Another incredible year for which I am beyond grateful...
I finished another sketchbook which mostly incorporates paintings from images I took while I was in Nova Scotia in September - I've included my favourites here. I have to say that I LOVE the 5.5x5.5 Handbook Journal from Speedball Co even though it's not a watercolour sketchbook and the pages are cream coloured as I tend to prefer bright white. And the Daniel Smith mini trio (hansa yellow light, quinachridone rose & indanthrone blue) in my Altoids tin has been perfect...I always forget how many colours can be created with such a limited palette. And, the mini Pentel waterbrush and small Faber Castell red pencil crayon (#201) have been fantastic. I'm glad I've spent months trying a variety of travel journal methods & supplies as I've finally found my sweet spot. The next sketchbook will be another smaller horizontal one because it fits into my waist/shoulder pack better but I'm definitely sticking with the Handbook Journal. And I will certainly invest in another 5.5x5.5 in the new year, too.
After spending time with friends this year, I've been inspired to draw garden blossoms which I was originally going to include in an altered book. Then, as I had been considering my new Word-of-the-Year, I began to connect the images of blooms to the word I seleced...'joy'. So, instead of including these flowers in my book (I painted more), they have been included on the cover of my journal for the new year. I really love it!
**To see my WOTY since 2010 and a bit about the history of this practice, visit here, here and here.
Once again I had good itentions to create a black & white altered book but, alas, I cannot stay away from colour. But, I am so glad I have completed another art journal. As always, I started it, like it & then didn't, ended up removed a lot more pages and adding little watercolour images I had painted & cut out previously not knowing what I was going to do with them. I like it now. That's how it always goes when I'm creating...love, discouragement, dislike, and then love again. Sometimes it's just the pushing through that is the hardest thing. But I'm really glad I did...after it sat on my mantle for months. I do have to admit that I love that contrast between black & white and colour :)
What a year...'Extraordinary Women' (on the floor) is currently on exhibit at the Airdrie Public Library, 'Woman's Work' is almost ready to document, wire & varnish, and 'The Grandmothers' (the last portion of it, in any case) will be exhibited in Calgary in spring, after the entire project was exhibited at the Leighton Art Centre in February. It's a good year for these women. I am grateful for every single one of them.
"I changed my work path when I turned fifty, leaving behind the corporate world of oil and gas and immersing myself into being a full-time artist, something my heart yearned for all my life. While learning my craft I quickly discovered a love for mixed media and art journaling and also discovered I had a talent for sharing this love and these techniques with other women, helping them to access their own creativity; and happily taught classes for five years. Unfortunately, Covid put an end to all my classes but it also allowed me to focus on my own art development, which had been pushed to the background. Now, as I enter my sixtieth year, I have found a renewed energy and new direction in my art journey and am excitedly looking forward to my future." ~ Lynne Mizera
Here's another example of using sketches to create work. I find that quick thumbnail sketches from many perspectives not only help me to make decisions on the composition, but it also gives me lots of fodder for future work. And I do love flipping through old sketchbooks...many are very messy, but inspirating, too.
I prefer to work from life...but not exactly as I prefer to sketch from life, and paint from a sketch. For some reason it makes it much easier for me to alter shapes and colours when I'm not intimidated, or maybe too directly influenced, by the subject. Plus, sketches often work more as inspiration for me than anything else as I tend to change shapes, directions, colours, etc. It gives me much more creative freedom.
"Through portraiture and figurative work, I explore the intricacies of connection, relationships, and emotion. My paintings are a snapshot in time that can tell a story as well as capture the subject's character and state of mind. My intent is for the viewer to feel connected to the beauty in ordinary things and to resonate with the emotion and love with which each piece is created." ~ Jenn Sinclair