Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pinwheel Pinwheel Spinning Around

Did you ever watch that show as a kid? That's where I learned that there isn't a word that rhymes with orange. The song pops into my head often. :)

Last night I went to the first of 5 pen & ink drawing classes I'll be taking in the next few weeks through the city's recreation programs. An old guy named Frank is the teacher and clearly loves to draw. Our first task was to practice drawing lines close together, then farther apart, then close together, and so on, to learn about control and the ability of the pen. A good lesson for me was to go slow. What's the rush, afterall? Frank encouraged it, and even the back of the package the pen came in even says, "Work slowly. Strive for quality. Speed will come when strokes are mastered." Wow, mastered. I've never before used a pen that you dip into ink. It is surprisingly nice. It feels so Harry Potter-ish, which makes me like it even more! By the end of class, Frank moved us on to drawing a chair, and the photo above is my attempt. Frank's recommendation to me was to "keep it loose," probably the most important lesson for me of the night.

When I got home, I resolved to practice a little every day, and so that was this morning's first artistic venture (with a cup of tea, of course).

Click on the photos if you want to see closer up. I think the iron actually turned out ok, especially since now the day has passed since I looked at it last. A little space from a project always offers renewed perspective (and appreciation!).

After that I had to answer the call of my sewing machine. I've been doing so much more pasting and painting lately, I haven't touched my sewing machine in, ummm, over two months(?) to actually sew fabric. Pinwheels have been in my head for a couple days, so I just decided to go crazy and make more than one! I even have the pieces cut out to make another one, but three was a good place to stop for today. Then the lighthouse scene was a fun diversion, something new. I got the pattern out of a paper-piecing book. That little baby has 19 pieces in it! Each of these are all around 5 inches square.

My favorite quilting blog, one I've been inspired by time after time, has closed down shop. I was so disappointed about this news, although the author, Amanda Jean, will still post photos on Flickr, and thank goodness, she's keeping her blog up for reference for awhile. Her blog offers photos of some of the best quilts I've ever seen, and good tutorials for all kinds of projects.

Amb posted her goals for the next however long on her blog, so to close on this first post of the year, I thought I'd write mine down too, as they relate to art. For 2010, I hope to:
  • Continue with my professional development, especially with regards to building my foundational knowledge about art. Basic drawing and painting skills in particular.
  • Teach a class or two
  • Keep excuses at bay!!!
  • Build capital (as in quantities of art), so that I can...
  • Sell something online, have a show?, participate in a craft fair
  • Join an art guild to build connections with local artists
  • Continue to develop my own artistic style--have faith that it will start showing itself more.


Ashley said...
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Ashley said...

Heb, Great post. I love the drawing of the iron. From "A Day Away," Maya Angelou says, "Every person needs to take one day away... We need spaces of time sitting on park benches, observing the mysterious world of ants and the canopy of treetops." (1993) To be so sensitive as to choose an object as an iron and draw it? If only we all had the time to notice and the time to appreciate shape and line as you have.

Jessica said...

I liked the little story about your drawing class. I tried a class myself in December in France. It was focused on drawing the human form. I have never, ever tried drawing before. Like your teacher, ours suggested we stay loose. Unlike yours, she also told us to move fast - we had to squint our eyes at the nude model and try to draw the vague shapes instead of the details. It was insane.

Anonymous said...

I really love what Ashley wrote. And I love the iron too. Somebody designed that iron after all, and our ancestors have been using this tool for a very long time. I appreciate this a little more now here in Italy, where they still iron EVERYTHING!!

Love seeing the drawings!! Love pen and ink and nibs! yummy!