100 days as dreamscapes


In the digital re-imagining of my art that I was telling you about yesterpost, I’m creating one of these collage postcards series entirely from the images in the 100 day project from earlier this year.

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I’m finding the journey of a creative practice follows a spiral path, revisiting and reinventing along the way, enriching and inspiring from the past into the future.

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These drawings nestle up together in their new arrangements as one edge blends into another.

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They contain hidden messages and fragments of found poetry from the words and phrases that wandered through my mind as I drew.

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These are glimpses into the dream scape of my imagination. And I’m only just beginning! 

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If you’re quick you can catch them in my Etsy store …

If you’re super quick you’ll catch the This-Weekend-Only-Sale of 15% off EVERYTHING and catch international shipping before the holidays! Lawks!!

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There are currently Two sets of Three Postcards available:
You can find Set 1 here & Set 2 right here


 

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and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color

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100 lessons from 100 drawings


“Life imitates art” but art imitates life too.

(I read that as ‘art irritates life’ just now. Also true) 

 

100 daily drawings taught me a lot more about drawing, more than I realised I didn’t know. Drawing techniques, practicalities, possibilities, and all that comes along with steady daily practice.

But there seemed to be bigger lessons showing up as well.

These were observations I heard over and over again in my thoughts, page after page. Of course many of these revelations aren’t really about drawing. They are about everything.

In no particular order, these are the top 100 realisations that accompanied this project.

  1. It’s been an exercise in letting go of expectations, of ideal outcomes, and the accompanying paralysis of progress.
  2. I’m learning to let go of ‘finished looking’  – being finished – being a ‘piece of art’ (whatever that might be).
  3. Letting go of what other folks think, a neediness for approval or validation.
  4. Letting go of the rules. This is my book: my rules. Rule 1: there are no rules.
  5. ‘Drawing every day’ isn’t even a rule.
  6. Drawing for 100 days doesn’t mean 100 consecutive days.  Don’t make up excuses to stop. Pick up and start again. Keep doing this. Just get to 100. 
  7. The photo is only a guide, a suggestion, a jumping off point. This isn’t an exercise in copying. A drawing can’t be wrong.
  8. It doesn’t have to have the same colors, same shape, same perspective.
  9. It doesn’t have to be the same every day – the same time, the same ‘style’, the same anything. Just another day, another page, another drawing. Keep exploring the other-ness
  10. Some days have a flow to them – some days have an awkwardness – some days are fuelled by imagination – some days are an uphill slog.
  11. Some are bits of all of these and flit and flicker between.
  12. Some pages have words – information – data – facts – important-to-remembers.
  13. Some page’s words and rememberings are from another day and don’t make sense any more. And that’s okay.
  14. Some days are unfinished. They will stay that way. I don’t have to go back. (there is no real ‘finished’).
  15. Some days get lost and forgotten.
  16. Some days are just made for catch ups.
  17. Some catch ups are liberating – rejuvenating – expansive – explosions of imagination.
  18. Some catch ups are uncomfortable and riddled with angst.
  19. Some catch ups are a cold hard slog and bring up all the WHY???s


  20. Sometimes it feels like a trajectory that cannot fail.
  21. Sometimes it feels like losing footing – in slow motion – in the dark.
  22. Sometimes it feels like treading water – waiting – waiting – waiting….
  23. Sometimes it feels like falling – sinking – drowning.
  24. Some drawings take on their own life with unseen meaning.
  25. Some drawings take on their own life with an energy that didn’t come from me.
  26. Some drawings have their own momentum – I watch them take shape with the curiosity of an outside observer.
  27. Some drawings just don’t care. I could learn the most from these.
  28. Some drawings have to be inched out slowly.
  29. Some drawings surprise me by the reactions they evoke from others.
  30. Some drawings surprise me by the feelings they evoke in me.
  31. Some drawings overwhelm, some disappoint, some pass unjudged.
  32. Some drawings have stories that let out secrets.
  33. Some drawings are stories that hide more than they reveal.
  34. Some stories are universal, everyone recognises a little bit of it in themselves.
  35. Some stories are so deep they are unfathomable.

