for them either.

And today's "Great Works Quote" is on creative mistakes:

"Creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."

-- Scott Adams, cartoonist

I feel vindicated! I recognized my mistakes and knew enough to question keeping it. Yeah, I think that spread's gotta go...Hillary, I don't think there's any reason why I have to learn to love THAT one. But the video would be interesting to watch. Thanks!

June said...


If you added a bit of white around your flowers rather than the dark line, it might make them pop out. And I like the tea pot. I think your writing fades into the page a bit, probably because the background is a bit too dark. Use a white white closest to the flower and then let it fade as it gets further from the petals and I think you'll regain some of the magic. I like the colors but they need to be muted somewhat so the lettering and images can be seen. You can always pop some of the background color in some places without making the whole thing an even marbling.

And as everyone says and you admitted, you learn from this kind of frustrating irritating experience. I dislike writing on my "pictures" cause I always make dumb mistakes. And I've never gotten to the point of comfort with it. But I'm going to keep pursuing with the digital stuff, mostly because I admire other people who do it so well. That can also be frustrating, of course, because I can see how far I am short.

Ah well, such is the nature of advice -- it always falls short:-( I loved the idea of painting over or gluing shut the page. That feels good and somehow put a close to the disappointment. But keep on with the work -- you chose it because you knew it would get you out of your comfort zone -- and this is what the other side feels like. Ask me how I know --snort--

Chris said...

I actually liked the background for the pages in your 3rd photo. But I can see where they could be too dark to journal over. I feel your frustration though. I have had that feeling many times with my own work. I don't think I would cover the pages or glue them together. I might have sanded them with a fine grit sandpaper to lighten them and then written over them. But then that might have just uncovered the markings underneath that you did not like. Don't be so hard on yourself.