One day I found myself a little bored of painting meditations so I decided to treat them like an actual meditation practice. A person doesn’t find much peace just meditating when they feel like it.
This inspired me to make a meditation journal out of Arches 90 lb and an old hard bound book from the thrift store. I am enjoying creating in this!
When I fist started making painting meditations I would start out very pure—painting just to paint with no expectations. When the pieces started turning out good, however, I started wanting them to turn out good! This wasn’t a problem, I would just reset my intentions when I noticed myself slipping. Creating lovely abstract paintings was a welcome side-effect to the endeavor.
But painting in a journal has allowed me to become very good at painting in the moment without trying to be good. I came to miss making good paintings. I decided to separate the endeavors so that I have an actual meditation practice painting in my journal and I also make abstract art works while trying to be very present with that process as its own thing.
I seem to be in an awkward growth phase since deciding this. It’s like I am trying to copy my own art. I trust I will get though it. I have been through a lot of change lately, mostly good things but some challenging things. I am ok overworking a bunch of paintings while I settle into a new life and a new painting practice.
I made a couple new watercolor illustrations from workbook drawings. I really like them both and it feels like I am making a lexicon of sorts. If you would like one send me an email, they are $50 each.
This is a watercolor illustration of how I feel about life. I made it from a workbook drawing and I feel like its progress in bringing my painting meditation practice into my illustrations, I am really happy about it.
I am moving next month so my studio is half in boxes but I still have my painting supplies out. I am mostly painting meditations because it’s hard to focus on my current book in a room that is complete chaos. I am excited to move. I really like my roommates but I thrive on solitude and it has been a tiring 3 years of not being able to live out my values as much as I am used to. I am very sensitive to certain things I had no knowledge of previously. I am grateful to see but I make so much joy for myself when I live alone just tending to the basics, keeping up with chores and minding my environmental impact as best I can. I feel like it will be a very healing thing to return to my own ways.
I am working on incorporating my approach to painting meditations into my illustrative work. The above painting started with a line drawing from my workbook. The painting below I started by making a line drawing directly on the paper and then filling it in. I like the approach of the top painting better. I feel it allowed me to be more painterly and there is no pressure whatsoever to make good drawings in a workbook. It is harder to relax completely and to let go of wanting it to make a good drawing while working directly on nice watercolor paper. I really enjoyed both approaches though and will give each some more time.
I made a studio tour slide slow for Sunday Stories Art Walk on Instagram. Here’s the video if you missed it! Sorry its vertical, someday I’ll make a more detailed one just for my website.
I’ve been experimenting with starting painting meditations with line drawings, it definitely changes how I paint. I find it harder to stay in a spontaneous mindset but I feel it will help me develop my illustration style. One thing that I feel would help is if I learned to be OK with simple paintings but I always want to fill up the page.
I have a new spontaneously illustrated poem book finished. This one is a little different in that I spontaneously decided to redo one of the pages. I also painted it in watercolor and then printed it instead of binding the originals.
Watercolor media is not as stable as fluid acrylic so the pigments would rub off on each other if I bound the paintings together. I really loved making this into a printed book though!
“Penchant” is available in my shop below
I have a new little book finished! I started this a long time ago but got distracted with my spontaneous books. It felt great to finally complete it!
This is one of my 5 x 7” books that have a blank page for writing a greeting and come with an envelope.
I printed these at home on Epson premium double sided matte paper with Epson Claria ink. I am not thrilled with Epson’s inflated ink prices nor their lack of eco-friendly papers but I have some samples of eco-friendly papers coming in the mail. I hope I find one that works at the right weight. These are too stiff for my tastes.
I printed copies for my family with Precision Colors EV6 ink. They looked just as good as the ones in my shop printed with Epson ink! I am just not sure how long they will last without fading but Precision has a new archival ink I am going to get when my Epson cartridges run out or are half empty and refuse to print because the chips say they are empty the company doesn’t have the integrity to treat consumers or the environment respectfully.
I absolutely loved printing these at home and binding them myself. Previously I was having them made at a local printer because the cost per each book was much more reasonable than printing them with Epson’s overpriced ink.
When it was time to print this book, however, I had to level with myself that I don’t sell enough copies to cover the cost of the 50 book minimum at the printer so I decided to print a few at home. I’m glad I did! I am very excited about making my own books in-studio and about discovering a company that makes affordable ink for artists, check out Precision Colors here.