Some of the visual journal pieces I do, I do in an hour or so. Some, though, take days or weeks. It depends on how the idea develops. Sometimes, I need to sketch something quick and jot down a thought I may paint later.
Other times I have a story to tell.
And sometimes, what I think is going to be a sketch becomes a study for a larger painting. This one I’ve started over a month ago, after the children were separated from their families as the Mexican border. The next day, by chance, in the lobby of the Crosstown concourse, there was a photography exhibit put on by World Refugee Memphis, showing successful integration of refugee families into American culture. I began a sketch, then left it alone, then inked it in, then left it alone. Today I painted it.
I may use it later in my Saints Among Us series:
Because I keep the visual journal, I don’t lose ideas. It may take months to get around to finishing them, but art can be a slow process. The journals though fill up quickly, and that gives me a sense of accomplishment if I get mired in depression. It also greatly improves my chance of having a successful painting later. It helps me practice, find new ways of using color, and it helps me remember so much I’d otherwise lose sight of.
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