Friday, March 30, 2007

Art Contest

I've entered an art contest...and this is what I've sent in. The theme was "My Favorite Vacation". Winning entries will be printed on t-shirts. I've had a lot of fun coming up with ideas for this. I had even more fun working on it. Here is what I wrote for the description of the first three entries (you were only allowed to enter 5 times).

I use to be a teacher, and that has always been a strong influence in whatever I’m doing. Now as a mom of two boys, whenever we go on a vacation, I love it when we can Discover together.
I wanted to capture that idea in my entries. I’m also an aspiring artist and I like to use my sketchbook especially on vacations. I started looking at some of my sketches from past vacations. That is when I noticed the theme of “discovery”. I wanted to try to come up with something original for this Fresh Produce contest ... but not too different because I just LOVE the clothing. I have often bought a new outfit to take with me on our vacations – if not buying something new while on our trips too.

The first entry is “Discover Life”. This idea came from a trip to Hawaii, in which we did some snorkeling. After we got out of the water, I picked up my sketchbook and drew the snorkel and bubbles with some of the sea life we had discovered.

My second entry, “Discover Nature”, was inspired by our trip to Arizona. We really enjoyed our visit to the Desert Botanical Garden. Inside they had a special exhibit of Butterflies. We just loved how they landed on us. I had taken a close up of a butterfly on a flower and have been waiting to find a way to capture that moment in my art work.

Finally “Discover Books”, is really about all our vacations. To us it isn’t a REAL vacation unless we can find some down time to just read. My sons are avid readers and out do both my husband and I. I’m so thankful as a teacher and mom that they have captured that reading bug as well.
This has been fun for me to prepare for the contest. I look forward to seeing what is chosen for the contest. I’ve included the original artwork (without the text). I’ve used gouache paints on both watercolor paper and gessoed paper. I’ve also played around with my designs and added text from my computer and sent them along as well, printed on ink jet paper.
Thanks for the opportunity to be creative!

I came up with these two ideas next.

This last idea came from a sketchbook entry I had done from a Creative Mom Podcast prompt. You were to use words to a song to create something. I chose India Arie's "God is Real" and came up with this simple sketch. Then I thought it might work well with the theme for the contest as well. Okay so it's not exactly about a vacation, but loosely interpreted gardens and flowers and nature are what I like to visit on vacations!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Just Remember

Just Remember I Love You....and It'll Be Alright!
dedicated to Lisa Hopp's family
in memory of her love for her family

This was something I sketched today stemming from a prompt from the Creative Mom Podcast I listen to. We were to create something in honor of someone you have lost. My neighbor's sister passed away this past October to Cancer. Just around the time she passed, I had a dream about this scene. It was Lisa and her two nephews sitting on the beach, watching the sunset. I got the real sense that she wanted to say that "It'll be Alright". As I was sketching this, the song "Just Remember I Love You, and It'll Be Alright" by the Firefall
was playing in my mind.
On the side I'm still adding to my sketchbook journal. You can double click in the Flickr box on the right hand side to see other sketches and knitting projects and stuff that I'm up to.

I'm Still Working...

Okay I've been busy working on this assignment. After day 2 I didn't like the size of the couch in the picture. So my teacher suggested I use tracing paper and play around with some ideas on what to do. Here is a shot of the tracing paper...and I'm waiting for ideas as I take this picture.

Next I took some photos of me in a mock position for the picture. It helped some, but still needs more tweeking on the shape of the now "chair" instead of couch. I've started the background. I decided to use some of Mary Cassatts background, combined with my flowers, colors and trees.

Here I've fixed the chair shape and vase shape and then I started in on the faces. It didn't seem too bad until I stepped back and realized that Anthony looks like he was asleep and I'm the only one reading the book. :(
My quick start to a pastel. I see the same thing happening with Anthony's position. The funny thing is when I took it to class for the evaluation, one other student helped me out by taking my original photo (which measures 2" x 3") home with her. The next day she brought back for me an enlarged copy of the photo. DUHHHH....I couldn't see Anthony's eyes in such a small photo. You can see in the enlarged photo that his eyes are OPEN...just slightly though. I'm going to keep working on both the pastel and acrylic and see if I can't fix it to where I like it at least a little better.

