Category Archives: studio blog

14 January 2020

I went on an internet search yesterday to finally find a proper term for the technique I am occasionally obsessed with, involving drawing with hard pencil on soft paper, coloring over that with wax crayons, coating all that with ink or paint, then scraping the ink back off, which leaves it in the indented original pencil lines.  “Indenting” is a technique used in pencil drawings, I learned. The rest is something between Wax Resist and Scratchboard. Every time I go through a phase of playing with this technique I gain a little more control, and it still has never stopped feeling satisfyingly magical to me.

28 December 2019

This evening I sat looking at the blank paper, thinking that I have no ideas, no particular ambition, nothing really to say with my art. This first hurdle is where the inner critics can get off a clear shot, before I get absorbed or distracted by lines and colors. They often speak the loudest when I am most tired or over-extended.

After 10 years of practice, I am able eventually to just pick something up and start making marks, and see where it goes, so I did that. But after 10 years of practice I still often have that anxious moment before a blank sheet of paper. Time and practice may not change who I am, but they have given me more tools for dealing with the things I fear or worry about.

This practice of making and sharing daily drawings has been an adventure, a kind of journal of self-discovery. I try to keep making what pleases me, without tailoring it to please some real or imagined audience. And yet, I have so much gratitude to those people who follow my art-making, and have encouraged me with their responses. I am aware of this web of friends, who balance out the voices of my inner critics.

As we sit in this season between years and between decades, the darkest time (or brightest, depending upon your hemisphere!) I wish you all courage, persistence, resilience, and the time and will to do the things that give your life the most joy and meaning.

 

10 November 2019

Hi friends in the blog, I have news.

I have joined a brand new artist collective gallery, so for the first time in my life, I have a real-world space to continuously show and sell my art stuff. I’m also doing the bookkeeping for the collective, setting up all the money systems for tracking sales and paying everyone. So far it’s been draining as well as rewarding. By the end of the day, when I normally have my studio time, I have been both mentally and physically worn out.

Here’s a link to see the Harmony Collective’s page:

https://www.facebook.com/HarmonyCollectiveBrattleboro/

Days like today, I sit in front of the blank paper, with old episodes of  The Great British Baking Show playing to distract my inner critics, a long time before I make a mark on the paper. I have to prod myself to get started. It doesn’t matter if I don’t think I have anything to ‘say’, or if I have no leadings for an image. The point of the practice is to move into the meditation of making the marks. To give voice to the part of me that is not words and numbers and plans and systems.

Some other time I’ll make a post about the gallery, with photos of the space. I’m really proud to be part of what the collective has brought to life, and I’d love to share it with you.

Thanks for following my art journey here, dear reader!

5 January 2019

Another long day and short studio time. This was actually the second start; the first one bugged me so much I’m not even showing it. It’s on the other side of this page. Is that a violation of my own rules? I said I’d show whatever I drew on my daily page, I think this is the first time in 9 years I’ve given myself a do-over.

I suspect this year the ‘rules’ I set myself might change a little. I have a lot of piles of drawing-covered paper in my studio by now. More and more often, I’m going back later, to work and build on drawings I already posted. I originally started this blog to make sure I established a practice of doing the work every day. Now that’s pretty solid, and I want to figure out how to build on it.

I’ve been challenged to show my art in a gallery space at some point this year (the Art Salons don’t count) so I’ll have to start addressing what makes a work feel finished, and how do I display it.

I’m looking forward to a year of pushing my boundaries. I hope you also have some challenges and inspirations that are calling you to rise and meet them in a joyful way.

7 October 2018

I did not draw a picture this day; I spent it all shaping this chunk of cedar. It’s about the right size to fit into the palm of your hand and close your fingers securely around it.  The cord is singed because I took it to the ironworker clan’s forge and passed it through the fire, then dunked it in the quenching water. I’m not done working on it; back home it will be part of what helps me curtail the time spent on daily drawings so I can pursue other projects.

Time Limits and Prioritization

I started this daily drawing practice nearly 9 years ago, with the intention of getting myself to prioritize  art-making in my life. It has been really rewarding; I look forward to spending time every day, basically dreaming while awake and playing with art materials.

The daily drawings have a way of expanding to fill the time available, and soaking up most of my studio time. With more free time and a proper studio, I’m starting to feel a little frustrated by having a backlog of projects that are never quite finished, and drawings I wish I could spend more time on.

I’m going to try a shift in my ‘rules’ for the daily drawing: I will spend no more than an hour on each one. This will mean that sometimes what I post will not feel finished to me, or may be more of a sketch or an idea. If I continue working on the drawing, I’ll post the finished version on the page with the original post, and flag it on the various social media (currently Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Ello and Instagram)

I’m including some views of my studio just for fun. Can’t get over my good fortune in having such a place to work in every day!

7 September 2018

I think this one owes not a little from childhood books like Rootabaga Stories, Raggedy Ann and The Wizard of Oz series.

Speaking of which, I just found this link and it made me very happy:

https://archive.org/details/rootabagastories00sand

Studio blog notes: I’m finding more often that I’m not finishing the drawings I start for my daily page. Whether it’s that I’ve gotten more ambitious, or am simply growing in to spending more time in my studio, I now have stacks of drawings I want to revisit in one way or another. This is interesting, and I’m not sure how I will integrate it into the basic premise of my daily drawing. I’ll try to write a dedicated post about that soon.