2/21 days – Lesson learned

Groan – now she has us thinking. Tough one! Have I salvaged any useful tidbits worth sharing, do I forget and repeat mistakes or simply incorporate my discoveries semi-consciously?
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Markers on canvas

While I don’t draw all that well, for the usual reason that I haven’t practiced enough, I do sometimes want the option of making lasting outlines to a painted object or just make squiggles and doodles without resorting to stamps or trying to painstakingly get a smooth, uninterupted but still swishy and loose line with a thin brush which has to be dipped every stroke.
Continue reading “Markers on canvas”

Winter (knit) progress report 2

Firstly, I’d like to wish everybody a happy New Year, I hope you made it through the celebrations well in whichever manner you prefer. ūüėÄ

It’s time for reckoning! How much did I accomplish?

We also need to talk about the other challenge I set myself.

I had decided beforehand to make a report whether I succeeded or failed – and really, if you make the effort, can you truly call it a failure?

I did make an effort. In good spirits too, no pointed fingers. I didn’t exactly make the finish line with 3 items done, but I’ve decided to be pleased with myself nonetheless. (is that one or three words?) I could have knit every day and met more goals. Worked really hard until my fingers bled, but I’m also determined to only hurry so much that I don’t get stressed out about it, since that is (still) poison to my system. I don’t know if I’ll ever recover from that completely, and perhaps it’s a good thing if I don’t. The only “danger” is, once you allow yourself some slack, more slack has a tendency to follow when it’s not a life or death situation. So yes, I could have knit more. But I did finish one big thing without getting caught in second sleeve syndrome or starting up a number of random displacement activities.

Of course in my eagerness to have at least one sweater not fitting like a sausage skin, I made this one enormous. As in, I really should reknit the whole thing…. And this is why I made my no-knit resolution! I must be some sort of closet masochist. It’s a bit odd though, I swear it was ok when I tried it on around halfway through?! A shapeshifting sweater?

bluedelight2
Ribbit!

Worse is, the slack oozed over to my paint challenge. In fact, I more or less forgot about it. Resistance does that to you. We’ve determined that faking it doesn’t work, I do in fact have to be “in the mood”. And Resistance makes sure I’m not in the mood if I know I only have half an hour before somebody visits/turns on the tv/asks for dinner. I could say that I lucked out on opportunities for uninterrupted worktime, which is true, but there were things I could have done to prepare for “the moment” in advance, such as making sketches in the relative safety of my kitchen office, and I carry the full responsibility for ignoring that option completely. The truth is, I did not touch my canvasses AT ALL apart from clearing them from my work table to convert it into a dining table for a family visit.

inktense0001 Played a bit with my new waterbrush today just to have something to show. We are NOT quite friends yet, all of a sudden it gushes a huge drop, making all the colours bleed and spread. I guess here’s my chance to try working on the same image multiple times! ūüėČ

It’s a bit like writing with ink and old fashioned pens, the way they splatter just as you’re working an elaborate curve or dotting the i.

And I know I said I’d been getting better at keeping a schedule, but the real truth is, I spent most of the time planning projects, not doing them. Oh I’ve played with photos, made yarn, knitted, read books. Gotten more ideas for things that are not paintings. (I now desperately need a rigid heddle loom ūüėČ ) So I need even more focus. I’m going to keep pushing until I find the right combination of work flow for me, if that’s even possible when you don’t have control over your workspace.

When I was running my bizz, I had the house to myself most days, but the last couple of years, G has discovered the joys of working from home too. I was grateful for this while I was feeling poorly, but now I’m having a hard time kicking him back out LOL. And I can hardly blame him!

new hat
My brother brought me this thinking cap the other day, when I wear it nobody is allowed to talk at me. Just have to remember to take it off when the doorbell rings…. I think it’s made for grown up heads, but if I tuck my hair in it stays put.

How about making a habit of doing housework in the evening before bedtime, when I’m too tired to think useful thoughts anyway? Tidy up especially, but even laundry and such (no dusting). Fewer things to clutter my brain during peak hours so to speak. Because I AM getting things done, it’s just the wrong things, you know? It’s usually tv time then and it’s an excellent way to avoid that. Never met anyone who felt accomplished after 2 hours in front of the box. As for entertained, no, not really, only thing I watch is The Doctor. Oh well, it’s worth a shot.

And now, for a new calendar. Are you doing anything new this year?

Book break

Sometimes I need to zone out from real life, and now apparently is one of those times. So instead of being busy doodling in my repurposed books (I’m planning for 7 with each its own theme, but I only have 5 so far) I’ve been reading and not much else. These breaks are usually very univited, I’d just figured out that acrylic paint doesn’t work in the books because the pages stick together and my promarkers don’t work well on gessoed pages. Doh. I’d tested them on acrylic only… So I splurged on a little box of pastel chalks just yesterday to force the flow, but alas, it’s not how it works. My body reminds me not very kindly, that I’m not really in contol ūüėČ

pastel

This weekend I’ve been through “Labyrinth” by Kate Mosse and “People of the Book” by Geraldine Brooks. On the table are “Of Marriageable Age” by Sharon Maas, an equally brick thick book by a Danish author and “The untethered soul” by Michael Singer (so, it had a horse on it…). I may have another browse thorugh Hugh MacLeod’s “Ignore everybody And 39 other keys to Creativity“. On order from the library are Kate Mosse “Sepulchre“, Felix Palma “The Map of the Sky” and Anne Lamott “Bird by Bird“. I hope that will be enough to see me through to the other side!

ubundne bogensfolk labyrint herskere sepul The-Map-of-the-Sky ignore bird_by_bird_lr

Bogpause

Pause fra mine hjemmelavede skitseb√łger og pause til at l√¶se. Tr√¶nger nogen gange til at bare stene og lade verden g√• sin egen gang uden mig… Ikke af lyst, for jeg vil egentlig hellere forts√¶tte med mine projekter, men kroppen tager over og bestemmer noget andet.

