Week 3 – The Original Documented Life Project™

January Theme
The Blank Page and How to Face It!
January 10
Art Challenge: The Color Wheel
Journal Prompt: “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way . . . ” – Georgia O-Keefe


It’s time to get a little color on those blank pages now!  This year, I decided I was going to use this Art Journal to Document my growth as an artist.  I want to push myself each week to try new things and get out of my usual comfort zone.  I grabbed my Pan Pastels, which I am embarrassed to say I have barely used, and decided to go for it!

When I thought about this quote and how much I love color, I imagined how sad the world would be without it!  This is how I started my page . . . just a few pencil marks as guidelines . . .

I decided to draw a garden, first with only shades of black, white and grey; then slowly move into color.  I started by adding my darker values and some definition.

I tried to play with the juxtaposition of black and white versus color as I added more details to the page.  I used random shapes to “suggest” flowers and greenery and trees.  The Pan Pastels were so fun and a very forgiving medium.  I applied them with Sofft Tools – wonderful for spreading these creamy pastels across the pages.

Once I was satisfied with the pastels, I added some details with Prismacolor pencils.  This helped with sharper lines and contour.

I gave the entire page a good spray of workable fixative to keep those pastels in place.  It is not a permanent solution, but it will help.

I finished the piece, then decide I wanted to add the quote to the page.  My pen wasn’t working too well on top of the pastels, so I printed the quote onto a piece of tissue paper, cut it out and adhered it to the page with matte medium.  I would have liked for it to have been more transparent, but hey, it’s an art journal, right?  That’s one thing to keep in mind as you work . . . these pieces will not be hanging in galleries and won’t go before art critics for review.  This is YOUR art, created by YOU, and FOR YOU!  Live with it and LOVE it!

As I was spreading my matte medium on the quote, I discovered that it did not disturb the pastels underneath…SWEET!  I decided to lightly coat the page with the medium and a very soft brush.  No smearing whatsoever!  ***Please try this on a scrap piece of paper before applying it in your own journals – not all products have the same results!

I love how my pages turned out this week!!!  Hmmm . . . I see a recurrent theme of a path, we shall see where that takes me this year!

You can learn how all of the Art to the 5th Artists have created their Journal Covers in our new class entitled, “Cover Story.”  You can find it HERE.

For more information on this week’s challenge you can find us here:
Instagram: #documentedlife #documentedlifeproject

Looking for previous challenges? click HERE

Visit our blogs: Sandi Keene, Roben-Marie Smith, Rae Missigman

Join us on The Art to the 5th™ Academy™ – a thriving “community” and classroom for “The Original” Documented Life Project™!  Find us on Instagram: #documentedlife

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  1. Mary C. Nasser

    What a lovely interpretation of this week’s prompt!
    So fun to see your process with the PanPastels, too!
    Love seeing the recurring image of the path as well!
    Thank you for the inspiration!

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    What a great idea from black and white to colour. And you executed it like Monet!

  3. Raine Phoenix

    Your pages are gorgeous! You did Georgia O’Keefe proud! I love the black and white transitioning to bold, bright color. It makes me want to get out MY seldom-used PanPastels and get more familiar with them. Thank you for the inspiration!

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    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!! I can imagine myself strolling down the path through your garden! Love how you created from black & white to the brilliant colors of nature. Thank you for the inspiration with pan pastels… I havent used mine much either.

  5. Rae Missigman

    Wow! You really create pages that scream fine art! You are so over the moon talented! Never ceases to amaze me. Xo

  6. Mary W

    This is a beautiful page and I love your words about Live with It and Love It. Can’t tell you how much it means to me this day. Your use of Pan Pastels fits the purpose of this page so well. They are slightly out of focus (dreamy) and going from grey to color was genius for a pathway. It allows my eyes to get involved in the page with my knowledge and memories. Thanks for this early morning walk with a friend.

