Journal Friday #116: Change It Up


For today’s Journal Friday, I wanted to do something a little different — something to change things up a bit. I began by limiting my materials to just water-soluble graphite, some pens, and a little collage. I then decided to use marks, lines, and shapes that I don’t use all that often. It’s good to try new and different things, especially when things seem a bit stagnant and stale.

I’m not 100% happy with the results, but that’s the nice thing about art. There are always more art to make!

Journal Friday #115: Where I'm Going


So, once again I’m late in posting my latest Journal Friday. I created the video on Friday, and posted it to social media, but I didn’t have time to make a blog post. But here' it is now. My schedule has gotten a little less hectic, so hopefully, I’ll be better about posting Journal Friday on Fridays, and also posting more content in general on the blog.

But this spread uses my typical arsenal of materials — watercolor, Inktense pencils, pen, collage, and paint marker. But I wanted to do something a little different this time, so I incorporated some observational drawing into it. I created a continuous contour drawing of myself from a photograph. With this technique, I didn’t lift my pen as I drew, so the idea is that it’s drawn in one continuous line. I did forget to draw a small portion at first, so I had to go back and add an eyebrow. I tried to put the pen down where I had picked it up at last.

Though this spread doesn’t have any words or journaling, a phrase kept going through my head from a song lyric by hip-hop artist Sage Francis. In his song Runaways from the album Personal Journals, Sage asks, “If I don’t know where I come from, how do I know where to go?” Though not explicit in the final outcome, I love how it informs the work.

Journal Friday #109: Layers of Memories


Journal Friday has been on hiatus for the past couple of weeks — first, because of getting ready for the Western Loudoun Artists Studio Tour that I participated in the weekend of June 1st and 2nd, and then last week, I was on vacation and didn’t have time to post anything.

I’m back now with a new time-lapse video, and the spread is all about something that has been floating around in my mind for the past couple of weeks.

I’ve been feeling a bit lost with my art lately — feeling like I didn’t have a direction, like I was floating a bit aimlessly, but during my vacation, I had a bit of an epiphany. Travel for me is always cathartic, and my wife and I spent a whirlwind of a week in England seeing a lot of different things. But what struck me the most was the history. I remember the same feeling 25 years ago when I first visited England, and I felt it even stronger this time, especially with how it relates to my art. As we went place to place in England — from York to Alnwick, from London to the Cotswold, from Bath to Alton, there’s a real sense of history, and I came to really understand how places and people are both a culmination of experiences and memories, and as time goes by, different structures are imposed on top of one another. Much gets buried and covered up, but it’s still there influencing the character of the place to the person. People and places are an amalgamation of experiences, ideas, people, events, memories, thoughts, and so much more.

So I began to explore those ideas in this weeks Journal Friday spread. I haven’t come to any steadfast conclusions, but I am looking forward to exploring the ideas in my journal and in my art

Journal Friday 108: Manifest

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been feeling a bit stuck lately, and today’s Journal Friday spread for my latest time-lapse video was all about this feeling. I began by layering a few different watercolor techniques to create a background, and then I divided the space with ink and water-soluble pencil. At that point, I decided to do a bit of writing, and focused on my feelings of uncertainty. I chose some words and phrases from the writing that seemed to have some punch to them, and I wrote them down the left side of the spread. All the while the word “manifest” was going through my head, so I decided to stencil it in the middle of the spread.

I’m not completely happy with the spread, and I would love to build up more contrast around the word “manifest”, as well as, add some embellishments, but one of the challenges with these time-lapse videos is keeping them to a minute in length. Both Instagram and Twitter only accept minute-long videos, and I want to be able to share them across platforms. So there is a unique challenge in confining them to that length. In real time, I spent about two and a half hours on this spread, and it’s interesting to see what develops in that time.

I hope that you enjoy!

Journal Friday #107: Spheres of Influence

I completely forgot to share last week’s Journal Friday time-lapse video. I approached this spread a bit differently, and stuck to some map like imagery as I built up layers. As I began it, I didn’t have a plan, but I quickly decided to not use any really recognizable objects like faces. I also decided not to use any collage and stuck with watercolor, water-soluble pencil and paint markers.

As I worked on the spread a theme of boundaries and borders came to mind, and I focused on creating a variety of lines, shapes, and symbols that signified a variety of ways that we separate ourselves from others. I decided to not use any words as well, and left it completely symbolic.