Tuesday, August 31, 2010

San Xavier del Bac

Back in the spring Mike and I made a day trip to Mission San Xavier del Bac, 9 miles south of downtown Tucson. It was a beautiful, sunny day and I made lots of photographs both in the church and on the grounds. I've actually not made any photographs to speak of since then as I've been working on "Mirror Mirror" encaustic series for show almost exclusively. Today I was looking at these photos in a folder on the computer and decided to play with a few images. Here they are. I'll probably play with some of the church interior images at a later date.

This one got a little extra Photoshopping with the birds dropped into the sky. And then a sepia version:

I think I like both color and sepia versions fairly well. I'm undecided if I have a preference for one over the other at this point. I do think I could do a small series and finish them as photo-encaustic pieces. I definitely want to get back to making more photos regularly! I think I've been missing my camera!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Draw Cats in Bed

I've never had much talent for drawing, nor have I ever thought of working on my drawing skills until I ran across this book, "52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun! - Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists", by Carla Sonheim. My friend, Barbara Herman, expressed interest in doing the drawing exercises also. So we met yesterday to share the results of our 1st assignment, Drawing Cats in Bed! The assignment was to get comfy in bed and draw about 30 cats from your imagination, working quickly, say spend about 10 minutes to complete the assignment. Well, Barbara and I had quite a few chuckles yesterday sharing our cat drawings. Nice to be drawing  (and learning) just for fun. So here are my cats.

Taking it further: I selected one of these funny cats, scanned it and did some Photoshop work on it. Here are the results:

As Hettie would say, LOL! This week we're doing giraffes. Should be interesting!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Getting There

Mirror Mirror #14 was finished last week and #15 yesterday! I will, I think, have over 20 for Oct. gallery show at Subway. I have 8 more "works in progress" and this week I work only on Thursday, so I have no excuse not to get in lots of good studio time. Yay!

I'm off to meet a friend in a few minutes. We're doing drawing exercises together (really meeting and sharing the outcome of our drawings from the exercises) based on assignments from "52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun - Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists", by Carla Sonheim. More on this tomorrow!

Mirror Mirror #14

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Artistic Inspiration

Serendipitous moments are wonderful, and especially when several seem to connect AND bring forth a revelation and encouragement. This has been a week of such moments. A couple of days ago I found a video, Elizabeth Gilbert on Genius, which addressed artist's inspiration and when it just doesn't seem to come together.  She suggests ultimately we must "show up" to create, and the genius will be with us/in us (suggesting it comes from something external), not always, but sometimes, ONLY if we show up to create to begin with. Gilbert, known for her book, Eat Pray Love, now a movie starring Julia Roberts, talks of at age 40, people say to her, well what are you going to do now that you've had such a big hit; what if that never comes to you again? Well, again, keep writing, she says. That's what she was born to do. So, if you were born to create, you will create and the genius will come and fill your work, maybe not everyday or every time you create, but it is a process, and maybe the frustrating moments are just as important as the a-ha moments, at least I have come to this conclusion for me and my work.

So, yesterday as I was pondering this, a friend named Patty came by to see me and asked if I'd look at some photographs in a recently privately published book, Studies in Black and White, photographs by her great aunt, Liddie McDermott. Liddie is 98 years old and made beautiful black and white photographs for a span of eighty years.  Patty asked if I might make some comments on these photographs in a notebook of comments she was collecting to send to her great aunt, who now resides in South Carolina. Liddie, now 98 years of age, has a book of almost a lifetime of her images and passions published! Now, is that not inspiration? I would love to meet Great Aunt Liddie. Hey, if we are born to create, we create, or as Erma Bombeck said, "When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I have not a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me." This quote came to me via the art blog of Bridgette Guerzon Mills. Maybe these links will offer a bit of inspiration to anyone who happens upon this blog. May the artist within and around you be inspired to create!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Mirror Mirror

Thought I'd post a few more photos today from Mirror Mirror series. This is from a painting by Frans Van Mieris, Woman Before a Mirror, c. 1670. I'm pleased with the sepia/aged colors, suggesting something old, of the past, preserved in history. This is 8x10 on cradled birch panel. I spent about half a day on this one compared with about 2 weeks (or more!) on the 12 x16 Velasquez images in my last post! Sometimes amount of time is not the key to success. Maybe more just the connection with what you are doing, and for me, some sort of "letting go" and not standing in the way of what comes of it. Yes, the Velasquez encaustics are larger panels, however, the final results did not come as easily for me as with this one.

This series is numbered by the order of their completion in an effort to track my progess. I don't believe at this point my numbering system will really be of significance until maybe I reach #100.

Mirror Mirror #10
Here is Van Mieris original:.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mirror Mirror

I've been working on a series called "Mirror Mirror" that will be exhibited at Subway Gallery, Bisbee, in October.This series has been fun, frustrating and challenging. I'm appropriating art historical images, making "line drawings" from them in Photoshop, printing them on rice paper and then working on them in encaustic on birch panel. One particular image has really been a challenge! Well, actually, it's a diptych, or maybe just 2 interpretations of the same image. It's from Velazquez's Rokeby Venus. Here are the two finals, or as they are now anyway...
Mirror Mirror #12

 Mirror #13
 Mirror Mirror #12 work in progress.

As you can see the frame and ribbons were a major challenge. A friend suggested I incorporate real ribbon, AND fabric on the curtain. That proved to be unsuccessful. I MAY still add some more pastel color/lines in the curtain....
Here's the line drawing I started with....
 I've found TREMENDOUS VARIATION on my 2 computers as to how the colors in these images look! So, I wonder how colors come through for viewers on each individual's computer???
Okay, so here's the original masterpiece by Velazquez

I've decided I took on a big project starting in a new medium I've been working in less than a year and then taking appropriated images such as this one! The less well known appropriated images have definitely been easier to work with in some ways. Guess I wonder about the whole idea of well-known appropriated images and what makes them work, such as the Mona Lisa that has been appropriated, who knows how many times, such as this one:
 by Duchamp
Maybe as a body of work with the theme Mirror Mirror, the Velazquez images will make more sense. I guess every artist has doubts about their work, but ultimately we must free ourselves up to keep working and grow in the process.

More Mirror Mirror tomorrow.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I'm Blogging - Finally!

Well, this first post is for my artist friend Sonya, who encouraged me to start an Art Blog, and for my daughter, Hettie, who chuckled when I said I'd have a Blog created by tomorrow. So, here it is, my first post! Short and sweet!