So…about 9pm I started a new drawing…which was a great idea, right? Since I have to get up at 5am? Yeah….so anyways, drawing is still in progress…I was working away…worked at my drawing table, put the drawing on the island in the kitchen to stand and draw…even propped it up on the easel. I would stand back and look at the piece…It just…wasn’t…working. The tree is comprised of all words…for some reason I connected the edges…ewwwww. Not good. Then I remembered Mr. Elmore…in my college drawing classes. He would come along and look at your work, as if it was okay to fold it and…bam! Just like that, you could see how the composition wasn’t working…he…set..the..drawing..FREE!
So that is what I did…ran to the office, put my drawing on the floor, placed the floor fan on top (the biggest circle I could think of, mind you) and just like that- improvement! Now, this piece is by no means resolved, but I can go to sleep now and feel better about what I have to work with tomorrow.
In typical form, I have documented my pure joy in silly staged photos. Special thanks to the husband for humoring me and taking the pictures.
Here are the shoes for Jazzy's (Southern Pines, NC) as well as a fun set of mini-shoes for our friend's little girl. (below) I had fun painting the shoes, it was a nice break. The trees and faces...that can get a little intense. Sometimes a gal needs a little whimsy. I think that the shoes would be good for the in-progress Etsy shop...they are fun, not too big and I can keep them at a good price point so folks can afford to buy them...more shoes to come!
I finally got around to photographing the trees... here they are!
…wow. Been working off and on all day and I am finally calling it a night. Just about done with a figurative piece I started last night, with fourteen shoe paintings and started some small paintings for a friend. I made the pilgrimage to Michaels and found some great 4x4 inch canvases, I live way too close to Michaels, this could get ugly! Already found a purpose for four of the nine canvases…they are in the process of becoming mini-shoe paintings for a special little girl in Japan, the daughter of our friend who is stationed over there. I didn’t start the collage elements to the piece that I started last night…gotta think about that a little more. I did purchase some black metallic embroidery floss, I thought it would look cool to add that to the hair, add a little dimension to the piece.
And I must admit, it was fun taking a break to work on the shoes, much more light hearted than the trees or working with faces. Tomorrow I hope to get all of these pieces finished and look to the next project…whatever that may be…
...stopped working on the figurative piece for now...thinking about adding some collage to it, maybe cut paper swirls or thin metallic threads...or both...until then, taking a little break for some funky shoe paintings...I created a quick mantra to keep me going on my drawing board...now can't get that old RuPaul song out of my head..."You better work..."
Why yes, what a great idea.
So….19 days. It’s not that I haven’t done any work…I just haven’t posted anything. School is back in session and it takes a little extra effort to get the school year off to a good start for my 200+ middle school students…throw in a quick trip to NC and back…yep, that has been what has been keeping my busy.
I did manage to get fourteen 12x12 paintings started before heading back home…first layer of background color and edges painted…an assortment of shoes sketched out quickly with a Sharpie…the destination for these? My old cheerleading coach just took over a business and I am sending these to sell on consignment…and add some fun décor.
Aside from that…no art making…except for project/technique examples that I have started with my kids…so tonight I made time for my art. Side note, I did attend a really cool event in downtown West Palm Beach on Wednesday night. John and I went to the Art Nouveau Jetsetter event …just briefly…really cool…artists selling and creating, DJ spinning, sushi, body painting…made a few connections…so I guess that could count a little...ummmm....it is art related at least....
Yes, I digress. Back to tonight…I painted. I had a canvas panel from, like, 2009 or something. One that I had roughly sketched a face on, this past summer I added some texture with watered down acrylic and saran wrap and then…abandoned. This was my choice for getting back to work…this unresolved piece. Wow, did I ever feel rusty. I painted and repainted (repeat, repeat)… it was a little bit of a struggle. Finally, I don’t know, maybe after an hour…it started to flow a little better. I just can't get enough hair and swirls. I am going to work on more tomorrow, should definitely be able to finish it by the end of the weekend…
And I started painting one of the shoes…I want to keep these very whimsical…playing around with some leopard print in the background and adding little wings to the shoes…I will be working on these more this weekend…trying to finish them so I can mail them off.
As for the fate of the trees…sitting in one of my portfolios…in order…waiting to be photographed. Except for number twenty…that one was left in NC to be delivered to ECU for the School of Art and Design Alumni Show. Will be posting those…hopefully I can get that done this weekend as well.
