Sunday, June 19, 2011

More Pathways

I've been pretty inspired by this month's theme of PATHWAYS for The Sketchbook Challenge. I think it's partly because anything with lines reminds me of pathways and I guess I like to use lines a lot. The page above doesn't use lines, but was instead inspired by a quote. (Another thing I like to use a lot.) I had so much fun with my experiments to paint with gouache that I wanted to try more of that. I also wanted to try lettering with gouache instead of a marker.

That's the nice thing about a sketchbook...having a place to experiment.

It's also a place to just let loose and have a little fun.

In the last post, I mentioned some little art books that I picked up at a local book sale. One was a book about Ernst Nay, a German abstract painter who I was not familiar with. You can read a little bit about him here. I can't read the book since it's written in German but I can admire the pictures. I really like his abstract paintings that use intersecting black lines and round shapes between the lines. (If you scroll down to the photos of the books in the last post you can see an example on the cover of the book about him.) Since lines remind me of pathways, I thought I would attempt my own abstract painting inspired by Nay in my sketchbook.

Of course he probably used oil paint on canvas and I'm using gouache in my sketchbook. I couldn't resist adding my favorite stripes and dots here and there. I especially enjoyed making the gray stripes.

What I really about abstracts is that you can crop in and create a new composition using a smaller piece of the whole.

I'd like to point out that before creating the pages above, I had never even opened the tube of black gouache that came in my starter set of five colors. Everything black in the sketchbook was done with markers and everything painted with gouache was done by mixing three primary colors and white.

See the lonely unused tube of black there? I took a painting class once and the instructor told us we should NEVER use black paint. He said it was better to mix your own black and gray by combining other colors. (Then why the heck do they make black paint???) I don't think that's the reason why I didn't use the black gouache. I think it's more about liking bright colors and not being very sophisticated at color mixing. I don't really consider what I do with paint as "painting" most of the time anyway. I think of it as just adding color to something. I don't believe there are any rules in art and I don't like when people say you should NEVER do something this way or you should ALWAYS do something that way.

Boy did it feel good to use that black gouache straight out of the tube! Another first in Pilgrim and another first for me on my little artistic pilgrimage.

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