Quarantine Continues

•May 18, 2020 • 2 Comments

The chalk drawing that I did (at the end of the last entry) was very popular on the interwebs and a few people asked me to put it on a shirt. I re-drew it to have a cleaner version to put online and added it to RedBubble.

Surprisingly (yes, there is some cynicism there) people actually bought some. I was impressed. That doesn’t happen very often. For all of the people that say “you should make prints” or “you should put that on a shirt”, very few of them actually purchase said items after they are made. Maybe it was just that nice of a design. Maybe it was just that people felt sorry for me because I have no income now (or for the foreseeable future) but whatever it was I really appreciated it and it made me smile inside.

The drawing.

and in the event that you would like one as well…. here is the link to the RedBubble with lettering and without lettering.

Took another go at Figure Drawing on the computer. This lovely lady is one of my favorite models from Steve’s and I am glad that I am able to keep in touch with her. I hope that when the world reopens that I will be able to paint/draw her from life again.

Another drawing prompt. “Snapchat Snapper”

Drawing prompt was something like “Dragonfly Warrior”. I think that perhaps this warrior is off duty.

Drawing Prompt “SeaShells”

Started another chalk drawing. It was brutal cold and really windy. This was as far as I could get before the cold got to me.

Another drawing prompt “Rabid Baby Ducks”. I am fully aware that these are more of a zombie sort of thing than a rabid sort of thing but I was not in the mood to render drool. Especially not foaming sort of drool.

another attempt at life drawing online

Drawing Prompt “Spring Cleaning”

Able to finish up the chalk bear.

Short online Figure Drawing session:

The first RedBubble Light Bulb arrived at the purchaser’s home (that I knew of anyhow).

Made another watercolor to use up the other half of the sheet of watercolor paper..

Then the reason that I had been practicing watercolor again. A painting that I have been wanting to make of my Aunt and Uncle’s dog (that I wanted to do for Christmas… at least Quarantine is helping me get caught up).

Helped a friend set up their zoom so that she can host her own figure drawing sessions. Did some quick drawings while we were trying out camera angles and lighting.

Another inspired by the prompt list. I had liked Spring Cleaning enough that I made a second drawing off of the same prompt.

Attended my first session of Dynamic Figure Drawing live online. Some hinks with working online, but this was an amazing model and I was super glad for the opportunity to draw her. Her Instagram is @legcrampsforcash

The timelapse video:

I had asked my sibling for suggestions on chalk drawing animals. They suggested a Badger “for HufflePuff”. The weather has NOT been good for chalking so I decided to draw the badger instead. Please do not report me. I think Disney owns that series now and it would not do me well to get anymore cease and desist orders. While the suggestion was made, I am not way representing this as a Hufflepuff badger…. only a well styled badger which happens to like the house colors. Think that is okay?

I had tried to sign up for an online Robert Liberace workshop. They got back to me (after I sent them money) and said that the workshop was full. My PayPal money got held in some sort of weird limbo. Then after the first class had happened they said that they got it figured out and I could still monitor the class. They would send me a video of the first class and I could draw along to that. Was able to draw the two short poses with him from the reference that he sent.

Then he spent the rest of the session working from another reference that I mistakenly thought he said that he hadn’t sent us. So I didn’t look for it. Instead I watched him work on the drawing. Then, wanting to do some figurative work I went and found a book that I had at the house with some vintage nudes and drew a fairy based on one of the photos.

then at some point after that I realized that he HAD sent us the reference that he worked from. Not wanting to be behind when we had our next class I drew that as well (in graphite).

It turned out that I did not need the drawing for the next class, but it was still good practice. I was able to follow directions and draw along with him during the next class.

That was as far as I made it during class. I was super grateful for having taken a workshop from David Kassan prior to this as I had learned some techniques with the charcoal pencils and this made working with the charcoal more tolerable. For the record, I still dislike working with charcoal. I mean, it looks great but I don’t like the feel at all. It is some sort of tactile thing. The pencils are better as I am at least not directly touching the charcoal, but I can guarantee it will never become my “go to” medium.

ick.

