Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Power of Doodling: Imaginary Flora and the Brain

I've been doodling this week, or, to be a bit more precise, my whole life. Yes, I'm a doodler from way back. In first grade, my teacher asked my parents to send in a special notepad I could use to doodle on in school. She could have scolded me, or tried to make me stop, but instead, she accepted that it was something I needed to do and found a way to make it possible. From that point on, my doodling passion flourished throughout my entire academic career, and I'm proud to say, it's still alive and well!  Even so, I sometimes I feel like I need to do something more 'serious' with my art than 'just doodle' and I don't always give in to the fun. But this week I gave in to the doodling and doodled on a grand scale! 

First in my sketchbook:

Then on my Ipad!

And finally, I got my encaustics and played around with a doodle design in wax:

Doodling is not only fun, it's good for your brain! Studies have shown that it can help you concentrate, and improve your problem solving ability. This Ted Talk by Sunni Brown outlines some of the benefits of doodling. I think any of us who doodle know this instinctively. It's just a part of who we are, and as natural (and necessary) to us as breathing. So if you're doodler, keep on doodling. And if you don't doodle, why not join in the fun and give it a try?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Encaustic: Inner Journey

Inner Journey
Encaustic 7" x 7" on panel

When I'm busy, the thought of getting set up for encaustic painting seems overwhelming. Since I don't have a studio, I do encaustic painting in my kitchen where there is good ventilation. For that reason, months had gone by since I felt I had time for doing encaustics. This week, I decided enough was enough and got the wax out. This small painting, which includes a few small collage elements, is my result of about an hour of playing with the wax. There is a bit of map in there, which inspired the colors and lines for the overall composition. As I was doing the lines, I focused on creating layers of lines by inscribing lines, rubbing in oil paint, and then adding another layer of wax and repeating the process with more lines. I also used a funky metal roller to create some additional texture in one of the layers of wax. Working with melting wax is so soothing  and really not as complicated to set up or clean up as I'd been letting myself imagine. Winter seems like the perfect time for working with wax so I'm promising myself not to wait so long until my next encaustic session!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ipad Watercolors On the Road

Here are a few 'watercolors' I did recently on the ipad using the 'Paper by 53 app." As it turns out, painting on the ipad with this app is really fun, and has nice results. I did some of these sketches while in the car. This is a great way to do sketching on the go!

You can read more about my adventure with ipad sketching in this earlier post and see more of my digital sketching if you are interested. Happy New Year to my Paint Party Friday visitors! Thanks so much for stopping by.

Resistance is Futile: Ipad 'Painting'

Since I spend so much time on the computer for work, and other aspects of daily life, I have been resisting any form of digital artwork. It's not that I don't admire it, it's just that I do art in part because I need to do something with my hands that takes me far away from the fast-paced digital world. Yet somehow, over the recent holiday break, I found myself experimenting with drawing and painting on the ipad. I bought myself a stylus, and upgraded my copy of the app Paper by 53 so that I would have the watercolor painting tools. After that, I proceeded to enjoy myself thoroughly, playing around  with drawing and painting on the screen.

It's a great way to squeeze in sketching practice while on vacation. If you don't like your sketch, you just hit delete and start again! This certainly won't replace my other artistic pursuits, but I am happy to have found a way to use my Ipad to work on my art skills.