Hello! This is the first of what I hope will be monthly updates, which will come in the form of a Blog Post and Newsletter. Subscribe to my Newsletter here to get it emailed to you fresh from the box each month.
So, what have I been up to this month?
I have been doing a daily drawing each day for the last 37 days (as of the time of writing), which means that I actually started it in June, but as this is my first newsletter, I think it counts for July news! You can see them all here, in my instagram feed. I have been finding it ridiculously rewarding to draw every day. I frequently feel resistance, but there's something about it that holds me accountable brilliantly. There are a few reasons - firstly, I think the fact that people are keeping in touch on instagram, and commenting to say they are enjoying it really helps, so if you are one of those people, thank you! I think also, there's something about building up a body of work that is hugely rewarding: each piece reminds me how much I enjoy drawing, and that in itself encourages me to do the next one, and the next... I really feel like I won't want to stop when I reach 100, but we will see!
I made my Patreon "pay what you can afford" recently, in solidarity with other artists who may be low on funds, while they are growing their art practice, as I am. I know how much time and commitment comes with developing your art practice, so I wanted my Patreon to be a place for people of all financial situations. What's nice is that it has also grown my Patreon, which helps it feel even more like a lovely community.
I've recently started doing 'Motivation Mondays', every Monday night, where we drop into a Zoom studio, check in for the week, gently work, and have some nice creative chats. We've just done two so far, but they have been great!
I've also started doing a prompt at the beginning of each month, to give each month a different focus. I keep them quite open, but I've been enjoying creating them, and am already cooking up next month's prompt!
My regular Patreon videos are usually a materials 'Deep Dive' where I take a closer look at a particular art material, a monthly look at what art I have been making for the month, where I regularly look through my sketchbooks and a process video of me making a piece of artwork or an art prompt. This month I filmed me making this piece.
You can sign up to my Patreon here
Recently I have begun to put on art workshops, under the umbrella of Happy Sun Arts. I wanted it to have a happy name, as making art makes me so happy! The latest workshop I did was “Exploring Mark Making”. It was a culmination of everything I have learned, not only over the last two years doing the MA, but over the years as an artist.
Doing the workshop made me reflect on my relationship with texture and mark-making. It felt natural for me to do a workshop on it, as it's something I really enjoy playing with, but I was curious to look back and see where it came from. I know I have always been drawn to art that is rich with the depth of gritty, earthy, mark-making, but it is only recently that I have been trying to link up what I am drawn to when I look at a piece of art - that thing that makes my heart beat a little faster - and how I make my work. I think before I did the MA, I was aware of what I liked, but I didn't know how to incorporate it into my work. However, through careful nurturing by the tutors on the course, and a strong push to experiment, explore and try out new things: try, fail, and try again, I have started to incorporate texture and mark-making into my work.
It was interesting to look back at my work before I started the MA, and to compare the tentative drawings I made when I was trying out drawing, after about 14 years away from it, and where it is now, after two years of experimenting and playing on the course.
Below: a selection of drawings made before I started the MA. You can see that they are largely made with line and filled in with colour. I remember that I really enjoyed using the Moleskine sketchbooks with very thin paper, with Tombow pens, because I enjoyed the texture the pens made on the paper.
Below: drawings made in the last two years over the course of the MA. You can see I am experimenting more, loosening up, letting go, and it is starting to bring a wider variety of mark-making and textures into my artwork.
It's been really interesting for me to reflect back on my journey with mark-making, and I am excited to continue to play around and see what other textures and marks I can discover.
If you would like to do the Exploring Mark Making workshop, the replay is available to purchase for a limited time - until 8th August - here
We're going on holiday for three weeks shortly, which means I might be a bit quieter here than usual. I will be continuing with my #100dayproject over on instagram, so you can catch me there, and do take a moment to say hi below. I love connecting and chatting with fellow creatives.
That's it for this month. I hope you enjoyed it.