Friday, November 7, 2014

Back to the MFA, Mandala Update


Traveled back into Boston on Wednesday to re-visit the Boston MFA and the Goya exhibit. On the bus I drew a quick sketch of a fellow passenger just to keep my hand in. Not wonderful but not too bad either. It can be a challenge to draw on a bus as the ride isn't always smooth, and I don't really want my fellow passengers to realize what I am doing.


On the rest of my journey I started the above panels for I guess you could say graphic stories. I have, for a couple of years, been working on writing about some stories/adventures from my childhood. Some of these stories involved a cat we owned for a brief period of time. Or should I say he owned us. Anyway that cat was most adventurous and how he survived for as long as he did I am not quite sure, I am sure he used up more than one of his 9 lives in his adventures. Two of the panels have to do with stories about him, top and bottom. The middle was something that happened to me with a friend one day when we went exploring.

Anyway I have been wanting to add illustrations to some of the stories and have actually spent some time doodling possible images. Still not much has jelled other than a few concepts and I wasn't pleased with any of the sketches I drew.

As an aside one of the groups I am a member of (Everyday Matters), has an adjunct site Sketchbook Skool where they have classes for beginning artists. One of the classes that has been discussed is Storytelling. Add that thought to others rattling around in my brain, and I though to myself, why not do panels for the stories using the style of comic book art. That way the art doesn't have to be elaborate or even totally accurate, just enough so the readers know what they are seeing and can relate.

Hmm, well the result is the 3 panels above. Not sure where I am going with these as they are only thumbnails and the real art work would need to be much larger. But I think I finally have an idea that I can work with. This will be a totally new adventure for me as I have never done this type of work before. I previously never had any desire to draw a comic strip, which just goes to show that you never know where art can take you.


You're probably going to yourself "what is that"/ The above image is a close up a pattern on a Greek Vase. After going through the Goya exhibit for a second time, this time with the narrative device that they rent to attendees, and which is fairly informative and supplements the notes next to the pictures. I wandered over to the part of the museum that has ancient art on display and found the newly renovated Greek and Roman Galleries. They aren't quite done with the renovations but I totally enjoyed viewing what has been finished.

I have been making it a habit to photograph esp. ancient pottery with the repetitive designs the artisans used. I consider these photos as reference materials to be used in some of my own art work at some point. Esp. with the mandala drawings I create I am always on the lookout for designs that can be used in panels. Vases are circular to designs used on vases are esp. appropriate.


I spent a little time translating the design in the above vase to my notebook. I used various technical pens to ink this, and did a terrible job, but still I like this pattern and am looking forward to finding a use for it.


Speaking of Mandala's above is an update on where I am with the one I have been working on. Since I am motivated to start another using Greek motifs I really need to get this one finished. I am in the outer band, and even better I would say I am about half way finished with it. I am getting there. Not sure how I feel about the over all piece. Some parts I like and others could have been designed differently. Looking at it as I write this I think I have an idea for some changes that I can still make and which might improve one of the inner bands.


Even though Wednesday was overcast with no bright sun I think I finally managed to get a fairly good photograph of the Indian statue that stands in front of the MFA. With the backdrop of the changing Oak tree the statue is placed in relief and becomes very visible. In other photographs I have made of it the horse and rider seem to blend with the background.  Sorry I don't recall the title of the work or even who the sculpture is.  Oops will have to pay attention the next time I travel to the museum.

That is it for today, nothing major finished, but some generated concepts and an update on a major piece. Per usual comments are welcome.