Monday, January 30, 2006

Illustration Friday Topic: Glamour

My first thought for this week's topic of Glamour was a fancy shoe. This quick sketch is of a Christian Louboutin shoe. The style and shape reminds me of retro-hollywood glamour...something Marilyn Monroe might have worn. Certainly not something you wear to the market--unless you want to, that is. For me, the word "glamour" connotes "money" and "style." A frivolous purchase like $600 shoes and the like seems to fit the bill. Will they bring you happiness? Or do you feel exactly the same way you did a day ago before you bought them (only now you have less money)? That's why I couldn't bring myself to color it in...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Creative Couch Time

This week has been so lame so far. I have chronic hives (mainly caused by pressure on my skin) and this week they have been so particularly bad....welts all over me and really swollen and itchy/burny. Thank God they aren't on my face. Anyway, it got so bad that I had to leave work (it causes severe pain in my joints as well) so I've been on the couch for a day and a half looking like "Pizza the Hut" from the movie Spaceballs. So much for my creative plans this week! Oh well. Anyway, while I was on the couch I went through several home design magazines I like and cut out little inspirational pictures I like (mosly of art) and glued them into my sketchbook (mainly colors and themes that I liked a lot) and I actually think I found what I'd like to paint! I don't want to say just now what that is, but I found a commonality between all the things I cut out. I saw common colors and line treatments and other things that all seemed to call out to me. I just have to put them together.
I've been struggling for a while now deciding just what it is I want to work on. I finally think I've figured out what I'd like to try and it feels really good to have a starting point now! It could take me in any direction, and that's ok. I'm just excited to feel that "zing" again when you come up with an idea you really are excited about. I've missed that "zing." Hopefully I can start this weekend! Tomorrow will be a busy catch-up day at work and Friday I'll be gone all day at a photo-shoot at the airport. I can't let another weekend go by without having started SOMETHING with my fine art side. :) Anyone out there have any advice or comments on breaking a dry art spell? Feel free to comment! Thanks!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Illustration Friday: Cats

Growing up, our family had a cat...a Persian. I was four years old I think when a family friend gave him to us. He was orangey-yellow and very furry. He had that funny little smushed in face that some find creepy...I just had always found it more funny and special. We appropriately named him "Fluffy" which never seemed much like a cliche until now. He hated me when I was little. I think he thought we were the same size or something...I was his rival. I had pigtails and would lay on the floor watching tv...probably Fraggle Rock...and all of a sudden Fluffy would jump on my head and start flailing around attacking me. Turns out, my pony tails would jiggle around every time I moved and he thought I was a big cat toy. We never did have him de-clawed.

Anyway, we grew up together. He was like a weird hairy little brother who'd follow me around and be annoying. He would always lay right on top of my homework as I was doing it, or he would plunk himself down on the newspaper as it was being read. Or he would lay on a stair so you couldn't pass by on the staircase without breaking your neck. But we had fun times playing pass with a bouncy ball; or I'd get him drunk on catnip. hee hee. He loathed me all the way until I reached high school. Then, one day, he jumped up into my lap. He'd never done that before (never was into affection). He would curl on my lap and lay there quietly. I loved it because the guy had onced hated me and now seemed to appreciate me. He became good buddies. I don't like to think about the day he died when he was so frail and thin and wavering. I remember I was 17 and finishing up high school. He saw me through all my school years. I still miss him. I'm allergic to cats now (I had somehow become immune to him), so I'll never have another one. To me, Fluffy was and is the epitome of what a cat is. Snobbish, insistent and confident. Yet loving, fun, and caring at the same time. I had a lot of respect for that cat and I know that, eventually, he grew to respect me too. My quick sketch is a sort of caricature of Fluffy...proudly sitting. The pose reminds me of how he looked after hauling home a mouse for us, or a little bird (poor things). He was always so proud and almost smug. I imagine his human voice was like Frasier Crane's or Stewie from the Family Guy.

Another weekend...

This evening I filled in my Illustration Friday sketch from last week with paint. It's posted here. I was worried I would ruin it since I'm new to watercolor, but I think it came out alright.

