This is my most recent sketchbook piece. I have a process with abstracts. I start off with a pencil or pastel and make scribbly marks. From there I may add some oil or chalk pastel, dabs of colored paint, and then layers of white.
White. I can't seem to get rid of it.
This picture doesn't convey what the image truly looks like, but I'm drawn to the cloud-like quality of white paint built up in layers. I like seeing little bits of colorful marks showing thru, and I like covering up that which isn't pleasing to my eye.
I always thought that I painted delicately, but this process is showing me that my marks are quick creating dark lines that have been applied with lots of pressure. I have to consciously lighten my grip on my pencil or pastel to lighten up my lines.
I always had a fear of sketchbooks. In junior high and high school, I preferred not to use them. Instead I would leave them empty until we were required to hand them in for marking, in which case I would fill pages with randomness. The fear I feel towards them is that I will create a 'masterpiece' and it's just in my sketchbook.
A sketchbook to me has always been meant for scribbling. One's good work should be left for the canvas. With that kind of thinking no wonder I didn't make good use of my sketchbooks in school! I am working on changing this good-for-nothing thought pattern. This is my tenth piece in my sketchbook and I'm proud of myself for embracing it and shifting my thoughts from ones of fear to positivity.
I've been keeping a written journal of my art ideas. I'm also dialogueing with myself about my process. Things like why I think what I do, things that I need to release, and future ideas that I want to try. Today I learned that I feel art should be hard. As I dialogued back and forth with myself I realized that there is a warped thought pattern in my brain that keeps telling me only good art should be hard to create, not easy. It should take a long time to create, not one evening, and images of my typical feathers aren't complex enough to be called good art.
Not sure where this came from. It's interesting what one will find out when they are willing to delve deep.
A friend suggested I put the paint aside and create some simple sketches of images that I like. Plants, houses, birds, horses, whatever. Maybe this will open my mind up to other possible images that I can incorporate into my pieces.
I recently found Beck Lane who shares much valued information about her own process as well as advice to other artists. Beck has been painting for years, and I have just started out on my painting journey, but her videos have helped me to rethink my process. Hearing her say that she sometimes listens to the same song on repeat excited me because I do that too! It helps me get into that zone.
She starts her paintings off by painting thick black marks across her canvas. This reminded me of my process where I start off by using pencil or charcoal to make black marks on my page.
Beck really emphasizes that your piece needs to be created with an intention. I haven't been doing that and I think it's tripping me up. I start my piece with the first mark, can envision an end point, but get lost in layers and layers of middle ground. I realize now that this is happening because I'm not giving myself a direction. This lack of intention is causing me to keep spinning with no end in sight. I'm going to spend some time with this and see what would work for me, see how I can add some intention to my creations.