In my constant effort to bring a little more creativity to my everyday life, I’ve decided to start a new project. I have come across dozens of books with exercises meant to get creativity flowing. I tend to read them quickly, anxious to get to the next thing, and I rarely do very many of the exercises, if any. However, after receiving Marion Deuchar’s book Draw Paint Print as a birthday gift, I’ve decided to work my way through it and – gasp – do every single exercise.
This book is a treat to look at. Deuchars based the exercises on the work of well known artists that have been influential to her. Each chapter starts with a sketch of the artist, and a graphic explanation of what makes them unique. This is followed by exercises ranging from quite simple to more complex, all in an effort to get the creative juices flowing and help the reader better understand how art comes together. It’s bold and bright and colourful, and the texture of the paper reminds me of a colouring book. I definitely ignored my family’s conversation as I leafed through it, trying to soak it up, wishing I had pencil crayons with me. The book is meant for younger audiences, but that’s part of the appeal. It’s simple, clean, and easy to follow.
My immediate thought was that I didn’t want this book to languish on my shelf unused. It was meant to be drawn and painted in and I wanted to fill it up with playful experiments. Sadly, I knew my tendency to start working on something and then lose interest early on (see the perils and joys of being multi-passionate). I realized that I would have to make my efforts public. If I tell the world that I’m doing this, then I have do it, right?
So here’s my plan. There are 18 artists in the book. I’m going to do the exercises for one artist each week, which will take me just over 4 months. I’ll be posting my progress on Instagram and Facebook if you would like to follow along. If you’re really keen you can order the book from the publisher or if you live in Edmonton, you can ask Audrey’s Books to order it for you (go local book stores!). In case you’re wondering, I’m not affiliated with the book in any way – I’m just really excited about it.
This week I’m starting with Joan Miro and experimenting with lines and shapes. I’ll try to post progress reports throughout and a recap when I’m done. If this goes well I might start doing a regular series with other creativity boosting books. I can’t wait to see what happens!