Friday, March 9, 2007

This One's For You!

Gotta Have Speed!
For all my none garden, pink, heart family members....:)

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Nothing tried - Nothing Gained - Nothing Learned

Mary Cassatt
(1844 - 1926)

Beginning Painting/Assignment #3 - Paint in the Style of a Master Artist

This is the next assignment for my beginning painting class altered a bit for me since I have copied many other paintings before. The teacher suggested that I take my own images, and compose a painting that is inspired by a Master Artist.

Well I've always liked Mary Cassatt and her themes. I'm interested in how she painted loosely, impressionistic, and the relationships of mother and child set in their daily lives. I found this photo of the boys and I and thought it fit well with that theme. Okay Nick is a little funny looking here, but I'll work on that. Now my decisions are going to be color, setting, and composition. I've started it already and will post it soon. It is going to be a lot of work to get it to a place I want it to be, but I've realized in art, nothing tried - nothing gained...

As I was looking at old photos, I found this one too! Oh I forgot about this one. It was at Disney World when we took Anthony, who was 3 years old. I would like to do a companion to the other photo above. My teacher mentioned that maybe I would like to work on the same subject at home using Pastels as well. We also discussed working on a series of these paintings. Whew...I can't wait to get started, but I'm also hesitant working on people...but as I said before - nothing tried - nothing gained - nothing learned!

Day one: I am not sure if the size of the people are what I really want in the end. I've enlarged them once on this first day and thought it was enough. But I'm not sure still. I decided to go forth and see how this size does in the end.

On day one I am trying to get the placement of the drawing correct. I had already sketched it out ahead of time and even thought through a couple of other options for the background. I want the central focus of the painting to be the heart shape that is made between myself and the two boys. I like the heart necklace I have on in the picture and feel that "heart" is going to play a part in this painting.

Day Two: I've blocked in the basic colors I'm thinking of so far. I've had to paint out my right arm since it had looked like I was too big. As I've painted it I realized my couch (which is made up and not in the original picture) was growing and looking odd. So I decided to get some reference of what I wanted. I asked my professional photographer to capture the essence of the moment for me (Thanks Nick!). Below is what we came up with. I'll now try to keep going with this photo, plus deciding on what to do in the background that doesn't take away from the "heart of the painting.

...and the learning continues!

I captured a moment....

Here is a simple watercolor sketch I did of my cat Kris. I was pleased with this sketch for a couple of reasons. First I felt I captured his emotion at the time. That has been something I haven't seen in my drawings much. So this is exciting for me to feel that. Secondly, I was able to capture it in a minimalist way. I tend to want to draw it all usually, and this time I was happy with a minimal amount of drawing and paint... Not that often that I'm pleased with a cat drawing...

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Garden Within

"Garden Within" is going to be the title of this painting. This was after the third day of working on it. I finished it enough to take it into my class for the intermediate class evaluation, as well as bringing in my color studies for the beginner level. I'm pleased with the results. I think there is still more I could do to bring it a little more life. But I'm going to stop for now.

In my "Car Thoughts" sketchbook I jotted down some thoughts I had about this painting. This sketchbook is something I pull out when I have just a little time with nothing to do and am waiting for one of the boys to be done with their activity...usually 15 minutes or less to jot down an idea or sketch, is what spewed out of my head:


There is a garden within my painting.

There is a garden within the painting's painting.

There is a garden within my life - a bouquet of friends.

There is a garden within me for art. I'm in the winter transitioning to Spring in my garden. It's"February" now, and the tilling and weeding will pay off in the spring and summer with blooms of beautiful flowers of art. But if I don't get out and work in my garden, it may not bloom as well.

Life is like a garden. You must plan it, work the soil, plant it, give it nutrients (the better the nutrients - the better the bloom),

*and then I ran out of time and my thoughts are still propagating in my mind!