Continued Progress

I have continued work on the various drawing series that I previously posted and I have been enjoying them immensely. Even though I have never thought of myself as a drawer, this has become the media in which I have been working most. I am still learning a little bit in this media, but the process has been something that I love.

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Supposed to be skinny, Pen drawing, 2018
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So fucking sad, Pen drawing, 2018
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It is what it is, Pen drawing, 2018
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A monster, Pen drawing, 2018
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House Sparrow, Pen and Watercolor pastels, 2018
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Ruby Throated Hummingbird, Pen and Watercolor pastels, 2018
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Mourning Dove, Pen and Watercolor pastels, 2018
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Great Blue Heron, Pen and Watercolor pastels, 2018
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Oriole, Pen and Watercolor pastels, 2018
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Goldfinch, Pen and Watercolor pastels, 2018
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Chickadee, Pen and Watercolor pastels, 2018
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I believed you, Pen drawing, 2018
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So I stayed, Pen drawing, 2018
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It wasn’t, Pen drawing, 2018
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You never wanted me, Pen drawing, 2018

 

BadBrainPress

My best friend and soul mate is an extremely talented printmaker based in Texas, and when she sent me a literal box of her artwork I couldn’t have been more excited to share them. This particular series, titled “Imprints,” is my favorite of what she sent me. These specific pieces were created through a technique called blind embossing (embossing creates a raised texture through pressure instead of ink).

 

Though this process is specifically supposed to get a raised texture, I am so totally in love with the indents on the opposite sides. Delicate and sad, they are a memory of the plant that was used to create each piece. They are what remains, both in shape and with the actual leavings from each plant. I love that you can feel where each plant was, feel its shape, feel how prickly or hard it was even though the paper its self is soft.

BadBrainPress makes a huge variety of artwork, beautiful, funny, bold, sassy.

Check her out at:

https://www.instagram.com/badbrainpress/?hl=en

and

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BadBrainPress

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“Imprints” Blind embossing on handmade cotton paper using native Texan plant
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“Imprints” Blind embossing on handmade cotton paper using native Texan plant
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“Imprints” Blind embossing on handmade cotton paper using native Texan plant
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“Imprints” Blind embossing on handmade cotton paper using native Texan plant
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“Imprints” Blind embossing on handmade cotton paper using native Texan plant
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“Imprints” Blind embossing on handmade cotton paper using native Texan plant

 

Things He Taught Me

I have started yet another little group of drawings. I have pushed my self a bit more out of my comfort zone and I am trying to use color (watercolor pastels), because I think its necessary to the work. I am not very familiar with this media, so a lot of these are still just me testing out the material.

Anyway! This little group of drawings is about things that my father has taught me. My dad is a bit of a bird enthusiast and I spent a lot of time handling, caring for, looking at, and just generally being around them. My father also enjoys moths and butterflies, so most summers were spent finding caterpillars and raising them into butterflies in our homemade habitat. I combined the creatures I learned about and the things I learned to make these drawings. This is just the very beginning of this project and I hope to improve my abilities with the color media as well as expand the series as much as possible!

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Killdeer, Pen and Watercolor Pastels, 2018

 

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Monarch Butterfly, Pen and Watercolor Pastels, 2018
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Guinea Fowl, Pen and Watercolor Pastels, 2018
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American Robin, Pen and Watercolor Pastels, 2018

Mental Illness

I have been really embracing my drawings lately, as you can probably tell, and this is a new series I started on accident. I was talking to my best friend and she was telling me about how she had to explain her mental illness (anxiety and depression) to a neuro-typical person. I was so inspired by the way she described it, I needed to pair it with a drawing of her. I began to do this with other people in my life with mental illness, talking to them about it, drawing them and captioning it with what stood out most about what they said. This series is definitely in process, but I am so excited to see where it takes me and who it takes me to.

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Only Constantly, Pen Drawing, 2018
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It’s Hard to Think of Anything Else, Pen Drawing, 2018
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I Don’t Know It’s Even There, Pen Drawing, 2018
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You Think About It Constantly, Pen Drawing, 2018
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Everyone Just Assumed, Pen Drawing, 2018

Secrets

Secrets is another project I have been working on. Each square is a secret that has been knitted in binary code, the secrets are either mine or ones that have been told to me. This project has been extremely cathartic, its been a way to release all this information that has been piling up, but in a way that is almost impossible to decipher. This project is currently in process, but I am really excited about it and I hope to share more as it progresses!

