Saturday, April 19, 2008

Museum quality?

My pipe dream, hanging my work in the Museum of Modern Art, or any museum for that fact, has arrived, compliments of Dumpr and Museumr.

It rather inspires me to do something huge, seeing my pieces at this size.

For those who would really like to have their work hanging in a museum, there is a process. The Curatorial department of the Metropolitan Museum is a good place to start or Educational Resources. There are as many museums as there are art works, but some have more presence than others, atrracting and holding bodies of work from masters both past and present.

Artcyclopedia is a great leaping off point to explore art in virtual museums.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Virtual sketching

A couple of weeks ago, Rose Welty of Rose's Art Lines invited me to participate in a virtual sketch date. She would provide the reference image and we'd both draw the subject in the medium of our choice then post them today. Of course I agreed, as I'm always up for sharing experiences with other artists.

Of course, this week, like the previous one, have been unruly and overwhelming at times in terms of work and commitments. But I did get the sketch done - or most of it. I started it in graphite, then wanted to add a hint of colours so used my Graphitints. They didn't show much colour over the graphite, so I bumped up the hues with Coloursoft pencils, still in the Derwent family.

I like the apple and some of the leaves, but botanicals still defeat me and I find it a challenge for them to keep my interest. The leaves were a real challenge for me and still are. I know its a matter of patience and concentration, so I guess its where my impatience comes in for drawing plant life. I'll continue to tackle my leaves and build the layers in the hopes that they'll resemble leaves instead of blobs of green colour!

A shared reference, subject matter that pushes you a little and reinforcement of support and friendship in a virtual environment sums up this experience. While reality sketch trips aren't always feasible with online friends, this is the next best thing.

Thank you Rose. I know we will do this again and I hope that lots more will join in with us.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Artie and the 'choke
sketch 5 x7, graphite
copyright Jeanette Jobson

I'm an artist that likes to work from a reference, either life or good photo. I can rearrange colours or light sources but have to really push myself to think outside the box when it comes to creating a combination of effects of objects that work together to form a whole.

This sketch came about as the result of a drawing challenge in WetCanvas. The subject was an artichoke. The challenge was to use it in a different way than the reference showed. No, the frog isn't being eaten, its just along for the ride. How the frog and fork and pan of water got there, who knows? Minds are mysterious things and mine scares me sometimes.

I'm posting this early today as I have a lecture to attend tonight about selling and marketing art.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Portrait update & new arrivals

The Artist's Father - in progress
11 x 14 graphite
copyright Jeanette Jobson

Since starting this yesterday, I've spent some time putting down the initial layers of graphite for shading. I don't want to go too dark and overpower the portrait, but don't want it to be a weak image either. I think I've knocked a few years off my father in this image, but won't know til its complete.

I was asked today if I use a grid to draw portraits or do it freehand. Mostly I draw freehand, but if something is complex or I am feeling unsure or just can't get something right then I use a grid - or partial grid. I use enough to get the main features in place, then find things fall into place from there. With this image, it was drawn freehand.

Meanwhile life on the farm churns into action for spring. The weather's warmed and the snow is rapidly melting, making all the animals a bit 'antsy'. Fighting among the geese and ducks has started, a sure sign that its spring.

The most recent arrival here has been six little piglets. This image isn't good as they were under a heat light, being only about 6 - 8 weeks old, and need a source of warmth, especially at night.
They managed to get loose overnight and were herding the ducks that are loose in the barn. Piglets are very, very difficult to catch. They sure can move fast!

Some of you may remember the pigs from last summer. They're quite intelligent creatures and more like dogs. Once they know your voice they come to see you and let you pat them, making funny grunting sounds as you do. I feel guilty when they go, but have come to terms with it, as I have with the other animals here that are food sources.

These little guys and girls will be lodgers for 16 weeks. During that time, they'll gain about 200 pounds in weight each. They eat pure vegetable protein, no hormones, no animal byproducts. They have space, light, heat, food, water music and companionship. I'm a firm believer in animal rights to live in an environment that is clean and comfortable and be transported to their final destination as quickly and comfortably as possible.

The majority of people never think of where their food comes from, whether meat or vegetable and the process of how it reaches your table. Take a moment and consider it. This is not meant to put you off meat, but to ensure you think about the animal and life behind the product, and how it was raised.

World Society for the Protection of Animals

Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The artist's father - a portrait

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Laurence Binyon

I have drawn or painted portraits of most people in my immediate family with the exception of my father. Well that's not entirely true. I did start a painting of him just before he died in 1990, but it was never complete and I haven't revisited that portrait since.

I did find a photo of him awhile ago and thought I'd have another try but in pencil this time. The photo was taken when he was in his 60s, I'm not sure the exact age. He was a bit timeless and had the Peter Pan gene, having barely any grey hair at all when he died at age 70. The photo was taken of him in his Korean War Veteran's distinctive blue jacket wearing his medals that he was so proud of.
I completed the line drawing this morning then made a start on the shading later today. My week is fairly full with classes and lectures and meetings most evenings, but I'll find time to add to the portrait when I can.

There is something a little unnerving about the details of a portrait starting to appear out of the paper. It is especially more so if it is someone you know or someone who has died. There is a sense of bringing a form of life back into the image again.