Hi friends!  Happy Friday!  Hope you had a good week and have something fun planned for the weekend.   Welcome to another art journal post as part of my language theme at Art Journal Journey during May.

As you know, I am Guest Hosting the May challenge over on Art Journal Journey this month and my chosen theme is…


You can find a nice list of ideas about language inspired pages in my introduction post just click here.

For today’s post, I was inspired by a flower garden, which is also based on a Life Book lesson from week 12, Susan Nethercote’s lesson, where she painted an abstract “garden of joy” on some A3 paper.  I thought the result was very pretty but I had no time to do the lesson until now. So Susan did her painting on a sheet of A3 paper but I wanted to do mine in my journal which is about half that size.  The whole thing is done in acrylics, preferably using complementary colours.  I kinda started off the same way but then went off in my own direction, partly because I don’t like some of the colours (orange) and I don’t have all the supplies she used, and partly because I can’t help following my own path lol. On top of all of that, when I was watching the lesson, I could only watch it on the very smallest video option as my internet was playing up and kept stalling, so it was really hard to see any detail of what she was doing.  I have since seen it on full size and it’s a lot different to what I thought it was haha.

Anyway, here is my finished journal page.  It’s really bright and colourful.  A lot brighter and more colourful than I expected it to be. It also looks quite wild and untamed.  I totally made up fantasy flowers that don’t really look like anything real – or do they?

So on Wednesday I shared this photo of my desk and WIP, but what I didn’t say then, was what they were going to become ie this journal page and also this much larger version.  The larger version measures 60cm x 85cm which is about 2 feet by a few inches short of 3 feet.  I started off using all this dark acrylic ink on both pieces.

Then added some greens and turquoise inks and since the large project is sitting on my box easel, all the inks are starting to run.

One of the colours I used was green gold which is why it looks very yellow at the top.  Here’s a better look at all that drippy paint…

And a closer look at some interesting texture coming through the paint and colours mixing together…

I was trying to work on them both at the same time, so whatever I added to one I would try and add to the other.  At this point I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to the composition of the journal page and I thought it was a bit of a mess with flowers everywhere. In the end though there was such a profusion of flowers, it made me happy. [icon name=”smile” style=”regular” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]
Some of the suggested supplies like the Neocolour IIs didn’t work on my painting on top of all that acrylic ink so I had to resort to using paint pens to add some of the detail and some of the more opaque Fresco chalk paints to add more flowers.  There are some Neocolours on there though, there are some purple dots around the outside and on the turquoise flowers there are some dark blue scribbles but most of the finer lines were done with paint pens.  The number of times the teacher referred to her “Caran D’ache water soluble wax pastels” was funny.  If it was a drinking game we would all be drunk by the end of the lesson lol. I don’t know why she didn’t just call them Neocolour II, as that’s a lot quicker and easier to say, especially if you have to repeat it multiple times.

Here’s the journal page finished and just needing a quote…  The turquoise flowers were supposed to be leaves but they ended up looking like flowers so I just went with it.  I added some grass at the bottom of the page using a paint pen and all the small details are also added with paint pens.

And here’s both pieces together to show the different in size!

Oh and in case you are wondering what it is I am painting on, it’s a CARDBOARD BOX!  Don’t believe me? Here’s a look at the back of the box.  It arrived from Jacksons with art supplies in it last August and I thought it looked like a really big box canvas, and didn’t want to throw it out, so I taped it up with masking tape and covered one side of it with gesso.  I planned to paint something on it but had no idea what at that point, so it’s just been hanging around in the spare room for nine months waiting for the right project.  Then when I was thinking of flower gardens for the Language theme, I thought it might be fun to try painting a garden on the box. If it didn’t work, it didn’t work and no big deal since it was just a box and not an expensive canvas.  It also gave me practice of painting on a much bigger surface than I usually use so if I felt like trying it again on a real canvas then I wouldn’t be so worried about messing it up as they are very expensive at that size. Or I could just order more supplies and hope they send the same size box again lol. The only question now is, what to do with it?

