Little Green Things


colorwheelspiralIn my year full of color, I’m taking one step around the color each month. 12 colors in 12 months. 

It’s a logical progression at a steady pace that suits my practice well.

I’m documenting and sharing my experience as I go in an online program, TWELVTY, along with all the myriad resources I gather along the way.

There’s a new creative project every month, and there’s an art journal that has a few pages devoted to each month. Over the year this book will develop into a mixed media color-wheel-book. (A bit like this one – which inspired this year’s journey)

At the end of each month the art I made is available to buy online, and I make some little flip through videos of the art journal pages for my YouTube channel.

 

If you’ve visited this blog before, you will have seen some. They look like this

 

Months 1, 2 & 4. Erm…?

 

If you know me at all, you’ll know that this logical, consecutive, stepping order is not in keeping with my natural method. Any attempt to follow a structured system is liable to cause a part of my brain to misfire. I plan, I organise, I wander off route. Every freaking time!

Over the years I’ve found ways to make peace (mostly) with these quirks. I dance about in my own kind of high octane chaos. I enjoy making these colorful little schedules and lists. These are the compass by which I course-correct along my wiggly route.

 

 

At almost the half way point in the year, I’ve kept order to the creative part, but the end of month sharing schedule has gone a little catawompus.

Which is why – having shown you Twelvty-Four’s blue-green creative output already – today I want to show you the little green goodies I made during  Twelvty-Three!

In this month of Green I made this small collection of greetings cards from little bundles of hand dyed papers, held together with stitching. But they are more than that. They are also pieces of art you can frame and love forever. These are delicate and intricate, the more you look the more you see.

If you hop on over to my Etsy shop you may be in time to snap one up before they go.


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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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Your email is utterly safe to me. I won’t let it stay up late or eat junk food, it can sleep in late on weekends if it wants to.

What 3 months of color looks like…


These are the art journal pages from the first three months of Twelvty: This is the story so far.

January: Yellow

 

When I look at these pages I’m whisked back the to adventures and explorations of the first month of this year long adventure. Using just one color brings out nuances and subtleties too quiet to hear above the sound of other colors. 

I chose yellow as a starting place in the color wheel because it is simple, it is small. 

There’s not much space or contrast in yellow – take it darker and you have shades of ochre, tan into browns. Only a smidge lighter before you hit white. No room to step either way before falling into yellow-orange or yellow-green, and they have their own months in Twevlty.

Yellow is compact with well defined parameters. 

 

February: Yellow-Green

Yellow-green: the first tertiary color we explored – and suddenly there’s a depth of tone to play with. Luscious lime to opulent olive.  Chartreuse. Char-freaking-treuse, people! 

And here’s the beginning of the “is it or isn’t it?” questions that will bob up all through this year. When does it stop being yellow and start being green? Where’s the spot in the middle? We’re navigating a continuum, there are no strict boundaries. It’s all part of the fun 😉

March: Green

Another month, another step round, deeper into greens. Each collage scrap and cut out shape here has a story and will serve to remind me of ideas that were born and then took a turn I didn’t foresee. I’m only the vehicle through which these ideas come to being, sometimes I forget this and try to control them. But, like water,  they find their own way.

 

This book is the place a leave seeds of ideas to incubate: reminders to a me-in-the-future. We’re nearing the end of a month of blue-green as I type this to you, and about to dive into the ocean of blue for May. Check back to see the cool bluey loveliness that emerges!

 


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)

Your email is utterly safe to me. It will be wrapped up in blankets. I will bring it tea and biscuits on Wednesdays.

Happy Birthday!


(But more on that in a moment… first let me set the scene…)

I was telling you about how TWELVTY has begun to take on a life of its own. It’s just a few weeks into its year long life and it’s not going the way I imagined…

Instead of being the set of 12 individual colored months, like I first planned, TWELVTY is turning into a story made of 12 chapters. They are woven together and already I can see that taken separately they lose the essential essence of the story. The full year of color has a life the months alone can’t provide. 

To begin I wanted to make this program available to join throughout the year, but what I didn’t know then was how all-encompassing it was to become! It’s grown beyond my imaginings, and to be honest if someone was to join later in the year I don’t think they’d get the full magic of being a part of TWELVTY just by accessing the material retrospectively.

So I’ve decided to close the doors on TWELVTY at the end of this month.
No more new recruits after the end of February. 
 

But wait up! that’s not all….
Before the doors close, as today is my birthday ………

I’m going to gift 2 FREE PLACES in TWELVTY 2017 in a Prize Draw.

The prize draw runs from Friday 17th Feb for ONE WEEK.
Winners will be notified Saturday 25th February.

 

Are you someone who gets all lit up about color?
Would you love to join a tribe of creatives who are just like us?

If so, just jump on my mailing list here and
reply to the welcome email with the title “I’M IN!”
to add your name to the hat for the prize draw.

(and as a welcome, you get this little ebook all about color when you join my list)

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Want to find out more about what’s in TWELVTY – it’s all  over here . I also did a big ole Q&A post over here. Or ask me in the comments – I’m massively excited about this – ask me anything! (anything about TWELVTY…I don’t have answers to much else!)

I don’t know if I’ll be offering this program again. Next year has different adventures in store for me, so this could be ‘now or never’, folks! 

Reinvention


A few years ago I created a year long project, dedicating each month to a single colour. Beginning in January with red/purple – that gorgeous magenta I keep falling back into – I cycled my way month by month through the primary/secondary/tertiary colours, ending the year in Red.

Ever since I’ve had the desire to follow up on this and reinvent the idea.

So while I haven’t been over here in the world of Ephemeral-Gecko-ing, I’ve been busying myself on a new project ….but you will have to wait until tomorrow for all the details….

