100 days: 8-13


So here’s the thing: I’m not ordinarily a jump-out-of-bed-filled-with-enthusiasm-for-the-new-day kinda gal

(Oh, how I wish… I’m working on this one)

And I get twitchy at the thought of constraining myself to  a regular routine. 

I’m not quite sure why the disparity between the me I’d like to embody and the me I currently am, other than  – the reason for most things – people are complicated creatures.

It’s part of my BIG WHY behind taking on this challenge

It’s a practice within a practice, the bigger challenge of this life: to keep learning, keep evolving, keep shape-shifting – to become a morning person, a person who carries a sketchbook, a person who can draw circles and faces and recognisable things without drowning in judgement and criticism…. a person with a wholesome, creative, regular daily habit —  to who knows what next.

I figure only practice will get me from the version of the person I’m being now to the one I want to be next. One step in front of the other, one page at a time.


Here is week 2:

 

8/100

8 7

I am magnetised by trees, hypnotised. I can just stand and stare at them. And I do. One of the (many) reasons, I love the shapes the branches make – the gaps and spaces – like windows to the sky.

 

9/100

IMG_8366 IMG_0868

I forget what or where this was. I don’t think that matters much. What’s most interesting to me is all the metaphors this brings to mind. Today I’m thinking about junctions, connections, the joining togetherness and shifts in direction.

 

10/100

IMG_8404 IMG_8235

I notice how today I’m just not feeling it. I get caught up in the details and miss the bigger picture. The perspective is skewed and botched. And I say ‘but it’s art, it’s a drawing not an exact copy. It’s *inspired by* …’ while all the while I’m wanting to practice and get better at observing, at seeing the whole picture, at planning and scaling and accuracy and all that stuff. It’s all metaphors and it’s all practice.

 

11/100

IMG_8409 11

This is a path I’ve walked down hundreds of times, a shortcut between two rows of houses. In the morning the sun shines through the tunnel of overhanging trees and dapples the path. Already I’m thinking I’d like to revisit this photo, see it through the eyes of a me-on-another-day.

 

12/100

IMG_8431 IMG_0403

I found this curious group in a shop in Washington. I was travelling light so could only come away with this photo. In my drawing I could only fit three of the characters, so the others might appear later in the book (I feel like they should be together in some form). In the drawing the two on the left look a little conspiratorial while the green dude on the right looks worried. I only noticed this just now. What do they know that I don’t? Has separating them from the herd caused some friction? 

 

13/100

IMG_8435 13

It’s curious (to me) how taking a photo traps a moment, a memory, and holds it, contained in a little rectangle. This rectangle contains the mixed feelings of the drive to the airport, going home from a holiday, in a place I called my second home for sometime.

 


 

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

Do you have a daily creative practice? I’d love to know how you find it effects the way you make, the way you process your ideas…

 


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

 

100 days: 1-7


MY last trip to the art store was for essentials: gel medium and canvas. I passed through aisles filled with rainbows of paint and pens and all manner of glorious goodies. I resisted the urge to take home so much of so much. 

Until I saw this.

Screen Shot 2017-06-09 at 18.48.50
my companion for the summer

I keep seeing on instagram folks doing this #100daychallenge and feeling the tug of a challenge I wanted to play along too… straightaway I knew this little sketchbook would make the perfect companion for me through this summer.

Beginning 1st June I’ve been taking my morning coffee with this new friend. Together we ease into the day. The light mornings mean my days begin earlier in the summer, it’s still quiet out in the world and nobody knows I’m awake, not even the internet.

Each day I choose a photo from the extensive collection in my phone (I’m forever seeing and catching patterns or shapes that intrigue me – finally I’m using this library – to begin my day’s doodles)

Here’s the first week of the adventure:

1/100

Photo from the Pink Floyd retrospective at the V&A – PF have been part of my life since I was a kid and I’ve got so many memories tangled up in their music. I don’t listen to it much these days, so hearing some of those songs again, I got quite emotional. When I was a teenager I went through a real hippy dippy phase. (It could be argued I haven’t come out if it yet) and I adored early PF and all the psychedelic things.

2/100

Still in the V&A, I forget what this is the detail of, but the patterns appealed and was enough to form the beginning of today’s doodle. I was listening to an Unruffled podcast, chichis where the quote “comparison and envy are just a different form of procrastination” came from. Food for thought for the day.

