Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Steampunk

 

First  --  the winner, Deano from Deano’s Den blog, go over and check out his blog, it is one of my favorites to visit, I love his work.

I’ve mentioned before that I sometimes go off on something other than watercolor painting. Jewelry is one that has gotten me lately and most recently it’s Steampunk Jewelry. A friend who got me started making jewelry said I ought to do some Steampunk. What’s that you ask, well I had the same question, I’d never heard of it. I believe the easiest explanation I’ve seen is that it is a combination of romance and technology by pairing “mechanically based found objects with Victorian influenced filigree, charms, chain and sumptuous beads.” In my case not beads but buttons.

I happen to have a couple of great button boxes from my mother and my mother-in-law. Naturally both are filled with the normal buttons one might need to replace a lost one; however, they also contain a variety of wonderfully elegant buttons. I used two on my first piece. And thanks to the friend who introduced me to all this, I also have a box full of watch parts. Adding one of those, a couple eyes as in large hook & eye from a fur coat and a bit of wire and I have a necklace. Now I’ll have to make some earrings to go with it.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sketch, Sketch, Sketch

Sketch, Sketch, Sketch

But first a contest. Some time ago I opened an Etsy account but I haven’t done much with it. I’m going to but first I’d like some feedback about what to put in it. One thought I had was my watercolor monoprints. I decided to ask all of you and one of you who respond will get an original watercolor monoprint. I do a new blog post every weekend and post either Sunday or Monday.  When I post next weekend I’ll also check the number of comments on this post and use the Random Number Generator to select a winner. To have a chance to win you’ll have to comment. Here’s the monoprint…

Flowers on the patio

Now about sketching -- I had been in the habit of sketching constantly; I carried some sort of sketchbook with me everywhere I went. For Valentines Day my husband gave me a wonderful book on sketching, An Illustrated Life by Danny Gregory. He was hesitant because he knew it was something I did and he wasn’t sure I would find it interesting. That’s because he’s a lawyer, not an artist. It’s a wonderful look into the sketchbooks of several other artists. I love it! It was also a wake-up call.

In the past several months I found that I was only sketching about once a week. I tell my students to do it daily but I wasn’t following my own rule. Recently we were in Chicago and I was back to doing it everywhere we went. It was obvious to me that I hadn’t been doing it as regularly – my sketching wasn’t as good as I knew it could be. It’s like anything else, one needs to practice. In fact, I have often said it isn’t the gift of being able to draw, the gift is that I actually enjoy the practice. Sketching is a way to keep the drawing skills sharp -- eye-hand coordination. It’s just for me so it really doesn’t matter if it isn’t any good or if I try experimenting with something just for the fun of it not caring if the result is good or bad. Or maybe I just want to work on something like foreshortening – that’s a tough one and I always have trouble with it.

It’s time to get back to regular sketching – everyday. I’m challenging myself. Just do it!

This is one of the Chicago sketches. Every now and then I’ll do another blog on sketching and show you some improvement (I hope.)

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

My Art and My Faith

Old rowboats have another dimension to me – I think of them spiritually. Their very nature is quiet – they are often used by fishermen as Jesus and his disciples used them. That’s just one reminder of the spiritual connection. I also see an old rowboat, canoe or sailboat as a symbol for God – he will be with you and keep you afloat; however, one needs to take to the oars or set the sail if one is going to go anywhere.

Thinking about that now, almost all of my paintings have a spiritual aspect to them. I have the ongoing series of water related works and another of sacred spaces. The Sacred Spaces may be a church, chapel or cathedral or it might be a quiet spot in the woods or along the shore. And then there are the flowers, God’s jewelry, and the gardens with their garden sculpture, God made and man made.

God created, he created us in his image so we must be creative. Mary Daly said it better than I can: “It is the creative potential itself in human beings that is the image of God.”

Someone gave me their definition of the Trilogy that I now have on my easel – God, the father, Artist; God the Holy Spirit, Inspiration; God the Son, Expression.  By no means do I take that to mean that as an artist, I’m God.  But there is no question, God is an artist – just look around at nature, it’s awesome!

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