Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November 29 Drawing plus

Hope everyone here in the States had a good Thanksgiving. That you were able to celebrated in a manner that you enjoyed. I visited with a friend and her family and enjoyed good food in a sufficient quantity, but thankfully managed to not stuff myself. I sort of wish I could have brought home some leftover turkey, but with the crowd that was there there really wasn't much left after everyone had eaten. Ah well my sister will probably have Turkey for Christmas so I will get to indulge then.

Above is last nights drawing. It was a good session with again a largish group, but thankfully no surprise power outages. Scott seems to have pulled in some additional artists who are hanging around. I was in a slightly different position last night, almost directly in front of the model. I think I like the drawing though I am concerned that I may have made her head a bit too large. Ah well, there is always next week. I am getting faster with these drawings, and found time to do the pen and ink sketch below.

This isn't very good, but I though you might enjoy seeing it anyway. The problem is that I can't erase pen, and I am still making errors when I start a figure drawing. Pencil lets me erase until I get it right, though I am not doing quite as much of that as I was originally I still need to  make corrections to my figure each week before I settle to doing the detailed drawings. Anyway I am trying to be more playful with the pen and ink work. As accurate as possible but I also want to do some exploring as to how to use this medium to draw the figure.  Not even close to where I want to be just yet, but I will keep trying.

Below is a drawing that I have been working on for several weeks. It is pen and ink done with my technical pens. Very few drawn lines most of the work was done using the stipple technique. The ATC I posted a couple of weeks ago was a sneak peak and some of the designs used in the border.
The outer border is based on some Art Nouveau borders in my Dover book, except for the dragonflies in the corners. Those are based on real dragonflies that I downloaded reference photos to create. The center section are wild iris done from another reference photograph. I thought about using color pencil on the iris and then decided to leave them black and white. I can always change my mind but I don't think I will.

Time to design another drawing to work on. Though right now I have do clue what I want to do. I am sure something will come to me soon. Otherwise I really need to get my last challenge quilt done. I should have had it done last week, but got sidetracked with Thanksgiving and reading and... So that is it for today's post. Per usual comments are welcome.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November 23 Session Drawings

 Above is last nights graphite pencil drawing. Not sure how I feel about it at the moment. She was wearing red gloves and I have been tempted to add some red colored pencil to the image but probably won't do that. Once done there would be no way to remove it if I decided I didn't like it.

There was quite a crowd last night, nine total, most were first timers (I think, at least I haven't seen them at any of the long sessions I have attended since June) After the low attendance at the last couple of sessions Scott is probable trying to get more folks to come and help pay for the model.  Though with the pose we had last night having so many folks made getting a slot a bit tricky. The area to the left of the model (the viewers left) had a view where the artist couldn't see her face only part of the back of her head and the far right wasn't so hot either, too much up close foot. One woman did work to the right, but she left out the foot. Actually it was rather a nice drawing.

We did have some excitement around the middle of the session, the lights went out, they almost immediately came back on but some of the lights were very dim. It was especially noticeable because one of the dim lights was the spot that was lighting the model. Scott ran around switching breakers on and off, unplugging the heaters (there are space heaters to keep the model warm) but nothing seemed to do any good. So he switched the outlet that the spot light was plugged into and we went on drawing. Then the lights went out again and stayed out for about 10 minutes, so we just took a break. The outage was not just the studio, but the local (at least) area. We figure there was an accident or maybe a fire somewhere,  that required there doing things with the power grid. Eventually lights came back on and we went back to drawing. Though we kept hearing a lot of sirens both before the power problem and after.

Below is a quick pen sketch which I did after I had finished the pencil drawing. Scott has been urging me to try some different media and I have the technical pens so I thought why not. I brought a sketch pad, not great paper but for these first few attempts I don't want to use my heavy expensive paper, and did this quick drawing. Model had a slightly different pose, and of course there are some problems with the figure but I sort of like it.

No more images today. I am still working on my new pen and ink drawing, and while I am making progress with the challenge quilt (I am currently quilting it) it still isn't done. Which isn't good because our new challenge was revealed Monday night. Because of the Thanksgiving holiday this Thursday they decided that the challenge should come out a bit early, bother this really puts me behind.

Oh well, I want to take the time to wish all of my US readers a Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you each have the holiday you desire, good food, with family and/or friends that you enjoy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

November 15 Drawing & ATC

Above is last nights drawing. The model is a lovely woman, and I am not quite sure that I did her justice. I was semi pleased with it last night, worked some minor changes this morning and then photographed it, only to realize when I was looking at the photograph that I had placed one eye incorrectly. ACK, well I have corrected it as best I could but it isn't as good as it could/should be. Obviously it will have to do as there is only so much reworking I can manage.

I wasn't drawing well last night, I am going to blame it on being tired. Since the time change I am not getting quite as much sleep at night as I should, I usually have an afternoon nap but didn't manage one yesterday. Ah well there is always next week.

