Art Journal Page: You Have To Be Odd

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This is the last of my pre-prepared pages. I either need to start on decorating a fresh batch of backgrounds or work on my blank pages start to finish each time. It's nice to have a colourful stack of backgrounds to just pick up and start on but in truth I favour the start-from-scratch process.

This isn't the only page I made this weekend but there's no way on earth I'm sharing the other one. It was a hot mess from the get go. I tried some new ideas on it and ran into what could have been a whole heap of trouble. Okay, the background idea worked really well. I tried a Seth Apter style of texturing pages which gave a pleasing result. But then, after reading a Dina Wakeley book, I was inspired to try out a silhouette for the collaged character. Thing is, I decided not to paint over the eyes or red lips with black ink and leave them untouched. An alarming black-face effect stared back at me. Like Al Jolsen in drag. So I hurriedly over compensated by inking the face completely and sticking eyes on top and drawing doodles on the face to make it look and feel arty. In even more horror, I realised at my own hand, I had now created a black-face character with tribal tattoos. What initially looked very wrong, had now turned into something shockingly racist.

Because I still liked the background of the piece and the rest of the figure was okay, I decided one more try and cut out a head which was larger than it's predecessor and glued it over the top. I took a photo beforehand so I have evidence and can remind myself NEVER to try that again. However, even with the new collage, the page wasn't the best. So it sits in my stack, looking quite innocuous and hopefully no-one will ever realise the terrible start it had.

I will try silhouettes again but with more care. 

So when I picked up this page, I wanted to carry on experimenting but I also felt drawn to my comfort zone of clean, minimal design. This time I tried cutting out the facial elements using straight lines before piecing back together. And it worked in its own quirky way. I'll happily try this idea out a bit more in future pages.

So plenty of lessons learnt this weekend, adding to my creative growth. And I have a large stack of square blank pages in which to apply them.

P xx