  36. Some projects are way larger than the sum of their parts. This is certainly one of them.
  37. Some projects are a stepping stone to a place I never knew existed before I started.
  38. Some projects are meant to be finite. Done is done.
  39. Some projects are meant to be repeated – reiterated – revisited.
  40. Some projects are not supposed to be finished. They hang….
  41. Some projects are so deeply enmeshed in a life, we are one and the same.
  42. Some projects are fun to watch – to join – to play along.
  43. Some projects never escape the confines of my mind, jammed up in the mechanism of the mental rotadex.
  44. Sometimes the purpose will shift and change midway through. Over and over. The act of shifting becomes the purpose.
  45. Sometimes the purpose won’t show itself until long after it’s over.
  46. Sometimes the purpose is only clear to others.
  47. Sometimes the purpose is only clear to me – and that’s all that matters.
  48. Sometimes the purpose is unique to everyone who witnesses it.
  49. Sometimes the purpose is unique to the season – or to the day.
  50. Sometimes the way it seems, is the way it is. Sometimes it’s not been close.
  51. Sometimes the way it seems is only a clue. It’s a seed, or a plan, or part of a bigger pattern.
  52. The more I look for patterns the more I see them.
  53. Patterns can be visual, patterns can be habitual, patterns repeat.
  54. Patterns within patterns fascinate me most.
  55. It’s ok to get stuck in one color for a while, the other colors will wait.
  56. It’s ok to use all the colors – or none of them – or not care which.
  57. It’ll never be finished, so keep moving forwards. 
  58. It’ll never be perfect, don’t ask it to be.
  59. This might not answer the questions you thought it would.
  60. This might not answer any questions. It might lead to more questions…
  61. This might have no meaning at all – right now – or ever. And that’s okay too.
  62. If a meaning wants to show itself to you, it will find a way.
  63. Whatever is underneath, showing through, is part of what is now. Let all the elements become parts of the whole. Allow the merge.
  64. Describe the drawing in words –  this is where the metaphors hide.
  65. Describe the drawing out loud,  it’s subtly different.
  66. Shift the emphasis foreground to background, positive to negative space. Dance in between them.
  67. Choose which details to use, which details to ignore, and which to make up.
  68. Choose the image from within the image.
  69. Find the art inside the photo.

  70. Notice how some images repeat, return and revisit.
  71. Notice how some characters keep showing up.
  72. Notice how some character’s expressions are the same: the face that asks: you still trying to draw me?
  73. Notice how color schemes repeat.
  74. Notice the themes of facing pages match unconsciously.
  75. Notice how time concertinas in and out when you count the days.
  76. Notice how the seemingly simple is really complex. And how the complex can be divided into manageable size bites.
  77. How complexity presents a challenge, then the victory, the good enough level of mastery.
  78. Balancing good enough against keep trying.
  79. Knowing when to stop, knowing when to keep going.
  80. How it’s all a freaking metaphor (and that’s all of these too).
  81. The bravery to pursue a doomed drawing, to trust it to turn around and turn out good, or just okay.
  82. The bravery to post a picture I didn’t like, and the ones I did.
  83. The bravery of sending these out into the wilds of the internet. It can be cold out there.
  84. The revelation that others might like what I didn’t, see a beauty I can’t.
  85. The revelation of turning the page, not looking back for a few weeks. How what’s on the page ‘gets better’ when it’s left to rest.
  86. The revelation of drawings I hated, that hold no strong feelings now. And drawings I loved.


  87. How much a background wash or splot of paint makes adds to a drawing.
  88. How much a patch of color shifts a mood.
  89. How much the character of the drawing is from the colors.
  90. How much a drawing style develops over time, but can’t be seen from such close quarters or day to day.
  91. How much a drawing style develops through simple repetition.
  92. How much simple repetition is the key to it all. How much simple repetition is the key to it all. How much simple repetition is the key to it all. 😉
  93. How ideas will hide and evade when called for, then descend en masse when it’s too late (and how it’s never really too late).
  94. How some ways of making are so ingrained I don’t know there are other ways.
  95. How chasing the other ways is part of the learning.
  96. How finding other ways leads to new kinds of learning.
  97. There are always going to be new ways of learning!
  98. The journey is a spiral. The path isn’t re-trodden, next loop around looks familiar, but the view has altered.
  99. The journey keeps going. Keeps going.
  100. The mixed emotions at the end of a project, the end of an adventure, the intangible closure.

 


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100 drawings: the closing pages.


100 days: 93-100

“I try to create fantastic things, magical things, things like in a dream. The world needs more fantasy.”

~ Salvador Dali.

100 doodles from 100 photos in my phone.

This is the final instalment of my extended summer project. I set out on this adventure on 1st June and I doodled the last doodle on 25th October. Life got in the way in the middle so it took longer than planned, but I’m so glad I saw it through. This is what the last week of pages look like…

day 93

Day 93 is another quirky animal, one of a pair of china cats in the Brighton Art Museum.

