Happy Holidays friends,
If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, here’s where we can catch up 😉
Swept up in all that new year – new decade – new beginnings energy (and even a new moon today) I suddenly got it in my head to begin a new blog.
As you good folks who’ve been with me since the early days know, Ephemeral Gecko began as a place I documented my early mixed media experiments. I never expected anyone to read it, let alone follow along with me over these last eight (crikey!) years.
For a start, would I have chosen such a peculiar name?
(maybe I would)
Having meandered to where I am now, I’m ready to be more purposeful in my online voice. I’m in no rush to remove or delete anything over here, but will be retiring this site.
So join me, will you —
My colorful adventures are moving to Mixy.Art.Blog
This is where I’ll be sharing all my makings and doings in my colorful world.
Beginning with a new year full of color.
YES! TWELVTY is back!!
This year I’m not running it as a formal course, but as an open invitation to anyone who would like to play along. No cost, no commitment – the more the merrier – so do spread the word!
If you get my newsletter you’ll have already seen the TWELVTY Guide (and if you join up here you can get it delivered straight to your inbox now!)
I look forward to seeing you over at Mixy.Art.Blog where our colorful adventures continue!
How many ways can one simple patterns look so many kinds of different in different media, in contrast and colors, in scale and size?
A pattern is defined as the repeated or regular way in which something is done.
An arrangement of lines or shapes,
a design in which the same shape is repeated
at regular internals over a surface.
A pattern is an arrangement of form,
of natural or chance configurations,
a regularity in the world,
in human made design
or in abstract ideas.
Our psyches are plumbed in such a way to seek out and construct patterns.
We organise and categorise our ways into behavior patterns.
Patterns are as much about the arrangement of the component parts as they are the parts – the shape of the space in between.
I was quite entranced by these thoughts on holiday recently.
I had this little sketchbook and just a few colors. As I noticed the repeating patterns around me I began to play, when I got home I continued to fill up this little book with more variations.
I explored a similar idea before, but now I want to carry it on further – with simpler forms – maybe a circle or a square – maybe in just one color – just to see what’s possible.
If you’d like to see more ideas like this and find out what’s been inspiring me, sign up for my monthly studio musings newsletter here.
You’ll get a confirmation email when you sign up (check you junk mail folder – cos sometimes the good stuff gets swept away by mistake).
I’ll pop into your inbox about once a month with news on what I’m up to in my colorful little corner of the universe and what’s been inspiring me.
The first time I visited Cyprus was almost 20 years ago, and as I stepped off the plane, it felt like I’d come home. Something feels really familiar in the smell of hot dusty air. There were sounds and senses that did not seem at all foreign despite being 2000 miles from the place I’ve lived all my life.
Over the years I’ve been back many times, and never lost this home from home feeling.This year I wangled a way to spend 3 weeks here, and had time to really soak myself into the surroundings: the rich vivid colours & heady scents of bougainvillea & jasmine – the sand between my toes – luxuriating like the the cats that roam and loll around every corner.
But 3 weeks is a long time away from my studio routines, so I bundled up some necessaries for the trip and took a bit of time every morning to move some color about.
These are colors I chose to take (mostly Daniel Smith’s watercolors – decanted into half pans in a little tin box).
I second guessed my choice after I swatched them out here – why so many colors so similar? but as it turned out they were just what I needed, vivid blues & magentas amid the warm stony earth tones..
I’m not much of a landscape painter – my camera is for catching actual views – leaving my sketchbook as the place for playing with ideas.
The ideas I found myself playing with was the similarities and echoing patterns, repeating undulations, the ripples in the water with the curve of the waves, the textures in rocks and stones, the shifting shapes of shadows in the early autumn breeze. Mixing and remixing, folding ideas together into an endless series of permutations.
I feel I’m like returning a bit at a time after a long trip away – this time it took almost a week to really gather myself together into one place. What eased the transition was the pages in this book that overlapped the geography. The patterns of the travels merged into the patterns of usual daily doings & the edges between the two worlds blurred.
Catch this month’s newsletter to see a flip through of these pages to find out where this little collection of images leads next!
My 100 day project time lapse compilations are growing (you can check out the others over here)
The pages in this book got layered over again and again – some began many months earlier – and then were then re-imagined many times in the 100 days.
This page began where I’d written the manifesto for the previous year’s 100 day project. An Actual Manifesto! Lawks!!
