“We only see what we look at. To look is an act of choice.” – John Berger

January 16, 2017

My work from the last two weeks:

Striped Lemon, Jan 14, 2017, Mixed Media on Masonite, 10" X 8"

Striped Lemon, Jan 14, 2017, Mixed Media on Masonite, 10″ X 8″

The latest in the 6″ X 6″ Circle Composition series:

Circle Composition 13 WIP, Jan 14, 2017, Oil on Canvas, 6" X 6"

Circle Composition 13 WIP, Jan 14, 2017, Oil on Canvas, 6″ X 6″

 

And my daily drawing challenge so far:

When I did my drawing a day project back in July, I decided to use the same medium all month – black drawing pens and a bit of watercolour. I used a small watercolour sketchbook to work in that had 28 pages to which I added 3 more small sheets that I tucked in the back to contain the entire month’s work. I’m carrying both of these ideas over into this new project. I’m using a 2017 Moleskine planner set that consists of 12 small 3.5 x 5 soft cover books. Each has a different colour cover and a page for each day and they can all be contained in a hardcover. The lines on the pages don’t bother me, but the show-through from one page to the next does. So I’m experimenting with gessoing every second spread to avoid that. For the month of January I’ve chosen graphite as my medium. It’s been awhile since I’ve messed with graphite and I’m enjoying it so far. I’m not as fond of the way the graphite responds to the gesso on the pages, but I’m working with it and trying different things – sanding the gesso a little and using harder pencils, or just dispensing with the gesso and accepting whatever show through results. So far it’s going well. Two weeks in, 50 to go.

 

Liebster Award

Thank you to the very talented Zanghah for nominating me for this award! Check our her blog here and enjoy her work and insights for yourself. Stay tuned for my answers, nominations and questions….

ZHANGAH STUDIO

My friend Jordan Kirian, a wonderful and talented writer and comedian, nominated me for the Liebster Award. The award was created to give recognition to bloggers who have less than 200 followers but shows potential for growth. I am deeply touched by the nomination because it made me feel like I am officially part of the awesome blogging community here (single tear drop). I can’t thank Jordan enough for nominating this young blog and for all his words of support throughout my art adventures.

First and foremost, check out Jordan’s blog here: https://jkirian92.wordpress.com/. When I first stumbled onto Jordan’s Blogalong Extravaganza, I was immediately hooked by his sharp and honest writing covering a myriad of topics as well as his short fiction that all are tied together by his keen insights, fearlessness and humour. He will have you entertained from beginning to end and then you might…

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January 4, 2014. A New Plan

After two years of maintaining my Photo-A-Day blog, my photography has improved. I don’t think I will ever be an amazing photographer (and that’s ok), but I have my moments. And I will hopefully continue to have moments from time to time – and will perhaps post them here when they show themselves. I am now very comfortable shooting in manual and I have a learned so much.

My last few months’ of photos are not great evidence of this though, as I just haven’t been very inspired and it’s become more of a chore than it’s worth. So I have decided not to continue it into 2014. Instead, by the end of the month I will be refreshing my blog with a new look and a new direction.

In 2014, my blog will follow my progress and process on my journey to develop as a visual artist. I want to develop my artistic skills and to experiment. I want to play and have fun. I want to see if a personal artistic style will emerge and what that might look like. I want to record a little of where I’ve come from and more of where I’m going. I intend to explore new styles and techniques, mediums and ideas. I want to be prolific – or as prolific as I can be fitted into a life that includes a husband, two kids, a full time job and friends and hobbies that are all very important to me. I want to develop an ability to notice – to notice colours and relationships and textures and the visual beauty in the commonplace. And then I want to portray that in my art if I am able. It will be a visual adventure and I will document and accumulate some of the evidence here. Let’s see what happens. Bring on 2014.

Life Drawing, November 5, 2013

Having survived a very busy last few weeks, I am finally getting around to posting the results of my last two Life Drawing classes. On our second last class, we began by drawing with a stick dipped in India Ink. In spite of the puddles of ink on the floor, I really enjoyed this technique. Maybe with a drop cloth I could start doing this at home. Or not. It definitely helped us loosen up our drawings and be more spontaneous. Later on in class we were able to switch to brushes and ink and then charcoal.

First five: Figure Sketches, India Ink on Newsprint, 18″ X 24″.

Last two: Figure Sketches, Vine and Compressed Charcoal on Newsprint, 18″ X 24″.

