SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION: Sketching strategies in the STILLMAN & BIRN BETA journal

Only in spontaneity can we be who we truly are.
JOHN Mc LAUGHLIN

AFTER PAVLOVA. © 2013 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE REBLOG OR PIN. CARAN D'ACHE SUPRACOLOR PENCILS in STILLMAN AND BIRN BETA JOURNAL

AFTER PAVLOVA. © 2013 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE REBLOG OR PIN. CARAN D’ACHE SUPRACOLOR PENCILS in STILLMAN AND BIRN BETA JOURNAL

There is something to be said for labor. And the process of revision in design. But right now I am very interested in methods that get quick results and make economical statements on the page.

Nothing beats hands on experience, so I am working several STILLMAN & BIRN journals simultaneously in prep for my workshop demonstration. It is a bit like casually dating: comparison between candidates accentuates the dramatic features of each! To find the paper that suits your methods, this is probably the most reliable way to do materials research. All these papers are multimedia, so it comes down to very personal preference in the end.

The archival qualities and pretty indestructible spines really appeal to me because I am ” hard” on handbags and journals. I carry the book with me everywhere. The handling is not precious. A journal can bake in the car or get scrunched under my materials at the bottom of a backpack.When engaging in any daily activity that records the experiences of your life it only makes sense to use supplies which honor that investment of self. For the price of a few premium coffee drinks (which do nothing good for the waistline) one can have a quality journal to do work that sustains your creativity.

 Once I got used to jumping the gutter in my demonstration pieces, it became hard to limit myself to working on a single page. This line of journals lies flat when opened so the image dies not have to jump a deep canyon to continue on the next page.  Because there is no ” show through” on this paper, I can design the journal as I choose: to flow like a magazine of images. One can alternate between designing into full spreads or choose to work on single pages.

This drawing is on BETA, which is lightly textured. My base was a gesture study using a pencil that is not water-soluble: DERWENT DRAWING in a terracotta hue. This pencil is a bit waxy and will remain on the page even when I float very wet washes on top and scrub.The drawing needed to develop *quickly, so I chose water-soluble SUPRACOLOR PENCILS to lay on color loosely/broadly. Then I made decisions based on value. Wetting the pencils created a much darker, more saturated mark. Experimenting here with leaving broad strokes of color alone and occasionally activating the pencil with water.

WORKSHOP DEMO: BINDERS ART SUPPLY, CHARLOTTE NC    5.25.13  “BE THERE OR BE SQUARE”!

* 3 hits on the pause button while watching MASTERPIECE CLASSIC’S : “MR. SELFRIDGE”

 

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