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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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(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 snug and nestled with a hot water bottle & a kitten until the spring arrives.
Then I zoom out and I see this project in the context ofall the art I’ve ever made, and all I have yet to imagine.
It’s a place on a timeline, and that line spirals round.
These 15 pieces are the first of a multi-part series: “Inner Space”
In this iteration I’m zooming in.
Next look at these thoughts will be both from afar and close up.
The micro & the macro.
There’s so much more yet to come,
I’m so excited to show you how this develops!
All these paintings, inclusive of their mounts, measure just a smidge over 5 inches square.
I think their magic is in the tiny details.
You can become lost in these itsy-small worlds.
All of these one-off art cards are available in my Etsy Store from today. International shipping is available — catch ’em while you can!
AND If you’re on my mailing list you’ll be getting a little note from me today with a special coupon code for one week only – just for you. If you’re not on my mailing list – why the bejeepers not?! scooch on down and sign up now!
When you hop onto my mailing list I’ll send you my ebook all about color. Your email is utterly safe to me. I’ll sing it to sleep when it lands with me, and bring it tea and a bun if it wakes up.
We’ve all got our own way of categorising, organising, ordering our worlds about us. And we often aren’t even aware of this until we encounter someone whose ways differ greatly from our own.
For me, it’s by colour. (no shit…really?)
Back in a previous life when I was an office bunny who shuffled papers and rattled at a keyboard all day I sought out opportunities to invent new systems I could colour-code.
I’d spend any spare time buried in the stationery catalogues, choosing folders and files and highlighter pens.
What I came to realise much later on was that I just had a thirst for colour and creativity that was going unquenched.
Beyond that, colour is the defining visual attribute I’ll notice over any other: He’s the guy in the blue shirt, it’s the house with the red paintwork, the shop with the green & yellow signboard … I don’t know any of their names, but I usually know what colours they are.
It occurred to me today, as I edited these images from my current journal to show you, a habit of mine to spend a time with a group of colours.
I revel in their company, their character, the memories they muster and the feelings they stir up.
When sated, I can move on, visit a different range of the spectrum.
I never know which colours will appear next, or how long I’ll be in the company of my current companions. But while we’re together, they will seep into aspects of my day without me even realising.
I put these images together, here I am in the realms of purple and a little to either side, and I felt a pang of familiarity, a sense that something’s closer than I realise…