While the weather was still pretty bad and calling for rain at least every other day…. we did have one warm afternoon and I had to get out there and chalk something before the rain hit again.

You may also ask yourself what the difference it between the chalk and the charcoal and the answer is not much. I don’t like the chalk either. If things were normal now I would be wearing gloves when chalking and not touch the stuff… but I feel guilty wasting gloves when the world needs them for actual medical stuff and not so much for my weird hang ups.

The Unicorn made it about 2 hours before it started to rain.

Embrace the impermanence of life and art.

Nurse drawing – with Edgar’s help.

This one did make it to RedBubble: Nurse of No Man’s Land

Another online Figure Drawing session. Maybe the Yards? not sure.

Another drawing prompt. “Bunny in Disguise”

The weather remains gross. Too cold to do much outside and I haven’t been feeling well physically. Decided to try and make a really small chalk drawing so there would be something out there for the kids to find.

Drawing prompt “Fluffy Cloud Kittens”

Now I know I have lost track of the figure drawing sessions. This one was the Yards. The previous one must have been when the model did her own zoom one on Monday. Not like it matters. I don’t even know if anyone reads these besides me and Gretchen.

Hi Gretchen! Love you ❤

Drawing prompt: “Bass playing bass”. Like we needed more confirmation that English is an awful language to try and keep track of. One of those is pronounce bass and one is pronounced base.

Time for the Liberace class again. So went back into the full figure before class to make sure that I was as finished with it as I wanted to be.

and then what we worked on in class:

While working at home, I am under constant cat supervision.

I actually really like this drawing. Its not an exact likeness…. but there is something about it that I really like. Since we haven’t needed to have the drawings more finished for the subsequent classes I don’t know if I will go back into it or not. I have no idea what I would do with it either way, but it is nice to be pleased with a piece every now and again.

I don’t know how to explain it but this one makes me feel like a “real” artist. I know that doesn’t make sense… but there it is. Maybe I should frame it.

Don’t take it too seriously. I also feel like an artist when I put on a super way too big shirt. I think that is because when I was in kindergarten we used to put someone’s dad’s button up white work shirts on backwards to paint. If I could find shirts that were big enough to do that I would still wear one like that at home when I was painting. Some remnant of the small self’s self confidence sneaks back in when I have on a really big shirt and I feel like I can do anything.

I like it.

The shirt and the drawing.

So feeling inspired by working in black and grey (and white) but still despising charcoal…. I decided to make some work on grey paper with more friendly media. The reference photo was taken by my sister Sarah. Trillium are my favorite flowers. I have some of these red ones in my back yard…. but it was easier to use Sarah’s photo.

I had started to get into (yet another) funk and didn’t want to make anything. I saw some photos posted on Facebook by a photographer named Rebecca Brooks. I wanted to paint one of the tree sparrow photos (her work is amazing. I tried to include a link but it doesn’t appear that she has a web presence off of facebook. If you are on facebook, I suggest you look her up.)

So I wrote to her to ask if I could use one of her photos as the basis for a painting and while waiting to hear from her I started a drawing.

After getting the go ahead. I made a painting the next day.


And then finished the drawing that night.

Monday night and Figure Drawing with Mia:

And then as a extra special bonus…. Mia modeled for Dynamic Figure Drawing on Tuesday and I got to draw her again 🙂

In working on my chalk drawings outside I receive a lot of positive feedback from neighbors and people going by. But one of the things that I have heard is people saying that they would never be able to draw that well. It makes me sad. I think that they are trying to compliment me, but I don’t want what I do to ever intimidate someone else into thinking that their work isn’t good enough or that they shouldn’t pursue it. I was trying to figure out how to demonstrate that when it occurred to me that I could take kids drawings and re-draw them big. Starting with some kids that I know and then opening it up for submissions from the neighbors so that some of the kids around here could come by and see their drawings big.

