Have you ever wondered where those art journals disappear to when you just can’t find them anywhere? Why, they are drinking tea and telling stories at the art-journal hideaway! I’ve heard the tea there is pretty good actually. I’m trying to get my art journal to give up the location but so far, no luck. I’ll keep trying. If I find out the secret, I’ll be sure to let you know!
This cartoon was inspired by my artist friend and fellow Messian, Riet Poch, whose Season of Nature journal seems to have gone walkabout. Whilst a comic is no consolation for a missing art journal, I do hope it goes a little way towards lightening the situation. And I hope it turns up soon!
In case any of you would like to use this cartoon as a bookplate for your Season of Nature journals, I have created a pdf which you can download and print. There are two versions: one with a black background, as pictured above, and one without (in case you fancy colouring it in!)
I decided this Christmas card would take the form of a comic. I always think of Katie as a space traveller and the character of Galaxy Girl began to form in my mind. I made an accordion book with pieces of 4″ x 6″ watercolour paper stuck together with washi tape. On the front pages I drew the panels of the comic and on the back I painted the longest galaxy in the universe!
Wishing you all a Happy Chanukah, a Merry Christmas, and a nourishing Winter Solstice. May your new year be filled with wonder and adventure and all your dreams come true!
And now, without further ado, I present to you The Adventures of Galaxy Girl!
Brandi Kincaid, guest artist for the Season of Connection at Get Messy, gave us an inspiring tutorial on creating small books to record our everyday moments. And so I decided to make my own little book and document something each day this past week.
From the first day, I found myself relying heavily on my Tombow dual brush pens. They are so quick and easy to use and create amazing results. I came cross these pens during Julia Cusworth’s Pen + Ink class, and discovered yet more of their amazing capabilities while Painting Galaxies with Katie Smith. I’m certain that if I join the #mydayarted daily art movement for 2018 (and I plan to!) I will be using these pens A LOT.
And now, without further ado, here’s a glimpse into the last 7 days:
It was wonderful to celebrate each day by bringing some moment from my experience into my little book. And what a sense of accomplishment to complete an art journal in the space of a week!
This piece* is influenced by the Season of Contrast that’s taking place at Get Messy right now. What happens when two seemingly opposite characters get together to work on something? Can each see and value the other’s qualities?
*Is this a visual poem? A comic or a comics poem? An art journaling spread? A movie poster? No one can say for sure!!!
I went a little wild today layering paints on top of each other. The result is a bit chaotic! I really enjoyed playing around with comics on the page and exploring the relationship between the panels and the surrounding space.
When I started art journaling a few short weeks ago, I felt a little anxious that starting something new would mean leaving comics behind. I’m so excited to discover that the opposite is true: the realm of comics is expanding!
Is your world borrowed
From the man in your life?
The force inside
Comes out of the blue.
* * *
This page began with a wonderful gouache tutorial from Vanessa Oliver-Lloyd as part of the Season of Art 101 over at Get Messy. I didn’t have any gouache on hand so I used acrylics instead. I discovered how immensely enjoyable it is to paint an entire page with black gesso. I also enjoyed writing with a white pencil on a black background – the effect is like chalk on a blackboard.
I had imagined that these women’s faces would look cheerful and upbeat. Instead, when I had finished, I found that they looked serious, like they had something important to say. As they looked directly out at me from the page, they reminded me of a chorus of women in a Greek Tragedy. I looked through several plays but couldn’t find anything that touched on what I wanted to say.
Then I had the idea to use a cut-up poem technique. It’s a very simple technique, often with surprising and powerful results. I found all sorts of interesting words in an old Vogue magazine. I didn’t have a fixed idea of what I was looking for, I just cut out whichever words appealed to me. When I was done, I laid all the words and phrases out on the table and began to group them together until a theme emerged.
It seemed natural to me that the women of the chorus should speak in cartoon dialogue bubbles. I love to bring together the different things that I do and it felt really satisfying to bring both poetry and comics into this art journaling page!
This page began with a wonderful gouache tutorial from @dansmoncrane as part of the Season of Art 101 over at @getmessyartjournal . Seeing all those women’s faces looking directly out at me from the page reminded me of the chorus of women in a Greek Tragedy. I looked through several plays but couldn’t find anything that touched on what I wanted to say. Then I had the idea to use a cut-up poem technique and found all sorts of interesting words in an old Vogue magazine. It felt really satisfying to bring both poetry and comics into this art journaling page.This page began with a wonderful gouache tutorial from @dansmoncrane as part of the Season of Art 101 over at @getmessyartjournal . Seeing all those women’s faces looking directly out at me from the page reminded me of the chorus of women in a Greek Tragedy. I looked through several plays but couldn’t find anything that touched on what I wanted to say. Then I had the idea to use a cut-up poem technique and found all sorts of interesting words in an old Vogue magazine. It felt really satisfying to bring both poetry and comics into this art journaling page.
Today’s comic is one of my favourites from early 2016. Nearly a year later, ‘How To Be An Insurance Salesman’ still cracks me up. And it reminds me that calculating risks is no match for an adventurous spirit and an open heart. This is a great thing to keep in mind as we begin the new year: It’s time to live!
Thank you so much for joining me this year on all sorts of creative explorations. I really appreciate all your visits to Follow The Brush and all your lovely and supportive comments.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year. May 2017 be filled with creativity and joy!
Writers live twice. They go along with their regular life…But there’s another part of them that they have been training. The one that lives everything a second time. That sits down and sees their life again and goes over it. Looks at the texture and details.
I used to love dancing but a nerve injury in my foot has caused my dancing shoes to gather a considerable amount of dust. Then, last night, I went to a beautiful wedding and my husband and I danced together for the first time in years.
I have recently been experimenting with a new form of rehab which is allowing all sorts of things to become possible again. The band was playing and the lights beckoned. I thought why not give it a go? I was surprised to find my feet moving to the beat and that wonderful energy moving me around the dance floor.
Today, drawing this cartoon, I get to enjoy that moment all over again and to celebrate new possibilities.
One of my favourites from Lynda Barry’s Syllabus is the suggestion to draw yourself going about your day as Batman. I had a go at this some time ago and the cartoons still crack me up each time I look at them!
Then I wondered: what other characters could be going about my day? The Queen of the Underworld immediately popped into my mind and it turns out she was the perfect fit.
The Queen of the Underworld has brunch with her BFF
One of the things I love about this exercise is that even if you try to remain faithful to the ordinary activities and moments that occur during the day, they can’t help but become extraordinary (and just a little bit hilarious)!
The Queen of the Underworld brushes her teeth
This is a perfect thing to try on those days that seem unremarkable and uneventful. Eating porridge might seem uninteresting but what if you were an astronaut? A movie director? A shaman? A mermaid? Why not give it a go?
I am diving into comics poetry this Autumn, inspired by Bianca Stone‘s online poetry comics class.
What is a comics poem and how do you go about writing/drawing one? In the happy absence of fixed methods and definitions, I began checking out this mysterious territory.
I started with the text from my recent poem, Fox, writing it out by hand and cutting up all the phrases so that I could see each one separately. Certain phrases jumped out at me, suddenly potent when freed from their neighbours.
I drew 4 panels inspired in part by the original poem, in part by the new arrangements of text that were emerging. The images in turn led to new text choices, this time word by word.
If you compare the 2 poems, they are completely different. Or perhaps the comics poem brought out a layer of meaning from the original?
One thing I find interesting is that when I originally wrote Fox I had some idea of what I wanted to say with the poem. However, with this comics poem, I’m not sure what it’s about! The construction of it was more intuitive. There are more open spaces and possibilities of meaning.