When we last spoke (entirely too long ago because I am now obsessed with my daily drawing time), I was finishing my assignments with the mermaid themed class and getting ready to begin a series of drawing classes with the same teacher and creativity mentor, Jane Davenport. I was also beginning a yearlong commitment to two groups of artists I had only met online in the "Mermaid" class, to paint a themed page (or page spread) in their handmade journals once each month. For someone like myself, just beginning to study the ways of mixed media and storytelling with faces and figures, this was either pure madness or a crash course in learning to swim by jumping into a shark tank (same thing, I think.) Not that any of my classmates were less than lovely and supportive, but my own brain kept yelling: someone distract them while I climb out and run!
I had an inkling during the process of making my own two journal covers that I was going to really enjoy this monthly opportunity to do something brand new based on whatever my favorite new techniques or themes were calling. I had learned about "one-liners" in several of Carla Sonheim's classes. You know, those drawings where you set pen to paper and don't come up for air until the sketch is complete. Your rules may involve not crossing or retracing lines or be open to whatever happens, but generally the idea is to let a simple flow of ink tell the story with as little complication as possible. I decided to do this for my own self portrait and then take it further with a technique from Carla's book "Imaginary Animals" called "Oaxacan Dotted Elephant," (except without the final coloring steps.) I just loved the result which is very much the spirit of me. The photo I used as a reference was then altered on the computer into a number of special effects, cut and collaged into a new me for the back cover.
The cover of my international journal featured collaged and paint altered photos of myself spinning the "wheel of travel" to see where I would "virtually" journey next.
In August, I finally got around to starting the Jane Davenport foundation class called "Supplies Me", which is an in depth review of all types of drawing and painting mediums melded with a basic drawing class. The first week, a focus on the use of gesso and journals, had us create a mixed media piece with glued ephemera, stamps and stencils or whatever we liked, and the first of the faces/figures we would be drawing throughout. Since I had just visited some newborn alpacas at a local farm and done some photography and quick sketches, I decided to create a simple portrait titled "Welcome, Baby!" Having drawn all those giraffes and last year some of the farm animals of Katherine Dunn, it seemed a natural thing to do.
The second page had no particular theme, so I went with a simplified version of a very complex page spread I had done for the Mermaid class. The mermaid and dolphins are all made by stamping images of my own homemade stamps on tissue, them applying them to the page with matte medium. They are then embellished with further color, mostly in colored pencil and white paint markers.
Back in week two of Supplies Me we were learning about colored pencils and drawing faces (yes!). This was the first simple sketch-along I did with Jane's video lesson.
The August giraffe was to be "photograf"ed! There were several options. The one shown here was "finding" a giraffe out in your daily wanderings. This poor fellow is titled "The Unfortunate Accident." Even though the auto has moved on, I can still visit him, as he is permanently adhered to a street nearby my house.
|Spot decides he'll sit on the dashboard on the way to lunch and shopping until Dad makes him get down.|
|Giving Dad the evil eye. (He hates being told what to do.)|
|The two make up over a great pizza lunch.|
|"More quarters, please!"|
|I want my own bag!|
Just as she is turning to face the "camera", so my art now is turning to the possibilities that can be found in a face. Stay tuned. More to come!