Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Raven Number Two

This is the second of my raven series, the third is in progress and I'm planning on more.  I'm still making friends with my digital camera, and the download process to my computer.  

Why do I lose files?  Can't find them, then the camera reports there are no new pics when I try over.  I do believe my eyesight is one of the problems, and have taken measures to correct that.  Glasses should be ready in a couple of days.  I can see to read pretty well, but the small print on most web pages drives me crazy.  If I change the resolution and make it bigger, the whole site does not fit on my screen.  I'm not willing at this time to spring for a larger screen ... I see people with tiny computer screens managing quite well.  I don't have that patience.  

I did purchase a NOOK with credit card points.  I haven't read much in the past few years due to discomfort of holding a book in just the right place, in the right light etc.  Since purchasing the e-reader, I've read eight books.  If anyone has a suggestion of a well written interesting documentary or novel, anything actually, please be kind and make a suggestion.  I haven't kept up with the latest bestsellers.  I do like the fact that you can usually read the first chapter of any book for free before you decide to purchase.  

Back to artwork ... I don't know why I'm painting ravens, the idea occurred to me so I tried it.  I figure if you have an idea, any idea, from calling a friend to what you might include in an image, follow your instinct.  If you get stuck creating, just keep going.  I find a painting I'm not happy with for awhile will speak for itself, (your artist's knowledge) and will transform into a piece that is more than satisfactory.l  

Merry Christmas and a creative year ahead!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Just for Me, Myself and I

I'm fond of Ravens, they're very intelligent birds.  Decided I wanted a painting for my house.  This was my first effort.  I like the background much more than the bird, there's no action.  I'm almost finished with my second effort, "In Flight."  I am almost satisfied.  I've started a third, this one a combination of spread wings and open mouth.  There may be more .... black (of course one must mix this dark neutral) feathers are fascinating.  They reflect, and there are so many combinations to create different blacks.  I'm experimenting. 

I haven't been painting much, got through the sunshine art shows during the summer season.  I had some sales, but nothing like past years.  The economy is still in the sewer, I don't care what the media says.  The media can't make up it's mind anyway.  I think they create some of the problems. 

I will have plenty of time to paint in the near future, I was laid off from my part-time job at the end of August.  Federal Funding Budget cuts reached out directly to me.  No one is insulated in this country. 

At present, I'm painting and experimenting, pushing along, seeing what happens, revisiting old discoveries, observing, and staying comfortable.  I recently acquired a Color NOOK.  Nice for reading blogs, but almost impossible to comment.  The "keyboard" is simply too small for my fingers.  I've tried using a pencil eraser, but haven't mastered that technique yet.  If it can be mastered, that is. 

Off to do some touch drawing, work on my second and third Ravens, maybe start a fourth?

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My digital camera died awhile ago ... why are so many things today disposable?  My appliances are 20 years old and still going ... however, the toaster became toast at least 4 times.  I now have a new camera, and am slowly learning how to use it. 

This image is a Touch Drawing I did at a workshop at the Rowe Conference Center in Massachusetts in January.  I added some color during my recent vacation.   I haven't decided if I will add or subtract some of the image.  This image is on tissue paper and I will mount it.  I'm considering mounting it on a painted canvas.  The color or colors of the canvas will show through once I use acrylic matt medium to mount it.  It is also possible to mount drawings on paper, wood, glass or plexiglass.  Possibilities are endless. 

I worked on a black and white drawing on vacation as well, one that fascinated me every time I looked at.  I mounted it on white gallery wrapped canvas and painted black edges into the drawing and on the sides.  I wish I had a digital of that to share, but I already gave that one away.  I had offered to create something for a friend for a certain space.  I painted a red nude (no digital of that either) and also gave her the black and white drawing.  The thought of giving the pieces away energized the work.  I was creating something that would have a good home.  I have several drawings I plan to relax with in the near future.  They're easy to pick up and play with, and easy to put down.  There's no pressure. 

I will be participating in a drawing exhibit this summer, and I think the Touch Drawings will be an interesting addition.  I posted one on the blog prior to this.  It was one I sold. 

If you're interested in the process of Touch Drawing, visit www.touchdrawing.com  The website has more information than you will ever need.  It's definitely worth a look.

I arrange exhibits where I work.  Coming up with titles for the exhibits is a challenge.  We've had "Comfort, Woe and Wonder" and the current exhibit is "Dream, Hope and Grow."  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  My workplace is a Community Action Program.  The administrative building can display between 40 and 50 pieces ... original art makes the decrepit space beautiful.  There is no charge to the artists, no jury, and no commission.  I think it's win/win.  I've probably written it before, but I believe art needs to be shared in everyday places.  The current exhibit has two drawings by young boys in grade school.  They are fascinating.  Over 20 artists are participating in the current exhibit.

I see so many beautiful creations while reading blogs.  If you don't sell or give them away, what do you do with them if they don't fit or you don't hang them in your home for whatever reason?  When I have enough for an exhibit, or sidewalk sale, I am sometimes discouraged from the activity.  Like now ... I'm working with drawings.  It's fun and relaxing.  Some great images have been created.  You would be surprised how strong tissue paper can be.  Yes, it's the tissue paper that you use in boxes containing gifts.  I'm going back to read my new camera book.  I have a new cell phone too ... I can barely answer it.  Sometimes progress is just too complicated.  Keeping pace with new technology makes me feel old.  On that happy note, I will press the button for this post.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Perfect Vacation

My digital camera abilities are limited, something I need to work on for sure.  The image at left is "good enough" to give the viewer an idea of my latest piece.  The wet spots were reflecting light when I took it, and I was too lazy to try again. 

