Saturday, September 27, 2008

Going Backwards?

I am struggling. I love Teach. But I think my work sucks. I LOVE color. I feel frustrated, imprisoned, aggitated, irritated.

Yet also determined, resolute, hopeful and trusting her leading. My life is about color. I am a black and white person, a "yes" or "no", "now" or "never" person. I read life like the sports pages. Headline first, bottom line, then the details. But somehow, art without color is choking me.

Sketch from Monday. I still am horrible at drapery. Those are the wierd and meaningless scratches below the hatbox! I did run out of time. I don't know that time would have helped.

This is Wednesday's pathetic sketch. Like I said, I feel like I am falling backwards.
For the next three or four classes, we are working on still life. I hate this. She purposely has us drawing a bunch of junk, ugly crap that no one could have any emotional connection to so we can learn form and value. I get her reasoning and do not fault it. The result is what is glaring me in the face is my horrific lack of talent.

I return to my first epiphany. God gives us the desires of our heart. I have this huge desire to paint. Meaningfully paint. Passionately paint. Purposefully paint. Powerfully paint. I am a person of passion and faith and compassion. I want that to transfer to canvas. I trust that He will enable me through Teach's lessons to learn and grow and widen my foundation.

At this point, I am triply grateful she is a kind and encouraging Teach. I feel very fragile.

But I know better.
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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Final Drape class work?!

Monday we worked on drapes again. As Teach headed to closet to get some music, I requested (in jest!) Taps!! She asked, "Is it THAT bad?"

This was silver velvet. I cheated. I used my phone camera to check my work. I don't know why, but I can "see" my work better that way. I still struggled. Improvement though, because I did not get my brain headache til about 30 minutes into it!

Wednesday was critique day. This thing got many positive comments including, "I feel like I can grab the fabric." I was so flabbergasted.

The black jacket critique was stony silent. I didn't love it either. I liked the unfinished one. Teach said she liked it. She is very kind. Honest I think, but a mercy triumphs over judgement kind of woman.

That made me think about how fearful I was to even begin taking art classes. Son-in-Law had warned me his art prof had called drawings and paintings "a piece of sh*%" and would rip things up right in front of everyone. I have no respect for that "teaching" style. Most likely would have withdrawn. Hopefully I would not have let my Irish show!!

At any rate, I am so appreciative of a kind and gently inspiring Teach!

Had intended on trying to do another drape this weekend as she gave no homework. But I took a three mile walk down 12th Ave instead and started some Christmas shopping!

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Sketch Book

Okay, I can see it. I am improving! I also have fallen in love with vine charcoal and will be just as happy if I never have to use a pencil the rest of my life!

I love how forgiving the vine charcoal is, how I can smudge it and "move it around" as Teach says. Compressed charcoal is still very tough for me. Once on paper, it is so THERE.

Next week is still life with a huge assortment of objects. I had fun practicing with a couple of them.

I am already pondering what class I can take Monday/Wednesday morning next semester!
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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Drapey Homework

Remembering Teach said it is important to love what you are drawing, I thought I better listen so I would not become suicidal over this assignment. I have this black pleather crop jacket I just love. I think I way over worked the finished piece. I like it better at this beginning point!

I will definitely NOT be hanging this anywhere for anyone to see.
Erg. Grrrrrr. Humph. Chortle. Spit. Spew. Phooooey.

I'm with Scarlett O'Hara. . . "after all. . . tomorrow is another day!"

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I love my teacher. I hated Wednesday's class. She had a red drapery over a bar stool on the platform. What a freakin struggle to draw the values that created the folds in the fabric.

I thought I would be smart and zoom in on a small section. She said I would need to really get the detail in to make it work. I kept saying to myself, "This is the geometry of drawing. I NEED to learn this. I NEED to press through. My brain NEEDS this challange." I wanted to throw myself on the floor, burst into tears and kick my feet.

I decided that would be way embarrassing, so I continued the above mantra as my head began to throb!
I guess our second attempt was supposed to be really special, because we switched from newsprint to the better sketching paper. Great, I could start over for a new torturous attempt.

Thank God, I was saved by the bell and we stopped so she could critique our homework.

I felt good about my work. One guy did a milk can and a pile of books and a clock. It was splendid. I could not stop looking at it. That milk can had such shine. HOW does he do that? Another memorable one was a potato chip can, a water bottle and a coke can. So real I got hungry looking at it! The other one I liked was a glass jug with water and I think some other bottles. The water in the jug amazed me.

Teach said she liked my shoe and the lighting detail on the candlestick, loved the flame! She said my shadows should have been much darker since my subjects were so dark. Asked about my crazy circles, then graciously made comment that perhapes I felt there was too much empty space and the darkness of the objects needed balancing out.

Oh joy, I get to do more drapery stuff for homework!!
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Monday, September 8, 2008


Today's class was on foreshortening. We drew an axis at the angle of the bones. (Dead, dry bones laying out on the platform at nine a.m. Mmmmmm!)

Then we drew the front part of the bone. Hold up your vine charcoal an arms distance away and squint and "measure" the width of the front section of bone. Then use that measurement to check how many widths the length of the bone appears.

Measure the width of the front of the bone that you have drawn and then make it as long as above directions would dictate. Is that clear as mud?

I was okay on the first bone, hating it on the second. I kept telling my brain, this is like geometry, it is GOOD for my brain!! Was really happy when she switched to boots and shoes for the second drawing! (Cuz the bones kicked my butt!)

I have a hard time translating the value (dark and light) with compacted charcoal which she instructed us to use. It seems like I cannot find midtones with it.

I got to chitchat with our teacher. She has horses (drool)! No wonder she has such a gentle soul. A fellow animal lover! And she recognized my portfolio bag fabric (from my mother's collection) as houndstooth. I made my bag to save the $40-100 for a ready-made one after observing her handmade one.

Can't wait to get back to my painting I started at Art Party last night. I have to keep quiet about this one for a while!
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Saturday, September 6, 2008

First HomeWork Assignment

Still life with three objects and single source light. I don't know what she will think about my circles, but I had to add some umph to it!! Ah, if only I could wear that shoe!
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I had a black and white photo of her. Had no clue how to mix her skin color. Got it too dark and too cool. But I still like her!
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School Work

Drawing One Class

Single bottles from the first class.

Teach did a bit of a "critique" on the last one. She said she liked my roundness on the vase, the third bottle looked morphed (I agree LOL!!) and that she liked how it looked "dirty"!!

Considering I have never wanted to draw bottles or any kind of still life, I am pleased. I am now not the eldest of the class! And I would say my work is in the middle of the talent in the class. I am very happy!
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