Carousel30 No. 1-6

It has been good to have a project to think about this week for reasons big and small. So I thought it would be fun to show you how I'm doing the new series of prompts called Carousel30, because it’s going to build as I go. So I divided a large piece of watercolor paper [9x12”] into sections with a pencil and ruler [for straight lines, not for measuring]. My intention is to fill each section. I’ll keep going and when I fill up the first 15, I’ll decide whether to continue on another sheet [probably] or go a different direction.

My theory is that there is a path through every prompt, and if you need a creative kick-start, why not use one?

The value is NOT always in what you do, really, like there’s not an ANSWER KEY to each prompt. The value is all of the thinking and creative gyrations you go through in FIGURING out what to do.

That's the cool thing about prompts -- the way we interpret doesn't have to be logical or follow a recipe. It *can* be that way, but it doesn't have to! I think the value of prompts is actually the thought process that takes us from PROMPT to INTERPRETATION. That keeps the creative juices flowing and keeps us thinking and generating ideas.

Don't worry about the exact way that the idea comes to life on your page. Just like ICAD it's OK if it's rough or sketchy or imperfect or goes awry. Frame it as making time for art and creativity.

All in gouache except emerald also has ink.

1. "parachute" is top center. Thinking of the colorful parachute fabric we bounced up + down in Kindermusik when the kids were little.

2. "redefined" is a mandala redefined as kite/diamond because a mandala is such a wildly flexible art form

3. "emerald" is, well, green bubbles. No story… started with white circles, then filled them in, then kept going, bringing the circles together

4. "margarita" began with frozen raspberry margaritas. Reimagined as magenta bougainvillea in terra cotta pots at the turnpike entrance somewhere in Mexico perhaps Uruapan, Michoacán. [top left]

5. "cupcake" is a bakery display. When I was little we had at least three or four wonderful bakeries near our house, but one was our favorite. My mom would take us to get chocolate cupcakes and the bakery folks would put them in a white folded box and put the box on a machine which wrapped it with string. The cupcakes weren’t colorful but I wanted to convey how good they were! I feel completely out of my element painting something realistic. Guesstimated how the folds of the paper accordion cupcake cups might look.

6. "type" felt natural for hand-lettering. I selected the word typewriter which is near and dear to my heart, starting with typing stories when I was little on a manual typewriter to filling out forms with carbon copies attached.

Find the full set of Carousel30 prompts here…