21 days in my art world – Week 1 – Days 1 to 7
A few years ago Tara Leaver started her January #21daysinmyartworld challenge. I decided to take part for 2020, but I am starting a week late. I have been receiving the daily emails, but only now sitting down to catch up on them. As I start the challenge and start to to write this post its Sunday 12 January, and Day 7 of the challenge. I did also start the #30daysketchbookchallenge a week ago, but that’s another (and not very successful) story. I’ll be adding each day’s #21daysinmyartworld challenge here, as well as daily in my Instagram account.
This post lists Days 1 through 7. Click here for Week 2, days 8 through 14. I’ll post for week 3 when that week gets started.
The Challenge: This could be your favourite painting print you’ve ever made, your favourite from the past year, or a current piece; and share why it’s your favourite
My Response: 2019 was a slow year for creating new work. So much happened during the year, leaving a lot less time for creating than I would have liked. But … I did manage to build a body of work for my first solo exhibition.
‘Bontanical 1’ … one of a series of botanically referenced gelatin plate monotype prints. I love working with gelatin plates, botanical materials and acrylic paints to created layered monotype prints. I love the colours, the composition and imperfections in this print. The plant material was picked from my property. I used both Golden Open acrylics and Jo Sonja acrylic gouache paints.
The Challenge: It might be a cautionary tale, or something that has helped you thrive. It might be about a specific technique or material, or it might be more general. Maybe it’s wisdom from exhibiting work that could help others, or perhaps it’s something that changed the course of your artist path. What is something you’ve learned about art that you can share today?
My Response: I (think I) have finally learned to ‘follow my own lead’. This year presented some very real personal challenges. It was also the year that I celebrated my 10 years to becoming an overnight success when I moved into and set up my dream printmaking studio. It was the 2nd year I ran my printmaking workshops. And I was represented in 6 exhibitions. It was a combination of all of that, and in preparing a body of work for my solo exhibition, that I began to really trust in myself, trust the process, and step in to who I want to be as an artist. I admire and aspire to the skill level of other professional artists, but I have learned that I have my own creative voice; and I have to trust and nurture that to grow as an artist, both externally and internally.
The lesson learning is certainly not over, but with each lesson comes wisdom, strength and resilience.
The Challenge: show us something you’re currently creating!
My Response: I am working on a reduction linocut print commission, so I can’t share that with you at the moment. However, I am also working on an artist book project – I’m currently lino printing 60+ cotton squares of fabric to test what prints best, and what holds up best to multiple machine washes. I’m testing water-based and oil inks, and fabric additive in water based ink. Not heat-set, heat-set with an iron and dryer. I will bind all the swatches with lots of explanation and detail of what I did and the outcomes.
The Challenge: Today we’re sharing a book about art, whether that’s one you love, one you’d like to read, a book about technique or about history of art, or even fiction. I’ve enjoyed quite a few novels about artists at this point. And yes, you can include sketchbooks in this if you like!
The Response: Late-2018 I bought ‘The Art of the Fold‘ by Hedi Kyle and Ulla Warchol. WOW!! I love love love artist books. I love making them. Reading them. Touching them. I love the challenge of making artist books with no stitching – relying on folding to hold the structure in place, and maybe some glue or tape. This is a fabulous reference book. Great structures to make and easy-to-follow instructions.
The Challenge: Our tools – and how we use them – play an important part in what makes our work unique to us. Whether you’re a brush person, a fingers person, a whatever-you-can-lay-your-hands-on person, or all of the above, show us a photo of your favourite art tool today. If you have several, share any or all of them!
My Response: The more I do and the more I learn, the more tools I want and the more tools I neeeeeed! A while ago I wrote about my favourite printmaking tools. That relates specifically to linocut printing. Some tools I can use across multiple printmaking media – and one of those is also one of my favs – my Japanese soft rubber brayer, specifically the 10cm one.
The Challenge: Something that’s currently testing you, causing you trouble, or otherwise bugging you about your work.
My Response: Overwhelm! My head has so many ideas and projects bouncing around inside. Too many. I feel paralysed and not sure where to start. I have some projects hanging over from last year that really do need to be finished. It’s January and the beginning of a new year. At the time I write this there are 354 days left for this year. Soooooo many days. But it will fly by. Then I think about what I want to do and all that I want to get done and my brain just freezes up! My studio is mostly tidy – maybe if I get that finished then my head will feel a little clearer and ready to get stuck in to 2020!
The Challenge: There’s something kind of magical about a painter’s palette. Seeing all those delicious colours smooshed together, perhaps with a painty brush lying across it, gets all of us excited to paint! If you don’t have an actual palette in play right now, you could arrange objects in your favourite colour combination as a flat lay*, or share a section of a painting that reveals your personal favourite palette. You could also repost someone else’s photo if it shows a colour combo you love – just don’t forget to link to them. Think outside the box!
My Response: I definitely have favourite colours, but my ‘palette’ of colours changes. I love to use soft subtle shifts in colours when I print my reduction linocut prints. I have been pushing myself to take a different, bolder approach with my gel plate monotype prints. Today I went to QAGOMA’s exhibition ‘Water‘. I saw several art works and installations that presented colour palettes that really resonated with me. I took some photos and had a play with coolors and created some colour palette schemes from the images. I couldn’t settle on just one colour palette, so here are a few options…