She's 18 X 18 and meant to be hung on the diagonal but I can't figure out how to move the image here.  She's a gift for a friend and I finished her on my "perfect vacation." 

I had the opportunity to spend February school break with six artists in an oceanfront mansion in Freeport.  Plenty of studio space for everyone, terrific meals in the evening, wine sipping in front of the fire, cribbage and scrabble, painting all day, no household obligations, no dog attached to my hip all day (I took him to a doggie motel for the week as my husband was away), conversation, creative energy flowing, laughter, an evening of visiting with friends invited for a Champagne Thursday, a full body massage by a great therapist, long hot showers (some enjoyed the jacuzzi tub), and the place was only 45 minutes from home.  The view was quite similar to the one I enjoy from home, I felt like I was in familiar surroundings.  No day of travel to and from, no airports, bus terminals, hailing cabs.  Winter was outside, but our space was warm and filled with energy.  I enjoyed the time, and have brought it home with me.  I elected to share my room, so the week cost me less than $200 plus the cost of one dinner for all, and my snacks and drinks.  Perfect or what?

Every artist had her own style or working, some were fast, some applied one brush stroke at a time, and everyone was working with different types of images.  I was influenced, and have even begun a still life which I look forward to finishing at some point.  Unusual for me.  Possibilities are endless.

I also attended a Touch Drawing Workshop with Debra Koff Chapin at the Rowe Conference Center in Massachusetts at the end of January.  I've since enjoyed working with my drawings, a cosmic coloring book.  I've written about Touch Drawing in previous posts ... but can't skip the opportunity to put a link here http://www.touchdrawing.com and in Maine, http://www.creativespiral.net.

I was pleased to share the process of Touch Drawing with four people during my vacation as well.  Two of the other artists in the group had already attended workshops.  The process is just that, a process.  There are times product is a result.  I've found the benefit of the process is the fall out from looking at your drawings - having a conversation with yourself and/or your soul.  I am moved forward ... the what if I? ... and then act on impulse.  The idea or thought never to be ignored.  I like to keep pushing into methods of visual expression and art.  I'm not always comfortable, and there are times a piece appears to belong in the circular file, but I keep going with it, enjoying the time, and eventually ... something great emerges or it does belong in the circular file.  The time spent is never wasted, as more "what if I?" always swirl around in my head and energize my hands.  Back to Touch Drawing ... it is done with your hands and body, there is no pencil or brush between your energy and the page. 

I've been in my normal routine for a week, but the pleasure I enjoyed is very present and lives on.  I don't post to this blog very often ... but now that I've gotten over the "I need a perfect digital image" I believe I will enjoy sharing and contemplating my own process and progress by writing. 

I've also decided to take a workshop this summer when Don Hatfield visits Maine.  We watched one of his demonstration videos which was informative and hilarious at the same time.  I am fascinated by the way he moves paint on the palette and canvas, and look forward to learning in person.  There is always a different method to add to my experience.  My desire is to have  a wealth of applicable methods to accomplish what I imagine on canvas or another surface.  I think there's no better way to learn that from someone who is willing to share their knowledge and experience. 

I have much activity planned in the future as I work in the present. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Back to work

One of my favorite pieces ... finding my way back to work.  I have several "in progress" but am relaxing for the moment.  I've been reading blogs, but didn't have anything to say.  Don't know if I do today either.  I admire the persons that write everyday.  I know writing helps you organize your thoughts, get them in a record of sorts.  I've only written about my work.  It is my life.

I wonder what people do that do not have a creative pastime.  Be it writing, painting, poetry or music.  Cooking can be included in the creative category.  It certainly is more fun with the attitude it's not a chore.

The piece at left I titled "Three's a Crowd."  I see three figures there, two female and one male.  It's a crowded piece.  I'm not titling all of my work, unless something comes to mind. 

The holidays are done, and winter has set in.  The cold is bone chilling.  I do not like to go outside.  Your nose freezes and your skin hurts.  I so appreciate a warm home.  The office where I do work is also warm.  It's the car and walking in and out.  There was a time I was outside no matter what the weather.  Age changes a lot of things.  Not in a bad way ... it's just different.

With the smaller image, I can see many more figures ... a painting is seen by an individual, and each sees it differently.  I think that is the basis of my pleasure in working.  My images don't exist anywhere in sight, only on the canvas.  I love to look at the art of others ... I feel I can get to know them.  If I've seen your art, and we meet, I already know you.  Is it intentional?  Is everything intentional? 

When I begin a piece, it is done without intention.  Intention comes as I work with it.  When I come to a face ... and develop it ... I hear things like ... my eyes are two close together, my eyebrows are too thick, my nose isn't that wide, my bottom lip is fuller, my ears don't stick out, my hair is blonder, blacker, red etc.  I know it is myself talking with myself.  That's part of my process.  Process is the most important in my work.  If the work is flowing, I feel good, if I'm having a hard time, I don't.  Enough rambling for today. 

I am going to get more friendly with my digital camera and share some works in progress.  I think I may incorporate a blogging step.  Might keep me more organized.  Cheers!