Friday, October 12, 2012

Cabinet of Curiosities as a Format

Jane Davies here.  I have been working on expanding my visual vocabulary, experimenting with materials and approaches that feel awkward, seeing how far I can push variety and disparity in compositions.  In that spirit, here is a fun exercise to try:
  1. Divide a page of your sketchbook or on loose cheap drawing paper into a grid of more-or-less equal sections.
  2. In each section, paint, draw, collage, or otherwise make a mark.  Each one must be as different from the others as possible.  
  3. Go back into your grid of Curiosities, and add something to each square.  Try, again, not to unify the pieces, but keep them as different as possible.

Original Cabinet of Curiosities #1

Curiosities #1 with added marks

Curiosities #2
Curiosities #3

Curiosities #4

Try not to paint, collage, and draw quite as fast as I do in the video....


  1. This is a fantastic exercise, and looks so good for freeing up the process of experimenting and free drawing, etc. will be trying that as soon as poss. Thank you for the generous sharing. There used to be a lot of talk and many articles about speed reading, but speed art is a good one - I liked your note about the video, and enjoyed it.

  2. How clever and fun too! Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Great excersize for loosing up too, something that comes with lots of practice! Thanks for a great post

  4. Thanks! Glad you liked it. Very fun - and challenging - to make things as different as possible. We try so hard to make "unified" compositions, but trying the opposite really sheds light on how little it takes to create unity.


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