So, I spent a month travelling and collecting inspiration. It was amazing. Now… what do I do with it? How does everything new that I’ve seen and experienced translate into new art?
I don’t know yet. It’s always a question… how to take the thoughts and feelings of who I am at this moment, and make it visible into a body of work. And it’s going to have to be a decent size body of work, because I’ve got a show lined up for October, and I have a gallery to fill. Yikes.
Where do I start? I thought a good place to start would be with a new notebook, to sort out the bits and pieces that come up as I’m working. A journal of sorts. I know I’m not really good with writing daily, but maybe if I have a book specifically for this purpose, that I like to write in… well, maybe I will actually do it.
I’ve altered hardcover notebooks for the writers in my life before. Started out as an idea for a Christmas present and turned into a thing. So, off I went to my local Staples and bought myself a plain black hardcover notebook, and started thinking about what I wanted it to look like.
For this, I opened my new book and started to write. Things that grabbed me while I was there? The rocks, the water, the old concrete buildings, and of course, the traditional tiles that were everywhere. I started with some texture gel to give me the feeling of the concrete. I thought about making a small pattern stencil and painting the entire cover, like a tiled wall, but in the end I decided to go with using acrylic molding paste through a single tile-like stencil, and adding colour in hues to represent the water. I used an underpainting in metallic bronze, and used transparent brown and turquoise over top, which lets the metallic glow through. Overall I think it was a successful experiment. When I look at my book I am reminded of what I loved about Portugal. A good place to start processing.