I'm grooving with my paint and watercolor this weekend. Hard to pull myself away to blog or do anything else. Everything seems to be clicking into place after much hard work and failure. I credit a lot of my progress to sticking with #inktober and now I am going to stick with blogging.
I am an anxious person. Drawing (rather obsessively) helps me channel that anxiety and remain calm (more or less). I feel time passing strongly and often painfully. I feel myself losing time and I worry. Drawing helps me remember my days and gives a record of my days. Ever since I started keeping a sketchbook I have been infinitely more engaged and happier. I recommend it to everyone.
Making my mark.
The JP Open Studios are this weekend September 20th and 21st all around the JP neighborhood that I and work in. You can find me with my work inside at the UU church by the JP monument in Central JP and some of my work will still be hanging at Hatched until the end of the month. I will be be sketching and painting, will have my woodblock prints along with a couple of carved blocks for demos throughout the weekend. I have been looking forward to this weekend for months now. There will be some fresh prints, including new collagraphs, but this is the year that I decided to teach myself watercolor and became smitten with the medium.
Having fun with a dip pen, white acyclic ink, abstract shapes and making a mess in my studio. This is why I cover my work surface with craft paper and why I always wear an apron. The geodoodles are back and I am loving combining them with the concentric circles of watercolor and paint splatters. Last night I went to bed thinking about drawing more with my dip pen.
Friday is here and I am looking forward to getting outside this weekend. Long week here with the kids filled with a lot of fun but not a lot of art time for me. Hope the weather cooperates and I get in a couple of morning jogs that leave me feeling energized and inspired. What inspires you? What brings you down?
Vacation travel was wonderful, but as usual I am finding it difficult to adjust to being back to regular life. Especially the not so regular routine that is summer vacation with my kids 3 and 6 home with me and asking for enrichment all. day. long. Camp is expensive and the 3 year old is still too young for most of them and I feel guilty leaving them to watch TV all day and feeding them frozen pizza. So art we do art projects with together and we go outside to the zoo, playgrounds. playgrounds inside of the zoo, sprinkler parks and more playgrounds. The days are hot, humid and very long. I love them but by 4pm I am so totally done and out of things to do and out of energy for myself.
Meditative watercolor paint circles to the rescue. They look cool. They help me relax. They are fun and simple and require more patience than technique and concentration and they help me get to know my paint better. In the end I always feel better and learn something during the process. In my book that is a total win. This one is available on Etsy.
On location I work small and/or quick with limited colors. People move around a lot and the scene changes, plus I am usually supervising my children and they may need me. I've gotten pretty good at picking safe locations that they enjoy and I can sit back and casually supervise them play while drawing but I still rarely have a lot of time to work on a drawing when I am out with them. In the studio I rarely work big but I do work slow and more complex. My sketchbook is filling up with these color explorations and exercises in patience. Each layer of color needs to dry completely before adding the next glaze of transparent watercolor. I feel my understanding of my watercolors and their colors deepening as I relax and unwind with these complex little paintings.
The first page of a new sketchbook is always a bit stressful to start. I have a tendency to hoard and collect supplies rather than use them up like they are meant to be used. Often I start on page two and then fill the first page when I am feeling more confident. It is a little bit easier in these Visual Journal books that I have been filling up lately since I can always rip a page out and leave no trace other than a smaller page count. But I have some super nice journals stored away calling me to draw on them and I want them to be perfect. I'm not ready. I will keep filling up these $5 journals every two weeks until I feel ready. For years I had sketchbooks that I didn't draw in because none of my drawings felt good enough for them. Now I have found a sketchbook brand that is a good balance between affordability and quality. If it wasn't for the ugly cover and bulky wire binding it would be all I would ever need. I have a small Holbein Sketchbook ready to travel with me this summer vacation. Two more weeks of school!