You know, when I’m home I see the same four houses through my window. I know my neighbours habits, their voices, their damn power-tools, I see the same trees and my yard. When we left on Sunday, no leaves had sprung, our grass was still yellow. Montreal was sunny but still empty of greenery.
Today we are in NY City. Through the magic of home swapping we are spending a few months here and the view is completely disconcerting. Hundreds of windows, hundreds of people living on top of each other. A concierge whose work is to operate a revolving door. A garage person who brings your car. But oh the greenery! NY has sprung and as we cruised by central park it felt wonderful. We skipped ahead in the season. And the dog friendliness of this city is way too cool.
Before we left I was busy filming my very first online class. Oil Pastel Freedom.
I filmed the videos and I’m happy with the content, although I realized that I would have to break it down in at least three different levels or themes. Rookie mistake, I wanted to include all I know about oil pastels and I was suddenly overwhelmed.
I was also overtaken by serious self-doubt. I don’t have the best filming equipment and I didn’t want to go down a YouTube rabbit hole about how to film this or that. Patreon has definitely helped me to losen up a little bit when making videos. (Thank you dear Patrons!)
I’ve always been more “punk” about the way I do things. There’s a reason Zines fascinate me so much. The imperfect, spontaneous side of them, their messiness. It’s also why I love certain styles: scribbly, messy and inexact.
Also a reason why I love oil pastels. No perfect drawing will ever come out. What will come out will be your emotion and your unique marks.
So I decided to film to the best of my abilities. I know that by the end of the class those of you who are interested will be able to feel free with oil pastels.
In the next few weeks I will complete, revise and publish!
What will I do in the next few months?
I did bring the box of oil pastels and this apartment is a treasure trove of interesting objects so I might try to do some still lives. I might even try to draw outside in Central Park. We will certainly go to museums, galleries, thrift shops, book shops. I plan to hit as many bakeries as possible.
However I got a terrible urge to just read and write. I began to play with the idea of writing a novel after listening to an episode of CTL ALT DELETE with Emma Gannon about writing a novel in secret.
I remember I once declared: I can’t write fiction which reminds me that I once throught I couldn’t draw. The difference is that if I write a novel, I want to write it in secret, as a fun project.
One of my biggest inspirations, as I’ve mentioned before is Maira Kalman. The owner of the apartment where we’re staying is a personal friend of hers. She has an original piece as well as all the books she’s illustrated. One in particular is in my inspiration top ten: The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.
So I got myself a Reedsy account and I started toying with some characters and stories. Who knows.
What I do know is that after almost eight years of learning, breathing and thinking about visual art, I want to replenish myself. This apartment is full of design and illustration books but what I’m constantly thinking is about the novels I’ve loved and the kinds of stories I would like to read.
Do you ever feel like you need a different source of creative outlet besides visual art?
What I have for you in May
- I’m slowly adding prints to my Inprnt shop. I added a few digital ink drawings
- The Oil Pastel Freedom class will be published soon! If you want to be notified please sign up here.
- My more than a hundred posts on Patreon are there for you to dip in an out of. For, quite literally, less than a Latte (we all know how prices are going up) you can see how my creative process works.
- My resources page of favourite classes I’ve taken myself.
- The Rabbithole a NYT Podcast. An eye-opening account about the internet
- The Last House on Needless Street, a novel- a completely unexpected story
- If you like abstract art this conversation with Fiona Ackerman is so interesting!
- This month's Domestika 10% discount coupon LUISA_FLUXGUSTO-OHSUMMER
Thank you for reading and talk to you soon!