Abstract Elements

Making marks

Black Uniball pen and muted watercolors in my Hobonichi planner. Random explorations with color and line.

There is a sense of play that mark making provides. It frees up expectations and allows the hand and mind to wander together on a page.

Contemporary Charcoal Drawing Video

The beginning of a contemporary abstract painting…

Yesterday I was reorganizing the studio, going out to look at art supplies, and generally not painting anything at all. Some days you just can’t force the process–even with a painting deadline on the horizon. An artist learns to trust that ideas will happen only when the time is right…

But this morning the muse “magic” that totally defies logic kicked in at 5:30 am. Yes, creativity demanded attention–before coffee–before I felt even half-way human; yet, who am I to argue the time of day that inspiration decides to appear?

I figured if I could get this charcoal drawing idea out of the brain and on to my paper, then I could happily stumble to the kitchen and fix myself a cup of morning coffee.

So it happened. And the coffee was good. And the day will be filled with painting.

 

Calligraphy practice is my meditation

How I use my art journals for calligraphy practice

Every since third grade handwriting class, I’ve had a love affair with letters and making beautiful script. Mrs. Patterson’s class with the letter charts decorating the wall above the chalkboards (no white board then people) was my favorite time of the school day.

Throughout my early school years and then into college, I practiced a variety of styles and kept a keen interest in alphabet forms and the history of calligraphy in general. These days, I blend my art journal images with calligraphy practice in various sketchbooks and planners.

365 days of art journal designs

I currently have four different diaries, or journals that I have committed to practice in daily throughout the year. Most spreads are not planned out and grow intuitively as the verse, or song, or image is chosen. I have a small box of ephemera which contains paper images that I have made, some that have been rubber stamped, and older pieces of my art that have been re-purposed as “collage” material.

Most often, it is simply a process of reaching in and pulling out surprises. Yes, a small pile of bits are often sifted through and more often than not, a page direction is serendipitously created. It truly is a joy to see things come together as paint, paper, and ink are merged into an artistic message.

Simple, slow living–mindfulness and art as meditation. The joys of art supplies and streaming music in my studio, playing with color, form, line, and words. I couldn’t imagine life any other way.

 The art and calligraphy journals of 2017…

Sumi ink with a dip pen in my Hobonichi Techo. Watercolors.

Washi tape. Watercolors. Sumi ink and colored pencil. Moleskine pocket-sized daily diary.

Watercolors and brush lettering in the beautiful Fabriano Venezia sketchbook.

Watercolors and dip pen calligraphy in a Leuchtturm sketchbook.

Watercolors in my daily Hobonichi art and quotes journal. Moon Palace Sumi ink.

I ordered a blank, wooden oblique holder from Paper Ink Arts and hand painted acrylic florals around the base. Practicing curly a alphabet style in my Peter Pauper Press grid notebook.

… and so continues the 2017 art and calligraphy journey.

One Hundred Days on Instagram

On Instagram I am participating in #The100dayproject. The goal is to pick any activity and do that one activity for a consecutive 100 day cycle. I picked “mark making” as my activity since the idea of mark making seemed to be filled with possibilities for experimentation. My first 8 days have been an exploration of marks made with a Derwent charcoal pencil on Strathmore drawing paper that I folded into a small booklet.

While I began this mark making journey using charcoal, I may in fact introduce other media over the course of the project. As an artist, I already make art every day, so the real exercise for me was to introduce an element of play and imagination with the added bonus of participating in the 100 day commitment with other friends on Instagram. Having a small booklet designated for these sketches enhances the look of the collection, and I will no doubt create a small leather cover (like a traveler’s notebook system) to display my homemade booklets upon completion.

If you are participating in the 100 day challenge on Instagram, please leave a comment below and share what activity you have selected. I would like to make sure that I seek out your individual feed and enjoy your 100 day journey.