Creative Process

Lovely Ladies

I started making these ladies last year around this time and still feel super full-steam-ahead about it. I'm so smitten with the process of discovering each lady, pushing the possibilities of materials I'm using and the different textures I can achieve with them, challenging expectations on cultural ideas of women and gender & even the physical aspects of the face. I love how each lady takes on her own personality and story without my intentional interference. Lately I'm really seeing the possibility for them to act as a means of connection, an invitation to important conversations. Letting that stew and take form in good time.

Laura Johnston Amanda 6x7" mixed media on paper 2017

Laura Johnston
Amanda
6x7" mixed media on paper
2017

Laura Johnston Felicia 3x4" mixed media on paper 2017

Laura Johnston
Felicia
3x4" mixed media on paper
2017

Laura Johnston Bea 3x4" mixed media on paper 2017

Laura Johnston
Bea
3x4" mixed media on paper
2017

Laura Johnston Ross 3x4" mixed media on paper 2017

Laura Johnston
Ross
3x4" mixed media on paper
2017

Laura Johnston Freya 3x3" mixed media on paper 2017

Laura Johnston
Freya
3x3" mixed media on paper
2017

Laura Johnston David 6x7.5" mixed media on paper 2017

Laura Johnston
David
6x7.5" mixed media on paper
2017

I have made over 100 Lovely Ladies to this point, and most recently have started a book of Lovely Ladies - similar to my 365 project a couple of years ago. This isn't intended as a daily project, but I loved the idea of having a book full of (68) Lovely Ladies to flip through. I've got my loose-paper ladies in portfolios, so it's a similar effect. I know each of their names by heart. I am proud of them.

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There is a lot to say about these ladies - I am immersed in making them, reflecting, writing, trying to put words to where I'm coming from. I have a lot to share and will be doing so more often here, but if you'd like to see even more, pop over to Instagram where I am sharing on the regular!

New Collages

I've been in a collage-making frenzy lately. Here are some new ones.

Laura Johnston The Emperor Digital Collage 2017

Laura Johnston
The Emperor
Digital Collage 2017

Laura Johnston Princessa (The Beginning of Sausaged) Digital Collage 2017

Laura Johnston
Princessa (The Beginning of Sausaged)
Digital Collage 2017

Laura Johnston Sourpuss Kids Digital Collage 2017

Laura Johnston
Sourpuss Kids
Digital Collage 2017

Laura Johnston Eight Digital Collage 2017

Laura Johnston
Eight
Digital Collage 2017

I've been making collages, scribbles, doing photoshoots, planning photoshoots, working on a shop update for le animalé, etc. etc. etc. I visited the SFMoMa a couple of days ago, which is always a fresh jolt of inspiration. I especially loved Robert Colescott's "Colored T.V.":

Robert Colescott Colored T.V. Acrylic on Canvas 1977

Robert Colescott
Colored T.V.
Acrylic on Canvas
1977

I've also been organizing my studio, which was an incredible wreck after the holiday rush, and am going through old journals and photos piecing together some ideas for yet another painting series. Who knows when I will get around to all of these projects I want to do, but I figure it's good to chronicle the ideas while they're around. 

I'm going to make an effort to post here more regularly because I usually come back after several weeks with so much to say I don't even know where to start! :) 

The Circles Continue

This is a post from October that I never published. Today is #tbt, so what the heck!

Still obsessed. Last weekend I went out to see the super moon, which I mostly missed because it was cloudy, but I came out with these beautiful images of the clouds at sunset so I didn't mind too much. I decided to order a print and try my black and white circles on top of it, and although this first one was a bit of a learning curve, I am excited to give it another go. This one will live at my house, and if the next one turns out I'll be submitting it to an upcoming art show dedicated to water-based works on paper.

Dialing Back

Last month I realized I was quickly digging myself into the same busy-busy-busy pit I'd happily climbed out of over the holidays and decided that in June I'd pull back a bit in order to get my schedule and brain and body to a better place. I am such a naturally driven person that it is hard for me to pull back and allow myself space and free time - I normally fill it with barreling onward in whatever way I can. 

This month I'm about turning inward, getting back to nature, getting my health/fitness routine in place, slowing down, detaching a little, and no more being wrapped up in social media! These past few months I've been obsessed with Instagram, and it's totally been messing with me. I've stopped paying as much attention to my numbers just for the past day and I ALREADY feel a sense of relief.

Yesterday I started a painting that was just for me and just for fun. It's weird to even say that, because you would think that my sketchbook is just for me, but when it comes to sharing something publicly every single day it kind of becomes something else. Having these other art pieces going on in the background at my own pace without any consideration that they have to be seen or shared will be comforting. There have been several occasions where I've questioned whether or not sketching every day is actually helping, and it's really good to see that it is. Here's my progress 6 hours in on my new piece:

6 hours. My mind automatically jumps to, "If this has already taken 6 hours, who knows how much longer it'll take; will I be able to price something like this accordingly?" I am deciding not to worry about it. I'm going to keep it fun and have faith that the pieces will come together when the time is right.

It's taken me about a week to come down off the level of busy-ness I've been at for the past couple of months to really start with some of these goals, but perhaps I'll be able to create a sustainable balance in my schedule. That's the dream, right? So funny when we are not busy we're scrambling to make things happen and when we are busy we are dreaming of slowing down. Wouldn't it be nice to be in the middle and just enjoy each part for what it is?