So here is my first collaborative effort based on a drawing that my Granddaughter Neala made.

While I was making the mermaid I explained what I was doing and why to a little person that came by. I offered to let them draw something for me to work from. The small person was very shy but their mom said that it would most likely be a robot.

It got me thinking that I haven’t drawn a robot in a long time.

Ended out my second month in Quarantine with another session online with Robert Liberace.

I did NOT like the paper that I chose for this one at all. I was disappointed as the reference photo was stunning. I felt like I was fighting the media too much to really get into the drawing. I did work on it beyond class time, but ultimately stopped at this point.

Made in through my second month in Quarantine.

I am doing mostly okay. I miss hugs. I now know a lot more about touch deprivation than I would like. If it weren’t for the kitties I would have totally lost it. But fortunately warm purring kitties can make everything okay. Carbs help too. Lots of tasty comfort food happening. Even got into banana splits which haven’t been a thing in my life for at least 20 years. Not sure why I decided I had a hankering for them but they have replaced cheese fries for the time being. Also I did put in an order for a gluten free carrot cake because why not?

Clients keep asking us when we are going to be able to open up again. At this writing I have no idea. Rumor has us at phase 4, but even if that is true no one has a time line for when that might be.

Like all of us, we just have to wait and see what tomorrow holds.

I hope that you and your loved ones are well.

Much love to you and maybe an uncomfortably long hug when we get to see each other in the real world.

Prompt Drawings and other things that happened my First Month in Quarantine.

•April 15, 2020 • 3 Comments

Like a lot of us my life is currently on hold. I am staying home and going out once a week for groceries. I imagined this would make me super productive. It has not. I haven’t felt too terribly inspired. So I returned to my drawing prompt list again to get inspiration from other people and to get me going again.

A small watercolor study of my Aunt & Uncle’s dog. There is a bigger version coming.

This is a very large painting (48″x54″) that I made for a friend of mine. It’s a recycled canvas. I am excited about the idea of going bigger with future work.

This little bunny has been recurring in my sketchbook for quite a while. Finally got a chance to start giving them some paint.

One of my friends referred to it as the “self comforting bunny” and since I have no other working title – that will do for now. (work in progress)…

Off of the drawing prompt list…. “Generations”

I want to say that the prompt for this one was Meadow Owl or Owl Meadow or something like that…

More drawing prompts…

Worked a little bit more on this one:

MissUniverse had gotten damaged at some point. I have never tried to repair this kind of scratch, but figured … what have a got to lose?

There was something about this portrait that was bugging me so I fixed that. Of course now that I am looking at it again I see something else that I could tweak. This process really could go on forever with very painting if I let it.

Worked on Smudge a little bit. Keep going back and forth with this one. The original photo is so blurry. I put details in, I take them out, I put details in, I take them out…. repeat.

Couple More Drawing Prompts:

Got out the chalk to play in the driveway and seriously overestimated the temperature!

Painted the risers on the stairs with entirely too much help. This cat got a bath. He was unhappy enough about that to bite me. Fortunately not enough to require medical attention. I really don’t want to have to head to Urgent Care for anything right now.

The prompt for this was “Wolf Dancing in the Rain”. Obviously I went way off track.

Drawing Prompt Crow Brothers:

Some drawings that I did for a fundraiser for an animal shelter.

Rochester Art Center did an online figure drawing session. First time drawing “from life” online. It was actually way more difficult than I thought that it was going to be. Maybe next time I will try mirroring it on to the computer so that the image is larger. Anyhow, I was very grateful for the opportunity.

more work on this bunny…

Painted a door for a friend’s basement. More step by step photos and commentary here: Jubie’s Basement Door

After the door was finished I started another chalk drawing on my driveway. While it was still cold out it was much warmer than when I made the heart.
More photos and info on another post here: Sidewalk Chalking in Quarantine

Drawing Prompt “Bunny Goddess”:

I made myself some masks for when I go out in the ‘Real World’ for errands.

