The Documented Life Project – Week 2

The Documented Life Project – The Journal

The Documented Life Project encourages you to make a record of your everyday life. There are many ways to do this, I went with the art journal. It’s pretty simple. Art to the 5th provides an art challenge and a prompt every week. You get to interpret the prompt however you like.

Week 2
Art Challenge – Gesso
Prompt – “The beginning is always today.” – Mary Shelley

I missed the first week of the DLP journal project. I might go back and do it later. The art challenge was to use book pages though. I don’t know if I can do that. I think I’d have a really hard time dismantling a book. Maybe I can cheat a bit and use a magazine. Anyway, this post is about week two!

This quote made me think of starting over for some reason. Maybe it’s because I often mess up with my goals and have to start over again. This means there are a lot of beginnings in my life. My favourite starting over quote is from Anne of Green Gables. “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.” It gives me hope. If I screw up on a goal today, I can begin again tomorrow with a clean slate. I don’t have to wait for the New Year or even a Monday. There’s no reason why I can’t start tomorrow. I depicted the starting over idea with a sunrise.

2015-01-15 16.11.59The background was done with watered down acrylics. The grass and some of the flower petals are made with washi tape. The rest of the flower petals are done with Neocolour II watercolour crayons. The details are done with gel pens and the writing is in an ebony pencil crayon.

Gesso is something I’ve never used before. It’s basically a primer that you put on the page before you paint. It gives the page “tooth” (texture) and prevents the paint from being absorbed by the porous paper. When I started this page, I didn’t have any gesso. I wasn’t going to let that stop me from participating though, so I started my page. I ended up buying white gesso half way through the page, so I used it as the centers for the flowers.

2015-01-15 16.12.13

Journal52 – Weeks 1 and 2

Journal52 is an art journal workshop whose aim is to get you doing art all year long. You get a new prompt every week and you get a creative license to to do with it as you will.

Week 1, Prompt: Pathways

I interpreted this to mean the path I was on. Since I gave up on life in September, I’ve been re-evaluating the path I am currently on. I’m feeling really trapped by my Ph.D. I’m not making progress and if this is the way things are going to keep going, then I need to get out. I don’t want to give up on it, but you don’t stay on a sinking ship. I’m not really sure what to do. If I did decide to leave, then what would I do? There are so many options and so few, all at the same time. That probably doesn’t make any sense to you, but that’s how it feels right now. I wanted this page to reflect the chaos my life is in right now and how I feel like I’m being pulled in all different directions. I think the variety of colours and the busy-ness of it do that.

2015-01-15 16.13.03Background in watercolour, doodles in watercolour pencil crayon and Sharpie, writing in gel pen.

Week 2, Prompt: Just Be

“Just Be” makes me think of all the things you can be. The possibilities are endless, it just depends on you and what you want for yourself. That’s why I chose to paint a shooting star with the words “Reach for the stars”. Just being what you want is never that simple though, is it? You start thinking about what other people want you to be, what you think you should be and what society says “perfect” should be. At least, that’s my line of thinking….I end up forgetting what I want to be. So maybe, “Just Be” should also be something simpler, like just existing. Forget what everyone else wants, forget the “shoulds”, forget society. “Just Be” means you can be anything, but you don’t have to be everything. Sometimes it’s ok to just exist.

2015-01-15 16.12.37 2015-01-15 16.12.46This page was done with acrylics. Some of the background stars are drawn with a Sharpie paint pen. I smudged gesso over the starry background to write on top of it with a pilot black pen (which smudges!!).

Q is for Quotes

I like quotes, especially the inspirational ones. They lift me up when I am feeling down. Some of them mention facts of life that are so simple and so true that they are usually overlooked. For example “If you are tired of starting over, stop giving up!” Well, duh! I don’t know who said it, but they are smart. It’s a truth that we don’t often think about.

I can also appreciate negative quotes sometimes. I usually struggle to put how I am feeling into words. In this case I rely on quotes or even better, picture quotes to illustrate what is going on in my head.

I’m going to post some of my favourite quotes that describe depression or inspire hope and motivation. I usually try to draw my own pictures to go with the quotes. If you’ve been following my blog, you may recognize some of the cartoons. I’ll keep the negative quotes to the end, so if you don’t want to see them, you can just skip them.


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