Thursday, November 28, 2013

My Messy Desk—Creative Space

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It’s amazing I get anything done, isn’t it?  Most days are spent digging for lost items, be it pens, pencils, paper or artwork. Not kidding.
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And that doesn’t include wool-gathering staring out the window, which looks out onto the bird feeders, and beyond, the street. Birds, dogs and their walkers, slouchy teens, gnarly old dudes with cigarettes hanging from their mouth, etc…
And I didn’t even mention the blue jays that beg me to get up and throw peanuts in a shell. They love whole peanuts, which is probably part of being intelligent, self aware and capable of planning for the future. Peanuts in a shell can be cached for a long time, seen as they have their own natural wrapper in tact.
And then there is the computer, which I loathe. It is unbelievable how much time it takes to scan, post and describe a work of art, not to mention scratch my brain for useful keywords so that someone might actually manage to find my art on the web. By the time I’ve posted my work, any work, on Etsy, I’m pretty done in for words. 
And I’ve been posting a lot to Etsy. I finally have reach 100 items. That’s A LOT of paper!  I got it organized into folder, so hopefully the next time someone buys something, I won’t have to spend an hour hunting it done (been there, done that, didn’t like it one bit).
So, am sorry if I’ve been neglecting my favourite blogs, but that IS about to change. I have joined the 21st century and have WiFi in my home now (at $40—I have no idea why I held out so long, still no cell-phone though).  Which means I can read blogs, and other word worthy websites at my leisure in a comfy chair on my android tablet. So, bring on the words, I am looking forward to your next post.
And for those of you who read me, I will try to post more often. I will try to find some words again (which often escape me entirely) and continue filling in with my art, and brief notes on art, in the meantime.
See, now I’m tired, it’s lunch-time, I’m hungry, I’m out of here….enjoy life.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Life Drawing Tuesday

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Life drawing on 9x12 bristol, using graphite, coloured pencil, and prismacolor sticks.
Life Drawing: here’s Jane.  Great model, and I love here short poses for the energy she displays. Here in the long pose, reclining, her energy is connects with the earth like a conduit that goes deep underground. As I often do, I finished this many days later, strengthening line and colour when time, and the original subject has passed from the scene.  Here is a ‘studio’ shot with the tools of the trade on displays. Yes, I do need the granny glasses to work up close.
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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Life Drawing Tuesday--Dark Thoughts

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Life Drawing, Oil Pastel, Watercolor Pencil, Colored Pencil on Bristol
Our model this week is Jim, and he is our only male model for this session, so kudos to Jim for modelling. We need males; they are 50% of the population, and how else are we to learn to draw them. Jim is a retired gentleman, and his entry into the world of modelling for artists is an interesting story.
It begins with Alzheimers’ disease, his mothers. He was her caregiver and he found himself in need of getting away from the situation both physically and mentally. He also was aware of the genetic component of the disease and wanted to do something for himself that could be therapeutic.  Keeping active, mentally, physically, and socially is one of the best ways to minimize the effects of an aging brain…so he joined an life drawing group, as an artist—an interesting step for a man that had never before put hand to pencil.  It certainly was a way to step outside the comfort zone and train the brain to accept new experiences. It also gave a welcome weekly distraction during a tough time of his life.
Now he also models, and as an artist, he knows what we want.  Age is a factor, and for long poses, he can’t give us torsion and twist, but his short poses are stunning, full of action and emotion. This mixed media is worked up from a 2 minute pose that I’d sketched on A4 paper. In studio, I transferred it to Strathmore Bristol, and used a combination of oil pastel, coloured pencil and watercolor pencil to work up to the finished piece. 
We don’t like to contemplate age and aging, and this piece certainly deals with both the physical and emotional aspects. It’s not what I call marketable, not pretty, happy, svelt, decorative, but I’m posting it on Etsy anyway, as part of my life drawing portfolio.
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Here’s the long pose, this was done entirely on site/live. This one I have mixed feelings about.  The technical aspects are off (proportions), but I really like the push pull of the heavy reds vs the light cool blues. So I’m showing it off for better or worse. Part of the advantage of life drawing is having scheduled time to experiment and take risks. Some experiments can be repeated later in another time and place, style gets developed here.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Are We There Yet? Gelatin Printmaking

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Gelatin Monoprint using natural found objects, leaves and grass, 8.5x11"inches
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Gelatin Monoprint using natural found objects, leaves and grass, 8.5x11"inches
Sometimes when I’m working with gelatin, I’m just not sure when done is done.  I’ve wrecked more than a few by adding in the one extra fatal layer. Sometimes this happens because the image was incomplete, truly needed a new element, a focal point, colour, etc… and I made a mistake on the final step. But there are times, when I add an element just because I’m afraid it won’t ‘read’ well as thumbnail on the internet, or requires a ‘keyword friendly element’ (ie. cat, raven, mermaid) to be found on Etsy. 
This time, I’m resisting the urge. If they are unfinished, if they need little birds or kittens, or even abstract pen scribbles, these things can always be added at a later date.  Maybe I’ll wake up one day, find them boring and draw on top of them, but today, I declare them done, finished, complete.
Available, on Etsy in the Nature and Outdoors Section

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