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The Owl Project: Thirty by Thirty

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge

For my September Thirty in Thirty, I’m going to focus on collage owls. For those of you who have been reading this blog the past year, this is a bit of a departure for me. The reason I’m coming back to owls is while I’ve been doing owls off and on for years, I’ve never focused solely on them enough to create a body of work.

As I wrap up my first year focusing professionally on art, I’m realizing the importance of a body of work. A body of work allows you to see things in your own work but it also allows you to take that work out into the world in a way a few disparate pieces do not. People like to see collections of things and a body of work allows you to create a store or a show or even a few cards that work together in a set. They are the starting point for a lot of things that you just can’t approach when you don’t have a group of pieces.

But owls serve another purpose for me in my learning process. When I make owls, design is at the forefront of my mind at every single step. With collage, I make most of my decisions before I start gluing anything down. With paint, in less than a second I can say, “Let’s see what this does!” and down the paint goes. I then spend the rest of the painting working with that decision.

For my collage owls, I pull out all of my papers. I find a few that speak to me, I start seeing if they work with other papers. I figure out if the values are too close or the hues too complementary. I’m making all of those decisions on a work table. Once I have those figured out, only then do I start gluing anything down.

And already I’m thinking through hue, value, and saturation in a way that a year ago I didn’t. This is the other reason I’m excited about focusing on owls. Since March, I’ve concentrated on stripping out hue so that I could learn about value and intensity. It’s time to start translating what I’ve learned into the full world of color. I can do that through collage. As I work on owls, I’m going to make sure I’m using that knowledge and those terms to create my small pieces. If something isn’t working, I know it’s going to be because of one of those there things.

Are you planning on participating in the Thirty by Thirty? Where will you focus? Please share below in the comments!



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