Sunday, January 29, 2012

Life Book: Opposites

For this assignment, we explored opposing qualities within ourselves. Officially, we were to draw two goddesses, each representing a quality or set of qualities, for example a sun goddess and a moon goddess. However, I've never been into the goddess thing, and I didn't like any of the poses I came up with for a pair of figures. After much back-burner bubbling, I came up with the idea of splitting a single figure down the middle with half representing logic and the other half art. Very me.

The art part of the assignment was to work with hatching and cross hatching on the figures and to do a frame with a shaving-cream marbling technique. I mostly struggled with the hatching, since I've never been very good at pen and ink. It was fun to pull out the shaving cream and stamp-pad reinkers for the marbling. I haven't done that technique in over 10 years. Oddly, I still have the same can of shaving cream in my supply drawer.

I resisted the urge to add color to the figure. Figured I should do at least Some of what I was told. LOL!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Life Book: Goddess Qualities Spread - Part 2

When we last saw our heroine, she had just added an arm to her creation...

My first thought upon seeing her when I walked into the studio the next morning was, "Oops! I gave her my arm, not a scrawny model arm." I stared at it a long time and finally decided that replacing her arm was more work than I wanted to do.

I also didn't want to add a background. It just felt complete as it was. I felt like anything I added was more likely to ruin the spread than add to it. Similarly, I was struggling with how to add the list of qualities on the flap without throwing the whole out of balance. I settled on staying very simple and wrote them by hand in a hand-drawn frame over the arm. As a bonus, it also makes the fat arm a bit less noticeable. :)

All finished!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

LifeBook: Goddess Qualities Spread - Part 1

Ugh. I know the spread isn't finished, but I'm totally fried. Looks like I'm going to have to allow more time for LifeBook assignments in the future...

My first run at a three-quarter portrait was horrible. The features were in the wrong places relative to the face, relative to each other.... Shudder!

For my second try, I started with a reference photo.

However much the features look right in the photo, they look just plain weird before there is shading or color. I kept thinking, Really? There's that much distance from there to there? Wow. After much drawing and erasing and drawing and erasing, there was a sketch... (I wish I'd taken a picture of it rather than putting the 9x10 paper on the 8.5x11 scanner. It made for some weird shadows.)

I stared at it for days, terrified that I'd ruin it when I started adding color. Eeeeek!

Deep breaths....

Here goes... First the shadows...

Then the first couple of layers of skin tone...

This was followed by layer after layer of color, to get...

The next step is to add the fold-out piece, a background, and some journaling. I managed to glue this page and the half-page foldout to a piece of scrapbook paper. Of course, the first thing I noticed was that, now that there's more paper, the chopped-off elbow seems weird.

Sooo.... Add the rest of the arm and try to match the colors... Or, make the fold-out page obviously NOT part of the picture... What to do... What to do....?

Addendum: I decided to add the rest of the arm. While I was at it, I noticed more shadows that I'd missed before, so I added those too.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Accomplishments: A Todo List Becomes An Art Project

I'm working my way through Goddess Leonie's "Goddess Year" PDF. It's a nice workbook with lots of questions and activities to wrap up the year and start a new one. One of the activities was to put the year's goals into a notebook of sorts.

I looked through my stuff and despite having more paper than any three people should ever own, I didn't have anything that said "use me for lists." I was just about to start creating my own notebook out of paper on hand when I noticed some unused Circa accessories. (Circa is Levenger's version of Rollabind.)

I took four plastic pages with index-card pockets and connected them with disks. I didn't like the cardstock covers they had included for inside the plastic covers, so I covered them in gesso and went to town on them.

Here's the result.

The covers (hazy cuz they're under translucent plastic covers).

One of the pocket pages.

Studio Tour

This is my studio. You could pretty much burn the rest of the house down, and it would be annoying, but I wouldn't cry over any of it. This room, however, is where my heart lives.

The view from the doorway is dominated by the giant table. It's actually a cutting table with a rotary-cutter mat. I flip the cutting mat over for messy crafts.

This is the wall with the door in it. I took out  the closet doors and put my Ikea Ivar shelves in there. The left side is mostly magazines in plastic storage containers, stored two deep. I can only imagine what that section of shelving weighs. LOL!

Rotating to the right another 90 degrees... The giant printer, the computer, the stereo, the sewing machine, and the weird corner window.

The wall across from the door... The bookcase, stamp drawers, and little TV/DVD. Tall, weird stuff is tucked into the gap in the corner.

And the last wall... I got these two file cabinets when the company before last folded out from under me. I think about painting them all the time. Thinking about how hard it would be to empty them and get them out of the room stops those thoughts in their tracks. :)

That's my little world. Hope you enjoyed your visit.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Book of Days: Welcome 2012

Wow, the 4"x6" format of this sketchbook is a real challenge. It feels positively tiny even compared to a 5"x7".

I liked the jester image and spent FOR EVER cutting him out. All those little tiny curves! Oy. Once I had it cut out, it faded right into the page. Hmmm.... I added the collaged papers and tried him again. He was...well...OK. So I glued him down. Still kinda lost, so I outlined him with a 90% cold gray pen. Much better, but the pen bled all over his nose. Sigh. Decided to think about that later.

I added the clock as a nod to time and the fish cuz I liked him. The upper right was a bit bare, so I added the tulips. The tulips and smaller fish over the clock tied the corners together. The black art tape is from taping the front pages together to make a pocket. I like it, but it made the tiny pages feel even tinier.

Back to the jester with the gray nose... What to do... I dug through my collage materials looking for a face the right size and pointed in the right direction. Ta dah! No more ruined jester face. Yay!

Anyway, I think I was right when I declared to the group that the size of this book was going to be one of my challenges. Hopefully, I'll get into the 4"x6" groove soon...

Book of Days: Inside Front Cover

For the inside cover, we were to make two pockets, one to hold a letter to 2011 and the other a letter to 2012. For 2011's pocket, I used an envelope made of handmade paper. It's just the right size for a shipping tag. For the tag's tassel, I used an old piece of kumihimo I had lying around. Who knows how long ago I made that. I shudder to think... For the 2012 pocket, I attached the first two pages together with artsy tape. For my letter to 2012, I used shipping tags with embroidery floss tassels. Each tag represents my intentions, hopes, resolutions, etc. for one area of life.

It's simple, but it's a start...