It’s All in Your Head.

It’s All in Your Head.

It’s All in Your Head. But it starts in your heart, out of a desire. Or at least, that is where it should start if you want to maintain the creative movement to keep your artistic vision going.

A New Project

This new project starts with a heart break, but I aim to end it with hope. It’s not an assignment that is easy said and done. It will take time. Time takes commitment, and commitment takes endurance.

Somehow I am revisiting my butterfly dreams. I am also drawing from my time as a pediatric nurse now that our family is touched by childhood cancer.

My project is in honor of N. and the hospital where she is being treated. I am creating the art of yellow butterflies. The color reflecting the golden ribbons signifying childhood cancer. The artwork will be made into cards that will be sold with a portion of the proceeds going to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis.

Once something is firmly planted in my heart it must go to my head as I journey through the creative process.

From My Heart into My Head

Photo by Squeezyboy

My next step is to discern how to render the butterflies. I let myself mull over this project for a month, picking out photos of yellow butterflies, considering the medium and method.

The first photo is printed out. I have tentatively decided on pen and ink with a watercolor wash. Pen and ink because of the delicate detail. Watercolor wash in keeping with my current medium of choice. My other option was prismacolor pencil which is labor intensive. I plan to do six renderings, so pen and ink with a watercolor wash is the quickest route.

Shifting

But first I practiced making sure I am getting the results I want. That led me to realize I need to abandon the decision to use ink in favor of colored pencil. I know I will be able to get the results I want using colored pencils. My attempt at ink and watercolor wash gave me unsatisfactory results. (So I shift!)

The drawings will take a significant amount of time. I will work on a 9 x 6 size paper because the finished product will be cards and notecards. That size gives me a border around the edge and the right proportions for my cards. When I was taking drawing classes at the university, I learned how to figure out drawing time.  For this size of drawing, each one will take me about eight to ten hours. This project will be ongoing  for months.

Through My Hands on to the Paper

All the work I have done so far is all in my head, my hands haven’t even touched the paper yet. But it is an important part of the creative or design process; a prompt, a plan, the details, then the actual work.

Rendering is slow and detailed as opposed to fast and loose sketching. There is a place for both, but for this project the process will be more meditative. Drawing is a good time to pray, to pray over the artwork, but also in this case, to pray over N. and the family.

Starting

I start by choosing and cutting the paper. I decide on the expensive 100% cotton paper I purchased a few years back that sits in a drawer waiting to become something wonderful. Prismacolor pencils are always my colored pencil of choice.

I draw the basic shape of the butterfly out lightly. But I erase the pencil lines as I begin to use the colored pencils in an area. I will work from the top left-hand side of the paper, down to the bottom right. This keeps me from smearing the drawing with my hand.

Finishing

Once I finish the artwork, it will be scanned and cleaned up in PhotoShop. I lay out cards in InDesign. Next the cards will be printed on Linen paper and packaged.

The finished cards are photographed and/or put into mockups. I write a product description and then I am ready to list the new work on my website shop and Etsy.

That is what it takes to go from my heart to my head to my hands to make cards available to sell so that I can donate to the hospital.

It is a labor of love. 

Since I am getting ready to leave on a trip and getting ready for an in-person arts and craft show, I do not have any art to show you from this project at the moment. I am sharing a butterfly I rendered a few years back. Once it’s finished, I will first share my new art in my newsletter…

If you sign up for my Newsletter Blog you will get to see the results. The Opt-in form is at the upper righthand corner of this blog.

Thank you for being a part of my art journey. And as always, Be Inspired!

Ruth

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