3/100

Today’s doodles began as I absentmindedly drew round the shapes showing through from the page before. The indentations in the paper. The shadows and ghosts of yesterday. Then the shapes from a photo in the Cathedral in Barcelona, I was really taken by this arrangement of diagonal lines and circles. It’s one of a few similar photos 😉 .

4/100

The photo that launched today’s doodle was a shop window display. My inner magpie saw those colors, those zigzags, and had to catch them. The reflections making new shapes on top were a bonus I didn’t see until later.

5/100

The photo is of a metal grid thing at the train station in Sacramento, I saw while waiting to leave on the second part of my big train trip across the US last year. I like the perspective, the contrast in grid shapes. It set the scene for this doodle.

6/100

Mmmmm…. foxgloves. What more can I say – aren’t flowers amazing?!

7/100

Continuing the theme of nature being amazing, with this twisty tree from Kew Gardens. “Healing in Expression” was a phrase I heard as I played. Which is truly what this is.

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

 


Would you like to get sporadic updates on my thoughts and drawings delivered right to your inbox? Hop onto my email list right here.

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)
yearfullofcolorbypenngregory_page_01

Your email is utterly safe to me. It will be wrapped up in blankets. I will bring it tea and biscuits as required. (subject to availability)

 

 

embodying art


This week I joined in  the 21 day  painting challenge from Dirtyfootprints Studio #21emBODY which runs up to the start of the new 21 Secrets release which is – you guessed it – called emBODY.

Everyday there’s a prompt. I love this kinda thing! Some direction to my art practice, no pressure, dip in and out as time allows.

Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 15.13.33

I bought a new sketchbook especially for this!

Yay! 

But this isn’t just a painting challenge for me.

It’s got an edge of something a wee bit more challenging for me. Not just that I don’t usually paint ‘real’ things.

No, that’s not the big part of the challenge for me.

Here’s a thing you might not know about me: I am super squeamish. Like, properly, pathetically so.

Like all of us, I’m custodian of a human body for the duration of this life. It’s got the usual collection of giblets – sorry – offal – no, wait, what is it … organs. (see, I joke, but I don’t like to even type about the squishy oozing mechanics of the insides).

I’m massively blessed that mine are well behaved and seem to get on with doing their thing without much active attention from me. For this I am, massively grateful. Massively.  Thank you, insides.

Nonetheless, it would be very helpful to get over these squeams, so I’m taking this on as a project, as much to befriend my insides, as to practice my art.

The challenge began on Monday with lungs.

Oooh err… *slight swooning… *

With a loose sense of the geography of a lung… it’s like a cross between broccoli and a sponge, right? Fractal-like, branches branching off branches off branches….

I ventured into Google image search with some trepidation. Certain it understood I wanted lung diagrams for reference, not a screen full of redness, people-meat and horror.

Here’s how my ‘lungs’ came out… it was fun. Yup – progressing from something a bit like the diagram quickly into upside down ears, a butterfly, filled with upside down trees, sea monsters, more swirls… and many layers of color. Here are my evolving lungs:

Ok…Onto the heart next. Question is, do I look for another medical diagram, or do I bale and do something


Would you like to get sporadic updates on my thinkings and doings delivered right to your inbox? Hop onto my email list right here.

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

Your email is utterly safe to me. I’ll sing it to sleep when it lands with me, and bring it tea and some cheese if it wakes up.

hatching plans…


I’m planning to put together a video showing the evolution of these pages.IMG_7642

From their kinda ugly beginnings based on indecision – paint – no, pen – no this colour – no, blobs not spirals, no -wait, ….

IMG_7644

through the messy phase (phase!!)

IMG_7645

The bits that look more complicated than they really are (maybe)

IMG_7669

Over and over in layers

IMG_7671

We’ll be able to see the bits that get obliterated along the way & the bits that keep shining through

doubtless we’ll be joined by some of the recurring creatures -like these cut out birds who keep flying back in…

I’m intrigued to watch the process from the outside too – let’s hope for a nice bright day at the weekend and I’ll see what I can conjure up!!