I liked the hippopotamus drawing enough to upload it to RedBubble. If you are interested it is here HIPPO

Drawing Prompt “Chilly Chinchilla”

Also made it to RedBubble – Chilly Chinchilla

Oddly enough my prompt for Easter was Bunny Day Dreams. Just where it happened to come up in the list. Although, the odds are always decent since I draw a lot of rabbits in my work anyhow and people frequently suggest them for the prompts.


Prompt for this one was “Purrfectly Oily” from a fellow cat lady… but I wanted oily to not be negative so I went with an otter. Otters need to have just the right amount of oil and with all of those amazing whiskers I think we can make them honorary cats.

and also made it to RedBubble – Otter in the Parlor

So today marks one month since I closed down the shops and stepped away from my life. Made this in the driveway today.

All in all it has been a remarkably interesting month for all of us.

I hope that I will be able to continue to make art and share it with the world however I can.

Beyond that we all have to just take it one day at a time and try to put our best foot forward each day.

Remember no matter how you are coping – you are still coping. Hang in there.

Driveway Chalk Fairy

•April 14, 2020 • 5 Comments

Weird string of words. Chalk Driveway Fairy? Fairy drawn on driveway with chalk? Usually the order that words should go in is intuitive. This one is not.

Anyhow.

I drew a chalk fairy in the driveway. I wanted it to be distorted so that it would look “correct” when viewed from the sidewalk at the end of the driveway. It is a bit hard to understand the proportions in these photos but the top of her head is 26-1/2 feet from the sidewalk. If you look closely in some of the photos you can see chalk and other points of reference.

That was as far as I made it the first day due to the cold.

Even with some un-forecasted rain overnight she held up pretty well.

The rest of this is personal stuff that has very little to do with art if you want to stop reading now.

I have for a while now been envious of the enthusiasm of small children. I love to see a kid with anything proudly proclaiming “I did a good job on this!”. For a while now I have been watching that and wondering what happened to me that I never felt like that kid.
I couldn’t remember a time in my life when I had that kind of confidence in what I had done.
I think it had become one of my detrimental “all statements”. I’m never that proud of myself for my accomplishments.

When I find negative all statements in my life I try to ferret them out, disprove them and rid myself of them.

I realized that there are lots of times at work when I will be really happy with a tattoo that I have finished and I will call to the other artists “come look at what I made”.
I found other instances where I was proud of myself even if I didn’t say anything to anyone (“I ran 5k this morning without stopping on a day when I didn’t even want to get out of bed.”). I found that sometime there were drawings that I thought “I am really happy with the way that one came out.” and so on and so forth.

I was pretty pleased with this chalk drawing. I could see flaws in it, but it was much larger than the other ones that I have done and a good deal of the distortion is in her face. I hadn’t realized how difficult an obstacle that was going to be and while I didn’t think it was perfect – I was pretty pleased with all that I had overcome to make it happen.

I decided to celebrate that feeling of accomplishment and post her online. I posted her on my instagram, my personal facebook and a town facebook page. I got a lot of really positive feedback and one of my friends posted her in a closed group that I am not in (with my permission) and she got several thousand likes and a bunch of reposts. It was gratifying.

Then there was Kevin. On the town facebook page a guy named Kevin decided that I was of dubious moral character because I had signed my instagram name on the drawing instead of “doing something nice without being selfish about it”. A bunch of people came to my defense and when they did Kevin had to up his game by attacking me and my business for totally random things to “prove” what an asshole I am. I had to stop following the thread.

I’m not going to lie. My feelings were hurt.

The internet is like that.

I have to remember that there are always going to be angry people on the internet. I have to try to not take it personally. And most importantly I have to protect the little girl inside of me who really wants to be proud of the things that she has done. I want to nurture and protect her so that she comes out more often.

