Sunday, January 9, 2022

A studio soul sister and 6 reasons to enjoy your sketchbook

In the last post I showed you a few little snippets of a painting I was working on. I finished it and it's still got a lot of color! It doesn't have a title yet so if you have any thoughts, feel free to share in the comments. It's 20x16x1.5 and the image continues on the sides of the canvas. To me, this feels like a field of flowers in spring. 

This one was done, so what next? I wanted to do something different for the first week of the year.

Remember this post? I talked about getting the creative juices flowing again by playing with some small, loose abstract compositions. Some of those little experiments were finished and displayed. Some of them I didn't care for enough to show but I didn't hate them enough to throw them away either. 

After the holidays I sometimes hit a bit of a slump in the studio so when that happens I like to read about and watch other artists for inspiration. You can always find a cool tip or tool to play with that excites the mind. I browsed through my art book shelf and also started watching YouTube videos. There's so much out there. One artist that caught my attention was Louise Fletcher. Oh my goodness, she's like a studio soul sister! She even uses pattern tissue in her layers like I do. 

In this video she talks about how she uses her sketchbook to develop ideas. She does the same kind of exercise that I do with mini abstract compositions but then she takes the leftovers and saves them in her book, makes notes, and uses them for reference. Brilliant! I gave it a go. 

In this next one, I'm testing out some new paint I just ordered. I've never tried Nova paints. They're an acrylic made in CA. I ordered a few colors to try them and I will be ordering more. The colors are wonderfully saturated. They come in jars because they're not heavy body acrylic. They seem to have a viscosity somewhere between fluid and soft body acrylics and have great covering power. I'm happy with them so far and will add them for certain techniques. For some texture effects, the heavier body paints still work better. 

In the one below I grabbed some twigs from the back yard and used them like brushes to scribble on the page. I like the loose, organic feel of the marks.

I've always kept a sketchbook but I haven't used it as much in recent years and I usually just use it for graphite sketches. Now I'm enjoying this sketchbook practice for a few reasons.
  1.   It helps me to work out design ideas for future paintings.
  2.   I can work out color combinations and mixtures.
  3.   I can try different techniques before taking them to the canvas.
  4.   I can save all this to look at later when I need some inspiration.
  5.   I make notes about what works and what doesn't so I don't have to reinvent the wheel when I'm working.
  6.   No one ever has to see my studio work book unless I feel like sharing. I'm free to experiment  and play and if it doesn't work, I learned something. If it works, I learned something.
The new year is starting off with lots of inspiration, learning and fun. I hope you're having a great start to your year. Check out some more of Louise's videos and let me know if you find any other cool artists to watch. Let's go 22!