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Simple Sketching

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
This week I kept it simple with my sketchbook and only did one little page and a little somethign to send off to a friend. It would be really easy to say I failed only getting so little in, but really, I did it, so why declare it as a fail?!





I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.
~Winston Churchill
The past couple weeks have been filled to the brim with things I haven't enjoyed because it's all been focused on the same thing. Screen printing.

Three projects. One, an open screen project, where we were to throw down random things and apply ink overtop with a screen and no stencil just about gave me an ulcer. That's just not how I roll (or at least I say that but I go with gusto at a canvas with zero plan easily enough). So I carfully planned a zebra print using the idea of resists which was the lesson to be taken from that.
Next was a basic stencil, that's it. I created a two stencil artichoke.
We were to lay it down by eye. Notice my pencil marks? No eyeballing for me. It's not perfect, but it was better than completely random.
Third was to combine the two previous projects. I used my stencil and a layed something down to act as a resist and leave the texture behind.
Even with my complete control issues I liked the fact that each artichoke looked totally different as far as amount of paint and things.
And a bonus since I wanted to try a totally different kind of fabric. This was a sheer and it is my favourite of them all.
While working on it Thursday I had someone mention she didn't understand why I didn't like screen printing when mine was turning out so great. I do like how my fabric's turned out. My stencil was fun. BUT. There's just something about this very much not me. Would I do it again? Why not. What I wouldn't do is create a living or hobby out of it. It didn't speak to me, and I say thankgoodness! I can't like and do it all! I do find it interesting though, that at school people “like” what they believe they are good at. They don't leave much room for growth in other areas at times.


Sketchbook Bits

The art of life is to live in the present moment, and to make that moment as perfect as we can by the realization that we are the instruments and expression of God Himself.

Emmet Fox


First, my cousin posted something on FB a wee bit ago that got me thinking about how we treat one another. We have so many reasons that back up our distastful actions and it's sad. Without going into all the details of it I share with you the results of my thoughts. We need to see larger and give love, that's all there is to it.
Another little watercolour page. Just playing around since I'm WAY out of the habit of sketching at all again and need to get back into it.
And lastly a birthday present for a friend who loves books as much as I do. Apparently she loves it too much to toss it between book pages and is geting it framed, as long as she loves it I can't complain.


The Lamp Project

There are two kinds of light – the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures.

~James Thurber


One of the first big projects I took on this term for my fibre class was felt making. Our class had such a wide variety of things, needle felted critters, clothing, hats, even a needle felted wall hanging. I stuck to wet felting and chose to make a very gauzy, delicate fabric and turn it into a lamp shade. Glass beads are hand stitched on while edges and spines of the shade are embroidered. The lamp I gave no real thought to liking when I was done now sits on the fireplace in my bedroom and I love it.

While everyone was throwing around ideas for their feling projects I was wracking my brain for something a little less traditional. The memory of my mother making lampshades when I was a kid popped into my head and I took it and ran. My teacher tried to steer me in the direction of figurines, clothes or even an iphone case, items along the lines of the rest of the class members, but those didn't make me even half an ounce eager to get to work.

Sometimes going into thing completely blind is perfect. “How hard could it be?” was one thought I had when thinking about a shade. Well, this was a much more time consuming project than I had ever contemplated. Had I had an inkling of what I would put into it I may have chosen differently, so thankgoodness for being blissfully ignornat (thought even now I would do another).

When turned on it glows softly and has such a great feel to it.
I went into this with nohing more than the desire of a challange to do something less traditional and I eneded up with a huge feeling of accomplishment and love it. It still puts a smile on my face each time I walk past it.


I’m Back

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

~Mahatma Gandhi


Well, here it is, the first couple days back at school. Another two days where I get to dive in and see what I can absorb. I'm taking two classes since that's what I can fit in with being a mama with little people at home still but for now that's enough.

Yesterday was my first class of Fibre Arts (2D) and we did the usual chatter with tours of the department, etc. but after that we got to dive in with some felting, which was completely new to me, and did two small samples.

The first was simply four colours. Black and white on the one side (1/2 and 1/2) and the other side could be any two colours we chose. It was interesting to see how the black and white come peeking through and totally change the intensity and tones of the colours. I did some blending on my black and white side too, just to try it out.

Next was using what's called a resist and though I like how my little pot thing turned out I wished I had used different colours. There's always next time right?

Our teacher for this class is around my mother's age and she just graduated with her undergrad in fine arts in 2007 (she did her masters as well) after deciding to go back to school. Hearing that was beyond perfection since I often wonder what I'm doing in there with a bunch of kids stright out of high school. Maybe I'm actually ahead of the game!




Sketchbooks and journals are the street lamps that illuminate the artist’s journey.

~Neil Waldman


I decided a couple days ago to start keeping a sketchbook.  This is not my first attempt at this, but it will be the one that sticks. I figured I’d show you a few of the things that have come out since I first cracked open the cover.

two-handed drawing

I am still waiting for my street lamp to turn on, but so far it’s been enjoyable.

5 min sketch

I think one of the keys for me is trying new things right now so it doesn’t get boring, and seeing what draws me in.

pen sketch

So far I have done two-handed drawings, short timed drawings, and drawings in ink rather than relying on the safety and erasability of pencils.continuous line

It is after all, about enjoying the journey is it not?




My Not Failures

library chair

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

~Mahatma Gandhi


Last night I went into the school, grabbed some light reading, and got to work on my first paper.  Or at least signed some books out so I could start to work on my first paper.  Two books safely in my trunk I headed to the ceramics lab where I messed up the project I started on Saturday.


Three plates, varying sizes, with lips. Plates seems an odd word to me since they are more of a dish, but really, what’s the point of arguing? Now, on Saturday I just loved working on them and shocked myself with how much I really enjoyed it.  My type A did a great job on the construction on my first real ceramics project.

What I learned last night was two fold.  First I learned that I don’t like painting with slip.  Not at all.  I declared my plates ruined and even took a damp sponge to one and started over.

The second thing I learned was a little more altering than “I hate painting with slip”.  It was simply that I didn’t fail just because the outcome was hideously ugly.  No people, I would have failed if I hadn’t tried.  I will fail if I keep this from trying something new again.  I succeeded simply for the fact that I did it and learned, and am open to seeing if there are other ways I can do this that I will like (glazing perhaps?).  I’m not in art school to become an artist, I’m here to try new things and expand my love for what I do.  I will run into things I will never do again, find things I like, and fall in love with other unexpected things.  Each and every one of those is perfect.

Interestingly enough I read these amazing words from Neil Gaiman just yesterday as I was sitting there not failing:

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

So this week I’m going to go and make more ugly things, and not fail.  I’m going to try new things, and surprise myself.