Corinne maakt

My drawing and painting life

Birds that make me happy

bird detail of JULICE #4 spreadI love birds in my art. Some birds I like more than others. Like the ones in this post. During my holiday I played with washi tape. I like starting out art work by making random marks – later to find out what to make out of them. Washi tape is a lot of fun for making random marks on a page. Or for making something on purpose of course, but that was only partly the case in this piece I was making.

I learned about washi tape from Carla Sonheim during the year long online course the Year of the Giraffe, I think, or perhaps from one of the exercises in her book about drawing and painting ‘Imaginary Animals’.

I love the exercise of putting random pieces on a page to later find out what to make out of it. Last year I did that exercise so often that I couldn’t do the ‘at random’ bit any longer with my eyes open. It was too easy to steer the pieces into ‘something I wanted on the page’ instead of a random mark. So I added an extra limitation to the practice: put down the first bits with your eyes closed. I have been doing it that way a lot off and on. It’s a fun process. To end up with something recognizable, somewhere during the process I will of course start putting some pieces down on purpose, or replacing some or taking out some, but the start of it should be a random process.

So when the exercise in the Art Journal Summer School asked for washi tape – I couldn’t help but do parts on purpose (creating animals as focal images), but also adding random bits. Because my ‘go to subject’ is a bird, of course I was seeing birds, especially when they are in the air.

washi birds_detail of Iceland #4 spreadIt takes only a few extra pieces and some lines to make a bird, doesn’t it?

I love these birds. I love the stark contrast of the black and white tape, the black lines and the softer background made with watercolor.

Okay the whole story is that I also love making watercolor backgrounds with some splattering and some finger painting. I have both in the piece these birds come from.

bird detail of JULICE #4 spreadSo why does this one make me happy?  I don’t know. It’s a bit whimsical and seems to have a mind of its own, doesn’t it? And I love birds with tufts of hair or feathers on top. I make them all the time.

What kind of image makes you happy? Does it matter if you see them or hear them or feel them? Or make them in a piece of art? Please let me know!

PS. Art doesn’t always have to make us happy. I don’t want to argue that. It’s just that I like it when it does.

PPS I just like to remind you how I started making more and more birds – see below for links to the Bird Challenge.

PPPS Can you tell I am thinking about another challenge? I will get back to you soon about it….


Art Journal Summer Course, hosted by Bloknote Academy

Carla Sonheim _ website and blog

My art: Birds in Mixed media

Blogposts about the 101 Bird Challenge in 2014

Happy Spring Birdies

Birds on my Brain

Join the Bird Challenge (sept 2014)

30 Birds to go

Find a Washi tape bird on a card in this blogpost


2 comments on “Birds that make me happy

  1. Jill Kuhn
    August 5, 2015

    I like your Washi tape birds, Corinne! I posted some Picasso style birds on my blog tomorrow. They make me laugh! Sometimes I think it is good to just have fun when making art! 😊🎨💚

    • corinnebekker
      August 6, 2015

      Thanks Jill. I will be looking out for your birds. You are so right -sometimes it’s fine to just have fun. Thanks for reminding me ; I do need reminding from time to time,especially when the holidays are over.

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