Have a wonderful weekend everylovelyone 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

derailed logic


You know me well enough by now – you know not to expect a simple train of logic, don’t you?

ephemeralgecko53mermaid

When I found this anonymous model, the leopardskin, that sultry seductive look, and all the glamour of the 1940’s ‘do — and I don’t remember the exact connecting train of thought that same next –– I just straight away thought mermaid.

ephemeralgecko52mermaid

Of course, right? <welcome to my world!>

the str-e-e-e-tch


This guy was in a yoga magazine before he got here. In between times he’s been hanging out in my collection of cut out magazine snippings.ephemeralgecko72Trikonasana.jpg

I haven’t attempted this asana for a long while, it’s one that feels amazing at full stretch with straight limbs like this, but limbs and joints don’t always want to cooperate…

So he’s here as a reminder of what I can do on a good day, and good days are returning.

ephemeralgecko76Trikonasana.jpg

Meanwhile I’ll focus my dexterity on scissor work and paintbrush wielding 😉

ephemeralgecko71Trikonasana.jpg

 

circus of uncertainty


It’s a continuing theme…

IMG_7395.jpg

We are back in the book again. Come in, have a stroll round…

IMG_7392.jpg

It’s a bit wordy underfoot so mind your step.

IMG_7356.jpg

There’s a regularity to the irregular once you get used to it here.

IMG_7354.jpg

There’s a quiet comfort in the uncertainty.

IMG_7385.jpg

And as in the parallel world outside, no-one’s really sure what’s going on.

IMG_7355

“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart.
…live in the question.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

IMG_7387.jpg

Welcome to my circus of uncertainty

 

 

 

merging emerging


Last night I couldn’t sleep. So I painted. And I pondered.

IMG_7347.jpg
The magic of metallic paint on cushiony soft paper, that biro marks indent and cast tiny shadow outlines.

Life is as quick as a flash, a sprint through some generations and it’s done.

IMG_7298.jpg

And life is a slow evolution, spiralling up through understanding new layers of the game.

IMG_7299.jpg

It’s both.

IMG_7349.jpg

Everything & Nothing. Empty & Full.

IMG_7346.jpg

Contrast & Confusion. Zigs & Zags.

IMG_7345.jpg

Deep & Shallow.

IMG_7350.jpg

Some folk like to scramble the edge, following the truths they’ve chosen to absorb, busying away their days in occupation and activity, punctuated with ritual and escapism.

IMG_7349.jpgFearful of treading over the lines, getting their toes wet, or worse.

IMG_7348.jpg

 

Some folk run at it fast, not leaving anything to chance, escaping the dangers by out-running and out-witting. No way is right, no way is wrong. We’re all just making it up one bit at a time.

~~~~~

I’ve been listening to Pete Holmes’ podcasts: You Made It WeirdHe kept me company through the night, kept me laughing and thinking. So far I’ve really love love loved his interactions with Liz Gilbert & Deepak Chopra and been curiously riled by Noel Gallagher &  Tim Minchin.

Scraps of Serendipity


How to make a decision, how to avoid paralysis of overhwelm, when there are a hundred gazillion options, how does that work?

IMG_7301.jpg

Cos here we are, right, in the 21st Century, and if you’re reading this I’m figuring you’re someplace a little bit like here. A place where art supplies are available in more colours, more media, more super-doopy newly formulated zingyness, more variety than you can shake a stick at. 

IMG_7304.jpg

And even when you’re on a strict self-imposed use-what-you-got-already-before-buying-more-at-the-art-store diet….. there’s no still shortage of choice. Especially not when you’re compelled to repurpose just about anything into art.

IMG_7303.jpg
Scraps of Serendipity. Love it when that happens!

Lately I’ve taken to limiting what I can use to the scraps that are on my work table. These tubes of paint I didn’t put away after last time, these nibbles of torn paper. These choices were made by a previous me, and today’s ingenuity is tasked to find a new way to combine them.

 

daily learning


Do you have daily practices?

I kinda do, but my progress moves like a caterpillar – that scrunching-stretching motion, so while it averages out as daily, it might not always be technically daily.

This is the thing: – I’m acknowledging this now instead of berating myself. I’m learning my rhythms and working within them.  I’m letting the process be the lesson.

IMG_7255.JPG
2016: A work in progress/process

Since the start of this year I’ve been adding to this book of ‘daily’ doodles. Mostly every day I complete a 1″square. The days when I don’t, I return to, always within a day or two, and as I doodle I reflect back on that day. Sometimes there’s a word or a shape or a scrap of something to glue into the square. Everyday is similar, yet every day is unique.

It’s another unfolding metaphor.