Week 3 in Wanderlust wasn’t really a lesson, but a create-a-long. (That is like a sing-a-long for the creative types). The artist was leading us down a path of creativity, where we were constantly adding things and then covering them up hoping to free ourselves and create magic. I was an exercise I struggled with in so many ways.
One of the reasons I struggled was the this lesson occurred during the same time a close co-worker committed suicide. I wasn’t finding magic in anything as I struggled to find my new normal after the loss.
Another of the reasons is that the leader of this exercise, continually covered up work completely, not sharing information or tips as why to do this. Are we covering up everything because nothing that you have put down speaks to you or seems to work? Are we continually layering and covering things up because experience tells me that it takes five or six layers before a person drops preconceived notions and starts freeing up their mind? No hints on why we want to try a paper layer or do some hand-drawn pen work only to cover it all up. I watch and watched my video lesson again hoping to find what I was missing.
I was frustrated and the exercise seemed to be one of futility. Had I not been working in my art journal and backed it up to a completed page I would have quit. I would have removed it from my journey. Instead I plugged along layer after layer. Watching my surface become more and more grungy. Not in a good artsy sort of way, but a crappy kindergarten sort of way. The textures that we created and covered up had nothing that they contributed to the look or feel of the work. I learned that my red paint once put on the surface would continue layers later to migrate to the top and everything would have pink cast to it.
I kept on plugging away and finally migrated back to my original direction nine layers later. I wanted to say goodbye to my friend. I had started with angle wings and I finished with them.
I was pulling in other things such as butterflies as well. I wasn’t exactly sure. I am still uncertain why, but they worked and so I included them. I included loose feathers, fallen from the angels in my life as they spouted their wings.
Finally it all came together not only homage to my most recently lost friend, but other friends and family who had already gone ahead. Here is the final spread, with close-ups of each page showing some of the detail.