5 Nov 2013 India Ink and Stick Two5 Nov 2013 India Ink and Stick Six 5 Nov 2013 India Ink and Stick Seven5 Nov 2013 Brush and India Ink Two 5 Nov 2013 Brush and India Ink Three5 Nov 2013 Compressed Charcoal Two 5 Nov 2013 Compressed Charcoal Three

More figure sketches and blue pears.

Another week of figure drawing class. And for a change I spent today painting, rather than staying up far into the night. I’m not sure I prefer it though – somehow time feels different in the middle of the night and I don’t feel as controlled by the clock. Not that I don’t suffer the following week from lack of sleep. Hmmm.

Figure Sketches, Vine Charcoal on Newsprint, 18″ X 24″.

Payne’s Grey Pears, Take Two, Acrylic on Canvas Board, 10″ X 10″.

29 Oct 2013 Figure 329 Oct 2013 Figure 529 Oct 2013 Figure 629 Oct 2013 Figure 829 Oct 2013 20 Min Figure 203 Nov 2013 More Blue Pears

 

Figures, Faces, Hands and Pears

Nice rhythm, but it doesn’t really rhyme. And although we drew feet in class on Tuesday as well, I just didn’t think any of them were even worth including. I tried out oil stick on newsprint and didn’t mind it. I thought my first drawing of our model’s face went not badly, but it’s pretty difficult to believe that the other two are even the same person. Hands…. well, they speak for themselves. I really enjoyed working monochromatically on my pear painting and I think I will try to do more of that, but probably without this outlining thing next time.

Figure Sketches, Oil Stick on Newsprint, 18″ X 24″.

Face and Hand Sketches, Vine Charcoal on Newsprint, 18″ X 24″.

Payne’s Grey Pears, Acrylic on Canvas Board, 10″ X 10″.

22 Oct 2013 Oil Stick Figure One22 Oct 2013 Oil Stick Figure Two22 Oct 2013 Figure Two22 Oct 2013 Face One22 Oct 2013 Face Two 22 Oct 2013 Face Three22 Oct 2013 Hands22 Oct 2013 Figure One26 Oct 2013 Blue Pears

This week: Barenaked Men – or one at least…

Second week of figure drawing and it just didn’t go nearly as well as the first. I’m not sure why but I really struggled with proportion and relationships and everything else that would have made these sketches look better. It’s a process – let’s see what happens next week. Hopefully I’ll be able to do some painting again soon as well.

Figure Sketches, Vine Charcoal on Newsprint, 18″ X 24″.

15 Oct 2013 Figure One 15 Oct 2013 Figure Two 15 Oct 2013 Figure - Three 15 Oct 2013 Figure - Four 15 Oct 2013 Figure - Five 15 Oct 2013 Figure Six 15 Oct 2013 Figure Seven

Figure Drawing and an Apple in Hand

On Tuesday I started my figure drawing class. It’s been a long time since I have drawn the figure and I wasn’t sure how it would go and how frustrating I’d find it. As it turned out, I really enjoyed it and found that other than my shoulder and feet getting tired, it went very quickly. I felt I did ok and a lot of what I’ve learned previously came back – now let’s see how much I can improve by the end of the six weeks. We started the class with some quick sketches, then some gestures and blind contours. The last three were 15 minute poses.

Then last night I did some more painting. I thought – hey – let’s see what happens if I use retarding medium in my paint. Bad idea – it seems that I’ve grown used to the short drying time of acrylics and slowing it down was just plain annoying. I’ll call it a learning experience. I wasn’t thrilled with how my painting turned out, but I liked the subject matter and may have to return to it again down the road to see if I could do better.

Figure Sketches Vine Charcoal on Newsprint, 18″ X 24″.

Apple in Hand, Acrylic on Canvas Board, 10″ X 10″.

8 Oct 2013 Figure - Sketch Two 8 Oct 2013 Figure - Sketch Three8 Oct 2013 Figure - Sketch One 8 Oct 2013 Figure - Quick Sketches 8 Oct 2013 Figure - Quick Sketch8 Oct 2013 Figure - Gesture Two 8 Oct 2013 Figure - Gesture One8 Oct 2013 Figure - Blind Contour One 8 Oct 2013 Figure - Blind Contour Two 8 Oct 2013 Figure - Blind Contour Three8 Oct 2013 Figure - 15 Minutes One8 Oct 2013 Figure - 15 Minutes Two8 Oct 2013 Figure - 15 Minutes Three13 Oct 2013 Apple in Hand