|As the light of day materializes, I contemplate my creative life.|
This year the Strathmore workshops aren't scheduled to begin until March, but I had an alternate New Year's Day creative jolt: after starting the day with a very "rah! rah!" Weight Watchers meeting I came home to begin, in earnest, "2013, The Year of the Giraffe, An Experiment in Creativity" with the most excellent of creative cheerleaders, Carla Sonheim. I have taken numerous online workshops with Carla over the last two years, as have others of the giraffe class, and we were so ready for this new concept. Rather than being an actual drawing class, we are expanding our vision about the meaning of creativity by having one basic muse, the giraffe, and twelve monthly assignments in various forms of creative expression. We will design assignments of our own choosing, we will communicate through word and image, we will talk on the phone, we will create a group e-zine, we will make friends around the world, and best of all, we will share an understanding of what it is to be a person who needs to, who must, create as a part and parcel of daily life. Rather than have a goal of finished product, the goal is to be present for the process.
January's assignment is to draw the giraffe, in any manner, as few or as many as we choose, largely from life or from photo reference, and then some from imagination. I began with three "realistic" portraits in conte crayon, and have moved on to ink and warm-up exercise type drawing. This week I hope to go back to portraits in pencil and maybe charcoal. I am not adding color yet. I want to study features and lines for a while.
|A classmate's husband took the photo reference for this drawing while on safari.|
|This is a new baby and mom who live at Chicago's Brookfield zoo (drawn from a photo.)|
|Inaugurating my new journal with three versions of each animal (drawn while looking at the reference photo, but not the journal page.)|
|These "cool dudes" were the happy accident of drawing with water soluble marker with my eyes closed entirely, then adding water to spread the ink with my eyes open.|
|This highlights my love of lettering and trying to develop ways to fill space with meaningful texture that is not a standardized doodle.|
In November, I had the opportunity to take a six week introductory class in the use of a FREE digital editing and drawing program called GIMP. It is something like Photoshop, quite complex, and will take much more study and practice, but it was a revelation to begin to understand "layers" and "brushes," and other tools of the trade.
|I enjoy photographing the flowers in my summer garden, so it was fun to work a little color magic on this clematis, and the iris below.|
|My favorite garden ornament becomes ethereal with a color punch.|
|I started to learn about the ability to "capture" areas of the image (here a part of a garden pot,) and then layer them on interesting backgrounds.|
|Capturing areas, adding filters, emphasising parts. The artistic choices are endless.|
|Learning to "cut" a piece of a photo and make a frame for it.|
|Drawing by creating shaped areas to fill will color gradations, using brushes to make patterned lines (or stamp with) to add or erase color.|
|These are basically doodles with brushes drawn or stamped through defined areas. So much fun, and you can create your own from any cropped bit of a photo or drawing.|
|This is my fabric and bead choice showing the instructions page in the book "Alabama Studio Sewing and Design."|
|The finished cuffs, and the garment below. (Of course, there are pants involved when I wear it!)|
|I had to try a pair of the hand warmers. They were a bit difficult to sew with the two layers creating eight in the flat felled seams in tight places. Not sure if I'll make them again.|
|My favorite blogging artist at "Smallest Forrest" gave me a wonderful idea for capturing creative ideas before they flee in a small (this is really small) journal called a "Seed Book", named for the seeds of ideas.|
1. a Weight Watchers online cookbook source,
2. a (Pandora) radio on my kitchen island, and
3. an electronic sketchpad from the inspiration of another favorite blogging artist, Pat, at "Reclinerart's Posterous".
|Here I am playing with brushes for the first time (in a controlled manner.)|
|Here I am playing with brushes like a kid (or someone who doesn't mind calling the giraffe her muse.)|
|And here I am actually attempting to draw with it . (The program is "Sketch Club".) Let's just say there is going to be room for improvement, but I do expect to have some fun trying.|