Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wow, what's my style

I have not had a lot of time in the playroom this week.  I have had a few isolated moments to skim through my new book, The Artist Unique- inspiration and ttechniques to discover your creative signature.
A few have expressed curiosity in it.

Most of us began the creative journey by following patterns and kits or making class samples.  The author Carmen Torbus points out that was is missing is 'me'.    

This book helps identify the 'me' that is buried under all the stuff that is submerged under all our prepackaged project replicas, our excuses and our fears. 

The first section in the book is The Artist's Toolbox.  It follows that an electrician's tool box is different from a plumber's. There would also be differences in an electrician who specializes in wiring houses and one who  wires cars or even computers. 

I have been introduced to the words, mark making, during these last few weeks.  I find the term very liberating. Anyone can make marks!  Albeit some make better marks than others,  it is a good place to start.  The author starts with mark making tools and the ones we like to use help identify our signature.  The aha was that there are further variations.  Acrylic paint can be thick and precise.  But it can also be watery and sloppy.  More variations would be how the medium is applied and to what art surface. 

There is a worksheet that asks, what's on your palette? 

A visit to your local garden centre will help identify what flower shapes and colours appeal. 

I was very blessed to take a workshop with Jane Sassaman and I luv her style.  We stylized our favorite flower and made a wall hanging.  Mine was a day lily. 

 The two teal spikes were Jane's contribution.  I need to get over my own fear of wrecking this and finish it. 

A visit to the paint section can reveal what you reach out for.  Unfortunately I have collected every colour and combo available.  I never met a colour I didn't like.  So my challenge was to go a bit deeper and settle on a particular colour scheme. 

I have discovered I prefer low contrast so analogous colours, even monochromatic,  would be my preferred style.

An at home scavenger hunt reveals a lot about colours that repeat in ones life.  I try to stay out of the kitchen so I looked in my closet.  I've simplified my wardrobe to aqua's and chartreuse with a dark neutral.

Then the seeker is encouraged to visualize their favorite spot.

I think it would be the actual beach rather than the water.  Strolling down a beach seems to make me sigh.
What colours make me happiest, comfortable, safe, daring, alive?  What colours scream ME?

Mellow yellow, aqua, and white with bits of purple.   I have saved this calender for years and many of the pages are stuck up on various bulletin boards.  I think it is my style! (giggle)
The bulk of the book is devoted to Discovering Technique.  Fifteen contributing artists, each with their unique style, shares a favourite technique, insights and advice about coming into your own as an artist. 
I'll be trying them sometime soon.  I do have a vague idea of how I want to portray my work but it is good to keep ones options open!

If I were creating art for myself, and surely that is the best reason to do it, I suspect mellow yellow would translate to aged book pages.  Aqua would be a colour wash background sepia photos with  hand written notes in India ink, pearlized buttons stitched unto hand dyed fabric showcasing thread patterns.  This would  just might make me sigh, happily.

So I've begun to identify that I like to work on combinations of fabric, paper, and even canvas.  I like paint or dyes translucent, spread  thinly, loosely, with a big brush.  I'd have outlines and details with a thin black marker.  I would make use of stamps, stencils and some creative paraphernalia.  I prefer analogous colour schemes, in a simple representational style. I'm 2/3 of the way there.

The last section is Defining Your Style.  There is another worksheet with a checklist for skill inventory.  Lots of things we do are not necessarily art related but art isn't created in a sterile vacuum.  Skills we use daily can reveal our unique creative style.

This section also addresses the fears, the routines, the stalls, etc. that stop our creativity.  I am held speechless by the first paragraph as it so identifies me.  I leap in where angels fear to tread and then at the peak of creativity I stall- a victim of my inner critic.

The good news is that I have my hand on that guy's heel and I want to get a better look at him. I'm going to demand to see his credentials with the intent to kick him to the curb!  Besides, I'd like to make Jane proud and finish my day lily piece.  ;^)


Susan J Barker said...

a thought provoking post, elle! I know I have an artist within, but have not found it yet, tho I was discovering it a few years back and then went back to sewing triangles together... hmmm, perhaps back to experimenting.. i do know I lean to browns and reds, should I start there?

Mary Ann Tate said...

Great post Elle:) I belong to a doll making group and coincidentially the question of the week was "do you have an individual style?"...I think it is something that is always on the mind of those of us who want/need to create. I don't think I have found mine yet but I'm working on it:)

HollyM said...

You have put a lot of thought into this. We have some similar tastes. I love the seashore and the woods. I also love analogous color combos. They're my favorite.

Createology said...

Amazing informative post my dear. I too struggle with who I am and what I do and what I want to in signature of me. Your book sounds like it breaks down the overwhelming layers into filtered finds. Hmmm...being home where I am comfortable; European architecture; blues, silvery gray and black except I too love all colors; creating with my in sewing, crocheting, paper arts. There that was easy! NOT!!! Still confused about me. Creative Hugs to you dear...

Sheila said...

Very interesting post , the book sounds extremely interesting and I think we all try to figure out what style we are without actually doing it if that makes any sense . I know I am still trying to figure it out :-)

Regina said...

Very interesting post. This signature finding thing looks like a lot of work.

Michelle in Saskatoon said...

What an excellent, thought provoking post. There is a lot to think about. I think it is good to spend time sometimes taking stock, and this seems to be a really practical guide. I've often thought that I nee to spend more time making the things that have some sort of meaning to me rather than just making busy work for myself and making things that I "should finish".

Faith said...

Sounds like a good book, very useful.

Lisa H said...

what a FUN Blog!.....looking forward to more exploration!

M-R Charbonneau said...

That book sound so interesting, Elle! I'm looking forward to seeing where this takes you.

In stitches and seams said...

food for thought...thanks for including us in your journey.... we may have to hop on for the ride and grow a little too
in stitches