Inspired by Edith Holden’s book…The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady
This book holds a special place in my heart since it belonged to my mother. She died in 1983 of cancer and honestly anything that I have of hers is special to me. Whether it is a teapot, china dishes, a wooden butter mold from the farm where she grew up, hand written notes and cards, or this lovely book, these physical treasures bring me joy. They are forever keepers. On page 63 and 64 Edith shares a poem and watercolor paintings of botanicals in bloom during the month of May. The wildlife surrounding her home in Olton, Warwickshire provided the inspiration for everything in her book. Edith had a deep love of nature and her drawings are done with a keen eye for detail, and a naturalists view of the world. I used her drawings of Wild Arum and Common Garlic as inspiration for my abstract art journal page.
Whenever there is leftover paint on my palette, I always find a place to use it on a blank art journal page. This eliminates the white page syndrome and gives me a springboard for developing an art journal page. The first layers were teal, green and yellow paint scraped onto the page with a used gift card. I also made a lino-carved stamp and had applied it to tissue as an experiment. The colors worked perfectly so using matte medium I adhered the stamped tissue to the page. This had been in my art journal for quite awhile. Just before Mother’s Day I was reading The Country Diary and enjoying Edith’s poetry, musings and drawings about May. I opened my art journal to find a page for creating what I call an “abstract botanical”, focusing on the negative spaces, and came up with this one. Using a pencil I drew in botanical shapes, picked up my sharpie black marker and went to work.
By layering the botanicals and overlapping the printed tissue, something unique started to emerge. Keep in mind, this is a what-if exercise, a time for discovery, and experimenting with a new technique. In preparing for a new class, and auditioning ideas, I am honing in on this idea. Abstract Botanicals is going to be the theme, and exploring negative space. It is challenging to use the negative space. I found myself bobbing between the positive and negative areas, and that’s when it dawned on me how useful this technique can be for developing the right brain.
Here is the finished page and the botanical images I used. Colored pencils darkened the green and yellow values. A trusty black Sharpie, a very simple tool, in a fine point and chisel point highlighted the negative space. This is just a start. I hope to pursue this and refine the technique so I can bring it to you in class at Bemis.
A black and white image is always a good tool for seeing the values without color. And besides, I love black and white photography. I hope you enjoyed stopping by. As always, thanks for taking the time to read my blog and catch up on what’s happening in my studio.