Thursday, August 31, 2006

figure drawing today

Today we spent 3 hours drawing in figure class. It was fantastic and also exhausting and intense. But I loved every minute of it! We started with 2 minute gestures drawings, then did 20 minute poses after that. Above are some of my valiant attempts.

I also worked a little in my art journal today, so will be posting something from that very soon.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

figure drawing today

This is today's sketch from Life Drawing. It was a 20 minute pose, so it's pretty basic, but I like the line in it.

I have to tell you, this class is a challenge! I'm understanding the teacher, and it makes sense when she does things, but then when I try to apply them to my own drawing, it's like everything she said has run away to a non-functioning part of my brain. But if I can get it, I can see that my whole way of drawing will change for the better.

She talks about shapes and masses, breaking everything down to shapes first. The body can be looked at as a series of shapes. Combining the proper shapes makes a body that you can then refine from there. Today we focused on hands and arms. And once again, we began with shapes. Also the cool thing is how mathmatical the body is, how perfectly proportioned we are. It makes me more aware of the mystery and magnificence of nature, of the Universe.

Anyway, we only had time for a 20 minute pose today (hence the above drawing) but on Thursday we will draw all class time (about 3 hours). That will be exhausting but rich. In the meantime I plan to practice, practice, practice!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Today is my birthday, so to celebrate instead of baking a cake, I painted a cake! It's been a lovely day so far...dear friends took me out to lunch, and more friends meeting me for dinner tonight. Very enjoyable! 46 years old. Wow. It's very strange being on this side of 50. But life continues to get better with each passing year, so hopefully I've got a lot to look forward to, and a lot of adventures ahead.

Friday, August 25, 2006

the body

"The body is a house of many windows; there we sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passers-by to come and love us." Robert Louis Stevenson

some creating from yesterday

I had some time yesterday and felt like doing some jewelry, which I haven't done in quite awhile. I pieced together some vintage beads and medals using wire wrapping and jump rings. This is the result.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

my first figure drawing class

Well, there will be no pictures today! We did a little drawing today, and mine was not so good. Sigh. Lots of practice is in order, let me tell you!

In saying that, I really enjoyed the class and learned a lot of helpful things to use as one is drawing a figure. We spent a lot of time looking at the skeleton and muscles of models and cadavers (the cadavers were on slides - still kind of weird), then our teacher did a demo. She broke everything down to shapes, or masses, and it was amazing! She drew these incredible figures just out of her head with no model. Which she says we will be able to do, because we will learn anatomy and how the figure is put together. I'm sure a lot of you out there are familiar with this stuff, but for me it was a revelation. And it looked so easy when she did it. HAH! Somehow my sorry little figure didn't quite look like hers and I admit I was a little lost.

So this weekend, time to practice! Tuesday we do hands and arms. Yikes!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

my first days at school

Well, I've survived the first two days of school! So far it's been mostly going over what we'll be doing in class, getting supply lists, etc. Tomorrow (Wednesday) we start doing actual class work.

So, my classes are: Human Relations in Business, Small Group Communications, Two Dimensional Computer Design (we're learning Adobe Illustrator...I'm so excited! You can do so much with it!), and Life Drawing.

I think my favorite classes will be two-d computer design and life drawing (which is anatomy and figure drawing). Both the teachers are great! For the computer class it's a fellow about my age, cool in a geeky, artsy, computer guy way. The drawing teacher is young; I'd say maybe 32 at the outside, slim and oozes artiness. She has long straight hair dyed a vibrant red, was wearing a cool choker necklace, and has some beautiful tattoos. She just got back from doing on site sketching for an independent movie being shot in South Africa. What a way to spend your summer break!

Mostly I'm the oldest person in my classes (including my teachers!) so that's kinda funny. My classmates are all very young kids, 18-20 for the most part. But I did chat with a few people yesterday, so it's good. Hopefully I'll feel like the "cool auntie" to some of my classmates.

We begin drawing on Thursday, so I'll post some figure drawing stuff then...

Friday, August 18, 2006

more photo fun

I worked more today on altering photos. Above is what I did.

Also, I found two new to me artists online today; Amanda Kavanagh and Tracy Helgeson. Their work is haunting, beautiful and wry (mostly Amanda's on the wry part; check out her sketchbooks and you'll see why). I find it so inspiring to view other artist's work. It motivates me to create.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

altered photos and such

Today I worked some more on my France journal and altered some photos from the trip. I have more photos to go and am excited about filling more pages. I haven't altered photos in a while and forgot how much fun it is to do! I took a class from Karen Michel a couple of years back on altering photos and it's much like kindergarten art in that it's all about play. Very light and fun work; collaging, slopping watercolors and inks on there and generally not spending much time thinking about what you're doing. Here are some more altered photos...

I drew on all of these with different markers and my new favorite pen, the white-out pen. Yes, you read right; the white-out pens you can buy at Staples. I LOVE this pen!! It's like painting with a pen and leaves a strong line.

