Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending October 26


Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.

Art. Art. Art. Art. Art? Yes!

Saturday, October 20 – Last night I did some sofa art/paint color brochure drawings. I started on this large brochure:

AD 10-20 #202

I’m creating people in the columns with their various body parts inspired by the paint names. Going to be kind of crazy.

AD 10-20 #301

When I’m finished I might cut out the columns and do something with them, or even cut out the squares and mix and match. I’ll have to see what develops.

This afternoon, after a day of doing a lot of errands, I packed up clay for tomorrow’s show. It’s a very nice show, held at a local arboretum, and running from noon to 4 PM, more of an outing than anything else. Which is fine with me. I did the show last year and had a great time. I don’t need to take a lot since the show is such a short one.

AD 10-20 #103

Sunday, October 21 – Today we participated in the Insider Art Show and Sale – we are insiders because we are members of the Arboretum. This event, which is very low-key, coincides with the open day for the mill and the Bloomfield Farm side of the arboretum, which are only open once a month.

We arrived, along with our friend John G., in plenty of time to set up. It was a very cold day for this time of year, about 40 degrees F, and with wind gusts of 30 MPH, it was just…cold. We decided not to set up the tent, as did pretty much everyone else, and we used the provided table. They make everything very simple for us here!

I took a quick walk around the education building. It’s designed to be very green, with a green roof and other features. I am always fascinated by how the equipment parking barn…

AD 10-21 #610

…looks like this on the other side.

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I got my table set up. I did not bring a lot of work to this show. Just enough to fill the table.

Part of the appeal of this show is the demonstrations: Blacksmithing here –

AD 10-21 #1005

and the ever-popular animals from the local agricultural high school. This year they brought two two-month-old pigs and two sheep. The little pigs ran around like crazy for some time:

and then, worn out, they fell asleep.

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The crowds were lighter than usual. The weather was a real impediment.

AD 10-21 #808

However, I enjoyed the show – I like talking to the other vendors, as there are some crafts you don’t often see in other shows, and I enjoyed the weaving and woodworking demos… and of course the animals. But I did have to stay all wrapped up all day (shout out to my sister, who made the hat I’m wearing…)

AD 10-21 #103

This show was the last one of the outdoor season for me. And I think it’s time to be inside from now on!

Monday, October 22 –  I finished my sofa art paint brochure last night – I might decorate the photos in it now, don’t know…

In the afternoon, I worked on more Minuscule illustrations.

AD 10-22 #402

I notice that my sketch book that I use for making quick estimations for the actual drawings is filling up. What can I do with these little vignettes, I wonder? I’ll set that thought aside for later.

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Tuesday, October 23 – More illustrations for my Minuscule book. Guess what – I reached story #75 and so I have a picture for each story. I will scan the remaining images I have in process, put them in the manuscript, and get to work on the overall corrections for the book. Pretty soon I think I will have a finished product! I feel good about this because I’ve been writing the little stories for a year and illustrating for several months. It’s been a project of getting a little done at a time and I’m looking forward to finishing and seeing how my first illustrated book turns out.

Wednesday, October 24 – In the aftermath of finishing the Minuscule work, plus the work I did for Fictive Dream and the September Slam, I’m ready to do a little something different. These two projects were a lot of drawing! I think collage, clay, and painting might be on the table for a little while now. (Then again, if I get an idea and I want to draw it…I can’t be held responsible for what happens next.)

After a project, I like to clean things up and have everything clear. This afternoon I spent some time going over the many, many fragments of drawings and the extra drawings I did for the Minuscule work. I have a LOT of leftover stuff – you may remember that I often made 3-4-5 versions of an illustration before I was happy.

I sorted out scraps and partial drawings and whole drawings and oh look here are some I colored with markers a little while ago…

I put them in envelopes to keep them better organized for when I want to work.

AD 10-24 #202

I have a lot of partially done postcards and ATC’s that might fit with some of these items.

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And some I think might use in my Large Artist Sketchbook. It all just depends. I also dragged this sketchbook out of the pile – it’s one where I’ve practiced making ink figures, you’ve seen it in the past.

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Maybe it might like to be a version of Artist Sketchbook. I added it to the box I’m storing all these pieces in.

But I still have all those little painting things sitting on the table, plus two partially finished paintings, not large, 11″ x 14″. I have a feeling I will be working on these first. If for no other reason to clear the table!

AD 10-24 #101

Friday, October 26 – Over the last few weeks and months, I’ve been reflecting on the directions I want to go in my artwork. It is time for change in my art, as there have been many changes in my life, especially in the last three or four months. A cycle is ending and a new one beginning, I feel.


It is all good, don’t get me wrong. I am ready to do some things differently. One decision I’ve made is to stop doing artwork for selling. I am not stopping doing art, and I’m not stopping shows – I’m stopping doing artwork specifically for sale. It’s a matter of how I frame things in my mind as well as the kind of work I do. It’s a form of retirement, I think – but I see it as freeing me to do some things (some of which I haven’t even imagined yet) that I might have restricted myself from in the past.


