Tuesday, October 30, 2007

today's mandala

art journal pages

Lately I find myself wondering exactly why I am keeping an art journal. I haven't really thought about it, asked myself what I want from it, or understood why I am doing it. I want to create, yes. But I think what I really want is to find my own voice as an "artist", my own meaning, my own deep processes, my own work.

Lately as I’ve been trying to find ideas to work on and develop, I realise that most of my ideas have come from looking at other artists’ work and from waiting to be inspired. I know that it is hard to find an original idea, and I’m not even sure that that is exactly the point, but an obvious sense of “imitation” is as far as it’s gone for me and it’s not enough. The deepest I felt I went in my art was when I was doing that
zen leaf drawing. Everything else has felt like bouncing around on the surface of things, course work included.

On my course work I feel like I am working harder, but at someone else’s task, not my own. I want my art to come from me. But am I ready for that, do I even understand what that means? This goes for both my writing and my drawing. I feel like I need some direction and help. And since I have a phobia of adult education classes (how ironic), I started browsing on Amazon on artist sketchbooks and I came across a book entitled Fearless Creating by Eric Maisel. I'm hopeful that it can help me. Let’s wait and see. I wonder how other people do it, how do they find their own voice, their own work?

In the meantime, I guess all I can do is keep creating, keep asking myself these questions, keep looking at and learning from other people’s art.

My favourite work of everything I have done are my blind contour ink portraits, my Damascus picture, some of my shoe drawings, my zen leaf drawing. These feel most like “my” work. The things they have in common are strong line and/or bold colour and a distinct viewpoint that is perhaps what could be called style. But what does this mean, if anything, and where do I go from here?


Changing the subject completely...did you know Alison Krauss and Robert Plant have done an album together? It's called Raising Sand, and it's beautiful.

And tomorrow night, I'm going to see
Iron & Wine! Yay!!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Rocks, wire, scissors (and fimo)

I know love is beautiful, but sometimes, it also feels like this, even when it's the best thing in the world.


You know what? I really love pastels. And I'm going to stop thinking that using pastels isn't "real" art. I know that paint is the most used medium by artists making pictures and I do want to learn to paint, but my first love is pastels. Pastels and drawing. I adore drawing. I adore making lines. I love lines. So here's one I made earlier, in its different stages.

It's been awhile since I've done one of these...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The joy of diversions

Really, there are so many things I should have been doing today. Like my painting course homework, writing overdue letters, returning phone calls, eating lunch. But here's what I did instead...see the little guy leaning on Lottie? Well I made him! For some inexplicable reason, I had this strong desire to make a felt cat. So I did. He's my first. Isn't he tiny? I didn't know what to stuff him with so I used some old bubble wrap!

And now there's even less time to do the things I should have got done today. Oh well, at least I did some art journalling. And I also finally did some yoga after a very lengthy "break" from all forms of exercise due to sheer lard-ass laziness.

Ok, I don't feel so bad now.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Originally uploaded by the heartful blogger
You never know what will grow out of a magic bean...

Still unable to upload pictures onto blogger!!!!

Blogger has not allowed me to upload any pictures for the last few days and they still haven't solved the problem!!!!! Arrrrrgggggghhhhhhh!!!!!!! So I'm gonna have to cheat and go via flickr, apologies for the funny format of the above post.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More painting!

And I did this to use up the leftover paint...

Composition exercises

So I decided to just skip that whole dull chapter of my painting course that was going to require me to first sketch and then paint four pictures of different views from different rooms in my house. Perhaps I'll do that another time when I live somewhere with coloured walls, less clutter and more convenient angles and corners. The example they had in the course notes actually featured a room that had not only a piano, but a large dining table, beautiful chairs and lamps, not to mention lovely windows. Lucky for some...

So straight onto the chapter on composition, which was much more interesting. These are my exercises for the first part of the assignment.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Painting (4" x 3" chunky canvas)

Acrylic & Ink.

I have no idea what to call this.

Since watching Suzi Blu's
Live Juicy video mentioned in my last post, I'm endeavouring to make a painting a week. This is my first! There was a sale going on at the London Graphics Centre, I got these little chunky canvases for only £1!! Both the cost and the dinky size helped to undo the daunting feeling that usually creeps up on me when faced with a pristine blank canvas.

It was fun making this. I had an idea what I wanted to do, but in the end, I like the way it turned out better than my original idea.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


I'm beginning to understand why doing my painting course work is feeling like swimming through tar. The assignments are extremely prescriptive, the approach very conservative and traditional and doesn't leave much room for the imagination. No wonder I've been stuck.

On the other hand, watching Suzi Blu's videos are unsticking me and inspiring me to paint whatever the heck I want, however I want to do it. As Henry Miller said, "Paint what you like and die happy."

So I've figured out that there's no reason for me to stay within the narrow confines of the assignments. So they want me to sketch and then paint four different views in my house from one room into another. Would it really matter if I zoomed in on the four stripey coloured socks hanging off the radiator instead of trying to get the perspective and angles of the white walls correct? It is a view from one room to another after all. Besides, I can't really "fail" these assignments. I'm not getting graded for them. Whatever I send to my tutor, she always says the same thing. "You're doing fine, carry on." Honestly, if I hadn't paid several hundred pounds for the privelege of being told this, I'd quit. But then, that would be failing. And I'm not quitting. So I'm going to do it my way.