Thursday, July 18, 2013

Box Number 4

Among the blanks stands a few gems:

 Three: in numerology three signifies a communicator. One of the defining numbers or my life, communication is essential to my overall well being. I must speak. If I cannot speak I must create. If I cannot create I must write. If I am left without an outlet then I become disconnected with reality. I begin to die inside.... it's very much a Holmesian problem.

One of the things I was exploring before the chaos that ensued after dad's passing: textural pastes. I really love how this layout lead from one thing to another. The amphora as a desert traveler needs something dark grounding it in that lower right hand corner to balance the 3 purple dots. And I need to wash the background colors smoother.... there is no transition between orange and yellow. It wasn't finished before it was boxed so I am not upset that it lacks some important details.

And another collaboration. I wonder where the rest of his art is that he did leave me before he left.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Start to Finish: Box #3

And the jewel of box number three...

Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. The preliminary sketch. On the left is a box of Tazo brand tea with the late 90s packaging design, a Martha Stewart mug from K-mart, the bowl to the Martha set and a dollar store vase that I thought was kinda cool. This is the most factual representation of those four objects. The "draw what you see not what you think you see" portion of sketching.

To the right is the homework assignment. One of the casualties of the box, this somehow was folded over and bent into an ugly curve. This was submitted for the monochromatic project. As you can see, I changed the packaging and made it anonymous, added fruit to the bowl which decided the color tone, eliminated the dimensional designs on the case and kept the mug about the same as the original sketch.

It made for great homework but not for frame-able art as in the picture below. Four is really not an ideal number of objects for a still life. It is generally accepted that odd numbers make a perfect composition. I won't bore you with the scientific reasoning. It is just so. Thus, I decided to pull a grape from the bunch and bring it far enough forward to be it's own object to give me five. The composition also needed more diversity in sizes. The other objects are too similar in size to be interesting without a straggler.

I especially like how the details in this close up turned out. And I love the macro function in the camera. Have I mentioned that lately?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The eyes don't always have it

Sometimes one encounters problems with art that are subtle and easily overlooked. And sometimes they are glaringly obvious.

Meet the glaringly obvious:
 This is my first attempt on the Italian vase. I saw this and remembered how excited I was to have successfully captured the painting on the vase, the dimensionality of the fruit and branch and the reflection of the vase in the whites. The whites are so hard to capture. But then when I stepped back I saw the gloriously epic FAIL!

The left side of the vase is squished and again the cherry right next to the vase is competing for the same space! Agh!!!! IT's a thing!!!!!!!!

Oh plus I hate the bright azure blue. It is too lapis. and the green doesn't even begin to match the intensity of the blue and none of them are the right tone for the colors in the vase.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Meet Artie: the inscrutible Miss Tessa


Because every warehouse has to have a supervisor stuck in the dark ages of technology to keep an eye on the minions, keeping them close but not too close, making sure they don't screw anything up... there is this gem of feline superiority.

My roomie's cat, Miss Tessa. Sometimes called Bugs, mostly she avoids me. I am not her favorite person only because, in true cat fashion, she only likes her human. And I am not her human. When I am in the basement she is always there. I think to make sure that I don't mess up anything that she has gotten accustomed to. And today.... I messed up her life.

I've moved a few things that I think she might have been using as cover to hide from the kitten. He is still a furry ball of furious energy and likes to torment her as all little brothers do. But he doesn't like to be where the action is. He'd rather critique after the fact than supervise during. Anyway, it took me a while to realize that I was being watched. For the longest time I thought that uncomfortable stared at feeling was coming from the lone window to the outside world. But no... it was a cat.

She was watching me unpack and photograph box number three.

The unfinished (obviously) start of a watercolor from about 2002 or 3. And a page from a block of water color exploring the technique of multiples on a theme. I think that it could be a successful trick for people who like to work in miniature. This learning experience taught me that I get distracted by the other blocks when I am working in another one. I do like the one top left. It is my color way. The bottom right is too jarringly bright. The red block? I got bored drawing those sunflowers.

Oddly though.... I don't get bored with stargazer lilies. Of course I grew them for my reference materials. But again... stargazers have a special meaning. And the sunflowers were to be marketable.

My great take away from this set.... I wonder if the masking tape will ever come off. It's been there for a decade.

A DECADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!! Really where does the time go?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Box 2 continued...

