I've been trying new techniques, playing with new and loved materials, and grabbing new tools. It's fun -- some are things I've used before and purged from my collection when I moved on to newer, shiny-er things. Others are brand new, interesting, lab experiments in a studio done in vivid Technicolor. I used my first Shiva Oil Paintstick on the painting above, creating a creamy layer above some paint. And while having to wait 24 hours for it to dry (though I'm thinking I may start leaving things outside to dry in this 105F heat) kinda cramped my usual style, I loved going back over it with more paint, more materials, blending and discovering and smiling through the whole thing.
I like trying new things. But this new shift feels like another step in the road created by my move, when my style shifted and flipped and took me along on the ride.
You may recognize this as the self-portrait I used in my last video. I decided to keep going, working over it and then re-drawing it with a Stablo pencil (which has become a favorite, as it will write and draw over ANYTHING). This page was done entirely with a palette knife.
I've also started playing with soft pastels again, and have found that there is a difference between the cheaper ones and more expensive ones. I started with an inexpensive set and found, as you can see above with the magenta, that they spread a lot. Which some people like. But I was looking for something a bit between that and how Caran d'Arch crayons spread when you use your finger on them. I've discovered Prismicolor NuPastels, and love them. I'll post pics tomorrow of a page with those.
I love love trim that is more crocheted or lacey than any other. And why not paint over it? Create something entirely new? I just love how I kept going -- I didn't say, "There is trim here. No paint, please!" I simply treated it as another collaged element of the page.
More paint. The hearts are the discards from punching shapes with my Cuddlebug for tags. Why not keep them? I'm finding I'm drawn more and more to discards, small bits, and odd, ripped shapes. For awhile, I was into using scrapbooking or patterned papers in my journal, and then painting over them. Now, I want what's left over when I've finished something else.
And while the drawing may be in a style totally different (it was a blind contour from a photo), I love it. I love not only the idea that it is me, as I am, not how I would like to be, but that all the materials and ideas and application and colors are just as much a part of the portrait as the actual drawing. At first, I was unsure. Scared. Is this art? Is this good? We can often ask ourselves such things when something so drastically new comes from us, but as I learned today, you never lose what you've done before, not completely. It simply shifts and grows and takes you for a ride.
You simply need to be willing to get on.