I started with a cheap leftover Rothko diary – quite a challenge. The following year it was Van Gogh – more variety. Painters worked well, plus I must surely have learned a bit about their art along the way? Then I did an Earth From the Air diary of aerial photos, which was much more difficult at first, but in the end I loved it so much I went on to do another one this year.
I don’t do this for anyone else to see, but I’ve scanned a few examples here just to show what I’m on about. And maybe spread the idea?
I don’t want to copy the pictures – all I aim for is a little sample inspired or suggested by the picture (or sometimes the accompanying words), using whatever I’ve got to hand. For me it’s a valuable exercise in quickly responding, completing and moving on – not endlessly reworking in search of perfection. But it could work with any rules or none, depending on what you need or want to achieve.
It’s also a great chance to have fun with techniques and materials I don’t use much in my everyday work. So as well as machine embroidery, there’s hand stitching, embellisher, appliqué, etc.
The big problem now is, I can’t find any diary that appeals for 2011. But I can't stop, this is addictive. Going to have to do something radical. I’ve decided to take a picture from the newspaper each week instead… hmm, could be a challenge too far?!