Tuesday, March 19, 2019

mucking about

there are the things that I like to make and then there are the things I wish I could make...

I can cut fabric and sew it back together to make a quilt pretty well

and I can take up a needle and thread and stitch something nice

but sketching and drawing and painting - well, they... they make me nervous

every time I pick up a pencil or a paintbrush I have to take a big deep breath and then I just kind of jump in

I could go on for a while about why that might be - fear of failure, no vision, no training, no ideas, no clue how to use the supplies, absolutely no understanding of how to take a thought from my head and translate it into sketch, etc. etc.

but sometimes the urge to do it so strong I can't help myself and I just make a start...

we were down in Oregon at the end of December and in the quiet days, in a most amazing setting, Happy Hour was not just about pouring a glass of wine, it was also the time of day when we four, husband, brother and sister-in-law, and myself, would each take up our station in the great room of their large barn/home, and whilst the fireplace burned cheerily, we each puttered away at our separate interests

mine was to finally get started with paper and paint

and gesso and fabric

and sketching tools

my first attempt was inspired by a winter's day

a wash of blue on the page, then gesso - to add texture and also to help stick things down

letting that dry, sipping my wine, thinking about what could come next, realizing I had no clue what I was doing, but that I was enjoying myself nevertheless

finally I decided on stitch - it's always, always there, and whenever I don't know what to do I add stitch

feeling pretty happy with that first effort, the next day I approached it all with a plan

I loved the gates - field gates they were... wire and wood... and the fields behind them, which in Roseburg, where we were, were at the bottom of some very high hills - a lovely rolling landscape

so... more paint, more gesso, and some fabric

then a small stitched piece - gesso on linen followed by fabric, stitch and pen-work

this one I really loved

looking at it here, it's even better than I thought - I'm especially happy with the hills , and this is the very first time I have ever been in a place and made something inspired by it

pretty cool 

 I haven't done anything like this since that visit - my time has been taken up with so many other things, one of them being colour studies

I love colour studies - they're a thinking thing, and I like that

this time I added a twist - instead of working from an image, I worked with words, trying for descriptive colour

what a fabulous thing that was - working from the perspective of a word caused me to think about colour in ways I really hadn't before; very deeply and in a personal way, about what colour can evoke

when I was working on the paint portion of the colour study I found some scraps of watercolour paper to use for testing the mixed colours - I happened to turn one over and found I had already painted on it - a taupe background with three blobby areas of colour... I realized it was piece I had prepared several years ago in my quest to paint large, loose florals

I hadn't been happy with the painting I'd done and so it had gone in to the scrap bag... but as I looked at it a couple of days ago, I thought - well, nothing to lose really - add some lines and see if there are flowers lurking in there after all...

pretty rough, but there they are

I think now I might just be ready to muck with them a little bit more