Nature's Nutrients: Keeping up with Man's Destruction
Your Are Here Series of exhibitions, finding new ways to think about the future of our environment, project by the University of Lethbridge Gallery.
So close to complete. I am still waiting for confirmation on whether to add people to this scene. It is a great learning experience to start from a small sketch and transform it to an 11 foot by 20 foot curved mural. Lots of conceptual changes that you think works on paper looks completely different in execution. Not to mention the step workout from that 10 ft ladder. What is close translates differently from afar. Whew. I silhouetted in charcoal some small figures but decided it would need much more to simulate an actual working camp. We will see if the diorama itself is enough for this project, using the mural as "background" instead of the main attraction.
Meanwhile, this is a completed sculptured frame holding 4 pastel paintings of grain bins. The frame holding the 4 9 x 9 inch paintings is crafted out of old plastic roofing material sprayed with hammered steel paint and added bolts to replicate the steel grain bins found on the property. A fun project in which incorporates a little sculpture as well as 2D work. It does not show well, here in the photo, but it sits curved from the wall like the original round steel grain bins on the prairies. Opening reception for the plein air show Saturday Dec 2 at the Penny Gallery (University of Lethbridge), downtown.
I have the sketch up on the wall. After having permission to move the sun drying shelter from the center of the stage, it made for much easier painting. Not that the painting was easy. My struggle with the ten foot ladder is real.
I will post again when the project is finished. In the mean time I tried my first Christmas sale this year. I thought I would send my little babies out into the world to see some daylight, rather than stuck in the house stacked against the wall. Thank you all who stopped by.
The last day of drawing class drew to a close with a culminated effort of everyone contributing to a collage style drawing by practicing their blending charcoal technique. Each copying a section of a photograph shown here. The sections were handed out separately so each students did not "know" what they were drawing. Only abstract shapes. Therefore practicing proportion blending all in one exercise. They lined up pretty good, well done.
For the last day of October, and the last day of the online How to Pastel challenge I continued with the class theme and did my own rendition of the eggs in glass with pastel.
Know spending the week shoveling out snow. It is too early for this. The downward spiral begins.
Now the next focus is to start a large mural for the Fort.
This is the preliminary mock up sketch.
September 9th???? Wow long time, Lots happening. Or the time flies anyway! But what else is new?
Week in September and most of August was dedicated to hard labor. I was helping a friend renovate her place to get ready to sell. This is another creative pursuit, I enjoy very much. The pay is much greater than my other love...painting and drawing.
The end of September brought me to the local Art Walk and I decided to draw some back alley scenes. I ended up not staying long as a lovely hurricane wind decided to rear its' ugly head. Getting sand blasted and dealing with the weather conditions is an all too expected "thing" when your trying to go outdoors to paint. It keeps it challenging. These three charcoal sketches are the result.
The first of October I started a Facebook Challenge 31/31. Thirty one paintings in 31 days. Exhausting and refreshing all in one. All paintings are 9x9 inches and done within a 45 minute or less timeline. My challenge, not the Facebook challenge. One, because it made me do it. Less than an hour I can readily spare. And two, it makes you work faster, and not get "picky" with staying too long in one area. Today is the 30th so I have posted 30/31 paintings. Hope to get to the 31 before too long.
Another project in October, was working with the local Playgoers group and help painting sets. The siding had to be painted on the blank wall and some silhouettes cut out of foamcore into yoga poses, to be placed on the other side of the stage. Paint was still drying so I did not attempt a photo of the yoga silhouettes on their mark.
Working on booth preparations for my first time ever Christmas sale the Middle of November.
Added new "teacup" house numbers rather than fixing the old ones, ravaged by our local winds. One week and still hanging!
And finally, the last day of teaching a Beginners Drawing Class. The fun part... Value. I knew I would run out of time with all the information I put in this class. I will remember this for the next class in April.
This was a finished painting done in the studio the day after the plein air trip. Based of of the color study done. The photo reference turned out really bad here. But my patience is growing thin with loading and getting everything done. After this painting production at the beginning of August I have spent the entire rest of the month in renovation mode and powered through helping to renovate a friends' place. I can not believe it is the end of August. Now already the 9th of September. Now I'm in teaching mode. Working on a schedule for a beginners drawing class. Pretty soon it will be CCCCCChristmas! Boy I had a hard time spitting that out. Not looking forward to snow.
July has been hotter than usual. An oppressive heat. Staying for many days in a row with no relief. Although going through the daily struggles of my mind wanting to give this up, I continue the challenge. Perhaps because it is a challenge and to conquer obstacles helps to keep my morale going. This requires discipline. I am happy to say I still have that. For myself and many others fall into the great divide, I have my artwork to pull me through. I have my discipline. Everyday I ask myself why? Everyday I answer myself, what else do I have. My discipline lifts me up. It frustrates me on many days but in the end it is what pulls me through. Those hard earned successes give me the strength to carry on. Mastery may be the goal but as any serious artist will attest, the whole idea of mastery is a hard fought battle. Comparing oneself to others and you will never get there. Everyday I find a new artist that I may compare myself with and everyday I want to quit for I will never paint like him or her. I will never get there. But everyday I start again. Because by starting again, I gain the discipline of being myself. Maybe being myself is what I need to master.
I started the new week off with the same goal in mind to do something everyday. With the heat continuing at a blistering 35 degrees Celsius, it made it very hard to work. In a rush to get something on paper and done I ended up scraping most starts. In my haste I did not follow composition rules which makes the whole piece not worth while if the basic foundation is flawed. So when you keep adding more and more color in hopes of it miraculously working itself out of the "ugly" stage, it only leaves you with the question of "what's wrong with this picture". I'm sure there are many like that but some can be salvaged more than others.
It has been a culmination. Then a declination. It has been a couple of weeks now since the IAPS (International Association of Pastel Societies) convention. It was my second time attending and it was a great time. I recognized a lot of people from the last two years. Being my introverted self I kept to myself. Knowing full well I am rubbing shoulders with my contemporaries, yet feeling just a little isolated. That is my bad. I walked into this years convention, knowing full well what to expect. I just came through a marketing class in which drives home the point that one needs to know how to talk about your art and why you do it? Hence falls the declivity of my situation. As a good time was held by all, I came home not inspired to paint but into full blown depression about it. I was no closer to the enlightenment of my craft. I like to paint to challenge myself. I have no social context fallen before me. I am not full of angst in which I feel the need to fling my disgust onto a abstract piece of canvas so neither the artist or the viewer really knows why such a display is palpable.
I am not doing this for others, I really do it for myself. Really?
I came home without a goal in mind. Only to tell myself "what now?" "where do I go from here"? I am no closer to the answer but I knew I had to quit lying to myself, get out of bed and do something! I have this overwhelming concern of what other people think. I can not shake it. As much as I tell myself "it doesn't matter"....it really does. I do not approach others, nor do I go out of my way to tell people what I am doing. I am just an artist painting pretty pictures. No one pays me to do what I do. There is no monetary value in this. It has inherent value. Perhaps that is why I keep progressing. I was naturally born to play in the dirt. The dust falls through my fingers as I play. What else is there to do? The words of my father ring in my ears. You make your own heaven here on earth. I take that to mean you do what makes you happy. There is a plan. Things will fall into place. Sometimes you just have to listen a little harder, walk a little farther, and stay present to the day you are in.
I pull myself out of these dull moments, thankfully. I take each day as it is given to me. I remember, I forget, and every once in awhile I play.