One of my new year's resolutions for 2017 is to make more art. Typically, I have every intention of marching myself into my studio and being creative. But then I get on the computer and waste TONS of time (all in the name of "working" of course!). The thing is, all that online work isn't paying off-financially, creatively, or emotionally-so this year, I decided to change it up. I'm proud to say that it's the third day of the year and I've spent time in my studio every single day of 2017 so far. You can see some of my projects from the weekend in my Instagram feed. In only this short amount of time, I've noticed huge changes in myself. I'm more creative in other areas of my life and I'm very happy and relaxed. So I think I really need to stick to this resolution. In order to do that, I am going to keep a "Studio Diary". After each of my studio sessions, I plan to journal about the experience; what I learned, how I felt, the tools I used, and my inspiration. In order to hold myself more accountable, I will share some of my entries here on the blog.
Studio Diary: Day Three: January 3, 2017
Weather: Sunny & 30 degrees (brrr)
Music: Pandora's John Denver station (The music of my childhood. Corny, but I love it!)
Inspiration: In order to get myself started each studio session, I have been trying out techniques I see online or in books. I received Danielle Donaldson's CreativeGIRL: Mixed Media Techniques for an Artful Life for Christmas and started working my way through some of her exercises.
Thoughts & Musings: I was excited to get into the studio today. Yesterday, I cleaned up an area in my studio specifically for my studio sessions. It's neat, clean, and has all my supplies in one place. All I need to do is sit-down and get started. I think this will really help me in keeping my resolution to be more creative this year. Last year, I would often think about doing a creative project, but then would disregard it because the thought of setting up was just too overwhelming and time consuming. Today, I ate my breakfast and couldn't wait to get into the studio right away!
I started by making some color wheels. First I created one using the colors directly from my watercolor set. Then I created a personal color palette by mixing colors. Next, I did some small cards, featuring watercolor techniques such as using salt on the wet paint. These exercises gave me an idea for the a client project. When these ideas popped-up in the past, I would think I would remember them. (Which often didn't happen!) Today, I wrote down the idea in my studio dairy and happily moved on. Once the color wheel and technique cards were dry, I punched holes in the corner of them and slipped a chain through them. I will keep them in my watercolor kit for reference and plan on adding more to the set as I continue with my studio process.
In Creative Girl, Danielle has an exercise about "making mud". Although the technique itself was interesting, the thing that I walked away from was that I like creating a clean edge by taping down my watercolor paper. I used washi tape to tape it down. While this a more expensive option than painter's tape, it brought me a lot of joy to see the colorful print on the tape. Did I mention I also really love Danielle's idea of using a large white board to work on? You can mix your watercolors right on the board, then wipe them away when you are done.
After an hour and half, I stopped being delighted by the processes I was working on and didn't like the work I was producing. It was time to stop. Ideally, I would love to stop BEFORE I get to this kill-joy point. By going until I am creatively exhausted I worry that I will lose my enthusiasm and it will be harder to get started the next day. I need to start looking for earlier signs of exhaustion. I may also see a pattern in my studio diaries about how long I typically last too.
Supplies Used Today:
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