I added a quote to the journal page using a white pen on a scrap of black card.  The quote reads “Nature is the common, universal language, understood by all” by Kathleen Raine. Since my page is a flower garden, I couldn’t really use the individual meanings for each flower (plus my flowers are fantasy flowers) so I was thinking more about what a whole garden of flowers would symbolise, and came up with positivity and well-being and peace.  Gardens are often used to create peace between people, thinking about community gardens and inclusion, and who doesn’t smile when they see and experience a flower garden (unless they’re allergic of course). Spending time outside in a garden can also positively affect someone’s mood and emotions and their sense of well-being so gardens communicate with us on many levels.

While I was researching the language of flowers, I came across this link that has some funny examples and a bit of history on the topic if you want to read more.

I hope you feel inspired to join me at Art Journal Journey this month.  Language is all about communication, and I would love to see you communicate using language on your pages, in whatever form you choose. I have a lot of ideas for language-inspired spreads to share with you over the course of this month, so do keep checking back if you need some inspiration or ideas, or even just to say hi!  I can’t wait to see what you do with this month’s theme and I will be dropping by to see all your lovely creations.

Let me know what you think in the comments. If you have any questions about anything in this post, just ask.  As always, thanks for reading!


My handmade art journal, a cardboard box, masking tape, gesso, acrylic ink, fluid acrylics, heavy body acrylic, Fresco chalk paint, neocolour IIs, paint pens, white pen, black card, glue


Art Journal Journey – Language – May Challenge For the language theme I chose the language of flowers and a quote about nature and language

Paint Party FridayWeek 10, Year 11 Check-in
Creative Artiste – Challenge number 71 – multiple mediums, see above ingredients list
More Mixed Media – AG with optional pink – playing the optional pink in the flowers
Try it on Tuesday – Make it Feminine –  what could be more feminine than a flower garden?
Also works for Raspberry Blue Sky’s #52weeksartjournal – Week 20 Wild and Free.  I’ve been so bad at keeping up with this but at least this one fits with this week’s prompt.

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24 Awesome Comments (btw comment moderation is on)
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May 25, 2021 9:33 am

I was wondering what you painted those gorgeous flowers on to and when I read box, wow it looks like a canvas. Your journal pages look beautiful as well, more wonderful inspiration for your AJJ theme.
Yvonne xx

May 24, 2021 5:24 pm

Fabulous painting; flowers have a language indeed and your project gives them life. Thanks for playing along with us at Creative Artiste Mixed Media challenge!

May 24, 2021 8:22 am

Absolutely fabulous, I love both flower paintings and the depth of colour is stunning. Love the quote you added.
Thanks for sharing with us at Try it on Tuesday.
Avril x

May 24, 2021 1:16 am

Amazing pieces Thank you so much for entering our challenge at Try it on Tuesday. Looking forward to see you again next challenge.
Designer for Try it on Tuesday

Erika N
May 23, 2021 11:07 pm

I somehow missed that you also linked up to Try It on Tuesday Elle. Thanks for joining us. hugs again-Erika

jean marmo
May 23, 2021 5:45 pm

Simply stunning!!! Love the gorgeous colors and flowers! Well done! Happy PPF!

May 23, 2021 1:43 pm

These flowers are so beautiful, so so beautiful! So very creative! Thank you for showing how you created it!

Erika N
May 23, 2021 1:18 pm

I almost missed this wonderful page Elle. For some reason I thought I had been by, but no. I am glad I found it. This is a garden of joy. You created something with beautiful colors that made me (and probably everyone else) smile. Hope you’re having a good weekend. Hugs-Erika

May 22, 2021 10:53 pm

I love both pieces! The bright colors against that darker background give such a feeling of a fantasy world. Beautiful work. Also–a cardboard box?! So cool!

May 22, 2021 10:46 pm

They both turned out great!!!

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