My Creative Journey In Visual Art

My creative journey
Began with a camera
This went on for many years
I was an enthusiastic amateur

Joining and starting camera clubs
Was so much fun
I made many friends
My creative life had begun

I entered competitions and exhibitions
Sometimes I won
All in all
It was just good fun

Along the way
I became a Photographic Judge
Which gave me a different perspective
It gave my photography a nudge

Briefly, in the Nineties
I started to sketch
Though photography remained King
I felt the itch

I took a basic drawing course
In two thousand and ten
Three years later 
My photography business opened

The business ran 
For a couple of years
Then I decided 
To do something else

In the meantime my love
For sketching and painting had grown
It was battling photography
For the Title and Crown

Oil painting at that time
Was my preferred expression
It became my ‘go to’
My new expression

Joining Art groups
Has helped me to foster
My desire to create Art
They helped my creativity to prosper

Then I returned
To the first painting medium I tried
The one that had captured me 
That reminded me of Slides

Line and Wash 
Then caught my attention
It became part of me
A lifelike extension

A Watercolour sketch-a-day
Would give me loads of practice
It continues to this day
Feeding my Inner Sanctum

Oils too
Remain a passion
For me, I think
They’ll always be in fashion

Photography still
Has a special place in my Heart
It started my creative journey
Of me, it will always be a part

Though at this time
Sketching and Painting are my direction
They will for a long time
Have my attention

Written by David Johnson

22 September 2022

© CommunicatingCreatively/David Johnson 2022

Seeking To Engage

A Space To Learn, Create & Express!

As I’m not a full-time Artist I need to be organised enough to find those capsules of time that enable me to play and create. From 1982 to say 2014, Photography was my ‘vehicle of creative escape’. In 2010, I completed a 6-week Drawing course and over the ensuing 8 years Drawing/Sketching/Painting (Oils) and Photography jockeyed for the position of my No. 1 ‘escape from life’ method.

In late 2018, Watercolour came storming back (along with Line and Wash) and, they became an increasing part of my existence. With the commencement of my Watercolour Sketch a Day/Daily Art Practice on 26 January 2019, both of these forms are the predominant way I like to express myself in terms of Art.

In-between though, Oils have been present although my Oil habit has been in hiatus this year, until last week. I intend to do more in Oils and have several ideas in mind for paintings.

Back to my initial sentence.

Not only do I need to find capsules of time, I needed to have a proper space. No actual studio here however. Over time, I have been re-purposing our 3rd bedroom.

On Thursday I purchased an Art and Craft desk which has an adjustable drawing surface. I used for the first time today and love it.

I now have a desk dedicated to Watercolour/Sketching, a desk dedicated to Oil painting and my computer desk. No more re-purposing desks/clearing space for something else and wasting time in the process.

Whilst I do most of my sketching/painting on weekends (apart from the Watercolour sketches that are done each day), I am now looking to schedule some nights during the week when I can avail myself of my ‘creative space’.

There is also a comfy 2-seater cane chair where I can sit back, pick up my Fountain Pen and write Poetry, read or just contemplate…

A space to learn, create and express.

Written by David Johnson

4 June 2022

PS: After writing this I came across the following great article about Artist’s Studios by Judith on her site, Artistcoveries.

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/45138733/posts/4052582242

My 1st Junk Journal

Over time, I’ve been using and researching different types of Journals and of course (as many have discovered) have found out that there’s no such thing as ‘the perfect bought journal’.

It seems the best way to is to make your own. I’ve been watching plenty of YouTube videos, looking at examples online etc and recently, decided to take the plunge.

I chose a rather simple version to start and purchased Watercolour paper, card stock, different weights of paper plus I already had some Calligraphy paper. I decided to start off with an A5 Journal made up of 20 folded A4 sheets. For the cover I’ve used the promo backing cardboard from a packet of Certificate paper. I intend on pasting images on the cover later.

Instead of glueing the signature in, I chose to attempt to sew it instead. I haven’t had much practice at sewing in my life and I am reasonably happy with the result, though I think I can do better next time.

I am pleased to have finally made one as I had been thinking about doing it for some time.

The next thing was to decide actually what to put in it as I hadn’t really decided what the Journal was for…in terms of a theme. I write Poetry and do Watercolour and Line and Wash, normally so I thought a good place to start was to include some images related to the tools I use for create images.

I’m really enjoying my 1st Junk Journal and I already have plans to make more, including one with two or three signatures. Till next time.

Keep creating!

David Johnson

January 2022

Journey To 1000!

Last Wednesday, I completed my 1,000th Watercolour Sketch a Day in a row. All of them are posted on one of my Instagram Pages – Communicating Creatively.

When I first started this Watercolour Sketch a Day journey way back in January 2019, it was for the following reasons:

  • I wanted to foster a daily Art practice
  • I wanted to improve my sketching, drawing and painting

It has been a journey of fun, challenges, (lots of mistakes), experimentation, learning and practice, practice, practice!

