Thursday, January 31, 2008

Likes Fish for Lunch

Do you know what you call someone who says they are a vegetarian, but who, then again, isn't REALLY a vegetarian, because they actually eat fish, too? A Pescetarian. Or pescAtarian if you're British -- or are from Oxford -- or something like that.

Amazing the things you learn when you get on the web and type phrases like "who eats fish" into those little search boxes.

I actually already knew the the American Bald Eagle eats fish, because the above eagle sketch is based on a photo I took while in a fishing competition with this particular bird. I was doing a search because I was wondering if those giant pink birds* I like so much also eat fish; unfortunately, I kept coming up with pages about flamenco dancers and Brazilian soccer teams...

(*just kidding -- I know it's spelled "flamingo". Sheesh.)

(Gouache in my Moleskine, and I can't get the color in the scan to read right. Pooh.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Artist Is Exhausted

Well, it's been a busy weekend. Recently several other friends have shared photos of their art spaces, so I thought I would do the same, now that it's halfway presentable.

In my living room, where I also am set up to paint, I had a piano that I didn't play very often. This past Wednesday, it found a good home, giving me a little extra space and some good re-arranging options. I cleared everything out of the back half of the room, getting rid of a lot of junk and the art supplies I don't use anymore, sorting and shelving and storing the supplies I want to keep in a way that lets me get to them when I need them, and then started re-arranging furniture. I moved my drawing table to the wall where the piano was ...

... I moved the double sided bookcase straight across the room (it also kind of divides the room -- a custom job that I really like) and cleared most of the supplies OUT of my work area, saving the space for pens and pencils and whatever I'm actually working on at the time. The bookshelf used to be so stuffed full of stuff that I couldn't really get to anything. I was so surrounded that I couldn't think to paint. Now I feel like my head will be a bit clearer, and I'll be able to FOCUS better.

Here's the wall behind me, where the drawing table used to be. I got the two large pieces of foam core (they are 60" x 40") to clip artwork to so that I can see it and worry about it .... I mean, PONDER it. They are light weight enough that I can move them around easily and were cheap enough to throw away or cut up if they don't work the way I think they will. Psssst ... Laura ... see the stereo? :-)

I'll try hard not to giggle when I call it my gallery area.

Just around the corner is a large hall closet where I used to sketch and draw and wandered the dark side of scrapbooking, etc. I've reformed.

It had been piled with extra stuff, and tended to be the closet where things got tossed when people didn't know what to do with them or when company pulled unexpectedly into the driveway.

You do it, too... admit it.

It is still in the process of being cleared, but is mostly done and a lot of supplies have been put in here. I also have a place to plug in my laptop for work and do (shudder) "real" work.

Half the drawers are full of rubber stamps, souvenirs from the dark side. They are going up for sale, so if you are interested, e-mail me! I'm talking cheap!

The plan is to have it all neat and organized by the end of next weekend.

Still, I'm going to have to do a non-fish painting tonight or tomorrow -- but for now, I'm exhausted!

(Note -- I just call rubber stamping "The Dark Side" because it kind of "gets you". Some of my best friends are rubber stampers. And I'll be keeping some of my favorite stamps, I don't care if I ever use them again or not! ;-)

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Likes Fish for Breakfast

With many thanks to the great blue heron who flew up into the branches of a large sycamore tree outside the window at work where we were having our daily morning meeting. He sat in the early morning sun, stretching and preening and watching the creek below, and we had a nice diversion from our routine.

I sketched him on my meeting notes (which I can't show, because it's, well, work stuff, too, you know...) and then found a reference photo on Wet Canvas which matched so exactly that I checked the name and date of the poster to be sure that it wasn't somebody from the meeting. Odd, but true. (It wasn't, of course - it was by a wonderful photographer, Dave Slaughter - you can go to Wet Canvas and check out his work.)

I'm finding gouache in the Moleskine to be an interesting experience. Kind of like watercolor, but not. I keep wanting to treat them like oils, but not. They are their own thing. I'm liking them!
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Friday, January 04, 2008

Wait A Minute

Did I hear somebody say "FISH?"

Well, I want to say -- Happy Birthday to Janey tomorrow!

(Gouache and white acrylic ink in Moleskine)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 Goals

Diahn and I met today at Panera Bread to figure out our art goals (and some personal goals) for 2008. It was a fun afternoon, and I THINK I've got it together well enough to "go public" ... It was funny how we would both set a goal, and then realize that it was more of a "to do item" to get to another goal. (I hope that made sense.) As a result, I've ended up with pages of scribbles that are goals and to do's and other miscellaneous notes. We're going for bigger stuff this year!

