Happy New Year!
As 2023 unfolds, I wanted to share some ways to get started with your art practice. If you are like me, the holidays absorb a lot of energy. By the way, I consider it well spent, yet it squeezes my time in the studio. To get going again I like to start working in my art journal. What I refer to as clean-up pages are a perfect springboard. If you have taken an art class with me, I always encourage students to use leftover paint on a blank art journal page. Intentionally making a first layer eliminates the blank page and provides a starting point for collage or paint.
Here’s a look at a page I painted yesterday. The collage pieces were in place, and the French lady came from a delicious bar of soap. The wrapper was too pretty to throw away and I used it for a first layer in my art journal.
I was also using a dark blue paint and a Catalyst shaper brush by Princeton. It felt so good to be painting again and it was easy to dive in with this process.
The Stabilo pencil is a water-soluble pencil, I use it for first layers and outlining. The shaper is an interesting tool and is useful for mark making. I like the way it reveals an underlayer of paint. Both tools were used in the pages pictured.
After being out of the studio for weeks, I start out working very loose. Spritzing a page, random pencil marks, loose shapes, and the shaper for mark making. This helps me get started again. If I were to start in on a painting, it would be a disaster! I am not ready… my creative muscle needs to be exercised and I need to find my mojo again. After years of being an instructor and a maker one would think these obstacles would not exist. Wrong… so wrong. Just like an athlete who has been in the off season, the artist too has to work out and get back at it. Art journaling is the perfect tool for this. Or making clean up pages like the ones here…
On the above page I intentionally painted a cruciform shape. This can be the beginning of an abstract floral, or landscape. It is a classic design tool and by studying the shapes in place an image will come to mind and I can begin the page. The other pages were painted using leftover palette paint. But I do like the textures and combinations. Another tip…I am intentional on my clean up page to paint shapes and colors that coordinate, no mud allowed. Usually, several pages will be painted with leftover palette paint so that the colors are harmonious on the page.
Here are a couple of other ideas to get started in your art journal after a break…
Cut out magazine images, collage them onto a page, add mark making with paint markers. Express thoughts, goals, visions for the new year.
Create a page using colored pencils, watercolor pencils, inks, and markers. Row by row make marks using your tools of choice, mix it up, simple doodles and shapes. This page can be copied at the print shop and used for collage on other pages. While watching TV or waiting in the car, this process is accessible and gets your hands moving!
When cleaning out my studio I found this painted book page. Actually, it is several pages glued together and I wanted to keep it but not as a stand-alone piece, so I added it in my art journal. Eventually I will finish this page by integrating the collaged item into the page with stenciling, added marks or more collage. It is a w.i.p.
M O R E C L E A N- U P P A G E S
Hopefully you will find some time to get back at it. If you do not have any clean up pages underway, now is the perfect time to grab some harmonious paint colors and layer it on. Start with pencil lines, spritz some water on a page, add paint, make it drip, paint horizontally and vertically with no plan in mind. Let it dry and sit for a day or so. Come back to it and discover what the page says to you. This is intuitive painting and trust me, the page will beckon you to something. Maybe it is simply adding collage pieces, or a specific image will shout out to you, or you might need to add more paint. Let your creative intuition lead the way. This is a fun process, therapeutic, relaxing, enjoyable, inspiring, and an expressive endeavor.
Hope to see you in class during 2023, it is always a blessing!
LET’S CHASE SOME BEAUTY TOGETHER