Friday, 19 February 2016

Show Your Face on Friday with Kim Dellow.

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven, followers and friends. I'm going to be posting twice in one day today! This morning it's Kim Dellow's wonderful link up 'Show Your Face on Friday' and this evening is a secret! 
If you haven't done so yet, please do take a look at Kim's 'Show Your Face' blog here. If you're an experienced face artist, or if you just want to give faces a try, Kim is there to provide encouragement and inspiration. 'The Show Your Face'' community is a great place to share any faces you've been sketching, and there are some themes coming up in the next few months, which should encourage you to grab a pencil and paper and start making faces!
This week I have a journal spread to share. As you probably know, I'm about to start a class with the very talented and imaginative Robin Laws called 'The Storyteller's Art'. As preparation for the class, I've been exploring different ideas in an altered art book I'm using as a journal. Sometimes I have a basic idea of what I want to create and - although the piece may go through many changes during the process of creation - I do have a vague notion of where I think I'm headed. This time I just allowed a story and faces to come out of the gessoed pages. I had no idea at all of where my magpie imagination would take me; but as I played around with paint, ideas came to me!
It's difficult to see now, but I began with a gessoed page, which I covered with strips of Tim Holtz tissue with dictionary text, butterfly wings and musical notes along with some pages torn from a book of Shakespeare sonnets. Most of this has disappeared under layers and layers of paint, stamping, brayering and stencils. It was a cold day, but bright and sunny and the winter colours were ethereal as the day slipped into evening. I think somehow those colours found their way onto the page. When my background was ready, I splodged what was roughly a head and shoulders on each page - one profile and one full face.
As I worked within and around these shapes with a large, stiff brush and different coloured acrylics, pencils and water colours, a face emerged from the winter twilight.
 Once the girl emerging from these pages was sure of her dreams, but somewhere along the way she mislaid them. This is the story of how she went out on a winter's evening to find those lost dreams. It was cold and difficult to spy her dreams, which were so well camouflaged they seemed to dissolve into the evening mist. My magpie friend tried to help her find them reflected in dew drops or tangled with skeleton leaves and roots in the twilight.
If you click on the pictures, you might be able to see some of the background and the texture on the pages. I realized as I worked that I have been thinking a great deal about my daughter lately. Layers of paint became thoughts and hopes for her future.
The tangle of the forest and the misty world beyond the curtains seems to be creeping inside until it's difficult to distinguish which is which!
By the time this page was finished, something in the expression of the face I had created changed from bewildered to determined. Maybe some of the old dreams were becoming clearer, or perhaps she had made a decision to pursue new ones. I didn't know this at the time I was creating these pages, but my daughter told me the day after they were finished of her plans for a new direction. Rather like the girl on my journal pages. I think that she might just be stepping out of the twilight into a brighter, clearer morning. As the Winter comes nearer to an end and we all look forward to Spring, I wish you all warm, bright and creative days in the months ahead. Thank You so much for stopping by today.


  1. Wonderful Julie Ann!! The beautiful girl who wait for the spring, and pretty Magpie. I could imagine how you are engrossed this pages. xx

  2. She is just beautiful Julie Ann!
    Yes, springtime around the corner...hurry please!

  3. Wow these are gorgeous. I love the rich colors and the texture. Thanks for sharing

  4. Wow Julie Ann! Such fabulous layers and a gorgeous face, I can see how you became caught up in the making of this! Good Luck to your daughter with her new direction! Hugs, Chrisx

  5. Love your pages. Lovely work. Great story too.

  6. I love the story your beautiful portraits tell. I am especially in love with the second one, where she has the sweet magpie advising her. The delicately sculpted features are flawless. Blessings, my friend!

  7. So gorgeous.... Love the haziness and atmosphere of this spread. Beautiful work!

  8. You are immersed already and we haven't even begun. Lovely and dark and deep. xox

  9. Wonderful layers with a mystic air of longing! Love the sweet birdie too! Very cool!!

    Hugs Giggles

  10. I love that little magpie on her shoulder!

  11. Your journal pages are so incredibly beautiful and fragile and rich dear Julie Ann ♥♥♥ The Magpie speaks to me too!
    Spring will indeed bring transformation...wishing your daughter all the best.
    That class does sound really special.
    I am excited to see what you'll bring from it.


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