In Process!

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“What I miss most” Pen, 2018
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“Being alone” Pen, 2018
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“We talked too long” Pen, 2018
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“I hadn’t had someone” Pen, 2018
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“I just wanted to talk” Pen, 2018
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“You don’t remember” Pen, 2018
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“It wasn’t home” Pen, 2018
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“They told us” Pen, 2018
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“I never thought” Pen, 2018
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“He was never peaceful” Pen, 2018

This is a little drawing series that I have been working on. Currently still making, editing, etc., but I have been totally in love with them. I haven’t even begun to think about an artist statement to go with them yet, but basically they are gestural glimpses into moments in my life as I remember those places and those feelings. I am hoping to make so many more of these, they are extremely therapeutic and I am so happy with the results I have been getting.

Sketchbook Practices

Sketchbooks are an amazing tool to use however it best works for you. I use mine for everything including lists, ideas, drawings, writing, anything I really like I will put in my sketchbook. Though I try to use my sketchbook once a day, honestly that’s not always doable, so I just carry mine with me wherever I go and use it as much as I can.

 

I think it is sometimes misunderstood that a sketchbook has to be used for drawings or has to be done a specific way, but I think that is a real cock block for your creativity and you should just ignore people who think that. I believe that it is really important to figure out how to make your sketchbook work best for you, so I highly recommend experimentation because you don’t know if it helps unless you try it. I’m going to talk about how I use my sketchbook and what works best for me, hopefully it can inspire or help people who want to get more out of their sketchbooks!

 

Ideas: I write down every single idea for making work, concepts, etc. in my sketchbook. Terrible or genius, this is the best way I’ve found to work it out. Sometimes this involves small drawings or just writing individual words, but any way that feels best for me to get down what I’m thinking. A lot of the time they don’t turn into something that I make, but it’s a great starting point for working out the flaws of the ideas and brainstorming execution and concepts to go with it. Another thing I do is go back through my old sketchbooks and revisit some of my past ideas. This can be both humorous and helpful. Ideas that may not have had anything to them a year ago, could be usable now that you’ve had time to think about and mentally develop them or they could just be more relevant to your current work.

Lists: I love making lists, to-do lists, grocery lists, to-make lists, list of places I want to go, pretty much anything. This is one of the easiest ways to organize my thoughts and ideas, it helps me get focused when I’m starting something and it helps me feel more accomplished as I check things off. I like to spend a lot of time and effort on these lists to make them aesthetically pleasing, especially ones that I won’t necessarily be checking off. This is also a great way to organize your goals, either for the year or for some undetermined amount of time and if it looks nice I feel more compelled to look back at it or place it somewhere where I will see it often as a reminder.

Drawings: As someone whose medium isn’t primarily drawing, this is really where all my drawings live. Because I usually feel intimidated by good quality paper, my sketchbooks give me a place to draw freely without worry that it is going to be worth the cost of the paper. Connected with ideas, I will usually do small sketches to accompany them to attempt to get what is in my brain compositionally onto the paper. I find this very helpful then when I am out in the field, I have to think less about placement and composition because I already thought it out and anything extra is exactly that.

Writing: My sketchbook is also where I work out the beginning stages of artist statements as well as take notes about readings or even reactions about work that I can really only get down in the form of words. Of course a majority of them look like the ramblings of someone who has never heard of punctuation, but it’s a great starting point for something like artist statements which can sometimes be difficult to get started. I am someone who constantly checks out library books, and because you obviously don’t get to keep those books forever, taking notes on what I read can be extremely helpful later. Taking sections that I find important and then adding in my own ideas or reactions is something I have found to work for me. As much as I want to pretend that I remember everything I read, I don’t. So, being able to go back to the things that stood out and seeing my personal reaction or take on that information can really inspire new ideas and concepts.

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Additions: Adding images of reference (if you have cheap access to printing or magazines) is something I absolutely love to do. When working on an idea I add lots of reference material so I can have lots of visuals when I am out in the field. Finding things with similar aesthetic helps me figure out the qualities and the compositions to get what I want, I can see what they all have in common that gives them that aesthetic so I don’t have to go through so much trial and error.

I hope this is a helpful guide to different ways you can use your sketchbook!