Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Sketching Continues

Well, I continue to be surprised by the final result of the day's sketch. Working in marker is really challenging, and I usually am not real happy with the contours. But once I fill in the shadows, things start to look better and better. Both yesterday's and today's sketches are a bit awkward and wont be going into a frame anytime soon, but I'm still pleased.

My goal is to do this quickly, even tho I know my drawing classes were 4 hours long. I don't want to spend half the day, I just want to have a small success, do something that requires me to see more than I usually do, and have something to blog about. Ok, that last one isn't a priority. But it is a bonus! And I know it's common knowledge that this type of discipline opens up creativity in many ways.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Lightbulb Moment

I used to not like sketching without a pencil, because I couldn't erase. If I had a pencil when I started this sketch, I would have erased. Lots. But, I made a discovery: the more detail I added, the better the lightbulb started to look. Instead of subtracting, I added, and it got better. Weird.

Another discovery: if I fool with the levels of my drawing in my photo program, I can make the background disappear. It looks better than the last sketch, no?

No Sketch

Well, there seems to be something deep down in my DNA that keeps me from being consistent. No sketch yesterday. But I did finish the hand!

I'm only half happy with this part. The colors were chosen because it had been suggested that I not use black as a contrast to the spectrum. So, I went with purple and gold. I also was interested in getting more earth tones in my quilts, so that's why the golds and browns are there. But I think the thing I really want to see is the lines I drew.

I'm coming back to the lines again. I know. But once I draw a line, I get so infatuated with it that I don't like to see it turn into a shape.

There are some fixes for this. I could cut thin black lines and curves and outline the colors - like a stained glass. Or I could quilt the outlines in black thread. This second idea is appealing to me. I would go around each shape many times, so it would look like a doodled or scribbled outline. But that will have to wait until the rest of the background is filled in. I have all that time to talk myself out of it, if I'm gonna.

The quilt has a life of its own now. I will have to see what it says.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Inconsistent Blogging

Well, further to my goal of making a sketch everyday, it was suggested that I could post my sketch everyday.

Don't count on it.

But I decided to give this one a try. It's so blue! That's because my windows in my studio are tinted blue.

I'm not really trying to accomplish any big thing with these sketches. I just suspect that if I keep drawing, it will open up new windows of inspiration and creativity for me. Plus, I like to draw. Especially when I know no one has to see it but me. So, that's why I'm making no promises about posting the drawings. This one isn't any masterpiece, and I felt ok about posting it, so we'll see....

Monday, June 16, 2008

Thumbs Up

Well, late in the afternoon I found time to get into my studio and do some work. First I had to dig out my work area - cluttered again. Story of my life.

I had previously chosen the colors and cut out the pattern pieces for the palm of my hand, but after almost two weeks of not looking at this project, I realized I needed to change two of the pieces. So I replaced them and was happier.

After working with patterns for several months now, I have determined that it's best to overlay the fabric on the drawn pattern, and to actually do some light fusing right onto the pattern, in order to stay within the lines, as it were. Since I use the release paper from the Wonder Under as my pattern paper, anyway, this is not a problem. I just need to be careful not to transfer the drawn lines onto the back of the fabric while I'm pressing them, because they can be seen through the lighter fabrics. But this doesn't happen if I just use a light touch with the iron. ( See the original pattern here.)

In this case, no lines were transferred, but I maintained the original shape that I started with. It's amazing how far off one can get with fabric that stretches just a little.

In the few minutes I had before I needed to get dinner started, I went ahead and did the thumb. The notch at the top will be filled in with fabric later to give a transparency effect. Kinda hard to explain.

Actually, showing my work in progress reminds me of those While You Were Out programs, where the home owner can't see the designer's vision and feels anxious. I can't explain my vision to everybody. Well, I guess I could, but it's more fun to just let things unfold. Besides, sometimes my vision changes mid-stream, and sometimes it's just hard to articulate. I guess you'll just have to hang in there.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Back in the Saddle

I've not been posting this past week because I was out of the country. I didn't want to announce that we were going to go to Malaysia for church camp, just in case somebody might be watching (I'm paranoid, right?). But that's where I was: Port Dickson, Malaysia for a week-long church camp. Our speaker was Dr. Richard Blackaby, and I had a nice chat with him Tuesday night before he spoke. Nice guy, great speaker.
As soon as he was done speaking that night, I was stricken with Montezuma's Revenge, and that was the last time I heard him speak. Spent the next 3 days mostly in bed. Grrreat.

I'd like to say I had a nice time, but that would be pushing it. In any case, it was great to get back home and sleep in my own bed. All of our pets survived our absence without incident. And now I'm ready to start our summer activities.

Here's the list:
My daughter and I both want to learn to play new songs this summer; her on the piano, me on the guitar.

We will be reading the Seven Habits book for teenagers together, as well as trying to implement those habits.

I'm going to be giving her some more instruction in the kitchen.

With the purchase of my new quadline roller skates (Yahoo!!) I will be skating at least three times a week.

I will be making a sketch every day - just for practice and to prime the pump.

We (both my daughter and I) will be making more time for devotional activities. Not sure how that will work out yet.

I will be blogging more consistently.

I will be working on my art more consistently.

Pretty ambitious, no? It's all a ploy to keep us from wasting time watching movies or playing video games. And to keep us doing things together.

Bring on the summer!