So the September 30-in-30 Painting Challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta has ended and I managed to do 25/30 paintings for the month. That’s not too bad, actually, considering I had a mild art block in the middle of the month and then life happened for a bit there. I really did want to do the full 30 paintings but I’m satisfied with the ones I did complete. Right at the end of the month I tried a new technique that I really enjoyed (“Colorplay”) and I want to explore that further. I also did something new with the “Flow” series and plan to play around with that some more, especially if it means I can pull out my metallic/iridescent watercolors again. Those are fun to use.
I think overall, I was more focused this time around because I decided to work with a set painting size (4×6 and 5×7) and that let me not worry about the paper so much. It may seem silly, but sometimes I look at a larger piece of watercolor paper and think “what am I going to do with all this space?” Even with more purely abstract pieces like “flow” or the layered ‘scapes, it’s still hard to fill the space (and that includes negative space) without overwhelming the page or making it seem too busy. It’s a tough balance and I find it easier on smaller canvases. I want to go back to doing (slightly) larger pieces though, so I plan to keep working on that.
Here’s my collage of the 25 paintings I finished for this challenge. You can also see them on the 30-in-30 Challenges gallery page. I’m looking forward to trying again in January if Leslie hosts another one. In the meantime, I’m debating if I want to jump into INKtober again this year or take a break from trying to do a daily piece of art. I’m tempted because INKtober was what started me down the path of doing daily art and I had fun with it, but on the other hand, I just got off a challenge, so maybe a break? Or I can just do one piece a week, that could work too.
So here’s that background I posted yesterday, finished with some retro circles in purple and crimson. I just felt like doing something simple so I got out the circle template and had some fun. Along with my trusty crow quill pen, this is the result.
Hey, two weeks in a row! I’m on a roll! And I realized that my idea of time when working on a painting is skewed. I was finishing up today’s piece and thought to myself “This didn’t take too long” but then I looked at the clock and realized I’d been working for almost 2 hours straight. Not that that isn’t still fairly quick compared to how long others put into their work, but to me it felt like nothing, a few minutes.
I’m back to retro-circles with a twist, and liking how these are turning out. I start with placing the circles more or less randomly, drawing them wherever it seems to work best. This time I went with curved lines for the anchor points (I use a compass to draw these initially) and wanted to see how that looked versus the straight lines I usually have. I made for a nice effect, I think. I already have the next piece drawn and down on the board with the initial background wash put down and drying. With the way I work though, that one will be completed next weekend.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, I’ve finally started transcribing one of the fanfics onto the computer, which is how I edit. I do the initial write longhand in a notebook (and reading some of the stuff I’d started and never finished years ago.. hoo boy!) and then edit as I type it into the computer. Then I read it out loud to myself (helps with dialogue and sentence pacing) and then do another edit. Then I post it somewhere for it to be ignored, lol! Seriously though, I’m finally starting to get back into this part of my creativity as well, so I hope to have something posted later this week if I don’t slack off.
Seeing as my last State of the Art was back in week 8, I’ve disappeared from updating here for over 2 months. Pathetic. It’s not that I haven’t created any art in that time, but a fair amount was spent in an art funk of some sort that I’ve finally decided to just push through. I have a few new pieces to show off, including the art block-breaker, and I’ve added those pieces to the gallery here.
Another reason I haven’t been painting is that I’ve been writing. I enjoy reading manga and watching anime and for some reason, I’ve gotten into One Piece hard again, to the point where I’ve been working on some fan fiction again. I used to write a lot more stories years ago but for some reason, I stopped. I’m not sure if my creative juices ran out or if something else happened, but according to the dates in the notebooks I write in (I start writing longhand, then edit as I transcribe onto the computer), the last story I was working on was dated 2009. So I’m enjoying that bit of creativity as well. Unfortunately, it takes me a long time to write, so the stories won’t be available for a while yet. I did discover that one of my Ghost in the Shell fics was never posted here on the site for some reason. It’s up on Fanfiction.net but I never cross-posted here. I’ll do that as well.
On to the visual art though – here’s a bit of an art dump for the most recent pieces I’ve completed.
So I’m all caught up and working ahead a bit, which is a good thing. I have day 19 done and ready to be sent out (?!?) and the base for day 20 is drying on the backing as I type this.
Day 19 is a two-fer piece. In addition to doing this painting challenge, I’m also taking part in Postcard Swap #4 organized by Dawn Diamantopoulos. I got my address to send an art postcard to and decided that I would do that this weekend and also count it for one of my daily challenge pieces. For this, I went back to my retro circles a bit, but I also used a few new things as well from this month.
Day 19 – Postcard Swap #4
Watercolor and marker on paper, 6″ x 4.5″
Postcard Swap #4 | Watercolor and marker on paper | 6″ x 4.5″ | January 30-in-30 Challenge
In the interest of staying ahead of things, I also started working on the base for day 20’s piece. Right now it’s at the “adding water to create shapes” stage but by tomorrow night, it’ll be completely dry and ready for me to start adding accents with paint and ink. I can’t wait.
I have a new WIP that I’m still working on. I had to take a break to do a commission for someone but I’ll be back to this piece soon.
This one is called “Chaos Leashed” and is made up of nine 6″x6″ squares arranged in a grid. There both an overall design and each square is unique, although I’m trying to keep a sense of organization through the use of color. Basic lines are done and as you can tell by square 2, I’d already started adding color. I’m pleased with how it’s coming along so far but I still need to figure out how and to what I’m going to mount these.