Her op til og i weekenden har jeg l√¶st “Labyrint” af Kate Mosse og “Bogens folk” af Geraldine Brooks. Nu venter “De ti herskere” af Christian M√łrk, “I giftef√¶rdig alder” af Sharon Moss samt “den ubundne sj√¶l” af Michael Singer og p√• biblioteket er bestilt “Sepulchre” af Kate Mosse, “The Map of the Sky” (den er vist ikke oversat endnu, men “Tidskortet” er) af Felix Palma og “Bird by Bird” af Anne Lamott. S√• h√•ber jeg at jeg har nok til jeg igen dukker frem af t√•gen! ūüėČ Jeg skal jo i gang med at lege med mine nye pastelkridt som jeg k√łbte i g√•r, dels fordi jeg ikke kunne f√• de sprayflasker jeg gik efter (som man bl.a. kan bruge med skabeloner til at lave art journaling baggrunde), dels fordi jeg har fundet ud af at akrylmaling ikke duer i b√łger, siderne klistrer sammen, og mine fine dyre tusser tegner ikke s√• godt ovenp√• gesso. Doh. Jeg havde kun testet dem ovenp√•, ja akrylmaling!!

***

Jeg har et sp√łrgsm√•l til de danskere som evt. l√¶ser: vokspapir, hvor finder man det? Det skal v√¶re mere vokset end bagepapir, alts√• s√• man kan bruge det som melleml√¶g ved sider som ikke er helt knast√łrre uden at det h√¶nger i.

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Daily doodle

It’s all the rage on creative blogs – a post a day, a collage a day, a journal page a day, a photo a day, a heart a day, 365 days challenges.

poodle
A Dpoodle a today.

And it makes sense, if you want to keep the flow, get in the groove. You need to show up every day and do your thing. For a long long time I didn’t, I let life run me over, I was exhausted and kept saving my ideas for tomorrow. “It’ll soon get better, and then…” turned into years… But I’ve learned recently, if I want to get it done, I need to get started. No matter what life looks like today.

Being me, I do know however that a fixed project commitment every day doesn’t work for me. Making it a duty, heck, that’s why I became self-employed so I wouldn’t have to show up on time for somebody else’s gig, you know, the sun is shining, perfect time to go riding at 11 am! (or paint – don’t get many hours in winter).

Besides, once I begin thinking about it, I can suddenly imagine doing a doodle a day, a written something a day, a painting excercise a day, a yarn a day, a photo a day, a knit-one-row-a-day project, a cartoon character a day, an index card sketch a day, a horse a day….. (see, I’m making lists again!)

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I also have a list of things I’d like to study, artsy as well as “bookish”. Schedule a day where that’s what I’m doing for xx hours a week. But I need to take it slow because I know what happens if I don’t. Multitasking is poison to the soul!

So I’m not going to commit to any one particular thing a day, because suddenly life happens and I’m off in another direction for a while. But, starting with my converted book I’ll try to show up every day and do “something”, not just gab or think about it (which I’m really good at as you’ve gathered). I have plenty of little things I want to do that are not art in themselves but preparations to make art, such as stencils for use on book pages and elsewhere. Font research. Great for days when art scares you, but you still want to feel some accomplishment.

In fact I think I may have so much fun with it that I started on its partner. I even looked for the part 5+6 that I knew I’d seen, but I’ve thrown out quite a few books over the last years, both my own, to make more room on my shelves, since I’ve reached the limit for more shelves, as well as my MIL stash that lived in the loft for a while. The stash, not the MIL. So they were gone, and recently too as I recall, when deciding I couldn’t be bothered reading them. A whole stack, same size, different designs, would have been cool though! Maybe.

books02

The covers are a work in progress. The pages I either slather with gesso, making the old paper more sturdy as well as preventing markers from bleeding through to the other side. It contains chalk, so it dries quickly and also makes a porous surface suitable for inks and watercolors. Or I sometimes use leftover paint from something else to make a little background that I can later use for collage or paint something else on top. If you add a lot of medium you allow the text to be seen through the colour, you can even use matt acrylic medium to get the same effect as gesso but keep the text. I pull out every 4-5 pages so it doesn’t get monster thick when I add all those things, the spine being the width it is.

The thing about this project is no pressure. I don’t need to get an idea to work on it, I just mindlessly add a bit of paint and maybe something likeable comes out of it. I haven’t wasted expensive paper if it doesn’t, but maybe it’ll keep me in or get me into that flow. It feels like it’s now or else – having wasted all that precious time already. So this is my way of reminding myself over and over that a new software is being installed. I’m going to drag my resistant twin kicking and screaming into the century of the fruitbat.

books04

Maybe eventually I’ll come up with something that I’d actually like to document and collect every day, for now I’m publishing my intentions so feel free to check up on me and keep me to it. ūüėČ

In return I promise not to actually pester you with my antics daily. Maybe just a special doodle once in a blue moon?

But just to make it harder on myself, I’d like to hear your ideas for “something a day”. Do you think it’s a good idea/routine/challenge and why?