I recently did something I’ve never done before. I fell in love with the work of Jasmin Becket-Griffith Nothing strange about that her work is beautiful. More particularly I was so enchanted by her version of Magadelene that I sat at my computer and sketched that beautiful pose into my altered-book-art-journal. Yes there are distinct differences, however credit where credit is due, the concept for the look and pose comes from that painting, therefore you will not see a version of this for sale. It is for my pleasure. I’m sharing it because I loved doing this so much. Jasmin’s work has also made me re-evaluate the way I draw and paint eyes when working on my ‘dolls’ (as I call them).
Eyes have been my favourite feature for as long as I can remember, and I can’t finish a face – realistic or doll-like until those eyes are done. Up to then a face just isn’t real to me.
I’ve come across tags for the particular type of work I’m calling my dolls – contemporary pop art and contemporary surrealist pop art. Either would apply to some of what I do. I am thrilled that my own style is evolving after playing around with many different ways of drawing them for most of last year. Now I’m working on my own particular style of developing the figure for these ‘dolls’. I’m getting close so wish me luck.
The photos are never that great especially when it’s of this book as it’s tricky to find a place to sit it upright, make sure the light is good, and snap it before a page turns itself over. A DSLR is still a long way down on my list 😦 Until then I’ll just have to make do and put up with the book sliding down and giving me sloping pictures – yagottalaff – it’s just how it is.
These days, much as I love digital painting, after spending most of a year away from painting on the computer, I find I have to paint by hand either first off, or almost immediately after I start on a digital painting. The year off to return to traditional means has been a real blessing. I feel much freer working in both, and more determined than ever to increase my skills. There is something very special about a pencil/pen or paintbrush gliding over beautiful paper. Equally, it is so satisfying to take a rough sketch and work it anew in PS/ArtRage/or Painter.
Next I’ll be reworking some of these ideas on Fabriano paper or Strathmore, and maybe even a couple of paintings on prepared board. And of course …digitally. I’m always nervous when I first start on beautiful paper but once those first lines are down and I can see where I’m going, I get lost in that wonderful creative zone.
My altered book is almost finished and that feels particularly good 🙂 A journal or altered book is a wonderful way to try out stuff without worrying about mistakes. Capturing them and reviewing the work on the computer is also a great way to get a fresh look at the work, spot mistakes that can be changed, or ideas that will add to a more finished work. I couldn’t ‘let go’ when I first began my altered book, now it’s ‘just go for it’. What’s the worst that can happen? You gesso over it lol. Or if it’s really really (I can’t bear to look at it) … stick the pages together. In this huge out of date atlas that I’ve used, only once have I done that – bad choice of mixing media that just didn’t work and wrecked what I’d already achieved. Well so what, I can do it again, and next time I won’t make that mistake!
If you can’t experiment in an altered book, or journal specifically for that purpose, where can you?
Until next time – happy creating.