Friday, April 26, 2019

30-Minute Mark Making

30-Minute Mark-Making is an exercise I do when I'm not feeling particularly focused, or if I need a jumpstart in the studio. It's pretty simple, but not easy. Basically, you just paint/collage/draw for thirty minutes, in a continuous manner.
  1. Choose your format, i.e. size and material of substrate. In the videos I am working on three 19"x24" sheets of Bristol, which are pinned to the wall.
  2. Get out your materials. I'm using a paint, a bit of collage (and matte medium for adhesive), graphite, and Caran d'Ache NeoColor II crayons.
  3. Start the timer and get to work. Stop (optional) when the thirty minutes are up.
The point is to practice NOT hesitating, judging, trying to plan the next steps. So as soon as you DO hesitate (which is inevitable), catch yourself and make a mark. You'll see this in the second video, I do hesitate and then notice that and keep going.

The first video is the first round of the 30-minute exercise in time-lapse. The second video shows actual time and I chat a bit about what's going on in my head.

This is where the first 30-minutes ended up.

This is where the second video ends up. These are all still works in progress, but they are looser and more surprising, or at least different, than if I had not imposed the 30-Minute rule.

The hardest thing about this exercise is to remember that CONTINUOUS work for 30-minutes is the ONLY rule. You don't have to cover the page or the multiple substrates, you certainly don't have to finish anything; you don't have to make anything you like; you don't have to work fast.

I would love to hear of your experience if you try this. You can change the time frame if you like - twenty minutes, or an hour, or five minutes - as long as you stick to the continuous rule. Let me know how it goes!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

100 Drawings on Cheap Paper

I am offering my "100 Drawings on Cheap Paper", an interactive online class, this fall, starting September 4. I use the term "drawing" loosely, to include painting and collage, and any other kind of marks you make. This class is designed to cultivate a habit of working in series, working in quantity, to delve more deeply into a visual inquiry than we may typically do.

Each of the ten weekly lessons has a particular focus, and you get to explore that focus over the course of (at least) ten pieces. We emphasize the exploration, the process, and don't aim for "finished" pieces. Read more details and register here.

In one of the lessons we do the speed painting exercise shown in this video (this is not the lesson video, just me doing the exercise in a workshop).

Here are some examples of student work from the class. All works are done on 9"x12" cheap drawing paper. Find it here. Or use Blick Bristol for a heavier, but still inexpensive, substrate.

Enjoy the work!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Art On A Roll

One of the projects I wanted to try in 2019 is Art on a Roll. You can see my thoughts on what this year might bring on my Happy New Year blog post. I began it in early February, on a roll of Strathmore Bristol, which is 42" wide and ten yards long. As you can see in the photos below, I expose only a few feet of the roll at a time, and just work on that section. Then I roll up most of what I've done, unroll some blank paper, gesso it, and continue.

This process has helped me stay in the present moment, stay with what is going on in front of me. I have had lots of questions about what my plans are for the whole thing when it is "finished", but the truth is that I don't have any. It is the experience that I want to explore.

This is a few layers into the first section.

Close up of second section

Another close-up

Second section again

Beginning of third section


Many layers into section 4

More of Section 4

This is where it begins to turn into a landscape
And I put this little Scottish Village on it. Could also be in Newfoundland, but a friend is visiting Scotland and posting gorgeous photos, so that was on my mind.

Close up of the village

There might be another village across the water...

I am on another section now, and I did put some buildings on this patch of earth. I have an idea to do a workshop on this process, where we all work on our own Art on a Roll, and also do a communal one. I'm considering logistics and venue. Let me know if this interests you, or if you have ideas on how it would work for you.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Collage Challenge #3

For National Poetry Month (my uncle says, "There is a reason it's called 'the cruelest month'"), both parts of my collage challenge involve collaging with type. Or text. Could be handwriting or printed. The stipulation I want to make is that the text and type be used as an abstract element, for its visual content, not its verbal meaning. You may be able to read bits of words, but the shapes of the letters or texture/pattern of text is the visually meaningful aspect.

Magazines and newspapers, as well as junk mail and flyers, are great sources of type and text material. Look for a variety of scale, font, color, and spacing. To get you started I made a five-page pdf of nonsense type that you can download here. Print what you like and add it to your own stash.

Part 1: Make collages using type as a primary element (include other elements if you like) and post them on our Flickr group here. I have created a Pinterest Board with examples of using type as an abstract element. Take a look for inspiration!

This is my collection of type.

The beginning of a collage that I will sand.

Detail shot of work in progress

Detail shot of work in progress

Another collection of found type
Part 2: send me collage papers with type on them. You can make them using letter stamps or handwriting, or stencils, or send me found text. Please include any other collage papers that you think will go well with the type. Send to:

Jane Davies Studios
Collage Challenge #3
PO Box 45
Rupert, Vermont  05768

I will choose a few winners and make collages for them using the text they've sent.

Send me a self-addressed envelope with adequate postage (if you are in the US, no postage if you are not in the US), and I will send you a little collection of papers from my own stash and previous challenges.