Season of Ubuntu (part 2)

One of the things I love about Get Messy is the way in which we spend an entire season exploring a single theme. Having several weeks to work with the same subject allows for different layers to come to the surface. The last two weeks of the Season of Ubuntu have been full of interesting connections and associations on the theme of community and shared humanity.

Put on your thinking hat — many of the pages in my tiny journal are inspired by the wonderful Messy Marks class with Fox + Hazel. Playing around with lines got me thinking about mathematical formulas and the power of creative leaps of thought.

The trees are my people — I don’t know about you but being amongst trees helps me feel more human. For this page, it was fun to turn my journal lengthways. I used a photograph of a tall tree as my base and drew marks and lines on top of it to create an illustrated feel. I love how the marks interact with the photo which is still partially visible.

Read and understand — this page was inspired by Sarah Rondon’s  wonderful diptych tutorial combined with exploring shapes in the Messy Marks class! Reading books and articles is one of the ways I open up my vision of the world and the possible ways in which humanity can evolve, both now and in the future.

Gathering – these figures are ancient and they are also now.
The real reason I got hold of some Neocolor I crayons is because I wanted to play around with them like we used to do as kids: covering the background with blocks of colour, adding a second layer of solid black, then scraping away the black to reveal the colours underneath. There is nothing quite so satisfying!

Don’t try and make sense of it all – one of the things I love about making art is that it gives me the space to be with whatever is going on without having to figure anything out. Even without knowing exactly what is going on, the act of making marks on the page somehow helps things to shift a little bit.

“A book of matches.
A book of fire.
A book of all the things that burn.”

This is a quote from a poem I wrote several years ago. Seeing as I made this journal out of a box of Cooks Matches, I just had to include it! I made the background by scribbling with a Posca paint pen, covering with Neocolor II crayons and then wetting with a water brush. I love how the effect looks like flames, especially on the right:

Keep looking – I used these images to make monoprints for the October Rituals class. When I was done, I didn’t want to throw them away. I love how they look covered with a layer of paint!

We need the poets – another page made from the “scrap” paper after my monoprinting session. This was the sheet of paper I used to roll the excess paint off my roller. Layer upon later built up, making the surface quite textured. I had just been looking at the poems of Andrea Gibson and thinking how crucial it is that we have poets in the world.

“My mouth is a fire escape.
The words coming out
don’t care that they are naked.
There is something burning in there.”
― Andrea Gibson, The Madness Vase

The journey is easier when we take it together — I made this page on a crisp Sunday morning back at my favourite place to make art away from home: The Doodle Cafe.

It feels good to make art in a public place. One of the things I love the most is when adults and kids start conversations with me about creativity and show me pictures of some of the art they have made. This makes my heart so glad!

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