Friday, May 20, 2011

Visions of Sugar Skulls

I can't get enough of playing in my moleskin, so I turned to a new spread and began sketching with a Sharpie fine point.  As usual, when I began I had no idea what direction I was heading in other than to work with pattern. As I finished drawing in my black patterns, I noticed a shape that reminded me of a sugar skull.  

Not surprisingly, sugar skulls and skeletons are on my mind as I have some paintings to do for an autumn "Skull & Skeleton" gallery show.  I've been looking forward to showing my work for this show, and I'm in the process of creating what I like to call "mental paintings".

Coloring my black & white design became a lesson in playing with different color combinations and color juxtaposition.  As I colored in my design, I thought about possible ideas for paintings and mixed media work for the show.

I've found that working in this landscape format, I generally work left to right across both pages and the same held true for this particular spread.  I thought of some (at least to me) great ideas for paintings and alters, and I can't wait to get started on some of them.

I adore sugar skulls - not just the aesthetics of them, but what they represent.  I think it's "normal" and natural to think of the last months of a departed loved one when in the emotional state of grieving.  But I think as the pain eases we can stop replaying those last days or months in our minds, and move on to celebrating the LIFE of that loved one.  I think that is how it should be.  A person's time on this earth isn't about the way they died, it's about the way they lived, and that's what sugar skulls are all about.

Here's the completed spread.  A symphony of brilliant color and design.  You didn't really think I was going to be able to stick with all that monochromatic stuff for long now, did you?  I hope that you're enjoying the same nice weather that has arrived here in my hometown, and as the weekend approaches, I hope you CELEBRATE the warm weather, cookouts & frolicking in the sun, LOVE everyone (even those not so lovable), and CREATE something fabulous!  Stay safe, and I'll see you again on Monday!


This beauty decided to live again against all odds.  I bought it last season and neglected to find a home for it in the ground before winter arrived.  To my delighted surprise,  it survived the long winter in a little pot on the deck.  I'll be finding a permanent home for it this weekend!


  1. I have always loved the Day of the Dead and thought the celebration has been so much more normal and healthy then how the larger society tends to handle death.

  2. I didn't know anything about sugar skulls Angelia but I love the way this page evolved and changed its tone. It is a bright celebration.

  3. really enjoyed this journal spread and watching it unfold.. and never knew what sugar skulls symbolized! LOVE THAT!
    - vicki xo


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me! It's a pleasure sharing the creative world of art journaling with you. I love hearing from you, so comments and questions are always welcome.

Related Posts with Thumbnails