Friday, October 22, 2010

Exorcising the Gremlins

On the Hunt
3.5 x 8.5
Handbook Watercolor Journal
Ink, watercolor & gouache
The gremlins are running amok in my life. They've gotten into my video equipment, the sound equipment, software, online services, my email account and things I've mailed through the USPO.....just to name a few areas where they're having a jolly fine time wreaking havoc! I'm not sure if they're stirred up because of the full moon or if the axis of the earth is off by some slight millisecond or it's just my turn. Whatever it is, I'm more than tired of it and ready for some semblance of what passes for normal around here.

The image above (assuming Blogger loads it as it seems to have had its fair share of gremlins, too) is one based in symbolism. The colors, the design, the items represented in the piece all have special meaning to me. Someone else looking at it may wonder what the point of the art was, but when I look back at this page, I'll know. No words need to be written on the page.

Using symbols in our work to represent things we don't want to give voice to or any more importance than it already has, is a wonderful way of getting them onto the page and out of our heads. Now that I've put the gremlins on notice, I hope they go back to wherever they came from!

Update on the Handbook Watercolor Journal....if you look at the very top of the page and along the left side, you will note dark and light splotches in the pigment. This was caused by very uneven sizing. Sloppy, really. Luckily, the paint grabbed darkest at the top of the page and is suggestive of sky with clouds in front of it. The side splotches just look like a bad wash job!

Since I don't often do full page washes, I'm not overly concerned with it; however, because of this and a few other things I've noted along the way, I would only recommend this book from a standpoint of pure experimentation and play or to test the long format. It is unfortunate too, as this book will not become a staple sketchbook in my world because I do like the format very much. I think it would be better to make my own, with paper I prefer than live with the unpredictability of when and where uneven sizing may show up.

28 comments:

  1. Oh my...When you said it was a bad week you weren't kidding. Hopefully its now on paper & gone for good & todays mail will show it too. :) Love the sketch. Very fitting. Its to small to really see but there seems to be some detail on the bird itself that are interesting. Now onto some happy work and new normals. :))

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  2. I just did a page in my journal yesterday (almost did pears - glad I didn't) and I knew the paper wasn't the best for it but I did it anyhow. I'd used drawing paper and others all mixed up in my journal to try them out but I think I will stick with just one or two papers to a journal from now on. I'm finding it hard to fill this one as most of it can't take the watercolor. Paper is really important.

    Your painting looks great. I love the format for this one and the splotches wouldn't have been noticed except for your warning. I would sure hate to be surprised by this myself especially as I am not an expert (by a long shot)in the use of watercolors so would have a hard time dealing with the problem. I really like the fine lines of the twigs as compared to the solid bulk of the crow.

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  3. I like the composition of the parts of this painting very much. It flows for me. The colors too...sorry the paper isn't working out well for you.
    And as for those previously mentioned gremlins, could it be you have a virus?

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  4. Sounds a little spooky! Maybe you captured the gremlins' spirit in this painting and they will leave you in peace :)

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  5. Based on what you said last time about this paper I made half a decision not to get it but I find the size so intriguing. Now, after your latest thoughts I decided to make a journal of this size with ARches. Thanks for sharing your information.

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  6. I'll bet it is just your turn, Laure! I had it a while back, it's like a bad cold going around! Love your thoughts on exorcism, though. I've actually done things and BURNED them when I really really needed to get rid of them.

    Thanks for the heads up on the paper...I'm soooo spoiled with my handmade things.

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  7. Thanks, Cris, this too shall pass.

    Thank you, Timaree! You could handle it if you were to get splotches, but it's not much fun when you know you don't have to have them.

    Thanks, Lynn. Virus? No. Too many separate systems involved that don't interact with one another. Thanks for the thought.

    I hope so, Jacqueline, they've overstayed their welcome!

    Teri, I think that's a brilliant idea. I just don't see spending the money on one of these books just for the size. I'll be making my own after this one is complete.

    Hmmmm, fire?! I like that. Scorch the little devils! I don't think you'd be happy at all with this paper, Kate. Not after having what you do like!

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  8. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like it, Laure! I've actually had a few Moleskines and HandBooks given to me, and never have even started one because I just didn't like the feel of the paper. I like to finish a journal I start and I don't need the frustration!

