This past summer I began a sketchbook dedicated solely to playing with shape and color. I initially began these exercises because I hated to waste the paint left on my palette after I had completed a painting. I do like to start with fresh color when I begin a new painting but oh, those colors left on my palette called me to make something creative before washing them away.
These "palette exercises" soon became a meditative experience that I look forward to doing before the start of a new painting. By using my beginners mind in this way, what I paint is only inspired by the colors I see there, with no preconceived notion of where it is going or what it will become.
Then the "what would happen if" thoughts started to surface. I put one of my sketches into my very basic photoshop program and played with turning it every which way. Well, that looked interesting!
Which led me to explore Spoonflower, the place where you can upload designs and play with various repeats and scale. This was becoming too much fun!
A new adventure has begun!
I am calling these my "Zen Palette" designs. And my "other" sketchbook is continuing to be filled as I find this routine of creating these little meditative color studies a very satisfying studio practice. By making these I create a space where nothing is forced. Sometimes it's good to just follow along where the ideas lead you.