Visual Journal Page 44: Wandering the Oakland Cemetery

The Oakland Cemetery is an interesting place. I am not one to typically go exploring in a cemetery, but when you walk through the gates you truly feel like you are stepping back in time. In this space sandwiched between the busy Atlanta roads, Memorial, Dekalb Avenue, Boulevard, near the downtown connector, and Interstate 20, there are Civil War soliders, Atlanta founders, historic figures, celebrities, such as Margaret Mitchell, Maynard Jackson, and Bobby Jones. These people walked the same streets I walk, consider the same place home, but in some cases they experienced it hundreds of years earlier. They knew, appreciated, and experienced this city in a completely different way than I do.

In addition to the people who have been laid to rest here, the architecture, sculptures, carvings, and amazingly huge oaks and magnolias are enough to keep you busy for hours, which is just what Katie Passo and I needed for a spontaneous, spring afternoon. We wandered down various paths, explored nooks and crannies, and walked through remnants of buildings. With all of the amazing scenery I was busy snapping picture after picture. I love doorways and this doorway, with the exposed brick, and overgrown flowers was right up my alley. As I was setting up my shot, Katie walked through the doorway, and I jumped on the opportunity to capture it.

After our afternoon adventure I uploaded my pictures and began scanning through them. When I came to this shot, I fell in love with it. I loved the composition, colors, and the fact that Katie just so happened to be carrying a green, feather mask that day. I immediately decided I needed to turn this photograph into a painting, which is now in the care of Katie, since she inspired it. After spending weeks on this painting, knowing it was soon to be gifted, I decided to create a visual journal page as a way for me to keep a piece of the painting for myself.

To create this visual journal page I started with the photograph I used as a reference for the painting. I ripped a strip off of the bottom and side to help incorporate the image on both pages, this makes it look like one cohesive page, despite being a two page spread. I played around with layering book pages, other magazine images, and various materials, but was at a loss at how to arrange everything. As I was going through my stack of images I found a paper towel that was stained yellow and orange from bleeding tissue paper. The texture and colors appealed to me, and I loved the way it incorporated the orange of the flowers. I placed it behind the strips of photograph and began brainstorming again. To complete the image I decided to use hot glue to glue down the leftover, dried acrylic paint I used to paint the painting. The layers and colors completed the page, and created interesting texture. I love this page and I now make a “memorial” visual journal page for every painting I create, always incorporating pieces of the materials I used to create the work of art.

CHALLENGE: Create a work of art from a work of art! Base a page on a drawing, painting, sculpture, photograph you created, or find inspiration from your favorite artist (no matter how well known or not they are). Incorporate materials used in the work of art, that helped create the work of art (even if it’s a paper towel!), images that inspired it, or pictures of the actual work of art.

Inspiration for art is everywhere, and I hope you found some inspiration on my site! Help me spread the word about my blog, share with others, e-mail, subscribe, like, digg, etc., etc.! Thanks for visiting!


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