Learning, taking notes and repetition.

Recently my friend, Lisa Chin came to NYC and we had two art playdates. Lisa is a fantastic printmaker and carver. Check out her website and her insta!

In playing together, Lisa wanted me to try out Inovart Eco Karve (and some paints too, though that is a post for another day). So, I tucked in and took some lessons. As I did so, of course, I took notes in my Moleskine.

In the Moleskine, I printed a strike-off (page 31, Playful Fabric Printing), made notes about the carving rubber itself. Then in true Melly style, I decided to carve several similar designs so that I could further improve my skill set within this new carving medium.

Repetition helps build muscle memory and similar imagery gives me time to explore similar lines and carving approaches. I printed them off using the same colors in order to evaluate them side by side. I think the white serves this design well in both versions. I am partial to the white dots at top right, but think both benefit by judicious use of white. White is often a bully of a presence in printed fabric, I feel this use of white creates balanced ‘pop’. I will write notes about this too!

As I create motifs and print, keeping notes along the way allows me to keep up with myself. I have been doing it for long enough that I have 4 journals worth of juicy notes. As a resource, dipping into these journals is really helpful. It can help shift your perspective on current work, provide new ideas, remind you of a new art material or perhaps a playdate with a good friend.

Do you take notes and track your creative efforts? Leave a comment and tell me what you do.

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Comments

  1. I do take notes on each artwork I create. I write down the dye colors and recipe I used to mix them, I write down how much colorless extender I added to the fabric paint when I screen print or stamp, I write down what # color of DMC embroidery thread I used in hand stitching. All of these things help me to either reproduce a certain effect or change it for the next pieces. Sometimes, in the margins, I write some new things to try later that I think of while creating. For me it’s an important part of creating.

  2. I have gotten lazy in my note taking. I want to set up a recorder so that I can talk to myself as I work. That said, I am vowing to follow your suggestions because I know that by just the act of creating, more ideas pop up. I need to capture them, because the memory isn’t what it used to be. It is kind of like remembering dreams. You know you had a great idea, but heck if you can remember what it was. I got a sample of Lisa’s favorite carving material and hope to try it out this week. I do love the ease of the gray Speedball stuff, but it is hard to get good definition with fiddly designs. Have fun printing and playing! xoxo

    • Now is as good as any to begin note taking. Especially with art materials at the ready. Do you have a voice activated Siri option on your phone?

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