Friday, August 14, 2009

My First Moleskin

Excepting the front cover art of my moleskin, it's done and ready for travel to the other 7 artists in my group. It will travel the USA, Canada and then to Australia before it returns to me. It's my first and I'm pretty excited about it! My theme is simple - "Famous / Infamous Blonde or White-haired People" from history to present day. Ideas for moleskin themes are limitless, but because I love people and portraits - faces in particular, I thought I'd start out with famous blondes. I have to continue with this theme so that I can add on to my moleskin collection: famous redheads and brunettes. This journal will complete it's travel and return to me April 2010 and it will be like Christmas! After choosing the theme, it was then hard to limit my choices on which famous person I wanted to do for my journal. My very romantic introduction is of Lady Godiva on her white horse. When I make my initial sketches in a much larger sketchbook, my ladies are normal looking women in their prime - 30+ish. However, when I try duplicate my sketch to small scale as with this moleskin or even to an ATC, they suddenly become nimpish teens. I guess it's because I can't quite capture the nuances of a more mature person on a very small scale. The artists in this group came up with a fantastic list of great people and I can't wait to see who they'll choose, I know the art will be suberb. The artists can also insert a line, lyric, or quote if applicable to their person. For the first page, I chose one of my favorite musicians. I have all his music and have seen him at most of the concerts when he played in San Diego. I feel I'm growing old with him - Sting. The 2nd page is on a woman who is probably one of the most beautiful women ever when she was in her prime. She's still beautiful as an elderly woman and is now an animal activist. Everything she currently does is for the well-being of animals, but when she was young and active in the movies, she was the mega-hot - Brigette Bardot.

Recently, I saw a documentary on Alice Neel. She made so many tragic sacrifices in her life in order to be a painter. All that matter to her was the luxury of being able to paint her portraits. She captured the inner life of her persons so well it reminded me of Rembrandt. Both her sons suffered for the bohemian life they endured, but they were so grateful that Alice was their unconventional mother...she was just magical in her paintings. Her eldest daughter was somehow taken away from her when she was very young by the rich grandparents, and the daughter did not fair very well - she ended up taking her own life. Not that I'm Alice Neel or anyone of her caliber, I did the exact opposite. I put my art aside and joined the corporate world for a steady paycheck to help my family. I lived for my family and my work which left little time for art. All the art I did was for something at my son's school - play, brochures or some crafty thing for one of my son's organizations. Now that I've been laid off, I am doing art day in and day out and I can't get enough. I even finish my day by making random sketches of things in magazines in bed before I go to sleep. The ideas are flowing and now I have another tiger to tame - limiting myself! I'm such a happier and fulfilled person now.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Serenity (8.75 x 11.75)

Although it's been awhile since I last posted, I have been pretty busy making art in several mediums. I just finished up a session of Chinese Watercolor Painting with Lucy Wang and hope to take more classes in the future but in the meantime, I continue to practice my bone and water strokes. I'm also signed up with a figure drawing group at Red Door Studio in the Golden Hills community downtown. The group will soon move to Ocean Beach on Liberty Dr. nearby the Watercolor Society and the Quilting Arts Studio. I enjoy these sessions very much, but I need to pick up my speed. I still require more than 20 minutes in order to capture the pose completely. I'm getting faster the more I do it. For the Colored Pencil Society, I recently completed "Serenity" which is the Buddha water fountain and the orchids from my backyard. I continue to explore Asian, most particularly - Japanese themes in memory of my mom. With this drawing, I heavily burnished the Buddha face using Indigo Blue, Black Grape, and Tuscan Red with Light Blue, Process Red and White and it was a labor of love. I finally completed it today - just in time to have 3 of my works represented on the San Diego website. I also hope to enter it in some of the CPSA competitions. Hopefully, I will have two more colored pencils paintings/drawings to submit to Spanish Village Art Gallery. I want to do a Koi pond and maybe a still life. After the two pieces are done, I'm going to slow it down with the pencils . I'm still doing the ATCs, though I have slowed it down a bit. I'm finding that when it comes to a themed swap, it's difficult for me to be consistant with each of the four cards. Perhaps I'm overly critical, but it just seems like I can only one or two that I'm satisfied with and then the other's are just okay. Could be that maybe I'm just tired of the theme after two cards, but I like doing the three to four because it does challenge me to think about conveying the same subject in different ways.

Most recent ATCs