Thursday, March 28, 2013

Paper Doll Story in Progress

Using the above toys I'm playing with a little series that might make a story.
(the circle things are double sided dots, the heart & star things are shape hole punchers... 
"Write (draw) about what you know," said the Library Mouse in my previous post. On Valentine's Day (Heart Bandit post) a guy on the street asked if we knew that hearts were dropping from a window on Commercial Street! We didn't, but I was thinking that perhaps some one caught them...
 ...and continued on her walk,
 ...and continued...and I don't really know what happened after this...If you do, please tell! And I don't know if she will end up in a book with pages, or a tunnel or accordion book or a diorama box...Perhaps you do? (Please tell!) What I do know is that Maine College of Art Professor Judy LaBrasca,
who got me started on this, is a very inspiring teacher!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

New Blue & White at the Art Museum

Sketch in 5X7 paperblanks book. 
At the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston yesterday I wandered unexpectedly into "New Blue & White", a show with giant paper cutouts, textiles, & mostly ceramics. Oh glorious surprise & delight! For so long museum art has seemed so serious. I love the way I smile & laugh viewing many contemporary objects.
Nakashima Harumi: "Work 0808". Ceramic, "departing from his Japanese traditions,
making an abstract statement, says the curator. I say, "Totally fun!" 

About Blue & White in art: It was first used to describe cobalt pigment applied to white clay. More than 1,000 years ago blue & white ceramics emerged from the Middle East & Asia. In the last 15 years, 40 artists & designers from Latin America, Asia, the Netherlands, the US, looked to various blue & white traditions & interpreted them with various ideas.
There is a "diverse array of art" but for me the best part was being surrounded by the imaginative abstract designs & colors. Even the air seemed blue & white! For more information on the show, click here.
 The last Exhibition I visited was The Postcard Age. Even though I adore postcards, & even though there was a huge selection of Postcards from Paris, I was fatigued. I had spent some time on a French language guided tour & some "serious" time in other galleries. So I relaxed & looked at the lookers looking. Next time I'll start with the postcards.

This young couple came dressed up, he in shiny black hat, she wearing a crown. Maybe they were themselves contemporary art, in the midst of more traditional attire.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Functions of Sketching

Sometimes sketching in a journal has functions other than drawing for pleasure. Last night, at a town meeting about a pending proposal for allowing tar sands to the pipelines of South Porltand, my opportunity to sketch saved me.
It was an outlet for nervous energy, allowing me to take in information & comments on a disturbing subject.
 The beauty of it is that I now have recorded information to refer back to. And I got to observe people in their poses & their costumes, perhaps like a bird-watcher observing birds. So, I DID get to draw for pleasure as well.
A note about my technique: Once home, I filled empty space  with writing to balance out compositions a bit. The beauty of this is that I got to study the information by reviewing it & by copying notes that were handed out. And, here & there, I added some personal reflections as well. 

(PS. In the drawing above: "The Three Little Pots" are soup pots from a restaurant where I'd been the day before. Sketching while waiting, also a way that sketching enriches life.)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Playful Bird Sketches

I so love the blogs I read in which people share their photos of nature & their journal drawings from their country lives! Thank you! Several people whom I know & love are bird watchers &/or birders & I love listening to the stories they tell. On this journal page I wanted to get a sense of some different bird poses, so I sketched a bit from some bird book photos, & then added colors & features from my imagination.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

26 Mugs, 100 Monkeys

A drawing from my "Private-Play" Journal. 26 coffee mugs from imagination, drawn in one session.

Noah Scalin in "365: A Daily Creativity Journal: Make Something Every Day & Change Your Life!" has inspired a number of bloggers. Quantity is generated by this practice, but more importantly, I think, perseverance & continuity. It's a daily workout of creative muscles. 
I'll never forget the art show at the Smithsonian in the 80's, "Yani, The Brush of Innocence" by a Chinese child prodigy. Her prolific calligraphic paintings included a scroll in which she challenged herself to paint 100 monkeys in 100 different positions in one session. I'm not a child, nor a prodigy, but I enjoyed my 26 mugs. And that's the beauty of the accessibility of art & education & books in our culture: the enrichment of individual lives, no matter what the degree of inherent talent.
Shaun Tan has a new book, "The Bird King: an artist's notebook". Tan is an accomplished artist of very refined graphic novels such as "The Arrival". This is a powerful story of the experience of the displaced immigrant. In "The Bird King" he features selections from his private journal of "doodles" & drawing experiments. There is only one thing to do to confront "artist's block", he writes. "Just start drawing", where the meaning of the drawing is secondary to the "simple act of making". Klee called it "Going for a walk with a line."
Will I try  to draw more than 26 mugs in a sitting at another time, in the style of Yani? Probably not. But a little series involving something else? Yes!