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Twelve Colors in Twelve Months: 2017 is my year full of color. I called it Twelvty. Because that’s just the way my mind works… and because I like made up words.
Each month I take another step around the color wheel, and focus on making art in just this color.
I like the liminal places – like dawn and dusk – neither one nor the other – just on that tipping edge in between. So naturally, I’m especially drawn to the tertiary colors(which is great – there are six – so every other month I’m back into one of my favourite color zones).
Last month’s color was blue-violet: the moody-mauvy, midnight-indigo, and the fragrant bluebell & lavender space in the spectrum.
Last month also marked the half way point through the year, which is a place I like to step back and reflect.
These are some thoughts on the story so far.
Each month, along with its own color, has its own flavour, it’s own particular energy. It moves in its own speed, and I’m coming to realise, this is something over which I have next to no control.
Each month as I focus my creativity in the current color, I’m learning to bide quietly and see what comes out. To begin, I thought this was from the associations each color invites, but now I’m seeing it’s also from the cumulative volume of spirit this entire investigation is amassing.
The power of a single pointed focus in color is in its absolute simplicity.
Restricting the dither attached to one choice frees up space to play with the others, and to maximise them beyond the usual stopping point: tone and shade, materials and media, size and shape. Or then stripping it all back to its origin: just pure color.
I’m compiling an art journal of my ideas and experiments as I move through the year. It’s a re-purposed world atlas (cos this is an adventure – it seemed fitting). Each month’s has about 4 pages of playing space, and at the midway point this book is bulging with inspiration, expectation, and possibilities.
Would you like to see this month’s pages?
If you enjoyed that, you can see the previous month’s pages here
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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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Week 2 was a big ole brain dump. Funny how this process cements moments into the memory.
I remember listening to podcasts and YouTube things as I doodled this out. Words and phrases filtered through my ears down, out through my drawing hand – sometimes verbatim – sometimes slightly altered by the messages I heard inside the words.
‘Make 2015 the year you question everything’, said the scrap of paper. Glued into my book, glued into my imagination, this phrase was to inform the way the coming months played out. Question Everything.
Week 3: Comfortably into the new year I was setting myself some targets. I achieved the specific ones – way quicker than I expected too. But reflecting from a year further into this life, I see how woolly and unquantifiable some were. Lately I’ve been listening to Leonie Dawson. Do you know her? She’s also loud, smiley, fun and colourful. I like her a lot. She’s big on goal setting. I’m following her wisdom this time round.
Week 4 found time to pause for thought. I was brimming with optimism, which mirrored again this year as a time so rich in potential and beginningness. As much as anything else, I’m getting to know me a while lot better through doing this. Turns out that’s my happy place: just on the cusp of an ending and a beginning. (Oh, and in case you’re wondering – the computer came back in full health – having not forgotten anything).
Week 5 – the cross over from January into February. Another big week. (They’re even bigger looking back – it’s a trick of perspective, maybe).
So as we turn into the next month today, this seems a good point to pause. Part two will follow along soon.
Earlier this year I embarked on an art project that crept up on me and took me unaware. I didn’t see its approach – no rustling in the background – no warning at all.
One moment it wasn’t there at all in my world, then BOOM it was there: front and centre in my field of attention, large as life, impatient to be made. Suddenly the biggest most important messy painty colorful thing in my life was this book:
The Complete Short Stories of W Somerset Maugham (volume 3).
I’m not sure where it came from, but somewhere down the line I rescued this shabby orphaned volume from an uncertain fate.
It’s destiny now was to become an ingredient for ART.
Along with the stacks of magazines I set to work on filling the book with colour and collage.
Over the course of a few months this book became my retreat from the doubts and the obstacles in the outside world. When ideas weren’t showing up for me, I dove into the book and let my unconscious put together shapes and words. When in doubt, play.
I’ve shown you some of the developmental stages already, but now the book has got to a point I’m calling pretty much finished I thought you might like to see it altogether in a flip through.
The song, from whence I adopted this title, is by Winterbloom* and is in the movie Indie Kindred.*since I put together the video a couple of months ago the Winterbloom website seems to have fallen off the interwebz. Such is the constant moving and changing of the world.
When I watched the film this song got caught up in the wheels of my mind. It’s all about creative collaborations and the mutual support of the tribe, which mirrored a lot of what’s been going on for me lately. And this year I have felt my life open up to a new phase. This book is one of its illustrations.
With more than 40 pages the flip is separated into 3 episodes. I’ll share them over the next few days by way of something bright and fun as my holiday gift to you, dear digital friends. With much love X