Saturday, September 20, 2014

Elsewhere on S Elm, Greensboro, NC

We spent most of the day in Greensboro, NC today - a hike and picnic (Lake Brandt), two bookstores, and dinner at Elizabeth's.  The surprise was Elsewhere on S. Elm.  It's part museum, part vintage remnant collection, part interactive artwork, part art studio.

Artists are allowed to apply to come produce a work within the space.  Nothing ever leaves, and nothing new can be brought in.  Artists propose a work produced from what's already on site.


Art on the ceiling 

The "Confessatorium" and bird cameos

Pastel 26 - Don't Get in Their Way

Pastel 26 - done late last night.  Don't get in her (their) way.

I feel more and more directions this can all expand.

Pastel, ball point and Sharpie on 18 x 24 inch kraft paper.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Painting What?

Another post I don't think I ever published...  About 5 years ago?

The last two days I've thrown myself into painting at the butt end of the evening, when I'm very tired. The unexpected assault has led to a bold start to a portrait I am attempting, and to some play this evening. I decided to act on a long temptation to paint my face.

As I write this the paint is all gone (except for the faintest trace of green still in my left temple and one side of my beard... or is that my imagination?) The whole thing lasted less than thirty minutes. I simply reacted to my face as I do to paintings in progress. What color seems to want to go where? What did I want to bring forward, what drop back. I can understand some of the fascination of theater, putting on makeup and then removing it...

I mugged in front of the mirror for some time, taking over thirty shots in all. These were some of the best. I call the third shot in this post, "Don't make me come over there." I was surprised at how different my expressions remained even with the paint, and how some expressions were magnified.

Sometimes the accidental and mistaken has a way of revealing truth. I liked this misfire of the camera because it seemed to catch me unaware - and for the rainbow before me, which wasn't there until I created the picture...  that could be a metaphor for my life.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pastels 24 and 25 - Small Cat Big Crab, Duo

Pastel 24 was done while exhausted.  I went out in the garage to check the door was shut before collapsing into bed, and saw the paper on the card table...

Pastel 25 was done tonight, with some new pastels - less colorful (I'm disappointed in them, to be honest with myself).  We'll see.  The ultramarine is much too dark.

Pastel 24 - Small Cat Big Blue Crab

Pastel 25 - Duo

I went to Jerry's Artarama on the way home today and bought a number of interesting things.  I have plans to expand on where these pastels have been going.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sketching - Gazebo at the NC Arboretum, Asheville, NC

Another post I don't believe I ever published...  From more than 4 years ago.

During Daughter's orientation at UNC Asheville this summer, I got to spend a few hours alone at the NC Arboretum. I found a shady bench and was rewarded, during one of those hours, with pencil and my smaller moleskine in hand, looking carefully at the scene before me. This is possibly one of the most beautiful mortis and tenon structures I know in NC, and I will probably draw it again, from another view, to capture the extraordinary beam work and the grape vines that create part of its walls and roof, on the other side.

Click image for a larger view.

I benefited from Oldest Son's first year at NCSU College of Art and Design - and the repeated admonitions of his professors about varying line weight. I heard that in art school, too, but I didn't listen then... He gets it much more than I do, and is using it to good advantage over at Hamjamser (which he also authors as Nigel Tangelo).

Here is a photo I took of the gazebo, back in 2009, from a slightly different angle.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Five Pastels - 19 through 23

It was one twisted moment after another at the day job today.  Everything was unexpectedly harder and more emotional than usual.  Late in the evening I drew my way through my frustration to some kind of steady place.  I've noticed that the very best days, the ones that seem to be peak moments for me (last Friday), are frequently followed by some of the hardest (today, Monday).  Keeps my head from getting fat.

Below are pastels 19 through 23 - starting with emotions that nearly tore the paper and ending with two that seemed to draw themselves.  I like all of these, in different ways.

This set completed in less than an hour and a half.  Pastel, ballpoint and Sharpie on 18 x 24 kraft paper.  Click any image for a closer look.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Pastel 18 - Wishing for Salmon

This one happened even faster than usual - after the ballpoint lines (under 30 seconds - no planning allowed) the bear was just there (especially its face).  So was the fish.

I notice that I got the colors reversed on the salmon...  The red and green salmon have a red body and a green head.  Going with what seemed right at the time (and not stopping to do some research) fits much better with my goal for these, which is to free me and move toward a more innocent and childlike approach.  So I'm happy about it.  And I prefer the composition with the green on the left, anyway.  My favorite thing about this piece is the bear's paws - I like the pads being the raw kraft paper.

Pastel, ballpoint, and Sharpie on 18 x 24 inch kraft paper.  Click image for a closer look.