Following my BBF Barbara’s advice, I spent some time cutting up collage sheets from Summer Camp yesterday (yes, resting the foot!), and on the doll sheet was a row of Babushkas. That of course reminded me of that iconic Kate Bush song, and the page was created for Take a Word.

I haven’t put a collage together with paper and glue, for a while, so I turned to my big art journal with the funky backgrounds in (yellow and pink food dyes – what was I thinking???) and decided to incorporate those shapes into the collage. It became a riotous explosion of colours and doodling, but I did also write the following:

“Babooshkas hide lots of secrets of ever-decreasing sizes, from big, dramatic, show-stopping, terrible, skeleton-in-the-closet ones, to small, silly ones. But they can also hold treasures.”

When I had pretty much finished doodling, I was struck by the fact that the babushkas only had one arm… so I wrote –

“All these babooshkas look like one-armed bandits…”

The cutting out of all the elements was therapeutic indeed, Barbara. Whether it’ll improve my drawing or not, I can’t be sure, but hope springs eternal! There are no rubber stamps at all on the page, it’s all slow, painstaking little doodles with black and white markers – plus the yummy orange and purple Sharpies.

Another interesting discovery I made is that although the food dyes disappear from fabric, they remained steadfast on the paper, despite the coloured markers (some of which are non-permanent), I used over them. I’ll have to try watercolours with them and see what happens – the water may dilute them, it may not. Watch this space!! 😉

Running up that hill

“And if I only could, I’d make a deal with God

And I’d get Him to swap our places…”


The Prompt: What’s the deal?
The Song: Running Up That Hill by Placebo (or Kate Bush)
Written Lyrics HERE
Product/Technique: Playing Cards

I fell in love with the lyrics to this song, written by Kate Bush in the 1980s and vaguely remembered the tune. Now of course, I can’t get it out of my head! Like many of her songs, there’s a lilting, haunted recurring theme, that takes you deep down inside yourself and I love the choreography on the video too…

Here’s my take on the challenge where I’ve endeavoured to interpret the words and how they make me feel.

I forgot all about the playing cards aspect, and look at those hearts floating around!! So much on my mind lately too! My subconscious has a mind of its own, obviously… 😉

The stamps (except the heart), are handcarved. Size – 8″x8″ (20x20cm) To see more examples, please click on A Year in the Life of an Art Journal!!!