Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Beth's Workshop: Things I Learned

At Beth's Workshop: (Previous post Here) 
I learned of a book: 
Expressive Drawing by Steven Aimone. 
Incorporating the freedom we had as children
with our developing adult ways of making marks
and drawing.
Beth's post about that workshop is Here.
And another post Right Here.

It really was "artistic life changing"!

I am challenged by, & I get satisfaction from 
gravitating to order & simplicity 
when confronted with many materials & possibilities.
My simple sketching practice 
with line & watercolor
was affirmed & enriched by playing in this different way.
The pages I made at Beth's (see link above)
 are now in an accordion book setting.
Ah, Order. Cohesion. Sequence, 
though I have much to learn about this.
About the principle called "Unity".
A play between unconscious impulses 
& conscious art principles & choices.
The more I study art, 
the more the conscious learning
becomes unconscious while I work.
(Does that make sense??)

I'm going back this weekend for 2 more days!

There is a spot open, if any of you want to join us!
Contact Beth using the links above to her site.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Time Out For Making a Book

 Interlude from preparing sketches for the show:
Back to the handmade book, inspired 
by teaching some friends how to make 
non-adhesive bookcovers and handmade books.
 2nd Version.

And inspired by Beth's workshop. (see older post.)
And her buttons.

A pamphlet stitch for adding signatures 
to an accordion fold. 
A lesson in accepting imperfection.
I slid the end tabs of the accordion strip
into the cover wraps. It actually works as a book!
I'm trying to use up watercolors from one of my paint boxes.
 I keep coming back to this striped, polka-dot motif. 
Such fun to be surprised by the colors that turn out!
Meanwhile, a lot of the show sketches are framed,
but I'm creating & selecting more.
It's a huge challenge 
for this brain of mine,
I don't have time for the many ideas that pop in.
 It's a challenge to go through many old sketchbooks.
Trying to make selections 
Curating. Editing. 
No wonder I'm taking time outs for polka dotted stripes.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

A Still Life with Robert

My childhood art teacher presented us
with still lifes. 
Many, many still lifes. 
Above: I quickly arranged some things that were 
already on my table. 
The caption,
"Every picture tells a story" showed up
as a complete serendipity.

In August I'll have my 2nd show at my library.
Theme: sketching locally. 
This still life is very, very local.
My table.
A friend who is visiting France writes that
she has found paradise on earth.
Reading & looking up French vocabulary at my table, 
this is for me a local paradise on earth.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Artists' Panel Discussion

I went to an artists' panel discussion on the show called
Tidal Zone, currently at our local art center.
I took notes.
I had viewed the show previously & enjoyed it on an aesthetic level, 
but the artists describing their process, 
not just process with materials, 
but also their research, their thinking, their histories...
THAT was marvelous!
It seems to me that much of abstract art, 
& non-objective art,
is about concept & process, 
so artist explanations are important.
I became aware of how the actual works can be record,
or result of rich & deep work.
They spoke about rules & also serendipity.
About how exciting it is to discover what will happen
as a sequence of works is formed. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Beth's Wildly Creative Design Workshop

A blissful visit to friend Beth's 
Maine Coast Surface Design Workshops.
(Click Here
where students, an assortment of 
accomplished quilt & paper artists from various states,
explored multi-media design techniques on paper.

That's Beth, the most prolific & free flowing, & generous 
creative fabric & paper design artist I've ever met!
I couldn't attend the full 3 days, 
but stepping in to her "Art Greenhouse" on Sunday was Color Heaven,
including seeing participants' finished work! 
Beth will probably post some of photos 
on her blog, Sew Sew Art.
Buttons, ribbons, printing inks, oil pastels, thread,
gel prints, rubber stamps, decorated papers, 
a bounty of art making materials!!!!!
I was overwhelmed, so I started by doing a sketch 
with my own materials. 
Starting in my comfort zone.
Then I made some collages, growing a little bolder.
Beth says, it's all a beginning. You can keep adding,
changing things, "Go wild! Let things happen, play!"
Some combinations...I used 
a few rubber stamps that Beth had made
& some papers she'd printed up.
Clearly, my process would have evolved
if I'd attended the full 3 days...
(couldn't due to my work schedule.)
And I would have made some books to take home!
 At one point I got overwhelmed by the visual & creative
stimulation, so I sat out on the front porch of the 
little Art House, sketching as a form of meditation,
on a sunny, breezy Maine summer day. 
It worked. 
I went back refreshed.

She's running a 2nd session on the July 21 weekend,
so if anyone is interested in coming to the
gorgeous Maine coast for 3 days to have wild art fun,
do go to her blog & sign up! 

