Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ink and Graphite and Henry

I got into using my fountain pen along with graphite and a bit blending this week for this 20 minute study. I continue working and trying to get the lines to capture even the smallest curve such as the deltoid muscle, and the tibialis anterior muscle. You may be wondering why the heck I am using the anatomical terms, but my old classical drawing teacher is behind me (not literally) and giving me a bloody lecture about knowing what it is I am drawing.

I ADORE this drawing by Henry Yan
and look at the hair, wow and that hand.
I love the fact the head and hand is the focus and the dress is less developed and has such a delicate quality to it.

Here is a GREAT interactive link of the muscular anatomy for those who might be interested.

Monday, January 28, 2013

WIP Hand Embroidery of Bird Stencil

 I just really liked the way the paint cracked on the cd, and thought I would include that in the embroidery.

I can't seem to make enough of these bird cd's fast enough.
No sooner I put them out they get snapped up. This one I am keeping for myself. As for the embroidery, I plan to incorporate that into a painting much like this one below.
 the face is embroidery stitch

and it's based on my photo of my street sticker I put up in Ann Arbor 2008
Anyway, that's what I've been up to lately, amongst other things.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sharing Inspiring Ideas

At the beginning of the year I made some ice hands clutching an ice balloon for the Art Park in town. I was initially inspired by this post and made a whole batch of ice balloons to decorate the front lawn of the YS Bed & Breakfast for my daughters wedding.
 Free Art Friday Grand Rapids was also inspired when they saw my ice hands: check out their cool ice hand installation.  I hope Grand Rapids got a good chuckle at the icy mischief.

Meanwhile I got inspired by a really funny bunny pic (that I believe is credited to Can-can on Canvas)
 and couldn't resist fashioning a rather primitive version out of air dried clay.
err, okay I am NOT a ceramic artist lol.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Drawing from Perception

Yesterday started with life Drawing for 2½ hours and I seemed to want to play a little and do parts and add coils. Then I got serious and worked on this.
20 min study

5 min study

It's a really awkward angle, particularly the head, which I didn't have time to work on. I spent most of the time trying to get the curve of her toes just right.

After life drawing a group of us went for a curry and then to see an exhibit at Wright State University Drawing from Perception. It was nice to examine the mark making on paper after spending a couple of hours drawing.  I really liked Jenny Wu's Oil Pastel and charcoal drawings. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Shrine Altoid Tin for FAFyes

I don't usually sit and do these BOX-isms in one sitting but add a little here,  a little there over the weeks. I find scraps of old velvet,old earnings, bead trim etc, and see what happens. The box I had started several weeks ago, but the  Buddha is from a mold I made last week and painted with gold leaf.

“Whatever makes you
more compassionate,
more sensible,
more detached,
more loving,
more humanitarian,
more responsible,
more ethical.”
“The religion that will do that for you is the best religion” 
Dahlai Lama quote from In The Footsteps of  The Buddha

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pushing IT!

As in I am having fun seeing how far I can take one simple stencil of a spuggy and expanding on it. The eye is not a stencil but a collage taken from a fashion mag.  
I wasn't liking the paint on the old cd, how it cracked and was messy, but somehow it really worked after I stenciled it. 

14 Tips to Stretch Yourself Creatively
To Stay Creative, Let "Preciousness" Go

I sure wish I could stretch in a studio like Alexander Calder's though, can't swing a cat in my tiny space.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Shadows of Things Past

It’s odd how a wave of grief can wash over you at the least expected moment; from a sudden whiff of the old dressing gown Rufus used to sleep on and I can’t bear to wash, or the sight of  his favourite doggie snack –fajita chicken strips at the grocery store, or finding his chewed up toy under the coffee table. Then it passes as his presense slips away into the shadows and the ache eases into a new norm.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Painting gets a Birdie

There are things I love about this painting and things I hate about it, but it ultimately  never worked for me. So this has sat in my studio for 3 years. Finally I decided I was just going to Put A Bird On It.