Why bring all of this up? Because I am working on being honest about my fears and who I am as a person. Because I want people to know that there are real live humans with feelings at the other end of internet troll attacks. But mostly because I want to again thank all of the wonderful supportive humans that I have in my life. Both in the real and the virtual world.
You keep me going.
You help me protect that little girl inside of me.
You are helping me survive quarantine.

Thank you and much love to all of you.

Protect your Small Self. Do something fun with them that makes your heart sing. Don’t let the Kevins get to you.

Here is what she looked like two days later after a hard rain overnight. I am planning for the next one now. Haven’t decided what it should be….

Jubie’s Basement Door

•April 13, 2020 • 3 Comments

I have been spending way more time online in Quarantine. Facebook, email, Instagram… whatever. It’s been a time killer. It has helped me feel connected. It has been a lot of things that it wasn’t (or wasn’t as much) before all of this happened.

My friend Jubie posted a photo of his basement door. Said that he wanted to do something interesting with it. I think he may have tagged me but I’m not sure. Anyhow, this was the photo.

I was inspired! I reached out to Jubie and he brought the door over to me a couple hours later. Little bit of sanding and I was ready to go!

started out with acrylic for the first layer of underpainting
was going too slowly for my taste so I started playing with spraypaint. I did use a respirator and cleared out of the room for a few hours afterwards. Still stinky.
Once the spray paint was dry I started going over that with oil paint.
I have a “super black” paint that I bought as part of a kickstarter and hadn’t used. Thought the background behind him was a good place to try it out. It took a couple of coats and I don’t think I got as solid of coverage as I wanted (my impatience, not the product) but it definitely cut down on the glare and I like the effect.
I think at this point I called it finished. Explained to Jubie that it was oil and it could either stay at my house for a few days to dry to the touch or he could pick it up and be careful about how he handled it.
Better photo in natural light.

Overall a super fun project and a good exercise in working quickly and larger. Looking forward to what other big projects I can make.

The Seven Deadly Sins

•April 10, 2020 • 1 Comment

The idea of rendering the Seven Deadly Sins as Animals has been kicking around in my brain for quite a while.

Finally got around to putting pencil to paper a little while ago and just realized that I never posted them here.

So here you go:

Sloth:

Gluttony:

Pride:

Greed:

Envy:

Lust:

Wrath:

Of course now that I have finished those, I would like to also make the Seven Virtues… but as always I have SO many projects in my head that only time will tell which ones actually manage to get created.

Turns out that (like a lot of us) I currently find myself with a LOT of time on my hands. We shall all have to see what comes of that.

Painting from Life at the Art Group without a name. March 5th & 12th

•March 12, 2020 • Leave a Comment

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Second session today. Will be our last one for a little while. Things are getting crazy and people are cancelling all sorts of things. There were only four of us painting today.

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I am hoping that people stay as safe as possible and that things go much smoother than the predictions.

 

Figure Drawing March 2nd, 2020

•March 3, 2020 • 2 Comments

I was talking with one of the guys at Figure Drawing on Monday and he asked me how I thought I was doing. I told him that I didn’t know. I rarely do.

It goes one of two ways.

One. The critical part of my brain is constantly telling me how bad I am at everything.

Two. I get absorbed in what I am doing and the rest of my brain is busy comparing, observing, rendering and what not and drowns out anything that the critical part has to say.

I tried to explain this to him a little bit. He looked a bit confused.

I summarized.

“Most of my brain doesn’t like me very much.”

I wish this wasn’t true (and yes, I know what they say about wish in one hand…). I am in therapy. I am working on it (and me). I look at the little people in my life (and some big people) who will bring me something that they have made and tell me “I did a really good job on this” or “I am really pleased with this one”.

Some day I want to be that kid.

Mean time I will continue to practice and try to keep the rest of me occupied enough that the critical part either shuts up or gets drowned out by the rest of us moving forward.

Progress not perfection. Always moving forward.

 

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Video of drawing progress:

I hope your demons stay at bay and you are able to remember that you are deserving of love.

Don’t believe your brain. It may be out to get you.

