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Daily Creation

I'm not really one for formal new years resolutions but this year I want to try to cure myself of one thing: I am a terrible procrastinator. I'm superb at organising drawers and desks, faffing about arranging pieces of paper and pencils, packing and repacking my drawing rucksack, all while I'm meant to be doing something else of course! I am also very good at managing to go several days without actually making a mark on a piece of paper. I've set myself daily aim to try to change my ways slightly.

I'm going to do 'something creative' in a specific sketchbook every day.

I earmarked a lovely small square Seawhite of Brighton sketchbook as the chosen one and so far, I've managed it... Well, ok, if I'm being honest I actually failed on the very first day! I justified this with the fact that spending time with family was more important, plus I knew exactly what I was going to do, had already collected the materials and completed it the very next morning!

I started very simply, some dried grasses, collected on our family walks, bundled with cotton and stuck in. They don't look like much but they remind me of how we discovered and explored a new place over the holidays as a family, it seemed an appropriate start. It was also a quick and simple 'create'.

Some days I will have more time, some days I will have barely any; the idea is not necessarily to do anything that leads to something but just to spend a few minutes drawing, stitching, making or simply displaying.

Here are the next six pages. I have been heavily influenced by Shelley Rhodes in doing this, but while she is a mixed media and textile artist I want to stick firmly to paper as the main medium.

Here's what I did:

Top left: strips of prints torn with ragged edges, attached to a roughly torn square of white paper by machine stitching in three different colours of cotton thread. Additional marks made by using the machine to 'sew' with no thread creating a line of holes.

Top middle: Thumbnail sketches of Chobham Common drawn en plein air in water colour paint and water soluble crayons.

Top right: Six little squares of paper were cut and small pieces of ripped print stuck to them, washi tape was added and then squares of yellow machine stitching added.

Bottom left: En plein air sketch of Swinley Forest completed in ink with a home made dip nib, water soluble crayon, water soluble graphite and fineliner pen.

Bottom middle: Two squares of paper covered in torn prints and washi tape, framed in machine stitching.

Bottom right: three bundles of layered photo-copies of marks made on a variety of surfaces using a variety of mediums, all themed around lines. Fastened using staples.

I am really enjoying the variety that is appearing in the book and I am discovering new ways of using old prints and presenting little images. The power of multiples and a little series of unique but related images is fascinating.

I have always enjoyed sewing, though profess no particular expert knowledge other than what I was taught at school and have gained through my own experimentation. The addition of stitch to paper is rather fascinating. I like the texture it adds, and beside the ripped edges of paper it provides a contrasting uniformity and the feeling of something added rather than something removed. I also like the pop of colour that it can provide.

In these two pages orange thread provides a little burst of contrasting colour.

So far I am really enjoying the freedom to do something completely different from my other work, and it is giving me ideas for more formal work that I may create and possibly offer for sale.

If you'd like to see all the daily creates together I am popping them in my 'stories' on Instagram with a specific highlight where you can see them all together.

I'm rather proud that I'm one month in and already I have generated some new ideas from this. I have made valentines cards using torn up prints and stitch (these are available on my website) and am considering framing some of bundles of prints to see what they look like when presented in a box frame.

This is certainly proving to be an interesting exercise, and it's also a rather enjoyable few minutes every day!

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