This week has been all over the place, so I really didn’t play much this week. When I did, though, I’ve been interested in playing around with pattern ideas. I don’t think surface pattern design is anywhere in my future yet, but I like expanding my brain and my hand a completely different direction. I tell ya, if I was a the tattoo type, I’d legit have the pencil floral as a tattoo on my inside forearm. I haven’t finished up the sort of nordic pattern, either- just adding bits and pieces as I have a few minutes here and there.
I have a lot of sketches in the notebooks from the last few months, but it’s only been within recent days that I’ve been able to start painting them in. I love how there has been a trend of little flower fairies and gnomes lately. The three gnomes were a collaboration with my children last week: we were stuck waiting for something and they were bored and trying so hard to behave, so I showed them my “to paint” file. They picked out what to draw, and I drew as they watched. Later, they chose the colors. When we finished it, we realized it looked a lot like Ron, Harry, and Hermione, so the story goes that Ron cast a de-gnoming charm in the Weasley garden and it went a bit…sideways. Hence Harry’s look of shock. Hermione looks like she’s going to start giggling at the sight of them any second now…
The last piece this week was inspired by a larger print from the ladies at Common Place Quarterly. I can’t recommend the publication enough. I only had a few pennies to spare for “fun money”, and I cancelled everything else I had so I could keep this. Anyways, each issue comes with some lovely goodies, and this latest issue had a print of Psalm 46 in it. Verse five really stood out to me, so I wanted to pull it out and make a larger watercolor print of it.
Well, technically it never left, exactly. It just wasn’t here.
If you follow me on Instagram you know that I never stopped making art over the last year. There was a significant lull from August to December-ish. Part of that was due to illustrating a book for a dear friend, Vince Costa. I couldn’t manage any more brain space than that! Towards the fall it was sheer exhaustion and keeping one’s head above water, as Elliana steadily deteriorated and was just not sleeping well, which meant I wasn’t sleeping well.
I kept drawing and painting as time allowed, but not in any significantly formal way. I picked up my 365 Handbook project again sometime mid-March, and finally filled in the second of the two Handbooks. If I had kept to the original intention, I would have filled up six of those little sketch books in one year, but that clearly didn’t happen. I’m happy with the two I have now. I don’t know that I’ll return to that project ever again, but it gave rise to such fertile ground for further explorations.
I got a bit sidetracked after I finished the Handbook project on my watercolor work, because the sketch book I chose that was supposed to handle wet media profoundly did not. Oh the bleed! The muddiness! The wrinkling! It was awful. I had made my choice oh so carefully because of my limited finances and was so disappointed when it turned out so bad and wouldn’t be fit for watercolor or gouche at all. I resigned myself to having to use it for awhile. Funny thing, though. It was perfect for charcoal and pencil work. And would you know it? All of the sudden, these little characters came pouring out on the page. These old-timey ladies and gents. They’ll come for a visit next week, but you can see them over on Instagram. Somehow, I can’t help but think that the sketch book snafu was the best thing to happen to my art process lately. I had no idea these people lived in my head!
Thanks to my brother’s kindness, I was able to purchase another sketchbook for watercolor, and I chose the Handbook Journal Co. Watercolor 8 x 8. I should have known after using the smaller 4 x 4 Drawing ones for my 365 project. They were meant for charcoal and pencil work, and they held up to all sorts of media throughout the project, even when they weren’t intended for it. The Watercolor is dreamy. It takes the media so beautifully. I am itching to get to work in it! I never thought I’d have two sketchbooks going at one time, or have a billion more ideas for both sketchbooks than I’ll ever get time to do in them, but Glory! What a wonderful ‘problem’ to have.
I told you yesterday of my intense artist’s crush on Breezy Brookshire. I have been following her for ever so long, all the way back to the olden blog days. She is self-taught, and it was her illustrating style that I first fell in love with. There’s a direct line between my ever starting an art pursuit and Breezy’s work. She inspired me so much! Without her, I wouldn’t be here, three years into pursuing art and illustration. I still have such a long way to go, but the journey is so much fun.
The other artist that I just discovered this week via Jeanne Oliver is Mish Wooderson. I am falling head-long down the rabbit hole of her IG feed and blog! I love the sense of rootedness and place you get from her work. It’s making me think. I love her decorating style too.
I’d love to see what you’ve been up to lately! Share in the comments. It doesn’t have to be “art” either- poetry? Good bread? A delicious steak? A cozy corner? I wanna see!
I have quite a bit of catching up to do now that the move is finally over, don’t I? I was able to keep sketching a bit but just finally got to paint in the last few days. I also have been playing with a new lettering pen. I wanted to capture the spirit of my old neighbourhood before I left it with this sketch, though the colours of the actual neighbourhood are a bit more subdued. Artistic license! 😉(57/365)
My parents had the funniest little bird sculptures in their front garden. I knew I had to bring their funny little faces and long, long legs to life in a sketch! They still make me giggle just looking at this page. (58/365)
This quote has taken on more meaning for me than I could ever give words to; I also basically sobbed through the entire second half of the audio book version a few weeks back. I don’t recommend listening to it while driving. 😉 It is fitting this one lands here during Holy Week, on Holy Wednesday, the Feast and Sacrament of Holy Unction. (59/365)
I keep playing with cloudscapes. The 365 practice definitely keeps me stretching. Loved how the sky turned out; could have passed on the landscape. Practice, practice. (60/365)
I didn’t plan it this way, but the quotes are lining up so neatly with Holy Week. On Good Friday, in the dark, we look forward to the Hope. (61/365)
These birds keep showing up. (62/365)
If you remember my little girl dreaming of spring from a few weeks back- she has discovered that it has sprung! (63/365)
I remember when I sketched this; it had been so frigidly winter cold and then one day it was finally warm. I remember standing outside and just basking in the warmth, like a cat. (64/365)
I sketched this the day we found out we were moving; a little country house down a country road from the echoes of my memory. (65/365)
I’ve finished my first full Handbook; 65 little 5 x 5 paintings. I had no idea where this little #365daysofpaint project was going to take me. It’s been such a delight and an eye-opening experience. I can’t wait to see where it takes me next.
Feb 21: I spotted Elliana laying on the sidewalk watching some ants today. It made me wonder what she was thinking, imagining this whole jungle of thoughts blooming behind her…which immediately made me think of the Anne quote. (52/365)
Feb 23: Preaching to my own heart. (53/365)
Feb 24: Who else was completely entranced by the Trappist-1 discovery yesterday? (54/365)
Feb 27: I may have gotten a wee bit sidetracked this weekend…whoops. Lenten roses (hellebores) seemed appropriate today. As Lent begins, I ask forgiveness for any hurt or slight I may have caused this last year. Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner. (55/365)