Thinking about what I would like to create next, I've decided that I would like to put me into my artwork. Yet I don't want it to be Frida Kahlo-like. I don't want my work to be portraits of me, just the essence of me. Like my Songbird Silhouette Series - the essence of the birds. Thinking about it further, I would like to represent me as a woman. (Yes, I am a woman, but I mean this in a generic yet inclusive way.) As such it would be a statement about women in the garden. (An artist statement for this will come at a future date. It will tie in with my other blog, Hortus Conclusus, The Enclosed Garden.) I plan to use other women as models in addition to myself. Not having formal training in drawing or painting the human figure, this is going to be a challenge. In addition, I want to configure a layout that will be similar to those of ancient illuminated manuscripts, in combination with the style of Alphonse Mucha's work. I've loved both these looks for many years.
|Times of Day - Alphonse Mucha|
I have also been thinking about me - who I am, who I was, who I am becoming. Almost 53 years of age, I am swiftly approaching menopause and I can understand why they used to call it the "change of life". (I haven't heard that phrase in quite a long time.) Many changes besides the physical go on at this stage in one's life. For men, they call it mid-life crisis. The deciding how to handle the future in light of these changes is what all these thoughts are about. Something perfect to journal about!
So I began a few weeks ago by gathering resources such as images from magazines and catalogs along with ephemera of various sorts. Last month I purchased the Autumn 2013 Art Journaling magazine by Somerset Studio. In it there is an article by Sandra Skies Ludwig entitled, My Journey into Gluebooks. In the article Sandra explains that a glue book is an art journal in which everything is glued down. Pages of collage basically. Well I can do that! This was the perfect idea for what I wanted to do. I wanted to arrange the clippings of women and gardens and arches and wrought iron gates and flowers that I have been saving from various magazine subscriptions over many years, into something that told a story of some kind and which would serve as a "springboard" for my artwork. Also in this issue is an article by Kelly T.M. Kilmer entitled, Finding My Way. She uses cut outs of women from magazines and catalogs as well. This was confirmation to me that this is the project I need to be working on at this time. I read somewhere, maybe in one of these articles, that this journal is the place to use all those snippets of paper I have been saving for "some day". I won't use magazine images in collages that I would sell to avoid any copyright infringement issues. But pasting them into a journal that is for my personal use is perfectly okay.
I began by selecting a book to alter rather than using a blank journal. I chose a book that had some images in it that I wanted to use and that was of a size suitable to this project. I removed several pages to compensate for the expansion that would occur as I added elements. Using just a glue stick to begin, I placed one image of a woman per two page spread. Next I added garden images. After that, blank paper to cover up the original words on the page that would also provide space for me to write. Washi tape is being used as a decorative border on some of the pages. Here are a few pages, still not 100% complete, but getting there.