Jane Eyre has always been one of my favorite novels, ever since that first reading at 13 when I fell in love with Mr. Rochester and shivered in terror along with Jane at the strange hollow laughs emanating from mysterious chambers in the attic.
It so happened that when I was deliberating a theme for my first art journal page that I was in the middle of yet another re-reading of Jane Eyre. One of my copies of the book (I have three) is illustrated with pictures from the movie-- the one with Charlotte Gainsborough. I have to say that's one of my favorite film versions of Jane Eyre, mostly on account of the casting, which I feel was excellent. Of course it was a disappointingly abridged version of the story, but no matter. The images in my movie illustrated book were awesome, and I decided to raid them for my would be artistic purposes.
Here is a picture of the background page I prepared. I drew some spirals and squiggles over a sheet of white water color paper with a scarlet water soluble pastel. Then I colored over this in blues, violets, and aquamarines, which I blended with a wet paintbrush. I thought it needed a little muting at this point, and so I colored lightly over it with a white pastel, and did a little doodling and scribbling with a black one over that. Then I blended those in using baby wipe, going over the whole page in a circular motion. I finished with a few more scarlet swirls in the upper left hand corner, and ended up with this.
Sorry these are not the greatest quality photos. I think if you click on them they get bigger.
Then I used a blue glitter gel pen to line the page and cover it with handwritten quotes from the book. Being able to read these was not of primary concern; this step was more for the sake of adding another layer of visual interest to the background, and for having some recognizable (at least to me) words from the story peeking around the images I would paste in.
Here is the final product. I combined my movie pictures with some images cut from magazines and a square of book paper (not from Jane Eyre). I pasted them on with Mod Podge, did a little more doodling and some outlining with the water soluble pastels and a silver glitter gel pen, and added this quote as my main text:
"The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter, an often unconscious, though still a faithful interpreter, in the eye."
I have to admit that on the whole I am liking this. It's a little more startling than what I first envisioned, but the quirkiness of the juxtapositions suits my mood of the moment, and I even like the wildness of the colors behind all those staring Victorians. I'm not sure it would win any prizes for visual coherence or harmony, but for personal journaling purposes, and especially for a first attempt, I'm satisfied. And yes, based on my first experience I would highly recommend art journaling for anyone looking to have some relaxing fun and recover a sense of playfulness. This is awesome!
Thanks for reading,