Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Painting Souls

Week five.  Yeah, we're out of order now, but I just finished the first part of lesson five in the watercolor journal class yesterday, so we'll get back to week four later on.  It was a good one - adventure in the cold, lessons learned, and a bit of inspiration.  You'll see.

This week's assignment was shoes.  I have  boring shoes - mostly browns and blacks.  Yawn.  Imelda Marcos I am not.  These three are the least boring.  When the last shoe was between ink and paint, I realized I never take any in-process photos.  *click* (with my camera phone)  Now I have one oddly-lit in-process photo.

A few close ups because I like to see other people's close ups and study their brush strokes.  Though now I'm paranoid about everybody scrutinizing my brush strokes...

The TOMS shoe took the longest and was frustrating at first - until I had to stop for a bit.  Stepping away and taking a fresh look, plus allowing areas to dry before adding more shadow - good things.  Patience is a virtue.  I used to drive my kids nuts with that saying.  I need to listen to myself.

Other than the tennis shoe (propped on a couch pillow) falling over each time I got up to let the dog out, feed the cat, answer the phone, feed me, answer the door.... other than all that making it nearly impossible to get the shoe strings right, this page was quite a bit of fun.  

Getting way more comfy with watercolor.  (woot woot)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Itty Bitty March

We painted flowers for week four of the virtual class and I'll share soon.  In the meantime - my tiny daily calendar continues.  Here is a bit of March.  I stayed home the 19th & 20th to clean and reorganize the junk storage guest room - drawers, shelves and closet.  My daughter used the closet to stash anything she didn't know what to do with when she cleaned her room.  Many forgotten "treasures" were found.  The closet now houses a stack of drawers for my art supplies! ... and a few prom dresses... and a letter jacket ... and a few dance costumes... but the majority of the space is all mine!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner

What is my style?  Do I have one definable style?  Can it really be defined at this point or ever?  I suppose so, to some extent.  Upon seeing some of my work from the watercolor journal class, a friend said "So, your style is kind of folksy?"  Say what?  I wanted to burst into laughter.  That is probably one of the last words I would've used, but seeing the direction of this particular class, I get how she thought that.  Plus, maybe I do have that look and don't even realize it.  Unnamed friend, if you're reading this, don't worry, I really do understand and I appreciate your interest.

Why does it bother me when someone tries to define my style?  Perhaps the perfectionist in my bones wants to hear "Your style is perfect."  That's just silly (says my inner smart person).  Perhaps it's because I can't seem to settle on one medium or technique.  Perhaps I don't want to be limited, or expected, to draw and paint a certain way.  (Cue Roy Rogers - Don't Fence Me In.)  When someone grabs the specimen frame and tries to pin down my style, I wriggle away and want to prove whatever they just said is wrong.  Why?  Perhaps it's just human nature.

Okay, so here's the deal world - I don't want to paint (or draw) myself into a corner, so don't plan on putting me there.  I'm breaking out - trying new things along with "perfecting" the old.

Now, where's that Dirty Dancing soundtrack?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Fun with Lines

Virtual lesson 3 . . .

This week - contour drawing in pen, without lifting the pen, then paint.  The results can be "wonky" as our instructor says.  There's no sketching, erasing or redrawing, so the shapes are a bit more abstract - a challenge to the perfectionist in my brain.  The first go round, we drew with our usual drawing hand.  My subjects were a pitcher and an old cookbook of my Mom's.  My classmates and I submitted photos and shared feedback.  It's amazing the wide range of styles and skill levels.  Some have been artists for years and some are drawing for the first time.  Let me tell you (you "I can't draw" people), the newbies are catching on quick!

Then we moved on to contour drawing with your non dominant hand, still in ink -  YIKES!  Talk about no expectations of perfection.  I tried this a few months ago as part of my 30 day challenge (um, still not done with the challenge, oops) and found it freeing and fun.  This time around was just as fun, maybe more so since I'd tried it once before.  These angels really lent themselves to the imperfect lines.

You should try it.  It makes you laugh and the  wiggly results have a definite carefree feel.

Monday, April 8, 2013

An Illustrated Interruption

I should be drawing right now.  I'm not because I'm blogging.  Okay, I wasn't blogging a few moments ago.  I was in the virtual classroom commenting on my classmates' artwork.  I think that was a worthy use of time.  I'm enjoying the community of this online class.  Many of us are hyper critical of our own work.  The numerous fresh perspectives of those who've never seen your art are tremendously helpful, not to mention the professional input of the class instructor.

Before the commenting session, I was reading a newly acquired completely brilliant book.  Before that I was perusing art blogs.  Before that was supper.  Before that - exercise & kicking some cholesterol butt.  Before that - laundry & dishes.  And before that was work.  You get the picture.  Today was not an art creation day.  It was, however, an art observing day.  The aforementioned book is An Illustrated Journey by Danny Gregory.  It is basically a sequel to An Illustrated Life.  Along with my pushy daughter, this book was one of the big inspirations to stop procrastinating & get busy art-ing.  An Illustrated Life emphasizes that everyone should use sketching (skills don't matter) to record life.  I agree.  I can't seem to convince anyone else, but I agree.  The second book is all about using sketchbooks to capture trips and vacations - near or far, short or long.  More inspiration.

Now I'm done blogging and ready to hit the hay, but not before I draw an itty bitty illustration in my itty bitty calendar.  At least there will be one tiny bit of art today!

Wait - a bit of whimsy before you go.  This drawing suit, with anti internet headband, is on my life wish list!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Patchwork Doodles

What to do when you're feeling under the weather and don't want to read, watch TV, cook, draw or think?  You (I) doodle.  This is in the mandala book from my generous daughter.  You're supposed to color the shapes while your mind goes where ever.  Most of the mandalas in this book are circular.  This one seems all quilty - hence the random doodle patches.

    I started on this a couple of weeks ago when the Micron color pens I ordered arrived with my virtual class supplies.  I like the fine points and bright colors.  (A little less bright than they appear here.)  Little blocks of doodles seemed the perfect thing to break them in.  I just did a few squares at that time.  Yesterday presented the perfect opportunity to mindlessly complete the page.

Clouds, raindrops and leaves - a totally unplanned coincidental happy doodle accident. 

While not thinking a whole lot, I didn't want to repeat patterns.  Looking at this, I just realized I duplicated the bubble circle pattern in red and green... right next to each other.  

 Objects are closer than they appear - the spaces are actually 1/2 inch squares.

 Flowers and blood cells and windmills, oh my.  : )

And the center?  Doodles?  Lines?  Words?  Too much thinking.  My brain zoned out and my hand started poking at it - dotting the middle with all colors - crowding the edge for some 3D.

Your turn!  Grab some paper - any will do.  Scratch out some squares and start doodling.  While building this page, I also chatted and listened to the TV off and on.  Multitasking! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Being Green

Report card, week 2...

Lesson two was slow to get going.  With family here, I squeezed in a late night study of greens - mixing yellows, blues, greens & browns.  That was the first step.  The next was to paint a few leaves journal style and I finally tackled that task last night.  That is, I tackled it after getting Milo to stop tackling my subject matter.

The love/hate relationship with watercolor is improving stroke by stroke. 

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