Color My World

Amazing to realize that except for textiles and enamels, I have never really worked with color. I have always been a charcoals girl. OK, I worked with watercolors when I was in high school, but they always intimidated me. And there was that whole Calligraphy and Illumination thing in the SCA, but nothing more abstract.

In the end, I am more comfortable with charcoals. I like how I can blend and create with light an shadow. I know you can do this with colors, but there are too many options that way and it overwhelms my brain.

If I am to be completely honest with you, I had to learn how to be artistic. My sister Diana (R.I.P.) was the one who inherited the drawing/painting gene. I inherited the singing gene. Proof of that was my acceptance into a performing arts high school. But I wanted to be able to draw and paint. Not to be famous, but to create beauty and express my emotions (which anyone who knows me well, knows they are seriously reigned in.) My Grandfather was a sign painter. We are talking old school here. The custom signs, logos and billboards you see in Movies like the “Godfather” or shows like Mad Men.”  After watching him for years, I decided that it was something I could teach myself. So, I borrowed his letter books and learned how to do all kinds of fancy lettering, but that still was not “art.” Well, not as I envisioned it.

During high school I was introduced to charcoal and pencil drawing. I have a disconnect between my brain and my hands, and had to start at the very beginning. Even then I had an ideal and anything else was less than perfect. Not a great way to look at things, but are you gonna argue with a 13 year old girl? Ok, some of you would strictly for the entertainment value.

Basically, It took me ages to be comfortable with charcoals, and what little work I did in color left me feeling a bit anxious. That was until I discovered Calligraphy and Illumination. I was able to use my lettering skills and I began to experiment with color. It was not an easy task, but found a bit of comfort in the dogmatic and specific approach of color use in Medieval Manuscripts. But, I still did not see myself as artistic. Just someone who could apply strict principals to a piece of paper.

So, I decided to watch a couple of videos and see how people accomplished their creativity. Art Journaling is what seemed to me to be the best approach to my age old dilemma. Below is the result of my first attempt. No planning, just doing.


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