Friday, March 23, 2012

watercolors and gouache in stillman and birn 'gamma' sketchbook

i've got a gorgeous 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" stillman and birn 'gamma' sketchbook and i'm determined to get used to the bigger page size! i've been a 4" x 6" sketchbook person for years, but i think that working on a bigger page has things to teach me, and i want to learn...

collage, watercolors, gouache, casein paint, pencil & colored pencil

basically i've done a lot of covering up (and even some tearing out). when all else fails you can always fall back on that. the left page initially had a face on it, and on the right page there was a sort of deer creature with a bird on its back. they did not make my eyes smile!

then i thought i'd turn the book sideways and more or less divide each page in half - i thought i might be able to handle that, and i thought it looked great in kim's book here, but i didn't like that i had to turn the book sideways to look through it!

more of a sort of 'gridness'...

'violet' ~ watercolors, pencil & colored pencil

as i sat there wringing my hands over my dilemma, my dh suggested drawing a 4" x 6" rectangle on the page and working in that. jeez! did i have to stoop to that to fool my mind or eye or whatever it was that was struggling with this?! ha! i guess so!

'gentle people' ~ watercolors & pencil

so i did, and it was alright... but just so... linear.

watercolors, .25 rapidosketch pen, colored pencil & pencil

it's been a few days since the 'gentle people' and i guess you might say that i just surrendered to the whole thing; it's not seeming like such a big deal any more. i've done some writing and doodling and i enjoyed the fact that there was more room on the page...

the page above is the one i'm working on today. i feel comfortable with it so far. i have no idea where it's going but it's not freaking me out that the page is so big and that i don't have a visual idea of where to go next. i'm beginning (i think) to feel the potential of a larger surface.

i've also been painting some faces on cardboard... tina lorene (right) is done, but not evelyn...

* * *

At the beginning of a new notebook I copy a quote from Simone Weil, which captures me completely: “Don’t insist on understanding new things, but try with your whole self, with patience, effort and method, to comprehend obvious truths.”

This quote conducts a polemic with the ceaseless, barbaric pursuit of novelty and disdain for obvious, primary truths.

And so all my notes, all these snail’s traces, are the realization of Simone’s one thought. I won’t and can’t discover anything, I want only with my whole self to reach the heart of obvious truths.

Anna Kamienska, from her Notebooks via tumblr


  1. well what a delicious post, with so many treats for the eye. and I love the story of process. I like your gentle way of saying things "did not make my eyes smile". I'm going to borrow that!

    and I totally identify with the shock of moving from small to larger surfaces. I started my visual art with 5x7" cards and felt the awkwardness of larger spaces.

    I liked your story of how you moved from your unease with the large space to letting that go, rather than brooding and fussing over it as some of us (me) might do!

  2. Hi Lynne,
    Your first picture made me think of the letter b(this page is brought to you by the letter b!)-bird, blue, balloon, and then as I read your words-big! It is interesting to read of your process of grappling with change. I like what you have shared, very interesting and beautiful pages. I also love the cardboard faces-it is good painting on cardboard-such a lovely texture and colour.
    Yesterday at work we had a clearout and a packing day for our move, and two lovely blank paged books-both quite big, turned up and had apparently been there for years. The paper is a bit glossy so I think it would be lovely for pen drawing. Anyway, I nabbed them! Something else-I was reading art journalling, and one of the writers described how she gessoed pages, shut them for a short time and then opened them, incorporating the tears and holes into her work-I like that idea and when you said your pages were very linear it made me wonder if you could try that for a random start!

  3. I love this post - your honesty helps me be okay with all my silly struggles! I love the bird (1st photo) and how the larger format is taking you out of your comfort zone . . .
    I will soon start in the 4x6 S&B - and I'm not sure I can work that small - we should just trade journals lol

  4. well dear heart -
    DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH LOVE YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE. I read the comments here from your friends and each one's heart beat comes through in the words they use to express how much they appreciate what you do. I have to agree with the size issue. My cloth is smaller then most folks and when I think bigger i get startled by my thoughts...panic and sweat soon follows and i put the piece aside thinking - another day perhaps. that's why my fascicles are the size - "hand book" size. And, i saw that little acorn flower and a smile came to me as though i knew a secret! each one of your images make me want to write a poem. find knew words for what i see and then tie them to balloons and set them free so everyone could share in the vision you bring. what joy to have such a bounty for my weekend to return to over and over again - and where did i put my graphite pencil. love to the acorn flower - xxx ani

  5. Hi lil'ol red horned devil.

    Your gentle people are lovely. I think its normal that we tend towards something, a certain size journal, a pen, a tactile connection to certain paper or anything.

