Saturday, April 13, 2013

Kiddy Lit, onward and upward

Ok, looks like I'm focusing on Children's Book writing and illustration. Kiddy Lit!'s a mad house out there! Things are changing so quickly in this industry and that's making my head spin. 
My goals for this year are three fold. Abbreviation for contro CRL

1. To I haveave joined an illustrator's group on Facebook

2. I've taken storys out of the closest to pull apart and put back together. Illustrations too of course.
If i can stick to these three goals maybe i wont go 'totally' nuts!

3. To I am reading articles, watching youtubes, trying to get a handle on Photoshop and Sketchbook Pro 6 as well as getting into that studio and make good old traditional drawings on the drawing board.

I also have a 'check-in buddy' to keep me on track. We send a short email to each other every Friday stating what we have done during the week to move us toward those goals. So far this has worked well! Stay tuned

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ten Minute 'Toons!

Ok, i'm still sitting with the idea of retiring as an artist and trying to figure out what that's all about. While I'm doing that i thought i would start a little exercise called 'ten minute toons'. Thought of this after reading a blog called a 'doodle a day' by Scott e Franson. Here is my first. A couple of horses fighting over a feed tub. Happens a lot here at the ranch.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Losing my passion

Woke up this morning with a thought. What if i suddenly lost all of my passion to become a better artist? Would that be the time to call it quits?When turning up to the easle (computer these days) becomes a chore. Something that no longer makes me happy. When i get tired of a file full of sales receipts for art suppliers and one tiny manila folder with one or two sales receipts for art  with my name on it. Not to mention the file full of rejection slips from publishers. All this is fine if the 'doing' of the art still makes you happy! So this is the question I am sitting with for a while and I have a feeling I'm not sitting alone.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

4 little Abstract (non objective) pieces

 inner turbulence
vision                                                                                                                 click to enlarge.

Back to Abbies! I really love doing non-objective work. I've discovered it's not easy for the human mind to create a non- objective image. I constantly have to discipline myself not to try to make something concrete of the work. I want to just explore shape, color, texture, energy, movement, gesture, depth, layer, transparency, tone, value, contast......... yadditer, yadditer, yadditer. There is a lot to it!! A great amount of thought does go into these things without, or maybe in spite of, being representative of reality. And, then there is knowing where to stop! This is why alot of my Abby's go to the circulate filing cabinet or are hiddden away on the backs of each other. ( I hate to waste paper!)
 These are only 11 x 14" and painted in mixed media on w/c paper.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Art of Stan

     My dear old Dad was 82 when he started to write and draw.He passed away at 87. He only had 5 years of it. Stan had to be nudged a bit to get going (he was a self professed 'lazy bugger') but he came up with some precious things. He especially enjoyed drawing chickens. Here is the last piece he sent to me with a commentary related to the time Mernie was attacked by a rooster and had to give it the boot!
     He actually stopped writing and drawing about a year before his departure. Growing up in a struggling working class community where education was considered was a luxury, if not an indulgence,  he wrote in a sort of telegraphic way that was difficult for him, as well as his audience, to decipher.
      For the most part, i could understand it and would edit his work enough for it to be included in a Seniors newspaper. He was very proud to be a 'published author'. However, he had developed no strategies to deal with criticism, so the first time one of his stories was regected on the grounds on 'political correctness', he threw in the towel.
If you can enlarge and read the text you may get a glimpse of his wit and charater. Not bad for someone who could only stay in school to grade six.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

February with Boris the Spider

 Sketch from photo sort of realistic.Not clear. Click on image to make bigger. That might help.
 Sketch reduced to a few basic shapes.Study...Horse and Rider.
Mono print and melted oil and wax techniqes. All studies toward a new body of work. Here we go again. A little lost in space trying to figure out a direction for my artwork. i am dabbling in everything to practising life drawing to totally non objective work. When i settle into a body of work i will need to buy myself a set of blinders to stop me heading of in all directions.I am in a state of confusion at present. Woe is me.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January's main illustration project

Here is an illustration I've been working on with the valuable help from my 12 x 12 illustration critique group. The bottom one is, obviously, the initial sketch with a wash of color. I worked on this in both PS and Sketchbook Pro 6 first of all scanning the pencil sketch into PS then going back and forth between the programs. Some of the changes i made on advice from the group were challenging in this new media and i learned to use some tools i never had a handle on before.Here are some of the changes/additions i made........

:I added the far bank in the back ground and changed it many times. : Moved characters around to make a more interesting composition and move the viewer eye around. 
:Overlapped a few. 
:Worked with the water a lot and eventually added the cartoony lines. What i really wanted to do is make the water swirl around but i still haven't master those tools yet. Something to work on! 
:I took out the arm sticking out in front, as it made a 15th roo. I think there is only fourteen altogether! 
:I extended the canoe a little above the horizon line and added a bar across the front so it would look less like a shark. 
:Gave the punky roo in front a dye job on his hair to set him apart from the blonde girl roos and add variety. 
:Added a paddle sticking out of the water and put a little shadowing on the roos. 
:Oh and toned down the sinister looking girl roo who was hogging all the attention in the beginning. 

About seven or eight revisions in all. There's more i could do but i conside this one processed enough for now and it needs to stop somewhere (at least for a while.) A big thanks to my critique group. Let's see what February brings!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

could be the year for abstracts

Yes my teacher is a four year old. 
After spending the last five years or so immersed in the Equine world of riding training and recovering from injuries I'm back in my studio. I've always ascertained kids are the best artists and the younger the better. My teacher, Cole James Keller is four years old and is an excellent artist. His sense of shape color and line is unfettered by all the fuss and bother us adults collect during a life time of such. He can 'see' and feel and put it altogether making it look like it 'just fell there'. The viewer is drawn in by the spontaneous, playful nature of the image and is able to wander around inside the piece feeling like a kid again! AND can he articulate his work? You bet!
See the bottom painting. Shamefully I copied his work. Well to the best of my ability. I will never be as good as my teacher and neither will he be in a few years. R