Week Four #PatternJanuary (+ a few days)

During week four I was suddenly hit by a few things.

First of all, before I even realized it I had gotten over the halfway hump and had successfully posted a pattern everyday (champion hand swing over the shoulder emoji).

Secondly, I was suddenly overcome with a mile long to-do list of things I want to do after the month was complete. I had been so productive and had a TON of forward moving momentum and couldn’t wait until the month was over and I could work on this and work on that and everything else under the sun and moon. As much fun as I was having, I was also excited to start on some new projects.

Lastly, it’s funny how as the month went along, what I thought would be a typical pattern for the day at the beginning of the month (quick and small in a little art book, easy-peasy, no stress) ended up being no longer acceptable in my mind. As I did pieces that were more time consuming and I became more and more pleased with them, the standard elevated and I felt guilt if I only had time to do a quick piece.

Case in point:

Day 22 Letter
Little art book

The theme of letter should have been an amazing pattern! I obviously went with a mail theme and I LOVE MAIL. Instead, this was one of those days where after I got off work, got in my daily steps and all the other things that had to be done, it got so late that I ended up just grabbing an old gelatin print, slapping it in a little art book and scribbling out some envelopes and postcards in white gel pen with a touch of pencil shading and called it a night. The letter pattern should have been a passion piece, where I spent all day thinking of ideas, a good amount of time playing with ideas in my sketchbook and then a few hours executing the pattern.

On top of everything else I had going on in January, I was also sick for 3 weeks. Now that the month is over I am astounded that I got through it and made a pattern every day. I am immensely proud of myself.

Day 23 Everyday

This is the closest I've come to the midnight deadline. It took me forrrreverrrrr to think of an idea for "everyday" but then it hit me, black and white stripes! That is my everyday.

This was a day that I was kinda  stressing out about what I was going to do for “Everyday”. I don’t think I had a single idea until I finally sat down to try and get to business and it finally hit me. Black and white stripes. That really is part of my everyday. I’ve had a love affair with stripes since high school and I remember being crushed hearing “horizontal stripes are not flattering” but I decided I didn’t care. They made me happy. I’ve kinda transitioned to preferring a black and off white or cream. For this piece I created some new black and white stripes and opened other little art books to pages that were already black and white stripes. The one page that says “ERRYDAY” was an already made page, but the center box was empty, so I was able to add that.

Day 24 Supplies

Day 24 #patternjanuary, #supplies. This is the first time I've made a pattern that I'm actually excited to make into a fabric. It would need some work because I literally just did a rough paint bucket background so the edges are wonky when you blow it up.

I immediately thought of art supplies, and then when I was thinking of specific art supplies I thought of my love for tiny pencils. I love tiny pencils. I feel like if you use a pencil all the way down to a nub, you did the pencil great justice. Meanwhile I have a coworker that was throwing away pencils after she sharpened them a few times and it broke my heart, so she started passing them off onto me, hurrah! I love, love, love this pattern. Originally I was just going to do one yellow #2 pencil and create stripes, but after one I had to do another and the next thing I knew I was searching my drawing table and art bins for other small pencils to paint.

And the #tinypencils I used as reference for the "supplies" pattern today

There’s the eraser, which would have come from my coworker Fred that passed away last fall, the chewed pencil, the blue drawing pencil left over from college, the “natural” wood colored pncil and for one more touch of variety, a red mini pencil. I plan on making this pattern into a fabric and hopefully a skirt.

Day 25 Put a Bird On It

Put a bird on it, papercut over gelatin print collage #patternjanuary

I saw this theme ahead of time and thought “That’s gonna be a fun one!” but when the day came I got stumped. Finally I decided to watch the original skit and was reminded that most of the birds they used were silhouettes of birds. Boom! I drew out birds on black construction paper and then pasted them over a gelatin print collage and I ended up really liking it.

Day 26 Argyle

#PatternJanuary #argyle - Vintage papers (Browns) and gelatin prints (pink) with digital linework (dots) - off to bed 😴💤

This piece’s color palette and materials were inspired by this piece by Suzanna Scott. I went into my studio and grabbed a bunch of vintage papers, and then went through my gelatin prints for pinks with patterns. I cut the papers into squares and alternated the vintage with the prints, assembled them on paper, scanned them and then repeated the pattern and added the white dot line digitally.