    Was pissed at Tumblr yest for shutting me out till i read and "agreed" to all their new terms late yest. I hate bullshit Jargon. So they can sell my info and i "agree" or can't come play. What the ...

    I almost deleted my acct. haven't decided yet .

    eXO blessings to you and your art.

  6. I love working on large much freedom with it! Your art here is earthy and also old worldly in some places...what a nice combination. My favorite will always be those familiar Lynne Hoppe faces. : )

    Have a great weekend Lynne!

  7. So much lusciousness here again. (All I had was that silly turkey in a tree! Haha!)

    Your work shines, no matter what size you work in, but I'm always amazed at how *big* your small paintings seem. I've noticed (or am I imagining it?) that your faces look happier when they are floating, and not confined to a box. 'violet' looks a bit concerned. :0)

  8. what a wonderful place you find yourself in, 'the place of discomfort', the push zone where new ways and ideas come from - go girl! xo

  9. Lynn! I really enjoyed reading this post. It reminded me how, years ago, I went from my small (really small) watercolors to big and eventually to much bigger canvasses and acrylics. It was terrifying but so exciting and fulfilling.
    xoxoxo C.

  10. Oh what a wonderful post Lynne. I love hearing about the parts of the creative process that both sets us on fire or the latter, creates a sense of distress until we find our comfort zone within that which is new. All of the snippets and art made me smile and want to look a little more closely. I have no doubt you'll continue to stretch yourself out across these bigger pages and I will enjoy the view from here as you do so. It really is a very good view

  11. It takes courage to move out of ones comfort zone.
    You have captured my curiosity.

  12. tina is under wax i think?
    i love your work.

    that is all, as i am tired.


  13. Hi, Lynne - It seems like I switch up the size with every new drawing book, and it is disorienting every time, but I do it anyway. Change is good (?). Your drawings captivate me, always - I love the striped balloon bird who reminds me that spring is on the way. love, sus

  14. <3 sooo lovely work ! poetic, delicate

  15. Darn I love these, sideways or not! Wish I was there to see in person! You always make me want to play in my journals!

  16. Oh here we are on a new journey..New journey held by a string and a ballon to carry you into new land..Open fields..
    Let us all Fly.

  17. sheesh, i know the feeling about working BIG I thought I was going to have heart failure when my new gallery owner asked for a 22 x 24 piece...
    finally i just decided that if I didn't like it I could start over... so i started randomly gluing painted papers down ... unconcerned about how it looked and before I knew it, it all came together... now i just trick myself like that...
    ps love pedro and rose xoxox

  18. It's funny how we lock into a size and find everything else challenging. I tend to paint big and am having a terrible time trying to do small postcard size sketches--there's no room. I think your faces look lovely with lots of negative space around them--it just adds to the delicacy. so maybe you don't need to fill those "big" pages?

  19. Your blog looks great. It's so clean and uncluttered with nice side bits (like the Warhol note).

    I've been out from surgery. I would love to spruce up my blogs. This is motivating.

  20. Lots of lovely goodies to feast upon as always. Really love your floating bird picture. I would love to float above the Earth and soak up all the beauty beneath. Thankyou for sharing.
    Marg, ox

  21. There was so much to see and ponderon this post, I couldn't even tell when you moved on to a new subject or new post - it was all good! I dream of living in a place where I can gather fallen manzenita leaves and make them beautiful with colors they've never worn before!! /And Eucalyptus leaves! I sometimes buy a big bunch of those at the grocery store and arrange them all over the house. I tried to do some dying with them, but nothing much happened - but I know if I lived where they actually fell from the tree I would be able to beautilate them amazingly!
    I love every thing to come up with! I was making some pillowcases from an old white sheet and I suddenly thought! Lynn would turn this nice sturdy but soft fabric into book pages, so I quit making pillowcases and started thinking little books!