Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Silver and Lace

(Pastel pencil on Mi Tientes paper)
Object 10 -- the top of a silver coffee service from an estate sale.
Seems like I just want to draw this one at about 300% of it's actual size!

I've been up to my elbows in a watercolor of Queen Anne's Lace (the flower -- not a fabric!) that I've done and re-done several times.
This one was started in WC class two Saturdays ago and I worked on it again this past weekend. WHAT A MESS! No middle values at all -- any that you see are the result of heavy scrubbing out. However, I got a much better feel for what I was aiming for and so, when I got home Saturday evening, started another version ...

This is the newest version in progress -- well, a portion of it (it was too big for the scanner). I totally changed the colors, and am trying to keep some middle values. I also made liberal and frequent use of masking fluid. Now, can I nurture this one on all the way to the end? There's still a lot of work to be done on it, so if not, it will just get done again ... and again ... and again ...
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Monday, January 15, 2007

Questions and Caveats

Special thanks to R.Chunn, whose still life paintings are one of the special inspirations for the 500 Object Project.

Laura and Mereth both asked if the bottles in the earlier post counted as one object or three, in my quest for 500 objects. (Did I REALLY say FIVE HUNDRED?) I'd already worked out the "rules" for this very event ...

The bottles, being three entirely different types, count as three separate objects (#7, #8, and #9), even though I obviously drew them at the same time.
(By the way, I'll also clarify that I never promised the drawings would be GOOD drawings, either; this was one of those times that I made myself sit down and draw, with gritted teeth and some unrepeatable muttering!)

The candies, however, are identical objects, so they only count as one, even though there are three of them.

The final caveat, though, is that when an object gets re-drawn (as the Buddha surely will be), it STILL only gets to count as one. (!!!WHAT!!!) Yep. Not being at all hung up on any idea that it will only take a year to draw all 500, there are a lot of things that I'll probably draw over and over again. The good thing about this plan is that if I then work the objects all into an actual still life painting, I get to name it something really artsy and obscure, like "Objects 3, 18, and 32 with White Linen" -- which also solves the whole "what the heck do you name this painting" dilemma. (Personally I thought the idea was brilliant until just now, when I'm suddenly feeling a bit iffy ...)

Did I miss anything? And what was I thinking?!?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

This Weeks Drawings

(Sorry if any of you have had problems with this post earlier! Let's try it again now, shall we ... and thanks to Janie and Annie for pointing out the problems!)

Continuing in the 500 Objects Theme:

... a seashell ...
... and three little bottles.

And Little Watercolor Cards

The spring feeling in the air today inspired me to do these quick notecards based on flower photos from last April. Fast and loose, and very relaxing to do.
(Tulip magnolia blossom and White tulips on an white cloth -- watercolor on Canson WC greeting cards.)
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Holiday Inn Sunspree

Even though it was a chilly, overcast, and wintery weekend, I totally forgot to tell about our wonderful stay last weekend in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Sunspree, and the staff was just fantastic. We had a hard time finding the hotel (since we were busy chattering and not watching), and when we called for better directions, one of the staff members actually came out to the end of the drive to cheerfully wave us in. All the staff were just as cheerful, and the place was clean and well maintained. I was also impressed at how the dunes behind the hotel were the only ones on this section of beach that had been built back up to a good height and well planted to reduce erosion.
If you are planning an off-season trip to the area, I recommend giving this place a try!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Smirking Buddha

Object #5 -- a Buddha statue / votive candle holder (sans candle). Maybe it was the way I was sitting crooked in the chair, but I ended up giving him a very un-Buddah-like smirk, which I have only just noticed, several days later. Maybe he's in transition to being the happy buddha. Who knows?

This was a Christmas gift from my friend Renee -- actually my husband ended up with it when we did a white elephant Christmas. We had the best time, and I was really glad we ended up with this! So -- it also gets to count as EDM challenge #98 (?) -- "draw a gift you received."

Meanwhile -- I think I'm going to have to try a re-draw, but will do it in a different medium!

(The technical bit -- watercolor and ink in Moleskine)
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Monday, January 08, 2007

Tassle and Candy

Object 3: An "elephant tassle" that I got this weekend on clearance while in Florida visiting my wonderful daughter. (It was on sale for $3.95 after tax -- I just love it.)
Object 4: (?) Strawberry candies scattered on the table.
(The technical bit -- done with 005 Micron and colored 01 Staedtler pens in Moleskine.)


