“Aspire, Advance, Achieve” - Society of Women Engineers
Math. Just hearing the word still sends shivers down my spine, even with years as a cushion between my high schools classes and the present day. But the least scary for me of this abstract science of numbers, quantity, and space was Algebra. As a person who struggled dismally with geometry, for some bizarre reason, the algebraic symbols made sense. Although I won’t say I was enamored by my Algebra classes, at least I didn’t thoroughly dread them. There was something satisfying in solving the simple equations of elementary algebra.
Recently I decided to review my collection of instructional DVDs. Like going back to school for a refresher course, I began with Seth Apter’s “Easy Mixed Media Techniques for the Art Journal”. There are so many DVDs on the market, but in my opinion, Seth’s instruction is truly one of the best. His relaxed step-by-step style and proclivity for using “low tech” materials make his projects fun and a great learning experience. By encouraging you to “make it your own” surprising and unique results are always a possibility. So with supplies at the ready my project began.
Inspired by Seth’s instructions, I attached a page from an old Algebra book to a sheet of watercolour paper in my Strathmore Visual Journal using matte medium. When dry, I masked off a few equations on the page with torn Post It notes. I then framed the page with Waterfall Green pearlescent liquid acrylics, leaving the center free for a transparent wash of Brilliant Orange mixing acrylics with an equal amount of glazing fluid.
A technique I haven’t used in ages, but is always fun, is “inking” the rough side of corrugated board. At Seth’s suggestion, my packing box discards produced the most interesting series of lines when infused with white gesso.
I had been gifted some time ago with the lovely vintage photo of four Victorian women. With the layers of texture and colour taking shape, I knew this would be a special background just for them. I like to think of the women as engineers, creatively collaborating on a project. And their inspiration absolutely had to be the Artistcellar stencil Metatron’s Cube form the Sacred Geometry 2 Series. Incorporating every shape in the Universe, this certainly could be all the motivation they would need. To help them along, I surrounded the women with a series of rubber stamped numbers…the tools of their trade.
The word Algebra derives from the Arabic al-jabr, meaning "The reunion of broken parts". Journaling is a wonderful way to reunite fractured thoughts and feelings. Taking a new class or reviewing an inspiring DVD is equally as rewarding. And there is nothing better than sharing new techniques and discoveries.
I suppose the spirit of Algebra is still with me...and perhaps all of us... as we aspire to find the balance hidden within our broken parts.
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