One of my New Year’s resolutions was to work on my art on a more regular basis. Although I did a lot of painting and sketching over the break, I barely drew anything during the semester itself. Shortly after the semester ended then, I picked up a small sketchnook that I could carry around in my bag, perfect for small, impromptu drawings.
The main way I’ve been staying creative, however, is through my color blocks:
The color blocks are 2″ x 3″ pieces of watercolor paper I cut up over the break. Each day, I take one of these papers and paint an abstraction based on something I’ve seen during the day. Some are inspired by sunsets, for example, while others take a cue from tree bark or the plumage of birds.
Essentially, anything is fair game, as long as it’s based on something I’ve observed.
This isn’t the first time I’ve painted color blocks. The practice goes back to my time in New
What I like about this project is that it encourages me to look around more closely. As an artist, I create pieces in dialogue with my local surroundings, so painting color blocks is a natural extension of that work. In seeking out striking color combinations, patterns, or textures, I actively look at the world around me rather than passively move through it. In short, it encourages me to slow down and be more observant.
It’s also a great opportunity to experiment stylistically. As an artist, I respect abstraction, but I struggle to incorporate it into my practice. With these color blocks, however, I have a chance to play around with pattern and line. The block above, for instance, is inspired by the plumage of
I already have ideas for these color studies in terms of larger projects, but for