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  9. Hi Laure, I hope things are going better! I think the gremlins have been dipping into my area as well. :(

    My experience is that when they're exorcised, things then run smoothly for a good long while. Hooray!

    Intriguing and well-done painting! I love symbolism and the hidden story and meaning behind images. This doesn't show up in my nature journals too often, usually other works.

    I especially like the delicate tracery of branches, and the way the lines are transformed and echoed in the bird.

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  10. And yet, despite all the gremlins, you carry on! I hope next week is much, much better, and that you can enjoy a relaxing weekend. I don't think I would have noticed the issues with the paper if you hadn't mentioned them, but perhaps they are more noticeable in person? I still think the painting is interesting and beautiful, though.

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  11. Hmmm, Kate, are you spoiled?!!! (I feel the same way about the Moleskines—definitely not for me). And who needs the frustration ANYWAY???

    Oh, Elizabeth, I so hope you're right! I don't often need to use symbols, but I really didn't want to give anymore importance to the week than it already has.

    Thanks, KJ! Yes, I've persevered....not much choice otherwise, is there? Don't want the little buggers to win! The spots are a bit more noticeable in person. I took this as a warning that other pages could be like this. Or even worse.

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  12. I love this beautiful watercolor!!!
    I can not work so well in sketchbooks
    Maybe a little tricky but I prefer to work on stretched paper.

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  13. You bet I am, Laure! Mind you, I've got a wide range of papers I DO like, but they're all art papers, not pre-decided for me. Same reason I don't care for watercolor sets--I like to pick my own colors. I experiment and try new ones, but there are some must-haves!

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  14. Thank you, Suzanne! I'm too impatient to stretch paper, but sometimes sketchbooks make me think I need to try it.

    I hear you Ms. Kate...I'm the same way. However, my experimental side gets the better of me every now and again, and I just have to try it! LOL!

    Then I slink back to my favs!

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  15. Yep! Often someone will send me some paper to try, and I do--may find a new fave, may not. I add a new watercolor to my repertoire, too (I like Kremer watercolors for some things, by the way!) but I've got about 8 I really depend on. Everything else is gravy.

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  16. This too will pass, Laure. Hang in there. Also I must say thank-you because it was your classes that got me started on making my own journals. I suspect I will be making more and more .... but I like to experiment with new things, too ... I think I've pretty much given up on Moleskines although at one time I liked them. Just got a new old book that describes how to make hard journal covers and I can't wait to try it. I must say that I still prefer a spiral or ring format because I like my pages to lie flat or fold back.

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  17. I like this, even though I'm not a fan of "raven painting". It gives good representation of harvest time and full moons. I do like the way it turned out.

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  18. I hope the gremlins leave you alone soon!

    This page certainly speaks "Fall" and the spirits of "Halloween"!!

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  19. Thanks, Donna, I know it will! Glad to know I provided some inspiration!

    Thank you, Katie!

    I hope so too, Claire! Enough I say.

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  20. A fine homage to the full moon of this time of year.

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  21. Haha! The blinkin' gremlins have been at me this week, too. My Mac, which isn't supposed to even get viruses, had 6..., my internet connection, usually great, is worse than dial-up, I can't paint a background to save my life! Hmmm, it's either the gremlins or the full moon. I love your crow/raven...one of my favorite subject matters. I painted something very similair a while back. I think it's on my blog...?

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  22. That's stunning - I agree that it needs no words although Edgar Allen Poe springs to mind!

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  23. ....love this one, Laure, but you probably already knew that! It's perfect for Halloween too..... (I don't know if you knew this or not, but....the Common Raven is a perfect symbol for your frustration with the messes the gremlins have caused because they are primarily scavengers. They hunt out "messes" and clean them up. Yeah--I LOVE your symbolism.)

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  24. I've heard quite a few comments on the drawbacks of Handbook journals. Thanks for the heads up. Will keep that in mind.

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  25. What a beautiful painting and composition of my favorite muse!

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  26. Thanks for stopping by, Tahirih!

    Thank you, Gillian!

    Yes, I'm familiar with the ravens. Unfortunately, it's going to take more than ravens to get this mess cleaned up.

    You might want to sidestep them, T, don't quite think they're worth the money.

    Thanks, Lolo!

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  27. Lovely piece! I really admire your skill with watercolour. It's a medium I haven't mastered myself (yet!)

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  28. Thank you, Jenny! You'll get there!

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