We didn't have our usual group at the session last night, not quite sure why. Only one other regular besides myself and Scott, though we did have a new woman join us. I gather she is a student of an artist in the rear building. I hope she comes again, but one never knows I don't think she was pleased with how she was doing. I just hope she realizes that in order to become good at drawing you have to make a lot of bad drawings first.

Next is the ATC I worked on this weekend.

The designs are based on the ones I am using in a larger pen and ink work, but that one isn't even close to being ready for display here. The dragonfly is my drawing, based on reference photographs. The flower and leaves are based on some designs in a Dover Art Nouveau booklet. In the larger work the dragonflies are in the corners, and the flower in the middle border.

I am also plugging away on my challenge quilt, got some more work done on it yesterday so I am making progress. That is it for today. Per usual comments are welcome.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nov. 13, more ATC's

I had these done last week, but was saving them for a post when I didn't really have anything else. No photographs because the weather was pretty lousy until yesterday, not to mention that the leaves have mostly gone from the trees. Not to say that I couldn't find something else to photograph I am sure I could, and probably will, so be warned.

Anyway all I have for you today are these three ATC's. The first two aren't much, I was playing around with my technical pen creating shapes and textures, then I added color using colored pencils. 

Of the two I prefer the purple/red one above. I like the colors and I also like the curved lines against the linear background grid. I may play with that concept a bit more at a later point. The concept behind this is somewhat based on a Color and Design I project I did a couple of years ago. Then we were working very large with a straight grid but the idea was to fill each section of the grid with different textures. We were using various media, markers, pencil, pen, brush and only one other color, but the concept is sort of the same.

This third ATC goes back to pictorial, showing a crow about to land on, well a branch in my image, it was something else in the photo I used as reference.

I came across this image when I was searching for reference materials to use for my FFFC October Challenge.  I really liked the drama of this crow coming in for a landing, and couldn't resist using it on one of my cards.

That is it for today. I need to get back to work on my challenge quilt (I am making slow progress) and on a new pen and ink work which I just started inking last night. Per usual comments are welcome. If anyone is interested in trading a card just let me know.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November 8th drawing session & Pears

Above is last nights drawing.  Scott moved the spot light so shadows are a bit different this week. I probably should have moved to another location for a different view of the pose, but I rather like this drawing so perhaps it is just as well that I didn't move.

We didn't have all that many folks at the session this week. One new (well new to me) gentleman, who I gather usually attends short pose sessions. He was also drawing with a pencil, but he left early so I really didn't get a chance to see his drawing. Our last weeks model arrived to paint, and you can tell she is a beginning painter, for all that she didn't do that badly, she has good drawing skills so at least the figure was looking good. She had a bit too much red splashed around. Since there wasn't anything red put out last night I am not sure where that color came from. There was a pink length of fabric, and the couch is a brick red, but she chose to use a bright red, and that sort of overwhelmed everything else. I made no comments, after all I don't paint so who am I to judge.

The one thing I am pleased with in the above drawing is the models face. It actually sort of looks like her, meaning the live model. Considering that when I first started live figure drawing the face was the last thing I wanted to draw, I think I have made some real progress. I have been able to draw faces well for about a year now, but it would take me forever with many erasures. It is now taking me less time, though I admit to a few erasures last night before I got it right.

My other image for you this week is actually a scan of a small pen and ink work that I have been working on for about a month. It started with just the outside frame, which I had pretty much finished a couple of weeks ago, but I wasn't sure how I wanted to do the center. First I didn't have a subject, and then when I had decided on the pears I wasn't sure how I wanted to do them; colored pencil or keeping with the outer border technique, pen and ink stippling.

As you can see after some waffling I stuck with the stipple technique for the pears, rendering them in black and white. This piece has been done entirely with a technical pen, and while there are some drawn lines most of this was done by stippling, or making little dots of ink one at a time. There is an area of solid black in the middle area between the pears, but otherwise it is all dots. Needless to say it takes hours of work to do even a piece this size which is 6 x 9 inches. The pears of course are the same ones I used for the Three Pear mini quilt.

That is it for today's post. I have some ATC's but I am going to save those for another day. I don't like making my posts too long, as is I probably write to much anyway. Per usual comments are welcome.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Quilt Show

Today I drove up to Nashua, NH, to visit the annual A Quilters' Gathering show. This show used to be in Westford, MA. and was the first large show I ever attended. At the time I can remember being blown away by the quilts. The next time I attended the show it was to meet with friends who I had only known On-line. It has been many years since I first attended those shows, and some of my on-line friends are still friends, some have slipped away from quilting, and some are gone. Since that first show I have attended many other "large" shows, the largest being Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas. It wasn't feasible for me to go to Houston this year so I attended this show instead (this year they are the same weekend)

There isn't any comparison as far as quantity of quilts, Houston is by far the larger show, esp. if you count all of the special exhibits. But Nashua usually manages to have a couple of exceptional quilts in the show. I did feel that the overall quality of the quilts this year wasn't as high as it has been in the past. For a judged show there were some quilts that I had to wonder about. But I think the Judges of this show have always tried to be inclusive, unlike Houston Judges who seem to want to just wow us.

