Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Abandoned Art

Rooftops by Sydney Harper This week's Challenge for Inspire Me Thursday was to search our studios for art that had been abandoned and finish them or to make a new piece of art from something that was abandoned. At first I couldn't think of anything because I really try to finish my pieces. Then I remembered this one. I probably started this around 1990. Talk about abandoned! Several times I was going to either toss it out or gesso over it. Then I decided if I'm going to throw it out anyway, I might as well experiment with it. I tried several things but ended changing some of the colors a bit, bringing some of the green down into the buildings, and painting in some smoke from the chimneys.

The changes weren't that major but I feel better about it now. I still like the general idea behind it. I've always been inspired by rooftops so I'll probably try another similar painting one of these days. So thanks to Inspire Me Thursday, it didn't get thrown away.

Rooftops, acrylic on canvas, 9 x 12 inches.

Monday, February 26, 2007

SF: Quoted

This week's topic for Friday February 23rd suggested by Robyn: QUOTED!

"Quotes are so inspiring. They give us comfort in rough times or the push we need to overcome our obstacles or fears. They enlighten us and give clarity and "A-ha's". Some we keep around for a life time and let them guide us, others we forget about. We work with them maybe or pass them on to others."~ Robyn

I don't often remember to save quotes I like. This one inspired me because it seems so true of me. It's hard for me to be inspired when I'm overly self-conscious. Besides, I'm a fan of Aaron Copeland.

"Inspiration may be a form of superconsciousness, or perhaps of subconsciousness - I wouldn't know. But I am sure it is the antithesis of self-consciousness."
- Aaron Copeland

Another quote comes from one of my favorite, well worn little books,
The Book of Qualities by J. Ruth Gendler.

"At times Joy is elusive - she seems to disappear even as we approach her. I see her standing on a ridge covered with oak trees, and suddenly the distance between us feels enormous. I am overwhelmed and wonder if the effort to reach her is worth it. Yet, she waits for us. Her desire to walk with us is as great as our longing to accompany her."

Find more Studio Friday Quotes

Scissors and Lemons

I haven't been posting my sketches lately so I thought I would do a little catching up with some Everyday Matters Challenges. Things have been kind of hectic lately. First up are scissors for the EDM 105 challenge. EDM 105
It was done in pen and colored pencil. Next up is EDM 106 challenge to draw something sour or tart.

EDM 106I did this in my new Moleskin watercolor book. The pages are a strange size, long and narrow, but they seem to work out okay for watercolor sketches. I wouldn't want to use the paper for large paintings, but for sketches it works out well. I scanned these on the scanner whose color reproduction isn't so good. In real life, I made the lemons a little too green. Course on the other hand, they were a little green.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

SF: Drawing a Blank

This week's topic for Friday February 16th: Drawing a blank!

It's one of the most feared events in the life of an artist. Sometimes it can take a long time to overcome this sudden stop of the creative juices. What do you do? How do you act and react? How do you get back to splashing around in all colours? Do you fight it or work with it?

There was a time when I didn't do much art for several years. I'm not sure why; a number of reasons most likely. I had a very hard time getting back into a creative routine. After all, what if I had lost my creative inspiration and skill? Art supplies are expensive. What if I just end up wasting them all? So I started back slowly with some inexpensive art supplies for children, an inexpensive sketchbook, some colored paper, some pictures cut out from magazines, and some other collected items. With some collages and quick sketches, I slowly got into my creative routine again.

Even though I'm past that major hurdle, I still have times when I don't have any ideas. During those times, I'll try to get outside and maybe go for a walk. I'll drive a different route to work and back. There's lots of inspiration at thrift stores, dollar stores, galleries, museums, and artist web sites. It also helps me to look at the work of artists who use different media than I use. Last but not least, I get a lot of inspiration from the ideas and sketches in my sketchbooks. My sketchbooks contain not only sketches but also ideas, techniques, pasted in pictures of things I like, abstract drawings, and thoughts. I can usually find a subject to start working on. Before I know it, the creative juices are flowing again.

See more Studio Friday here.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Inspire Me Thursday: Heart Art

In honor of Valentine’s Day, this week’s challenge is Hearts. Heart-shaped art… the symbolism of the heart… hearts folded, cut up, torn, broken… the anatomy of a heart. Be creative in your interpretation!

This is a quick little piece that I did for Inspire Me Thursday. I meant to post this yesterday but a little stomach bug delayed me.

I was visualizing raindrops, or teardrops, turning to hearts in someone's hands. It's done in acrylic, 9 x 12 inches.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

SF: The perfect art book

This week's topic for Friday February 9th: The perfect art book!
"As I was talking about books so much lately... if there was the ideal book for you as an artist on studios and life as an artist what would be the absolute most important thing in your eyes for it to have in it? What kinds of topics, elements, images would you love to have in it? A few words from your favourite artist as well? What would inspire you, what would support you, give you courage? Would you like it to be a big book with tons of pages or a small book?"

Ah, the perfect art book. It would have to be a very large book encompassing the books I use most often. Some would say I have too many books. The book would need to cover techniques of all kinds. Sometimes the starting point for a picture comes from a technique I haven't tried. Other times, I just need to find a technique that will give the effect I need. The book would need to have lots of pictures from nature. To me, the patterns in nature are so inspiring. For those times when I'm not feeling so inspired, I would want some material on creativity. That would include some text on artists and creativity so I wouldn't feel so alone in my feelings and some suggested exercises to help get me out of my slump. Finally it would include some pictures from a wide variety of artists using a variety of media. Some of my favorites include
Georgia O'Keefe and Debbie New. It would also need to include artists that are new to me such as this fiber artist I found recently, Karen Kamenetzky who combines science and fiber art. Hmm, maybe it needs to be a self updating book.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

EDM 102

I'm still here. It's just that I've been busy and then our pet ferret, Balt, got sick and died. I haven't had a lot of spare time. Anyway, I joined the Everyday Matters Group a while back but I haven't participated at all. Then towards the end of January I had a little spare time at the office and did this weekly challenge to draw a power plug. I wrote down Jan 06 but it should be Jan 07 for the date. I still haven't adjusted to the new year yet. It's just a quick and dirty pencil drawing. Hopefully I can get back into the artistic swing of things again.