I plan to take her Spirit Dolls workshop in October!
This is one of Beth's dolls.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Rita Rita Fashion-ita

So a year ago I started seasonal work at the art museum. 
I did an inventory of my clothes closet! 
It was time to come out of fashion hibernation!
Rita Rita Fashion-ita, Hahahaha!
In my Daily Journal I periodically document what I wore 
on the previous day.The Fashion Report, Hahahaha.
The quick tiny drawings remind me 
of my 7th grade fashion drawings,
inspired by Simplicity Pattern envelope illustrations.
In 7th grade I decided I was going to be a fashion designer
when I grew up. Hahahaha.
I loved the whole mix & match thing & still do.
I'm having fun gathering 
a few of my "museum costume" sketches. 
Do we see a theme here?? 

Guess how many scarves I have in the
blue-turquoise-teal-aqua range?  
(Answer in next post.)
 If no scarf then one must at lease wear a turquoise shirt! 

In high school I decided that my interest in fashion 
was "shallow".  
It is true that my brain had other things to work on.

College days: Work boots & flannel shirts. 
More brain & social stuff to work on.
In this semi-retirement museum employee stage,
It's fun to "curate" my clothes collection. 
Maybe it's still shallow, but, shrug, it is pleasurable.
Our museum visitors, who are in a visually receptive
state of consciousness, appreciate my efforts. 
"Oooooh, your colors!" the women exclaim.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Lupine Time & Moonbat Baking Co.

 Annual Lupine sketch time, out my back door! 
Each year my image is different! 
(see lupine  blog posts in June, 2017 & June, 2016.)
Minute to minute the lupines transform in appearance.
Above, just before the bright Eastern sun hit this morning,
just before they went from soft misty blue-lavenders
to warmer golden tones, 
not as distinguished from their surrounding greens.

My seasonal work hours at the museum have increased 
so when I had a free Friday I reveled in it,
sketching at the Farmer's Market & then,
out the window 
of the locally celebrated bakery, 
Moonbat City Baking Co. 
The pastries & coffee, divine, & the happy atmosphere~Wow!
I overheard more than once,
"It doesn't get any better than this!"
The owner Michelle sets the tone greeting customers 
VERY enthusiastically, 
the chartreuse walls & the light from windows lift spirits.
 The café is small, 
but it welcomes lively visits & conversations,
& folks at tables doing their own thing with computers 
or, in my case, bien sûr, 
with my sketchbook.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Sketchbook Wandering in Québec City

Away from my to-do lists & routines
 my senses always open up in Québec.
Sketching & note-taking, my tool for observing & reflecting.
A beautiful place to enjoy being in the moment!
 My travel journal was a 4 X 6 book.
 After many trips there, I walk & wander, 
& I still discover new sights, like the Fontaine de Tourny.
Happy tourists play to the sound of 47 jets of water. 
(installed in front of the Parliament Building in 2007, 
but created in France in 1854.)

More new discoveries. This statue guy was a historian. 
Poets, artists, soldiers, women, politicians are also honored 
through statues around the city. 
 A visit to Musée de la civilisation always educates through sight, sound, movement & language. 
(French language!!)
On the left, part of a small model, une maquette, 
for the outdoor statue, Tribute to Women in Politics.
Surprise: The Quebec City Symphony filled the Main Lobby
with Beethoven's joyous 2nd Symphony.
Seeing them so close reminded me of the Sempé illustration,
which made me laugh!

 The exhibition C'est notre histoire, Premières Nations
et Inuit du XXI ième Siècle (First Nations) 
filled a huge hall with soft lighting, a sacred atmosphere. 
Artifacts & crafts displayed everywhere, 
including suspended from the ceiling,
stories & interviews on monitors, contemporary art...
The oral history touched me deeply...

Le Temps des Québecois was a fascinating historic exhibit,
again via artifacts, narratives, videos. Again, people's history.
Sunday morning sketch walk. Because of the weathervane
(la girouette) in the museum I started noticing them in the city.
The sketch on the right took quick minutes 
as my hands were cold & my feet were sore (wrong shoes).
I did it simply to observe the facade of a pretty café.

 I took some photos before my camera glitched out on me.
 The old city was being refreshed & renovated. 
Lots of construction workers, painters, scaffolding & cranes 
in the old city.
 But churches & monasteries were peaceful & quiet,
dressed in springtime light.
 This photo is for La Table de Nana. 
Lines were too long for me to eat 
at one of our favorite bakeries/cafés, Paillard. 
But these folks were enjoying it.
The public library that is housed by the 19th century church:
A place we return to for quiet, peaceful reading (in French!!)

Already planning my next trip...