The Original Documented Life Project – Journal 2015
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Art Challenge: Under paper
Prompt: What lies beneath?
I wasn’t sure what “under paper” was at first. Luckily, I wasn’t the only one. By the time I read the new challenge, there was already a discussion going on about it in the FB group. Under paper is the scrap paper you use to prevent whatever surface you are working on from getting ruined. I usually use a garbage bag for that…whoops. To make this week work for me, I figured I’d broaden the definition of “under paper” to include the paper I clean my stamps off on, the paper I test my pens on, test my doodles on and write my notes about different page ideas and quotes to use.
What does the prompt “what lies beneath?” make you think of?
A lot of people went along the lines of water and fish. Now that I think about it, that makes total sense, but that’s not what came to mind first. The prompt made me think of myself actually. I project the image of the person I want to be. I want to be smart, friendly, strong, well-spoken, kind, confident and successful. Really, all I am is kind…kind I can do well, but the rest? Fake it until you make it, right? Most of my friends, my colleagues and most of my family know me this way. What lies beneath is someone completely different. I second guess myself all the time, I get anxious and stressed over everything, I’m always exhausted, angry, lonely and just generally empty. I don’t like this person. I don’t want to be this person. Around others, I try to be the person I want to be, someone that they would like. Who would like a stressed, exhausted, angry person? No one. I can’t even stand to be in my own skin some days, how can I expect other people to tolerate me?
This is what my spread is about this week. The left is dedicated to the person I want/try to be. I started with gesso on the background and covered that with watercolour pencil crayons. I wanted the page to be colourful and bright. I used a stencil and some white paint to put the swirls in. I stamped a few hearts around the page with gelato pigment. I dipped a brush in water, rubbed it over the gelato stick and then painted the stamp. The hearts aren’t as clean as you would get stamping with ink, but it’s kind of neat looking. I used regular old pencil crayons to draw a cartoon of myself. Her smile is a little bit strained because she is acting a bit. Pretending to be happy and confident when you aren’t can be exhausting after a while, so the smile is a bit forced.
The flowers and circles were made using paper punches from my “under paper”. They were stuck on with gel medium. I outlined the circles with Sharpie paint pen and the flowers with gel pens. Any writing was done with a black Fude pen.
The right page was intended to be darker compared to the right. I used black and silver metallic watercolour pencils to colour on top of a layer of gesso. I used black gesso to stencil some bricks onto the background. I copied the lettering off the internet. I googled graffiti fonts, found one I liked and copied from the font preview. I saved the darker portions of my “under paper” for this side of the spread. Anything with more vibrant colour went to the other side.
The figure was done with regular pencil crayon and outlined with black sharpie. Instead of details, I made her a sort of shadow and filled her with words that described me. She doesn’t really have a face because she doesn’t know what she wants or how to become the girl on the other page. She is lost. The bits of under paper were glued on with gel medium and outlined in Sharpie paint pen.
I smudged white gesso along the bottom of the page with my fingers. I covered some of the under paper punch outs, but I guess that’s ok. I wrote the quote with a black Fude pen. Maybe next time I’ll use a ruler when I write.
“Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many, the intelligence of a few perceive what lies beneath.” ~Phaedus