I’ll admit, it takes a while to be able to sit down at a blank page and just create in the moment. I’m not talking about planning out what you’re going to do, but rather opening your journal to a blank page and grabbing the first color that jumps out at you and scribbling or squirting it on the page and BAM! you’re off!
This last week was a bit hectic, not so much because I was running all over the place, but because it’s Fall and it’s dark, and immune systems are suppressed, and oh yeah – I still work 40 hours a week at a real job before I can head to the studio. Additionally, my friend Barbara Kennedy and I launched a Beach Retreat weekend which offers 4 amazing classes in wire wrapping, wire weaving, and beading. You can read about that here if you want.
So I kept meaning to get into the studio all week, I’d walk out there and sigh, but I didn’t actually get out there to relax until Friday night. And when I did finally get out to my desk and I looked at the page, I didn’t think at all (why think? I had been doing more than my share of that all week!). I went for it!
First I started glueing down the insides of a bill I had received earlier that week – the security envelope the bill came in had a super cool pattern I had never seen before in a bill and I saved it. So I ripped and tore strips and stuck them down with Matte Medium and after about the 5th strip, I noticed to my dismay that the ink was running – so the cool black and white pattern was quickly becoming grey and turning the page grey with it. Ick! Not what I had in mind! So I grabbed a tube of paint – teal! and put a few dots on the page and dry brushed the teal around. That’s better! Nice and bright! I reached for one of my rubber stamps with a swirl pattern. I wonder what will happen if I put paint on just one side and stamp with it, I thought? Using Zinc White, I put the swirls around all the sides. Hmmm, that looks okay, but not exactly what I was going for – too subtile. So I grabbed a stencil I’ve been waiting to use and some red Dylusions ink spray and squirted it. Ahhhh contrast and vivid color. I cut out a beautiful yellow flower and glued it up top – no idea why, it wanted to be there. I cut out a face, intending originally to collage around it, and glued that down. I added red on the sides with an oil pastel. I sat back in my chair.
Is it finished? What else does it need? I love how the numbers are floating out of her head looking as though they’re being absorbed by the serene yellow flower above – yellow is my favorite color. I think it’s done, I mutter. Showed it to my daughter, Miranda and said the same thing, to which she wisely commented, “then it is done!” And I thought – YES! It is done.
Before I left the studio Friday night, I glued down a piece of pattered pager and some text on another page. I just really liked this piece of paper, I didn’t think anything more about it than that. And last night I felt there should be a face on the page and so I drew it. I’m still practicing 3/4 view and I am happy to say that I got the nose almost right and the right eye almost right…LOL….but when I finished, I thought – my goodness, I am really into red and blue, because here’s what transpired and I swear it was without any thought:
This piece was sketched out with a blue stabilo all pencil, activated, and then I shaded with my prismacolor pencils, added the white accents on the eyes with water-based Sharpie paint pen and also added a touch of zinc white to her face, which i rubbed off to reveal her rosy cheeks. The flowers around here are some old dye cuts I have been hoarding and the quote is from a discarded tea bag – I save all of the ones that I like.
I think it’s pretty interesting that I stuck within the same color palette on both pages and did so without thinking. I’ll have to meditate upon what blue and red mean to me. I remember when I was in the 3rd grade, I had a dress that I loved which had been gifted to me by my Aunt after a trip she made to France. It had tiny stripes of red and blue – and it made my eyes hurt to stare at it – I remember thinking that the lines vibrated. I also remember being very puzzled why it worked that way. That’s the only thing that ever pops into my mind when I think of red and blue together aside from color theory discourse about using complements and primary colors.
I definitely think in the first piece I was releasing all of the pent up thoughts in my head so I could enter into my sacred art space. Give being in the moment a try – I’m positive with practice you’re bound to have a serendipitous result like me!
P.S. I’ve been taking all of my favorite odd containers into the studio that I have held onto but never use and putting them to use finally! This cup was from my childhood – unfortunately the plate broke back then. It was my favorite. It features Little Miss Muffet.