Earlier this week I got an email from the community center saying that the pastel class I'd signed up for was completely cancelled by the teacher. Boooooo! I was so bummed...I was really looking forward to trying something different like that and meeting new people. I'll keep my eyes peeled for a different class I might take sometime. In the meantime, I'm going to use the time that would have been for the class and just explore different/new art media. I've been inpsired by collage...I think I'd like to try my hand at that and see how I do. I've never done artistic collage before. My head is swimming with ideas though; so that's a good sign! Today I got an image transfer tool so I could try different effects with laser copies and imagery by melting them onto canvas. I'm excited at what it will bring!
Chris is away this weekend with friends in Vermont so I am using this time alone to do some creative stuff. I spent most of the morning loafing around and watching home improvement television. HGTV is so addicting! I can't peel away after the first 10 minutes of a show because I need to find out how the whole project turns out! It's worse than Lifetime TV. I managed to get off to the craft store to pick up some materials and then, of course, to get groceries. Which I hate doing. The weird thing is, today I kind of enjoyed it. I hate admitting that. I sort of slowly strolled the aisles rather than my normal speedwalk. It's a new grocery store, so it's never really crowded, which is nice! I hate feeling like it's a roller-derby in there. I can never compete with the Moms and their bevy of children with them. I always have to squish to the side to let everyone through. It's only right. After several aisles of doing that, it gets tiring. Especially when a boy with slimy-looking hands throws food at me or tries to trip me. Jerk. Ugh. One day, I'll have kids and have to make my way through the aisles...I'll have to start planning now on how to keep them near me and keep them from playing pranks on our fellow shoppers. Short of duct tape and leashes, I haven't come up with much yet. But I have some time to figure it out. Anyway, this new store hasn't been crowded and it's been refreshing.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Illustration Friday Topic: E is for...

E is for Ear-Piercing Scream!
I did this quick cartoon while watching tv. We live near a snow-tubing and ski park. I imagine this kid going down the hill for the first time ever on a taboggan. You never realize how quickly you gain speed until you're already half-way down and want to stop! I'm considering painting it in with watercolor...which I'm not so great at but I guess I have to start somewhere, right?
This is one of my first doodles I've done in years. I'm building my way up to working on paintings again by starting with little doodles and sketches in my sketchbook. I figure that will help me get my feet wet again. I definitely need practice!
Today is Sunday and while I love having the day to do whatever I want, I also have that dread of going back to work tomorrow! I think we all experience that. I just know that putting too much focus on the ol' day job has put a lot of unneeded stress on myself and had thrown my balance in life out of whack. I've been doing much better lately with the whole issue, but it takes a lot of practice and reminding to keep it up. I'm excited for what's ahead! My plan is to do a few little sketches and doodles each week and build my way up to working on bigger projects. I've been so scared for so long to get back into it. I'm just sick inside over how I haven't let my creative self come out. I have a lot of mending to do now in that area.
I've enrolled in a Pastels starts this Thursday night. I was never good with chalk. I tried to do it in college, but it was a dreadful outcome. But there wasn't a whole lot of instruction at the time in that media; so I was left pretty confused. This class is my chance to figure out what I'm doing wrong with it and hopefully improve! It will be fun to get out and meet new people in my town and also get to do my art. And NOT for a grade! (Since it's a community adult education class). No pressure= happy art. At least for right now. Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

My First Post!

Here I am! My very first post. I'm very excited to join the blogging world. I've been so inspired looking at all the sites out there and feel like it's a real chance to be creative! I have no idea what I'm doing; but I guess that's part of the fun. I figure I'll learn as I go. I look forward to posting photos, sketches, and other artful pursuits here in hopes I will regain my lost creativity and finally end my 6 -year artist block!!! I'll need all the encouragement I can get. That's all for now!
This photo was taken recently with my new Canon EOS Rebel XT digital's of Forge Pond; across the street from where my husband and I live. It was taken after a snowy morning when it cleared off and snowmobilers were out and about on the pond.