Here’s the Art Journal Secret of the day: You can’t money your way to creativity.
There are lots of people out there on the fringes of the art journaling community who want to sell you stuff to “help” you be more creative. They want you to believe that you’d be another Picasso (or Matisse, or Wyeth or Rockwell…whatever your poison) if only you had the right tool: the right set of applicators, the right collection of pencils, the right squirter of wax or glue or paint.
And actually, the opposite is true. Beware any endeavor that requires a new set of clothes, Henry David Thoreau warned. By the same token, Beware any art that requires an expensive new thingy.
The true sign of a poseur is the high cost of their tools. The cheaper the materials, the more authentic the art. And the purest cost of artistic genius is: Free.
So I’m back to the old Home Depot for the paint chip freebies. Those wonderful brochures that paint companies put out to get you to buy their gloss and semi-gloss paints have superb art direction and excellent copy (short, to-the-point text that evokes your deepest desire for color and mood) — and are so inspiring.
Consider what they do for Brown. Brown: the least interesting color of the spectrum. Brown: the synonym for boring. Brown: the last color I would paint on my walls.
Except if Brown is called Bread Basket, or Terrazzo Tan, or Belgian Chocolate, or Pony Tail. That’s the kind of Brown that I could live with!
Those people at Lowe’s are geniuses. They have made Brown luscious.
And (above), here’s Brown acting like Cider Toddy, Fragrant Cloves, Brick Dust, Brass Mesh, and Sauteed Mushroom. That’s the kind of Brown I want to wrap around me in silk sheets and have for breakfast.
So, you might ask, What’s in a name? Everything: a Brown by any other name would be Crud. And I should know:
Yes, this illustration (page 38 in my book, When Wanderers Cease to Roam) is my interpretation of March as a paint chip brochure. Only, of course, I made an anti-paint chip brochure (in that I used the worst names for Brown that I could think of); it seemed funnier that way.
Either as a way to fuse some lovely words and associations (two or three word poems, really) with beautiful shades of color that you have deconstructed from a scene of your choosing (a landscape, a memory, a still life, a Summer Day, etc. – see Lesson Twelve-teenth [ie: in the future of this blog]) ; OR as a way to list a series of words that are evocative or funny or descriptive (see: March Mudness, above)…Paint Chip Pages are a very useful and thought-provoking and viewer-friendly way to give your art journal a change of pace.
And as far as materials go, they couldn’t be simpler to make. Which is the truest proof of their invaluablility.
I’m writing this on Thursday night, feeling like I want to celebrate; in fact, I think that from now on, every Thursday night will be a holiday in VivianWorld. It will be the TGITetc. Holiday: Thank God It’s Thursday And I Don’t Have To Go To A Do-Gooder Meeting With People Who Make Me Want To Be A Do-Badder.
I havn’t resigned yet from the group [that I told you about in my last post], but I plan to do it shortly. As soon as I finish writing a memo, which I will email to each of the group members with my resignation note, that I think will be extremely helpful to the ladies: How To Tell Your Ass From Your Elbow.
Here’s a peek of my first Helpful Hint from How To Tell Your Ass From Your Elbow:
Elbows are pointy. And that immovable, self-centered round mound of wind-baggery blubber thing that you’re sitting on while you yak about “empowerment”? That’s your ass.
P.S. That memo? About How To Tell Your Ass From Your Elbow? That’s a joke, friends. ha ha. I’m not really going to email it to my nemeses.
Although the world could use some pointers.