Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Life Drawing Tuesday


It's that time of year again. Figure drawing with a live model. Last season, I posted nothing at all, feeling disastified with my art, but mostly I was letting my ego get in the way. Life drawing is rough, and in the mediums I chose, there are no do-overs.
And here I go again, this time it's oil pastel and black sharpie.



So I looked over, and thought over, last years life drawings, and decided to jot down a few goals for the new session, being to ease up, worry less about the end result, and be as detailed, loose, sketchy, messy, neat, expressionist, art deco, monochrome or high coloum, just let go.
And I think I like it.
posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, September 26, 2015

On a Clear Day, more from Forillon National Park


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More from my sketchbook. This is one of the drawings I did at the campsite in Des Rosiers Campground. Unlike other trips, I did a little more art than usual and a lot less of everything else (not much reading, no crochet), because I was spending so much time just being in the moment.
The beach at Des Rosiers is open to the Gulf of St Lawrence, so the waves are usually rough and sometimes very large. The water is also brutally cold. But our August holiday coincided with some unusually warm weather. Not only was it 30C during the day, but we even had some 30C nights. And after that, it cooled down to warm and sunny everyday, making swimming at Des Rosiers at least bearable.
One day, and only one day, we had absolute flat glassy water.  I was thrilled to discover that if I very quietly dog-paddled and peered into the water at eyeball height, I could see down to bottom of the sea bed below. And I could see crabs, healthy live crabs scrabbling about just below.  First just one, and then, once I got the hang of it, I kept seeing more and more of them. Since I’ve never seen a healthy lively crab in it’s natural environment before, I was pretty thrilled (and yes, I also enjoy watching bumble bees and blue jays do their thing, so yeah, I get it, crabs are common in the ocean, but I still thought it was cool). 

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Looking back towards Des Rosiers beach . Forillon National Park
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Playground at Des Rosiers campground.  It’s a very photogenic playground, better yet, the view from the swing set (while actively swinging-yes, I know I’m too old for this equipment, and my butt was feeling the pinch of the kid-sized seat) but the view from the swings is completely awesome as the ocean appears and disappears from view.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Moments of Ocean

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Sharpie & Pen Art, quartered A4 paper
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More from my art journal, which consists of cardstock folded & torn into four quarters, apply life, ink, and imagination. Occassionally, something better than mess ensues.
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This one is about my holidays. Girl in a Green Dress. Only I am the girl.  It seems I made a spectacle of myself ( I seem to do this a lot). I was walking along the sloped pebble beach at Des Rosiers Campground, and the waves were coming in big and sloshy.  I was looking up at clouds, down at seawrack, and ahead at the horizon. I forgot to look at waves.  Barefoot, footing was difficult, or painful if one did not step carefully, so I got caught unawares by a rogue wave, that not only slobbered over my feet and ankles (which is fun) but engulfed knees and thighs and left my lovely green skater dress sopping wet.
I wrung it out and carried on.  The entire episode did not go unnoticed.  Some fellow campers will forever remember me as the women who walked up the beach like a little girl, barefoot, oblivious, caught in the big waves, soaking wet, and enjoying the moment.  It was fun except for having to run back to the campsite to get changed into something dry so I could enjoy the remainder of the evening in dry pants.
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And here’s the green dress, and my husband had no idea he was putting horns on my head when he snapped this pic of me in front of a lovely driftwood sculpture.
Enjoy every moment.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Fish Wife—Mermaids and fishermen

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I spent a lot of time swimming in the Gaspe, everyday, in fact.  It’s no surprise that mermaids came up in my sketchbook. This linocut was my husbands pick from the bunch. So now it’s carved and available on Etsy.
As for my holiday, it is not fading fast from memory, but when I look at my photo’s, they seem to miss the mark of really being there. Maybe that’s what makes art still relevant in this day and age of photography.  How does it feel to swim in the ocean, to battered about by waves, to be chilled to the bone, or cradled in warm salt water, spied upon by seals, caressed by strands of kelp, taste sweet rain and seawater in one breath both at once? Only art can answer that.
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I did not go swimming in this. It was a stormy day, and in the evening, the waves rolled in like continuous thunder, big as houses I like to say, or at least the height of a garage door as they swelled and rose up out of the mist.  Earlier in the day, I swam at a sandy beach (psst, Cap Aux Os—it’s a secret) that was serving up great big rollers in the face of an incoming squall. It was there that I acquired an audience of seals and people while I body-surfed in the pouring rain. Those waves were nice, mostly gentle, and surprisingly warm.
I’ve since been swimming again, this time in Lake Ontario, Rouge Beach and Bluffers Park Beach, stops on a bicycle tour with husband along the Toronto waterfront trail.  So, well, it’s no wonder I make a lot of mermaid art.  It’s hard not to feel some affinity with the theme.
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Forillon National Park, Bay of Gaspe, historic preservation of a fisherman’s home and outbuildings. Note the ramp to the sea. Boats get hauled up the cliff with a winch.
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And a view from within.  Natural light. Imagine that on a cold winters day, music, light, comfy chairs.
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& Boats and Nets.  The north side of the park is set up as an outdoor museum, with short hikes between buildings.  A good way to spend a rainy day.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Whale Tails, Starfish, Surf and Sand, Gaspé, Quebec

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Humpback Whale, Bay of Gaspé, Quebec.
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Starfish, Forillon National Park, Quebec, Des Rosiers Beach/Campground
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Forillon National Park, Quebec, Des Rosiers Beach/Campground
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Forillon National Park, Quebec, Cap Bon Ami Beach (yes, that tiny blob on the cliff is an adult human for scale compared to the incoming wave (I did not go swimming here on this day)).
I just don’t know where to begin, so I’ll just jump right in with one photograph each for Whale Tales, Starfish, Surf and Sand.  For this year’s holiday, we headed north east to Land’s End aka Gaspé, go much further and you fall off the ends of the earth, or at least into the vast Gulf of St. Lawrence.  It is a pocket ocean, by which I mean that it has everything I ever dreamed of finding on an ocean holiday all within the park.  Whales (up close on a cruise, and at a distance from the hiking trails), surf, lots, some of it battled, some of it body surfed, and some watched with trepidation from a safe distance), starfish (just one, found while I was swimming, obligingly remained until I could swim back to where I’d stashed my camera—yes I did return it to the ocean after the photo-shoot), salty swims daily (water temps where anything from barely tolerable to warm depending on the beach and the day (we were in the midst of a heat-wave)), seals, seals, seals everywhere (they people-watch, especially beach-combers and swimmers), live crabs tooling about on the ocean floor (probably not a big deal, but a first for me, and no, they don’t bite your toes and you don’t need shoes to swim), lighthouses, beautiful well-kept in-use lighthouses, and cliffs, and hiking trails, and friendly people, and….
on to the friendly people. My husband and I don’t know a lick of French (barring that gleaned from bilingual cereal boxes) and where a little nervous about travelling in Quebec with Anglais only.  But….everyone was very nice about it, very friendly, we said Bonjour, and Merci a lot, and were made to feel very welcome. Hopefully next time (and we plan on going back) we will have a few more conversational phrases to squeak out.
We stayed for 11 nights, which for some strange reason, surprised everyone. Most people stay two days, which is just enough time to visit the obvious hi-lights but nowhere near enough to explore, absorb and immerse.
There is so so so much more to tell. This trip was overwhelming and wonderful, but for now, I leave you with a page from my sketch, inspired by the sea.
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