Archive for October, 2011

watercolor as a means of relaxation

October 28, 2011

I am feeling guilty.  I haven’t even looked at this blog since I posted last Friday.  Nothing like a challenge to yourself to scare yourself off …

The truth is, I did work on the piece I said I was going to.  I created a small art quilt in batik fabrics but did not finish it because I just don’t like it.  Basically for the same reason that I did not finish or like the quilt with the wrens.  I may (or may not) work more on it.  I pulled out the wren quilt recently and studied on it a bit in an effort to come up with an idea to make it work.  It is now put back away… and will have company with the quilt from last weekend.

How have I been spending my time?  Well, today, I have been watercoloring.  Nothing of great merit, I have just been practicing my brush strokes.  I’ve got that little bird at the bottom down to 5 strokes (plus beak and legs)!  Now I just have to find something to do with these bits of paper!

anticipating the weekend…

October 21, 2011

Google amazes me.  I am so impressed with their “special day” icons, and that the days honor people who aren’t routinely known names, yet their work is.  The lucky person who gets to research and create these icons.  I so want that job!

The job(s) I have now are keeping me busy.  There has been more architectural work coming my way (thankfully, because that pays the bills) and I have become the children’s director at my church which is, for the most part, quite enjoyable.  But the other two jobs I have are suffering from neglect.  The first is keeping house.  You don’t even want to go there (I should say “come here” because it is a mess!).  My concern is that I don’t care.  Not enough to bend down and pick up that stupid piece of paper which has been lying there for 5 days!  The other is art.  I made a promise to myself that I would create daily and I have broken that promise.  And I do care about that!

The weekend is here and here is my challenge to myself.  Take this line drawing and make something of it.   And maybe,  do some laundry.

See you Monday with the results!

watercolor portrait, take 2

October 17, 2011

Another watercolor portrait.  I am more pleased with this one than the one in the last post.  These last two faces (and most of the faces I use) come from old black and white photos.  Mostly I am off on some feature, but because they are not commissioned portraits and I am only pleasing myself, an exact likeness isn’t necessary.   (I placed the scanned watercolor onto of the photo and, oh boy, was I off on the mouth in the last posted watercolor!  It was perhaps 1/4″- 1/2″ further to the left than it should have been, more than I would be able to correct.)  I would like to improve my skills, so this time I scanned my drawing into Photoshop and saw where I was off allowing me to correct the drawing before I watercolored it.  Took a bit of effort for  lazy  me but I think the image does look more like the photo and it is an easy way of checking accuracy.

Do you consider the use of technology cheating when it comes to your art or do you embrace it?  I use to think anything other than using your  hand and eye was cheating, not feeling that way much anymore.  I have used Photoshop for everything, from enhancing color to cutout layers to simplify value.  It is a useful tool but I would still love to be able to look at something and accurately capture it just using the pencil in my hand.

my muse made a brief appearance today…

October 14, 2011

When I paint on a white background, every color I place looks dark, sometime too dark.  Makes me feel so daring and bold.  Rather like Scarlett.  Then I view it at a distance and see a pale, low-contrast image and feel mousy and dull, a little like Melanie.  (Not Olivia deHavilland, mind you.  Nothing mousy about her.)  It is beneficial to put in background color as quickly as possible to enable you to match value better, but I wanted this on a white background.  I want to learn to place color and leave it!  Like Alton Brown says, “just walk away.”  It is so hard to do.

I tried to push this watercolor to the Scarlett level, she just wasn’t going to go there!

has anybody seen my muse…

October 12, 2011

Oh, my poor neglected blog.  Oh, my even more neglected art.  I have just had no motivation to work on either of you for eons!  I have always gone in up and down cycles when it comes to art, it just seems this down is lasting forever!  I pulled out watercolors a couple of days ago to do something (usually doing anything has a positive influence that leads to something better).  I am only pleased with one of the tiny paintings (4″x5.5″) although it isn’t that well executed.

If you’ve seen an idle Muse lying about,  tell her I miss her!



ugly is in

October 4, 2011

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then by all logic, so is ugly.  I behold the fish below, done in machine and hand embroidery on linen, as very very ugly; my kids see it and say “that’s cool”.  Go figure.  So  I thought I would share ugly with you.

Suzannah said MadeWell has an ugly sweater, their words, not Suzannah’s opinion (see it here).  It has sold out.  I guess ugly is in.

bird blocks

October 2, 2011

I’ve spent the week in other-than-artistic endeavors so I’ve tried to ease back into art making by carving linoleum block birds.  These didn’t really feed my muse, but here they are just the same.

Carving blocks is so much fun while you are carving.  My problem is what to do with them once they are carved.  I have a great stack of papers with printed images on them!

Sorry the green paper turned out to be so vibrant.  The original is a pretty Amy Butler paper that isn’t quite so glaring…