Here’s something I’ve noticed they all have in common: the facial expression that says “c’mon, aren’t you done yet?” Like they got somewhere else to be.

(China Cat Sunflower… You humming along?)

day 94

One of the lessons this project has taught me is that the images that look relatively easy to reproduce are almost always the trickiest.  There are ways around this. One of the ways is to crop it down to just one detail, just a corner, or in this case, just one bird.

 

day 95

These last few days/months (maybe more) reality seems to be sharper and more tense. So a well timed word from Mr Salvador Dali himself seems to fit today.

I got this little clip-on fisheye lens doodad for my phone, this was its first outing, and what could be better to distort than the master of weirdness himself?

 

day 96

Practice, practice, practice… faces are tricky. The trickiest. The character lies in the lines and the details and something I can’t quite get. Yet. But I am getting closer.

This is is George Morris.

A while back I was scavenging the internets to find out about my family tree. I traced my mum’s mum’s side back 100s of years, but mum’s dad was not so easy. This might or maybe get not be my mum’s dad’s dad. (A long story, not for now). But if I’m right in my research then my great grandad was a jockey in the late 1800s. This photo was a newspaper I found on eBay. I know! The internet is amazing.

 

day 97

One day last spring, a last minute change of plan meant I had a free afternoon. so I took myself off to London to find the legendary Atlantis art store. I was not disappointed. This is their sign.

 

day 98

The part of the story where Alice is either to tall to get through the door, or small enough but can’t reach the key. Oh, Alice, I know this feeling so well. I’m there.  How did the key get back up on the table? What is going on??

 

day 99

Time is such a curiously paradoxical thing. This project of 100 drawings feels like it’s been going on forever, in one sense, and yet these final days appeared so suddenly.

Huh? How does that even happen? I’ve literally been keeping count!

But the end was always  forever-away right up until page 99. And then suddenly it was almost over. This day was a pyjama day. These are my pyjamas. Seems fitting for the evening of the project.

 

day 100

The final doodle from phone photos is a mural I found in Barcelona. What are these? Are they fish or are they space aliens? Or alien space fish? Whatever they are, they made a fun end to the book.

So that’s all, folks! I’ve learned so much in doing this. I’ll tell you more about the surprising lessons soon, but that’s for another day. 

 


If you missed the previous parts, you can find them here:

Week 1 ~ Week 2  ~ Week 3 ~ Week~ Week 5 ~ Week 6 ~ Week 7 ~ Week 8 ~ Week 9 ~ Week 10 ~ Week 11 Week 12 ~ Week 13

 


For regular monthly updates on what I’m doing, making and thinking about, direct to your inbox, hop aboard my little list here.

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

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100 drawings: almost full circle.


100 days: 85-92

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere..”

~  Carl Sagan.

100 doodles from 100 photos in my phone.

This is the last but one week of my extended summer project, the last steps of a marathon. I have mixed feelings about it ending – I’ll be glad in a way – as all challenges need to come to a close. But as it’s become a part of my daily habits it will leave a gap. Already I’m looking forward to the next projects that will fill the void. I’ve been eying up new sketchbooks online…

Meanwhile, the story continues: 

 

day 85

As this project moves on I’m exploring more than just straight drawing from photos. By playing with scale, finding a detail I like, making a drawing more than just copying some shapes. As the days and the pages mount up I’m looking for more challenges.

Have you ever done something like this project? I’d love to hear what you learned in the process.

day 86

There’s looking at a thing, then there’s looking with a view to drawing a thing.And then there’s the kind of looking while drawing a thing.  And there’s a subtle, but big difference.

In redrawing this illustration of a duck I noticed it was made up of things. But until I came to draw it, I didn’t see that that thing that made it’s head was a tomato. Or the thing that made it’s eye was a spider. (Not really, but that’s what it looked like as I drew it)

This will stay with me every time I see a duck now. And every time I see a tomato. Just one example of how drawing enriches the everyday things in life.

 

day 87

I saw this poster outside an exhibition I didn’t go in to see, by fashion designer Mary Katranzou. All sorts of metaphors here: emptiness – butterflies – blindness – you make your own story up. For me on that day it stood for the empty vagueness I’ve still got lingering after being sick, a sense of merging invisibly into the background. I feel like I’m here, but not entirely. The parameters are visible, the boundaries still in place,  but the essence isn’t showing through like normal.

