another month has flown by and our souls are starting to dry a little from a very wet winter (which of course we are thankful for!) Life has gotten in the way of art this last month & I have been trying to find my artistic voice within constraints of limited space, limited supplies & limited time. They all suck – but it’s just a season & that’s how life goes sometimes in families. I wanted to create myself a new journal to work in & to be able to at least be doing a little something, & so I started out with to book board covers cut to A4 size & punched that & 20 pages of water colour paper for zutter binding. These covers were subsequently collaged, layered, painted, glazed & rubbed on but when it was finished I hated it. Although I recognize that I lean toward the ‘murky’ (clear colours look so insipid to me) I have just lost the plot here, & it’s so MURKY it’s just a green blob – had I just painted it in a mottled effect over some newspaper, I don’t think it would have looked any worse! LOL!! the saving grace is the gorgeous vintage flower buttons that are on the cover. They are a treasure & although you can’t tell in the picture, they are really finely detailed. So I had a week or so mopping, dissatisfied, but not really knowing where to head next………….I am seeing amazing colour all around me as Spring transforms all of my senses.
Baby birds are everywhere & our garden is filled with gorgeous crimson rosellas & king parrots feeding on the seed we leave out for them daily. As I type this, I can hear the chortling bell like sound of their call to a garden with a generous bounty.
spring light has saturated the dark corners of winter & the days are stretching out into early evening…….the canvas spread before us from our front verandah every night is jaw dropping and a photograph is a poor substitute – but here’s a glimpse
and of course the gardens are resplendant with a riot of colour which our grandblessings are just lovin’…………despite all of this, (I, the COLOUR guru!!! – note the irony,) have felt that I need to parr back & simplify a little. I have shelved my ‘green lump’ book (the one with totally gorgeous vintage buttons wasted on it!! LOL!) & though I know that will come into it’s own at this point (I have a use in mind, but at the moment, I don’t love it enough to open it, or to want to work in it & when I am already time challenged) – an uninspiring surface to begin with is not going to help progress.
I have been encouraged in one of my online art groups to contemplate “Sprezzatura” or deliberate carelessness. Wikipedia defines it as: “a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.” Vasari, Raphael and Leonardo were exponents. Picasso’s drawings are a good example- simple expressive lines with little or no attention to anatomy
Being such a perfectionist, I struggle here & I have found recently that perfectionism like a ball & chain, because my art is not that good – and my ‘artly vision’ for my piece is that it have a realism impact- and then when my skill deficit kicks in & the piece is mid process, it’s not what I had in mind at all. Robert Genn (from The Painter’s Keys) has suggested:
- Put speed into your strokes by lengthening them.
- Leave parts unfinished- let the viewer complete for you.
- Put the mark “near,” not “on” the place it should be.
- & THE HARDEST ADVICE – Just for a while, don’t take yourself so seriously!!
- Make notes of incomplete thoughts, fragments, figments
- Let ideas freely associate and take you where they will
- then, revisit your thoughts and ask, “What could be?”
- then – Liberate yourself by consciously omitting the word, “I.”.. &.Circle, highlight and re-illustrate ideas in progress
Some other thoughts he has are:
- Choose your brush, then take a bigger one.
- Think of your brush as part of your voice.
- Fight the common tendancy to tighten up.
- Try working with ‘idea,’ not style.
- Don’t fret the Freudian slips.
- Be esuberante (exuberant).
- Trust your instincts.
- Sing Italian arias…….not that I sing them – but I often play THIS in my studio
A sweet & dear friend who has seen my recent state, gifted me a gorgeous journal book by Sabina Ward Harrison – The True & the Questions. The perfectionist in me prevents me from actually writing in it! LOL! but it is provoking & influencing me right now, especially to work with ink again, which has been set aside for for a while.
SO – here’s the new journey – I HAVE parred back, AND AGAIN, parred back – for the moment I am working with a palette of Titanium White, Titian Buff & Burnt Umber, with little splashes of colour, that I am then wiping back & ‘whiting’ over to lessen their impact. I am also working with stamping & alcohol inks for highlights & text. Here’s the results so far…………I have titled this new art journal..”A Different Perspective’…………. as it began life by me finding a broken magnifying glass in an antiques junk shed……….