Materials used: Cold-pressed watercolor paper, Winsor and Newton professional watercolors, and a super crappy paint brush from a set of approximately 900 (it set me back a whopping $2.00 #treatyoself).
I won’t turn down a good night’s sleep, two snuggly babies, and a cold and long-running IV of Diet Coke, however.
I hope you are enjoying a peaceful day filled with love.
Also On Tap for Today:
Listening to the Happy Holidays playlist on Spotify
Get Messy Thursdays, on a Friday. A blame my tardiness on the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions and other senior citizen-ish things that have had me preoccupied this week.
The new season of the Get Messy Art Journaling program just started, and the theme this time around is magic. I keep coming back to creepy magicians and crystal balls and unicorns and Harry Potter (confession: I couldn’t get into the books… but watched all the movies while eating pizza post-marathon training long runs), despite wanting to focus on the magic of every day life. Like when your daughter somehow knows that it’s a Tuesday or counts to ten aloud when she thinks no one is paying attention. Or those beautiful sunsets we’ve been experiencing nearly every night (unfortunately, they happen before 5 o’clock). Or, you know… Christmas everything.
And yes, I did decorate our condo on Wednesday despite Thanksgiving still being a week away. I figured if I did all the laundry, hung our stockings from the mantel and folded every last swaddling blanket, this baby might get the hint that we’re ready for him to arrive.
Meanwhile, back to the unicorns.
Get Messy Thursdays | Magic, Week 1
In the spirit of playing around, I made two pages with a similar process (if you can even call it that). After sketching with pen, I added plenty of water and watercolor to the center of the drawing. Once that dried, I went in to color the remaining exposed drawing. The result is sort of an intentional mistake.
The quote from Ben Okri reads,
Our time here is magic! It’s the only space you have to realize whatever it is that is beautiful, whatever is true, whatever is great, whatever is potential, whatever is rare, whatever is unique, in. It’s the only space.
Side note: Unicorns (and presumably, horses) are not an easy subject for me to sketch. They have lots of muscles. And I am clueless about body parts. So there’s that.
I loved Shel Silverstein as a kid. Still do. Almost as much as I love Winsor and Newton watercolor in Opera Rose. That color is divine.
And lastly, a meditative exercise involving cutting out a million letters from scraps of colored paper. I almost quit seven times, but I’m glad I didn’t. Then again, I probably should have been emptying the dish washer or something more… normal.
I recently had the opportunity to collaborate on a project to benefit the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), to aid in the Syrian refugee crisis. A group of 14 members from Get Messy created a collection of original work, and all proceeds from the sale of this magazine will help provide such necessities as food, water, healthcare and shelter for those in need. You can find a flip-through of the magazine here.
To learn more about our collaboration, or to purchase a copy of our magazine, please visit this link. Many thanks, in advance, for your support.
I did a little bit of painting last week, but very little art journaling, so I decided to throw together a combination post for Weeks 4 + 5 of the Get Messy Art Journal challenge, Season of Serenity.
Several of these pages feature poems from Hãfez. I’m basically obsessed. I also drew inspiration from the gorgeous views at the Cape, my favorite podcast, beachside yoga, and a nearly-empty tube of gold gouache.
Get Messy Thursdays | Serenity, Weeks 4 + 5
Materials used: Sakura KOI watercolor (Prussian Blue), detail brush, clear alphabet stamps, fuschia StazOn ink (plus the black ink I never washed off the stamps… oops… plus a bit more blue watercolor to round things out).
I’ve mentioned before how much I love Krista Tippett’s On Being podcast. I recently listened to an episode with Rami Nashashibi, a Palestinian-American who uses graffiti, calligraphy, and hip-hop in his work as a healing force on the South Side of Chicago. Something that really struck me from this episode is how much of the good and powerful and beautiful we never hear about when it comes to other religions and cultures and ways of life. Media loves the bad, the upsetting and the ugly. I found myself thinking about this teaching from the Koran, which Mr. Nashashibi shared in the interview, for days.
Those quick flower sketches sort of reminded me of blue and white china. I think I will likely keep working on this page and fill it up a bit more.
Materials used: The aforementioned gold gouache, neon acrylic paint (pink and yellow), gesso, black Faber Castell Artist PITT pen (1.5)
I made the gold and neon background a few weeks ago, but wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. I covered up a bit of the paint with gesso and started scribbling on a favorite Hãfez quote, just as inspiration struck… I started writing in lines from the poem atop the neon, regretting having slapped down that gesso sort of haphazardly.
I love the neon/writing bits, but sort of loathe the gesso/writing monstrosity. The upside: I’m excited to try this made up method on a new page soon. Please remind me of it when I’m fresh out of ideas.
Materials used: Rolled strips of magazine cut-outs (rolled on a toothpick and sealed with matte Mod Podge), Faber Castell gelattos (sealed with matte medium), magazine cut-out (adhered with a plain old glue stick), Sakura KOI watercolor (Prussian blue)
One of this week’s prompts called for incorporating “paper rolling.” I had no idea what that was. So at 4 o’clock one morning (I have reached the point in this pregnancy where I just don’t sleep) I took to Google for a tutorial. Word to the wise: “rolling papers” is different than “paper rolling.” I now know a lot about weed, and a tiny bit about rolling up strips of magazine paper for art projects.
I like the simplicity of this spread and was definitely craving white space. Probably literally and figuratively. It’s been a go-go-go few days. Sometimes less is more. And that’s more than enough.
Materials used: Magazine cut-outs and tissue paper (applied with matte Mod Podge), black Micron.
More Hãfez. I love this poem. The collage is sort of mosaic-ish and came together quickly. The writing is kind of messy and I kind of want to re-do it. But hey…
Materials used: Watercolor, gouache, silver and white washi tape, white gel pen and a super cheap letter stencil, ink spray, purple paper, magazine cut-out
And lastly, my favorite of the week. Purple and grey are one of my favorite pairings. After applying a wash of purple watercolor, a strip of paper and washi tape, I filled in the page with grey gouache. I love the chalky finish of gouache.
I had such a wonderful time at beach yoga last week and loved the teacher’s cues for staying mindful and present (focus on now… nothing from before…). I added the “nothing for after,” because my worrying tends to be about what could come next. This brain of mine can come up with all kinds of worrisome scenarios for tomorrow. And the day after that. And the day after that.
Meanwhile, the well dressed lady is from an ad for bathroom fixtures, so there’s that.