Thursday, October 09, 2014

not so pretty

There are mornings I like Morning Pages ~ there's actually some revelation that occurs. This morning, for instance I wrote about the latest visage created for Radiant Faces:

The last creation reminds me of a sketch I did in Junior High School. I was very proud of it. Oh wait, it was earlier than that: Fifth Grade, Mrs. Miller. I was proud of it until Mrs. Miller said something in response to my innocent Fifth Grade query: Isn't she pretty? No, she said. Flat and honest. Remembering that image now, I can recall that perhaps she wasn't "pretty" in that upturned nose cutesy-girl manner. Alright, she wasn't pretty, but she did have character ~ a dark dress, vaguely Victorian or Edwardian, dark ringlets on either side of this horse-faced woman's visage. I doubt I ever showed Mrs Miller my art again. What other way might she have delivered her response? I don't find her pretty, but she has interesting eyes and I like what you did with the hair. Mrs. Miller was more interested in smiting down Pride. Hence, the simple No. (I call back Pride from that experience!) The image I created with Christy Tomlinson's lesson is unusual, exotic, feminine but not girly. At first, I wasn't pleased with the results, but she is growing on me. Is she pretty? No. She is, however, fetching in her muliebrity. I find her engaging.

It is odd how this image reminds me of one created so long ago and the similarities. It's as if a drawing resurrected itself to fix a thing from that time or at least, show some new perspective in it. Not let that Inner Fifth Grader be crushed by such responses to her creations. And it shuts up my Inner Critic as well. All in all a good day.

Reinvented from a creative past.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

my gods are in the details

After the paint has been brushed and sprayed and dripped, once a form has emerged from the chaos, I become eager, champing at the bit, to dive deep into some tedious details. When I get to this point in a painting it's serious Slow Down Time, Kairos. I'm especially keen on adding patterns ~ lines, shapes, spirals, swirls ~ nothing big or rough. Care and precision are called for in working the Details. White or light colored paints are a favorite, sometimes even if the background colors are nearly as white or light. I want you to get real close to the canvas and really see. See the brush strokes and how imperfect they are, see how many of them make a shape . . . like cells that make up a heart or eye or brain. So. Details.

I'll often cruise TanglePatterns for inspiration. Housed in this site are links to other sites that demonstrate how Zentangles are drawn. Of course, it's a small challenge to tear myself away from the computer to actually paint. A lot of it is eye candy. I try to work from some bit of memory and only do a quick search if I'm feeling a little lost. Otherwise, time at the easel is lost.

During the Kairos time, my Muse, my Genius is there with me and when I step back from the canvas I am sometimes amazed.

A mudra with beginnings of details . . .

While playing with white paint and tangles, this gel medium transfer spent time setting on the next painting.
We hold our breath hoping for a good image . . .

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

sometimes I win stuff

Through Julie Gibbons site, I won a seat in Radiant Faces hosted by Effy Wild. The teacher line-up is prodigious ~ Julie Gibbons (of course), Jane Davenport, Tamara Laporte, Dina Wakely, Joanne Sharpe to name a few. So it is a real treat to have gotten in, learn new techniques, see how others grapple the hazards of face creating, find my own way of drawing (again ~ I used to know a lot more in High School). This morning, I jumped in with both feet as soon as the course opened.

As much as I liked this image, it simply wasn't
translating well.
I started the process with one face, that of a nun standing in a convent garden gazing at a flower. (I seem to have a thing for nuns lately. I've recently finished Mary Sharatt's book on Hildegard of Bingen.) The absorbed countenance is what stopped my search as well as the hand holding the flower. However, the course is about faces not hands and as my sketching progressed, I was less and less happy with the direction it was all going.

Gibson Girls have always held a certain fascination for me. I remember copying from a book years ago (probably High School) the serene visage and seductively piled hair of many a Gibson Girl. I turned the page on the nun and started over. Rather glad I did as I am much happier with the result. All free-hand, by the way, not my usual graphite transfer.

Much happier with the Gibson Girl sketch!

The finished spread in my own style.