Archive for June, 2011

let’s pretend we can draw…

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Yesterday, I went to Dr Sketchy. I had read about it not too long ago, and when Kat asked if we wanted to go, I said yes right away. June was a knitting theme and I figured I could knit if the drawing wasn’t quite working out. Elizabeth went too, and we had a fun time. There was a variety of timed poses from 2 to thirty minutes and a few short breaks here and there. I didn’t think we would stay the entire time, but the time passed rather quickly and all of a sudden the last pose was being announced.

This was my first time at any sort of legitimate life drawing class. I have only been attempting to draw in the last year and I enjoy relaxing into it. We got there a little late and the tables (which were small) were all taken. The sketch book I brought was too heavy for me to work without it distracting me, but I might sorta actually like this effort. I also had my Moleskine watercolor journal with me and did a few in there.

After Dr Sketchy, we went to Brasil for dinner. I am addicted to their spinach couscous salad. Yes. Spinach. Who knew? There is spinach and couscous, of course, some feta, sundried tomato, marinated artichoke hearts and toasted sliced almonds. Yes, I am going to try recreating this at home, and I even think it will be a pretty easy task.

continuing on a theme…

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

I was really curious about the water connection. The memory painting which is crap, leading to the lighthouse painting which I like well enough to put up out in the studio. Why so BIG? What inspired taping two sheets together? Should I really put it into the Big Show?

I decided to not enter it for a couple of reasons. Getting it there will be a challenge. I don’t want the boy (22) to feel obligated to say yes, and I know that going across town in a different direction than work or school, and from necessity, it would be on the way  (but not at all on the way) to one of those. I also know that if I get it ready to  hang, my friend who I know would do it, would not fit it in her car thus leading to someone else’s stress…it just isn’t meant to be at this time. The idea of it was enough fun, and I know that my decision to not enter it has nothing to do with the gremlin, and nothing to do with being tied to an idea of validation (or fear of no validation if the piece wasn’t chosen). I like it and that is all that matters really.

But as curiosity has it, there was another water painting floating in my path. The water is red…red…red…or at least red is what I am seeing…

I put out five different reds, well one was really magenta and one was really orange…I slopped it all up there and got to blending again with the brush and the spray bottle. What tells me to do that? Why 2 pieces taped together?  The background blending on that size is exhausting but on the bright side, calories are burned!!

I had a fan going because it was early in the day and a little warm in the house, but that was making the paint dry faster, and blending just a little more challenging, but it was a background and I could feel myself just not caring, but rather doing.

I was tempted to paint this as an inverse of the lighthouse painting, but then all of a sudden before I could be curious about that, red (in my brain) started giving way for lily pads and lotuses. Frogs, too, but I decided to not add frogs.

I was very tempted to google lily pad images, but I didn’t let myself do that. I just got out some greens and went at it. Heartlike and not heartlike was what I kept thinking. I really wanted to have a lot more lily pads, and have them all overlapping each other, but I didn’t want to lose the red so I stopped. If the label said green it was on my palette. At first I rinsed my brush between colors, but then I said fuck that…it’s all green…what’s it gonna hurt? Nothing…process…not product…just do it…

So I was off and painting my lily pads and started thinking about lotus flowers. I am never going to be able to paint those…maybe just one or two as highlights here and there at random. Right. And maybe a frog while you are at it. I was saved from the frog today in chat. That is what I drew for my exercise and boy do I embrace it’s suckiness. I love it because i learned to not care, but also because I used the oil pastels again. Still have no idea what to really do with them, but I like how smooth they are and will use them more in my sketch book.

Using them in the exercise inspired me to se them on the painting. I went and used a purple one to line all the red swipes in the red water, and then I used them to draw the flower petals inside my blob of a lotus flower.

I stepped back from it , tripping over the dog laying on the floor behind me (nice save on my part, no injury) and I heard someone mentioning they wanted something sparkly on their painting. I thought about nail polish, but that was more work than I wanted to do. Then I took the copper paint I had and mixed in some yellow. Id I was in my art journal, I would get out the gold paint pen and line some stuff with it. I found a smaller brush and added some dots and slashes of gold and voila, again I am liking the painting.

