Hi and welcome back to the Chrissie Murphy Designs Blog. Well, after another 31 glorious days of drawing, Inktober 2022 is done and dusted! What a special Inktober this one has been for me. I have HEAPS to share, so let’s get into it so I can fill you in on the final details.
What did Inktober 2022 look like?
Above is an image of the full 31 days of Inktober. It turned out well, but what it doesn’t show is the struggles and the doubts I had as I worked my way through it.
In my post about “Getting Ready for Inktober 2022” I shared about using ornament from the Byzantine Period to embellish my Coat of Arms. In theory this sounded great, but in practice I found it quite challenging. There’s more on this later.
In the end though it all came together. You can’t see this full story of what my Inktober 2022 looked like in the images above and below. But you can know that I loved it, I loved every minute of it, even the challenging bits! What a labour of love it has been.
How would I describe the journey?
Last year I spoke about loving the process of working on one piece for 31 days. I truly do love this process and it’s why I opted for the same approach again this year. But the bit I loved the most this year was creating something special for me and my family.
Over September and October I have had the opportunity to think about some things. Working on this piece for Mick seemed to stir up things. I spent a lot of time thinking about what matters most to me as an artist. The way I worked through this question is a little unusual, but I think it’s worthwhile sharing.
Artistically speaking, what would I regret most if I lost use of my hands tomorrow?
I asked myself: Artistically speaking, what would I regret most if I lost use of my hands tomorrow?
This was a great way to help me picture and prioritise what matters most to me as an artist. Here’s what I decided;
- I would regret not working on pieces like this Inktober piece more often. I truly love the process of working on one piece in a structured way over many days. I don’t seem to get the opportunity to do this very often, so I’d like to change that.
- I would regret not trying to master ornamental flourishes and design. I’ve shared a number of times on the blog my deep love for the acanthus and ornamental flourishes and design. I have struggled to understand and compose them and I regret not having tried harder to learn them. This is something else I’d like to change.
- I would regret not giving portraiture a try. I absolutely love portraiture but tend to think I just can’t do it. So I’d like to change that and give it a try.
- I would also regret not giving landscape art a try. Just like portraiture, I really love it, but tend to think I can’t do it, so then I don’t even try. Again, I’d like to change this.
What matters most though….
In the end, what matters to me most is the artistic gift that the Lord has deposited within me. And coming out of Inktober, I must acknowledge that up until now, I feel like I have been limiting myself, therefore limiting Him. I don’t want to end up regretting not having pursued the things I have longings for as an artist.
I believe these longings are ones the Lord has put in me, so going forward I intend to pursue them.
Reaching the end of Inktober 2022, how do I feel?
I feel invigorated, I feel ready and I feel intentional.
This Inktober stirred up some things that I wasn’t expecting. I think it’s due to the history of what I was working on and the reason why I was working on it. The reason is simple, it was Family. It was something my father-in-law and I spoke of, but I never had the chance to create when he was here. I regret that, and I don’t want to be in a position to regret things anymore.
And that’s important because family has such a strong way of shaping us. I’ve shared a number of times on the blog, the rich creative history that’s within my family. I don’t want to ever get to a point where I let that expire. Future generations are impacted by what we do now, and I want my legacy to add to the creative history of my birth family and my family by marriage.
I didn’t expect the history of what I was working on to be so profound though. Let me explain.
About the Murphy Coat of Arms
The name Murphy is derived from the Gaelic O’Murchadha sept which translates into ‘Sea Warrior’. The Murphy family Coat of arms came into existence many centuries ago, and there is meaning behind the symbols that form the Coat of Arms. I like to see this as things that have been spoken and declared over the Murphy Family for centuries. Listen to how amazing they are:
- The White/Argent or Silver colour denotes peace and sincerity.
- The Gules/Red is known as “The Martyr’s Colour”. It signifies military fortitude and magnanimity.
- The Or/Yellow/Gold represents generosity.
- The Sable/Black denotes constancy and sometimes grief.
- The Fess (which is a charge on a coat of arms (or flag) that takes the form of a band running horizontally across the centre of the shield) denotes a military belt or girdle of honour.
- The Wheatsheaf/Garb is a symbol of plenty.
- The Lion is an emblem of deathless courage.
What great attributes these are to be represented by and living under. I’ve been so impacted by this. I want what I do, to add to it, and it means exploring the things I feel called to. It means being intentional about how I progress.
What worked well for me?
I had a couple of things I implemented this Inktober that I hadn’t done before. Firstly, I allowed myself to focus on just Inktober for the entire month, and I think the results speak for themselves.
Having the time to dedicate myself FULLY to this project has been invaluable. I feel like I have come away with a magnificent piece of art. But I’ve also come away with direction, understanding, clarity and a refined purpose. I can’t tell you how meaningful that is for me!
Secondly, I kept my colour scheme simple. The Coat of Arms was my guide, and I continued with the heralded themes of peace and sincerity, military fortitude and magnanimity, generosity, constancy and sometimes grief. I think the results are really powerful for having done this.
What didn’t work well for me?
Because I was working with ornanent from the Byzantine Period, I found it difficult to find the right kinds of ornament for what I felt the design needed.
Had I been tangling, I would have known I needed a Leaf Tangle or a Ribbon Tangle to suit a space, but I didn’t have that option with my reference book. I had to continually adapt the ornaments, and I found this quite challenging.
I also found achieving the dimension I was seeking through shading difficult as well. Predominantly I used graphite and a black pastel pencil to shade, but I battled to achieve the definition I was seeking. In the end, I relented and used my Copics in places.
The Factual Bits
What materials did I use
- Zentangle Opus Tile
- Signo Uniball Gel Pens
- Artline Fine Tip Markers
- Pentel Fude Touch Pen
- Graphite Pencil
- Black Pastel Chalk Pencil
- Grey Copic Markers in W5
What technique did I use?
I used a grid, where I began in the centre and then worked my way outwards, ornament by ornament.
What will I be doing with it?
This is a piece made for my family and it will hang proudly on display in my home.
How big is my Inktober 2022 piece?
It is 30cm x 30cm square (three times my normal size)
Want to be more Expressive?
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Until next time, listen to your heart and sharpen your coloured pencils. A masterpiece awaits!
Bless you my friend