Back in 2010 I gave my second ever presentation as an artist-speaker, called Daily Practices for Artists, looking at the tremendous value they have for our creativity and our “real” work, the forms they can take, how to figure out one that is both appealing and suits your circumstances.
So recently I decided to take my own advice (haha)... again.
I revived an old, not-quite-daily practice from 2009, my Colour Diary. Over the course of ~100 installments, I mixed and painted maybe 1,000 or more colours, into stripes of various widths.
The original project evolved over time, and ultimately changed me. I never looked at colour the same way again. I was never as limited in my colour thinking (or colour experience) as I was before the Colour Diary.
Each page was improvised. I would begin with a starting point – one day it was the colour of the peanut butter I’d looked at over breakfast – and then respond.
They also became composed paintings in that I would not work left to right, I would decide on a position and width (they were always vertical stripes on a horizontal piece of water-colour paper, of identical size each time), and both respond to the colours already mixed and applied and to the relative sizes and positions.
Occasionally I would play specific formal colour games, whether out of curiosity or because I didn’t feel inventive enough that day.
Coming back to the New Colour Diary (or Covid Colour Diary), it was an appealing idea to return to it, to play almost entirely with colour again.
Life has been very demanding, between the pandemic situation, the resulting overhaul of our (my husband’s and my) business(es), family medical crises, personal health issues and on and on.
All of that has made time for studio practice difficult and irregular, but it is essential to my well-being, never mind my professional practice! A bite-sized daily practice is exactly what circumstances demanded.
My first change to the original project was to make it digital, so it would be a manageable time commitment for me. Then as soon as I thought that, I knew I wanted to give it a dedicated Instagram account, to share it with the world, or at least that tiny part of the world that either knows or stumbles across me.
So that is where you will find me, posting these little colour meditations, every day whenever possible. My first goal is 100 days, as in #100daysofcolour, and then we’ll see after that.
You can visit it here (even without an Instagram account):
Just click on an image to see it larger.
If you have any trouble viewing it there, I have a Flickr album as well, though I do not update it daily:
I hope you will check it out, and that you’ll enjoy it!