BIG x2

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
The following is an excerpt from a class blog I did from my FEARLESS painting class.
I got curious about my painting from week two. Water was flooding my consciousness so much so that  I could have drowned in the possibility of it. Then this song started playing in my head. It was stuck there and needed an exorcism. Honestly, The Water by Feist plays in my head a lot. I have listened to that cd obsessively and I always end up back there when I am feeling somewhat introspective. So I set up the painting area and queued it up on iTunes.  I  needed to get the water out of my head.

First there was a watery background layer to contend with. I squoze out some of all the blues I have and set to it. Actually, first I was compelled to tape two pieces of paper together and honestly I didn’t question it. I just did it. I was being FEARLESS!

So the blues were out there and I got the brush slinging paint up onto the paper. Just big splotches of blue all over. This is going to take forever, I thought, then I thought for a minute howI have been dipping into the water when I want to fill an area and had an idea. I went and got my water spray bottle I use when I cut hair and once I got a lot of paint up there, I proceeded with the spray bottle in my right hand and paint brush in my left. At this time, the roofing was pretty furious and I was actually starting to feel the banging in my chest in a manic and furious sort of way. Tension was building and the white paper was disappearing. As the last bit of white was gone, so was the mania. I went and got a big glass of water and sat down at the computer to do some work. My painting, at this point, needed to dry.

The song is still looping in my head and I always get stuck on the lyric about the light in the house keeping the harbor safe. So lighthouse, here we come. I was painting and not stopping to think about it, just letting it out onto the paper. There was a lot of freedom in it, and notonce did I think about is this right? Will I ruin it? For me, that is bigger than BIG, it’s huge.

After the lighthouse dried, I wanted to see some movement in the water. I wanted it splashy and juicy. but I didn’t really know how to do that, so I pretended. The result isn’t quite what I was looking for, but I am pleased with it.

Elizabeth suggested entering it into the Big Show. It’s a juried show for artists within 100 miles of Houston and the Lawndale Art Center hosts it every year. for $30, you can enter up to three pieces. They are rather particular about the rules and we are out of town on the drop off days. If Thomas can drop it off for me, I am going to enter. The other requirement is that it be ready to hang. I am not about to spend the dollars required to frame this in a conventional manner, but we will go to Lowes tonight to look at some plywood veneer and plexiglass and see if it is doable. The coincidence of the class being called BIG and the show being the Big Show is too serendipitous for me to resist. I try to listen when the Universe speaks.

Plodding on FEARLESSly

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

This is how it started out. I was really just trying to get paint onto the page and not think too much. I decided to limit myself to three colors and I do love me some pink and orange. I was going to go with lime for the third, but then the yellow caught my eye.

I was feeling I might need to don my sunglasses, and then the idea of ocean waves hit me so I painted on a few…okay, it was working so I added a few more…they were a turquoise sort of color and really, I should have kept it to the minimum. It was all starting to look a little barf cam-y…If we’re ruining, lets commit to ruining and go all the way.

Since I didn’t like it anymore, I painted three heavy dark blue bars down the length of  the paper. And if that wasn’t bad enough, I added three horizontal bars across the paper. At that point it was time to get in the car and drive to Kathy’s house for some pool time with the fam and steaks on the grill. I figured I would get back to it later, or declare it dead and finished.

Later turned into the next day and I got the idea to paint poppies. Connie keeps telling us there are no mistakes, so I painted the poppy outlines with a dark purple matte color. They look black, but they aren’t. Dark purple baby…and then I thought about the poppies and painted them a mixture of three different reds I have. Three. I have three reds! Who knew?

I am totally digging my finished poppy painting. What does one do with something like this when one is digging it? Add it to the less than digging it pile, because it’s all about the process so there is only one pile…I will likely make journals out of the papers once class is done, but this one might be used for covers…or it might have some as yet undecided fate…

It’s all good…