For the love of doodling

I mentioned recently that I was interested in investigating the idea of art journalling.  Having written my thoughts down in the conventional manner over many years I was surprised to find the thought of recording my thoughts using images, colours and mixed media was intriguing and even more than that – exciting.  Not the excitement we experience when we are a bit older but the kind of excitement we experience when we are a child: unrestrained and unstoppable.

It appealled to me as a bridge between my bouts of creativity, and also to fuel inspiration.  As a mum to a delightful daughter, I don’t always have the luxury of sitting down for hours at a time to delve into my imagination to create for Dollies Daydream.  I was finding this increasingly frustrating but art journalling seemed to be a fantastic solution – it was childs play.

A selection of materials…yes I admit some may have been ‘liberated’ from my daughters stash! 

So over the past week or so I have found myself cutting and sticking, crayoning and painting and (much to the annoyance of my child) layering colours that “just don’t go together Mummy”.  Instead of feeling irritated by breaking the rules I had created in my head about what things should look like, I felt liberated.  I felt empowered.   I looked up at the clock and time had whizzed by.

I drew houses like I used to when I was small – no perspective, no thought on subtle colour and with swirly lines of smoke coming out of the chimney – all the time with a huge smile on my face.

I cut images out of old magazines and went crazy with the glitter glue and stamps. 
Not only was it a great activity I could share with Bella – comparing art work and bonding over the paintbrushes but it was therapeutic.  I wasn’t thinking about what would look good, what others would approve of or what I thought the final product would look like.  
Don’t get me wrong, its always a temptation to compare my work to other art journals on the web and in books but I guess feeling secure in your own work is part of the process.  I have walked away from each page, each work of art, happy, collecting a bit more of the long lost child in me.  
I started this process hoping to find inspiration but I realise now that that is a bonus not the goal.  I wonder what else I will rediscover from my childhood next…. x

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Fairy inspired work

Well, a few weeks ago, I began to play around with ideas inspired by the natural world, elementals and fairy world.  I wanted to bring a bit of magic into my work and while it has been a labour of love and not always plain sailing, I have created my first prototype.

I began with a woodland colourscheme – greens and browns and started by binding the haircomb with double satin deep green ribbon.

The comb is neat and in truth I could have left it unbound but I just felt it would finish the comb off and would help hide the stitching when I attached the embellishment.

I wanted to create something inspired by the magic of childhood, that evokes images of fairies and elementals.  I wanted to incorporate different materials found in the natural world – I began thinking about leaves, feathers, bone, wood….anything you would imagine being used as fairy clothing and jewelry 🙂

During my initial sketches I found that the deep colours and crisp, distinctive shape of the ivy leaf kept featuring heavily in my ideas.  With the texture and detail provided by hand stitching and glass beading, I wanted these leaves to be the main feature of the first project piece.

After a rummage in my box of treasures, I found other beads that would compliment the piece bringing in wood and the white beads reminding me of mistletoe berries. 

Despite my best sketches, I found that once I sat down with my ideas, the materials determined the finished piece and took on a life of their own.  As they always do, materials I picked up on a whim and have sat at the back of a drawer or bottom of a box have come into their own and shown me the reason I bought them!

The final thing to do was to cover the stitching on the back and mount it onto the comb. 

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Oh and take some pretty photos to allow it to make its public debut.  Work is now in motion to create other ideas for this collection including hairslides and grips so watch this space….