The period between Christmas and New Year is a strange time. I always have high hopes that I’ll use it for an uninterrupted period of Great Creativity, but to be honest, by the time I’ve come skidding and screeching over the finish line of various Christmas Projects, cooked up and helped to eat all our favourite festive foods, I’m only good for lounging about and reading books on the sofa. It may be that’s exactly what I need, but I was feeling a bit twitchy and in need of something more creative…

So yesterday I cracked open the paints and gel medium and had a little play, just a warm up if you like. I started with an interiors magazine, bought specifically for the interesting colours and patterns that may lurk within, and stuck down a few random collages on some pieces of failed gelli prints (which is almost everything I ever do with a gelli plate – another thing on the To Do list to master). I cut a few of the collages up to rearrange them, and then added them to a sketchbook.

Inspired by the greys and lilacs in the collages, I squeezed out a big dollop of white (a huge 500ml bottle being one of my Christmas gifts), a squirt of ultramarine, a dab of magenta, a smidge of naples yellow and the merest hint of black. There was also a tiny bit of turquoise on the palette* already.

(* I’ll show you exactly how I set up my palette another time)

I tried to stop tickling at the brush strokes (where I make a mark, love it, but can’t resist going back in to tidy it up, or to add more oomph) but it’s a very hard habit to break. Maybe that could be my first goal for the New Year? I also added a few scribbles with a Rotring Art Pen, turquoise Woody pencil and a white chinagraph pencil that I’ve had kicking around. I used leftover paint to add a few more marks to six mini canvas boards that I’ve got taped together, and my “oddments” sketchbook. It was good to get back to creating something and getting out of my head for a few hours.

I’m going to try a similar exercise in fabric next, but I want to refresh my scraps and oddments of fabric with some finds from early last year that haven’t been used yet – trouble is, they’re in the cupboard behind the painting table!

4 Thoughts to “Studio Update”

  1. Judy Sall says:

    I love what you are doing! For me, the period from Christmas on into the first weeks of the new year are for dabbling and experimenting with new things, or veering off the beaten path of product creation into play… kind of like refreshing my mind. I’ve done this for several years now, and it’s like a busman’s holiday… creating, but out of my comfort zone. Enjoy your exercises!

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