Thursday, February 25, 2010

WIP—11x14 something, & life drawings

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Work In Progress.  Here’s the 11”x14” something I’ve been tweeting about.  This is the underpainting/drawing, using Inktense Watersoluble pencils, & some plain old watercolour on ‘ripple’ watercolour paper. I purchased it out of curiousity, and now I want more. It’s smooth enough for pencils, but the unusual texture holds strong pigments.

Of course, now that it’s laid out, I dither.  The next step would/might be acrylic gel & sand, followed by prismacolor’s.  That is the plan, but I like this stage; it’s quick and fresh. Once I go to step #2, I’ll be in for the long haul, pick & poking, hopefully coming out the otherside unscathed.

Much safer to blather on my blog.

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Life drawing; someone new.  A very good model, some nice poses.  Prismacolor on bond paper.

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Life drawing; one of my favourite models, poses with flair. Prismacolor on cardstock (I have no idea how card stock got into my kit, but I rather liked using it).

Now I must get back and make some decisions on my 11x14 something.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

In His Pocket - A Little Fiction


He touched the little box in his pocket and smiled.

Arnold kept it close, in his right pant pocket with keys, wrappers, and crumpled blue post-it notes. He'd had it for a long time--ever since he'd wandered alone into Tam's Trinkets when he was ten.

"How do I know it's a dragon?"

"Boy, can't you feel it?"

"Yes." He could feel it jerking in his hand. "But if I open the box?"

"There are only two things you can do with a dragon in a box. Keep it close, or let it go. "

____

Arnold was forty. He worked in a cubicle farm with a clutch of other office workers. He pecked at a keyboard, shuffled papers and mumbled at a telephone. He was bored alot, but none of that mattered--he had a dragon in a box.

Sometimes it spoke to him, but only in his dreams. On slow days, his head would gravitate to his desk. The dragon would whisper, Free me. Let me go.

No.

Then the box in his pocket would bump and wake him.

Sometimes, briefly, he would think, I'm a loser, but then he would touch his pocket and remember that he kept a dragon there and everything was fine again.

One day, Arnold was called into the swank corner office; he took his usual place by the window while his boss pontificated on sales figures and the need for increased productivity. As Arnold's fingers curled around his box, he could feel the dragon's heartbeat ticking away. And that decided him.

He pulled the box from his pocket and lifted the lid.

The dragon poured out in a river of flame; neither wall nor ceiling could contain it. It filled the room and then the sky outside until it grew so big and spread so thin it grew invisible in the wind. Arnold laughed until he cried; his pocket empty of dragons but the world full.


Image: from my 365 Art Card Project, terraskin paper, watercolour, graphite, ink, generously gimped (like photoshopped, but using the opensource software gimp)

Wrote this some years ago, when I was a member of the WCDR (a regional writers group). It was a response to a contest, published here: WordWeaver (PDF file)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Raven's Realm

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This is the forested silhouette against the night sky from the campground of George Lake, Killarney Provincial Park.  Just at dusk, the ravens began their evening conference, calling from various points to decide up the night’s roost.  By night fall, they were settled safely for a quiet night under the protection of the pines.

While the ravens shun our southern Ontario cities, they are lords of the northern forest.  This is their land where the trees touch the sky.

Image: 11”x14” 200lb Saunders Cold-pressed watercolour paper watercolour, watersoluble pencil, coloured pencil, india ink.

This one is going to Art For Africa, an event I was honoured to be invited to.  In fact, I dithered on this one more than most, leaving days between stages so as not to ‘screw things up’.  Thank goodness for the 365 Art Card Project that gives me a zero pressure outlet for my art.  Well, now this one’s done, framed, almost packaged and leaving my front door this weekend. 

I was glad to be asked to donate, as my monetary charitable donations dried up quite awhile ago.  It’s nice to give back for a change.

PS. I am trying to be more of a participator this year. Stick my neck out, even socialize, the latter being a truly scary thing for me.  So far, I’ve only managed to be more noisy on twitter, but I’m working on it.  In the Art for Africa venue, I will actually try to talk to people, you know, face to face.  Very scary.

