Monthly Archives: January 2017

Differentiation

Line.

It’s my favourite element. So much can be expressed travelling from A to B. Staccato. Elongated. Meandering. Diagonal for tension. It’s wonderful what that thing can do.

Last year and now into this (bizarre, world-going-to-hell-in-a-handbasket, it-feels-shallow-to-speak-of-nothing-beyond-world-events-now) new year, I’ve been practicing my lines.

Come here often? 

Well yes.  

You’re sitting in my spot.

Actually, when I rock up to a coffee establishment with a glorious big window and a bench for viewing outdoors, it makes me giddy. When I see people occupying all the good seats, it makes me cross. Those window seats give me great opportunities to observe the traffic, people, buildings, life moving moving gone. My wiggly lines are hopefully capturing some of that energy.


But the thing about line is…is…well, you start to notice that yours aren’t too different from someone else’s. And that can be annoying.

Edinburgh is easy on the eye. She’s a beauty to draw; the different  shades of her personality change from Morningside to New Town to Newington to Leith. There are many artists in this town that enjoy capturing the details, streets, vistas, building, etc, etc. I’ve met a few and enjoy their line making and admire their work.

However.

My work is starting to feel too similar and I guess this is the push I needed to attempt to differentiate from the other makers of beautiful line. 

Today I worked hours, finding my fabrics, using new screens, scribbling down ideas. I’m hoping my line practice will move my print and textile pieces forward and to the side, sitting in their own space. It was fun to feel the excitement of ideas zinging about me, problem solving my way through the usual dilemmas. 

So. Hey. Let’s see what happens.

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Energy

Took myself off to Morningside, hoping the biting cold wouldn’t deter me from outdoor sketching. It did. Apparently, I’m not that hard. And so I perched myself upon a tall chair at a coffee shop with a big window to the outside world and drew the activity on the street.

What I’m aiming for: I want to not just draw the details of things that I see; I want to attempt to bring the viewer to the place where I was sitting for that moment in time. My art lacks life and I want to bring life into it. Or energy, more accurately. See what happens, ehe? 

“What will we do? What will we be?”

It’s the night before the next Day of Adventure and I’m pausing two seconds to ask myself ‘What am I going to do with this child of boundless energy?’ Holiday Day number 12 in the Big and Little house. Ennui is setting in.

The other day we glued and taped together a cardboard homage to the now deceased Cockenzie power station. L displayed her thoughtfulness by stabbing breathing holes into the lid. I’m assuming the real one did not have holes randomly poked through its roof.

As I’m trying to keep my progeny entertained, I’m trying to plan my own life (worklife, parentlife, playlife) so I can start this new batch of days with sure footing and something of a planned trajectory.

What I learned from the previous year was that although my drawing and painting skills improved with the ‘Hello Neighbour’ project, what people continued to like most were my textile and print artworks. Good to know! One of the shop owners said that its the materials used that sets my work apart. I’d wanted to take a break from them as a) I didn’t think you could see my hand in them and b) I wanted to improve my drawing skills. B is an ongoing process and I should treat it with the seriousness of breathing. As I was thinking of my words for this, my next daily drawing project came to mind. So, I guess there is purpose in this blog after all.

I’ve been researching new materials and also thinking of subject matter. Whilst the prints are ticking over in the shops, I’m going to divert my attention to a project I’ve had on my mind for the last four years. Now seems about right to make that happen.

So, I can’t say that we’ve planned change this year, or new ways of living. More of the same, please. In this home we grab our pens, lean over paper, and draw and colour for fun, for relaxation, for the need to be creative.  See how amazing L is at colouring in the lines? She’s just 3 and she’s mastering it. You learn the rules. And then you learn to break them. Let’s see how colourful life gets when that happens.