I've been working on my daily sketchbook entries. Some people have set up a different blog just to post their entries every day. I think I 'll just post mine here, but group them together.
Today, however, I just have to talk about this wonderful piece. The small image at left is Laura Cater-Wood's entry for January 4th. I think this little piece, only done in 15 minutes is a prime example of the design sense which makes Laura an internationally known artist.
One of the primary things which hits me about this piece is the use of negative space. Even when you see it as a tiny thumbnail or from across the room, it is pleasing. There is balance. The shapes fill the space well, but move the eye around. The lines have motion and while the go off the page, you are also brought around the page.
The limited use of color adds interest, but is deft in its restricted palette. There's a good range of shades here, but the colors are limited only to black, white (and the various shades), blue and a green-blue. It is subtle, yet rich.
The texture is absolutely wonderful, from the cross hatching and the dots to the swirls. I also love the text she put at the bottom. It reads: "In the morning I have birds,
clearly divine messengers that I don't understand yet day by day feel the grace of their intentions"
from "at age 69", a poem by Jim Harrison, published in
In Search of Small Gods
Laura's line explorations are fully evident here....and you really must check out her website as her fully developed pieces are truly wonderful. She derives much of her inspiration from the natural world, doing wonderfully abstracted pieces full of texture and interest.
I was grateful for Laura to post this, as she emphasized that she only spent 15 minutes on it. Yes I know, it is the second time I've mentioned this. I was happy that she did this because I was finding myself wanting to spend too much time on this. I was getting stymied by wanted to create a masterpiece....and when Melanie Testa wrote this: "And here is my secret: I strive for every page to be perfect. Every-single-page, page-after-page (there are some crappy pages here and there). I will not apologize for this." on her entry for January 5th, my heart stopped. Perfection? Each and every time?
But, like so often, your brain gets stopped at what you first read. Melanie went on to say this: "BUT. I will tell you that this has taken me years and years of practice. This is not inborn talent. This is trial and error and a lot of swearing and acceptance and page turning. And you too can put the time in to creating beautiful pages. Remind yourself that your shoes are unique, talented and directed on a path that is as unique and individualized as you are." She went on to describe how she arrived at her path.
I know my path isn't going to be like Melanie's. It can't. After all it is MY path. So, I was happy to go back to Laura's work, which I greatly admire, and remind myself, 15 minutes, but do it every day. Practice makes perfect and fear of not making perfection leads to no practice....which leads to no work...and how can you ever improve if you do this?
So for me, life isn't perfect, but I will muddle on an try to achieve great heights. If I don't reach it, that's OK, I'll certainly be no less advanced than I am at present.