Wednesday, February 29, 2012

To a show after a trip down memory lane

Well, I am sending my first submission to an artshow. Did I mention that already? If I did I apologize. I have not entered anything in a show since high school (coughs into hand) years ago. And I am a bit nervous. It is not juried so I am not the slightest bit worried that it would be rejected.

I talked to the young woman who sent me the invite yesterday. I only have to chose which piece, figure out a price, and then ship it. And she is sending me a photo of a piece I did for her based on a Star Trek character that we made up for a script we wrote to amuse ourselves one week in a hot Summer. She and her sister are the first kids that I babysat on a long term basis. I am excited to see the piece.

I remember the character. It has the Enterprise whooshing off into space behind her. I remember the tiara, almost remember the dress. And I loosely remember the plot of the story. She is one of three pieces I did in that era that I really wish that I had copies of. The other was my interpretation of a Romulan Warrior Goddess. What? Well why on Romulus wouldn't they have some kind of deity? At any rate it was color pencil and india ink and on a standard posterboard sized sheet. It took weeks to do. It was inspired by an illustrator who did The Weaving of Dreams, Marilee Heyer.

And the other piece was a Chinese figurine inspired lady that I did for my sister for her college apartment.

I also wish that I had my high school portfolio. But I won't even go there. I still hate my mothers cat for destroying it. Of all the interesting things in the house to eat of my sisters or brothers... nevermind. Two phone calls interrupted me while I was writing this post and my mind went into a dark place that it doesn't want to come out of without the gnashing of pincers and the chomping of pirahnna jaws. There are art shows to look forward too and consequently happier thoughts to focus on. But I have a vision of a Romaulan Warrior Goddess in my head. That's a mighty scimitar she wields and an awfully purdy costume. The poor planet under her feet will never know what hit it... beauty in tragedy?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pear Review

Stage One Painting: After the sketches were tweaked the first layers went in. A two-tone wash then custom colored modeling paste through a stencil (acanthus on the right) and the base coat of pear yellow modeling paste through the part of the sketch I cut out. Hey! It's the digital age. Why do I have to keep the paper sketch?

Stage Two Painting: Add the blush, highlights, shadows, redifine the textures in the leaf pattern, then some detailing with a micron pen. Also added at this point is the shadowing that grounds the pear in its space so it isn't floating. If the pear had looked this good in real life I would have left it alone. But the green parts of the skin have bled too much into the background colors as the paint is drier. Completely dry the pear only has distinction because of the texture. So.... to edit!

Stage Three Painting: I mixed up another batch of tinted modeling paste and spread it on thick then dug aound in it a bit with the tip of the putty knife. Granted I covered over much of the scrolly penwork, But I got good texture. When the paste application dried I was able to go over it again with more highlight. The stem got a good paint job.

You will see some shadowing across the pear and into the fleur-d-lis. This is not a paint effect. It is the shadow of the cat's ears. He could not be persuaded to share the good natural light or leave me with more room to work than the 4x4 canvas I am working on. Oddly enough though, I believe that shadow makes a more dynamic presentation. So as I contemplate the next step I will keep that in mind.

OBSERVATION: This is a critical step in the creative process. I know there are other elements that I want to bring into the painting. This will require some thought and a little planning. My process is not to work everything out in a thumbnail like many artists do. I let moments and inspiration finish the details after I have settled on a rough outline of what I want to achieve.

This is a slower process. In the end though I think it the best way for me to work. It forces me to narrow my field instead of roaming aroung the studio for this or that. It also forces me to work out the details with some custom work instead of relying on someone else to provide something for me to incorporate into it. Makes it more me. At least it makes it more authentically me.

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