Experiments: A Guest Post by Samantha Kira Harding
Lately, I’ve been playing around, experimenting with materials on-hand and new ones I’ve become interested in. My desk quickly became littered with small pieces of bristol paper, each the outcome of a particular idea I needed to test out — what if I used these colors together? What if I used glue on a stamp? What if I added water?
It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down with the express task of experimenting with materials; I’ve been painting and journaling for years, and have, in the last year, fallen into a pattern of using my favorite bits to create the paintings and journal pages I love. I know how these work, how they’ll react with water, how the colors mix together, how they layer over collaged papers. It’s comfortable and enjoyable, but no longer filled with the same sense of play that marked the first few years of my artistic endeavors.
These inks, that I’ve been playing with, are foreign. I don’t know much more about them than stamping — apply ink, press stamp to paper — so all I can do is play around. And while my journal is a place for play, working on smaller papers is easier when looking to achieve a specific result.
My studio has become a laboratory, full of experiments and laughter. I feel rejuvenated, as though a new depth has been discovered in my creative well. I’ve created a journal to document my new discoveries, full of notes — and failures. There’s just as much to learn from those times things don’t work out as when things do.
More than that, by documenting my journey, I can pass on what I learn more easily; I never approached learned acrylics or my favorite watercolor crayons in this way, which makes me wonder: is it time to stretch my knowledge on those supplies I thought I knew so well?
Treating your art time as play, as experiments, takes the pressure off. You’re not creating journal pages or paintings — you’re playing. These aren’t finished pieces, they’re rest stops on your journey, those charming pieces of Americana children beg their parents to see when on long road trips. Who are you to deny that child inside? And while you’re at it, take some photos — you never know when you’ll need those notes for a bigger piece...or that journal page you’re creating just for you.
,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸-(About The Author)-,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸
Samantha Kira is an art journaler, artist, and writer living outside Chicago in a charming green studio. She’s been published and featured in magazines, teaches workshops both online and at cute scrapbooking shops, and has never lost that love of play....
...Why, just last night, she was blowing bubbles into her drink. Thankfully, it was just a glass of water. Her home on the web is http://www.journalgirl.com, where you can find links to her shoppe, Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, & Ustream channel.