Stellar day yesterday, where ponderings became actions. After trying the addition of a second line of stitching right next to and with the same thread combo as the first to make my water lines show up more on the fountain wall piece, it was clear this wasn't the answer. Also, the stitching was reading a bit differently in the daylight coming through the studio windows than it did under just the artificial light of the night before. What I really needed to do was add the water stitching to the section that would be above, stitching of a different pattern, to see how that showed up. The two need to be balanced, and I don't want them to be overwhelming in the way they show up. Somewhere between in your face and not being seen at all is the effect I am going for. I'm considering adding some straight vertical lines within the "scallops" with a dark metallic thread and perhaps the same thread or the dark grey of the grouting along the lines in the lower section - more testing needed. Regardless, I was pleased at how easily and trouble-free this free-motion stitching went, especially as I was still using the combination of a rayon thread and a sliver metallic thread together through the eye of a single needle.
We're in a warming trend and I've been itching to do a little urban sketching. I'd scoped out this shed which lies along one of the alternate turns I make on my daily walks, intrigued by all that dark area which once had been all white. You might be thinking, this is urban? It is only a block off a busy street lined with businesses, a tiny bit of acreage that also includes a rundown house and no doubt was once a small farm. Now there's a small housing development behind it and commercial properties across from and beyond it. In fact, I was standing near a large For Sale sign - someone hopes to sell this land for further commercial development and there's every possibility this shed and its house will disappear. That's one of the tenets of urban drawing, to preserve the memory of buildings that may succumb to either radical remodeling or the wrecking ball.
So this is my version, as usual with the proportions off a bit, but I enjoyed working this up - a little more quickly, I noted, than I often do. I'd taken along a white charcoal pencil so I could work in the white areas on site, then added color pencil to areas once home. I also experimented with the water soluble graphite pencils I'd bought for art journaling. I suspected they might be the best way to work in those grey and black areas. They were fun to use and I was pleased that the sketchbook page handled the bit of wet medium without major buckling or seeping through the page. My favorite part of the sketch, though, is something I added right at the end. As I studied my reference photo, I noticed how those leafless trees were quite white with black shadowing defining them. So I added a sweep of white charcoal along one side of each trunk and branch. Against the toned page, it really makes them stand out.
So that very well could have been the end of my creative day, but it was not. Another itch that I haven't felt up to scratching has been to start on the next lessons in both of my art journals. The least I could do, I decided, was get the first bit of paint on the page. I had some blue acrylic paint mixed up with a retarder from the previous Creating Art At The Speed Of Life lesson so already knew that was what would go on the page for this next lesson on monochromatic. It could also cover the next page for the Positively Creative Art Journaling lesson. And I'd been waiting to have that paint out so I could try spattering a bit of it over this food box journal cover started back in January. I think I like it! Hmm - am I moving into my own blue period a la Picasso?
I don't know where all that energy, clarity and drive came from, but I'm glad I seized the moment. It's been hard for me to change years of a mindset thinking I needed big chunks of time to get started on something, and that I needed to complete something or at least sections in one sitting. Perhaps that's one of the things art journaling is helping me with. Sometimes you have to let the paint dry before you can move on. Sometimes you need to keep adding layers, but they don't have to be added all at once. Sometimes you just need to grab 15 minutes to make progress.