I set myself the task of interpreting a quote a day with brush and ink and color. There are tens of thousands (more!) of inspiring quotes and I have often thought of doing this. Over the weekend I listened to an episode on Seth Godin’s podcast, Akimbo, where he praised the discipline of regular blog writing which he said allows the writer to explore and distill ideas. The fruits of daily application are the same for art as they are for writing or for anything one wants to become proficient in. Sadly, if we look at the things we do daily, and the habits we develop from doing them regularly, often they’re not what truly bring us joy. Changing habitual behaviors is difficult and possible.
Anything we do with regularity we become.
Simple elegant black lines are utterly beautiful to me. Whether I’m writing words on a page with a fine point pen or creating words or lines with brush and ink, looking at lines unfold on a blank page is like watching singing happen, or the Word made Flesh. It’s a creative act in and of itself.
My friend, and excellent artist, Kathleen Volp, gave me some feedback on my extensive use of black and white, suggesting that 2 strong colors cancel each other out and suggested adding more white, even trying a monochromatic approach.
In the following pieces, untitled 1 and black & blue, her comments gave me the impetus to work into untitled 1. I loved the color and line in that piece but was never satisfied with it. Kathleen also surfaced something I hadn’t wanted to admit–I’d gotten lazy in my use of black and red.
Not sure black & blue is finished but it has more substance.
untitled 1, 16″x16″ collage and paint on board (version 1)
black & blue, 16″x16″ collage and paint on board (version 2)
I rarely post photos here but I’m always entranced by water reflecting sky and branches.
This is the very busy Longwood Avenue bridge. I’m guessing few look over the side of the bridge to see the beauty flowing beneath them. I’ve been one of those unaware pedestrians, but luckily, not today.
I find collage art deeply satisfying. There’s no design in mind when I face the paper. I try to use what’s in front of me, but of course I have unconscious color and shape preferences that surface when I approach the paper/materials with the intention to set aside judgement. Then my artistic language shows up which I can use in other work, or I “get over” being embarrassed to use the female imagery that arises.