 

day 88

I’m trying as many techniques and styles as I can find and remember though this project. Today we have a blind contour drawing. I figured as faces and hands are the trickiest things to draw, how much harder can it be to draw without looking?

(not so much, as it turns out)

day 89

Today’s drawing is from an 18th century Indian shadow puppet in the Brighton Museum. Oh those eyes!!

day 90

It’s all about nuance in capturing a face.  The angle and weight of the line can totally change the expression and the character. And the species too, sometimes. Today’s curious beast looks like a dog in my drawing but the photo is more furious sheep (I think – can’t be certain.)

 

day 91

Anything orange makes me happy so this time of year is one of my faves. These jellyfish are everywhere in October 😉

day 92

One of the tricks to drawing I’ve discovered is not to be deterred by images that are way too complicated to accurately capture. Because accurate capture is what the camera is for. This thinking really takes away the pressure; it doesn’t matter if the proportions are skewed, the bits don’t line up, the missed details, the shapes and shadows that aren’t as they are in real life. Once those expectations are set aside it’s much easier to get on with the actual drawing. And that’s how the practice gets done.

 

Join me back here next week (-ish) for the final exciting instalment!


If you missed the previous parts, you can find them here:

Week 1 ~ Week 2  ~ Week 3 ~ Week~ Week 5 ~ Week 6 ~ Week 7 ~ Week 8 ~ Week 9 ~ Week 10 ~ Week 11 Week 12 ~

If you want to follow along this project day by day I’m posting on Instagram (where you can also see more WIP & detail pix) & Facebook


For regular monthly updates on what I’m doing, making and thinking about, direct to your inbox, hop aboard my little list here.

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

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100 drawings: continuing the learning.


100 days: 78 – 84

“Only that in you which is me can hear what I’m saying.”

~  Ram Dass.

100 doodles from 100 photos in my phone. The story continues: 

 

day 78

I saw this funky door handle in Casa Batlló, the modernist building designed by Gaudí in Barcelona. Is it me or does it look like a slightly surprised, cross eyed Disney character? I guess being grabbed repeatedly by the nose would do that to any of us.

day 79

This tiny snail. I love how patterns repeat in nature, it’s a constant source of inspiration for my art.

day 80

Life might be a bowl of cherries, it might be a bowl of chillies. This is a bowl of chillies. I think I took this photo for the color, but I like the shapes too.

day 81

I saw this dude at the Brighton Museum last week (he’s a Javanese puppet). Another character in the book.

I write little notes to myself on some of these pages, some while I draw, some are on future pages. Mostly I don’t remember why. Today’s is one of them “decisions and beliefs. That’s all”.

Maybe it’s a message for another day.

day 82

Here is a wonky eyed lion. I fell in love with his smile although I don’t think it came across in the drawing… See what I mean? It’s one of those derpy smiles you can’t help smile back at.

day 83

This drawing is inspired by a close up of a tiny detail on these most incredible beaded wall hangings at Waddesden Manor, a house overflowing with outrageous opulence! Seriously – these are just tucked away in a corner of a hallway …

 

day 84

I chose this one from a whole collection of gift shop zebras. What’s not to love about a zebra? All the best animals are stripy (or cats) (stripy cats being the ultimate in animal perfection, of course).

 

Join me back here next week (-ish) for the next exciting instalment!


If you missed the previous parts, you can find them here:

Week 1 ~ Week 2  ~ Week 3 ~ Week~ Week 5 ~ Week 6 ~ Week 7 ~ Week 8 ~ Week 9 ~ Week 10 ~ Week 11

If you want to follow along this project day by day I’m posting on Instagram (where you can also see more WIP & detail pix) & Facebook


For regular monthly updates on what I’m doing, making and thinking about, direct to your inbox, hop aboard my little list here.

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

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100 drawings: continuing the beginning.


100 days: 71 – 77

“We all have 10,000 bad drawings in us. The sooner we get them out the better.”

~ Walt Stanchfield.

