Saturday, January 09, 2010

Blog stoppers?

Tripod's box

While entering a piece into a local juried competition, I noticed that they had included some restrictions on electronic visibility of entered pieces.  A piece could not have been shown previously on a blog, website, Facebook, etc. or it would be disqualified.  This seems to be a fairly new restriction and I wonder what situation prompted it.

Perhaps they are eliminating any potential for jury members to have previously viewed the piece, as all pieces are presented anonymously, especially as the art community in the province is relatively small and artists known.  However, does this restrict what I put on my blog in future for readers to view?

I don't plan a piece for any particular exhibit or competition.  Out of 50 paintings, perhaps 20% will be suitable to go further, but I won't know that until I have completed the piece.  At that point, I may have shared the creative process with my readers.

Juried exhibits and competitions are tightening up entry rules significantly in the last couple of years, and often for the appropriate reasons.  It protects the artists and ensures that  work presented is original.  Restrictions on work produced in art workshops is often refused as well as work that has been critiqued in online art forums.

So where do I draw the line?   Do I only show pieces and construction of pieces that I believe don't make the cut, even if I don't know what is or if the cut exists until its complete?  Do I show process only and not the final product?  Do I show sketches or studies only and tutorials?  Do I write about art only and show no pieces?

Who is making the rule book for visibility of art pieces in the electronic world and the real world?  Do juried competitions or exhibitions that you submit work to have restrictions on the electronic exposure of a piece prior to submission?

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Portrait update

I'm working on the portrait of my mother on a 22 x 30 sheet of Stonehenge.  I started out with charcoal, then couldn't find the charcoal I usually use (its here in the studio somewhere) so added graphite then a touch of coloured charcoal for the clothing.  I haven't used coloured charcoal pencils much, they're a bit of an oddity in my opinion, but can give a subtle hint of colour which may work well in this piece.

As this is a large sheet of paper and the right hand side is predominantly a patterned cover for the sofa she's on, it may take some time to draw.  Or I may reduce the size of the drawing.  We'll see how far my patience lasts with fiddly detail.

The NL Blogroll highlights blogs from around the province and mine was highlighed in the fall, along with others in the past year.  Stephen Harris, the owner started a NL Bloggers Choice Award based on individuals voting via a poll and getting additional points through comments.   If you care to vote for Illustrated Life, you can do so here.  My blog is way out of the running but its fun to participate.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Batik experiment

I'm setting up the large portrait from the study posted last night. It will be on a full sheet of white Stonehenge paper and done in charcoal.  Cross your fingers!

I have been wanting to try a batik techniques in watercolour for a long time, but haven't gotten around to it.  There is limited information on it in this province that I know of so I'm looking for online and written resources.  Then I can across a post on Sandy Maudlin's blog about another less labour intensive batik using masking tape, so I thought I'd have a go with her 'almost batik'.

Sandy has produced some really amazing images with this technique and without pans of steaming wax and mess!  Thanks Sandy for sharing the idea.

As I was up at 4am this morning, not able to sleep, I played around with what started as a little self portrait in ink on a small piece of abstract watercoloured paper that didn't quite make the cut in the freezing process.  I added small pieces of torn low tack masking tape all over it, leaving gaps, then smothered the layer with indigo blue and let it dry.

This image is the result.   I like the jewel effect and the hard edges that some of the tape leaves as well as the darkness of the image. Its difficult to photograph or scan it accurately, even with adjustments.  The colour variances are very subtle. I shall have to experiment more with this.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Study for a portrait

While I wait for both supplies and muse guidance and cooperation from the weather for larger projects, I continue to sketch and draw.

I can hardly begin to describe the pleasure the act of drawing brings.  It is so different than painting or any other form artistic creation.  Its pure comfort to apply graphite to paper and I haven't done enough of it in the last year, so I need to add to my list the production of several pieces in graphite or charcoal.

I have done a sketch of my mother in graphite in a small square sketchbook.  I started this in bed last night, from a photo I had taken of her a couple of years ago.  My mother does NOT like to have her photo taken or her portrait drawin either for that matter, so this image of her smiling is a rarity as she wasn't aware of me taking it at the time.

I like creating a study before a drawing.  Its my 'warm up' before I get going and gives me time to work out placement, values, likeness, etc. From here I will enlarge it onto a sheet of ...Stonehenge perhaps.  I haven't used that for some time and love the soft surface.  Then graphite?  Charcoal?

The muse will decide.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Changing and experimenting

I did a warm up using one of the references from the weekend drawing event WetCanvas holds each week.  I originally considered developing it as demo, but that seemed to deteriorate with my ability (or inability) to make my Flip camcorder stay upright correctly on its tripod.

However, here's the jist of it from start to finish, with a little painting demo thrown in for good measure. I have also now realized that I called the dog a whippet when in fact he is an Italian greyhound.  Oops.


I have also played around with a new header for my blog.  And a 'you might like this' feature that will link the reader to previous posts with related content.   I put in some more intenal 'doings' for the blog that you won't see, but will help me track more accurately viewings, posts that general interest, demographics, etc.  I have this already with Statscounter, but it needed some tweaking.

I'm considered a series of paintings based on the success of the Frosted Door to Dawn piece.  I have no shortage of access to old buildings with their doors and windows and winter, so hope to put out at least a small series of old doors and windows, using the ice crystal technique.