My drawing and painting life
A new theme : wonder and magic
When I started in January on the new theme I wanted to do pieces that contained ‘characters’ and the beginning of stories. I knew all along I would be focusing on animals for the time being. I didn’t know I would be so engrossed in working with that one mixed media technique I picked up quite some time ago from Carla Sonheims Imaginary creatures class. It was quite something to go on and on – make at least 18 of these paintings – and see how much deeper understanding of it – of how I like to do it – would end up with. I learned a lot. Especially about slowing down and taking time. The paintings got better most of the time. Sometimes they didn’t. Lessons learned. I am very grateful for that.
When I started the January theme I also knew I might end up staying close to drawing from nature. (I resisted the urge to take a class about drawing horses; haha.) I often end up drawing quite realistic. I don’t need more of that right now. One of the things I was hoping to get to, is either to doing more imaginary stuff, either imaginary animals , or more imaginary worlds.If not in January then in the next month. And that’s where we are now, the next month already.
The title and theme for this month: Wonder and magic
I will find extra inspiration this month (and the next probably) from an online class by Jane Davenport. When I read about Janes new online class ‘Wonderland’ in November, how we would be making art work based on the story of Alice in Wonderland, I immediately knew that would be fun and helpful for me. It might take me into more magical characters. The way I remember Alice in Wonderland, it is about talking animals and Alice drinking and eating things that make her grow bigger and smaller. That’s magic, right? The course would focus on watercolors. As I am in love with watercolor and would love to find out more and new ways to use it, this is the course for me. Perhaps even more importantly, Jane Davenport has a wonderful whimsical painting style I’ve been meaning to get to know better. She is well-known for whimsical drawings of women and also of fairy tale creatures. Joining the course should be a good way to invite magic and wonder into my work.
Let’s see what will happen!
There’s a lot more to Alice, probably. When I got the Alice in Wonderland book from the library and thought more about the story, I started to realize that perhaps it isn’t just about magic, there may be deeper layers of meaning to it. Perhaps it’s not so much about magic as it is about Alice getting into unpredictable and seemingly absurd situations (the way a child might feel in the world of grown-ups that’s still unpredictable – and taking some control of it anyway).
But still, I want to be open to getting into magic.
As I enter the course by Jane, and as I want to try something new , I let go.
I let go of the Imaginary creatures technique (for the time being). I still like to make the random blobs. I still have papers with blobs and will use them. But I want to move faster and allow more accidents. In fact in Jane’s first lesson we also make random marks (splotches and blotches, as she calls them) and start out letting go of expectations. Just what I would like to do right now.
I let go of perfectionism (or perfection-itis as Jane calls it) and try and paint a painting in about 30 minutes. Lots of opportunity for little accidents, happy or otherwise.
I may let go of realism.
The square marks were on the paper when I started. I am leaving them there. No painting over them with gesso this time.
And so on. 🙂
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