For me, my main theme is not so much about starting anything new, but about very vigorously refining what I'm already doing. Overall I want to improve all my relationships, be more timely with responsibilities, simplify and refine my environment -- and I still want to have a good time with it all! I'm very grateful for the people in my life and all the opportunities I have been given, and want to live up to my own expectations! SO ... here goes...


Goals 1 - 4 are all about being better at the business of art:

(1) Improve my current gallery relationship. I will do this by:
- Making sure that I schedule a visit to the gallery at least once a month.
- Increasing my inventory / productivity so that work can be rotated as needed.
Timeline: now and ongoing.

(2) Get my work into another gallery or other venue.
Timeline: by July, 2008.

(3) Improve my art community relationships. I will do this by:
- More active Art Guild participation (will go to monthly meetings at least 6 months out of the year, will participate in guild shows and activities, will see what I can do to volunteer at the Art Center.)
- Join the Knoxville Art Alliance.
- Blog at least once a week (by Friday of the week).
Timeline: now and ongoing.

(4) Increase my overall output of completed paintings with the goal of one "sell-able" painting a month. I will do this by:
- Finishing one watercolor painting a month in watercolor class.
- Finishing one watercolor / mixed media painting a month outside of watercolor class.
- Finishing one other painting in watercolor or any other medium a month. (Includes pastel, etc.)
Timeline: Every month, starting with this month.
- I will have six full sized value studies completed for future paintings by the end of January.
Timeline: well, I'd better get started, hadn't I!

Goals 5 - 9 are more about becoming better at the creation of art:

(5) Work more on canvas. I will do this by:
- Well, just doing it ... I'm setting up an acrylic corner in my room ... :-)
- Diahn is great with acrylics ... pssssst...Diahn, did I mention that I want you to help teach me the tricks of acrylics?
- Taking workshops, classes, etc. as I can find them.
Timeline: I have one piece started that I plan to finish by mid-January.

(6) I will take two workshops this year.
Timeline: One is already scheduled in February. I have an opportunity to take an oil painting workshop this summer. There's also Jerry's Art in the Carolinas ... Lin keeps talking about that one! I am also going to seek out some other local artists who I've heard may give some private instruction or critiques.

(7) I need some WHIMSY in my art! I'll set the whimsy-goal in mid-January...

(8) Diahn and I want to work on some type of collaborative project. We don't exactly know what yet, but our plan is to pitch ideas in mid January and decide WHAT we're going to do by mid-February. It might be veeerrrryyy interesting!

(9) Continue to work on my drawing and painting skills by drawing, sketching, painting, and observing DAILY.
- Focus on value and composition.
- Start a themed sketchbook (theme to be determined, although Diahn, for some reason, suggested fish. She's a nut. Maybe I'll do nuts ...)
I'm open to other ideas here! ;-)


Well, one thing has lead to another over the last three years. Part of it is my age, I'm sure. Part of it is my job, which has changed from being very physical to only moderately physical. Part of it has been that I quit smoking nearly two years ago (yay me!). And part of it is just plain old Blogger's Butt. Whatever it is, I've gone from being "the skinny one" to "the chunky one." And I'm tired of it.

(1) I'm going to lose 10 pounds by the end of April.

(2) I'm going to increase my physical activity, whether it helps me lose weight or not.
-- I will walk 2 miles three times a week and,
-- I will do yoga three times a week.

I want to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year. Can I do it? I WILL try!!!

So there. ;-)

I'm not going to bore you all with the other goals regarding work and home. That just leaves me with the "to-do" list...

To Do List --
things I WANT to do this year,
and, things I HAVE to do this year:
Inventory art supplies (this week!)
Set up art accounting system for 2008
Clean and organize my painting area
Finish cleaning and organizing my study
Organize reference photos
Look at other blog platforms --(wordpress?)
Change my blog masthead quarterly
Schedule one night a week to devote solely to painting
Be more flexible with Saturday mornings (w/c class time) for family events
One self portrait this year
Continue the 500 Objects series
Evaluate e-mail lists, etc -- Reduce computer time!!!
Increase vacation and travel time!
Write a book
Start a rock-n-roll band
Save the environment
Be the driving force behind immediate and total world peace.
(just checking to see if you were still with me there ....)