100 days in 2019


Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” 
~ Sir Terry Pratchett

It’s that time of year again, Instagram is full to bursting of 100 day projects. I love the variety of ideas that populate this challenge.


Previously…

In 2017 I missed the start date by a long way. I didn’t know this was an annual event, or anything much at all except it was a hashtag that intrigued me. I took the next 6 months to complete 100 daily pages of art journal.

In 2018 I was all amped up to go from day one. I decided on a hugely ambitious project. I even wrote myself a manifesto. For real! By day sixty-something I was utterly spangled and my group of 100-day-canvasses* are still ‘resting’ in a not quite complete stage.

*that’s 5 canvasses for the 100 days. Not 100 canvasses. I’m over ambitious, for sure, but not that much…

I’ll circle back round to them some day. When they’re ready.


Opting Out…

This year I had no plans to join the project.

I love watching everyone else’s projects in all their iterations play out and develop. I’m fascinated by the broad reach of the themes; the devotion and the grace; the patience and the determination. [Is this you? Leave a comment below with your IG handle so I can follow you too 😀 ]

My 2019 is a time of stepping away and of setting aside, I’ve been deliberately disengaging from social media, opting out and resisting. I’m doing my darnedest to play more offline than online to help de-frazzle my achy brain.

This year I planned watch and absorb instead.

Oh. Surprise!

So no-one was more surprised than I was to find myself getting all zinged up on April 2nd – day one of the project – when I determined the thing I wanted to do more than anything else was to join in again!

I made a commitment to myself already to make some sort of art every day in this little Moleskine book. It’s been with me over a year and I especially while I’m still a bit high on the fun of the sketchbook project book I just completed (more on that soon) this feels like a gift of accountability- momentum I just can’t ignore.

Will I last out for 100 days? I’ll post updates here as and when [ or you can check the daily doodles I add on Instagram ] for now I’m enjoying it, and that’s all that matters to me 😉


Meanwhile, If you want to be first to know about my colorful antics on and offline, join up for monthly news direct by email.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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 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.

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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)
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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)

 

 

365 self love update


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The pace of this project is slow but steady, marching through time at 1 inch per day. And already since the start of the year it’s a past the first page.

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And the book is teaching me lessons already: Page one’s squares were measured and neatly spaced. Page two’s are are more in keeping with my style: eye-balled, uneven, bit wonky in places.

IMG_6977After the first few weeks I’ve wandered off from just doodle/painting to include collaged bits – fragments of that day’s doings. It intrigues me how different the mood of each day looks. It intrigues me to see how the coming weeks and months will look, and the lessons they will bring.

3 weeks: 5 realisations


3 weeks into this year, I’m learning to adapt to this new structure that’s unfolding.

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I live by metaphors, they are the framework of all my understanding. The skeleton on which I hang my beliefs and theories.

Since January 1st 2016 I’ve filled one of these 1″ squares each day. They are in a book with enough pages to carry this daily practice over a few years. Will I do that?  I hope to. The project is entitled Self Love 365 and everyone who shares their daily squares has a unique interpretation. I love to see how our days are represented and recorded.

I’m looking at my first 3 weeks of squares and seeing a good degree of haphazardness, conflicting colours, but a bigger pattern is beginning to emerge.

When I drew out the grid I left a little gap between each square – it allowed one week to fit tidily across the width of the page that way, every day has a margin of breathing space. Except I’m scrappy and resistant to constraint by edges. Some days expand and overflow, some are linked by doodled extras.

To begin, I had trouble connecting the project to self love. Now I’m starting to understand. Here are some aspects of kindness I’m extending to myself:

  • Scrappy and overflowing are character traits not flaws. Vital in the Yin/ Yang of conformity.
  • The few minutes I set aside each day are a meditation, a discipline, a habit. Sometimes it’s easier than others to find the minutes, some days I want to doodle on ahead, but I keep rolling along, one square a day.
  • If I can see patterns develop over 3 weeks, undoubtedly I’ll get more insights over the coming months. This is a gift to me in the future.
  • Hustling for extra meaning isn’t necessary. It might emerge on its own, it might not. Patience!
  • It’s a whole book of unfolding metaphors for me to carry on defining my sense of how things are.

wobbling, blurry…


It’s all metaphors, right?

As I look at what I do I try to pick out clues as to what I mean and feel and understand.

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Already in week two of this selflove365 day project (and LOVING it, btw).

The pictures are fuzzy. They mirror the way I’m fumbling my way into the new year and this new project.

I’m finding my feet.

How do I interpret Self Love?

I’m defining it to myself: until recently I wasn’t aware of it even being a thing in my world. It’s new and a little confusing, I’m taking it on as a project: here in this book, here in my life.

So far, this is what it looks like….

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day 1

Starting out with a literal expression of the theme. First thoughts… It turns out 1″ square is both larger and smaller than I expected it to be. I can squish more into the space than expected, also it’s also more squinty to look at and to photograph than I expected.

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day 2

I went to see Star Wars this day. It was fab. (Apropos to nothing at all.) 

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day 3

What’s this? – like a tunnel into the future? IDK. I’m still consumed in confusion from the holidays. It’s still a blur. It’s been a Sunday for a very long time now.

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day 4

This was the day I would have gone back to work if I hadn’t spent it flat out on the sofa, back home, recombobulating. I was watching a lot of YouTube. A lot of Kyle Cease. He’s reminding me to re-establish a daily meditation practice. I’m reading Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project. She’s reminding me the same.

In terms of the daily practice, I’m beginning to see how the squares can join up to become a bigger picture. I’m beginning to get a grip on things again. Thank fuck for that.

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day5

Finally got into the year. Five days in… I’ve done than that worse before 😉

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day 6

Last year’s book seemed to be full of eyes. (My word for the year was FOCUS, it that kept coming out.) Also my art often has eyes in. So here’s an image who is looking back at us.

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day 7

Today I began another year long project. I’m feeling more comfortable with commitment than any time before in my life. (Strewth – I’m not becoming like an actual adult am I?) (NO)

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I hope the first week of the year has been gentle to you, dear friends. I look forward to reading your plans and adventures X

 

 

Happy New Love


Toward the tail end of last year I fell upon #selflove365, a daily drawing practice, meditation, and focus. I chose the book I wanted to use, I drew a grid of 1 inch squares, and I waited for January to begin.

Here we go.

Two days in, I’m finding my way.