The last month or so has been a bit of a dry season for me, and I have been in need of some doodling therapy.
I love Johanna Basford’s coloring books and tutorials, and she’s a lovely person to watch for inspiration. A simple flower wreath seemed like a great way to lighten up a page and the current funk in my brain. Check out Johanna’s site here. You can even get a free coloring book download if you sign up for her emails (which are wonderful).
I’ve been concentrating more on seeing the shapes of things and finding the simplicity of those lines. There’s no real composition work here, only getting the lines down. Maybe there’s a painting in there somewhere. We’ll see.
What are you working on? I’d love to see your work in progress!
I don’t know why, but I can’t paint or draw animals in their natural colors. I could tell you some hooey like, “I see their true colors, so that’s what I must paint.” The truth is more like, “This is fun!” It’s fun to flip the palette from the natural colors as I see them and decide on what colors can be highlights and shadows once I eliminate white and black as options. Changing the colors eliminates the need for strict realism, and it helps me look more at the shapes. And it’s fun!
Don’t be afraid to play with new colors and ideas. Stretch your brain a bit and see where your imagination will run. It’ll be fun!
The art of the scribble. I’m always afraid to commit to a line when I draw, so laying down sketch lines on a canvas to paint is pretty stressful. I practice in my sketchbook with mostly pen to fight my perfectionist tendency to erase whatever isn’t perfect, and doodle/scribble/whatever-you-want-to-call-this-pen-marking exercises help to loosen up my fingers and my brain.
This was also an excellent object lesson for the tiny human. She gets upset whenever someone doesn’t see exactly what she sees when she makes a picture, and some other tiny human had dismissed her work as “scribble-scrabble.” Scribble-scrabble is still art when you are marking the paper with your imagination. It doesn’t matter if anyone else sees what you see; even if they guess at the shapes, they still won’t see exactly what you see. But then, that’s what art is all about isn’t it?
This is one of my sketchbook entries this week. I most often write when I need to vent emotions, but I seem to process them on a different level when it’s a visual process rather than verbal. I’ve felt the weight of a lot of little things threatening to roll over me and crush me. It took seeing it in my sketchbook to realize that I have not been praying about most of those things like I know I should.
Sometimes my art work in progress reflects that I am very much a work in progress, too! Do you ever find that worrying over a gazillion little things weighs you down? What do you do to let go of the fear and anxiety that weight represents?
Continuing the dancer theme, I have been working on some flamenco dancers. The passion and fire in a live performance is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. If you ever get the chance to see flamenco in person, do it. The give and take between the dancers and the musicians is a beautiful act of shared creation. The intensity level is on par with Argentine tango; you’re drawn in, and at the same time you feel like an interloper.
At any rate, here’s a sketchbook rendering.
And here is a canvas sketched and ready for paint. My daughter and niece and I have an art evening planned, so maybe she’ll get some color tonight!
What are you working on? I’d love to see in the comments or in the Mabbat FB group!
In an effort to share my creative journey as promised, I propose Work In Progress Wednesdays, or “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours,” if you prefer. Some weeks it may be sketches; some weeks may be scribbling in my poetry journal. The point is to be creating on a regular basis. If you want a safer space than online comments to share, please head over to the closed Mabbat FB group, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to share directly.
As a former dancer and forever ballet aficionado, I am fascinated with the lines and movement of ballerinas. Here’s where that’s taken me in my sketchbook lately.
I really love the idea of the shapes in the last one, so maybe that will turn into a painting soon.