So out came my spuggy stencil. Doesn't look like it's improved the painting much BUT it's stopped the painting being so dammed precious. Now I can dribble, doodle, scribble and play, where it leads I cannot say.

Meanwhile in my sketchbook

I cut out a small mouse stencil and added it to my spuggy stencil.
I embroidered a piece of stained cloth and hung it on Xenia Ave after our Tweet Meet.
I saw this funny cartoon of a bird reading a book titled "pooping on people" and I thought it would be fun to share the belief in various parts of the world that if a bird poops on your head it's considered good luck.
First tweet meet was a blast, and it was great that others around us in the cafe wanted to join in. 
Virgil is a local healer, author, who was giving massages nearby and shared a wonderful bird story with us.
I asked Nancy, Celeste and Brian what should be a birdie greeting, ahem! So next time I see ya and you flip me the bird I won't be offended.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I got a BOT

and I am not talking about the one on my rear end. No! I am talking about this kind of BOT.
The kind that came in the mail with a cute drawing on the envelope. I won it and I LOVE it. I LOVE the whole concept, the packaging included. I love the instruction leaflet that came in the box.

and I LOVE my BOT, thank you Gary.
Mine is sitting next to my studio dog Fineas Fallis and my troll doll. Hopefully Bot will see me studiously working (instead of faffing about all over the place) and will tell me how brilliant I am.

Talking about BOTS
20 min study in graphite
Last week I was stuck on knees, this week it was the back of the model. I really enjoyed life drawing this week AND  managed miraculously to stay away from smudging and blending (my comfort zone). I had a teacher once tell me off for doing it because she said it created a wonderful illusion and while impressive  distracted me from learning how to get proportions and sense of volume/structure with an economy of line. It doesn't look like much but to me it shows progress. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

City Birds in Cincinnati

 A group of us in Yellow Springs are doing "put a bird on it" around town, but I couldn't resist this perfect shot for leaving a spuggy stencil cd in Cinci.
If anyone doesn't recognize the birds on the building, the mural was done in 2012 by Artworks in honor of artist Charley Harper.
I was chuffed as mintballs to see that the owl box I'd sent for the International Free Art Friday in Detroit was included in the Fox News  tv interview

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Stencil Magic

Mine are rather simple but I'm inspired to develop them further.

So many amazing stencil artists out there. I once heard someone state they didn't think stencils were real  art because anyone can do them. I wish that were true. Sure if you copy an image and don't design it yourself, but even then the complexity or size, subject/context and location are not so easy as others imagine. 

I am really digging Dolk (Norway Artist) but this one made me laugh, it's the brit in me.
Inspirefirst shares a little about who Dolk is.  A google image search really  shows his range, drool. I do that a lot don't I, drool I mean, LOL! 
Found this wonderful instrucional video by Gary Reef on creating a 3 or 4 layer stencil.

Has a really cool website too

Friday, January 11, 2013

ugh, do people not GET it

Expensive racist crap from Anthropologie
Not only is it UGLY but why? why promote an image that is so painful and offensive. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Visitation in a Dream

I met Colin Firth at his house and we had a bet that if he went out in public nobody would recognize him. So we took a walk and got on a very large bus with rows of seats like a movie theatre.  Weren't many seats left and so we separated and I sat near the front, he at the back.  A young native american tried to climb over the seat next to me but fell. When I tried to help him up a voice behind me said, "no! NO! don't touch him."  I turned and it was a another native american and I said I was sorry, so sorry. My eyes must have betrayed me because he told me, "you can't help him, he must do it himself," I say sorry again. 
Then he points a feather towards the video screen I am holding. I don't understand it, I don't understand why he wants me to watch a film of wolves chasing a dog and killing it. I watched it and then asked, "why, did you show me a film about dogs" and he says, "because you are hurting".  I cry, but he wipes away my tears with feathers (one was red and one was white) and then I try to tell him about my dog dying. "No, not to speak", he says, "write, tell me with writing".


