Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New challenges

A new installment from my drawing class. Frank (our teacher) pulled this picture from the newspaper. He made copies for each of us to use and instructed us, for time's sake, to trace it first using pencil, then spend 30 minutes a day over the next week to "ink" it.

The hard parts were coloring the horses in (you'll notice both are the same color in the photo) and discerning their straps. Same on the sleigh: how to evoke various shades of the sleigh's panels while still showing the contrasting driver's coat and passenger blanket? Here's a closer look (and you can always click the photo too):

It was very interesting when we all got back to class last night and had a look at each other's versions of the same thing! Everyone's was different--how we all did the coloring in, the contours of the horses and sleigh. And we all had completely different backgrounds. I wish you could see what I mean for yourselves. This week, an exercise in all black and all white, no grays. You'll see what I mean in my next post!

Here's a fun banner I made for Paul's "birthday card" of 2010. It measures about 18 x 21 inches. (Can you believe I have a wall that color in my house????)

Today in the art studio I began a project that will hopefully lead to exhibition in the Art & Science show at the university, a small annual show sponsored by the college I work in at my day job. It is a show for scientists to show the art within their work, or for artists to demonstrate the science of their work. It took a lot of energy today to develop my concept, but I think I've got something I'll be proud to submit for jury, if all goes to plan. Don't worry, you'll hear all about it if I make it in. :)

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.