Cleansing the Palette

Early last week, I was hit with the realization that lately, my journaling practice was feeling "ho hum," "been there, done that," and worse yet, completely unfufilling...pretty but boring.  Admittedly, post-surgery & winter blues were contributing to this assessment but I also felt a kernel of truth existed and so I set out to reinvigorate my journaling.

As you might realize, most of my journaling is drenched in candy shoppe colors: hot pink, bright orange, electric teal, citrus yellow, and lime green.  I love this particular color combination but it only represents one part of my internal landscape.  I am also deeply drawn to a more monochromatic palette and after some introspection, I realized I had been neglecting this aspect of my personality.

I looked around me for inspiration:  a book on Edward Gorey I'd discovered in a used bookstore, Mary Ann Moss's recent sketch portraits (scroll to the end of her post), and my own previous limited palette work.  I pulled down a simple journal made from a single piece of watercolor paper (a la Teesha Moore).  I collect papers and supplies in certain themes so all I had to do next is pull out the overflowing "red & black" box and begin to play.  No time wasted gathering!

All this week, I'll be showing pages from this mini journal that has singlehandedly reignited my passion for journaling.  Here's some important observations that I've made while working on this project.
  • Sometimes it is OK to take a 180 degree turn from the usual and the expected.
  • It is important to listen when your internal GPS tells you to make that hard right turn.
  • I like short journals that can be completed in a couple of days to no more than a couple weeks.  I need that sense of closure.
  • Spontaneity is essential.  By nature, I am an extreme planner.  However, unpredictabilty brings balance.  I think that often a sense of unease signals that something is out of balance, be it physical or emotional or artistic!
  • I love contour portraits! Every portrait is this book was made with sumi ink while looking at a photograph or engraving.  No do-overs or erasing!
  • I like telling little visual stories that may or may not represent anything about me or my life. 
  • The limited palette (black, white, cream, red, gold, silver) feels cleansing and refreshing...


Anonymous said…
These are wonderful pages and the portraits are stunning. What a talent you have, I'm so glad you're invigorated as this means I get to see more of your work!
I think growth happens when we explore those parts of ourselves that maybe aren't our most used direction. I love those popping colors too, but the black, white and red look great and your drawings (which are fun) plus the colors give your pages a retro, almost 1950's feel. Low it.
Unknown said…
I love this so much! The first (cover maybe?) is my favorite. Currently, the cover to my 2013 art journal is untouched, because I've just been putting it off. You have inspired me to work on that. Your portraits are also awesome! Don't you love how everyone has their own type of style, especially when it comes to portraits. Yours are so unique and I am highly intrigued by the limited palette...