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Art Journals and Encyclopaedias

I've been working on my art journal.  Coming up with new inspiration for some jewellery I'm making.  I've been focusing on the theme of "Insects", and wanted to share some of the journal pages I've finished.

And this week, I'm going to be catching up on my blog reading.  I know I haven't visited for a while.  I've not intentionally been a Blog Trollop (Formal Definition:  A person who gets all over-excited when comments are posted on his/her blog, but who is unable to return the favour due to he/she being lost under piles of dirty dishes, unwashed clothes, empty junk food cartons, as a result of intense period of creative endeavouring.) but my art journal has been making unreasonable demands.  I'm sorry.

Here are some pages I've been working on...

This copper wire dragonfly has fine silver wire wrapped through and around its wings.  Sadly, my camera hasn't picked this up in this picture, but it looked beautiful when I held it up to the light.  Really twinkly!  The definition of "Insect" that you can see in the centre was cut from an encyclopaedia, dated 1932, I found in a small second-hand bookshop. 

As a small tiddler I used to like reading dictionaries and encyclopaedias (I did have friends, just in case you were wondering, and yes, one or two of them may have been a little bit imaginery...) and I still do.  Did you know John Travers CORNWELL was an English sailor born in 1899 at East Ham?  Neither did I.  I also didn't know that he was "On the cruiser 'Chester' which was engaged at the battle of Jutland, May 31, 1915...  He stood steadily by his gun at a most exposed post awaiting orders till the action was over."  Sadly the poor fella was injured and died the next day.  He was apparently awarded the Victoria Cross after his death.  Fascinating.   

This page shows some initial sketches, and ideas.

Some more pen and ink drawings.  And another cheeky definition from my encyclopaedia.

Using five layers of different textiles, I wanted to recreate the textures of the moth wings in the previous sketch.  After sewing the layers together I then cut through different sections to reveal the textiles underneath.  This took hours to do, but I was really pleased with the finished result.  And with the help of my lovely friend, H, I have managed to master the art of using my nana's sewing machine.  Phew.  Thanks H.

This little butterfly is the inspiration for my main jewellery design this summer.  This butterfly is known as the "Greta Oto" and lives in South America.  It has beautiful fragile wings that have completely transparent sections, like little windows that you can see through.  Utterly, flutterly beautiful.  From this initial pen and ink drawing, I have made a series of designs for rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

Do you keep an art journal?  Do you enjoy a nice flick through an encyclopaedia?  What have you been working on recently?   

P.S.  As a rule of thumb, I normally take a very firm stance on people abusing books.  But pages were missing and falling out of my encyclopaedia when I bought it, so I saw no harm in helping it on its way with a craft knife.  Ahem.
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