self portrait & sky

1 Feb

This post shares the sixth spread from my 2012 Art House Sketchbook Project. Above is a self-portrait of me gazing up at a watercolour & salt textured sky with the words “the sky is filled with endless possibilities” faintly written in oil pastel. This mixed media painting was drawn for my 2011 sketchbook which sadly got lost in the postal system. Its memory lives on in the newly created piece:This new self-portrait was inspired by my favorite photo in one of my recent posts a grey, black and white winter. The juxtaposition of my ear with the dark forest and winter sky reminded me of how wonderful it is to listen to the sounds of nature: wind between the trees, birds chirping or a creek babbling. Also, as a talkative extrovert, I find that the mantra “the quieter I become, the more I can hear” is a lesson that I am trying to apply to my everyday life so I can learn more, understand more & grow closer to those around me.

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12 Responses to “self portrait & sky”

  1. belknits 01/02/2012 at 21:29 #

    Awesome spread! I would love to see your book in person, or once it’s digitized (assuming you chose to). What is your username on arthouse co-op?

    • naturesmyfriend 01/02/2012 at 22:08 #

      Jessica Gowling I think is my user name on art house. I did sign up to get it digitized! and will be continuing to share the rest of the new pages these following few weeks. It is going on a world tour this year!! there must be a city close by that you might be able to visit? I would love for you to read it in person!

    • belknits 02/02/2012 at 06:30 #

      We go to NYC every year, and last year we went to the Brooklyn Art Library to visit my book (I wanted to make sure the pages weren’t sticking!) My kids and I all did 2012 books and Limited Edition, too. We’ll go again this October and I’ll check out yours! Here’s my last years book, if you want to peruse!
      http://www.arthousecoop.com/library/243

  2. Julia 02/02/2012 at 03:37 #

    Loving your pages – you must have been so devastated when that first book went missing!

  3. belknits 02/02/2012 at 06:32 #

    I tried searching for you on the site, but I couldn’t find you. Can you post the link to your profile?

  4. Jeannine | SaylorMade 02/02/2012 at 15:29 #

    Lovely!! What materials did you use for this spread. Watercolour?

    • naturesmyfriend 02/02/2012 at 20:31 #

      Watercolor for the entire portrait. Watercolor wash & salt for the background. Xerox & solvent transfer for the text. :)

  5. Jeannine | SaylorMade 03/02/2012 at 16:41 #

    Ah. Do you often work with watercolour? I haven’t noticed that many watercolour pieces.

    • naturesmyfriend 03/02/2012 at 18:31 #

      For the longest time I considered myself to have poor painting skills; growing up loving drawing and then training as a printmaker, I learned to really CONTROL my mark-making thus making it difficult for me to use media that required more of a “loose” style.
      Over the past 3 years I’ve really tried to incorporate paints (acrylic, watercolor and gouache) into my practice more often. I started to get comfortable at first using them in mixed media work; you have seen this in a lot of my altered book pieces. I now feel like my skills are expanding and I am becoming more “painterly,” hence why I’m starting to use them more often on their own.

  6. Jeannine | SaylorMade 03/02/2012 at 20:35 #

    I always thought the altered books were acrylic and gouache, never watercolour. Sometimes details are hard to spot online.

    I was just thinking of a conversation I had with an artist years ago. She said she hated watercolour because it was so tight and you had to follow so many rules to get a painting just right. I’ve always found watercolours exciting in that I need to work quickly and I can’t paint over details that I don’t think are strong enough. Plus, sometimes unintentional outcomes are much more exciting than what was planned.

    I also meant to ask if you rebound the book with better paper or added gesso to the paper.

    • naturesmyfriend 03/02/2012 at 21:24 #

      I didn’t rebind the book. I removed 2 spreads to account for thickness I’d be adding with heavier papers, collage and objects. I reinforced the staple binding with duct tape and a lot of my pages were done on heavier stock paper, textured paper or found papers which ended up getting glued in. Many of my collaged pieces are done using matte mod-podge – a product I love to glue things down with and to seal textured work with. I rebound the cover, but will save details on that for an upcoming post <3

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