I also worked on some journals for a drawing round robin some Artfest friends and I started after Artfest this year. It's been a slow and rocky start, but I'm hoping we'll all get on track and have fun drawing in each other's journals. It's such a precious gift; artwork from others. I never tire of receiving it! I drew a metal jar that one of my best friends gave me a few years back. Here's what I did...

It's a challenge for me not to work in color. I was looking at the bronzes and greens of the jar this morning and wanting to add those beautiful colors to the drawing. But we're drawing, not painting, so I will stick with black and white and see what lessons it has to teach me.

Monday, August 14, 2006

some fun collage

I made this little collage a couple of weeks back in honor of everyone's fav pirate, Johnny Depp. We had known that Johnny lived in the South of France before we left, but we didn't know where. So we asked Brigitte if she knew where he lived. After she was done drooling and fanning herself over the thought of beautiful Johnny, she sadly admitted she had no idea. It was kind of a running joke our whole time there. So I made this collage in remembrance of our French inside joke (and, no, we never found out where he lives and never saw him...sigh).

Saturday, August 12, 2006

photo collage and embroidery

Yesterday I had a little time in the afternoon to work on my France journal. This is what I made. I took two of my photos from France along with some other ephemera and put them all together in a simple collage. The gate photo I played with in photoshop to give it an "antique, vintage" feel. The background was a mural on a wall in one of the villages. I loved the colors and the organic look of it. I'm sure I will use this mural in other art. I have some ideas brewing already.

In other news, if you're looking for a jolt of inspiration no matter what medium you work in, I suggest checking out "Colorful Stitchery" by Kristin Nicholas. Her work is so colorful, so full of life! I didn't know crewel work and embroidery could be so cool! You know, I always think of those cutesy cross stitch or tapestry projects of teddy bears and floral scenes when I think of embroidery. Not anymore. I know I don't need another craft addiction, but I just love her style and work. And it certainly ties in with the other things I do. It's painting with thread instead of paints. So cool! I ordered one of her kits off her website and can't wait to get it and start stitching! I attended a hand quilting class the other night as well. I'm feeling itchy to do some handwork, but knitting and crocheting aren't cutting it at the moment. I think I have craft ADD!

One of my friends is coming over today and we're heading to the quilt shop together. She'd like to make a quilt and I offered my assistance in getting her set up with the basics. I'm looking forward to the visit to the shop and hanging with my friend doing crafty stuff.

Friday, August 11, 2006

playing with photoshop

A couple of weeks back I saw this fantastic old wreck of a VW beetle van parked right across the street from my house.

I quickly grabbed my digital camera and fired off some shots for later use.

Today I finally opened some of them in Photoshop and played with the color balances and contrast. Some day when I know more about Photoshop I'll probably be able to do more really cool stuff with these photos.

Anyway, enjoy my novice efforts!

Today I also picked up my textbooks for fall, and I'll be learning Adobe Illustrator. I'm so excited! I haven't touched that program yet but wanted to, so now I'll be able to learn with a real live instructor (unlike online classes where you basically read the book and do the exercises).

Ah, the wonders of technology!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

filling in the space

I hung up all my recent artwork around the house the other day, and had a space underneath and to the right of a couple of paintings. So I did a little painting to fill in the space. Here's a closer look.

As I mentioned before, bird images resonate with me, especially the raven/crow image. I like its association with magic, with being a messenger. I'm finding that in my allegorical work I feel the need to put my lone female figures with an animal, a spirit companion. Sometimes it's a bird, sometimes it's an animal. Whatever the painting needs. I guess this painting was an addition to the one that it's hanging next to. She was alone, now she has a companion who's looking to her, and out for her.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

painting a day

doorway in Goult, watercolor

I recently looked through Domino magazine and saw an article on what some artists are doing; namely a painting a day. These artists committed to doing one painting every day, something small that takes an hour or less. I love this idea and am considering adopting it myself. I emailed one of the artists, Nicholas Jainschigg, and we had a lovely e-conversation about the project. He also incorporates journaling into his paintings. When you visit his site and click on a painting, there's a description of each one, the process he went through, location, his thoughts on it, etc. His paintings are beautiful. Check them out!

I've been working a lot in watercolor, as you've seen from my posts. This is a new medium to me, and I need to study more about it and learn how to use it. I'm flying by the seat of my pants right now, and want to have more confidence in what I'm doing. The main thing I'm studying is how to mix colors and what colors are transparent vs opaque. I acquired a great little book called "Watercolor Palette" that shows color combinations by mixing different paints together. I'm learning a lot from it.

The watercolor at left works, but I need more control over color. I couldn't get the exact color I wanted in some spots. So I'll continue to play and read.

Friday, August 04, 2006

friend's cool artwork

I wanted to post some of my friend's vibrant artwork today. She was our host in France, and she's an amazing artist full of life and joy. I think her paintings reflect that. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006