So…I am back. I know it is going to be tough to make time for my art…but after really working for over two weeks…I missed it. I did feel a void, gotta make. Gotta create. I think that, yeah, I have been really busy, but on some level I feel like I was scared to start something new after the trees. I, and probably anyone bothering to read this blog, am wondering…what’s next? Wow. I have no idea, and that is pretty intimidating…and awesome…
...been busy...time to get back on it....not sure where to start...at least if I post it in my blog I feel a certain obligation...updates to follow...
...so I started my piece for the Bear and Bird show. A little background, in case it was never previously mentioned…my new art friend Jessica told me about this cool gallery/comic store down in Fort Lauderdale, and that they were always having cool thematic shows. She also let me know about a show that they are having, a Horror Movie-themed show titled ‘Creep Cinema’…perfectly-timed for Halloween, and for me to get something ready. Inspired by my new friend, I verbally committed to creating a piece for this show. And I am doing it, I am making something. (yay!) I wouldn’t say that this is my particular genre, but I like to work with the figure so that is pretty easy to interpret across different styles and themes. In my head I was doing a victory lap, having finished my thirtieth drawing…what could I bring from those thirty trees to this new project?
So for starters… gotta pick a movie. Now, something not everyone knows about me- I used to really love horror movies. Love. I think I was more into the horror movies when I was a kid. I also love Stephen King. I had read just about everything he did up til the Gunslinger series. I don’t know if it was just because I had to do more reading for my classes, or what, but for whatever reason I put down my Stephen King books probably about junior year in high school. I even went as far as to pass them on. Different Seasons, It, The Stand, Salem’s Lot, I could go on and on. Loved his books. When I was looking for a movie image for this project I didn’t even think about any of the new horror movies, I think maybe that is why I had lost interest in the genre, the new movies can be really gory, and that isn’t my thing. So I revisited my childhood friend, Stephen King. Just googling his name brought all of the characters together, reminding me of the stories and images that kept me up at night. The image of Drew Barrymore from Firestarter immediately caught my attention, the warm colors from the photograph, and the movement of the hair. And after a little deliberation, which always involves cornering my husband and asking him to help me decide, hoping that he will choose the one that I wanted in the first place…a decision was made… Firestarter.
...I have had that round canvas for a while now. Found it on clearance at Michaels, bought it and stashed it away for...a rainy day. (Coincidently, it was rainy today. How apropos.) Over the course of a few hours I sketched out the image, started filling in the background colors, painted the facial features and then started working with the lines in the hair. One thing that I noted while I was working was that I always start drawing the left eye first. Every time, not sure why. I struggled with getting the eyes symmetrical, and with getting the right amount of white showing to make her look like she was looking straight on. Another issue I had (and I am still resolving) is making the face look like a child, not an adult. That is always a tough one. I am still working on the face, might need to rework the mouth. When I put down my brushes I was working on the hair, which I will pick back up on tomorrow or the next day. The circular format of the canvas worked well for this image, I feel like it worked with the curvilinear lines of the hair and also fit the size requirements set by the gallery. So all in all, off to a good start but not resolved. (see in-progress pics below)
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…the sigh isn’t because I am dreading going back to work, I actually have a pretty good gig…they pay me to teach art. Awesome. But I will miss the freedom to do things on my own schedule, which for the most part has been great about this summer. This has definitely been a productive summer for me…I feel like I have gotten some work done, not that I attained some sort of enlightenment or anything…I just put these hands to work. As the school year looms ahead, I know that I will just have to manage my time. (IMS kids, if you are reading my blog- help keep me inspired and motivated to work on my own art! Ask me what I am working on!) Completely achievable. Rambling on…
I will be photographing and posting the trees later this week. I had planned to do this earlier today but that didn’t happen. I got lazy after lunch, and the stormy weather sure didn’t help. I did, however, manage to take some group shots of the drawings before lunch, thanks to my husband. (See photo above) Last night I had was trying to think of a place that would be big enough, and have enough light, to photograph the group as a whole, before I nodded off to sleep I thought of the mall. There are a ton of open courtyard areas with skylights, and it was pretty empty except for the mall-walkers. I have already sold one of the trees, and will be posting others on Etsy later, so I may not have all of my trees later…but they are documented. Now time to move on.
I have two projects that I need to work on now; first priority is my entry for the ECU School of Art and Design Alumni Show. That is due this month. Also, I am creating a piece based on the film ‘Firestarter’ by Stephen King for a show down in Fort Lauderdale. (Right) In typical fashion, I started that latter first even though it has a later due date. Go figure.
Artist and Art Teacher