Thursday, January 25, 2018

The good and the underwhelming

Last week I was reprimanded for only showing the good stuff and not showing what I was underwhelmed about. I thought about it and realized the comment was right, I should show the good and the bad. I've done enough daily projects over the years to  know that when I start something new I'm frequently disappointed with my early attempts. Yet if I can push through the early fumbling there's always the possibility to learn something. Not only learn a new technique or process and with continued practice master it, but also learn something about myself in the process.

My first daily project was a daily photo blog, omg! The first few weeks were extremely difficult but slowly it became more and more comfortable and after six years of daily photos I lost my interest.

In 2010 I did a mono print a day for the month of March. The first thirty days I did a circle in black on a twenty inch square of white linen. As I did them I learned how much paint, the best way to apply the paint, and how to get the fabric down without extra smudges and fingerprints. I ran out of linen and I wanted the last one to be big! So it was printed on a 52" square of cotton. If I had not done the first thirty prints I would never have known how to do the big one. The blog post with a picture of all thirty prints is here. This is the big one.

Monoprint #31

I've done daily stitching for over seven years, along with weekly stitching projects. They have all come with their own learning curve.

This brings me to my current 71 days of Mark Making. 71 days to commemorate my 71st birthday the day after I finish. I'm doing it because I have been enamored with some of the mark making posts I've seen on blogs and Pinterest. The ones that interest me the most are black on white and frequently a free form squiggle or shape. I have never been able to stick with any sketchbook or journaling for more than a few days, so my goal is to do 71, I'm on 24 which for me is a record. I've grouped the pictures so you don't have to scroll through 24 of them.

Done with India ink and a scruffy brush.
More India ink with a different brush.
The two on the left  with a brush, bottom right a straw, top right a charcoal pencil.
Pitt pen
A Pitt pen.

They look better in groups.
I've learned that doing what looks like an effortless squiggle is not easy. I've also realized that the people that are doing these have made more than one and for many of them it's a part of their everyday artwork. Instead of struggling and trying to do someone else's marks I've decided to make marks that I'm comfortable with and will work on loosening up.

I finished the Indigo Shibori quilt.

I've started playing with some of the wet cyan prints I did last fall.

Weekly Leaf #4

Before stitching

After Stitching

2018 daily Stitching

More french knots. 

I'll be linking up to "Off the Wall Friday"and "Slow Sunday Stitching"


  1. The daily drawings have good texture, and I especially like the charcoal pencil one in the third set. It looks like writing (turned vertical) without saying anything.

  2. I am enjoying all your challenges! I especially liking what you are doing with your Cyan prints. Inspriational!

  3. Thanks for showing both the good and the bad. It's helpful to figure out what went wrong for the next one.

  4. I especially like the black and white done with the pitt pen, but not sure what a pitt pen is.

  5. What a difference the stitching makes! The first photo of the blue leaf prints I wasn’t a fan of the squares in between them but once you stitched with that orange -boom! Fantastic! Same with the eco print. Really takes it to the next level

  6. Funny thing. I started something similar last year - even a chart and everything. I began to find I could see something each day that I could go back and use in stitching in some way. I made it about 1/2 way through the year, but I had taken on too much and so the time was given to the extra gown I had offered to make.
    At any rate, I think you will find something similar with this. something to go back and discover for developing your stitching work. I haven't restarted my project, but might when it gets around the time I stopped last year.

  7. I'm amazed at how much the stitching added to your leaf. I wouldn't have thought to outline it in french knots.

  8. Linda, I have never heard of Mark Making and am so interested. Thanks for sharing your various efforts. I love what you have made and what perfect French knots. You can obviously turn your hand to many things.

    1. Thanks Jocelyn, I stumbled across several artists doing a 100 day mark making challenge and found it very intriguing.

  9. I love the fabrics you have chosen to surround the wet cyan prints. I really like your Mark Making. They do look wonderful all together. I don't like to practice. It frustrates me. I admire people who can work their way through the learning part.

  10. What interesting mark making! And I love what you did with the wet cyan prints.