I hope you all have a fab weekend. We are having dear friends visit and taking them to the Mt Airy Art Garage quilt show tonight and to the Philadelphia Flower Show tomorrow. I'm sandwiching in a few fun days between projects (and what sounds like another big snow storm). Celebrate the last of February's dreary march of days.
Pam's new book, Creating Art at the Speed of Life is packed full of great information, ideas and projects. Full disclosure: I have two pieces in the book and received a complementary copy. That said, I'll do my best to give an honest review.
Creating Art has a good bit of technical information regarding the elements of art: color, form, texture, shape, lights/darks. This is a fine introduction to the bones of making strong art. There is much to achieve here and the book is meant as a beginners guide with creative projects to illustrate and guide you through the beginnings of learning these elements. Perhaps you'll want to go further with weightier texts after mastering what's offered here. Or maybe this is enough for you. Either way, the information presented is a wonderful beginner art class in a book.
Apply yourself and your artwork will become stronger.
There are simple projects in here as well: information about working in monochromatic color for instance. The little lesson on creating your own street tag by abstracting the letters in your name is very fun. Some of the projects have been around for centuries: rubbings, texture making with found object. There is much to learn from creating artwork in the styles of Cubism and Impressionism. These are all time-honored ways of training artists in the formalities of art.
Honesty, Diana Trout
It wasn't a surprise when Pam assigned me with projects for the color section of the book. I've been studying the interactions of color for all of my artistic life. I pushed myself to use white in these paintings and mix some muddy colors. I like the pebbly flower forms. All of these elements, taken one by one could provide a lifetime of study. And what is neat about this book is the overview can give you a sense of your favorite element.
I see myself dipping into this book for fun and practice and am honored to have been a part of it.
Next Tuesday I go in for hand surgery. I'll be splinted for one week and then the nerve damage should begin to repair itself.
The feeling should be completely back in about a year. The last three weeks have been very upside down.
In the midst of all of the sickness and injury, my daughter and her husband (I still smile when I say that) moved to Chicago. Lots of chaos but they are settling in.
I'm thinking Yellow right now and Gray. Monochromatic (what?!). Yes. I am going to try some monochrome and see where it leads me. I need a little challenge and excitement to get me through. I had to cancel my Little Bird stitch class (heartbreak) but it will be rescheduled. I'll get up again.
Just lying there on the ground under its tree in San Francisco's Presidio. The husband noticed it in the dark, after dinner, Saturday night. I climbed the fence. Of course I did.
I couldn't see the colors so it was a glorious surpise when we got back to our hotel. My goodness.
Adventures: things both odd and funny happen as I stumble about in my usual way but jet-lagged magnifies things which is only a problem if you find it problematic. I did find Britex Fabrics. Holy Cr*p. Small precious bits of pricey fabrics:
This color studies are from Sharon B's online sketchbook class. I was very happy to get into this class. You may think it's funny that I would take a class like this but there were some new ideas and loads of ideas that I'd forgotten.
This floss matching study was time consuming but really worthwhile to see how many colors appeared in the mixing of a primary triad (red, yellow, blue). I could feel my eyes sharpening up as I sorted through the floss colors.
This is academic art. It's not easy but is incredibly satisfying. I take classes because it's good to challenge myself and keep my eyes sharp.
I found a little sketch in one of my piles and had some fun looking for the main colors and then the floss colors. I'm mixing and matching Sharon's exercises and making up some of my own. The class is over and I now have over 120 pages in pdf's so I can take my time and explore.
Scurrying around today in between a Monday/Tuesday trip to Maryland and a Thursday-? trip to take care of my auntie.
I managed to make a couple of prints using my new Gelli Artz plate and Golden Open Acrylics. Amazing. Making prints is thrilling for me. I minored in printmaking in art school so this was really REALLY exciting. The cleanest monoprints I've made without a press ever. I am using washi paper and the plan is to turn that into papercloth and do the stitching on it.
I think I need a bigger plate.
In the straight up fabric and stitch, there is more inspiration than there will ever be time to complete ...
The violet and golden in the upper portion of this picture is making me drool ... sun and mountains.
I am off to pack my bag full of stitching while I take over the nursing. Eeegads. I'm a dreadful nurse but my sis, who actually IS a nurse has been there and will train me to take over. I'll bet we do fine! Wish me luck.
Spending some time looking at Helen Frankenthaler in preparation for a MamaCITA show in March reminded me of why I got into this crazy art business in the first place: color. Fields and streams of color.
Sketching, pouring paint, printing and then stitching. With only an idea in mind. Sunny doorways in a lane in Italy. Of course, the hours I spent looking, sketching and painting all led to this.
and a mountain and sunset and wee houses in the foreground. I'm not sure where all of this is going but since sitting and stitching is reliably the only thing I can do right now (ortho pillow on my back, ankle elevated) I'm feeling rather grateful that I love to stitch and very grateful for Helen.
And a note ... Helen Frankenthaler was discussed in my art history classes with a bit of disdain because she pour her color onto raw canvas. Not very ARCHIVAL! How come it was OK for Jackson Pollack? It all seemed so perfect to me at the time and now with the idea of treating raw canvas as a textile or using muslin or vintage linen, it is even more delicious.