Saturday, June 30, 2012

Part of the Art Journey

During my own personal journey of art, I have created paintings and drawings focused on a subject.  It seemed to be my safety net.  My first subject was the wolf.  I began drawing them in high school and found some comfort getting lost in drawing their fur.  I admired their strength, dedication to family, and their ability to maintain their individualism all while working together in a group.  In the start of college, I continued to paint them. 

While I began making my Mizzles, I fell in love with the Rapidograph technical pen.  It is my favorite drawing tool.  I discovered the book The Technical Pen by Gary Simmons, which inspired me to create my Randomness Series.  They began just as an exercise to practice with and pen and get over my fear of making mistakes. 

Then I began creating paintings of my Mizzles, which led to drawing trees and squirrels.  It is here where I've stayed in a safety net.  My entire illustrator's portfolio is strictly Mizzles.

I tried drawing kids, but it never felt quite right creating kid characters.  Perhaps it is because I was afraid to branch out of my comfort zone.  I began taking the Hero's Art Journey online course with Mira Reisberg at the beginning of June.  I had been feeling stuck with my illustrations and story.  This course came at the right time and it has been amazing.  Mira has developed a great online course that is simple for any person of any skill to follow and enjoy.  Each day is planned out with short articles to guide and inspire.  The other thing I love about the course is that we are encouraged to show our work, especially if it is still in progress. 

I wasn't completely sure what to expect from this course.  I figured if anything were to come from taking this course I would leave with new ideas and techniques to share with my students.  But I have received so much more.  Somehow and somewhere a little girl appeared in my artwork.  I'm not sure where she came from, but I have enjoyed seeing her appear and grow.

This is still in progress, but it's coming along.

There are 2 more weeks in the course.  I'm not sure if she will continue to show up in the next two paintings, but I'm happy she has appeared in these.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Almost to the finish line

We are in our last few days of the school year.  It is a crazy rush to get assignments in and get grades finalized.  I decided to make my end of year a bit easy.  To end the year, my beginning Art and beginning Drawing classes are all working on Tessellations.  It is a nice assignment because it allows for every student, regardless of their abilities to turn in an "A" project.  The only way they can mess up the assignment is if they turn it in incomplete.

The fun part is to look at the shape you have made and use your imagination to see images in it.  This tends to be difficult for students, who are not used to thinking in this way.  I tell them it is like looking at the clouds and finding images.  I encourage them to help each other out with seeing images.  This is where I have fun because many times they ask for my help and I can list off many things.  It gives them a true glimpse of how creative my mind is.

Here are some samples my students have turned in:

My Intermediate/Advanced students have been playing with Shrinky Dink paper.  They had to create original versions of mythical creatures.  They have had lots of fun watching the paper shrink in the toaster oven.  It is an adrenaline rush for all of us as we watch the paper shrink and curl. 

Here is what they have created:

It has been a great year of art.  I am looking forward to next year's batch of student work. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Agglomeration- Getting back into the groove

As we get closer to the end of the school year, I have been feeling very scattered.  But I have managed to find time to get back into my creative groove.  This past week I had to substitute during my prep period, which normally bothers me because subbing can be such a nuisance.  Students often feel that a substitute means they don't have to do any work.  But this time was not too bad because the students did their work and I was had time to do some drawing.  I'm continuing with the yoga theme.  It seems to be working for me.

This week I also began the Hero's Art Journey course.  Our first assignment was a self portrait.  I thought it would be easy, but it was a challenge.  I couldn't figure out how I wanted to portray myself.  I decided to play with melting crayons on a canvas.  As I was doing this, I thought it would make a great background for my portrait.  I took it with me to my illustrator's play date and worked on it.  Within a few hours I was pretty pleased with what I had.  There is still more that I want to add to it, but I like it so far.  As an option to our self portrait, we were told we could do a children's book illustration of a child version of ourselves.  I figured I should play with this as well.  Since I love trees, I drew a little girl reclining in a tree drawing on a clipboard.  I didn't have large trees around when I was a kid, but I always loved movies where kids would climb trees, or hang out in tree houses. It is definitely incomplete, but I feel like I've made great progress this week.  I'm not feeling as stuck or overwhelmed.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Influences- Chuck Close

Chuck Close standing next to the Big Self-Portrait, 1968
I can't remember when I fell in love with Chuck Close.  I have loved his portraits for many years.  His earlier work is amazing in detail and size.  Photorealism is my absolute favorite art movement.  What I admire most about him is that after his accident and being diagnosed parapalegic, he continued to create art. It is amazing to see him work.  His paintings are just as large as before.  They may not be as photorealistic, but they are realistic and have an optical illusion feel to it.

Mark, 1979, Acrylic on canvas 

Every year, I show the Chuck Close video to my students as inspiration for their photorealistic assignment.  But always hope they take away from the video that no matter what life throws at you determination to keep moving forward will take you a long way.

Chuck Close working on Self-Portrait, 2000-01
In 2007, my life was complete.  Chuck Close had a exhibit at the Orange County Museum of Art.  I had never seen his work in person before.  Granted the work was not his paintings, but his prints and paper images were just as amazing.  At this exhibit I bought the book Close Reading by Martin Friedman.  I began reading it, but life got in the way and I never finished it.  Of what I read, it had great sarcastic humor and a realness to it.  As I read it, I could hear Chuck Close's voice.  My plan is to go back to reading the book the moment school lets out.

Lyle, 2000, Eight-color soft-ground etching
Self-Portrait, 1983, Pulp paper on canvas
Self-Portrait, 1980, Stamp pad ink on gray paper

Originally, I wasn't going to talk about Close today for my influence, but I began the Hero's Art Journey course with Mira Reisberg.  Our first task is exploring the self portrait.  It made me think of him.
I have no idea what I am going to do for my self-portrait, but I have to get working on it.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday Agglomeration

 I have been out of sorts lately.  My drawing routine has been completely disrupted by life.  I had absolutely no drawings for a Sunday Agglomeration post last Sunday.  It has really thrown me off balance by not having time to draw.  The school year gets closer and closer to the end and I feel like more and more tasks appear with no end in sight.  I am looking forward to summer vacation and being able to be a full time artist for a few months.  I managed to make time for a few creations. 

I'm still stuck on a yoga theme for my daily drawings.
shoulder stand

reverse warrior
I also made new Mizzles.  On my yoga retreat, my friend and I stopped and bought some socks that had a yoga vibe.  A few years ago, I began making Mizzles from any trip that I've been on. I haven't finished their faces, but they are already full of personality.

I finished a few more shrink-a-dinks.
I am hoping that this week will be the jump start I need to get me back into constant creation mode.  Tomorrow, I begin taking Mira Reisberg's online e-course, Hero's Art Journey.  It should be an exciting adventure!  There is still time to sign up for her class if anyone is interested.