AD 7-21 #207

I hope to spend time on new pursuits out in the world which I think will enhance my art explorations, and I want to do more writing/illustration projects. I have lots to look forward to, I think.

Now for this Diary. I created it to encourage myself to a more disciplined approach to making art – I needed to do a lot of work for my exhibit this summer and to catch up on making clay work. Both of these goals have been met. The Diary’s purpose has fulfilled itself, and so this will be the last edition of the Art Diary with its weekly round up.

You will be able to keep up with my doings, I feel, with my art posts, as always – I will keep you up to date with my projects, images, paintings, clay figurines, shows…you name it, just as I have always been doing.

I have enjoyed chronicling my work in this weekly Diary, but I no longer need or want to do so in this way. It’s important to know when things have served their purpose, I think, and when to move on. Thank all of you for reading it and for all your support and comments.

OK, that’s it! Thank you for coming along with me.

19 thoughts on “Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending October 26

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    I really like your attitude to creating artwork. Making art without having selling it as a prime purpose is definitely liberating. If you happen to sell it at a show then great but you have not set out creating it with that goal in mind. I have always found doing commission work to be so crippling. It is hard enough to get my artwork to match the vision I had in my own head without the additional challenge of meeting the vision a client had in their heads. When I was exhibiting regularly, back home in Scotland, I had the same attitude as you do. I made what I wanted to make and if it sold then that was a bonus. Oddly enough, I used to sell quite well using that method and always at least made my costs back. I have known so many professional artists who get stuck in the rut of always making work that they know sells well to their identified, tried and tested market, and I always think how boring and soul-sapping it must be to be churning out what is essentially a reproduction of your previous work. I hope I make sense and that I have interpreted your view of these things accurately.

    PS I love the new twist on the paint card art. So much fun! Reminds me of those mix and match character games I used to play as a wee girl.

  2. Claudia McGill Post author

    Yes, you have summed it up perfectly. I’ve always wanted to make art with an eye to selling it, as I didn’t feel I deserved just to be making it for fun (!) but needed to make the process “productive”. Quickly I realized I was making things the way I wanted anyway, but with an eye to the money and the audience. It is time in life for me to do things differently. And I’ve thought the same thing about artists who do the same thing repetitiously – like being a factory worker only not so well paid, and eventually killing any inspiration they ever had. I hope for more enjoyment and less worry in this path I am trying to get on. And thank you regarding the paint card art. We had similar games when I was young and I found them fascinating. I am trying to think how to do it with these, maybe a book?

  3. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. This year has been full of endings and I need strength to get into the new things. Seemed to me the Diary did its job and I enjoyed it (I especially like explaining different art techniques) but I realized my current slate of projects has all come to a finish. It seemed a good time to say good-bye to diary-writing!

  4. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I think I will be taking a little time off right now, or slowing down a little, I guess, more likely, as I need to attend to some other things, and, you know, I think I’ve completed a lot of goals, and yet not ready to immediately pick up on the new ones. I did buy some new inks to try out…

  5. As much cake as you want

    It was fantastic to get the technical tips and see some of the trial and error – but i do get that the diary has served its purpose. It’s interesting that you’re making art more for yourself and less for shows. I’m excited to see what comes next. New beginnings do require strength and I wish you an abundance of it!

  6. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. As I said, this year seems to be the beginning of transitions for me and my family and I wanted a rest from the routine, plus, it really seemed to me things had arranged themselves so as to wind down at this time. I will step back a little and refresh. And I want to try some things outside of art and writing this next year, too, we’ll see how that goes. I still hope to write posts on how I do things, I did like that a lot.

  7. Jeanette Clawson

    I have greatly enjoyed your art diary posts but I certainly understand that when it’s time to move on you need to move. I look forward to seeing you creating something new and wonderful. Your combination of writing and art is exciting and inspiring

  8. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I hope I am going toward something fresh and interesting to me and to others. Right now I think I am sort of looking for a rest from being on a schedule. And I’d like to make other changes in how I spend my time that I want to think about or put into motion. Everything evolves.

  9. Girl in the World

    You show a fearlessness in your approach to making images, either clay or paint. I derive so much inspiration from you and in how productive you are, brimming with ideas. What a great creative exercise using the colour brochure, and then the sidewalk cracks ~ Nothing holds you back!

  10. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. You made my day. You know, in everyday life, I am not adventurous and I like routine and quiet, but for some reason my art life is a different story. Which I’m very glad about and grateful for all the enjoyment and experiences it has brought me.

  11. Claudia McGill Post author

    You’re welcome, I have loved her music for years, having discovered her through reading a magazine article some years back. When she died I felt I had lost a personal acquaintance but thankfully her music is still here for me to listen to.

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