Journaling with Senses - DAY 1: Sight


Hello again! It's the third week of the month and that means another set of posts for the Seth Apter Creative Team. As before, I'm starting today on Wednesday and continuing through Thursday to Friday. You can find Seth Apter's site here (link) and more about the Creative team here (link). I've included a list of products to the end of the post with links to Seth's own store.

This time I had two sources of inspiration or jumping off points to my projects - senses and Finland. In the course of the three posts I'm creating a piece inspired by a visual, an aural and an olfactory source. And as I'm hoping to keep a Facebook live this coming Sunday where I take you to a small tour around Helsinki, the other source for the pages is pieces connected to Finland. Hoping because of the weather - if it's raining cats and dogs, I'll postpone. But I'll keep you posted! 

In this first post I go with maybe the easiest sense - sight. I chose one of my favorite Finnish painters as my source of inspiration, Helene Schjerfbeck. If you want to learn more about her, here's a link to her Wikipedia post (link). If you on the other hand want more inspiration from her, here's a couple of links to older blog posts about an online workshop with Artful Academy, where I used her art as my inspiration source as well and tried to capture her style. First a portrait version (link) and a still-life version (link).

I mention in the video that I'll share links to the paintings so you can see my source. First, here's a link to WikiArt where you can see some of Helene Schjerfbeck's works (link) to see her overall style. I used mainly four works as my inspiration - links in the following go to different articles or Finnish National Gallery. Let me open up my inspiration a little.

"Female Profile", 1884 (link) is an early piece by Schjerfbeck. She was born 1862 and started at Finnish Art Society School of Drawing at 1873, at the age of 11. The 1884 painting is closer to the French-influenced realism than her later works, but I'm drawn to those textural brush strokes in the background. I tried to capture some of that texture in my paint work as well. Oh, by the way, you need to scroll down the Finnish page to see the piece - the link takes you to a bulletin about the two paintings by Schjerfeck in the collection of Ostrobothnian Museum travelling to London for exhibition. 

The style in "Self-Portrait", 1912 (link) is totally different. To me, this is true Schjerfbeck. Plain areas of color, stylized, minimalistic and yet so strong in emotion and expression. The cool grey and yellow ochre colors in the background inspired me to pick the blue and golden beige as my colors. There's also something wonderfully soft or hazy in her use of color, which I tried to mimic with my paint layer with Texture Powder. I also were inspired by those charcoal or pencil like lines around the face. 

And then two works that have the same name which show her artistic style development perfectly, "Dancing Shoes" from 1882 (link) where she's still finding her style and which is more realistic than the "Dancing Shoes" from 1938 (link). Yes, there's also difference in the technique as the other is a painting and other a litograph, but the latter mimics her painting style as well. I prefer the later version, I just love her stylized, minimalistic paintings. They are so spot on depicting the character and full of expression and emotion. As the girl in both has similar clothing - white dress, white shoes and black stockings - I could have used either one as my inspiration for coloring the paper doll in my finished page. 

One reason for using the senses as well was that I was taking a trip down the memory lane and found out these older blog posts about inspiration. I wrote a whole series back in 2014 about different sources and ways to use them. Here's a link to the one about paintings (link).

As you could see from the video, I started by making a mixed media sheet and then cut a piece out of it to form the background of my page. I thought it would be fun to have some similarities in all three projects even though I use totally different mediums and techniques - one of those similarities is the process of first creating a sheet and then moving a piece of it in my art journal. 

I promised in the video to have a translation of the Finnish journaling in my blog post. The journaling in the page is loosely translated: "It was pleasant for her to think that she could be traveling anywhere and be anyone. An adventure to the unknown had always fascinated her. But one must strive forward. From this day, there will not be any secrets between us." I translated the text to be about a woman, as I thought about the little girl in the page, but the Finnish language doesn't have a gender so it could be from a man, too. It can be the little girl's thoughts or then maybe thoughts of her father, a promise to not hide anything from her.

Thank you so much for stopping by today! I hope you have found this post interesting! Please be back tomorrow for another sense and another source! Enjoy your day!


Ranger: Archival Ink Jet Black
Prima Marketing: Texture Powder
Prima Marketing: Modeling Paste
Prima Marketing: Soft Matte Gel
Tim Holtz Paper Doll 
Ranger: Archival Ink Watering Can
alcohol markers
white Posca paint marker
old receipt 
washi tapes
white embossing powder
black carsdstock
script patterned embossing folder
soft pencil
old book pages

1 comment:

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

Thank you for sharing you beautiful process. I always leave with another inspiration to explore in my own works. Gratitude for sharing this process.

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