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Inspired by…Simplicity

November 14, 2010

I like to do occasional posts about what is inspiring me lately.  This month, I have to say, simplicity is key.  Why not pick one medium and focus on it for a month?
watercolor journal kit

As you may know, I am attempting to create at least a tiny bit of art every day this month.  Without really planning it, I fell into studying watercolors.  I don’t think I’m particularly good at watercolors–in fact, I’d say my watercolor skills are poor.  But I feel very drawn to this medium lately.  And I go where the Spark takes me, right?

So, in the above picture is my daily journal kit.  A watercolor Moleskine I picked up at the Detroit airport.  I have found that a Moleskine has a lot more pages than a watercolor sketchbook you’d find at the art store.  And I made an awesome travel set of watercolors after being inspired by Sarah Whitmire’s Jet Set Journaling on 21 Secrets.  I picked up a cheap waterbrush pack at Hobby Lobby (three of them for five dollars) and a few pens at a scrapbooking shop.  I gathered it all kind of randomly over the last month or so, but it all came together to create a simple take-anywhere art kit.  Here are a few of my pages.  You can hop over to my Flickr and see them all (even the bad ones!).
I started with a bit of doodling.  These Indian-style towers are my favorite thing to doodle.  I haven’t decided if I should watercolor these guys or leave them plain.

A bit of watercolor makes my daily notes look snazzy. I started by drawing boxes–and a cloud–with the Souffle pens. Then I filled the boxes in with watercolors, knowing the gel pen lines would create a nice resist. Lastly, I filled in the boxes with notes from the book I’m reading and, of course, some Smith’s lyrics (I really do have Eskimo blood in my veins).

It just so happened that Alisa Burke posted about watercolors and sketching on her blog this week so I had to try out her style. I copied her sea shells (to the best of my ability anyway) and drew a few other things that popped into my head–a thumbtack, a feather, and filled the whole thing in with watercolors.

Sometimes, it’s just fun to soak the whole page with water, then apply thick blobs of color. I have been doing most of my art this month in public, mainly in the breakroom at work. Having a small art kit, and the willingness to create in public ensures that my daily art quota will be met this month–however it also means plenty of people peeking over my shoulder. That is why I learned to write backwards. I think I will have a separate post later on to go into more detail about writing backwards. It is easier to learn than you think. I still have trouble with a few letters–S, J, Y, and sometimes E and A.

So, there you have it.  Watercolors are a simple, fun, and portable way to journal.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Paige permalink
    November 14, 2010 4:14 pm

    I like your watercolors!!

  2. November 14, 2010 5:16 pm

    Love the watercolor work and the travel supplies kit tips! Also, I’m all for journaling at work in the break room — I’ve been doing that for about a year now, and it makes for some great conversations, or at least starters…:). I’m going to try including watercolors in my kit, as
    I’ve been wanting to journal more at the park and to include paint in my kit for some time, so thanks for the inspiration!

  3. November 14, 2010 5:42 pm

    ooh!! I wouldn’t say your watercolor skills are poor at alL! I love your Alisa Burke-style 🙂

  4. November 15, 2010 10:05 am

    ..emit eht lla sdrawkcab etirw ot desu i !looc yrev

    • November 15, 2010 11:32 am

      Lol! At first glance I thought “I didn’t know Indgrid could speak Swedish. But what does it mean?”… And then I remembered what the post was about!

  5. BarbiJae permalink
    November 15, 2010 10:35 am

    I love your drawings and how you’ve used the watercolors, but your backwards writing is absolutely fascinating. What a great way to free up oneself to journal more openly. I am inspired to try it. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Karen permalink
    November 19, 2010 9:34 am

    Lovely post, sometimes I forget that I don’t have to making things so complicated.. Thank you for the reminder. I’ll have to get a little kit together 🙂

  7. November 20, 2010 9:59 am

    Wonderful post!
    I was caught when I saw that you wrote backwards! I do that all the time in my journal. But, usually when I’m feeling bad, stressed, angry… I don’t want the casual eye to read. I mostly write backwards in cursive, so it’s even harder to read! lol… it’s really not that hard to do and I love to use my backward journaling for backgrounds!
    Take it easy

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