Scribbled things. Filled in with nonsense and part heard words
Dabs, daubs, splosh. Dragged, drawn out, drawn on.
And more, and further. Anemones? meteors? Some frenzied chaos. (I honestly don’t know.)
But as usual, I like the details best of all
The title for this week – Courage, Faith, Trust – came from the same-named scrap of paper that got itself collaged into the frenzy. (it appeared a week early, as it’s numbered 34) but it also calls up the essence of this practice. Courage, Faith and Trust in the process:
Keep showing up, don’t plan, don’t expect, just keep doing and making and going. And all will be well.
Since way back in the earliest days of exploring mixed media online, through the vast and wondrous wealth of blogs, the treasures and techniques that ppl share on YouTube, I’ve often come across folks doing this thing called altered books.
I’m going to lay it on the line here: it’s made me think Huh?
Sure there are some glorious creations, some splendid transformations, some real delights.
But it hasn’t ever struck me as a thing I’d find myself doing. (Although I watched a good few YouTube things on how it’s done. I gleaned information, and unbeknown to me, my brain squirreled it away.) Okay, so, fast forward to a couple of weeks ago.
The strangest thing:I must have reached one of those tipping points, inspiration had hit critical mass and I had to begin this new project. There was a sense of driven urgency that was singing in my head:
Find me a knackered book, I am compelled to bring it new life!!
One of my rescue books – too shabby to donate and yet somehow too good for the recycling bin – I’d maybe thought I’d read it some day, but I’ve got to be a realist just sometimes. I love books, I have many, but the pile waiting to be read is growing faster than the rate I consume them.
So the lonely third volume of Somerset Maugham’s short stories was about to be re-purposed into my newest obsession full of colour and faces and meanings.
I’ll show you how it’s coming on over the next while.
From the start of this year I’ve been art journaling on a weekly basis. And it’s thrown up all kind of interesting thoughts I wouldn’t have pre-guessed.
Like how some patterns recur through so much I do and make. This checkerboard effect is an old fav. Especially this sort made up from snippy bits of text.
And the subconscious recurrences. There’s definitely an eye peering over from behind these guys. I only saw that in this photo just now! Since I chose Focus as my word for the year, I don’t think a week has gone by this year without eyes featuring to some extent.
Primarily it’s a place to doodle, spill words and thoughts, splash color with free abandon, and dabble about with techniques. I’m on mahoosive collage trip right now!
Collage and doodles. It’s my therapy de jour. I get utterly lost in the layers of cut out images, paint, doodle, ink splash….
This week’s page has been a really involved evolution.
Yes, there have been some important things I should have been doing. This book is a mirror of my procrastionationability
It might look like I’ve been deliberately obtuse about the eye-fish thing…
What can I say, they appear in groups of three, and so far 2 of the 3 weeks of this new year’s book have hosted a set.
Yeh, really, they aren’t eyes, they aren’t fish. Eyes and fish are quite different things, and tbh, this one looks like it’s sprouted backward facing legs with which to march, tail first into the unknown.
But that’s just my drawing style – everything piled up on each other style. It’s really a trick of perspective. The eye-fish is, in actuality, some way off in the distance, and hugely bigger than the foreground scribbley yogini attempting to master Warrior 1 pose.
But if you know me at all, you’ll know, it’s not in my nature to be cryptic. So this is as baffling to me as it is to you.
Here are the facts as I understand them to be:
I draw what arrives in my head when I stop thinking.
Eye shape and fish shape are largely interchangable to me.
I think that thinking about the word Focushas had a bearing on my subconcious. (This doesn’t account for the fish)
They hang out in threes, cos having drawn the traditional arrangement of two, I have to (recent compulsion) add a third. I’ve been getting a lot of dreams involving third eyes (more on that another time).
The third eye is a thing. I didn’t make this up. It’s just not a literal viewing hole in the face (mostly anyhow)
So there we are, more info and less sense. It’s all a big brain-dump. Making sense is an improbable ask.
I want to draw together some of leftovers and dangling ends from recent posts. The person who will enable this is Franz Ackermann.
There’s a charm to this portrait that hooked up in my head with the (so far very much) unconnected themes I was juggling. It was my missing link. Ackerman’s brought the map like quality in, and that high contrast, vector style I love as well.
So, am I going to show you the portraits now… or am I going to keep you hanging on?
Well, kinda neither…
The screen print portraits are still a work in progress as other priorities have leapt the queue in my sphere of makings.
But I’ve been dabbling with other prints and watercolor doodles. The first of which is………
Did I tell you how much I love to screen print? There’s something of an alchemy in screen printing I never knew til I began to experiment. If you enjoy an unpredictable path to imagery I urge you to give this a try if the opportunity comes your way. It’s the most magical thing!
For instance: painting the screen with Procion (fabric) dye at letting it dry, then printing with white ink on white paper, you get this kinda effect of a shadow, dimensional kinda thing.
I’ve thought about a black and white page for a while.
I’ve even tried.
But resisting any color at all was harder than I cared to admit!
Anyway, prompted by John Clinock of Art Rat Cafe I determined to give it another go. Armed just with black and white gesso, black and white Dr PH Martens’ Bombay Inks, black and white gel pens, this is what happened!