Did a Lifebook warm-up….finally

I have mentioned before that I bought the Lifebook classes, against my better judgement after reading if you don’t like portraits this may not be for you. On one level I thought I should push myself to try something I am not a fan of and am not good at. I decided at the very last minute of the “discount” period (althought I found later that if I had used my American credit card to buy it it would have been cheaper still – why is THAT?) so not really in the best place for making a rational decision. And pretty soon after the classes flowing I was totally Yeah. Nah. It was a huge mistake and next year I will be sure to look at Wanderlust, which is, I think, more art journal/abstract art focused and less airy fairy. I am very much NOT into the mystical/goddess/self-love (that sounds so … not what they mean when they say it LOL!) crap that I find it hard to take the whole thing seriously. On the plus side, the organizer, Tam, does art that I admire. The Quirky Bird I did from her taster session is not brilliant but it is the first of this type of thing I have done that I actually liked.

I wasn’t keen on totally wasting the money for the class, so I opened up the warm-up session and had a go. I was feeling like I was very out of practice with the whole art journaling thing anyway, so it has been a hard slog. To begin with, the colours are the ones that EVERYONE seems to be fixated on (turquoise, magenta and another) maybe because they are good ones, but I never want to just follow a class that closely. So it’s a pain – if the class uses really great colours, my nature makes me rebel and use “other” colours that maybe don’t work as well IYKWIM. So first, I did the collage bit:

and I wanted to get that sort of warm green from the book page of herbs, so I grabbed some black and yellow. What was I thinking?

I kinda got that muddy green-y olive-y colour and felt like I needed to get some light back in there. Adding the gesso in the next step helped a bit:

and the stenciling of the lighter, brighter yellows was good too. I love that one stencil, which is actually one from a set designed for rock painting.

I kinda think at this point it might have been a good place to stop but I wanted to add a nice bright pop of colour so thinking on the Mixed Media Emporium challenge and contrasting colours, I went with a violet. I used a technique I have done before, of painting on to a plastic bag and tapping colour onto the page, then using the little kids PlayDoh cutting wheel to get some very fine lines onto the page by running it over the back of the bag, transferring only a line of the nearly dry paint

From here I have NO IDEA where to go. The original page uses butterflies – and yeah, even I have done them to death, so I need to find another image I am happy with, as well as a quote/word that communicates … something that I want to say about the whole process/class.

At the end of the day, my stuff, when I try to follow a class, always ends up being way more grungy and chaotic than either the class depicts or I intend.

We are into something like week 14 (although that includes a tone of “bonus” or smaller lessons, so there are 25+ classes) and there are only 2 or 3 more that I actually think I might try. I sound petulant, and I am in no way disparaging the art shown. Some of it is truly stunning, even if it might not be to my own personal taste. I am more critical of my own thought and decision-making processes that anything else. I am now going to do what I should have done before buying the class – take a moment to breathe before carrying on and moving forward, unthinkingly.