Pattern a Day December

December was certainly a crazy month in a lot of ways. I was still in Alpine, Arizona, and took a mini vacation to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. Then I drove across the country back to Maryland, got home and got sick, and somehow managed to prepare for the holidays and celebrate them successfully! In the midst of all that, I created a pattern everyday.

I didn’t bother posting photos while I was staying in hotels with crummy lighting on my road trip home, but by working with simple tools–a watersoluble carbon block, a brush, and paper–I was able to stay creative every day, even after driving for 10 hours, or spending most of the day in bed with the chills.

Because of my choice of medium for the month, all my patterns were black, white, and/or grey. I know I already mentioned it in my December round up post of other artist’s patterns, but since I was only working with one “color,” I was especially glad that other people were making lots of vibrantly colorful patterns in December. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love black and white, especially in pattern form, but I also love a little variety!

One of the things that was most eye opening, especially when I considered the way I approached creating patterns in November, was how much the medium and color (or lack thereof) drives the way I create a pattern, and ultimately the imagery that I put down on paper.

In November many of my patterns had a lot of depth and complexity, while most of my December patterns tended to be more flat and graphic.

November/December pattern comparison

I don’t think either is necessarily better than other, it was just interesting to reflect on my processes over the past few months and recognize the difference!

At times I felt like some of the patterns I made weren’t my most creative, which is ok. This challenge was never about producing something ground breaking everyday, it is simply about creating everyday. I think as part of that, there will naturally be times when the work is excellent, while other times when it’s just so so. To me what is important is that I get in the habit of working with my hands everyday, as my natural tendency often leaves ideas stuck in my head for days or even weeks before I get around to getting them down on paper.

That said, there were definitely days I got excited about–especially the days where I tried out an idea that in my head I thought was a little odd or unattractive, but the results were sometimes quite striking.

Day 11 Pattern a Day December

Day 14 Pattern a Day December

Most of the patterns this month were abstract. Either focusing on form or the texture of the water soluble carbon.

Day 6 Pattern a Day December

Day 21 Pattern a Day December

I did manage to sneak in a few that were representational, and most of those were inspired by the season.

Day 9 Pattern a Day December

Day 22 Pattern a Day December

One of my favorites was the pattern I created on New Year’s Eve. Although abstract, it really captures the festive feeling of a New Year celebration.

Day 31 Pattern a Day December

I like to think of this as a good omen for the year ahead, which I hope to fill with even more patterns! I’m not necessarily intending to make this a year-long commitment, but you never know! Bit by bit, month by month, I might just get there!

See the rest of the patterns in my Pattern a Day December set on flickr, and check out the Pattern a Day group for more patterns and lots of inspiration.

Happy New Year!

6 Replies to “Pattern a Day December”

  1. I still keep up to date with your patterns even though I’m not taking part. I am missing it do will join in again soon. I think all your patterns are great both the colour and black and white. I personally find it easier to work in black and white as although its restrictive in patterns I can create in some respect, it also makes me think about the way I create them and what shapes or lines to use. I get too excited using colours and think that’s probably why I have up in the end.

    1. Thanks Dina! I definitely miss seeing your patterns, and would love you to join in again! I think the good thing about trying out different colors and techniques is that you find out what you like, and is sounds like you’ve already zeroed in on a preference, which is great!

  2. I loved the collective post with the other artists, it’s so great to see how differently everyone approaches an idea. I love seeing your patterns for December, the minimal black and white still offers a lot of options, your abstract ones are really great 🙂

    It’s been very exciting seeing this project, I wish I had the time and courage to take part in it and actually follow through (my biggest fear is that I’ll give up at the very first difficulty) !

    1. Thank you Aleka! Very nice of you to say! I think you should just give it a go anyway. One of my guidelines for the challenge is to not even worry about finishing! It’s really just a way to build regular creativity into your life, and whether it’s daily or “every other day-ly,” it’s all about making a schedule that suits who you are!

  3. I think not committing to working on this for a year is actually helping me stick with it. A month seems do-able. A year? Not so much.

    My favorite of the ones you’ve posted here is the thin ovals with a few stripes across them. I like the grey background behind the ovals.

    1. Oh definitely! If I were to have started out the year with a daily year-long challenge in mind, I might have already given up! I am still reserving the right to take a break when I want.

      And thanks! That grey background was created by lightly dragging the dry carbon block across the paper. I built that one up in layers, and I doubt I would have come up with that particular pattern if I hadn’t started with the background first!

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