Day 1 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day – 26 January 2019

I remember completing 7 days straight and I was really pleased…could I make it to two weeks? Throughout the journey, I have just kept my eyes on the current day and aimed to do a sketch a day. Many people have asked me what is the end goal? Is it 1,000, 5,000, 10,000? The answer remains the same, ‘I’m just trying to do ‘a sketch a day and improve my skills’.

About 8 months of the 1,000 days we were in lockdown so I couldn’t get out to sketch en Plein Air so I completed tutorials, mainly by Peter Sheeler and Nil Rocha Art, and used reference photos (some of which were my own) and sketched from my imagination. On business days it normally has to be from the imagination or a reference photo.

It would be great to say that I improved with each sketch but that did not always happen as I felt, at times, that I plateaued for longer periods than I imagined would happen. Somedays it would seem that I was going backwards, too…

It was also a challenge doing the sketches some days due to tiredness from the business of the working day (I co-run a Finance Broking business and have a part-time role as an Entrepreneurship Facilitator, am involved with Toastmasters International and Red Point Art Association) plus more. There have also been health challenges in our family, and extended family to deal with, including losing three of them.

The practice of doing one a day was also quite meditative. More often than not, I would be playing music softly in the background. With all that has been going on in the world at large and our own world it has been quite a calming experience. I highly recommend it!

Day 1,000 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day – 27 October 2021 (Peter Sheeler Tutorial)

Mostly, I did the sketches in the morning as I was fresher. To get this done before the working day started, I rose earlier. Sometimes, I would get the line sketch done and do the painting after the working day was done. During the week, the sketches are A5 size and on the weekends sometimes larger.

One of the challenges I have in front of me is to be able apply the techniques that I have learnt during the tutorials to my own original works so the journey continues.

Today is Day 1,004 so I will leave it there as I hear my Watercolour Sketchbook calling me!

Written by David Johnson

31 October 2021

When The Student Is Ready…

No doubt many of you have heard of the phrase, ‘When the student is ready the teacher will appear.’ I thought of this statement this week when I listened to an episode of the ‘Savvy Painter’ podcast where Julia Cameron was being interviewed.

Julia Cameron is the author of 40 books including, ‘The Artist’s Way’, ‘Walking In This World’ and ‘Finding Water.’ Several years ago a Graphic Designer I met at a networking function told me about the book, ‘The Artist’s Way’ and spoke about the book and the author. I was quite intrigued and set about researching the book.

For one or another reason, I didn’t buy the book then, however, some time down the track, I came across the volume you see below which comprises all three books and purchased it.

One of the techniques spoken about in the first book is ‘Morning Pages’ which are ‘three exercise book pages of stream of consciousness handwriting’ that are completed upon rising each day. I remember doing the Morning Pages exercise for some 55 days in a row before I tailed off on the exercise because I guess, Life got in the way/I wasn’t ready. I have had a couple of goes at them over time but never really kept it up. Back to this in a moment.

The books are full of practical exercises (so they are not a quick read) and initially, when I purchased the set I must admit that it all looked quite daunting! I have tried a few times over the years to get started though these attempts have not lasted very long. This past week I was drawn back to the book and have started reading it as I believe I now have a better understanding of what is on offer in the book and how it will have a positive influence on my Art and Life in general.

This week I started doing the Morning Pages exercise again and today is Day 5 and I can honestly say that I am feeling the benefit of doing them each day. They help clear away some of the clutter that occupies the mind upon rising.

The 3 books together comprise 714 pages and are packed when exercises, inspirational quotes, mindset tips and practises and much more. I have already started reading the book and am enjoying the journey which I must admit I was just not ready for when I purchased this volume several years ago…

Julia Cameron, I’m more than ready for your first lesson!

Written by David Johnson

4 September 2021

https://juliacameronlive.com/

Emotions Harnessed

Refined By The Sea – Creativity Spotlight

Welcome to the third article in this series!

Today I’m showcasing, ‘Refined By The Sea’ which is operated by Stephanie Thackray. Stephanie, like Helen and myself is a member of Red Point Artists Association in Port Kembla.

Stephanie is another member who displays her Art and Craft at the “Art & Craft On The Grass” which is held on the second Saturday of the month at Red Point Art, 100 Wentworth Street, Port Kembla, NSW, Australia.

Stephanie informed me that she spent five years collecting the raw materials that she then crafts into Jewellery (as displayed in the images below).

On a previous visit to “Art & Craft On The Grass” I purchased a set of earrings from Stephanie for my wife. She loves them!

If you would like to see more of Stephanie’s Art & Craft, her details are below.

Written by David Johnson

29 June 2021

*I receive no monetary benefit for promoting other Artists. I just love promoting creativity.

Transformative Thoughts

Your Imagination