This is an art journal spread called “Chain of Generations.” I made this to express how decorative arts and crafts have connected women through generations. I feel I am part of that long chain, one foot in crafting and another in creating art.
From an Accidental Start to an Intentional Theme
The making of the art journal spread began almost accidentally. I had doodled a border on the right page a long time ago. Then many months later, I had quickly drawn a woman from 1920s and glued it beside the doodles.
A few weeks ago, I saw wonderful photos of Ukrainian folk art (pinned some to my Pinterest board Fantastic Folk Art). I got an idea of women connected with flying ribbons. I made a quick sketch with a pencil and then added more details with a drawing pen. I also got started with the coloring, but finishing felt too much work back then.
This happens to me often: I begin with one idea and end with another sometime later. I think it’s one of the best things in creating art and especially in creating art journal pages. When there are no fixations, surprising connections can happen. Like here, the women on the right are from different eras: Rococo and 1920s, just perfect to tell the story of how folk art and fashion and their timeless connection.
Inspiration from Atmosphere
While coloring the spread, I thought how I have always felt disconnected with folk art of my country Finland. Instead, I have always loved Russian and other Slavic countries’ approach to it. Finnish folk art feels very plain and unimaginative to me. Before the success in IT and education, Finland was a poor country. Many who come to Finland are surprised how few historic buildings there are and how modest the life seems to have been.
I have been born in Eastern Finland, near the Russian border, but visited Russia only three years ago. The grand atmosphere of the big churches in St. Petersburg made a big impact on me. The mosaics at Church of the Savior on Blood (yes, all the “paintings” are made from tiny mosaic pieces) lighted by the candles inspired my coloring.
The atmosphere in these kinds of old, precious buildings is amazing. As the theme of the spread was not only practical but also spiritual, an atmosphere of an old church felt a good choice to bring in.
Coloring “The Air”
Imagine that I had colored the spread so that I had stayed inside the outlines only. The page would have been much flatter, contained much less atmosphere and emotion. When I color, I also try to color “the air”. I try to think not only about the light but also how the air feels on the face and how it interacts with the light.
Things don’t have only one color when they are exposed to light. When coloring, think about the air and the lights flowing through space. Color over the outlines and show those less obvious, but so essential streams!
Buy the E-Book – Coloring Freely!
Coloring doesn’t only have to be calming. It can be expressive and inspirational. Purchase my e-book Coloring Freely to learn more about coloring freely with colored pencils. The book can be used with any coloring page or with any blank page. Buy now!