• Kaaren Poole

Where Am I? In a Bit of a Pickle!

A phrase has been running through my mind lately – ‘quiet mind, peaceful heart’ – and I thought it would be a good theme for an art journal spread. So, I began considering what type of animal would be the star. At first, I thought hare, then mouse, then a few others before I finally settled on deer. So I picked up my pencil and made a start.



The first step was the drawing. Then I got a bit confused about all the lines for the tree branches, so I filled them with loosely spaced pencil lines. I set the piece aside overnight and gave it more thought.


Often, I begin with a first layer of collage, and that seemed like a good safe start here. So, thinking forest scenes would be appropriate, I got out my box of clippings which I've classified as background images, looked through them, picked some out, and got started.



(I have so so so many clippings that I eventually had to come up with a way to store them that would make it easier for me to find what I needed. So, I actually have several boxes, each storing a category of clippings and collage papers: background images, focal images, florals, patterns and textures neutral, patterns and textures warm and patterns and textures cool.)


After much assessment and changing of mind, I finally came up with this:



I liked the result. It reminded me of stained glass, with the tree branches functioning as the leading. Also, I really liked the value contrast and the pattern of the various values.

But then the next morning I saw a problem. Yes, the value contrast was good. But it was backwards!


The collage was so dark that if I were to add much color to the deer, she'd be in danger of disappearing into the background. And what about the trees? Shouldn't they be darker, in which case they would disappear too? Or were they OK light?


One solution would be to lighten the background, but then I'd lose much of the imagery there that I really liked.


Another possibility would be to leave the background dark and add the slightest bit of color to the deer and leave the branches as they are.


I liked it as is, but I knew it wasn't finished. (Or maybe it nearly is and I just add more interest to the background - marks and such - and a little color to the deer.) This takes some mulling over. I'm attached to the idea of a pale deer, but we'll just have to see what happens.

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