I am not sure why Blogger does that when I am uploading multiple images. This is the second time that I have tried to add a second batch to a post and it decided not to let me see my library. If I were a paranoid Spook* I would think it was the Russians. It doesn't help that all of the spam in my stats is coming from Russia. So stop it if you don't want to get blamed! Oh... right. The bots don't actually read the posts.
So, moving on with the last post:

These lemons were from Jennifer Harrison's art class. The graphic representation of 5 in a complementary color was the assignment, if I am not mistaken. The left is done in acrylic. I love acrylic because it let's me work with texture. I am a very tactile person. The left is in watercolor. The graphic "advert" style on the left is fun to do once in a while. I need to do work like that to take me out of the rigid adherence to reality that sometimes I get mired in. I can not do that kind of simplification on a regular basis. Jennifer kept encouraging me to make more decisions in the realism with the reduction method in mind.

It helps your brain edit out the things that just don't matter. And she is right. The acrylic makes a strong statement. Those lemons are "gift wrapped". Definitely a life lesson in there. :)

You might think that these apples are watercolor. In a way they are.... it is acrylic wash. A lesson from Jennifer about playing with your medium to see what all it can do. 

My hands. I purposefully did two left hands in this drawing for Glee Fenby's class. I can not draw left handed. And  my right hand is not exactly photogenic. That is my own bias, I have no deformity. I just don't like my right hand.

The self portrait is woefully misshaped and distorted because it is a vertical orientation on an 18 by 24 inch piece of paper and I was working flat. It is the same issue I have with the peacocks that I started this past Winter.... accidental forshortening. It is me.... one of the best self portraits I have done. But I look like I got caught in one of Wesley's distortion field projects in school.

 The drawing pad containing all of my assignments from our text book in Glee Fenby's class and the only project I was not going to be embarrassed to post: from Commander Mark's book that I taught my daycare kids with 10 years! before I got to school myself. I loved Mark Kistler's program until my mom did what she always did and went off the deep end competing with him and then me. There is some thing distasteful about an adult that has to find a way to put down little kids.

Speaking of Russians. There was a kid who got to be on the show quite often. He was good. He could out draw Commander Mark, and Mark said so. He also said that was the point and the hope of every teacher: to have the student surpass the master.

 After a full 6 seasons of Doctor who I look at these chess pieces as Daleks in disguise. I need a break from BBC.

And I need to figure out what my eyes are doing when I have multiple objects in a painting. At first glance this watercolor still life is astoundingly talented for someone who at the time was new to watercolor. My glass is not as screwed up in the symmetry department as is usual. The banana and peach are well shaped, shaded, balanced and placed in the composition. The purple fabric is very natural and soft looking as it should be. But then you look at that apple. WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!!!!

It looks like the peach smashed into it and collapsed the thing! The apple should have it's left side behind the peach. Instead they look like they are competing for space and it ruins the whole thing. I'd like to say that was a freak, one-off accident. But it isn't. As I was taking photos today I noticed that is a recurring problem in my work. Now if it is something that is happening with my visual cortex then I have a huge problem. If the issue is that I don't stop often enough to step back and look objectively then I need to change my methods and the problem is fixed. Of course by the time I get the  drawing done I am so starved for color that I could just be rushing myself... in which case that is a discipline issue.

either way.... that is at least 15 hours wasted. There is just no way to make that yellow apple melt into the green background behind that damn peach!

 And then there is this: yet another reminder of my ex-fiancĂ©. A graphic representation for Jennifer Harrison's class. I think that this was the last project of the first year. Matt and I were either in constant competition or constantly encouraging each other. This is a project in which he gave me permission to use his handwriting to model the letter "A" in an art nouveau style. And the homework is explained in the 5 areas of the project itself. The technique used tricks from my rubberstamping days. Glossy paper, alcohol inks and gold leaf pen. Simple. But stunning.

W13: Inside box number 3

Seriously folks, things are starting to feel kinda scary with all the things that I am finding in boxes. Aside from the heart ache of finding damaged goods, goods that I do not know that I can fix, there are so many memories attached to each drawing, painting and partially empty sketch books. The first box I opened I knew what to expect. But these boxes. The two I opened today I didn't know what to expect. Damage was not one of them. And neither were the emotions that came with them.

 This is the state of the studio portion of my new home right now. It seriously looks too much like Artie's office for my liking. When the bookcases and sundry large pieces of furniture come out of storage I will have some where to go with everything. Right now.... it's piles...... and boxes full of old friends and help mates. Have I mentioned that I anthropomorphize just about everything? Oh. Well I do.

I am itching to get to that encyclopedia of illustration  in that box in the bottom right corner. But no... I am committed to letting my concept fester ferment for a while so that I can get this mess organized and be productive. Also, committing myself to getting things documented with this awesome new camera and photo editor for some more products and maybe give cafĂ© press another chance to not piss me off with some digital works.

Right now... in my own little warehouse, I am archiving that which has been to discover that which will be. And now I am experiencing technical difficulties. Suddenly my entire library of photos is missing except for one file of peacock pics.

be back in a bit.

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