book pages & thread doodles

After yesterpost’s experiments with stitching paper, my thoughts moved on to other ways of making doodles with thread. I’ve found no better way to create perfectly organic scribbles than with loops of thread!

I’m using book pages for two reasons: first off I love the contrast of the printed text and the abstract splotches and whirls of color. Secondly, I’ve got a big stack of old books I’m recycling into art I was curious to compare how the different types of paper reacted to this process.

Some of the books are very old, the paper has become brittle and porous, their pages soak up water like a sponge. One old text book is printed on a slightly shiny paper (think magazine page sheen). This was by far my favourite from the way it reacted to watercolor paint, the pigment granulated wildly and created this fabulous crackled finish. It’s inspired me to play with magazine pages another time.

Like a map detailing the tributaries of a waterway, watercolor paint on printed paper.

The process was a simple one, my usual splashy wash of watercolor across all the pages, extra water, then using sewing cotton. I let the unravelled thread make a pattern in the wet paint. Then some extra paint and water for good measure – to make sure it’s all soaked through – and wait for it to dry.

Just for good measure, I gave the process a second round, this time with purple ink.

The patterns from the thread were the perfect cues for doodling.

This is the thread painting process


“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Every month this year I am making a series of mixed media pieces in just one color. At the end of the year I’ll combine them into one big multicolored work. 

I’m sharing my process throughout this adventure here in this blog. (So far this year I’ve explored Yellow, Yellow-Green, Green, Blue-Green, Blue & Violet-Blue)

I’d love for you to join me. TWELVTY is open to everyone, and better yet, it’s free!

Sign up for my newsletter to find out more and get your free TWELVTY guide ebook. 

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

You’ll get an email to confirm you’ve signed up and are human. Sorry, only humans (and their cats) can join. Check your spam folder cos sometimes the good stuff gets swept in there by mistake. Check with your cat too. You know it’s what they expect.

Stitching Paper Zigzags

I love to sew and I love experimenting with mixed media, so I guess it was kinda inevitable that one day I’d try stitching on paper.

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”

– Rumi

stitching on paper

I love to sew and I love experimenting with mixed media, so I guess it was kinda inevitable that one day I’d try stitching on paper.

I forget when it was I first tried – but it was like two parts of my world colliding – and I have been low-level obsessed with it ever since.

Here are a few tricks I’ve picked up along the way:

  • Piercing the stitch holes in the paper before you begin is far easier than straight up sewing the paper. Depending on its thickness, it will either put up a forceful struggle against the needle, or else it will tear against the pull of the thread.
  • Piercing with a regular sewing needle is usually fine, but thick paper (like watercolor) or card stock might require something like a darning needle, a compass or even a bradawl.
  • Have a stab-proof surface to pierce onto. Polystyrene is great (yay for not throwing out the packaging from something fragile that came in the mail!) I’ve also got a cork tile and a cutting mat I use. This keeps the paper flat when fromit tries to fold under pressure of the needle, and protects the hand that’s holding the paper from getting holes in it.
  • Unlike sewing on fabric, the loose ends of the thread can be glued down at the back to secure them from unravelling.
  • I like experimenting with different threads, yarns, single ply and multiple. Just the same as my drawing, I like to make lines vary in weight, this can be done by over stitching some places.
  • If I don’t have the color I want to use, I always have white thread, which can be painted with ink or watercolor after the stitching is done.

painted stitches

For this week’s experiments I doodled about with a stitched zigzag pattern (white thread on white paper – because that was easier than rummaging for the colors I wanted. Plus it’s fun to paint.)

I coloured the stitches with watercolor in dioxazine purple and imperial purple.

painted stitched zigzags

Here’s how my purple zigzagging happened


“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Every month this year I am making a series of mixed media pieces in just one color. At the end of the year I’ll combine them into one big multicolored work. 

I’m sharing my process throughout this adventure here in this blog. (So far this year I’ve explored Yellow, Yellow-Green, Green, Blue-Green, Blue & Violet-Blue)

I’d love for you to join me. TWELVTY is open to everyone, and better yet, it’s free!

Sign up for my newsletter to find out more and get your free TWELVTY guide ebook. 

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

You’ll get an email to confirm you’ve signed up and are human. Sorry, only humans (and their cats) can join. Check your spam folder cos sometimes the good stuff gets swept in there by mistake. Check with your cat too. You know it’s what they expect.

day 8: 12 days of Twelvty

2017 is my year full of color, the last 12 days I look back at the 12 colors in 12 months that was TWELVTY. Today: Red-Violet

 

Twelvty-Eight: Red-Violet

From maroon to magenta, pomegranate to plum.

 

 

“Mauve? Mauve is just pink trying to be purple.”

