Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Art symbols dictionary

As part of a class I'm taking with Effy Wild, I've created a multi-layered spread which contains a record of the symbols I use in my art. It was so fun to think about what symbols I use and the meanings I attribute to them. But first, although this is within my art journal, I decided to do a "front cover" - this tissue by Tim Holtz  contains a few of my favourite symbols : butterflies, music, text : so was the perfect beginning for my background
I had recently watched Effy's FREE Succulent Stacks class : available HEREAs is my usual process, and inspired additionally by Effy's video, I got carried away with layering ♥
Then I needed a quote that conveyed how symbols are meaningful to my art. Thought this from Wordsworth works. 
I used different stamps for the words on old dress pattern tissue which I then cut out before gluing down. I like the effect - also highlighted in places with charcoal pencil. Here's that page complete
Then I turned the page to make the spread for holding my symbols. I began with colours that make me really happy - laying them down on the torn pages that will become the holder and on some loose bits of paper that will become the symbols.
These are the colours that are significant to me and that I turn to often in my art, along with their meanings : 
Serenity/Calm, Creativity, Wholeness, Intuition, Loyalty, Wisdom, Balance, Patience
Opulence, Creativity, Mystery & Magic, Richness, Beauty, Independence
Playful, Feminine, Tender, Universal love of oneself, Fun, Individuality (think P!nk)
Growth, Nature, Energy, Youth, Hope
Joy, Warmth, Sunshine, Enthusiasm, Creativity, Change, Determination, Health, 
Illumination, Love, Courage, Passion, Magic, Wisdom, Glamour, Grace, Elegance
Of course often I just use a colour because it feels right - but it's fun to think of these helping to convey a message when I'm not sure which colour to use. I decorated the pages with some favourite stencils and then hand stitched the edges ready to hold the symbols
These are the ones I use most often (or have an affinity with and want to be reminded of) and on the back I've written what each signifies to me. 
And then you just tuck them in to the holders :-)
Can you imagine how useful this is going to be?...
Hope this idea inspires you. The lesson is part of "Boot Camp" - part of the intro material you get with the new class by Effy Wild called Facing Forward II : the things we need to hear - available HERE. (if you've taken another class with Effy there's an alumni discount)


  1. Thank you for the inspiration - I'm always reading your posts.

  2. That makes me so happy to hear Deb. Have a lovely week :-)

  3. What a fun project and good idea to keep track of your symbols! If you get stuck, you can just pull one out for reference! I love that tissue paper too and you jazzed it up beautifully for the cover!


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