Day 27 Snowflake

Day 27 #PatternJanuary #snowflake

Continuing on with my grass and prairie theme, I thought how as much as I’ve photographed winter prairie, I’ve never tried to paint or draw it. I looked up some pictures I had taken and there was a lot of them with dead queen anne’s lace. I was pleasantly surprised how this one came out. I put down a layer of gesso to add texture to the paper and then built layers upon that. I originally thought I was going to try and accent with white gel pen for snow or frost on the queen anne’s lace, but after adding a few lines I could tell it wasn’t going to work and I was happy with how it came out, without any additional snow on it.

Day 28 Snowflake

Work in progress, #PatternJanuary

When I read log cabin I immediately thought of nothing else other than the quilt pattern. Instead of pulling from already patterned papers, I took it upon myself to decorate papers for this pattern.#PatternJanuary #logcabin #letsmakepatterns #robayrepatterns

It definitely didn’t come out as I had hoped. You win some (snowflake, above) and you lose some (log cabin)

Day 29 Diamond

#Diamond immediately made me think of the mailart series I did with these random geometric shapes. I painted this in color but I actually like it better in black and white. 2 more days to go! #PatternJanuary #robayrepatterns #letsmakepatterns

This piece was inspired by a bunch of mailart pieces I’ve made in the past with made up geometric shapes. I made it in color, but liked it a whole lot more when I de-saturated the color dramatically. De-saturate Dramatically, that has to be an oxymoron. This piece and the next piece were created in a hotel room downtown Chicago, that was gifted to us by Matt’s family. I love making artwork in hotels. Change of scenery.

Day 30 Stipple

#PatternJanuary #stipple Inspired by the way @aisforanika discharges her brush onto another sheet of paper with the intentions of building upon it to make a new pattern, I created this piece. I added the stipple polka dots with a 40% gray prisms color mar

I was inspired by Anika’s periscopes where she shares how she discharges the paint or ink from her brush on a consecutive page in her sketchbook to create new patterns. Normally I’ll just use a rinse jar and try to drop any excess paint back in the well on my palette. I was using one of my water brush pens, so sometimes I’ll turn to a scrap paper and drag long lines to discharge. But this time I started leaving different marks on a new page, which led me to liking that new page better than the original, but then I started a third pattern when I was discharging from the second piece and I liked that even more. This is that third piece. It’s is so not a Robyn color palette (no bright reds or yellow greens) but I think I got a few comments on how people really liked the colors.

Day 31 Symmetry

Here is a little thumbnail of my final piece for #patternjanuary (symmetry), see the full piece on the @littleartbook page. Last week I was so excited to reach the home stretch and welcome February and start working on a list of other projects. Now here i

For this piece I did a technique that I’ve done several times in the past. I use the neocolor II watercolor crayons and color a pattern thick and heavy and then spray down the page and close the book. Leave it for a few minutes and when you return you get something like this.

#patternjanuary day 31 symmetry

Depending on how much you spray and how long you leave it before closing the book and if you spray the blank page as well, or keep it dry, and how long you leave the book closed, will give you different effects.

That’s it! a whole month of pattern making. I had a blast and I’m so thrilled to know I still have it in me to do a month long daily challenge. It felt SO GOOD! I’ll be back in a few with a recap.

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

3 Responses to “Week Four #PatternJanuary (+ a few days)”


  1. 1 Anika Starmer

    I love these recap posts and I wish I’d done them on a weekly basis. I might have to do a shortened version. I really enjoy reading a little about each piece, and there are some I forgot that I saw before (but then remembered that I did see). I think it’s easy to speed through stuff on Instagram, so I’m enjoying this “slower” view.

    Once again I find myself thinking, “me too!” about: feeling like I had to do better and better patterns as the month went on and not slack off. The one time in the month when I didn’t bring my vision to life was for argyle. I really wanted to do argyle sweaters, but I also really needed a “break” from that tighter illustrative style.

    When you were talking about how some days you spent a ton of time on stuff and some days you didn’t, and the next image you showed as an example was the letters–I thought it was going to be an example a day you spent a lot time on it! It looks so great!

    I was also sick for most of the month! I didn’t even realize how sick I was until now when I’m feeling better I realize how tired I was all January. Extra bonus points for both of us for sticking with it and making our patterns everyday. There were a couple of days when I really wanted to skip it and catch up the next day, but I always managed to do it that day anyway, and was always glad I did.

    Thanks so much for participating in #patternjanuary. It really made the month more fun to see your patterns every day!

  2. 2 courtney

    That pencil pattern should become a fabric that is used for zippered pencil pouches! Or the lining fabric for a backpack or soft lunchbox. I love love love it.

  3. 3 Luxury Flats Lady

    Some great patterns here! I particularly like the pencils one.

Leave a Reply