Last year I had the great pleasure of producing an online class for 21 Secrets all about color.(If you know my art – you’ll know this is my thing!)
In the class I teach you how to make a really fun variation on a color wheel, using collage and mixed media painting techniques, to inspire new ways of combining colors in your mixed media art. This would be fab as a school holiday project for creative little ones!
And another 23 teachers (yes – this time there are more than the usual 21) share how they use color in their art.
These are the art journal pages from the first three months of Twelvty: This is the story so far.
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.
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 😉
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!
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The tail of the year, the time to look back & look forward, funny cos in so many ways it’s an arbitrary number, tomorrow will still be tomorrow whatever we call it. But I enjoy the process of evaluating where I am in this life from time to time, so now’s as good as any!
Beginning with (drum roll and accompanying cooing noises, if you will)
ok, that’s a working title… I’ll tell you a little more about it and perhaps you’ll have some better ideas on a name!
So here’s the thing: 5 years ago I did this personal project called 12 in 12and it looked like this:
It’s an art journal of mixed media, painting and doodles, collage, stitching and things that I worked on all through the year. Each month had a 2 or 3 pages, but just one colour. Beginning in January with Red-Purply-Magenta, I cycled around the colour wheel landing back to Red in December. 12 colours in 12 months.
I loved it for so many reasons. While I continued to play with all the colors in my other art, I kept focussed on the month’s ONE COLOR in this book. All month long.
It was a discipline. And it made me reach for the other colors more mindfully in the rest of my work.
Even now, years on, I look back through it and those pages flood my mind with ideas and inspiration.
It also tuned my eyes into color in my surrounding much more keenly. Look around you now: how many blue things can you see? Look again. Are they brighter now you’re actively noticing them? It’s so simple, so effective.The more we look, the more we see.
I revisited this idea recently in my 21 Secrets class Take Nine. And it’s awoken something in me that’s just overflowing with ideas.
At least a yearful of them.
So, here we go:
I’m going to re-imagine this project in 2017 and I’d love you to join me.
This time it’s going to extend beyond one art journal. It’s going to include all the aspects of art making I use and incorporate everything new I pick up in the year, off the top of my head I already know it will have:
painting & drawing
photography & video
textiles, stitching, beadwork
sculpture & 3D makings
…. oooh! we’ll have to wait and see what else!
Each month I’ll record what I’m making and share these videos with you, AND at the end of the month I’ll be selling the pieces I make in my (soon to be opened) Etsy Store.
AND There will be giveaways and prize draws through the year too. I’m formulating the details and honing the plans all the while: there will be much more on all of this soon!
Sign up here for updates by email if you want to keep in the loop with all things TWELVTY
Edit:: It’s here!! Find out more HERE & SIGN UP if you want to join the adventure!!
I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Meanwhile, I wish you all a fabulous, bright and colorful week!
The nature of dipping in and out of a book means most of the pages are, for a long time, just scraps of whims, streaks of paint, isolated doodles and jottings. And they are quite loud and ugly.
In a book of no intrinsic value, it means nothing to open it up and find a space to wipe off my paint brush, to test out an old pen, to blurt and vent some spleen. A dumping ground for bits of thing laying scattered on my work table. Cut outs and scraps, they all go in.
Nothing to lose. Some would argue (shhh — they don’t understand), nothing to be gained.
We know different, right?
Again I remember, how it’s all a metaphor for life. Keep pushing through, it’s ugly now but keep going, it’s a phase. If you have that strength of belief to carry you through it can come good.
At no point in this process do I have an idea of finished – what it will look like or when it may happen. (or if… tbh there’s always an if)
Then I catch a little corner, in my eye or my camera, and I know it will be ok.
In fact – most days I create loads – but in terms of the tangible, the painty reality, every week of this year I am creating at least one something: One page of One book of One year
I’m over half way in now, and I’m detecting more and more patterns all the time, every one a metaphor for the unfolding times in which they’re made:
Some weeks start on the first day and incrementally develop a little at a time.
Some weeks are a flurry of fervour, forced into focus in a short few days: blurting out in totality at the start, or squished up against the finishing hours.
They all reflect some underlying aspects, some current cares and the modality of the moment: Words and feelings ooze in and out.. You might not hear them, but we both know they are there.
Weaving in the elements: internal and external.
There’s what rests on the surface, andthere’s so much more.
The surface reflects to you what you project out.
For everyone it’s something personal and new.
Each page, each week, each is contained within a season of interest with the cast of supporting characters who meander about and around my days. These recent weeks have been populated by some images that I printed more than I needed for a project I’ve since finished. Smiling, familiar faces from within the framework that structures these times. Left over faces smile out of these times.
Here from the perspective of a photo I see all that I’d like to do to ‘finish’ the image. But that week has passed so it’s another that I’ll leave as it is, almost ready, a little soft in the middle and a bit raw in places. It’s all ok. Time pushes on, I’m over the other side of this one now.
Do you know Jason Silva? He’s media artist, futurist, philosopher,
he’s a ball of frenetic energy and enthusiasm and with a magnificent mastery of descriptive language he spills this energy out into the internet in Shots of Awe.
I like Jason Silva a LOT.
I was listening to him talking with Tim Ferris while I made the most part of this page.
Set with the challenge to create two works – any media, any format – with the dual themes of Water and The Creative Process. If you’ve been following the story that started out a few weeks ago, then you’ll know I finally reached the point I’m calling these paintings finished!
I loved the way they evolved. I made it my mission to let go of any fixed idea of final outcome, and let the creative process flow like water. You know me, I love a metaphor! Would I do anything differently if I did this again? sure I would! But that’s why it’s called a practice, right?
Anyhoo… you’ve read enough words, now for the pictures!