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.
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.
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.
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)