Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Life Drawing Tuesday

Life Drawing, Male Nude, ink sketch with coloured pencils
Male Nude, 20 minute sketch on A4 paper, using pen and coloured pencil.
The nude at the bottom of the page is full frontal (but not particularly detailed) so don’t scroll down if that sort of thing bugs you.
It’s that time of year again.  September is ‘back to school’ season, and it sure feels that way to me, going to the first Life Drawing session of the season.  Will I be on time, will I know which door to open, who will I sit beside, will I talk to anybody, will my drawings suck, will I forget my pencils, did I remember my paper, not to mention that I just plain hate being out late at night.
Somehow, that first session always feels that way. We got a new venue, right in the Latcham Gallery building, which is awesome! The room is just the right size, big enough for in the round life drawing, but not so big that it feels cold and sterile. It’s a friendly amount of space.  I was just too gosh darned shy to talk to anybody, as usual. I will try harder next time.
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This was a 1/2 hour pose, coloured pencil on 9x12 pastel paper.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Wishes Granted Very Large and Very Small

It doesn’t happen everyday, or does it happen ever?  I got exactly what I wanted, in a very big colossal way; we are talking about literal acres of wish fulfillment.
What on earth could it be that makes me so feel so happy? Well, earth is part of the equation today. What I got is a big fat parcel of landscape, that, in a tax-payer way, is Mine, Mine, Mine, and yours too if you live in my neighbourhood.
Wild Apple  Tree, Musselman's Lake
And it’s not just that.  It was hot and I was thirsty, and there, dangling before me were juicy red apples.  They were crunchy, tart, and sweet and tasted not like Macintosh, and not like Delicious, and not like Granny Smith or any of the other ubiquitous grocery store types.  Because I’m suburban raised, I did bite in with some hesitation (ewwww, black spots!), and peeked at the results (worms? wrigglers?) before the swallow, but these were good, great, fabulous. And it was a weird experience to be wandering about, really really badly wanting something, and just have it dangled in front of you, free for the taking.
Yes, this one was small, yummy and delicious
So I have lands to explore just around the corner (literally) from where I live, and a reasonable expectation that it won’t be converted into more suburban sprawl in future.  So I have a place to sit and contemplate, to sit and draw, to take photographs, walk my dog, or just me, or cross-country ski, and I don’t have to drive to get there. 
So yes, wishes large and small have been granted.
Here’s the details if you are local and want to go.  The new park (I’m guessing it will be in the conventional sense) is  5 acres.  A remaining 132 acres will be conservation lands (I’m guessing this is the part I was wandering through and am so thrilled with) will be transferred to Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority (and it can’t get better than that!)

And, wow.  The family are some special kind of heroes for donating this land.   An act of exceeding generosity and forward thinking.
1st ink drawing, Coultice Park.
Here’s the very first sketch ever in the new place, using a black technical pen on 1/4 paper. So many textures and shapes, but what a beautiful day.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Stormy Weather, a Good Yarn about Lake Superior

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WIP, Crochet, The Lake Superior Weather Maker, (to become a rectangular shawl/stole that seems to invoke the weather it resembles)
I was away, now I’m back.  When I go on holidays, I leave my connections behind. This year, as almost every year, I went to Lake Superior Provincial Park, and headed down to a remote coastal beach to do some wilderness walk-in camping.  We were pretty much alone most of the time; the weather was terrible. I don’t create a lot of art on my holidays, usually I am too busy doing things, even if the thing I’m doing is watching the sun go down (did some of that too). Even art takes your attention away from the subject.  I’ve practically memorized wave patterns over the years, and skies, just by watching. 
I like crochet, because as long as it’s easy and repetitive, I can keep my eyes on things that really count, water, sand, sky, trees, birds, rocks—that sort of thing.  For this year’s holiday crochet, I decide to use the sky as a theme, and go-it-alone without a pattern.  Stitch-wise, I’m using a basic wave form pattern, with variations. Yarn-wise, it’s left overs (stash-yarn as yarnies call it) that go together.  Since my selection was in white, black, grey, blue, and some really cool black & green eyelash yarn, I thought it would make some great stormy weather.  Unfortunately, that seemed to work out quite literally, as I ended up stitching together a real whopper of a storm.  The green eye lash row did it, as it looks like those super saturated clouds that spill water like rivers of ink.  And sure enough, rivers did indeed fall out of the sky, and trees too.
I’m quite superstitious in the woods, and Lake Superior is described by many to be Gods’ Country, usually plural. There are spirits in the air, and it is hard to miss them if you stay there for any length of time.  So I after the awful storm  that I renamed Bad Wednesday (I’ll post a snippet my my journal in a minute), I slowed down my yarny adventure with the shawl as I didn’t want to create any more bad weather, but I still had some grey yarn rows to do, and of course, more rain followed.  Finally, I got to the blue skies and fluffy white clouds sections, which is where it ended off. I’m not sure if the finishing of the shawl will be as creative or awesome scary as the beginning, as really, I’m just making a shawl and using up yarn, but the beginning sections sure made for some excitement.
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We spent a lot of time on this beach looking for ‘sky holes’, you know, those things in the sky that let the sun shine through on occasion. There really were not many.  My journaling was curt and fast and disjointed; most of the time I was just concentrating on keeping my hands warm.
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And how cold was it??? You might ask, perhaps this picture answers? Yes, that is my swimsuit standing up all by itself looking out onto the beach, and that sparkly stuff on the sand is not fairy dust.
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Yes, we do love swimming in Lake Superior, and not much stops us.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mini-Origami Papers, as promised

I've been away, now I'm back. I did say I would post some origami papers to practice with. I made these using the kaleidoscope app, so they are small but just the right size for the bookmark fold. I have full-sized tested digital papers for sale on Etsy, those take me much longer to make as the kaleidoscope app is just the starting point but these little guys are great for practice. Enjoy.





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