Perfectly Imperfect

That’s the name of the online art course I’m currently doing. Its actually ‘Perfectly Imperfect: Discovering Your Visual Language‘ run by the brilliant Lorna Crane, and so far it has been great! If you need a distraction from all the doom and gloom this course is just the thing. Not only do you get videos of the stunning Australian coastline, but also a step by step guide to making your own brushes.

Handmade Brushes

This has been a real eye opener for me. I love to paint with palette knives, scrapers, feathers, sticks and even my fingers, but I would never have thought about transforming objects into actual brushes – and the marks they make are fabulous. I created my own set following the instructions and even added a few extras using seaweed I found on the beach. Not only do they produce really unusual and quite unpredictable marks, but the brushes themselves feel great in your hands.

Mark Making

I spent most of Saturday just playing around with the brushes and ink, trying each out to understand what types of marks they produced, and I have to say I’m hooked! The combination of unusual materials and angled drift wood handles does make it difficult to control the marks. But there is such freedom in the fact that a straight line doesn’t really need to be completely straight or that you don’t have a hope in hell of getting seaweed to conform to anything other than the marks it wants to make.

Handmade Book

So after much experimenting, I took the plunge and created my first book. It is definitely imperfect but as a first attempt I’m really pleased with it and I love some of the spreads. I think I was influenced by the raging sea that I could see and hear from my studio as I have too many rhythmic and, well, just frantic mark making. It would definitely have been improved by some subtler spreads with a bit more white space and more structured marks. It’s interesting that some of the pages I loved individually don’t work so well as a collection, and some of those I really didn’t like, on reflection, I now do.

My plan this week is to make a second book. Rather than working alongside the videos without really knowing the end goal, this time I will plan.

And if you want to see a video tour of the full book I’ve uploaded one to Instagram (ragtagmagpie1658)

Published by Rag Tag Magpie

Let me introduce myself, my name is Nic and I love to spend my free time drawing, painting, sewing, knitting, in fact trying anything that lets me experiment and explore my creativity. My love of all things arty started when I was a child, my dad was a printer so there was always lots of paper in the house and things took off from there. I stopped drawing when I went to university and didn’t feel I had time when my career took over but rediscovered my love of all things creative about 5 years ago and I haven’t looked back. Since then I’ve taken life drawing classes and started painting again and then a couple of years ago I took an evening class in pottery. This re-sparked my passion for trying new things. My husband and I set Rag Tag Magpie up to share ideas and inspiration with like minded souls. Our mission is to get people to do something that makes them happy. THIS BLOG IS FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT SOME INSPIRATION AND TO BE PART OF A COMMUNITY OF CREATIVES – AFTER ALL A CREATIVE MESS IS BETTER THAN IDLE TIDINESS!

4 thoughts on “Perfectly Imperfect

  1. Oh my gosh, I love this book and the hand made brushes. You have inspired me to do this too. Thank you thank you for sharing this amazing work!! xo. su

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