Last night, I went to bed a bit earlier; I wasn’t feeling all that well again. I wasn’t ready to sleep, but I wanted the comfort of being in bed, as well as the comfort of drawing.
So, I sat in bed and just let my pencil take a walk on the page. No preconceived ideas. No idea of what to draw in my head, only the desire to draw before settling to sleep.
This design was what appeared. In pencil on off-white mixed media paper. It reminds me of the designs on the Nazca Plains of Peru, but also some hints of Hundertwasser trees. Maybe even prehistoric rock art.
It was nothing other than a bit of self-soothing and self-care.
This morning, I knew I wanted to re-draw it digitally and make it look like it was kind of carved into rock. I’m not sure I’ve pulled it off, but I’m happy with it as it is, for now. I think I used too smooth a pen to re-draw the design. I’ve not got the right settings for that illusion of depth and dimension.
I wanted to add shadow and highlight to the design, but I’ve run out of steam again and my brain is fogging over. I think I’ll be returning to this design (along with others) in the coming days, weeks and months. This is something I don’t often do – create iterations of designs and artworks to put into practice observations, ideas as well as to try out new things with the same design. Perhaps this is what I’ll do in the next couple of weeks as I focus on completing a contract, but still make time for personal projects. I’ll see how I feel.
The design is purely abstract. As my favourite abstract artist is Wassily Kandinsky, I thought I’d add a quote from him. This one seemed to fit my drawing today. It’s not meant to represent anything other than what brought me peace and comfort when I wasn’t feeling too grand last night.
I’ve often mentioned my ‘visual dictionary’, so today I thought I’d show you a two-page spread from it.
I’ve kept a visual dictionary for a few years now. It’s where I keep a record of my favourite patterns, motifs, lettering styles and anything else of use to me when I need a little inspiration or to add something a little different to my art.
My original one is now just about full, and I thought it was time for a bit of a cull of patterns and motifs I wouldn’t use as I start a new dictionary. At the moment I’m working my way through zentangle patterns before I add my patterns and motifs. TanglePatterns.com is a fantastic online resource for zentangle patterns.
I’m using an A5 notebook with 5mm squared paper from WHSmith. It has quite a lot more pages in it than a Leuchtturm, Midori, or other A5 dot grid or squared notebooks, which is why I went with it. The paper seems to be pretty bleed-proof, and any ghosting is relatively minimal.
The past few days have had me needing some quiet time doing comforting, soothing art. I’ve had a very ‘people-y’ time of late, and it has left me quite drained. So, sifting through and drawing patterns and motifs and adding them to my new visual dictionary was just what my arty soul and overwrought emotions needed.
Doing this has the bonus of refreshing my creativity. Not only am I being reminded of patterns I like that I’ve not used for a very long time, but I’m also creating my own variations, either deliberately or as the result of some ‘happy accidents’.
Even though I’m trying to keep the pages neat and ordered and the patterns mistake-free, I find I’m not stressing if I make any mistakes. I find a way to either create a new pattern or to incorporate it into the design in some way. This is good for me as I tend to be hyper-perfectionistic if I’m not too careful.