Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What are you up to Wednesday - part 34 (woyww 137)

It's been a while since I did an official what are you up to post, but here I am with my first woyww post for 2012. And there's a little extra too. First let me show you my workdesk as it sits in my studio right now:

My table is full of books. I'm working on a little (or big actually) project for the coming year that I want to call "The Year of Stolen Ideas". The point of this is to finally start using all those fabulous art books I have, to try out projects, new techniques and prompts that I come across and that intrigue me. Of course it's impossible to work through every book I have so I'm going to do a kind of lottery system.

First I am going through all my books to see if they are suitable for prompting ideas and projects. Some books are just show and tell really, and those are not the ones I'm looking for. I write down the titles of all the books I think will be interesting to 'steal' ideas from. I will write all those titles on pieces of paper, fold them and put them in a box or something. Then I will draw a piece of paper and whatever book I draw is the one I will have to get my next project from.

Now it's not my intention to really steal ideas (as in copy somebody elses work) of course, but more to try out new things and just get my mind working over something I might see or finally give some techniques a go that I've always wondered about. I still have no idea exactly how this all will work out, but it seems like fun to me to kind of surprise myself with projects/ideas and work from there to make something original. I'll keep you posted on how it all goes.

Then I wanted to show you the only art I did in my vacation that was outside of a book. At some point halfway through my two weeks off I had the need to just play with materials without wondering about the outcome, so basically I made a background with a whole lot of different mark makers. After that I turned it into a mysterious forest.

The paper is a little warped and so is the picture, but you get the idea. I had a lot of fun making this and the end result is actually somewhat darker than you see here which gives a better atmosphere. I keep finding it hard to make good pictures of these big sheets of acrylic paper that I sometimes use. But oh well...;-)

I find it interesting that when I don't know what to do with a piece of background I always resort to trees or faces. Somehow those are always fitting to me. I'm still not sure if that means I have a distinct personal preference or if I'm a little afraid to try something new. Maybe it's a little of both. Is there something you resort to when you don't know what to do next or maybe a certain symbol or image that always turns up in your work? I'd love to read about some of your personal imagery.

And of course I hope you're all having a lovely artsy Wednesday.


  1. I see Claudine Hellmuth's "Collage Discovery" book there on your table. When I first purchased it, I used a child's board book to work through many of the techniques from that book. I titled it "Permission to Play". I think your process to work through your art books is a fantastic idea! I am looking forward to seeing your progress along the way.

  2. I love that tablecloth - all the colors are great!! What a good idea about writing the book titles down and putting in a hat - I might be doing that too.

    I've just started playing with mixed media. It's been on my list to try for over a year now.

    Your tree artwork is beautiful, by the way.

    WOYWW #117

  3. Great desk, love the cloth.
    Jackie #119

  4. Just had to comment on your fab table-covering, it's beautiful.

    Wishing you a productive week.

    Jumbleberries xx

  5. What a great idea for keeping your mojo on its toes! Good luck with project and thanks for popping by to see me today Cindy # 36 (PC becareful if you get up on the chair lol!!)

  6. I like your idea of the Year of Stolen ideas (that aren't really stolen). That's a great way to get motivated and try new things. Your nesting doll table covering is so cool. I enjoyed your doodle forest. I don't really have a go-to thing when crafting but I can say I have a distinctive style.

  7. My friend and I are going through a mixed media techniques book together this year. I have so many books that I haven't used yet -- love your idea!!

  8. I like your trees. I doodle a lot of trees. I've done trees in quilting and felting, too, so perhaps that's my personal imagery as well.

  9. Thanks for the comment about my flowers. I think your idea about going through the books. I always think I am going to do that, but never get around to it. Good luck.

  10. That is a very clever system of deciding on what project to do next! Ishould spend some time going through all my books for inspiration too as I seem to make the same things over and over...
    BTW, love your Russian Doll tablecloth :)
    Hugs, LLJ ~43 xx

  11. Lovely trees! I was interesting in reading your review of The creative habit - learn it and use it for life / Twyla Tharp but the link is broken. Just a heads up!

  12. I love your lottery system for making use of all of your books. My plan this year has been to try something from a different book each month...since it's January 19, and I haven't technically started yet, we'll see if I get it off the ground! Your way sounds like fun!

  13. Caatje~
    I wanted to thank you for sharing your desk. I'm a bit behind in viewing all the WOYWW.
    You are multi-talented. Wonderful photographer. Talented artist. Take care!

  14. Gosh, I just love seeing other people's studio spaces. Your idea for your book is so great...I've got a shelf of books I just "had to have". I've always thought of trees as strength and life...seems quite fitting for your art! :)

  15. i love the tree picture. i wish i had been able to take art in high school. maybe i would have been able to develop the tiny talent i have fro drawing of course with all my other crafts i don't have time! and i am writing too!

  16. Catching up on posts - fabulous idea to encourage yourself to experiment. I love your tree - I think you should think of what recurs in your work as personal symbols...rather like hearts and butterflies :-)

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  18. I love to get inspiration and "steal" (but not copy!) ideas from others. Its always nice to see what other people are doing and find a way to make it your own!

    Happy WOYWW (on Monday!)
    Katie #16

  19. Just managing to make it round to a few more desks before the fun starts all over again tomorrow, I didn't realise how long it takes to leave everyone comments rather then just peeking at their desks, Hope you have a great day Lou #94


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