Sunday, May 13, 2012


Letters and Numbers

The Creative Everyday theme for May 2012 is  ONE.  I have been creatively blocked for a while.  Yes, I can blame the energy sucking job, my distractions like watching Downton Abbey for the umpteenth time or just everyday stuff that I allow to get in my creative way.  Yet, the blame won't get me anywhere and I am pledging to let go and just accept that I am where I am suppose to be and I am finally getting my artistic butt in gear.  

The above is one of 18 pieces I have done since last July.  I had flurries of moments where I created grid after grid.  Once school started - I am a teacher by trade - the energy slowed to a grid here and a grid there.  Christmas came along and all my creative energy went into holiday crafting.  Yet, this most recent one was in an effort to redirect myself back to my ultimate goal:  Create an life that is infused with art.

These grids are a great exercise for me.  They allow me to not think and play with colors, textures and patterns.  It is an experiment in composition as well.  Like my mood boards that I change by the season, I like these grids.  They are orderly, quiet and soothing for me when I have had a trying day, moment or week.

I started these exercises last summer (2011).  The images are from magazine pages, bits and pieces I have culled from my favorite magazines.  I work in a 6 " by 12 " spiral sketchbook with paper that is a heavyweight natural, white and is able to take the Mod Podge I use to glue the squares down without buckling.  For the squares I use a Marvy Uchida 1" punch.  The images come from magazines that use a heavier weight of paper because I find that the Marvy Uchida will eat the paper if it is the cheap or super thin brand of magazine paper.

To start, I draw a 4 x 7 grid rectangle lightly in pencil, then arrange the squares in a pleasing way.  Sometimes I let it sit for a day or two and move things around - I also pray the cat doesn't do a jump on to the table and scatter the pieces.  Sigh.   Once I like the arrangement I carefully move the squares to the table in the right order.  I use a sponge brush and lay on a nice juicy layer of Mod Podge and then adhere the squares one by one in a single row using my fingers to quickly push out any air bubbles.  I then use a brayer - a hard rubber one use for linoleum prints to make sure the squares are flat and glued.  I repeat the process with the next four rows.  I put one thin layer of Mod Podge over the whole thing.

If you are one of those people who collect magazine pages and really need to weed out and also want a quiet easy exercise just to get your mind off your troubles, free up that creative bird to soar a bit try this.