When I was a child, the best thing that we ever got as presents were colouring books. We always got new crayons and books at Christmas time, and we would spend hours colouring away. There was a point at which the figure would be coloured and you tried to keep colouring inside the lines so that it would be perfect. But, for me, there was always that leftover "negative" space, outside the lines, that lay there, flat and thirsty for colour, so I always coloured that in as well. I went through my crayons a lot faster because of this, and the fact that I coloured hard--I wanted the colour saturation--compared to my sister that coloured lightly, and neatly, between the lines. I always added lines and patterns outside the picture to add some interest--zig zags, circles, circles within circles. 

The best book I ever got was one that had watercolours infused into the lines, so all you had to do was use a wet brush to colour in the picture. It was a good idea, but in a sense, I felt a bit let down because there was never enough colour to saturate the page into the colours that my soul deeply yearned for. 

Now, with my art, I have been finding that I am colouring "inside" the lines. What I mean by this is that I havent been exploring other avenues of my art. I have given myself too many "rules" to go by. I have put too many limitations on myself. I usually use the same few supplies and similar patterns. It's time I started to colour outside the lines again, like I did when I was a child. I am yearning for the deep, jewel encrusted colour saturation that my senses yearn for.

Patterns are fine, in and of themselves, because they can give you a sense of something you cant get with a colour. BUT there is something unrealistically beautiful in adding deep colour to those lines that makes it speak to you on a whole other level. I need more colour. I need to use different colour combinations, ones that push my limits of what I like and perhaps they will give me what I need!

I usually go for certain types of colour, and dont saturate with it, I go lightly with it for the most part. But now, I am feeling the need to use other colours, ones I would never go for--like Christmas red, brilliant yellow, apple green, and hot pink. Usually I stick more to cranberry red, ochre  yellow, lime green, and magenta. 

I think it's important for us, as artists, to do something a little different with our art, to go into an area where we dont feel comfortable and familiar, to tap into parts of us that might have something different to express or say through our art. 

My usual mediums are inktense blocks and black fineliners. The colours I use the most have big dents from using them, there are other colours there that still have the word stamp on them, because I dont use them! I use similar patterns like swirls, spirals, dots, and lines. But now, I am reaching into a different place and I am breaking out the other stuff that I have. I have drawers full of art supplies: inks, markers, pencil crayons, crayons, coloured fineliners, watercolours and pencils, acrylic paints, jelly roll pens, glitter glue, glitter pens--you get the picture! And the markers that I usually go for (rarely now) are  dried out and used up, while there are other markers there that I am sure have never had their lids off. 

It is my goal this week to start down another avenue--another path--to see what lays along that way that I might learn something from. It's sort of scary for me. To break the mold that I have been working in, living in, to find different ways of expression. 

I am reteaching myself to take the plunge, use up my crayons, and colour outside the lines. 

Love Rook xo

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Comment by Pat on February 17, 2014 at 8:05pm

I like that "color outside the lines".   I was the same, it was perfect to stay in the lines when I was small. I often think about it now because I'm doing it the same. I want to take the plunge but can't push myself to do it or when I do it doesn't look good to me.

Comment by Rook on February 17, 2014 at 10:39pm

I know what you mean Pat. I am trying to do things a little differently, but I am so used to doing things how I do them, that when I try to do something a little different, it seems to look bad to me. And it's uncomfortable. But I think, it's about taking things one step at a time. I am working with more intense colours right now, and trying to make things a little more bold. It's rough trying to use things that I never use, or using colours that I never use! It's been challenging, lots of ripped up papers and swearing LOL!!! Try doing one simple thing differently with your art. Like, instead of outlining in thin marker (for instance) try using a thicker marker, to make the line more bold. Even if it's just black! Then when you are comfortable with that, try something else. Use a colour you dont really like. (I dislike orange, because I cant seem to attain the right orange, so I try to make up the one I like with what I have)..... it's a challenge. But we need to get back to that freedom we once had before we got stuck in our art rut. That is my attainment. That is what I am reaching for. Just a few little things different. Something uncomfortable. Even if you go back to your usual style, at least you can know what works for you and what doesnt. Maybe you will find a technique that will be a keeper! Love Rook xox

Comment by Pat on February 17, 2014 at 10:44pm

You swear Rook? Oh no...lol........ I know exactly what you're talking about, ripped up papers and swearing ...lol.......Well, I'm going to color outside the lines,,,,I really like that saying...lol


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