I’m going to try something for the next little while to break what I feel is a creative block.

For a little while now I’ve been preoccupied with several other life events: completing a new certification in Art Therapy; preparing for a new year of teaching art and the first time teaching to teenagers; completing my second education degree; selling my house and relocating; downsizing all our stuff to accommodate the move; adjusting to my daughter moving out for college; etc… I’ve been so mentally tired that it’s just been very hard to make the time for my process to create. I need time to contemplate and make.

On top of this, I realized that I am not as reflective as I thought on my own work, much less the work of others. Well, it would be more precise to say I haven’t had the public forum to share views, like I had last year in my painting courses. Talking to myself about myself just doesn’t feel as fun anymore. I cherish feedback and questions, and dialogue on artworks, both mine and that of others. It helps me understand and appreciate it more.

I’m going to do my best to give you reflections and would be extremely grateful if you would ask me loads of questions on what I’m doing.

I’m starting with a twelve day run on watercolour paper (15.2cm x 30.5cm) using ink-cartridge brushes (red, blue, and yellow) and Faber Castel, black pens of different thickness.

I will try to draw whatever comes to mind and hopefully be challenged by your suggestions and my own motivation. Basically, I want out of this art funk I’m in.

This first piece feels like I’m just getting pigment on paper… drawing yet another of my odd portraits and playing quickly… too quickly with messy lines and brushstrokes. I’m loving the vibrance of the colours and how they reflect my desire to make this work. The smirking mouth is a clear indication that I’m covering my true feelings of frustration, sadness, and desperation to get absorbed into the work… which didn’t happen here. In fact, I’ve still not found that impulse with watercolours, nor inks… maybe I need to change the subject matter or the approach… I’m sticking to these materials at least for the twelve pages in this sketchbook.

The big ear and one big eye indicate that I really want dialogue on the work, as is the strong chin. The smaller eye shows my fear and vulnerability, but I don’t need gentle critiques, I desire growth from questions, challenges, and constructive feedback.

I am not pleased with the big lines and feel I can work a little slower in achieving a better result there. I love the shape of the face, in part because it’s improbable, and because it seems very open to me. I just realized that I’ve finally made a shift away from the skinny necks I used to rely on in past doodles. Thank you David Park & Frank Auerback for your inspiration… it’s now become part on my automatic shaping. I still have more tom play with… for example: expression without detailed features.

Stay tuned…

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