Meanwhile, here’s what the 12 colours in 12 months adventure looked like:

 

Chapter Next: Mirage


Some the pages in my altered book are already conveniently titled. The book began as an orphaned volume of short stories, and some of the tales’ titles just appealed too much to cover up.

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Doesn’t Mirage just conjure such magic?

I haven’t embarked on any of these pages with a plan. Planning just isn’t in my spirit. I didn’t get that gene.

So to begin I just do something, and let that define where it wanders next. The first something that happened on this page took the form of sprinkles of Brusho swept about in circles with a wet brush. IMG_41541

Oh my how I love how these dusty crystals explode with colour. This stuff is the definition of less is more. More than a wee bit makes for a super rich gravy of an ink, which is gorgeous, but when you use an imperceptibly itsy amount each tiny trace of this magic erupts into zingy pigment on contact with moisture.

It is more than gorgeous. It is actual magic.

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Another early layer was gesso scraped through a stencil, then extra messy gesso scraped haphazardly. If you’re a fellow scraper of gesso you’ll recognise those characteristic windshield wiper patterns of clearing excess off the scraper 😉

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In the years preceding this project I accumulated a shed load of design magazines, rich full of the most gorgeous graphics and illustration.  Just lately I embarked on transforming the knee high heap into 4 boxes of delicious collage ingredients, and a small mountain of recycling.

Thing is, I don’t know who this half a face belonged to, and as an artist I’d like to credit the creator. Any reference to the inventor got lost in the snippings. If it was you – thank you  and I hope that you like the new other half I made. In the spirit of self-portraiture I’ve mismatched the eyes for a familiar wonkiness!

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Hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip through the putting together stages. Here’s how the page developed as a whole………

deeper into the book of wishes


Yesterday I showed you the first page of my latest project – the first one I could call finished (ish).

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This is the latest page, I began playing with over the weekend.
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Starting out with gesso and inks, layered up and finished with hot glue blobs
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Inspired by the very lovely and talented Contadina K

3 of 12


Todays snippings are from the spring to early summer and range from the violet edge of blue through to sunny yellows 😀

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Easy Batik – the verdict!


Some little while ago I got all buzzed up about an idea to do some batik. A trawl through the web came up with Dylon Easy Batik and as I couldn’t resist (HA! geddit!!) giving it a go.

I have to say firstly, it is a lot of fun.

With the consistency of cream (shake well – I forgot one time and it does separate unshaken), it paints on nicely. I was using cotton sheeting, and found it absorbed and spread, so even the finest lines came out a bit chunky. In that sense it’s limited in comparison to real batik, but something to build into the design I guess. The other main difference is that unlike batik wax it is flexible when it’s dry, so none of that lovely crackle effect. But other fabrics need testing on!

First easy batik doodles!

This is the underside of a freshly dye-painted sample. The eagle eyed amongst you might notice the batik-stuff appears speckled. It isn’t. This only happens if you use a fluffy-with-velvet-trimming-fuzz-covered surface to paint on. Oops. No matter, it all comes out in the wash.

Now that leads me on to another thing. If one were to follow the instructions one would paint on the stuff and allow to dry, pref overnight, then iron to fix (did all that), then to place the fabric flat in the dye for 30 mins (longer and the resist loses resistance), not aggitating it for fear of loosening the stuff from the fibres.

If, on the other hand, one is me, one might choose to go off recipe at the point after the ironing…

I had planned to paint and drip procion dyes, swish with water, get a nice watercolory-effect then fix with soda ash per dying instructions on the bottle. Building up by layers, some more batik-stuff, more drying-ironing-inking cycle, etc…

But, surrounded as I was by so many delicious colored inks (not fixable), I ended up using a mix of procion dye (unfixed, didn’t bother since all the other ingredients became involved), ink, dylusions spray, coffee, tea…
It was a giddy whirl of color, it was really out of my control altogether. i just decided these samples would be ingredients for non-washable creations. Simple as!

But sometimes, just knowing something won’t work is not reason enough not to give it a try. After all that ironing a certain amount of fixing must have happened. Plus I knew full well if I’d been wearing white when I did this, no amount of laundering would have got the splashes out! So I *washed some edge snippings to see what happened… just how much color loss and more importantly, washability of the stuff
Surprised by the results – less color loss than I expected, and total stuff removal (speckles n all!)
*washing: hand washed in cool water, no detergent, just til the water ran clear.

the other side of the folds



The other side of day / page 40 had folds already in place from which to make structure.

These created rectangles in which to hold doodles.

It was another page that spilled into its neighbour, repeated shapes formed along the far edge along with inky grass-green spillage and over spray.

Coming together as a whole, like this.

Jam Jar Art


Have you ever noticed the underside of a *jam jar?

Me neither… until by happy accident. I checked all the old jars I have collected up, and they all seem to be the same. (I’ll wait here, you go off to the kitchen if you need to check yours now)

They all have a ring of raised dots – like glass Braille – I guess an anti-slipping thing.

Turns out if you wash out a jar and instead of drying it, leave it to dry naturally on the nearest flat surface, like maybe an inky page of an open sketchbook, a beautiful ring of dots appear where the water has run down the sides and puddled round these dots!

Oh yeh – and if you get carried away trying to recreate the effect you can obliterate the dot circles just as easily with too much water!

The patterning reminded me of sewing machined lines (unthreaded needle, just perforating the paper) …that seemed like the best thing to go with the page in progress

So that’s what became of page 36!

* strictly speaking mine are all coffee, mayo & pasta sauce jars. I don’t like jam. Funny how they’re always called jam jars…