When I’ve got just a few minutes to spare I go to my art journal, find a blank page or a space, and doodle.
These are the background layers that inspire what comes next.
This is how I fill the scraps of time while I’m waiting for paint to dry, or a file to upload, or just waiting for ideas to land.
There’s a real freedom in knowing it will get covered in sketches or collage, more doodles and scribbles. I don’t plan this, I don’t even choose the colors, I use whatever pens, paints and brushes are there on my desk.
Sometimes you just got to let art happen.
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It’s been a while since I checked in with you guys on this project, I’ve had to overcome a few obstacles along the way.
I had a really clear idea what I wanted to do with this book from (almost) the outset last year – a rambling whirl of doodles, a stream of consciousness running through the pages. Then I got ill, and the heavy duty pain medication I had in hospital inspired me with a really clear visual I wanted to recreate. As best I could, two-dimensionally on paper.
I began the line work back during Inktober, and looking back I remember at the time being aware of just how thin and flimsy the paper is in the book. I mean, super thin. It would hold up well to gentle care but I’m heavy handed and (because it’s all I had to hand and impatience is my biggest motivator in all I do) I used ballpoint pen. So my pages were already crinkling from the indentation of the lines.
That’s cool – it adds character – it’s my ‘style’ – go with it, I thought.
Then the holidays, then life, then I finally began.
Oh. My. Days!
You do NOT wanna use watercolors on this paper. Of course if I hadn’t been so hung up on the combination of:
This Sketchbook Project + These Colors + These Paints = Exactly What I Want To Do
then perhaps I wouldn’t have been temporarily blind the reality of:
This Medium + This Paper = A Certain Soggy Mess.
Ok, I’m an adaptable kinda person, I pride myself on being able to change direction, to adjust and adapt.
Acrylics, I thought. Acrylics are the answer. They will sit on top of the paper and give it a bit more substance as well.
Nope. Not only is it a streaky mess, but the pages are actually curling up in disgust.
What do they want from me? light, delicate pencil? Do they know me AT ALL??
I heard a distant memory jangling about in the back of my mind – are there rules on what media we’re to use? – checking the website: sure, acrylics & gesso are discouraged because the pages get sticky and … yes, yes, I know all this…
So, my first plan of watercolor was back on the table – because, when I read on – we are allowed to rebind the book. I can use actual watercolor paper!
Now that time was getting squeezed, that forever-away-distant deadline was getting closer… I decided that keeping it simple was the best way forward. The elaborate plans I had to begin are on hold for a separate project later in the year, meanwhile I’m back with what I know best for the pages of this book: the idea that is fuelling my creativity and has done for a long while now: an adventure in 12 colors!
After all, it’s my thing, right?
My pages are complete and ready for binding, I’ll show the finished book as soon as I get some good light for photos – then it’ll be winging it’s way off to Brooklyn Art Library
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Yesterpost I showed you a black & white photo of a paint doodle and asked for guesses what the ‘real’ colors are.
I kept you waiting longer than I intended, only cos sometimes the days gallop by and all of a sudden it’s much later. So here we are, and here it is!
If you guessed red or green then you can consider yourself correct and I’ll message you with a link to claim your prize! 😀 YAY!
Thanks for playing along- it was really interesting to know what colors you ‘saw’.
Color is a real fascination of mine, and the more I learn the more intrigued I become.
This painting is one of a series which I made for a little ecourse all about color combinations: TWELVTY XTRA which I’m offering as a gift to folks on my email list. It will be available in a few weeks, so if you’re interested, join up now, and I’ll email you as soon as it launches.
(I also like to believe it doesn’t stop there, it keeps going in both directions beyond our abilities to measure. It keeps on going forever – turtles all the way down – as the saying goes. But that’s not for now.)
Before I fall down another rabbit hole of ponderings, I have art to make:
It begins here with this series of miniature abstract paintings, which resulted from time spent playing with these ideas.
We talk about looking at the overview, the ‘bigger picture’. One purpose of art is to flip reality. So this time go smaller. To tiny things.
Each little painting offers an interpretation to the viewer, it can be any scale, a world zoomed in or out?
A landscape or a microscopic view. Or both.
Perhaps this is a fractal universe where we live, perhaps not. I like to explore these ideas without attaching to any. These thoughts fuel the desire to build patterns out of patterns.
This first Series is titled Inner Space and consists of 15 small watercolor & collage paintings mounted as art cards, and will be up in my Etsy shop in October. Hop on my mailing list to be first to know more!
I want to draw together some of leftovers and dangling ends from recent posts. The person who will enable this is Franz Ackermann.
There’s a charm to this portrait that hooked up in my head with the (so far very much) unconnected themes I was juggling. It was my missing link. Ackerman’s brought the map like quality in, and that high contrast, vector style I love as well.
So, am I going to show you the portraits now… or am I going to keep you hanging on?
Well, kinda neither…
The screen print portraits are still a work in progress as other priorities have leapt the queue in my sphere of makings.
But I’ve been dabbling with other prints and watercolor doodles. The first of which is………
One of our major projects for this term is beginning to take shape. I’m expecting it to be a series of images (or ‘outcomes’) with a connecting theme – someone very special to me – as a form of memorial. Incorporating digital photo editing, screenprinting, and some painting. So here’s a little bit of where I’m at just now
It’s looking a bit murky, I’m venturing into muted tones… (it’s weird out there!)
This is a series of experimental backgrounds.
I’d forgotton the salt on watercolor trick. It is actual magic!
Restricting colors to focus on form and layers.
White ink, then dilute black procion dye, then collaged.
I’m looking to get a slightly dream-like, ethereal quality…
This one doesn’t fit with the theme, so will wind up in a future project some day…
Dabbling in doodling. I want a taste of the post WW2 era print designs.
Playing with ink… bound to get a bit spattery 😉
Too dark, but I can see it meeting up with that other one from earlier.
I’ve got some part-written posts on other comings and goings which I must get round to finishing! Feet not touching the floor much these days – but I’ll be back again soon! 😀