100 doodles from 100 photos in my phone. The story continues: 

It’s past 100 days since I began this project now, but I’m going to see it through. I lost most of a month being sick and I’m still going slowly to catch myself up. It’s a lesson to learn, to accept the speed life moves at, with grace.

day 71

 


This sculpture is in the gardens of Claydon House. I love how the middle face is floating, and the serenity, which now I look again I see more as a sadness. Even though it’s one time I did seem to recreate the expression in the drawing, I didn’t really see it until now.

day 72

 

This is “Pinkle” on account of her pretty nose and ears, a visiting cat who seems to have made herself at home in an almost perfectly camouflaged spot. (We later found out which neighbour she (mostly) lives with. She is now called “Mr Pinkle”)

day 73

 

Another day, another lizard. This glitzy lizard (that’s his name) lives on my bathroom door. His nose is a bit beaky in the drawing, but I like his shadow. I’m learning more about drawing and more about observation with every day’s drawing practice. …

When I set out on this 100 day project of daily doodles from the photos in my phone, I had no idea what the 100 pictures would be of, so it’s interesting to see what emerges. More animals than I expected, and more little corners of my home….

day 74

 

This is a project I’ve been secret-squirrelling on this summer. I will tell you all about it very soon, because it warrants a post of its own.

This is the 3rd evolution of what I’m calling “Wishes“. They are something a little bit magical. And I think I’ve finally nailed the design. More on these soon!!

day 75

 

I wrote about this project recently.

So here’s what I’m noticing in this one: how balanced I got the proportions. Translating from the size and dimensions of a phone screen to a 5 inch square page is one of the challenges I’ve had throughout (sometimes I’ve cropped the photo to a square to make it easier to draw).

You know the saying – ‘the way you do one thing is the way you do all things’ – I think of this when my drawings are utterly out of proportion and disjointed… so perhaps I’m improving on that too.

day 76

 

This is possibly one of my favs so far.

I love the patterns in obscured glass, and the patterns it makes of all that it obscures. And in this case, the leaf pattern obscures the view of actual leaves.

day 77

 

Remarkably more difficult to draw that it should’ve been, this one, too many lines.

This is one of the many faces I always see when I look at this batik fabric.

 

 

Join me back here next week (-ish) for the next exciting instalment!


If you missed the previous parts, you can find them here:

Week 1 ~ Week 2  ~ Week 3 ~ Week~ Week 5 ~ Week 6 ~ Week 7 ~ Week 8 ~ Week 9 ~ Week 10 ~

If you want to follow along this project day by day I’m posting on Instagram (where you can also see more WIP & detail pix) & Facebook


For regular monthly updates on what I’m doing, making and thinking about, direct to your inbox, hop aboard my little list here.

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

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100 drawings: still beginning.


100 days: 64 – 70

You can learn new things at any time in your life if you’re willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.

~ Barbara Sher.

100 doodles from 100 photos in my phone. The story continues…

The more years I spend in this life, the more comfortable I am with being a beginner. I’ve been drawing since I was first able to grasp a pencil in one of my tiny uncoordinated mits. Some decades on, the coordination is improving, it’s still a practice.

It’s true what they say – the 10,000 hours, the daily habits, the solid routine – these all help to develop a skill, but not with a finishing point. Beginning doesn’t have an ‘end’.

There was a gap in my 100 day project when I was sick and returning to it felt a bit like starting over. The muscle memory in my drawing hand was wonky, the sense of pen line following eye following outline felt stilted and unsure. So, stilted unsure lines is what I worked with. And I began again.

And beginners are cool. (Ever spent time with a kid? Ever been a kid? yeh, they’re cool, they ‘get’ what being a beginner is all about, cos there’s no pretence at being anything else. They’re cool with it. And so am I).

Here’s the next instalment of daily drawings, the photos that inspired them, and some thoughts that went alongside.

Week 10:

day 64

I saw this guy amongst a family of curious metal creatures on my travels somewhere in Washington last summer. Irresistible! Now I’m humming Pigs on the Wing quietly in my head again.

day 65

I’m not so much a hearts n flowers kinda gal. I’m not so much the pinkypurple gal either. So something contrary is about me today and it manifested like this. The photo I doodled this from is the corner of a photo frame that is home to my delightfully mad mother on my mantelpiece. She’s been away causing her own special mayhem and confusion in the afterlife almost 6 years now. But she’s also everywhere. And firmly fixed inside my head with all the good and not-so that brings. Like everyone’s mother is.

day 66

This guy is one of a family of about 7 or 8 similar characters, each one a little carved drawer in a tall skinny cabinet, home to the inevitable bits & bobs that accumulate in a house. (The original Instagram post of this drawing was missing the original photo as I’d mislaid it in a way that shouldn’t happen with digital files. It was there, then it vanished, and now it’s back. Tricksy little dude.)

day 67

It’s a world of contrast. I picked up this image on a happy sunny day, laughing with friends, midway through my holiday and about to go on an adventure across the US. One year on and it all seems so different. Causes for alarm and fear seem to be ramping up everywhere, my friends across the other side of the world are in fear as large parts of their country are either on fire or under water.

