Monday, September 5, 2011

The Sketchbook Challenge: Unfurled

I've had a busy weekend with news last week that a wonderful arts organization in the Cedar Valley are interested in hosting some of workshops. If you're in or around the Cedar Rapids or Cedar Falls areas, and are interested in workshops and classes then watch this space.  I've also been busy putting together several free tutorials which I'll be posting in the next few weeks. 

In the meantime, one of my favorite projects, The Sketchbook Challenge has moved onto it's September theme..."Unfurling".  This is a wonderfully 'interpretive' theme that leaves the participants open to so many possibilities. Kelli Nina Perkins has offered the participants some insights into wonderful ways to interpret this theme.

With summer very quickly drawing to a close here in the mid-west, and with this theme in mind, I wanted to capture the last remnants of what has been a blazing summer.  As I looked around my garden I saw flowers  wilting and turning brown from endless days of sunshine; trees turning gold in anticipation of Autumn's coming glory; and crops heavy with their yield, waiting for the harvest. In the Southern Hemisphere, my home, I can picture the world waking up from a long winters sleep. Life unfurling into a new season, opening up with possibility in anticipation of warmer days ahead.

As Kelli says, everything around us is in motion, unfurling, taking new forms, preparing for new days.  As artists our creative lives are changing in the same ways, evolving into new forms of expression, new realizations of inspiration, and new depths of courage. Our creative selves unfurl as we step into these new experiences and shed our protective layers, thereby exposing ourselves to the unknown and stepping closer to the lives we really want.

In the meantime, I find myself clinging to every last remnant of the lazy days of summer, soaking up the cool late summer evenings, watching the monarch butterflies slowly take flight to warmer places, and listening to the song of the crickets heralding the end of summer's brilliant song. So, I captured this flower, sun warmed and old, ready to drop its petals and shed it's pollen.  The colors still strong but slowly fading in tune with the waning warmth. For this I used my W&N watercolors in my Strathmore watercolor journal. Black Micron pen and white and silver jelly roll.

"What we think, we become. What we think upon grows." 

I imagine that this theme is going to be quite the journey as I explore what 'unfurling' means to me as an artist. 

Thanks for checking in. xx