Yes, again it's been awhile. It's funny, once I did the Bold for my word of the year, I had almost the opposite experience and became quite insecure, indecisive and anything but Bold. Perhaps my expectations of what I was going to achieve were disproportionate to my my abilities, I'm not sure, but I've been working through it and here goes again.
I had a brainwave about a month ago where I decided I wanted to start drawing illustrations of girls. This mostly related to my Champagne Consultant friends and another group called Champagne Chicks. I could even visualise the girl. Very chic, concave bob, ultra high shoes, ultra short skirt, funky bag. So I set about trying to draw her, and you know what I found it really difficult. Typically when i draw people I'm drawing a realistic representation of what I see. With illustrations however, it's all about stylised people, whimsical people, people who are not necessarily real. So what was I to do? Well here's where the serendipity of the internet and the blogs I read comes it.
I came across a sponsored ad on Kelly Rae Robert's website for I heart drawing online workshop by Jane Davenport. And you know what it was everything that I wanted to do. So being Bold I, of course, signed up immediately. I even started looking at the lessons immediately. Did I do any drawing? You guessed it, no. Instead of Bold I became insecure and indecisive again and it all just seemed to hard to do, to even start. But the other day I did it, I actually drew and here are the results.
The whole concept of Jane's workshop is the heart, and I love that it's all about learning the foundations first and then progressing what you've learned and developing your own style.
You know I've never really been a fashionista. Sure I like fashion, but when you're overweight you tend to glance rather than study what's hot. So it was interesting to actually look at the models, to look at how the fabric falls and where the darks and lights are, and it was sooooo much fun.
So, here are my heart pretties. I love the progression and how you just keep building on top of your foundation. Normally, if I was drawing this type of image I would be trying to make it a whole if you get my meaning to copy what I see. So I liked the fact that these girls just evolved and that although I've followed Jane's heart principle the drawings I've produced are not a copy of her drawings but an evolution of my own.
The next workshop will be all about arms and hands, which is good because mine could use some work.
I hope you are having a Boldly creative day.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Patience - Mixed media on cardboard
I wanted to try something I haven't done before and here it is. This piece is a layered mixed media piece with perhaps a tad too much glitter. This piece started out life with gel medium and the heart shapes embedded within this medium. And there it stayed hanging around my messy workspace waiting for me to play with it a little bit, it waited and waited and waited - it was very patient.
I'd been wanted to try something different as a background so I pulled out some old little square ink pads and literally dragged them across the cardboard. It was a lot of fun and very, very messy. Some of these ink pads are now only sponges, but hey that's okay they served their purpose. The thing with ink is that it takes a long time to dry so there was more waiting.
Next using a square-edged brush I wrote the word joy (you can see my calligraphy training in this, because it's italic script). Still I wasn't happy and the piece once again had to wait while I thought about what I wanted to do. Some music was added with stazon ink and a stamp roller, then I pulled out some letter stickers and added them (I think they belonged to an Ali Edwards kit that I purchased about 6 years ago!).And then came the glitter, and more glitter, and more glitter and just a bit more. I was completely covered in glitter when I finished. Still an oft-quoted mantra of mine is - everything looks better with a little glitter!
And the piece once again waited until I was sure I wanted to take a photo, and then waited again until I was sure I wanted to share it. It's so different to what I really do, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. But finally the wait was over and here we are. So, you can see why I have called my little piece Patience. And isn't having patience as part of your repertoire a joy!
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Ruling pen and shellac ink
Last year I completed an online workshop to help me identify and decide if I wanted to pursue an artistic business. Interestingly once completing the workshop I found my desire to not only create art, but also sell it and create a business out of it diminished significantly. I suspect that was information overload in action. One of the key messages I got from this workshop is that successful artists have a signature style; it is a message that is repeated in subsequent art books I have read. It is something that has worried me because I’m not sure I do have a signature style. Yet what does a signature style actually mean? Is it important? Can you have a successful career as an artist without developing a signature style?
Fineliner on cartridge
My interpretation of signature style, at least initially, is that artists repeat the same type of art: same media, same colour palette, same substrate and same images. It’s something I’ve noticed in a number of artists whose blogs I follow, almost every new artworks seems to be a variation on the last new artwork, there is very little actually new about the artwork. I’ve also noticed it in successful calligraphers that consistently do the same lettering style. In fact, it’s common in all forms of artistic expression. You become comfortable in doing a specific thing and it becomes successful and then you just keep doing it. Look at all the ‘80s bands, they are reforming and performing all of their old hits because the ‘80s is popular again.
Is the variations on a theme signature style enough for artistic fulfillment? I suspect not. Personally I’d find it very boring indeed to continually paint or draw the same kinds of images. I like to do new things, learn new techniques and try something different — can’t that by my signature style. I could call myself an experimental artist!
Rotring radiograph on watercolour paper
Now I've looked at it at a deeper level, I think that a signature style is something that signifies something about you. For me it’s specific media; pen and ink, watercolour, graphite, coloured pencils and similar themes and images; freedom, flowers, women and text. While I like to experiment and see what happens with specific techniques, these are done within a similar theme. I like to think that each new artwork is different to the last, and that it tells some kind of story. So, I guess I do have a signature style, just not in the obvious sense.
What's your signature style?
Monday, January 2, 2012
Hello to 2012. This is my word for the year - BOLD in 2012!
I haven't blogged for 4 months, and I'm sure that anyone actually looking at my blog may have thought I'd decided not to blog. No, just been busy trying to finish up a paid writing project (very important to pay the bills!) and also running in a new computer. I decided to get an iMac and I love it. The only problem is that I haven't worked out everything on it, and most particularly, I haven't worked out how to use my new version of Photoshop Elements, which means I haven't worked out how to edit a photo! This photo was taken on my iPad, uploaded to fb and then I saved the image in my downloads. There has to be a better process!
I have just signed up for a Jessica Sprague workshop - up and running with Photoshop. I used to be able to use a very, very old version of PS, but this new PSE has me stumped. So starting as a beginner, I'll soon be able to edit and upload and then there will be now excuse for me not to post.
Bold was a word I chose at a recent session I had with some friends - we call ourselves the Champagne Consultants! We all work for ourselves in similar fields, so the chance to talk about our plans for 2012 was a great opportunity. I decided that there are quite a few things holding me back from what I want to achieve and being BOLD seemed to be the way to move through some of these scary things. I did consider doing Ali Edwards' One Little Word workshop at Big Picture Classes, and I might still enrol because sustaining something like being BOLD could do with some prompting.
Well, my goal for blogging this year is for it to be more regular and maybe opening up on more about what I think on things. Til my next post. Enjoy the start of 2012.