And this is on top of the 21st century spin cycle we’re all hurtling through, and the bruises we get along the way. So if your ride is more bumps and bruises than beautiful right now, I wish you well.

day 68

Like many of the photos I take, it’s often the shadows formed by shapes and surfaces that catch my eye. Today’s photo is the detail of a fancy bit of architecture in Barcelona. Gotta love those wavy lines. And circles! Oh my, I always got time for circles!!

 

day 69

My inner magpie is also drawn to all the shinies as well.

Only when I see these two (yesterday & today) drawings and their photos side by side now, I notice how I translated gold into turquoise for the drawing in both. Like a reverse alchemy.

 

day 70

Today I’d like to introduce you to a couple of the inhabitants on my bookshelves: Tiger came from London Zoo last year, and Stripy Cat was a gift from a friend many years ago (he since acquired a single googly eye, at a glance it looks like he’s wearing a monocle, he’s that kinda cat yknow).

They live together in a wicker basket in a copper bowl along with some spare bootlaces and some other odds and ends. Of course.  Welcome to another corner of my world 😉

 

Join me back here next week (-ish) for the next exciting instalment!


If you missed the previous parts, you can find them here:

Week 1 ~ Week 2  ~ Week 3 ~ Week~ Week 5 ~ Week 6 ~ Week 7 ~ Week 8 ~ Week 9

 

If you want to follow along this project day by day I’m posting on Instagram (where you can also see more WIP & detail pix) & Facebook


(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

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100 drawings: back on track


100 days: 57-63

“Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventures.”

~ Lovelle Drachman.

100 doodles from 100 photos in my phone. The story continues…

When I set out on this project, I was talking about it with some friends, I remember saying howit might not be 100 consecutive days, but I’m determined to see this through to the end”.

And sure enough, some days happen where life just takes up too many hours. Drawings don’t get finished or don’t get posted. But every day I do something in this little sketch book, some little finishing touches, some therapeutic scribbles, some color as a background. Something. 

That was until August rolled around. And one week in, out of nowhere, I got sick. 

Illness is something (thankfully) foreign to me. I’m blessed with a body that is mostly cooperative and easy to live in.

So I was utterly unprepared for two weeks of  24/7 hospital chaos after a ruptured appendix!  A week or so later (My usual ‘what day is it?’ state is amplified right now)  I’m still quite woozy, only functioning on about 20% of my usual energy levels.

But I’m back! and the daily practice is resumed. And I’ve missed you!

So let’s get on…

 

Here is week 9:

day 57

I’ve felt an affinity with these seed heads since I was a kid. They’re magical. They are like a totem in my life. I suddenly recognised this one day last summer, part of a bigger epiphany that words don’t do justice to. And then I saw these everywhere I went. This one was a cushion in a cafe.

 

day 58

Me n my shadow. And my big flopsie summer hat.
I have a habit of jumping forward in time and leaving notes for me-in-the-future. I do this I diaries and art journals. Silly things usually or a little doodle. This book is no different, I’ve skipped forward and jotted odd fragments of sentence, sometimes a question. I don’t usually look at it until I’ve done my drawings for the day.
Today’s page said “today I want to…”

From somewhere I heard the words “be long”. Long, like i am in this shadow.

Today I want to belong.

 

day 59

A Fish Dish. That’s all!

day 60

This is the stained glass cat who dangles in my kitchen window. She has udders on her back. Never noticed that until I came to draw her. Strange… Meow 😉

day 61

A good percentage of my photos are happy accidents, this included, it’s a photo of my tummy – but I loved the stripy pattern too much to delete it.  I was wearing the same top as I drew this, so as a bonus, the two images combined in real life!

Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 18.35.59

day 62

There’s nothing so cosy as candlelight, is there? This mosaic glass jar sparkles as the candle flickers.  Surrounded by shadowy scribbles.

 day 63

Today’s is an almost ripe rhododendron from Kew Gardens. Although now I look again it’s got an air of red cabbage about it. 

 

 

Join me back here next week for the next exciting instalment!


If you missed the previous parts, you can find them here:

Week 1 ~ Week 2  ~ Week 3 ~ Week~ Week 5 ~ Week 6 ~ Week 7 ~ Week 8

If you want to follow along this project day by day I’m posting on Instagram (where you can also see more WIP & detail pix) & Facebook


Last Chance!!!

Until the end of August I’m offering a special discount in my Etsy Shop to all the folks on my mailing list – so clickety-hop aboard today if you want to snag a bargain!

