I was supposed to finish this drawing in early 2014 (read: I said I would — much more of a failed promise rather than a request). I’m only almost a year late. Finished in record time!
Every year (or multiple times per year) I decide it’s a great idea to revamp my life. By that I mean my work and all that’s related. Perhaps it’s not the wisest decision, but refreshers are good, especially for a mind becoming stagnant.
Four pieces were completed at the beginning of January for a play. As soon as they were done and shipped out, I paused to look around my studio and realized that it had become horribly chaotic. Paint tubes scattered, tiny shreds of paper, dirty brushes, not one surface was bare, including the floor. I did what I could, which was to walk away from it for a bit over a week. It was not a relaxing time because all I could think about was getting that area in order so I could get back to work. I had been so focused on those four pieces that when they were done, I felt lost.
I finally forced myself to clean (pics to come). I’ve found that even with this clear space, my brain isn’t working the way it needs to. The empty space is in my head, not in my studio. I’m uninspired!
While I continue to draw and paint, I figured I would update this blog and post a pic of one of the paintings. If you have thoughts, inspiration, motivation, anything, tell me. Share your brains.
…but the year is almost over, so it’s okay. Maybe I’m getting a jump on 2015?!
For the past few months I’ve tied myself up with artwork (creating, not literally). I’m not at my computer (thus, this might be short and stuffed with typos) so I only have one photo to post that is semi-clear. I promise, I’ll show you more next year. I’ll also write more about what I’ve been doing. And will practice *technology* so I can write proper posts on my tablet or phone!
So, here is the clearest pic of any of the pieces I’ve worked on. It was done for a play called “Scenes from the Cliff” written by Nina Childs, first run will be in January 2015.
Thanks for reading!
…makes me want to cry.
I’m trying, I really am, but I am not winning at this type of paper. I’ve read comments and perused tutorials and all of that stuff. “Don’t soak it”, “Soak it for 15 minutes”, “Gesso the front and back so it doesn’t buckle”, “Only use it for drawing!”, etc…
My first attempt was using watercolor pencils. I sketched my figure out, did a bit of shading, and liked how it turned out! Then…I added water. Mistake. I only added a little bit of water, not a lot, and it was still a disaster. So, in an attempt to fix it, I added more paint/water. Of course, it got worse. The paper buckled and pilled. In some sections the paint just lifted right off, leaving my lady speckled. Frantic, I tossed aside all water-related mediums and attempted to smother her with oil pastels (that I don’t even know how to use). I was desperate. Hopeless. The painting was destroyed.
I started off my second attempt being a little cocky, giving a little sashay in my step. “I’m going to gesso the shit out of it!” and that I did. Paper didn’t buckle or pill! It made the surface a bit rough, and that was okay. I lightly sketched an image on the paper, using a ruler, gettin’ my perspective right and everything. Then I added the paint — acrylic this time. Watered-down acrylic. It wasn’t the best move. It didn’t do what I thought it would do. The paint still sort of lifted off, so I reduced the water and added more paint. That seemed to help, but the background lost its subtly tinted sky and bare landscape and was replaced by rough spots and brush marks. I like dry brushing. I might even say I’m not terrible at it. But, I didn’t want to dry brush this one. I wanted it to be smooth, fluid, and pretty. It, too, is a disaster. It looks like I squeezed a whole bunch of acrylic paint on my hand and mashed it on the paper in a fit of rage. It’s terrible. I threw my brush against the table, took a hot shower and cried while in the shower.
I’m a basket case. I’m not giving up, though. Today is a new day! A new day to completely wreck anything I touch! A new day to make a zillion more mistakes, possibly cry some more, but also figure out what I did wrong and try something else. I thought that what I was doing wrong was to even attempt to do any artwork at all, but I need to nudge that out of my head with a hard elbow. Maybe. I’m full of self-doubt today.
If you have comments or advice, I’d love to hear them! In fact, I think I need it.
I’m not sure how I feel about the finished product. I do know that I’ve fallen in love with Golden soft gel medium, though. So…hooray for love!
I think the bristol was a good idea, along with the canvas. I needed more coats of paint on the bristol, but it seems like it made more sense for the ravens than the canvas did, due to its smooth texture allowing more light to reflect (as with feathers).
I will be doing more work like this. Scissors are hell on my hands, but I like the idea of what could be. If you have thoughts or ideas, share them!
I’m cutting out my birds. All but one are made out of canvas. Bristol is my go-to for most things, so I decided to try that and see how it matches up with the canvas birds. I’m not sure about it. Initially, after painting it and putting it against the background, I didn’t like it, but 2 coats of paint later, it might be okay. It doesn’t have the texture of canvas, of course, but I kind of like it. Perhaps mixing materials wouldn’t be such a bad thing? The Bristol bird is the largest one in the last pic.
My lady underwent some changes. I lost my knife in the move, so used all purpose shears to cut her out. I’m not thrilled, but this is leaning more toward an experiment than anything, so it’s cool.
The background canvas was one of five that I had mass painted prior to moving. I haven’t fulfilled my intentions with them, so I grabbed one to use for this. Eventually I’ll go back to those, but I’ll save that explanation for another post.
So, here they are. If you have thoughts, share ‘em. Thanks for looking!