Sunday, January 25, 2009

To my Father

So, I was going to write a beautiful poem or something for today. Today marks 3 years since we lost our dad. I was pregnant with my daughter, who shares his birthday, April 11th. I think it's very appropriate to include him on here, because it really is because of him that I got back into my art. I remember doing something for high school or college for art, and bringing it downstairs for Mom and Dad to look at. He actually bought one of my first pieces before I even graduated college. He was always silent about it, not giving much encouragement, but any that he shared, I cherish. My first award was a portrait of him (1st prize).

In memory of my dad, I was looking for some unique symbol...something that was out of the ordinary and didn't just say "Dad" or "In memory", etc. As I was racking my brain, I thought of the perfect symbol...a katydid. Let me explain...most of my fondest memories when I was young, was when my dad and I would go walking through the woods, or just simply spending one on one time in the backyard. I remember he would talk about the trees, the leaves, the animals, insects, ets. He would walk with me over huge logs that would cross the creek and talk about how huge the tulip poplar trunks are...the difference between deciduous and evergreen trees, the beetles that crossed our paths, and my favorite of all, the sounds of summer. I remember a conversation with him about locusts, cicadas and katydids. Throughout my life, I've since got the katydid sound mixed up with other insects, but once you hear it, you'll know the sound I'm talking about. Summer is my absolute favorite season, even in North Carolina! And what better sound to herald in summer than the katydid. Dad was the one that really instilled in me my love of nature - even the snakes and spiders. The katydid was a kind of an 'aha' moment.

(#6 and 7 on the playlist are the ones I'm talking about if you go this site)

I searched for the word "katydid" to find pictures of katydids and of course I found lots of pictures and sounds of them. What's interesting was that I also found an art forum that I browsed. I knew immediately that this site would not provide me a katydid picture, but I was stuck. The artwork there was gorgeous! I was instantly hooked on the website, drinking in the images and trying to absorb the techniques.

As I sat by my computer, I didn't really join in the discussions (another thing I got from my dad - I'm a great listener, but not a great talker), but I became more and more fascinated with the medium and started to try it out, and slowly started drawing more. After 10 years of not doing anything with art, I found other artists that found the time, either full-time, part-time or not enough-time. There were others out there that could squeak out time to do something and I was inspired! I joined a local art group (Art&Soul Studios) and SLOWLY, I've been adding to my dusty and out-dated portfolio.

So, to my father, thank you for leading me back to my passion.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

January Flower: Carnation WIP Update

I'm still plugging away at this flower. You can see I kinda jump around with the petals, filling in more reds, greens, purples and blues. It looks like I need to darken the background as well.

It's really interesting to see how other colored pencil artists complete their works. Quite a few artists complete sections at a time - so you're slowly getting more and more of the painting, like watching water slowly gliding over a surface after your 2 year old spilled her glass. Very fascinating (the art, not the spilled water...) Other artists work in layers, similar to how I work. Since I started out in watercolors, using glazes of color to build up the painting, I see this as a natural way of building up colored pencil as well. Both are transparent in a way, so that you can see the individual layers as you work. By using blue and yellow to create green creates more depth and visual excitement than if one used green in the beginning.

In the next update (maybe the last??), I will have added more colors to the flower for interest and definitely darkened the background. We'll see!

A lot more work ahead of me, and I wanted to get it done by last weekend! Maybe I can at least have it done by February's reception.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Art&Soul Reception

You are cordially invited to

Art and Soul Studios

Featuring the work of all member artists in a new show:


Opening Reception
Friday, January 9 , 7:00-9:00pm
122 West Clay Street, Mebane, NC 27302
919 . 563 . 2300

Sign up for winter classes in color theory, painting, pottery, metal tooling, jewelry and children's art classes

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Carnation Flower: Update

Another update - I'm adding the red (crimson red) to the flower now. I'll have to go back and forth with the colors to keep the values where I want them. After looking at the grey value on this, I want to push the darks more. (That's something I tend to be timid about. I can put them in for my portraits, but not when I switch to colored pencils!)

I'm a little frustrated because my favorite pencil sharpener is at the gallery, so I'm working with a manual and a battery powered pencil sharpener. I guess I sound pretty silly - my husband thinks I have a pencil sharpener fetish. If he could read the art forum posts on supplies, his eyes would glaze over...

For now, I'm stopping here since it's 3:15 am. I'm going to sleep...maybe.

(Oh yeah - better images, right? I ended up scanning it. Forget the camera!)