trekking round this learning curve


Embarking on a project like a page a day, without an aim in sight, more a stretch of the journey traveled in a new fashion, has to be done without expectations.

I’ve doodled and made art since before I can remember.  Habitually, obsessively, because I love the process, and because (probably like all artists) I have to.

This is a different approach: One book that daily documents my trials and tribulations of the moment in color and shape, tone and imagination. Day in, day out. And then spilling out the results out into the interweb.

Having pondered if the pages might soon look samey, I’m starting to realise the range and variety of imagery that can be created.

By observing small slices of each page on screen, perspective changes. Fresh ideas emerge.

The inspiration from something touched upon days prior can be reignited afresh when a blank page beckons.

And an unexpected bonus is to be blessed by the delightful and encouraging words from folks who join along the way, Big thank you! 😀

the what and the why of ‘a page a day’


When I began this project (a month ago today) I had no idea how long I’d stick with it. Or how easy/difficult, much fun/much of a slog, it would become.
Or for what reason I wanted to do it.

But I did want to.

So I began.

A Page A Day, the project.

Ingredients:

  • New A3 sketchbook
  • All my paints, pens, inks, dyes, brushes, forks and sticks… if it makes a mark, it can join the game
  • This blog. To record and evaluate, to review and assess, keep track in a different medium of unfolding development. Regularly (I thought maybe daily, yeh…)
  • A spare 1/2 hour or so each day to fill that day’s page

That’s it, no rules.

Just one page at a time. One day at a time
(With maybe a little to-ing and fro-ing in between, but with the majority of today’s page being created today.)
Day 1, Page 1

Day 1: 16 March 2012. A Friday.
Home from work with the whole evening set aside to arty things, with the possibility to spill out over the weekend.

And wow did it spill! Everyday is painted, collaged, drawn on, doodled on, written on; dripped, splished and splatted on.

(I’ve posted previous pages if you’re interested here, here, here. And here n here!)

There are days that I’m more pleased with the result than others, but isn’t that a metaphor! If I find something really wanting on a page I’ll go back and add it. Using my sketchbook as a work surface (no drips of color go to waste in my world!) means some ‘new’ pages will begin with splishes and spills of color. S’okay.

Today ‘s page looks a lot like a page with inky paper towels stuck to it.


That’s cool. Cos I’m not so interested in what the page as a whole looks like.


These are the bits I like.

The miniature landscapes,

The inter-mingling of inks and dyes,

The light and the shade cast by wrinkles and dimples.

lost in color (continued)


I love the crinkles formed in tissue paper when it gets wet n painty.

and the rivulets of ink, dabbed in a semi-dry state, neatly outlining themselves and marking their dribbly paths
doodles run around inky tidemarks, colors blend and merge the disparate
layers piled high, paper takes on a feathery appearance, ruffled.
Not starting out with a ‘plan’ to how a page will take shape is liberating.
It’s not a piece of art it’s a page in a book.

It’s just for today. I offer no judgement.

Free to let the colors and shapes just happen.

lost in pages of color


it’s been over a week since the last round up of daily sketchbookery, here are some of the last week-and-a-bit’s additions…

Scraps of  dyed paper are beginning to crop up

I’d been hunting through old magazines for some silhouettes to use, I’ve a feeling these might make a few appearances in pages to come.

The faces were cut out from some over-printings (more on this later)

If I had to choose a geometric shape, I would choose the circle.

These doodlings are a form of meditation.

the words themselves are unimportant

The pen walks around, and my bitty thoughts are released.


I’ll add some more later 😀 Thanks for looking

off on a tangent & happy accidents


Using a blank page from my sketchbook to work on for the paper dying episodes has a threefold purpose:

  1. It’s a nice clean white (to begin with, at least) backdrop to photograph and record work in progress. A3 size book, opened up is a good sized working area.
  2. It protects my work surface (for now, an ironing board)
  3. It’s captured some gorgeous incidental art. Every stage of art, is art, right?

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The little wire coils? Yeh, I’ll explain them later. Meanwhile I’ve got drying paper to go check on. BRB 😉

running with color


As the book of daily doodles progresses, it must be time for another catch up…

As the days and the pages go by I’m seeing how there’s so much more to this project than I ever expected. And I’m not even 3 weeks in!

This page was play with acrylic tar gel and inks. The ugly scratchiness and clogs in places are more than outweighed by the fun in doing this and the lessons learned.

Dr PH Martin’s Inks have a delicious gloop to them. They make for good splotting and over-printing with a wooden print block. Adirondack dye ink spray has a fine mist sometimes a little spitty. Inky mist, spit and splot are the essence of this page.

Not truly done justice in the photos, but the effect of dripping the Dr Martin’s inks and swishing with a sponge when a little bit dried was too fluffy and gentle to draw over.

So instead, I drew around it

From humble beginnings, a new character is born. This page is seen through Eyebird View 🙂

“Obstinate & Concious”


I’ve shared some little snips and bits of my doodlings with you over the last few days to introduce you to my projects. Today I thought I’d explain a little more of how some pages come about.

I advocate the belief that art materials can be made of pretty most anything. Beyond “making use”, “recycling” or other worthy intents, this is closer to a manic scavenging, edged with disproportionate glee, in discovering a source of free material that is unwanted by the world.

The basis of this page is a case in point. I work in an office, everyday there’s a delivery of interestingly patterned paper. Business envelopes.
Opened up, inside outed to see the squiggly abstract patterning, the best of the bunch get flattened and hoarded up for later.

I’d already dyed some envelopes, by layering them in a plastic tray (yup, scavenged from the kitchen) with dilute Procion dyes and inks in shades of blues and green. Purely experimental. Or just mental? Whatever, in their soggy state the pre-gummed bits re-gummed themselves to their neighbours. This page made use of the scrappy torn bits, picked apart shreds + the borders around the windows, (window frames?) deemed too bitty to save for future who-knows-whattery.

detail from page

Collaging with Mod Podge, I built up a background for doodling on. Before it dried I added more color with little sprinklings of dry Brusho powder in gamboge, lemon and orange. Swishing with water got the colors to liven up a bit before being left to dry.

Layered up 3-4 deep in places, the overlaps and natural crunkling of the paper caused by heavy dosing with liquid, gave an undulating surface. Less camera-friendly (at least at the time of light I chose), but pleasing to draw on as the contours and furrows guide the lines on which the patterns build.

The doodlings take on a life of their own in a setting like this. Torn edges and inky tide marks sew the seeds from which the lines grow. The padded quality of the surface make biro doodles dimensional as the pressure of the ballpoint makes indented patterns. Marker pen sits on the surface and gives iridescent sheen at the right angle of light. Felt pens glide over the surface and make subtle marks.

Torn words grow new meanings, Private & Confidential became Obstinate & Conscious.