Strength, Script and a New Year

Each year I pick a word (or words) that will be my inspiration, goal, good intention for the year. For this year the word “STRENGTH” has been coming at me from all directions so I’m going to claim it and run with it. It is something I can apply to so many different areas of my life!

After spending many hours the last few months creating hand made journals (I guess I need to post about those soon, hmmm?) I’ve added to that interest the idea of writing styles, script and other artful lettering. I’ve always loved to add words & quotes to my art but have never been particularly fond of my own handwriting. I’ve just been doodling around with pens, etc. for now but have an intro to hand-lettering book that should be delivered later today.

Here are some of my scribbles in one of my journals over the past week. Perhaps as I progress and become more skilled I’ll be able to use these words and thoughts in my artwork! I hope the new year blesses you with inspiration and passions to pursue. I love that feeling of hope a new year brings with it. Who knows, I might even blog more regularly this year! We’ve got another 362 days to find out!

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Tuesday Tales from the Studio – January 4, 2011

As I mentioned in Monday’s post,  I don’t make formal “resolutions” but the New Year is a time when I examine and re-direct my efforts. One change I’ve made is having two days, back-to-back to spend working on, dreaming of and reading about art. I’m really excited about this change and plan to dig my heels in to protect these days from intrusions! Tuesday was my first day in the studio for the new year and I seemed to ease back into it slowly and thoughtfully. The room had managed to collect a variety of things during some cleaning I had recently done elsewhere in the house, so my first efforts were to put the room back in order. Glue & adhesives in one space, brushes, palette knives and sponges in another, and on it went. My Christmas gift this year was a cordless drill and set of bits so I found a space to keep that stored as well. I uncovered a lot of “in progress” work (doesn’t that sound better than “half finished”?) while I was cleaning up. I have several thoughts and ideas for new work, some that I want to start immediately so it will be ready for an upcoming show and other that are still just ideas in the “someday” file in my head. The works I found that are already in progress will be great to work on while I wait for the newer pieces to dry.

One piece that I started prior to the holidays has been on my mind for several weeks as I debated the orientation for it. I made up my mind earlier this week that I was going to be a vertical piece so after I’d gotten most of the clean up done I took some time to add more texture and dimension to it. I know I’ve mentioned my love of trees before and decided that for this piece it would be fun to create one using some crackle paste.

work in progress, 1-4-11, 3-piece tree (c) Lynne Medsker

I’m hoping the crackled texture will really enhance the “bark” on this tree and make it interesting. Previously I had laid down some thin layers of paste as well as some tar gel for texture. I have a basic idea of the color scheme I want to use but am excited to see what the textured background does to the overall look of the piece. I won’t be able to work on it again until next week because the paste will need several days to dry. Oh the anticipation!!

Something else I’d been looking forward to was delving into several new books once the new year arrived. They’d been waiting patiently in the studio and today I was able to crack them open and get a feel for each of them. My favorite so far is “The Creative Edge” by Mary Todd Beam. This is her second book, I bought the previous one over the summer and devoured it. I love her style, the way she shows the steps but leaves projects open to your own creativity. She also fills the pages with many, many examples of other artists works – it’s a feast for your eyes! I’m anxious to try some of the techniques and ideas. One chapter, in particular, talks about “redeeming a painting” – I have some of those that just never got where I wanted them to go. I’ll be sure to take some before & after photos to share!

Other art books that I am currently reading are on expressive drawing, design, digital art and watercolor. Add that to the two new murder/mystery books I recently purchased and my reading plate is full! I love having lots of good books this time of year. The days seem short and the nights long and there is something comforting about having good reading materials to curl up with each evening.

One other thing I found while cleaning was a half-finished mandala.

"mandala #32" marker & ink on paper (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker

Finishing it was a nice, relaxing way to end my quiet day. There are days, like this one, I enjoy spending in silence. Wednesday I’ll be back in the studio but anticipate it being a noisy, joyous and fun day and I continue my explorations with a dear artist friend. I know the music, conversation and laughter will be flowing along with the art!

More happiness!