Friday, May 14, 2010


Tonight I was clearing off the table in my studio and unearthed some more pastels.  My table seems to become loaded with the materials that I'm currently working on and sometimes things get buried a little.  That's ok, as within a few days its always a new discovery to find them again - either that or I have a short term memory problem.

So tonight I played around with a little pastel of a plum.  Partially from memory, partially from references.  I love the richness that pastel gives and the painterly qualities it has.  Its instant gratification to satisfy the child in me.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

In sickness and in health?

 Sketch of an unknown man

I have neglected my blog a little over the last couple of weeks.  I don't feel guilty about it, just a slight let down with myself for not having anything fruitful to pass on to my readers.

Illness knocked the wind out of my sails and while I kept working at the day job, the night job of artist was put pretty much on hold.  It found it interesting that the creativity that is so rampant in me most of the time simply stopped while I was sick.  I piddled around with a pencil now and then but nothing much came of it.  It was as if every creative bone in me had completely disappeared and it was a little disconcerting. However, now that I'm getting back to normal again, my need to create is back, maybe not full force, but back anyway.  And it feels good to draw and paint again, even if I only missed a couple of weeks.

I know there are scientific reasons why your body or mind shut down to a degree when you're ill,
but made me wonder about how fleeting the act of creativity can be.  Is it really there only on the whim of your healthy mind and body? 

The creative marriage, at least for me, doesn't take its vows too seriously.  It obviously doesn't hang around for the 'in sickness' part!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Masai portrait update - more beads!

I'm starting to feel almost human again and with that, is coming ideas and the need to create.

I pulled out the portrait of the Masai woman and started adding more beads.  I need to work on this and complete it.  Funny how we put off the more tedious parts of a drawing isn't it?  They're a bit like doing housework.  Necessary, not not too exciting.

My only concern with the beads is that my paper (mi tientes) hasn't got a lot of tooth and I've reached the limit on some areas of the beads.  I'll try a light spray of fixative and see if that will give a little more grab for the final highlights. 

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Acrylic study

I pulled out some acrylics last night, hoping that a bit of painting would inspire me and require less thinking than a detailed drawing.  I didn't want the hassle of clean up with oils, but remembered my lack of recent experience in acrylics and perhaps should have taken out the oils instead.  The quality that some artists can achieve in acrylics has my admiration, but I've rarely been able to successfully pull it off.  Yes, I know there are extenders and slow drying acrylics, but I use acrylics too infrequently to warrant additional funds in that direction.

Anyway, I started a piece and will see if I can push it to completion.  This is another view of the lane near my house that leads into a marsh.  The lane is flooded and the iron in the soil is apparent in the orange/rust colours.  I love the changing colours in both the water and trees during the seasons in this view and often do studies of it. The colours in this lane always remind me of autumn even in summer.  The greens aren't usually lush there, being pines, larch and alders and the rusty soil adds to the overall feel.

This piece is about 16 x 20 and I'm laying in colours and values roughly before I start defining it more.