Single Session Painting February 27th, 2020

•February 27, 2020 • 2 Comments

Last Thursday I didn’t go to the Group without a name at the Hungerford.
Instead I went to tour the production facility of Golden Paints. That should be a separate blog post for that but I was so totally overwhelmed by everything that I neglected to take photos and/or properly document what I saw. If you have ANY interest at all in any of the Golden products I highly recommend going and checking it out for yourself.

I did buy myself some new goodies from Golden while I was there. One of the things that I picked up were a few different textured gessoes. (Is that the plural of gesso?)

So today having only one session to paint the model I opted to try out one of the new gessoed boards. Overall I was very pleased with the texture and found that it greatly improved my experience with the board. I will need to do a second coat next time as the areas where I didn’t fully cover the board were still slippery. There was one section in her cheek that I kept wiping off the paint every time I tried to layer on it. That was a bit frustrating – but it’s all a learning process and overall I was pleased with today’s efforts.

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People often ask me how long these take. Normally I can only guess. We are there from 1pm – 5pm but the models take breaks and it sometimes takes us a while to settle in.
today I can say for sure that each of the above paintings represents 15 minutes of painting. The model today was sitting for 15 minute stretches.

The painting below is the same progress as the last one above just photographed in the hallway instead of on the easel (better light).

This one is 8″x10″ again because I only had the one day to work on it I went smaller than the 11″x14″ that I normally use.

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When I am home and I can figure out what the name of the gesso product is I will add it here as well.

My brain is continuing to get better and other than the occasional bout of self pity I seem to be doing fairly well.

Saturday is our first open house at the new space in Piano Works. I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able to attend but as it turns out I was able to move my appointments around and now I can participate.
Looking forward to meeting everyone and setting up my space more.

Figure Drawing February 17th, 2020

•February 18, 2020 • 1 Comment

Well, we all made it through Valentine’s Day. Hope that you are relatively un-scathed as well. My friends and neighbors made it pretty awesome for me. I got flowers and chocolate dipped strawberries and my neighbor brushed off my car for me in the morning. Hung out with a lovely human and watched a great movie.

It was a best case scenario in so many ways. I am truly fortunate.

So back to figure drawing at Steve’s on Monday. Great model, nice crowd and I am relatively happy with the drawings. I actually really like the long pose one and am about ready to start asking people to sit for these outside of the Steve’s studio. I have a private place at the house and at my new studio – just need to get my lighting set up a little more portable and I will be ready to go.

More on that another day. For now here are Monday’s drawings.

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Time lapse video:

Thank you again for your ongoing support and visiting my corner of the internet. Very much appreciated.

Painting February 6th & 13th at the Hungerford Art Group Without a Name

•February 13, 2020 • 2 Comments

Jessamyn is a great model. Super professional and strikes a pose without any (visible) effort on her part. I admire the models so much. I don’t think I could do it. Even with a brace for my head I think I would still wind up in a completely different position.

Once again in life we have to remember that all of us have different strengths and weaknesses.

My life is settling into some sort of version of normalcy I think or as close to it gets. I feel much more peace than I would have expected and am looking forward to some new adventures.

Painting seemed a little easier this week as well.

First week’s progress:

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Some times I don’t feel like I do a whole lot on the second session until after I look at the finished photos. Really I think I mostly just polished this one.

Drew let me try some new brushes that he is using and they were really nice. Of course it also counterpointed how wretched the brushes that I am carting around are currently. I have nice brushes. I just hoard them like a reclusive forest witch trying to protect her magic. Maybe the magic is in the brushes and I can only get it out if I actually use them? Maybe I need to start actually using the nice things that I buy for myself?

Anyhow, here was the progress on the second session.

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Crazy how much the light source changes the color.

Overall I am pretty pleased with this one as a painting. I would have liked to capture her likeness a little bit better. I’ve enjoyed being able to paint so much lately.

Off to poke through my brush stash and see what I have to play with.