I hope you all had a good weekend! We had a fun time. It was busy, but I don't feel like I accomplished much. And today is a Federal holiday, so the university is closed. Funny thing, though, if you don't have classes on a day the university is closed, it really isn't a day off. I still have all this work that needs to be done before tomorrow, regardless of whether or not the university is open. So, I'll still go in and work while Sweet Pea is in school. It's really only a day off for me if the university is closed on a day I have classes...then it's one less prep for me. Oh, well!
When I worked at The Ohio State University, it was kind of fun. We would do an all-faculty get together in our department on MLK day to reflect a little. We would have some traditional foods from some of our African American colleagues and some fellowship with our graduate students. That was kind of nice.
You may have noticed my button for the Sketchbook Challenge over on my sidebar (it's down kind of low). (If you click on that button, you can go check out the website.) I saw Lynn, Alamosa Quilter, was following this on Facebook, so I decided to follow it, too. It looked interesting. They are having a theme each month, and people are submitting photos of their drawings according to that theme. I doubt I'll submit anything, but I thought it would be fun to follow.
I figured, if I'm going to try to break out of my "pattern-following" box this year, I need to start coming up with some designs that are my own. What better way to do that than to get serious about my sketchbook?!
Well, I still hadn't had the kick in the pants to get the pen to paper (although I had pasted in one magazine cover I had kept from an airplane magazine...it had a great design on the front that I thought was pretty inspiring).
Then, I read this post from Lynn, where she gave a link to a doodling video and some tips she had learned through an on-line quilting class she had taken. Go check it out.
Last night, Papa Pea was watching the Pope of Greenwich Village. I didn't feel like doing handwork. So, I got the sketchbook out and tried the exercises Lynn described. (Lynn, I hope you're a believer that imitation is the best form of flattery!)
Here's my first 25-boxes exercise. I just started doodling in each box as I saw something in the movie that got me thinking (another strategy Lynn shared). The first box was a take off on Charlie's (played by Mickey Rourke) shirt. I like how that one turned out! Next, were the curls in Julia Roberts' brother's hair (what's his name? Eric Roberts?). He was the co-star. Then, a badly drawn face (they are so hard!), then a pattern in Charlie's tie, then a brick wall. The first drawing in the second row was from a ruffle on some lady's dress, a then a stairwell, then the big sunglasses Eric Roberts wore, then a mermaid (because Darryl Hannah was in the movie, too), a chain link fence. Etc. I took a couple of drawing classes in college, where we learned about crosshatching and pointelism, and I tried to practice some of that here. It's okay. I also like to practice getting perspective and shadow correct. Not always easy.
Over time, I got bored with that and just started doodling quilting designs. I've never been good at feathers, so I was trying to practice them. I had seen that Linda over at the Quilted Pineapple was practicing hers on her new long arm. I was so impressed with how good she was at them already, I figured I should start learning them! Really, you should check out her posts here and here. She's only had that machine for a week or two, and look at her go! She's my idol!
Then, I went to the exercise described on the video. (Draw a line that doesn't cross anywhere on the page--I goofed that a few times; harder than you think--and then start doodling around your line.) Here's my start at that. For some reason, the part on the lower left told me to draw circles inside it. I like how that turned out. They remind me of a dragon's skin. I thought the doodle at the top looked like wonky buildings, so I gave them windows. Then, I thought the squiggle below them looked like Lombard St. in San Francisco (the crookedest street in the world). So, I drew cars on it (seems like it's always packed with cars). Then, I figured, well, it's San Fran, so how about some beach and ocean? I just doodled some fish in the ocean. Got bored again...especially with the fish.
Went back to the 25-squares activity.
Tried to practice more quilting designs. Started practicing stippling. Needs work. Then, went to leaves and vines. I am SO BAD at those, and really struggle with them. Then, tried feathers again. I really started enjoying that. I finally started to get the hang of it and tried to move from box to box without picking up the pen, just like you'd do on a quilt. I then wanted to make some longer ones, so I went up the side of the page and across the bottom. I tried to take my pen right back over previous marks, just like you'd try to stitch over previous stitching lines. I think we can see I have a long way to go on that. But this was really fun. I enjoyed this. I'm not sure I am forming the feathers correctly (need to check that out), but I sure feel looser and more comfortable with it now than I ever did before.
What I liked about the 25 boxes was that they were small and not intimidating...like trying to fill an entire blank page can be. And if I didn't like what was happening, I just moved on to the next box. Not too much invested in a little box.
If you'd like a copy of my 25-boxes page, I have made a PDF of it. You can download it here, print it out, and start playing if you'd like. I don't know how big Lynn's boxes are. I just randomly drew a box I thought I would fit 5 across and 5 down on a page.
So, thanks, Lynn for your great ideas and help getting me started! Can't wait to do more of these. Hop on over to Lynn's blog and check out some of her doodles from the weekend.
Lynn and I are working on something together, but I'll share that with you more toward the first of the month, when we have our first posts ready on that. But maybe tomorrow I'll give you a little sneak peek on that, okay?
Until next time,