Saturday, April 10, 2021

Still Off The Wagon . . .

, , , or too many irons in the fire? I couldn't manage to crawl back onto the "finish" wagon to work on either Rhapsody or the baby quilt this past week. Even when there was a bit of time for the hand quilting, I couldn't convince myself to sit down at it. And when upstairs, instead of hanging a left into the studio, I hung a right into the office and spent time on the computer. Too much time deciding on a new printer model and then trying to track down where I could buy what I'd decided on. And then there were videos to watch. You remember my forays into Sketchbook Revival two years running I'm sure. Last year I even made the sketchbook I'd be using for it, thickening it up with enough signatures to carry me over into 2021. But at the start of this year, I determined I was not going to take on new projects, and I definitely was not going to spend hours with the Sketchbook Revival people, even though I'd found a lot of useful and fun stuff through them. Nope, not going to do it when I have so many other things I want to finish. By the time the sign-up e-mail arrived, I'd started to lose my resolve. Convinced myself it wouldn't hurt to register just in case, check out what was being offered, not necessarily pass up this free opportunity. So when it actually started, I just let the e-mails pile up without even opening them. Doing other things, focus elsewhere. But this is a limited time offer. After the last session, access to the videos remain for a few weeks and there I was, succumbing again, spending time at the end of the day going through a few videos, racing to get them in before they were gone.

I've mostly been taking notes as I watch the videos, leaving blank pages to do the actual exercises later, unless it's something that's quick and doesn't require anything other than a pen or pencil. But this particular watercolor session with Trupti Karjinni from India was longer than most and past experience has shown me it's better to actually work along with the instructor than just take notes when it comes to watercolor. So I saved it for today when I felt I had a bigger block of time. I only have multi-media paper in my sketchbook so I know my results would have been better on watercolor paper, but she had some really good tips and it was useful to paint along with her even on the "wrong" kind of paper.

As long as I was in there and had some things out, I decided to do a little from Helen Welles' session on seeking inspiration from outside. Mark making is big with a lot of artists but I've been slow to warm to it, and Helen's session was half mark making (using things you collected on a walk) and half working with the results. Sigh . . . wasn't sure about doing it at all, at least not with twigs and pine cones like she did. But I ended up at city beach yesterday for my walk and danged if I didn't find myself intrigued by a branch with needles and some small pine cones blown off the trees in a recent windstorm. Well, why not? It's all supposed to be about being curious and maybe finding something you can bring into your regular practice.

The mark making is done with a bit of diluted ink onto printer paper, and while Helen used black, I wanted to try my brown and green inks. Too diluted I think but they still worked. It would be easy to do dozens of pages of these, seeing what kind of marks a twig, those needles and even a pine cone would make, but I was careful to limit the number of papers. Even with these few, I quickly sensed that I'm more drawn to curved lines than straight, which may be valuable information. And that in spite of my love of those two colors of ink, I want to do some more pages with black.

If I keep up at this pace, I should get through the videos before they disappear. When I'll actually do all of the exercises is unclear, but I'm sure I'll get to it. Maybe add it to my list of things to finish . . . :-)

From yesterday's walk at city beach. Still very cold with brisk winds & even some flurries today!


The Inside Stori said...

Ahhhhh, the online sink hole……. I find I’m spending way too much time dilly dallying online….generally unproductive. So I’m making a conscious effort to limit my computer time. Your mark making discoveries are good…..I guess we just have to remember to make the time to do the work!!

Anonymous said...

I'm reminded of the catch-phrase on Life Is Good products...'Do what you love. Love what you do.' It appears that you're doing exactly that! The exercise using the pine branches looks like it would be fun to try on fabric, too! Stay well! Jan in WY