"Not a Wallflower" mixed media on cradle board, 16" x 20"
My great art adventure began several years ago in a visual journaling class with the ever groovy Caroline C. Brown. If you've not experienced visual journaling, you simply MUST! It is a place to play, to write, to process and to pretend. It is one big experiment which is yours entirely. And it is magical!
I haven't worked in my journal in some time, so I decided on day nineteen to do a journal page BIG! So pulled out a large board (because none of my journals are large enough) and away I went. It began as an experiment in Rothko, with moody colorful blocks of color. Then I decided to draw a cubist horse on top. He was cute, but needed every kind of collage to exaggerate his cubic-ness. And some paint. He wanted paint. And then stenciling...with more paint. After that, he demanded some journaling, which is the white pen throughout the bottom - "Some days I just can't decide what to wear so I wear everything. On those days I am not a wallflower."
This strange pony also features advice columns from the 70's on how to yell at your boss, along with some old time comic book pages and some nature-inspired napkins. In visual journal speak, this stuff is called "ephemera." And it is probably one of the most unpredictable and enjoyable parts of this genre of art! It also gives you a reason to save every interesting piece of paper you come across, so beware!
A photo of this piece will end up in one of my actual journal pages. The horse himself will become the background for another painting, infusing the new piece with his vibrant personality and sense of play. In the beginning, it was truly difficult for me to paint over anything...but now some of my favorite pieces are those I have painted over, knowing the underpainting is another piece entirely, layering the new painting with depth, texture and a bit of malarkey.
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Jen Walls and her imaJENation