~ James Abbot McNeill Whistler,
American Painter and Printmaker, 1834-1903

colorwheelI love color, and I’m fascinated by the way it appears in life, how it interacts, how it’s assigned meaning.

Throughout 2017 I explored color on a much deeper level in a year long visual adventure,  ‘TWELVTY’, a trip around the color wheel exploring one color each month.

I shared the adventure with a group of artists and creatives in the form of an online program. It was the most fun, compiling resources and information on each of the 12 colors.

When we tune our eyes in to notice the colors around us, life becomes brighter and more vibrant.

Each month I played just with the one color the was focus for the month, pushing my imagination to find new ways to create within these boundaries, by adding more single color pages to this mixed media art journal.

Over the last 12 days of the year I want to show you a glimpse of this project.

We began with Yellow, Yellow-Green, then Green, Blue-Green, Blue and Blue-Violet, yesterday we looked at Violet. Tomorrow we’ll step around to Twelvty-Nine: Red 


If you’re interested in understanding more about color, get my ebook A Year full of Color as well as regular monthly updates on my latest colorful antics, delivered right to your inbox:

YearFullOfColorbyPennGregoryR2017_Page_01

Your email is utterly safe to me. It will not be sold or traded for magic beans. I promise.


TWELVTY is adventure you can join too.

By exploring the color wheel and each of the 12 colors, I share my creative process plus a feast of resources about color I’ve collected for you.

You’ll learn about the history of how color has been used, not just by artists, but as part of different cultures around the world. You’ll discover the meanings linked to the colors, how there are connections through the ages and around the world.

There are even playlists of songs and music relating to each of the colors! (I said it was thorough, right?)

In 2018 I’m introducing a new element to TWELVTY – a shared creative project that we’ll work on together as we traverse the color wheel.

Find out more here

penngregoryTwelvty1200x574Registration for TWELVTY 2018 is open now!
Find out more & join here

day 7: 12 days of Twelvty

Over the last 12 days 2017 I’m sharing my year of color: 12 colors in 12 months. Today –
Twelvty-Seven: Violet

Twelvty-Seven: Violet

From plum to periwinkle, vivacious violet & majestic purples.

“Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.”
~ Regina Brett 

colorwheel
Color is an integral part to all types of creativity,
it influences our moods and emotions, it’s linked with memories. Colors have been assigned meanings and connections throughout history and around the world.

When we tune our eyes in to notice the colors around us, life becomes brighter and more vibrant.

Through 2017 I’ve been exploring these aspects of color in a year long visual adventure: one color each month.

Each month I added more single color pages to this mixed media art journal.

Over the last 12 days of the year I want to show you a glimpse of this project.

We began with Yellow, Yellow-Green, then Green, Blue-Green, Blue and Blue-Violet, tomorrow we’ll step around to Twelvty-Eight: Red-Violet 


If you’re interested in understanding more about color, get my ebook A Year full of Color as well as regular monthly updates on my latest colorful antics, delivered right to your inbox:

YearFullOfColorbyPennGregoryR2017_Page_01

Your email is utterly safe to me. It will not be sold or traded for magic beans. I promise.


Next year I’m revisiting the Twelvty project, but this time with some exciting additions! Find out more here

Registration for TWELVTY 2018 is open now!
Find out more & join here

penngregoryTwelvty1200x574

The magic of magenta

2017 is my year full of color, each month I dedicate to a new color: 12 colors in 12 months, a trip around the color wheel. And what a trip!

July has been a feast of violet purples. 

2017 is my year full of color, each month I dedicate to a new color: “TWELVTY” – 12 colors in 12 months, is a trip around the color wheel. And what a trip!

In August we explored red-violet: the magic of magenta, mauve & maroon!

Each month gets a few pages in the TWELVTY art journal, where I dive deep into pattern making and monochrome mixed media doodling.

 

Here’s how August’s pages turned out …. 
 

In September we explored the color Red — I’ll catch you up on this month soon!

 


Meanwhile, I’m fine tuning the details for the 2018 iteration of Twelvty. Yikes! 

Are you interested in exploring the color wheel with us next year?

If you’re even a little bit intrigued, why not hop on my mail list today. I’ll send you my eBook all about color to give you a flavour of the program, AND you’ll be first to hear about the launch closer to the time.

 

yearfullofcolorbypenngregory_page_01

  

 

A feast of purples

2017 is my year full of color, each month I dedicate to a new color: 12 colors in 12 months, a trip around the color wheel. And what a trip!

July has been a feast of violet purples. 

2017 is my year full of color, each month I dedicate to a new color: “TWELVTY” – 12 colors in 12 months, a trip around the color wheel. And what a trip!

