Finding time to sketch everyday has been something I have been trying to do for well …years now. My success rate is a bit hit and miss. Some weeks are great and others not so much. The one thing I have noticed is that, when I do get a good solid stretch in, my ability to draw what I want improves tremendously. So what’s a busy girl to do except try out all sorts of permutations that get me closer to this goal. About a month ago, I decided to see if those fleeting moments while waiting for the train could be used for just this. So trying to keep it simple I have enlisted a small book and a pen. Small book so I can hold it discreetly and easily. Pen so I can be deliberate and not fussy like I might with a pencil. What I draw is mostly people and the things they have on them. I wouldn’t say any of these are good but after a month I am starting to find a flow. The time for most of these is between 2-5 minutes and usually I will sketch something simple and try and get another in. Still haven’t reached the everyday quota but it’s a start.
At long last I am releasing the first two of six Explorers Journals. It’s an idea I conceived of close to a year ago and have been intermittently working on. As my last post indicated, there have been many changes a foot in my life and it’s been a bit hectic trying to get everything back on track with my plans for the Society of Curious Creatures. So what are these Explorer Journals you ask? Well it’s another aspect of the Society that collects and catalogues photographs, drawings, notebooks and, yes, the journals of its passionate membership as they travel the globe drawing, writing and in general documenting all the “curious” things they find in their world.
It’s a glimpse into who some of these Explorers might be. We learn names and get to experience their version of the creature they have found in a mini zine format.
Now for a little process since that’s what this blog is all about. 😀
The initial concepts were gathered from my many small notes and random ideas that I collect in my sketch books. They are then turned into white paper mockups where I can work out the details of the text and images combined together.
After this I spent some time finding the various paper textures, inks, pencils and paints that I was going to use to make all these wee journals. After all, I enjoy the hunt just as much as my explorers do. I even fabricated some custom stamps for the museum archive logs. This worked out better than I thought and was great for adding more ‘history’ to the layers of the book.
Next came the actual making. The journals start out as 11 x 17 sheets of stonehenge paper and I subdivide the sheet into 8 sections. I layout and complete the covers and images within the pages first and then do the text last. Laying down all the elements onto clean paper with shiny new images is only half the fun cause then everything gets aged and dirtied so it looks like these little books have been sitting in the wet or on a dusty shelf.
An awful lot of work has gone in up to this point and the last steps are to scan and correct digitally any colour and size issues before I send the images off to be printed. Once back the paper is trimmed, folded and ready to go…except for the marketing part. Ok the last steps are actually taking some pretty pictures and getting the word out. So you know… you can see why it may have taken awhile to finish a few of these off. 😀 If your interesting in finding out more about this strange little world that I feel compelled to create, head on over to my Big Cartel Shop and shop away! Like them? Stay tuned cause there are more journals to come later this year. Thanks everyone!
Happy New Year everyone! As the title states it has been a year of many changes for me. Most have been good and there are still more to come. The biggest so far has been a move of house, and in turn, my creative space. Both have been for the better as we gained desperately needed living and home working space. If any of you have moved from a well established home, aka you’ve collected so much stuff you scarcely know where you’ve been keeping it all, you will know how much work it is. Ugh! This did however present a perfect opportunity to purge and boy was it a gooder. 🙂 What’s the saying ‘cluttered space, cluttered mind’? Well the clutter has been minimized and with it has come a burst of inspiration.
There are a number of things in the pipeline for this year and the goal is to hopefully be able to achieve most of them. Fingers crossed. By stating them out loud I’m hopefully giving it the power to keep me on track and make it all real. 🙂 So what are these things you ask? Well I have some new items in the works for the Society of Curious Creatures. There are some new dimensional objects I’m calling mini cabs ,which I posted about oh so long ago it seems, plus ones I’m calling Matchbox Curios. I’ll also have some mini zine type books called Explorer Journals that will be giving everyone some insight into these little trouble makers. Oh and stickers! I think the world needs creature stickers. 🙂
There will be some new watercolour work starting with the Year of the Rooster skull and flower painting out next month. Stay tuned. Over the latter part of last year I started doing some plein air watercolour sketching/ urban sketching. I’ll be heading to Portland for a week and plan on doing some drawing and painting there. I’m hoping to post a few so follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for those. At the very least I’ll be back with inspiration to work up some new paintings in the studio.
As for the now, I’ve revamped my website so head on over and have a poke around. That pretty much covers it…or at least all that I want to admit to. 🙂 I leave you with my best nine of 2016 images from Instagram. Oooo…ahhhh.
The most interesting part of creating something, for me, has to be the journey of figuring out what it is. Some ideas come out fully formed and others change and morph over time so that only a semblance of where it began remains. The Society of Curious Creatures is a project that I think more and more will have an interesting life. Just when I think I may have to abandon this project, another piece of the puzzle falls into place and things start to morph and change.
Enter the mini cab. This is a miniature version of the larger cabinets I have made in the past but with a few more elements. I’ve been struggling to figure out a way to link a lot of these ideas I have about what is part of this world and starting this “mini cab” helped me figure a lot of that out. When painter’s embark upon larger works they tend to do a lot of small paint studies or drawings that will help them figure out a number of things about the larger work. This was exactly the same thing only dimensionally for me.
Process, process, process. Here it is.
Being able to draw people is something I have always admired in those who do it well. I fall in and out of love with the idea of wanting to get better at rendering a human image. I’m not sure if it’s because it doesn’t come easy to me so I try for a bit and then take my version of the lazy way out and switch back to plants or maybe it’s the eyes. Window’s to the soul and all. What’s the first thing we all look at? The eyes. They give away so much, or in some cases, nothing at all.
Fall into love I am right now with this idea of the Seed Girls. Brace yourself. You’re about to get a glimpse into the way my mind meanders about before it settles on an idea. 🙂 This whole concept started with ornate frames and foliage believe it or not. I was sketching ideas for some of my Society of Curious Creatures characters. Somewhere in the mashing of flora and foliage came out the thought what would the tiniest parts of some of these plants look like blown up to life size? which lead to me being interested in paper marbling (!?) and then somehow a combination of all these random pieces settled out to what I am now calling the Seed Girls. Yeah not sure how I connected those dots either.
I’m still refining the idea of where I think these girls come from and what they are all about but for now they are happy just being little portraits. Quiet reflections on inky surfaces.
For a print of one of these ladies check out my Society 6 store. If prints aren’t your thing the store has lots of other products to choose from.
Short and sweet this time. I’ve missed the actual day that is the Chinese New Year, but we haven’t left the month yet. Better late than never. 🙂 So this month’s skull and flower painting is inspired by the Year of the Monkey. A little owl monkey skull surrounded by some lucky peony flowers and jade plants. I quite enjoyed building up the layers of colour in the flowers as well as in the eyes of the skull. I’m especially happy with the depth in the eyes. I’m also offering this guy up online in my Society6 shop where you can get prints or other various products with his mischievous little mug on it. Here’s a few examples.
To see more variants click on over to my Society6 page. They have also been offering a number of sales this month so you can’t go wrong there. Thanks for the support.
What’s so fascinating about a skull? It should be kinda gruesome but I don’t see them that way. In some ways they are kind of mysterious. Maybe it’s ingrained early on in our lives with museums and dinosaur bones and wondering what these massive creatures might have looked like roaming the lands we now so completely inhabit. Oddly enough, even though the creature whose skull I’m drawing is no longer alive, their bones still seem to have a personality and they all want their portraits drawn.
Want to own this guy? Have a peek over at my Society 6 page and see some of the products I’m offering with this guys portrait.