Grit and Grace

This is what my studio ... freshly tidied... looked like on Sunday night awaiting the start of Grit and Grace by the lovely Miss Katie Kendrick. Excited? Oh I think so.
While we work on other projects, we were told to procure a canvas: 40" x 30" ... to work on simultaneously as we forge into new waters with smaller pieces, eventually utilizing techniques and intuitions on this big hunka burnin' love.  Or I assume. Ten years ago I cobbled together 4 canvasses to create this thing. Primed it, slathered on some crackle paste, glued down cardboard chunks and odd bits of fabric. And that's as far as I got. Anyway, the point is, guess what size this old canvas is? Yep. 40" x 30". Coinkydink? I think not!

Day One

Meditation exercise before starting. Check.
Set intention before starting. Check.

(brain burble: when do we get to the BIG canvas?!? oops!)
Pull out some bristol paper ...oh. wait. don't have any. okay this ancient sketch pad'll do... Check.
Charcoal, watersoluble graphite ... geez, Jennifer did you even LOOK at the supply list?!? ... thank goodness for artistic daughters ... Check!
Gesso. White & clear. Check.
(brain burble ... a little louder: when do we get to the BIG canvas?!? dang!)

Ahhhhh! Charcoal warmup?! What a concept. Okay. I can DO this!

And as much as I don't hate it 3 days later? I HATED every last freakin' inch of it when I'd finished. It just felt so overwrought. An issue I always have with my work. (when? oh when? will I learn when to stop?!?) Further I felt really cranky. As I explored these feelings later, I realized that whenever I start a new class I feel so wholly inadequate. Like I don't *know* anything. Which is ridiculous. Because even though I might not show it, I actually do know quite a bit. (I know! right? shocker!) I felt absolutely FRANTIC after finishing the above piece. *shakes head*

Two things that came out of the first day:
  1. Once you try something new ... a new tool or technique... you can always do it again. So don't get precious with the work. (a new forehead tattoo methinks!) ...and
  2. Not finishing a journal page is okay. You can always go back to it. *facepalm*

Day Two 

... and don't worry, I'll be posting more often rather than this mega-read... yesterday, was a storm day!

Meditation. Check.
Warm up charcoal exercise. Check.

This one was done With Music. Standing Up.
I'm really digging the top bit ... the X, cross-hatching and the circle. Even the triangles at the very top. The rest? meh! But that's okay. It doesn't matter. It's a warm up! (look at me getting all loosey-goosey already!)

I also started some loose canvas stuff. Only I didn't take any photos. Cuz I hate them. Like out and out HATE. THEM. After I started mucking around with them this morning however, they started to come together and I'm sorry I didn't take any photos. Duly noted.
  1. Take photos. Love or Hate has nothing to do with the process. (totally a forehead tat!)

Day Three

(remember yesterday, storm day. ergo no power)

No meditation. erm. Check?
Music. Okayyyyy.
Where are you going with this, you rebel?!

Still wet. Not gonna do anything more with it.
Wow. Rebel, indeed!

It ended up being way more about the warm up and I was completely uninvested in the outcome. Very. Very freeing! And interestingly not quite so overwrought either. hmmm. Is that the connecting bit? Not sure but I'll be very aware of how expectation and overdoing-ness are linked in my future work!

A page in the altered journal using a previous inspiration pin up I had in my studio last year. I love that word, Saudade. The Portuguese rock for so many reasons. This is just one! It felt done, so I called it a day. My other free canvas pieces are coming along. And I took photos. But not to share. :)

Two more things that came up. But I will post these separately.
Cuz you've been very patient with me today.
If you got to the end.


  1. I love this "don't get precious with the work" - thanks Jen!!

    1. It's a really good point isn't it?! We get so invested in what we're doing that we forget we can do it again. It truly isn't a one time deal. (a pita perhaps but not just one shot at the can!)

  2. Saudade - one of my favorite words too. Remember: "to the bleeding edge"!!! Your doing it right.

    1. Saudade is right up there with Petrichor! :D
      And yep, leaving the comfort zone is a Good Thing!
      Thanks Bri! xo