July has been a feast of violet purples. 

Each month gets a few pages in the TWELVTY art journal, where I dive deep into pattern making and monochrome mixed media doodling.

Layer upon layer upon layer.
Circles in sqaures in circles in grids.
Stitching on ribbon on page edges.
Patterns of patterns.
Doodles and scribbles and more.
 

 

In August We move round to Red-Violet: from magenta to mauve. Good times!

 

 


All through this summer I’m offering a special discount in my Etsy Shop to all the folks on my mailing list – so clickety-hop aboard today if you want to snag a bargain!

penngregory_Mailchimp12TEtsyBanner

 

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color)

yearfullofcolorbypenngregory_page_01

  

 

Reinvention

A few years ago I created a year long project, dedicating each month to a single colour. Beginning in January with red/purple – that gorgeous magenta I keep falling back into – I cycled my way month by month through the primary/secondary/tertiary colours, ending the year in Red.

Ever since I’ve had the desire to follow up on this and reinvent the idea.

So while I haven’t been over here in the world of Ephemeral-Gecko-ing, I’ve been busying myself on a new project ….but you will have to wait until tomorrow for all the details….

Meanwhile, here’s what the 12 colours in 12 months adventure looked like:

 

something familiar going on…

We’ve all got our own way of categorising, organising, ordering our worlds about us. And we often aren’t even aware of this until we encounter someone whose ways differ greatly from our own.

IMG_7593.jpg

For me, it’s by colour.  (no shit…really?)

Back in a previous life when I was an office bunny who shuffled papers and rattled at a keyboard all day I sought out opportunities to invent new systems I could colour-code.

I’d spend any spare time buried in the stationery catalogues, choosing folders and files and highlighter pens.

IMG_7594

What I came to realise much later on was that I just had a thirst for colour and creativity that was going unquenched.

Beyond that, colour is the defining visual attribute I’ll notice over any other: He’s the guy in the blue shirt, it’s the house with the red paintwork, the shop with the green & yellow signboard … I don’t know any of their names, but I usually know what colours they are.

IMG_7602.jpg

It occurred to me today, as I edited these images from my current journal to show you, a habit of mine to spend a time with a group of colours.

 I revel in their company, their character, the memories they muster and the feelings they stir up.

IMG_7605.jpg

When sated, I can move on, visit a different range of the spectrum.

IMG_7606.jpg

I never know which colours will appear next, or how long I’ll be in the company of my current companions. But while we’re together, they will seep into aspects of my day without me even realising.

I put these images together, here I am in the realms of purple and a little to either side, and I felt a pang of familiarity, a sense that something’s closer than I realise…

IMG_7607.jpg

I looked down at what I’m wearing….

Oh yeh… I see what’s gong on here!

Fueled by Doubt 36/52

I look at them in their lives and their worlds, they do their things and they live their days.

IMG_5749

I can do that. Look – watch me – I’m doing my things and living my days.

IMG_5750

And then I turn sideways, and vanish.

IMG_5747

Where did I go? All the fear folded in on me.

IMG_5746

It all looked too big, I left. It’s all too familiar, so I run. .I hide from being me.

IMG_5745

How am I not like the other people? Reasons crumple under their own weight and all the ideas dissolve into dust

IMG_5744

Who thought the simple act of being me would become such a challenge, such a confusion, so fueled by doubt.

IMG_5743

When this happens a lot I wonder if I should stop pretending.

IMG_5742

Pretending the other people are real, or pretending I am.

IMG_5739

I wonder at these words and fragments, at what will come next.

IMG_5741

Most people will understand,

IMG_5740

But most people aren’t real. Most people don’t exist.

Three Colour Challenge

Nuvofelt’s challenge was just what I needed this evening.

After a day of getting on with some long put off jobs about the nest, my reward for myself was an hour or so of de-rusting my painting skills.

The three colours I chose (without a lot of thought) were Magenta, Gold Ochre & Purple. Which for someone who has been in a rut of bluey greens for a loooong time, was probably a well balanced choice.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/d79/33706349/files/2015/01/img_0194.jpg

One at a time, on with the colour!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/d79/33706349/files/2015/01/img_1662.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/d79/33706349/files/2015/01/img_1665.jpg
/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/d79/33706349/files/2015/01/img_1667.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/d79/33706349/files/2015/01/img_1669.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/d79/33706349/files/2015/01/img_1668.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/d79/33706349/files/2015/01/img_1670.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/d79/33706349/files/2015/01/img_1672.jpg

The artificial light doesn’t do the colour justice. It might be a work in progress or maybe a done thing, I’ll review it in the cold light of morning. Either way it was fun to do, I recommend it as a way to break colour habits!