Hi, this is Mary Beth. I am new here. Won't you come along for my very first post?
First of all, let me say that I joined the Sketchbook Challenge because I have always admired the blog posts and I wanted to be part of this amazing crowd. Truth be known, I consider myself a failure at keeping a sketchbook. I have so many of them all around the house and studio, half or two thirds finished, my habit is sporadic at best. But yes, I do sketch. And I thought just maybe this group would inspire me to be more disciplined with my practice. Who knew my first month would bring a life lesson?
But I digress.
Spirals - we all love them, don't we? They are a sacred symbol, typically representing evolution and life journey. I started my exploration of the spiral by playing with my flexible drafting tool, moving it into different shapes to see if I could build a spiral. I like the way it cast shadows over my paper and I traced them with a pencil.
|The Flexible guide.|
I used a marker to widen the stroke.
|Spiral widened with a marker|
Futzed around a little bit more and made spiral shapes over and over, toying briefly with the idea of coloring them in. I know these will inspire future abstract paintings, they are quite similar to some of the pieces I painted for my Shape Shifter series.
|Painting inspiration? Hmmm......|
|Pieces from my Shape Shifter series, painted last year.|
I retreated further into my brain for and started to think about the Helix shape and the fact that it is also a spiral. And the double Helix, giver of life.
|Somebody get this brain out of the way!!|
At this point I discarded my sketchbook and grabbed a wood substrate, starting to paint fast and furious. My brain moved out of the way (finally, whew.....). I painted a simple spiral over and over, then covered it with color and scratched spiral images throught the paint. As the paint started to dry I scratched harder and harder eventually grabbing my Xacto knife and literally cutting the paint away.
When I came up for air I realized that I was spiralling. Maybe out of control? Too much going on, overcommitted, you name it. The painting had been a release of sorts, for me art always is.
The next day I journaled right onto my painting and then finished it off with a gel medium technique I recently learned from Leighanna Light; that is when I got the idea to embed all the little people into the gel medium.
|6" x 6" Mixed media on wood panel, "Will you Sink or Swim" by Mary Beth Shaw|
So yes, for me too, the Spiral represents a journey. And a lesson. It also gives life and perhaps even heals. Just like Art. There is more to be explored here, I know that for sure.