I managed to get to the studio for a few hours this week, escaping errands and things-to-do and going all over the place. Even a few hours can prove relaxing and enlightening, when exploring new techniques.
Last week, I decided to combine my love of drawing with my new mess-making technique. Every time I sit down to play, I do one tweak, one thing different, like changing up a single color or making a new kind of mark. Holding the tool different, or adding/subtracting collage elements. These may seem like little things, but done over weeks, they add up to significant changes.
That first, square cropped image is from last week, during my first experiment in this vein, and then I decided to start playing with dresses. Now, I don't use a single paintbrush when I make these pages, which makes it thrilling to play. I've become more precise with my marks, and have learned so many new "tricks" by allowing myself the room to continually repeat the same colors and methods. Not every page needs to be "fresh" and full of new colors, or different ones. Artists do series for a reason...you can explore the same image or photo or colors for entire journals if you'd like! Why didn't I do this sooner?
I just adore this spread. It's quite giant, too! 22"x14", in the large journal. It's about a girl and her bird, both enjoying the same wind, but facing different directions, a shared wind but vastly different experiences.
Her dress just sort of happened. Ink from the first layer bled through to color the top part, and neon pink and white paint mixed unevenly on the rest gives such a sense of texture; if you could touch it, you'd feel it.
This is in my smaller Canson mixed-media book, 7"x9" when closed. The pages are perforated, but don't tear out easily at all. This girl is stretching toward the sun, raising a hand toward God in a search for answers.
A friend told me this morning that nothing is random, including the figures we draw & paint in our journals. Sitting with them, writing out what comes to mind, allows us to figure out what our minds are trying to tell us. It gives me an incredible sense of comfort to think, in some part of my own mind, answers exist.
I've been asked what I use, and it's this beautiful bouquet of Catalyst Tools! Most commonly, that medium grey one on the left and it's smaller counterpart (the latter of which is my main tool these days). I also use a pointed rubber color shaper, though that's more for cleaning and shaping paint, rather than apply it.
I'm having such a blast! And have so many more pieces I haven't even shared yet! My iPhoto library is a colorful, messy, paint-covered compendium of just how many photos I take while working with my phone.
BTW, I'm thinking of making either this or beginner gouache for art journalers my next online offering. Any votes on which I should choose? I'm in love with both!