I’m in a couple of artist communities online. It began with the free course I took part in over the summer by Louise Fletcher, which in turn convinced me to take the full paid course. Lots of un-learning and breaking down barriers, some of which I wrote about a couple of posts (and a number of months) ago. Since then I’ve been painting a lot, and this weekend I did some ink painting in a concertina sketchbook.
Something that has been fascinating in this journey is finding out there really is a whole sort of interconnected community out there. For example, there’s an artist named Karen Stamper who teaches sketchbook courses. They revolve around the use of these concertina sketchbooks. I haven’t taken any of her courses, but as I understand, her approach begins with taking free and easy ink washes to the entire book as a first step. From there, she suggests collaging paper into it here and there. I have chosen to skip that step, at least for the time being.
The idea of this is to have a book loaded with things to respond to when you take the book out into the world to begin sketching. I love this approach of ‘ruining’ the perfect blank pages by way of the random ink painting. It prevents both the anxiety of beginning, and the tendency to get too precious about anything.
So this weekend I had a go at just getting into this ‘perfect, blank’ book that’s been sitting on my shelf for a few months. This video shows a few panels at the end that I went back into and worked on, but there are so many more remaining in this book! I suspect it will be something I pull out in between working on other pieces, and just have a go at whichever panels seem to be calling me.
It makes me wonder if there are similar exercises that, say, writers or musicians could invent that allow a similar kind of freeing-up?
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Note on my tools: In this exercise, I used acrylic ink applied with a variety of brushes and other objects, white acrylic paint, a white Posca pen, and a black Sharpie gel pen. The book is a Moleskine Japanese album.