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(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

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100 ways to learn


100 days: 50-56

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” 

~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Every day for 100 days I’m pursuing a daily drawing practice, inspired by a phone full of photos to fuel the ideas for these days doodles (me-from-the-past still thinks that sounds funny to say… essentially it’s a camera I can make phone calls from. If I have to. I’m not much of a phoner)

Every day I learn something new. Some days its to do with drawing, but more often it’s a bigger learning about the bigger world. I can’t always articulate the enormity of these lessons. But I will have a go: Here’s the next 7 learnings I’ve uncovered!

Here is week 8:

day 50

I saw these forlornly abandoned Christmas baubles gathering dust on the sale shelf in Oxfam one January. I had to adopt them. To me they aren’t all that Christmassy (but then, neither am I) so they hang in my home all year round. It reminds me of a little globe, but of a foreign planet, I think the hatching marks remind me of the notation on  maps. This planet has a canal around its equator and stylised land masses. If such a place existed I’d be curious to visit, but I don’t think I’d want to make my home there. (Much how I feel about the world outside of my head).

day 51

I saw this statue in a shop in Seattle. It was enormous. Those are big dinner plates stacked either side, but even they don’t do justice to the imposing scale here. That’s one thing, translating a few tonnes of stone onto a 5″ square of paper…
The other thing? Yeh, the other thing. That is about how much character is in the nuance of the line.

This whole series is about drawings inspired by the photo – absolutely not about drawings copied from the photo. But faces hold so much more than line and form. Even sculptures. This is not the same face. Sure, they’re similar, maybe cousins. Perhaps a different point along the timeline of life. It’s all about impermanence, right?

 

day 52

The way we document our lives in today’s world and how the details are captured and time stamped has profoundly shifted our memories, I believe.

I love to collect rocks and shells when I visit a beach. I fill my pockets. Sometimes I’ll choose the best ones to keep, sometimes I’ll make a little beach mandala. And then they are forgotten and gone. If any come home with me, they are just anonymous rocks, disconnected from their environment they are separated from their story.

But this little pile of stones is special. It’s trapped in my memory as this photo is sandwiched between other memories, of beach time with dear friends. This handful of beach treasure I took back to the house we were staying at and arranged on a bigger rock in the garden. Because of this photo all the connected memories are still fresh. I look at it and I’m right back there again.

So again, in  a different kinda way, it’s all about impermanence, right?

 

day 53

Today’s photo combines a few things that make me happy: turquoise, geometric patterns & memories of Tunisia. And a chance to show off my super-power. Everyone’s got one – what’s yours? is  yours useful?  My superpower is the ability to match color. Is this useful? well, only in a very limited way. But it makes me smile every time I do it, so I guess that’s enough for now. 

 

day 54

Today’s colourful characters were last seen on the window sill of a house I stayed in last summer. Every corner of that place was decorated with this kind of quirky charm. (I was completely at home as soon as I arrived!) Every place I went I was surrounded by scenes like these, feeding my imagination to make up stories about the worlds of inanimate objects. Remember the movie Toy Story? Yeh, then you know where my mind wanders to.

And again with nuanced qualities of the faces: See how the scene shifts – background lady on the left looks aghast at how she’s been portrayed, not impressed she was caught yawning in the original I suppose, or suddenly aware in that in her redrawn predicament she’s teetering dangerously off balance. The second has emerged from her serene meditation and now looks to be pulling a selfie-duck-face. 

day 55

I’ve had this postcard for more years than I can remember, it’s tucked in the cover of my diary.

You know how some things are so familiar we don’t see them any more? Sure, I see the peacock, but until I came to colour him in, I’d completely forgotten that he’s orange. The peacock-colour-background tricked my thinking…

Things like this remind me of all the ways a drawing practice ripples out into the way we really see what’s around us. Things like this make me wonder how much I don’t see everyday. 

day 56

Everyday drawings of everyday things. My dragonfly t-shirt. Faded out Illegible nonsense and shiny details. So for me, at least, I go to read the faded graphics and they’re either upside down when I’m wearing it and looking down, or back to front in the mirror. Seeing it like this, to me, looks odd, in the same way we never see our faces as other people do.

 

I like some of my drawings more than others, and it’s interesting to see how much attachment I hold to my reaction. It’s all practice I tell myself. It’s all learning. It’s awkward and uncomfortable to put some of these out there, unpolished, unfinished (cos only so much time – these are sketches not paintings), wonky and lopsided. This is the truth of my drawing: Learning through authenticity. 

