Meet Jane. Jane is fun, quirky, straightforward, very creative and a whole lot spontaneous! I had the pleasure of spending all last week with Jane Davies on the Sunshine Coast of B.C. Three days of Big Fat Art and another two of Monoprinting with the infamous Gelliplate. I was definitely in my happy place spending long days just creating with no means to an end, making unexpected marks, combining new colours and exploring lots of layers. A little ukulele playing did not hurt the process.... We spent the week exploring fast, carefree mark-making with various mark making tools, charcoal, water-colour crayons, ink and pastel. We combined unexpected colours, playing with opaque and transparent colours. We added texture through the use of paint and handmade collage papers.We learned how to add lots of depth to our work. We even added a few drips here and there. We had a lot of laughs and a lot of fun. Most importantly though we silenced the inner critic within and created with no concern for what is right and what is wrong. To be truthful, it wasn't easy. It can be a little disconcerting to try new things and work against principles that have been ingrained in you by every art teacher and book out there. What I loved about Jane was her constant encouragement to push past what we already know and try something different, and her love for the creative process versus the finished outcome. For me that included No imagery - no flowers, birds or other whimsical things flying around and, gasp, maybe putting some purple in my work. Ok, some things I just couldn't manage to push myself past, BUT look how awesome it looks below with the reds and yellows! This, once again, reminds me of the importance of keeping an art journal. A safe place to try out new marks, colours and techniques. A place to make some really bad art with hopefully some unexpected surprises of greatness! Here are a few of my works in progress. A few things I learned about myself: I love strong, bold colour. I love texture, but not necessarily patterned texture. I love depth.I love discovering little marks hiding underneath different layers.I love organic shapes. I love a wee bit of black in my work. I love contrast. I am a wee bit scared of the abstract. I still don't feel comfortable with the tension it often adds to work. I also learned that I need to add more areas of rest and lightness to my work. I need to take a deep breath and work on the details of each smaller piece within the bigger whole, to be more mindful and to slow down and sit with a piece before I call it finished. I need to add more interestingness to my work either by contrast, line or layering. What a great week! I could spend all day, everyday, creating. For more info on Jane please visit her website. Do not miss out on her tutorials tab. Jane is very generous with her knowledge and discoveries and has dozens of great video tutorials to share. Small doses of creative inspiration! She also offers online and real life workshops. Sign up for her newsletter for more info on upcoming courses. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send me an email. Have a great week! I hope the sun is shining and the autumn leaves are in full color for you.Read more →
No mistakes. No judgement. No plan. That's what art journaling is all about. Do you have an art journal? You should! I am always amazed at the number of artists I come across who do not partake in this creatively inspiring process. Where do these people store all of their beautiful, inspiring ideas for up and coming work? My head is not big enough for all of the ideas I have. I need to store them somewhere and over the years I have found my art journal to be the perfect place. [caption id="attachment_2895" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] A place to store ideas and plans for future work[/caption]Read more →
A place where I can just be. A place where I can comfortably, and in small-scale, push past my personal creative boundaries. It's all about practicing your mark making, trying new mediums, color mixing and even playing with different styles.It's a process and all part of the creative journey. I love looking back through my journals. They are filled with lots of inspirational quotes, crazy ideas, colors, magazine cuttings and lots of bad, and not so bad artwork. It is a picture in time. My abstract phase. A phase I am not finished with. Just love all the marks and texture. Your art journal is a place you can spend as little or as much time as you please. It is the perfect go-to spot when you only have a half hour. I find it the perfect place to go when I am just having troubles starting. Sometimes it is, oh, so difficult to get those creative juices flowing and feel creative. Give me 5 minutes splashing paint around and I am usually hooked for longer. [caption id="attachment_2881" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] playing with color and form[/caption] I like to think of it as a thumbprint for something bigger. A place to try new techniques and see what transpires. It is never finished. Every mark is a learning experience. I can't begin to tell you how many happy accidents I have produced in my journal. Or snippets of work I have started only to come back to and see in a new light. Art journaling is therapeutic and relaxing too.It could save you thousands in therapy. That's what I keep telling my husband everytime I need new material. I almost have him believing it. I have myself believing it. I was very surprised to come across this page in a journal from 2 years ago. I don't do faces. If I start to see eyes emerge from my work I usually get a brush and some paint out real quick! Obviously some repressed subconscious glitch that I should deal with. I am not sure where this image came from , but I obviously had a moment and felt the need to create her. I may have even copied her from another artist. GASP.. That is OK! Thats what your journal is for. Practice replicating work from others that inspires you. Try making their marks and using their colors but just dont dare go out into the real world and try to pass it off as your own! Art journal = Anything goes. This is what my art journal looks like these days since starting my Surface pattern design course with Rachael Taylor. Definitely not as colorful, but part of the process I am going through now.I am even amazed at my progression with these pages. A gentle reminder that every mark is a part of the learning process. Summer is the perfect time to grab a book and your favorite medium to create. The time is now! For lots more art journaling inspiration check out my Pinterest page~ art journal know how here. I have pinned some great links and lots of eye candy. Hope you enjoy!