So here I am down to the wire with only 8 minutes to go before this challenge ends, and considering that it was open for nearly two months, you might be wondering why I left it so late?

OK so this challenge is all about haiga (visual poetry).  Here’s what the challenge says:

Our February theme is Haiga – Visual Poetry
In Japanese tradition, Haiga are typically painted by haiku poets, and often accompanied by a haiku poem. A typical haiku is a three-line observation about a fleeting moment often involving nature.

I love everything about this challenge and the possibilities – Japanese, poetry, nature, potential to include cats or nature or cherry blossoms – are all things I love and like to include in my arts and crafts, and also in my home and garden.  I have a small Japanese style garden complete with pond and Japanese lantern, and in my house there are many Japanese influences including a large red fan from Japan and some framed antique Japanese kimonos.  I was so up for this challenge and really looking forward to it.  So why leave it till the last minute to enter?

I think the problem was the two month open time – it lulled me into a false sense of security.  I had it in my to-do book for February, but then I was running late in Feb and knew that it was open for another month, so why rush?  Then March threw me a curve ball, and I basically did nothing for a couple of weeks, and there went all my available time to do this.  So then last night I realised that I needed to get this done today if I wanted to enter and I really did want, not just to enter the challenge, but to make the thing that I had in my head.  However, I did think that I would have more time today and not an 11am deadline, so when I saw that this morning I had to leap out of bed and get started since it was already 9.30am and time was a-wasting!

After doing all the necessary things like opening the blinds and letting the cat out, I started at 10am.  I had to amend my idea to something a little smaller and more manageable and I also knew that I couldn’t do my usual thing of overthinking and trying out multiple ideas, because there was no time for any of that! Turns out that was a good thing! So I started with this page from my Finnabair journal and these Fresco paints which are (luckily for me) very quick drying.

I brayered on the background using three different reds, some green, black and white, layering them on top of each other till I was happy with it. You can’t actually see any of the green anymore, but it is under there somewhere, so it deserves a mention.

Then I used my favourite Unicorn Hair Sparks metallique paint and the Ink Black liquid acrylics to add some paint splatters to the background. I love the subtle shine of the Unicorn Hair and the gloss of the black.

I knew I wanted a cat on this page, and I was thinking of just drawing an outline of a cat from black card and positioning that on the page like a silhouette, but then I remembered this stamp from Rubber Dance and knew I had to use that somehow.  I stamped it out on white card, the stamp has a thin black border around it framing the cat, so I left that on so it would stand out more.

Then layered up some origami paper (some time was wasted choosing which one to use lol) and then layered black card behind it as I like things in black frames.

Haiku poems for me always follow the 5 7 5 syllable format, first line has five syllables, second line has seven, third line has five = 17 syllables total.  So I found a little cat haiku that I wanted to use and fitted that format, so that made me happy.  Then I spent some time trying to find the words or stickers to make the words before giving up, running downstairs to the PC and typing them up and printing them myself.  Then I cut them out and framed them with more black card and then stuck everything down on the page.  Finished!  Time 10.45am!  Forty five minutes from beginning to end photos!  That must be the fastest page I have ever done lol.

Then I had to get the photo off the phone and on to the PC, and into photoshop and then into a blog post and finally linked up to the challenge linkup!  Done with only 8 minutes to spare!  But I am so glad that I was able to do it, especially with such a short amount of time to complete it.  It shows you what you can get done in a small amount of time, and makes you focus and stop faffing about.


Red is not a colour I use often, it’s not a colour I am drawn to at all usually, but I can appreciate it especially in a Japanese art context like this challenge, or certain flowers like poppies etc, so I did not expect to like this page as much as I do, and when I think about it, I don’t think it could really work in any other colour. And now I have a page that I really love and will definitely do more pages like this.

Anyway, that’s it, the fastest page I have ever done.  Let me know what you think about it in the comments below.

Thanks for reading and visiting as always,

CHALLENGES

Art Daily Cafe – Haiga Visual Poetry February Challenge.
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday ChallengeAnything Goes

Project Recipe

Finnabair art journal
Paperartsy Fresco Chalk paints
Finnabair Sparks Unicorn Hair, Liquid Acrylics Ink Black
Rubber Dance – cat stamp
From stash: photocopy paper, brayer, black card, origami paper, collage medium

Empire of the Cat
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