Join me back here next week for the next exciting instalment!


If you missed the previous parts, you can find them here:

Week 1 ~ Week 2  ~ Week 3 ~ Week~ Week 5 ~ Week 6 ~ Week 7

If you want to follow along this project day by day I’m posting on Instagram (where you can also see more WIP & detail pix) & Facebook


Until the end of August I’m offering a special discount in my Etsy Shop to all the folks on my mailing list – so clickety-hop aboard today if you want to snag a bargain!

penngregory_Mailchimp12TEtsyBanner

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

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100 ways to count time


100 days: 43-49

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done.  Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it.  While they are deciding, make even more art.”

~ Andy Warhol.

The continuing saga of a daily drawing practice:

Because of reasons I can’t fathom – perhaps rooted in an overly developed sense of optimism – I sometimes take on ridiculously ambitious projects. 

And because  – and this is a weird one –  although I have a good sense of what a period of time feels like when it’s quantified in a familiar way: a month, a fortnight, a weekend, a couple of hours… I could not, cannot, imagine 100 days.

100 days?

What does that even look like? 

Translating it into three-and-a-bit months, or about 14 weeks, I still can’t get a handle on this length of time.

I wonder if it will take shape when I look back at it from the other end? I’m not sure.

I’m in the middle of it now and it feels quite large.

What I have learnt is, the tipping point of any time period, usually marks a change of pace: The second week of a fortnight’s holiday goes faster; The afternoon passes quicker than the morning. Familiarity, I imagine, makes it travel more easily and without catching on so many memories along the way.

I’ve hit the apex of this project now. Let’s see what happens next. Meanwhile:

 

Here is week 7:

day 43

The source of inspiration for every one of these daily doodles is the eclectic collection of photos on my phone.

Like everyone, there are the accidental photos – inside of pocket – blurred floor – you know the ones. Coupled with the fact I love collecting abstract images of cool shapes, textures or color, without a particular subject matter, I’ve got a few that I can’t be sure if I took them, or if they just happened. This is one of them. Its place in the timel ine reminds me it’s from the glass collection at the V&A art museum.

What I love in this is the contrast of glass, the shapes and swirls and reflections in the foreground against the solid square blockiness of the windows behind.

day 44

A drawing can have a character that comes from something outside of the person holding the pen. I’m coming to see this more and more with every day’s drawing.  I notice it here in the expression on the face of this blue chicken – it seems to have translated from the photo with more than just simple representation of lines. Perhaps the daily practice is edging me toward more accuracy. Perhaps. But I sense there’s more to than that.

day 45

A through-the-looking-glass view of my nest. More yellow than I notice it day to day.

Misremembered details, slightly skewed perspective:  every single drawing in this project is a metaphor for life.

day 46

Turkish coffee tastes like holidays to me. There’s this this tiny Turkish cafe near here, where it’s served in a fabulously ornate array of silver shininess!

day 47

Today is about swapping colours but keeping shapes.

Ferns fascinate me. I love their fractal qualities, I like the notion we live in a fractal universe, so any reminder I see in nature is pleasing to me. Why are my ferns orange not green? Just the first pen I picked up. I don’t always have big meaning behind what I do. Even with colour.

day 48

This one is a portrait entitled “LOOOOK!” because we all know if someone’s taking more photos of trees, perhaps more than a ‘normal’ person does, just saying “LOOOOK!” over and over isn’t always enough to grab their attention. You might have to photobomb those darned trees as well. 😉

day 49

Allow me to introduce the giraffes at London Luton Airport. These are the fabulous creatures who keep you company as you have breakfast and wait for your holiday to begin. Although I began with their natural setting, albeit a different shaped grid pattern, the unconscious choice of colors I ended up with gave them a more natural looking background than airport ceiling.

Once again I feel like these drawings are not originating from me, just passing through. They chose me as their vehicle to arrive in the world.

 

Half way!! Join me back here next week for the next exciting instalment!

 


If you missed the previous parts, you can find them here:

Week 1 ~ Week 2  ~ Week 3 ~ Week~ Week 5 ~ Week 6

If you want to follow along this project day by day I’m posting on Instagram (where you can also see more WIP & detail pix) & Facebook


All through this summer I’m offering a special discount in my Etsy Shop to all the folks on my mailing list – so clickety-hop aboard today if you want to snag a bargain!

penngregory_Mailchimp12TEtsyBanner

 

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

yearfullofcolorbypenngregory_page_01