DLP5: What Lies Beneath?

The Original Documented Life Project – Journal 2015
For more information and inspiration visit Art to the 5th

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.

2015-02-17 18.39.54

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.

2015-02-17 18.40.212015-02-17 18.39.53

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.

2015-02-17 18.40.41

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.

2015-02-17 18.40.502015-02-17 18.40.08

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

2015-02-17 18.39.48

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. trentpmcd
    Feb 24, 2015 @ 11:27:30

    I only know the you that you choose to show on your blog, but the one thing I know you are, that is impossible to fake, is that you are talented. Even with the darkness and self-hate, I love the drawing as a whole. Of course I can also assume many things from the very small amount I know. Oh, little things like you don’t become a doctorate candidate by being stupid or lazy. But you know those things. Even without an alphabet soup full of diagnoses we all have some of those self-doubts underneath and yet few of us, even with our smaller burdens, are brave enough to expose them for everyone’s eye to see. So beyond the artistic side of the drawing, I very much appreciate you putting it up for us to look at.


    • somberscribbler
      Feb 24, 2015 @ 16:59:09

      Thank you for your kind words. My own twisted logic seems to get the better of me a lot of the time. When going through the worst times, I always wished I knew someone else who felt the way I did, saw them living with it, so I talk about it, just in case there is someone out there who wishes the same.


  2. Mental Mama
    Feb 24, 2015 @ 20:06:15

    Yes, fake it til you make it – words we live by. And oh how well I can relate to not wanting to be in your own skin. We are kindred spirits indeed. *hugs*


  3. Carrie Lynn
    Feb 25, 2015 @ 06:09:18

    I love how you did your page and the thought that you give to make this is just amazing. I admire your boldness with this spread and the underlying struggle you went through doing it.


  4. artsychicksw
    Feb 28, 2015 @ 16:40:11

    Hello, somberscribbler. I first want to thank you for following my blog “thecreativesoulsara”. Wish a was a better blogger, especially about how often I post. It’s a goal, anyway.
    I am also participating in the DLP this year…and loving it! What I wanted to say to you is this: I see so much of the younger me in you (with what you’ve shared here). I remember a page in an old art therapy journal (from the mid 90s) where I drew the me I showed to the world and then the true me inside. It was very similar to yours, especially the real me. I was diagnosed w/ depression for the first time in 1994, but wasn’t really treated for it until 1996. It’s been a struggle over the years at times, but I am mostly much better. Every year or two or so I have to have my meds changed because they stop working and I get terribly depressed. But, there is hope…that’s what I want you to know. That your life can and will get better. Just keep working on it, keep growing, keep getting to know you and what you want. I am a huge proponent of therapy…I’m a therapist myself, but unable to work due to chronic pain. Therapy did so much for me! I was able to make so much growth and it gave me a great start to continuing to ‘become’ and grow. Creating is a huge part of helping me with depression, personal growth and chronic pain. It looks like drawing helps you to express yourself and perhaps also figure some things out, like this week’s DLP shows.
    For my “what lies beneath” I painted a huge wing and underneath it put all the things/people in my life that give me the lift to fly. I so appreciated taking the time to focus on this and express my gratitude about it. Living with gratitude is one of the things that keeps me going and growing.
    I hope to get to know you better as we read each other’s blogs and comment.
    Peace to your heart, Sara


  5. Samantha Jane
    Mar 09, 2015 @ 14:44:35

    wow, very powerful.


Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow Somber Scribbler on WordPress.com


%d bloggers like this: