Monday, March 29, 2010

Draw Your Veggies

Broccoli tree

Broccoli Tree, © 2010 Sydney Harper
Ink and watercolor on watercolor Moleskine

I bought some broccoli at the market the other day and decided I had to paint it. Besides, it’s been a while since I’ve done any veggies. When my nephews were young kids, they used to call broccoli “trees”. It does make a nice stand-in for a tree.

All of this leads me to the question, what do I do when I’m not feeling very creative or inspired. I thought about this when I was reading Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit again. I was reading the chapter on Ruts and Grooves. To me, being in a rut is often the same thing as lacking inspiration. She makes the point that what you really need when you are in a rut is a new idea. She gives an example from her lectures where she goes backstage and gets a found object, a stool for example, and gives the audience two minutes to come up with 60 uses for it. The last ideas are often the most imaginative.

I do a similar thing when I’m feeling uninspired. I’ll try a technique or a media that I don’t normally use. I’ll look at the work of other artists such as fiber artists, illustrators, collage artists, sculptors, and photographers. What I’m really looking for is a new idea. I’ll rummage around in the refrigerator or my desk or my yard for something to sketch or paint. Then I’m off on another groove.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Meerkat and a Template Change


Meerkat, 7 x 5 inches, acrylic on illustration board
© 2010 Sydney Harper

I changed my template to one of the new Blogger templates. I’ve read that it doesn’t work well with IE6, but I have no way to test that. So if you’re using IE6 and having problems, that’s why. I like the new template choices though!

I’m still painting from some Atlanta Zoo photos I took a while back. This is a little acrylic painting of a Meerkat. All of the meerkats there looked a little chunkier than the ones I’ve seen on TV. I don’t know if it’s just better fed than wild meerkats or a different, chunkier meerkat than the ones I’ve seen. It was perfect for a limited palette painting.

I’ve been filling in for someone who hasn’t been able to work lately. I don’t really mind but it has thrown me off schedule and limited my painting and drawing time. I’m slowly getting back on track.

A few links.

Here’s a few interesting links I’ve found lately.

The Dimensions of Color by David Briggs. If you’ve been wanting more technical information about color, this is your place. I plan to spend more time here. I like the 3 dimensional color space. There are also several interactive graphs that are helpful. (via James Gurney)

Harmony is an online drawing tool written in HTML5. It won’t work at all in Internet Explorer, so don’t even try. (via Drawn!) The Drawn! link has some example drawings and a video.

Flame is another online drawing tool I found on Drawn!. It does much as its name suggests. It is a flame-like brush tool that lets you select color, noise, softness and other characteristics.