That was it, didn't see Colin Firth again, he got lost in the crowd and I woke up. 
So with cup of tea in hand I got on the computer and did a search about wolves and dreams.
It is said in the medicine wheel that wolves are respected for having a strong sense of family and will only hunt the old and sick. 
On the Huffington Post the cultural reference about wolves states: "Certainly the North American Indian cultures and tribes find the wolf a very important dream symbol," notes Richmond. "It is considered a strong warrior symbol and is associated with wisdom and healing." 

Maybe it was the phone message from the vets office last night that triggered the dream. The thought of having to go back and see the place, and pick up rufus' ashes filled me with dread. Maybe it's my subconscious telling me to let go, but whatever it was, it was  powerful medicine.

Knees and Lines

20 minute pose
Not sure why but I seemed to get stuck on knees yesterday at life drawing, and picking the most awkward angles too. Awkward angles were on purpose as I wanted the challenge that comes with stepping OUT of my comfort zone.
Being uncomfortable changes the dynamics of the drawing session. Since I already presume I won't leave with a finished drawing, let alone a masterpiece, I focus more intently on the angles and nuances of line. 
I am loving delicate lines, and seem to very drawn to Japanese art lately.
Perhaps that is why I am also drawn (excuse the pun) to ROA's work, just LOVE the fluid lines.

Anyway BACK to knees
and the delicate contours and shading on this one done by Pierre Paul Prud'hon is inspiring.
Well back to the drawing board, practice, pratice and pratice eh!
See you later. 

Monday, January 07, 2013

Winter Wedding: Decorating with Ice Balloons

The Wedding Morning
started with decorating the front of the Yellow Springs Country Bed & Breakfast with colour ice balls. I had seen a photo of them on Pinterest and thought it was a fun idea and perfect if there is snow on the ground (which obliged us the day before).

I think I put too much colour in mine, next time I make any I will add just a hint. 

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Spuggy Sez Tweet

What is a Spuggy?
Some of you know already, but that is my family nickname and Geordie slang for my maiden name.  

I thought for the Put a Bird on It in Yellow Springs I would make a stencil of my fave studio bird. I think it adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the local rubbish bins, don't you?  Old cd's have their uses, a bit spray paint and ta da, and for those who might be concerned, it won't harm the public property.

At first there was just the bird, but it felt empty, just I do right now and putting a little heart there for my rufus seemed to make it right. So this little stencil design is dedicated to Rufus who used to loved taking walkies to town and getting a bite of the cheesebread from Emporium on the way home.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Weaving Our Way through Loss

Lighting a candle for Rufus and watching the flame dance and flicker.
A huge cold flatness grips at the soul and
this morning we had to escape the dead quiet of a house once filled with the daily habits and noises of an 8lb furry little bundle.
It was a comforting drive, the sun sparkled on the snow, the fields and pine trees.  Gardens with snow animals made us smile. I tried to capture an image of a squirrel as it raced up the telephone pole.

Death is not extinguishing the light
it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Farewell to a Faithful Friend

1999-Jan 1st 2013
He was a present from my husband, and since that day in 1999 Rufus brought such joy to us all. He was my studio pal, 
frisbee catcher, deer chaser, biccy stealer, snuggy bunny, and he loved marmite too.  Somehow we thought he was our pet, HAH, were we in for a suprise, we were his ;) and if he wasn't scrabble sitting
he was at the Saturday morning family breakfast table and watching the conversation.
Howling at the monthly air raid siren
and hey, he always got his own cone at the Corner Cone too.
He could catch a bunny twice his size, and bite the kneecaps off any dog that tried to mess with him. We adored him, spoiled him and loved him to bits. He was something else and we are going to miss you darling.
thanks Linda for the lovely pic

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

A New Year

and it's a Winter Wonderland out there.
I think we are going to snuggle in and enjoy the view from the windows.
No resolutions
This is the year for "putting a bird on it" in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
and it starts with the beautiful peacock henna I got on Turkish Wedding Henna Night.

May your New Year be filled with, good health, happy thoughts, wishes and dreams come true.