Last saturday I was together with my daughter at a meetup of Julia Kay’s Portrait Party in Oxford. We drew, ate and socialized from 11 in a community centre. Julia Kay’s Portrait Party is a virtual Portrait Party in which artists draw each other from photos posted on Flickr for that purpose. All members of the group are therefore both subjects of portraits and creators of portraits. Members of JKPP sometimes organise meetups IRL (in real life). Martin Beek, Jane Sherwood and Margarita Perez Garcia organised a third (or fourth?) IRL meetup in Oxford. It was again great to meet the JKPP members I already met in Oxford and Brussels in 2011.
If I go to the app-store I can find a lot of drawing apps. Which ones are interesting enough to explore? Julia Kay is my first source to go to. She leaves wonderful iPad information on the net. On YouTube there is a 2010 video in which she explains together with Valerie Beeby 20 apps in 50 minutes. On Julia’s Flickr account she wrote also about her favorite apps.
This drawing is made for Julia Kay’s Portrait Party (JKPP), my first drawing made with the use of layers.
My daughter (10 yo by now) started to draw again, so I joined her. I drew a parrot on Tuesday and an elephant and this JKPP portrait on Wednesday. With Stabilo markers. She drew a parrot, an owl, a tiger and an elephant.
My 10-year-old nephew asked me: “How do choose what to draw?” His question surprised me because he doesn’t seem to have any problems with that. He draws terrific birds all the time. I said to him I didn’t mind what I draw, as long as I draw something. Thinking too much about and not knowing what to draw can paralyse me. Thinking about it more I realised I can divide the subjects I draw in two. I draw portraits for Julia Kay’s Portrait Party (JKPP) and I draw whatever is in front of me (a lot of the time this is my partner). Here are some JKPP portraits I made in December.
One week ago Michael Nobbs tweeted: “Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! @paulienmaria has been working little and often and produced 94 portraits http://ow.ly/7SGjA“ Michael promotes the Sustainably Creativite tool: the little and often mantra: “Little and often” is for me a gentle reminder to keep moving forward using small regular steps.”
I have seen his approach in two self-help books and it really helped me a lot. While writing my Master thesis in 2005, I sticked to the advice of Joan Bolker in her book Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day. Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy, or SARK as she is known, calls it “micromovement”: tiny steps that add up to a big difference. She writes about it in her book Make Your Creative Dreams Real.
Last weeks I mainly concentrated on drawing portraits for Julia Kay’s Portrait Party (JKPP) on Flickr: “This group is a virtual Portrait Party in which artists draw each other from photos posted for that purpose. All members of the group are therefore both subjects of portraits and creators of portraits.” I counted my JKPP portraits and found out I made 116 since I started one year ago. I didn’t make any goals and in JKPP there are no expectations: you can draw as much or as little as you want. Fellow JKPP’er Erica Smith wrote on Facebook when she passed the 100 JKPP portraits: “Drawing this many portraits really crept up on me, it wasn’t hard!” That’s exactly my experience.
I bought for my 9-year-old daughter the dutch translation of the book ‘Drawing for the Artistically Undiscovered’ by Quentin Blake and John Cassidy. It is a fun book and my daughter loves to draw in it. Blake advises to use a watercolor pencil and then rub over it with a wet finger. I like the simplicity of it and used it in this drawing of Anna Black. It seems as a good starting point for me to discover the use of color.
This week I made an exchange with a JKPP member EAGHL: she send me the drawing she made of me:
EAGHL (pronounced eagle) is an Oklahoma banker of three decades, retired to a small, rural community. The evening hours in their quiet home left a choice of watching television or watching the spouse work crossword puzzles. Eaghl decided to start coloring, but rapidly ran out of coloring pages. There was a special love for nudes art but there were no coloring books or coloring pages of nudes, so Eaghl created a few. These black and white coloring pages were then colored in with permanent ©Prismacolor markers. The local acclaim was soon forthcoming. An artist friend in a nearby Missouri community began to commission these markerings with heads of friends placed on the nude bodies in the pose of choice. Eaghl continues to work on portraits from photographs of friends, family and some celebrities. The art does not capture the individuals to perfection, but their likeness can be seen and they are recognizable.
Last saturday I was together with my daughter at the IRL meetup of Julia Kay’s Portrait Party in Brussels. We drew, ate and socialized from 10 in the morning till almost 9 in the evening; it was great to meet again the JKPP members I already met in Oxford half a year ago, and to meet JKPP members I didn’t meet before. And, last but not least, to meet Julia Kay herself, who is giggling about being a ‘famous’ person now. These are two drawings I made this weekend, they are Maureen and the host Jean.
Other JKPP members loved it to the possibility to draw a child and Sue Rama exclaimed “I’d love to paint more children. Let’s invite more young artists to join the group!”
You can see hereall the portraits made of Barien by JKPP members.