I spent most of my free time yesterday and today, going through old artworks, sketchbooks, etc…reorganizing the shelves, scooping up beads I left out a year ago. I must have vacuumed up 14 dead spiders. Right now…I’m looking at the sketchbook I had been working in at school, where I was toying with sun symbols.
There are a lot of things I could do, creatively. The issue is remembering what they are, and letting myself play. For instance: acetate stencils, painting on oversized plywood (be careful, this ate up one of my nice boar-hair brushes — though I’m not sure if it was the acrylic base of the paint, the gesso, or the plywood), painting “after” others’ paintings, suminagashi printing, subtractive drawing, color studies, mandalas, experimenting with inks and steel-nib pens, ink-wash drawing, combining ink-wash drawing with watercolor (I haven’t tried this yet, but know it can be done), doing swatch comparisons between watercolor grades and pigments, playing with new pigments in Watercolor, going out to draw/paint botanicals, drawing in opaque media on black paper, ‘zine preparation, developing my Symbol story into an actual manuscript, working on (creative) stick figures and graphic representations, completing one or more of the many unfinished works I started years ago, screwing around with my Neocolor IIs to see what I can get out of them, trying out acrylic inks, etc.
I’m sure I could go on — I know there’s at least one of these options that has slipped my mind — but I think the point is clear.
Ah! Beadwork! Macramé! Almost forgot about those! Not to mention having found two dichroic glass cabochons and my stash of stone cabochons, yesterday, which are just begging me to try bead embroidery on them, with a woven chain. I ran across at least four unfinished beaded objects while I was trying to consolidate the space these projects were taking up, though to be fair, most of those were experiments. One of them I started and then left off of, frustrated by the color work — one to two years later, it looks really nice: rainbow red-violet with gold. 😛 Another is in tangerine and capri blue — still a striking combination, just not “me.”
If I’m going to be doing macramé, as well — there’s no better way to start that than just to start playing with cords, and see what I can come up with. (It’s how I created my first original pattern.) I should try and find my Alligator Tape for that, though — it’s an abrasion-resistant self-adhering tape for wrapping skin — knotting at my normal tension is really hard on my hands. Particularly, my pinkies get worn and start developing calluses after about two days of knotting.
I think that if I just want to do something creative, without too much brain drain, playing with the beads, suminagashi printing, or color swatches and playing at color mixing, are probably the “easiest” things here. I’ve got to remember, though, that it isn’t a sin to use up paper. 😉 And actually, mandala generation also falls in here, too — I found my old packet of patterns, which should help me get back into the swing of things.
I’ve noticed something that I hadn’t for nearly the entire time that I was in the Art program, which is that my approximations of angles and precision where it comes to where I put my stylus, when drawing or painting, are much more refined, now. I was able to draw a 16-point Sun symbol between classes, without a compass, with pretty close to even spacing between each feather. What I don’t know about, but could ask — is whether there is a meaning attached to having a specific number of feathers. I could also look on the bracelet which was the basis of learning the symbol, to see how many feathers it has — that might give me a hint.
One other thing that I noticed: I’ve begun to unconsciously use geometry in my work: dividing spaces into thirds and fifths (in ideal form), without realizing it.
Yeah, maybe I’ll work at the geometry thing! It sounds fun enough. Or I could go to one of my Dover books and look over it for inspiration (color changes everything)…