Never before had I felt called to write myself such a formal plan, but one morning last year I woke up from a vivid dream with an irresistible compulsion. Then a little over a year later I painted over it.
Watch how morphed over the 100 days here –
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I’ve spent so many hours in the world between the pages of this book.
From the layers of drawings and doodles, to reliving the experience via editing the videos I made for the 100 days project, each page has developed a narrative.
Here is the next in the series of compiled time lapses (previous ones are here)
I work fast because one thought spawns a dozen new ideas and I have to run to catch as many as I can.
In this spread it was the stitches along the page edge that generated the triangular patterns, then the edges of the paint streaks which wanted more attention, emerging into solid shapes that demanded stripes, squiggles & spots.
Before I knew it, there were faces emerging.
I’ll be honest – right from the moment they began to appear – I wasn’t quite comfortable with this crowd.
As small and flat as their grinning faces were, I felt outnumbered, and until I redressed this balance I had an uneasy sense here.
Having looked thoroughly disgruntled throughout, the character who remained at the end took on a certain poise and dignity when the others left. Now she clearly owns this spread.
The rest of the characters in this art journal also have a destiny that’s yet to be fulfilled. Catch my August Studio Musings Newsletter to find out more. If you haven’t already done so – hop in here!
(In case you missed it, the first in this series is here)
August’s newsletter is out next week – are you on the list? join up here for monthly inspiration and studio musings
Since I finished my 100 days project I’ve been editing together some of the time lapse process videos to look back at the evolution of these pages. Here is part 5.
Ink over gesso never fails to make me happy.
In this spread I began by gessoing over a page of scribbled color. Then came pebeo colorex inks running through the gesso texture, then ecoline brush pens for their juicy transparent colors that layer like nothing else.
If I’d left this page there, I would have been happy, but this challenge involved pushing through a few ‘finished already’ stages into new territory, in this case it was with water-soluble graphite and watercolor pencils, then lastly a white chalk marker.
Get first looksies at what I’m playing with now in my monthly-ish studio musings emails – join up here
Giddy excitement. When I started this new (oooh new!!) art journal I decided to make the whole book the subject of a big time lapse experiment. There’s nothing like a new book to fill me with BIG intentions.
Plan: I’ll play first thing every morning and record what happens, then edit it all into a video for (mostly my own) amusement.
Reality: It’s been some mornings, but if I aim for all I’ll hit some. If I aim for some I might not hit many at all, the book will sink under a pile of other stuff, I won’t remember the plan. I know me. I know how this plays out.
If there’s one thing I consistently am, it’s inconsistent. Just the act of making a plan triggers the part of my brain that prevents me doing the thing, no matter how much I enjoy thinging that kinda thing.
Is this massively incompatible with daily life? Abso-total-lutely it is. Jeepers yes. It’s really inconvenient and a battle I fight with myself all the time.
If I let thing #1 stand in my way, it will destroy my creativity, and I’ll achieve nothing.
So in order to outwit myself I’ve put together the video of the first few pages. It’s not (yet) the epic project I first envisaged, and it might never be. But for now it is this, and this is a thing. If I’m quick, I’ll have done this before I realise I’ve fallen into my on trap. Sneaky? darned right I am.
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If you’ve been here before, you’ll know that lately I’ve been documenting my art journaling process through a series of time lapse videos.
It’s curious to relive a visual journey. There’s nothing like filming the process to relive the ‘why did I do that?’ moments. These came up a lot early on but I’m noticing a desensitising effect with practice, and letting go of expectations. Process is process.
Nonetheless, the push and pull of loving/hating the direction it’s taking remains real. It took a really long time for me to catch on where this one wanted me to lead it.
This video is a compilation of little time lapse videos taken over a few weeks of back-and-forth-ing on this spread.
The more time I spend in art making, the more I find parallels between a creative practice and all the other everyday-everythings. Seems to me, how we make tends to mirror how we live – bravely – messily – stubbornly – inconsistently… all of these are here!
This particular spread got so sticky because I reeeally didn’t want to lose that butterfly. I painted and drew around him until I had such a mess there was no other option, ultimately burying him under a new layer of paint to ease the intensity of so much going on. I was resisting letting go.
I’ll post the next in this series soon. To catch it ahead of everyone else + get monthly-ish updates on my other colorful studio antics, join up for my newsletter here.