This year I participated in the Index Card a Day challenge during June and July for the 3rd year in a row. It was a lot of fun, as always.
This year I continued my surface and pattern design explorations and tried a new-to-me technique for the first time: gelatin printing!
I had fun embellishing the prints with paint markers and gelly rolls.
Not only did I print directly on some cards, I also cut up some gelatin prints and collaged them back together on index cards.
The most unexpected card was one where I tied knots with embroidery floss.
For the bulk of my cards I explored different ways of using paint markers and gelly rolls with lots of layering, mark making and varying texture.
I just finished my first week of daily painting in 2015!
My initial idea was to create a painting on 4×6 inch paper each day and call the project 4x6x365. After thinking about it, I adjusted my idea and thought it would be better to work a little larger on 6×8 inch paper. I sat down on January 1st with a few sheets of paper in various sizes, and I was surprised to find it challenging to “complete” a 6×8 painting, but I had several 4×6 paintings that looked finished to me. So I switched my challenge back to the 4×6 idea, and I’ve been going strong since.
I’ve already explored quite a few new tools and techniques. I worked with bristle brushes, a brayer, and palette knives. I painted opaquely and translucently. I did a lot of layering and lifting of colors, achieving subtle effects.
I played around a bit with adding pencil marks after the painting part was finished. I like the level of interest it adds.
I felt quite bold when I made the black swish in the above painting. I had the idea for it, and had to go for it!
After an initial touch of resistance and a feeling of overwhelm of what this project would look like for the whole year, I started this first week by giving myself permission to make anything I wanted. There’s a looseness and complexity from all the layers and brush textures that surprises me. It’s maybe not what I had in mind, but that’s really part of the fun!
I’ve been cleaning up my studio in preparation for a new year of art making, and when I came across a stack of paintings that I’ve made throughout the year, I thought it would be fun to tape some of them them up on the wall and take a look.
This group of art shows a variety of the different ideas and mediums I explored throughout the year. There was a lot of watercolor, paint pen, acrylic, gouache, pencil and markers. I worked on watercolor paper, loose printer paper, and even index cards.
There was a LOT of art that didn’t make it up on the wall: more art on loose paper, but also a ton of work in sketchbooks. In 2013 I filled 14 sketchbooks with artwork, and while I don’t have the final numbers for this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was close to that! My plan is to round them up, film some flip-throughs and put together a post about them soon.
I’m sure the sketchbookery will continue in 2015, but I also plan to do a lot more art out of my sketchbooks. I really want to focus on created finished works on paper, panel or canvas in the coming year.
To help with this goal, I’ve devised a daily challenge for myself. Basically I’ll be creating one painting for every day of the year! I’m still not 100% sure about all the details, but I think I’ll decide on a particular size somewhere between 4×6 and 6×8 and take it from there. More info on that project is coming soon.
Here’s to lots of creativity in the coming year!
I recently got a great deal on some Golden acrylics, and I’ve been having fun trying them out.
I’d been working regularly with watercolor before getting these new paints, and switching between the two is always a bit of a challenge until I get the feel for it again.
When I got back into watercolor a few months ago, I found myself laying it on way too thick and wanting to layer it. Now that I’ve gotten used to watercolor, my initial acrylic efforts were getting kind of muddy until I “remembered” the magic of layering.
After a few layers of paint, I had a somewhat muddy dark gray surface with light speckles. I wasn’t too impressed at first, but coming back to my art table after a break and taking another look, the speckled surface reminded me of cactus prickles. I ran with the idea!
I drew the outline of the cactus shape (you can see pencil lines where the segments meet) on the page, and then painted around the edges with a layer of purple and then blue. For those two layers I thinned out the paint and painted it thickly in sections, then dabbed it off with a paper towel before it could completely dry. That technique allows you to see through to the speckled layer, as well as the lighter purple layer under the ultramarine blue. It also gives the piece the vibrant luminous color that it needed.
The final touch was adding red cactus blossoms here and there.
Not only was I trying out paint, but I was also trying out different sizes of paper. I’ve been contemplating another year-long daily project, and one of my thoughts was to work on a specific size of paper. This one is 5×7 which feels pretty good to me, but I’m also trying out 4×6 and 6×8.
Are you considering a year-long project for 2015? I’ve also been thinking about working with a time limit, or possibly working digitally, but I still haven’t decided. I would love to hear what you have planned for the new year!