Mixed Media Art. Photography. Inspiration.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Art Journal : Coffee Shop Challenge

I really wanted to post some art today and have several paintings in the works, but since none are ready to be shown, I decided to dig up some older work.  These two pages were done in my art journal several years ago as part of a fun little self-challenge

 I took my journal and a few favorite supplies ; gel medium, an old brush, scissors, and pens to Starbucks and challenged myself to make a spread using only these supplies and whatever I could find in the coffee shop.  I tore up some of their pamphlets and glued them as the backgrounds then collaged over them with their napkins to soften it. I also cut up a paper coffee cup, coffee sleeve, stirrer, straw and a gift card to create both collages, along with the straw wrapper and tea tag for the second page. 

Most of my time was spent on the bird page and I never really liked this second page.  It just seemed incomplete, with too much going on and like things were just floating around, disconnected.  I loved the simplicity of the bird page but didn't know how to fix this page.  I didn't touch it once home, because my challenge was to finish it at the coffee shop using only those supplies. 

 Finally when I looked at it again last week, I decided heck with my challenge, I wanted to fix it so I liked both pages in the spread.  

I needed to simplify the page so I got out my gesso and lightly covered most of the background, to get rid of unnecessary elements.  I then grabbed a pen and scratched lines all over to unify it even more, and added a few more doodles.

 There.  That's better. 

 Now I can finally look at this spread without feeling torn for loving one side and hating the other.  But now I look at the bird page and think...hmmm...just a touch of paint would really make this even better...

  No, no, no...not part of the plan!  Walk away!  It's done!

I remember having a blast working on it in the coffee shop.  It can be very freeing to use limited supplies... and fun!  And I'm not sorry for "cheating" a bit on my little challenge.  I learned a lot from it then, and now, and I think it might be time for another little challenge soon.

Have you done anything fun lately to challenge yourself?


Kristin Dudish said...

Wow - this is fabulous... what a great challenge! Those pages are amazing :)


Mandy said...

gee you are a talent girl!!!!i loved them both even before you retouched....what a great idea for a chellenge for yourself too...love it!!!xxx

Brigitte aka Scrappassie said...

Beautiful pages and what a fun challenge ! I agree with your last words, and don't think you 'cheated'. As you say, you learned a lot from both experiences and it is nice to end up with something you actually like ;-) Otherwise, in my opinion, there's no fun in learning !

Single Stone Studios said...

I love these! The texture is fantastic!

Diane said...

Now what a cool idea!! I can see a whole wall of art like this at Starbuck's using just their "supplies"--I love it!

Jen said...

Challenges are such a cool way of jumpstarting your creative self. I especially love how the work that comes from these challenges are often a surprise- I didn't know I had them in me. If you know what I mean. :)

Kristin said...

This is fabulous!! I LOVE that idea - and it would be fun to do it again to see what you come up with next time - if you ever want to do it "together" let me know - we can pick a date to blog about it and link to each other on the same day - fun!! xoxo

Anonymous said...

Does it count as a challenge to post for the entire week in one day? Cause that was my day's mission...and I did it!

this was a great post! I love your candid honesty! it is so refreshing to set up creative projects for yourself like that...I love the idea of going to a coffee shop and 'doing your thing'....and If I were there...I would have had to stare at you and the process the entire time...so much so, that you would have been like, 'back off lady, get your own journal and keep your hands to yourself!'...lol

the most I have ever done in a coffee shop is type on my laptop...or sketch/draw/write in my journal!
you have made me think outside the box! thanks!

have a great day..see you on the flip side!

ciao bella
creative carmelina

Anonymous said...

Woweee Esther. Gorgeously beautiful! Loving everything about them!

Mmmm Starbucks....

Oh and my glaze has still not arrived wihich is making me rather miffy. :(

JessiVille said...

Wow, I really like what you've done with the journal pages - great challenge!

Cristi Baxter Clothier said...

I adore your "bird" page. What a great idea to challenge yourself with limited supplies. I may have to try that one day!

Joyelle @ An Artful Endeavor said...

I love these images! I once challenged myself to make a mini album out of nothing but office supplies while I was bored at work:)