Thanks bloggers for visiting and chatting here.  Practice makes perfect, sort of…

Friday, February 12, 2010

Terraskin-New ‘paper’ trial

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This blog is a personal blog, and normally I don’t do reviews, but I found a new ‘paper’ to try.  There were swatches in the art store so I took some home.  Looking for a subject, there was Lennier.  He likes, when I get to bed (I do most of 365 Art Card Project in bed, btw), to come and sit on my knees, and he purrs for hours (yes, literally); I think he likes the sound of his own voice.  Actually, he would prefer to sit on my book, my paper, my art supplies, or my pencils—we have fights about that. When I win, he sits on my knees (above).  When I lose, he stalks off and leaves me to my own inconsiderate silence.  So, of course, he became the first trial subject of the terraskin paper, which apparently, is not paper.

It’s similar to Yupo, in some ways, having a plastic feel and being slightly water resistant.  Unlike Yupo, it is not absurdly prone to fingerprints and my prismacolors go on smooth and bright instead of pale and clumpy (I hate Yupo).  It has an eggshell texture and slight oyster colour and a heavy feel that I find extremely appealing in the hand especially for the itty bitty aceo’s that I’m doing.  I liked it so much that I couldn’t wait to get back to the art store (Currie’s Art Supply in Markham) and buy some.  While it’s pretty pricy, for the small stuff that doesn’t matter, and I very much like it’s look for the illustrative style above.

Top Image: Lennier, above, done with Inktense & Pentel Pocket Brush, terraskin paper, aceo

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Above: watercolour, prismacolor & graphite on terraskin aceo

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Above: watercolour on terraskin aceo

Below: More cute cats, okay, I couldn’t resist showing off my cuddle bunnies. Left, Archer, Right, Lennier doing what they do best. Inktense, Pentel Pocket Brush, on terraskin paper aceo

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PS. I’VE BEEN GOOGLED.  Go to google maps, type in “14811 9th line stouffville” , go to street view and you’ll see me walking the dog around the lake.  I was none too pleased at the time, but in hindsight I think it’s rather funny.  Since Musselman’s Lake was googled on a brilliant azure and emeralds spring day, it also looks like I live in paradise.  As for privacy, they did make good on blurring things out.  Anyone else been caught by street views?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Rosa Sky-from Sea to Shining Sea

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I can see for miles. Here’s the view from Glen Major Forest; previously, I’ve been calling it Walker Woods, but upon perusal of my maps I realized that while my access point is Walker Woods, the fantastic view is part of Glen Major Forest. While the names change, it is all the same to the trees.

From here, I realize, I can see all the way to the Nuclear Power Station on Lake Ontario, which means I am looking directly at my birth place, and the place where I lived for 20 odd years. Both the vision of a vast blue band of water on the horizon, and an eagles eye view at what once passed for home evoked thoughts and memories of long ago.

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From Sea to Shining Sea refers to Canada’s vast East/West border, but the phrase is evocative of the voyage that my parents took to get here.

It was a long time ago. Shortly after the Second World War, my parents where a newly married couple with a babe in hand. Germany was in a rough state, and at the time (little did they know) they saw no hope of things getting better. They decided to emigrate to Canada, the land of blue lakes and silver birch and that was their impression, built upon Promotional Posters from Immigration Canada and the wilderness romances of Karl May. They were of an age that nowadays means pub nights, university exams and borrowing dads car. Instead, they packed their bags, said a permanent goodbye to their known world and stepped on board an Trans-Atlantic ocean liner, Economy class, or whatever they called the cramped berths below decks where the peasants piled on and lived below decks,

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As my parents are no longer alive, I’m gleaning this story from the myths of childhood told across the dinner table (we actually ate in dining room in the early years, that was BST <Before Star Trek>) so please excuse me if I muddle the facts, but vividly in my mind, I can see the high seas as described. Seas so rough that even the seasoned sailors were going green around the edges. My sister, under one year old, apparently had a wonderful time, gurgling joyfully as her bassinette slid from one end of the cabin to the other. Somewhere along the way while crossing the Atlantic, they met up with, intimately, an ice berg (this is true).

