I had so much fun making this mess! I also learned something really important - I need to buy a timer for the studio so I don't have to carry the kitchen timer back and forth all the time. I did Julianna Cole's mail art exercise from Kaleidoscope by Suzanne Siminaitis. I really like this book - it's packed with great ideas and exercises and best of all, lots of advice on getting over perfectionism and just getting down to making stuff.
My hands turned out very pretty after my play session.
My postcards turned out very pretty too. This exercise involves gathering a bunch of supplies and then doing each step in a very quick, intuitive way. You have either 5 or 10 minutes for each step and you set the timer and stop when time is up. Ohmigosh is this liberating!
You actually aren't supposed to make anything pretty with this exercise, but I found that when I didn't have time to think, things just effortlessly fell into themes and pretty compositions. It actually would have been harder for me to make things unpretty. Hmm, wonder what that says about me?
I love how fresh these postcards feel. They seem so much better to me than something I spent a long time agonizing over, trying to be perfect.
I also learned that it's much easier to give yourself a short amount of time to do just one step rather than saying "I have one hour to make something." No pressure to make a whole piece, all I have to do for the next 5 minutes is slap some paint down. All in all, a great exercise and a really fun play session.