Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Tricks

I learned a new trick this afternoon. How to scan an image !!!!! I'll get this techie stuff yet ! This cute little guy is a pencil sketch I made while wandering the wilds of the St. Louis zoo. An intrepid fellow artist and I braved unbearable heat and humidity to get to the zoo's climate controlled bird house and do some sketching. I was quite proud of this one simply because the birdies do tend to move about and are not cooperative models. That said, this guy and a feathery friend were snoozing so I could actually complete a decent image.

I really wanted to keep things simple and just folded a few sheets of colored drawing paper in half, stacked them and clipped them together with a bull dog clip. The resulting package was firm enough to draw on so all I needed was that and a pencil and I was off and sketching. Drawing animals takes some patience..more with yourself than with the critter. They are doing what is natural and that is precisely what gives life to the drawing. You can actually see how the stand or perch and move about. It may take several warm-up sketches for you to develop a sort of visual short hand that will give you nice results. Details definitely come last or from you memory. It is really a great exercise for sharpening your drawing skills.

Next time I plan on making some sort of envelope or sandwich board to protect the drawings a bit better. Keeping things simple is still a major goal. I am waiting for the weather to improve just a bit more so I can move onto the elephants and tigers. Oh My !
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A lot on her Mind !

Have you ever had a night where your thoughts just took on a life of their own, completely ignoring the fact that it is 2:00 AM and you have to get up in a few hours ???? Sometimes it feels like a weight on one's head...a lot on my mind. Daytime is for work and chores and extra large doses of denial, but it all comes up when things get dark and quiet, doesn't it ? These ladies are obviously my companions in this process. Having a lot on one's mind doesn't mean its all bad...there is just a LOT of it.

I've been working over three or four different pieces recently, after finishing these lovelies. Some new things, some familiar subjects. Grace's teacups seem to be a legacy of inspiration. I had an interesting spin in the studio yesterday. After a night of rampant insomnia that left me with a mere two hours of very active dream filled sleep, I decided I was sentient enough to go in and spend an hour or so just drawing. I had frustrated myself a bit the day before and I thought a further frustration wouldn't matter because I was so darned TIRED.

So I took a nice friendly piece of good watercolor paper and tore it into three pieces: two small and one big. I took one of my favorite cups and placed it before me, grabbed a permanent black fine tipped pen and scribbled the cup onto my paper. Pretty cool...different, but cool. I liked it so well I collaged it immediately into my sketchbook. Then I grabbed the second piece and my black stabilo pencil..which is water soluble..and sketched away. I used a small brush to blend the pencil with some water and wound up with a not bad sketch.

Now the real fun started on the third sheet. My creativity decided it was awake even if I wasn't ! I smooshed some paint..right out of the jar onto the paper, working in blue and gold with lots of white and creating some nice grays. I stamped and smooshed and had fun with it, using a scrap of paper to blot the paint. I stopped and looked at the blotter and it looked great, so I glued that onto the bottom part of the paper. While that was drying I noticed some color copies of my art journal work poking up from my file. Hmmm. I decided to cut out a cup shape from the copy and glue that down. After that I was off and running. Something new had happened ! Every time I stopped to let something dry a bit, I noticed new ways of using many other things in my studio. I had somehow opened up a very rich vein of creativity despite being exhausted. I designed a lovely garland of butterflies, created several mini collages and sketches and had a wonderful time. I wasn't even that tired after I was finished, so I sat down and made a list of all the things I wanted to do over the next few days to complete the works I had started.

So, the lesson learned is a bit of discipline...forcing myself into the studio even though I was tired and sitting down with my materials was very worthwhile. I promise to photo all of this magic for you and post it in the near future.

I also have some wonderful news for those who don't do Facebook. Somerset Gallery is publishing some of my art work in their Winter 2010 issue which will come onto news stands December 1. I wrote the article as well so I am very excited about this. I LOVE all the Somerset publications including Somerset Life and Where Women Create. At one point I took an issue of Somerset Studio and altered the cover to include my own name as a featured I am one !!!!! Talk about visioning !!!!! I was so excited when I received the notification I laughed and cried at the same time ! I am much calmer now and looking forward to more wonderments !

Stay with me !!!

I am happily painting away and plan on being back soon with lots of great news and paintings. See you soon !
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Monday, August 2, 2010

Blue Suede Shoes

Some days being Queen of the Paintbrush just ain't enough. You have to just put on your best blue suede shoes, tilt your cap and jump into the fray. Oh, where oh where have I been ? Well, I lost a few posts and decided it was Divine intervention and I needed to be focusing on my art journal class and paint projects. So I did. The fairy queen guarding her eggs was the final project demo. I completed her in class to show how fast one could put together an image with a little help from a magazine page..or two. It was a fun class and I already have folks signed up for round two, so I am happy dancing about that. It will be nice to have a bit of a break before the next season..after Labor Day..but I will miss my Monday morning run to Clayton and my picnic lunches in the park. Sigh. I love this gal's glowering stare. You just TRY to touch those eggs. HeeHeee!!!
Another journal page here. I used some buttons from a Gypsy treasure procured earlier this year. I love Gypsy markets. I dream of my very own Gypsy wagon to wander about in. I would paint and make Gypsy treasures and sleep under the stars again. Too much domestication melts brain cells. We all need to call upon our Wild Child and let her loose now and again. The fun part of art journaling is that you can just play with the unexpected: a few scraps of paper, a bit of paint and a large dose of bravery and Voila ! There you have a wonderful creation and it's all about YOU ! And, if for some reason you are NOT tickled pink by what you do that day, you can just collage right over it and start a whole new vision.
Life is not all black and White. We need a flash of color, a splash of wonder and a bit of painted magic to brighten up our days. A few new additions will be making there way to my Etsy in the next week or so. It's a bit thin over there and time for some new sparkle. Check back soon.
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