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Unlike the grand drama and tragedy of the Titantic, their voyage did not end in catastrophe. The hull was breached with a slow leak that the pumps could not quite handle; by the time they reached vicinity of Halifax Harbour they’d shipped so much water they couldn’t make it into port. That said, there was no mad scramble; in due time they were transferred in by rescue boats, each and every one of them, babies, baskets, luggage and all.

What became of the Rosa Sky, I do not know. It was left behind at sea in their story and its future was not part of my parents story. They never made another voyage by sea, and never hankered after a cruise ship holiday either. They did have an affinity for row boats and canoes.

Thanks Jenny, for asking…more to come in random bits and pieces.

Images: more from the 365 Art Card Project. Only the last created specifically for this entry. I tried to recreate exactly what pops into my head when I remember the tale of my parents voyage. The 2nd from the top is more happy memories of Lake Superior being ‘sportive’ but I figured it would do. The next is an abstract of frozen waterfalls but let it stand in as iceberg. And the 1st is a penciled image of the view from the top, but I think I should of wet the colours, or added darks, but never got brave enough. I’m just not used to grand vistas.

P.S. Sorry about all the small stuff. I’ve been busy, some of it’s on Etsy, some of it’s secret, and some of it involves getting busy with social networking (ie. twitter & facebook) and hoping it pays off in the end. So far so good…meeting some intriguing tweeple.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Life Drawing Tuesdays

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Yes, its that time of the year again. Life Drawing on Tuesday, many yawns (its evenings, and I am just not good at staying up). Usually I cross my finger and hope to get one good image, this time it was two. I really felt rusty and excruciatingly tired but we old did short poses which suited my attention span. I used white bond paper for these, and three pencils, blue-violet, sienna, and ochre. I found the combination so mesmerizing they were the only three pencils I used all night.

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& some news:

I've decided to try twitter marketing a little more, um, actively and I feel like such a spammer doing that that I've set up another twitter address @KaslkaosArt (was gallery, which was awkward). I figure, with a user name like that, one should expect the odd link to Etsy, so at least it feels honest. So I'm chattering away over there to no one in particular (which is the very nature of twitter) and doing lots of following and getting followed back (at 295 at time of writing). If I’ve been following you on my other account, I’ll probably follow you on the gallery account too, no obligation to back follow! I just want to read what you are up to without having to logout and log in again. (re: the stupid things I do because I’m on dial-up…)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Walker Woods Uxbridge, Another Beautiful Day

A story told in 35 square inches (4 ACEO’s/ATC’s)

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Up, up, & up, and then down, wheeeee!

Beautiful Walker Woods in Uxbridge is a recent discovery for me. It is not far from my home (15 minutes by car) but I never knew it existed until last summer when I was itching for some new scenery and began perusing my ORTA (Oak Ridges Trail Association) maps. The Uxbridge sections shows some lovely swathes of green that span a number of concessions. In summer, we found it to be deep, green and shady. Autumn reveals a golden beauty that rivals Algonquin Park, and now in winter we have discovered a paradise for cross-country skiing. We’ve enjoyed kilometres/miles of uninterrupted trails that are groomed to perfection by the tracks of fellow enthusiasts sharing the trail.

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Somewhere near Post 21. This woods has little You Are Here Maps everywhere. I think it’s funny, but handy too.

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After about 45 minutes from the parking lot, past Post 38 we find ourselves on barren high hills populated by weeds, grasses and scrub thorn trees. The view is fantastic, though, and you can see all the way South to Lake Ontario, Pickering. There are limestone slab benches up there, too, to be enjoyed in balmier weather. I believe it’s very close to a more southerly parking lot.

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And here we are on are way home, taking the long way around so that we catch one of the best hills that winds it’s way down through a hardwood forest. The house on the hill is some mansion; a teaser look at how the other half lives.

I haven’t created any larger images of Walker Woods, but have captured it in numerous ACEO’s as I crunch away at my 365 Art Card Project. As these are small enough to complete in 1/2 hour it is often the best way to create a memento of the day—quickly before the memory fades.

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