I always have a problem with the projects that tell you to make something meaningful to you. That is a sure-fire way to get my inner cynic going and, at the same time, set me into full-on over-thinking mode. Meaning tends to come into a piece as I am making it; the idea of starting with the intention of something being a reflection of who I am is far too daunting and so I tend to rebel and procrastinate. But my intention is to complete all these lessons in some way — I know if I abandon one, it will be too easy to let more slip — so I came up with a plan that would work for me.
I quickly rejected the idea of doing the three-dimensional version of this project with some of the many small boxes I have accumulated because they will come in useful at some point. Mainly because I have very little display space in the house and I really should be looking to give away or sell some of the things that are already taking up that precious space.
So, back to the art journal. I created a random layout of boxes and “lined” them with washi tape, dictionary pages and some pictures taken from the National Trust book and a furniture catalogue. I gave everything a thin coat of a mix of white and clear gesso to make it more subtle and then painted the box outlines black. A smudged charcoal outline really helps to fix the boxes on the page.
Then I raided my stash of stickers (which are very rarely used), found some leaves and feathers and some rub-ons, and set to filling the boxes.
And weirdly, I do actually like the result. It does a reasonable job of representing my love of nature, art and words. There are a couple of references to London, my adopted home. And the three hearts are for my close family. Most importantly it appeals to me visually.