Unlike some quilters I have never taken a lot of pictures of quilts at shows. I did a couple of years ago, but that was because I was going to use the show and the quilts for a class project. This year I don't have the same reason. However I did want to have some images for the blog so I did photograph a few quilts. Not the necessarily the winners. The top winner was a quilt by Linda M. Roy. It is a beautiful quilt, and unusual for many of the top winners now a days, hand quilted. But I have seen Linda's quilts before, and to be honest while this is a lovely quilt it is for me a been there done that quilt. She does beautiful work, but you know it is her work when you see the quilt.

Below is a fun quilt, hard to see without a close up, but in each section of the star is a figure of who could be considered someone's idol.  I like this quilt, it is fun, and bright and is called Who's Your Idol by Connie Farrington.

My fellow quilters who have known me for a while know that I love batiks and have collected over the years quite a stash of them. Below is a batik quilt that I think is lovely. I esp. like that she didn't put plain borders on this quilt but went to the effort of creating pieced borders for it. Though they are a lot of work pieced borders can really enhance the look of a quilt. So below I give you Bob's World by Kathleen Lavalee. Hmm I wonder if all Kathleen's who quilt love batiks? Maybe it is something that goes with the name. 

This next image was done by a quilter whose name is new to me, Ronda K. Beyer.  This is what happens when you stop reading all the quilt magazines, you (meaning me) loose track of who is doing what in the quilting world. This quilt attracted a lot of attention from the show goers, in fact this quilt attracted more attention then one of her other quilts that also won a top prize. The black and tan combination is very visually dramatic, and all of us were trying to figure out how lace centers for the outer stars was done, by machine, by hand, that is the question. I don't have an answer though I have a feeling much of the work of creating the lace was done on an embroidery machine. Though you can't tell from the photograph she also added swarovski crystals to the surface which adds spark and glitter to the quilt. The name of this quilt is Stars for Arden. I love feathered stars and really enjoyed this quilt.

The three quilts I have presented here are just a sampling of the quilts in the show. There was an entire exhibit of beautiful minature reproduction Amish quilts which I could not photograph, and also a collection of full sized Amish bed quilts. Both exhibits were very interesting, but I was esp. drawn to the minature quilts, which were machine pieced but hand quilted, very beautiful.

I leave you with one final image, taken on grounds outside the hotel. It was a lovely day for a quilt show, it would have been improved by meeting and chatting with friends, but that wasn't to be this year. I was very good though, and while I visited the vendor booths I only purchased 4 spools of quilting thread. Next post will be more of my art work. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November 1 Drawing Session

 Above is last nights drawing. I purchased a new block of paper yesterday, lovely heavy weight paper, but I think it is going to take me a few more drawings to get used to the different tooth. This is a whiter paper and I really do like it so hang in there with me while I adjust. We had a good group last night at the session though it seemed to be a night of frustration for several attendee's. I think most of us had issues getting the art work we wanted for various reasons. It has turned chilly, with temps in the 50's vs the warm weather the week before so that might be part of it.  For the most part I am satisfied with this weeks drawing, though her hand could use some more work. Hands are so tricky.

I am working on a couple of other projects but nothing finished or even at a stage where I want to post photos. So I am going to subject you to another photograph. I was up and out of the apt. fairly early yesterday morning, assisting a fellow tenant with a transportation issue (she needed help getting somewhere fairly early in the morning). Once I had finished that mission I ran a couple errands of my own, including purchasing the new paper, and a black Shiva paint stick, then I headed to the local park for a walk and another photography session. The trees are pretty well stripped of leaves, but I managed to find some interesting subjects never the less. Out of the group of photos that I made I have selected the two below to post to the blog.

Yesterday morning we had a clear blue sky, which by days end had turned cloudy and produced the most glorious sunset. The setting sun turned the bottoms of the clouds red. Unfortunately I was on my way to my drawing session without the camera when I realized just how beautiful it was, so no photographs. I am wondering if ash from the erupting Indonesian volcano is the source of colors I saw last night, if so we may be in store for a few more brilliant sunsets. I will try to get some photos if so.

Today besides updating the blog I spent some time selecting and submitting a photograph to Art.com's photography contest. I browsed through a lot of my photographs before selecting a photo that I had taken last spring for my Photography class.  Anyone who has some interesting photographs should take the opportunity to submit a photo. Just follow this link either to submit photos or to view what has been submitted. Note that photographs have to be approved before they will appear on the web site.

That is it for today. I need to get out to vote. Per usual comments are welcome.