Just playing around with acrylics. It's harder than it looks!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Object Number Two. A grey sea shell with an orange interior -- perched upon a cigar box.
(Technical bit -- Staedtler ink in Moleskine. And the scan made the orange look much darker than in real life.)

Rocking Horse

Object One -- the first of, oh dear, five hundred! :-D

Monday, January 01, 2007

2007 New Year Art Plan

Diahn and I met today at Panera Bread to sketch and catch up and talk about our Art Plans for 2007. We have decided that it's time to get serious -- but still have fun!

The first thing I had to do was look over my last year plan and see JUST WHAT WENT WRONG...

Expecting that NONE of my goals would have been met, (because I'll confess that I haven't reviewed these goals in some time -- Number One Mistake) I was really pleased to see that I'd come a long way on goal #1 (Improve my watercolor technique -- kind of vague, but hey...), was at 90% on goal #5 (Finish the paintings that I start), and had done GREAT on goal #6 (get out there and draw in public -- THANKS Diahn!)

The others, though -- of doing monthly color studies (de-railed in the second month), draw all the plants in my yard, and do one detailed botanical study a month, just didn't happen. They just DIDN'T.

Now, in all fairness, I was sidelined in early February by some health issues that impacted my day to day life for several months, and I can assign part of the blame there, BUT ... really, was that enough to totally de-rail all those good intentions? Nah. It wasn't.

The problem was that the goals I set didn't have a stated purpose, other than I felt like I had to have an art plan. That's okay, but that's where I should have revised them upon review -- um, review which did not happen. Duh.

The color study plan -- great idea, and would have been one for follow through, but my watercolor teacher had different ideas about how to study color, and so, since I'm paying her and she's the teacher, I went with her plan. I still need to work on color studies -- FOR SURE -- but I just don't think I can devote extended uninterrupted time to a particular color. That's just not me. However, this year will be spent on extensive color charts, not just in watercolor, either!

The botanicals and yard drawings -- I just felt like I had to draw something, and that was true. I love botanicals. But, upon reflection, the main reason I chose botanicals was because I didn't know how to compose a complete painting and it felt like a safe bet ... an easy out. It took me nearly a year to realize that.

So. What's up for 2007? I've been thinking about it since November, and here's the beginnings of the plan.

(1) PROJECT -- 500 Objects. I don't know why 500, it just sounded like a good number. I will be drawing 500 objects over the next year and a half or so. I don't know what they will be -- just stuff around the house that appeals to me. There are plenty of bottles and vases and boxes and tassles and THINGS -- enough that no matter what the weather or the amount of time I have, I will be able to draw something. The medium will be pencil, pen, watercolor, pastel, whatever appeals to me. I will also be working these objects into still lifes (because I just find that I really like still life paintings -- who knows why -- very old fashioned, but I do!) PURPOSE of this goal -- to improve my drawing, painting, and seeing -- to improve my concept of form and arrangement and composition -- because drawing is the basis of all painting. It is something that MUST be done -- not just should or ought to -- MUST.

(2) I will be working more in pastels. It is kind of funny, but I had a pastel piece that I was playing on the other day, and my husband said, "I like that!" I answered, "I know -- I'm actually kind of good with pastel, that's why I never use it." It was meant to be a joke, but it turned out to be one of those jokes that had a sad bit of truth to it. I've gotten so accustomed to the idea that art MUST be a challenge, that as soon as I begin to feel comfortable with a medium, I change to something else. I'll never master anything if I keep doing that. So, I'll continue working in watercolor -- nothing looks like it! -- but also will be working in pastel -- because nothing looks like it, either!

(3) I'd like to take an art workshop sometime this year ... I don't know where or in what, but something as a little treat.

(4) I WILL be hanging art for sale at the gallery at the art center. Period. I'm running out of room here...

ACCOUNTABILITY -- Diahn and I decided that we are going to review our 2007 goals with each other on the 17th of every month. That's accountability, right!? So, hopefully in 2 1/2 weeks there will be a more detailed yet less wordy report!

AND -- by the way -- we set a 5 year goal, too. Does this photo give any kind of hint?

(shhhhh.... we haven't told the guys yet)