  7. Jill

    Lorraine! This is AWESOME!! I, too, have Pan Pastel-phobia and have a bunch of them that are hardly used as well. Maybe I’ll follow your lead on this one and break them out for this weeks challenge. Seems appropriate for a Georgia O’Keeffe quote! YOU’RE AWESOME!!

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    Lorraine, you are an amazing artist! I love the softness of this page and love the cottage feel to your garden.Thank you for taking us along with you on your path. <3

  9. Amber

    This is so amazing Lorraine! Your sketching, your pastel work, the idea, it’s all fabulous and a really breath-taking page!! Thank you for your inspiration <3

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    I just love all the work from all the art leaders in this group, but your work always speaks to me, we seem to have similar tastes. Even before I read your piece I was thinking pan pastels for this week. Beautiful work thank you for sharing your creativity.

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    I love this page so much! This reminds me of Wizard of Oz where the movie goes from B&W to saturated colors. And the feelings of discovery and rebirth are amazing. Love.

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    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experience. I love these pages and I can’t wait to try pan pastels.

  13. Jenny

    It’s beautiful! Thanks for all the tips and suggestions. And the encouragement to remember that it is a learning process.

  14. Yankeegirl

    Wow, this is awesome! Now I want to dig out my very un-used pan pastels too! Although my work won’t turn out like yours! Great use of all the color! And love the path!

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    Beautiful. Makes me want to be there walking down that path enjoying the day and all the lovely colors around me.

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thank you Linda – wish you could join me (at least you can in your art journal!)

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    Sandi Keane and I must think alike…
    I was going to say exactly the same thing. Your beautiful work reminded me of when I too first saw "Wizard of Oz", and the World blossomed with awesome colours.
    Stunning work Lorraine.
    The imagery of the Path, and a Journey is very strong.
    Thank you for sharing your path with us…
    Love and hugs,
    Sue xx

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    This is stunning Lorraine…thoughtful and beautiful and full of wonderfulness….thanks for sharing

  18. Linda

    Incredible. My mind was thinking and processing all kinds of ideas as I viewed the 2 previous blogs. I was especially think about how I could go from BW to color moving across the page. And then VOILA! You showed me how. Thanx for reading my mind.

  19. susan salyer

    oh wow..gorgeous! I love your spread and the pan pastels are going to be a new tool for me soon. Now I am even more excited to get them. Thank you for lovely inspiration. love the sentiment also 🙂

  20. Retta Fox

    Wow….kind of reminds me of the Wizard of Oz….going from black and white to brilliant color. Neat! I’m also reminded of Monet….hey….you never know…your art may just end up on a museum wall someday 🙂

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thank you Retta – you know after I finished the page, I was humming "you’re out of the woods, you’re out of the woods . . ." I guess I was subconciously thinking of the Wizard too!

  21. JKW

    That’s why your page reminded me (in the teaser) of the Great Masters paintings of flowers. Thank you for describing the materials and how you applied them. I love pan pastels so much (have always used pastels). . .soft things are make-up sponges, but mostly ‘fingers’ for me. I use fingers on everything. . . This is my favorite. Blessings, Janet

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Wow Janet . . . to be compared to the masters? That is so kind, but I have loooooooong way to go! Creating this page made me want to work in pastels more – I admire those who are so proficient at it! Thanks for the comment!

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    Lorraine, glad you jumped in with your pan pastels!…I have a bunch of "hidden" supplies. Those I intend to use but then get tucked away in a drawer or cabinet. This is good reminder for me to get those out and play! Thanks!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Hi Jodiann – yes, I have way too many supplies and this year I am going to be dragging them out and playing!

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    Hi there I am very new to the mixed media art journaling world. I am just starting out on my journaling journey. I just wanted to say thank you for the inspiration. I loved your idea of going from black and white to colour and I have used this concept in my page. I have not finished my page yet but I will post It on my blog when done and link to your page as it is where I got the inspiration. cheers T

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thank you so much Tania – if I can inspire just one person, then I am happy. Enjoy your journey!

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