mixed media

Artful Academy journal – April

A rainbow infinity symbol on a black background with the word STRENGTH in one of the centre holes.

Series: Artful Academy 2020 journal #5

Prompts that are abstract concepts rarely provoke an instant idea for me; I either go blank or completely overthink it. The only thing I can practically do is go away, do something else, and let my brain ponder it in the background… To be fair, I do that with a lot of the non-abstract prompts too. And most other projects benefit from a bit of distance at some point in the process. Eventually, I came up with a concept that responded to the prompt “strength” and was meaningful to me, and then I could settle in to the practical creative part.

Close-up of the crackle paste edging on the red part of the infinity symbol.

I like this technique, it’s completely backwards to how I normally work: rather than define a shape and colour it in, for this you create colour across the background (using stencils for texture) and then reveal the shape by painting over the colour you don’t want to see. Akin to revealing the statue inside the block of stone, only in two dimensions.

Close-up of the crackle paste edging on the yellow part of the infinity symbol.

I added more detail with the white “tornado” stencil over the colour and the “mini triangle sunburst” around the edges of the infinity symbol. I even added some journalling around the outside, and then my aversion to leaving personal thoughts on show kicked in and I covered them with the crackle paste. That looked a bit too stark white, so I toned it down with some Art Alchemy waxes.

Close-up of the top half of the infinity symbol with the word "STRENGTH" in the middle.

I completed it by writing the prompt word and adding some outlining in black and white. And then created my matching collage page.

The matching collage page: black edging with a pastel paper rainbow area in the centre.

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