Fabric Doves

15 June 2010

This past week, I've been making fabric doves, using a template from Spool

To make these birds, I salvaged the material from an old blouse and a clothing storage bag that had a damaged zipper. I strung them with beads that were all recycled from broken necklaces, and hung them in my living room (don't they look smashing with my curtains?!)

Three birds were left with the natural fabric colours, and two were tea-dyed to a slightly darker shade(the second and fouth birds are tea-dyed.)
Here's a slideshow with more photos:

I enjoyed making these so much, I started making a set of bluebirds, to hang in the office.
For these lovelies I used materials from an old skirt and trousers :

* tweet tweet *

Coffee Paintings

05 June 2010

Mixed Media Collage : "I Nonni"

04 June 2010

While looking at some of the collages that I did last autumn, I got the itch to make something new... something more personal... something antique...

I started looking though my family photo albums, and I kept coming back to this same deep sepia portrait of my grandfather's parents. I think this was their engagement photo, or taken just after their wedding, circa 1922. I've always loved the "old world" look of this photo, and how they seemed so sweet together -- this was just the thing to use for a collage!

5 layers of paper and a whole mess of paint later, "I Nonni" (The Grandparents) was complete.

I really like the green petina of this little portrait -- there is a bit of golden shimmering paint that, sadly, didn't capture as well on the scanner as it does in person... I just love the gossimer effect... so dreamy.

Now that it's finished, and I'm satisfied, I think I'll look into getting some prints made for the family.

*dreamy sparkles of creative contentment*

Thoughts on abstracts

This was my response to a blog post by Gary Reef (at garyreef.ning.com)

The topic was:

"...probably why abstract artists get such a wrap across the knuckles from realists because a lot (im not saying all) of abstract artist choose to work in that style because they can't draw. Is abstraction the easy way out for many artists? ... "

Since art is subjective, isn't it a moot point to say that some "can" or "cannot" draw?

It's all in the eye of the beholder... and no matter what, someone somwhere will find something "wrong" with what you draw, no matter how well developed your realistic technique might be.

Of course, it's not fair to say someone can't draw just because s/he makes an abstract painting. It makes as much sense as saying that I can't make a cake, just because I'm serving hummus and beans. When it comes to viewing an artwork, the potentials and skills that one might have in any other style are really quite irrelevant. When you see an abstract, see the abstract... when you see a realistic portrait, see the portrait...

I think it's human nature to be afraid of what we don't know, what we don't understand; our brains are always seeking familiarity, and that's why I think abstract painters have such a difficult time, and must constantly defend their artwork and prove their validity as artists, just because people can't glance at their work and know, instantly, what it means and represents. It's a shame, really, because those people who are afraid of abstract, and therefore thumb their noses at it, are really missing out on a lot of powerful and inspiring artwork. Too bad for them.

Art Quotes that feed my head and speak to my soul

"Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known."
-Oscar Wilde

"Thanks to art, instead of seeing a single world, our own, we see it multiply until we have before us as many worlds as there are original artists."
- Marcel Proust

"A sincere artist is not one who makes a faithful attempt to put on to canvas what is in front of him, but one who tries to create something which is, in itself, a living thing."
- William Dobell

"All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness."
- Eckhart Tolle

"I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious."
- Andrew Wyeth

"The emotions are sometimes so strong that I work without knowing it. The strokes come like speech."
- Vincent Van Gogh

"Art is a fruit that grows in man, like a fruit on a plant, or a child in its mother’s womb."
- Jean Arp

"One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself."
- Leonardo da Vinci

"Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment."
- Claude Monet

"Painting is stronger than me, it makes me do its bidding."
- Pablo Picasso

Marie & Polka illustrations (Experimentation is awesomeness in action!)

03 June 2010

Lately, I've been experimenting with style -- trying new approaches to my illustrative drawings, and discovering new ways of seeing and creating images.
Typically, I'm really hung up on form and I strive for a certain degree of realism in my work (the devil's in the details, always!) But I'm also drawn towards minimalism, and I love the mixture of subtle dimention and flat-pattern that's found in traditional Japanese paintings & woodblock prints...

So, with all that in mind, I decided to try a more minimalistic approach to a few drawings, throwing in a bit of mid-20th century mod, and a dash of contempo flare.
Over at Willowing's Ning, the monthly challenge theme is "girls and bears", so I used that as an inspirational jumping-off point, and here's what happened :

I sketched in graphite, and then finished the drawings with gel ink pens (love, love!).

When I scanned the drawings into my pc, a lot of the inks didn't show up (I think it was an issue with the gel -- maybe it's too reflective?) After several scanning failures, I ended up taking photographs of the sketches, and of course, they all turned out looking dark.
When I started adjusting the colours, light values, etc., some subtle yet interesting textural things started to happen in the areas where I didn't deleate the appearance of the paper's grain... So I left the paper grain in the dresses, I added some solid tones into the backgrounds, and voila!

I'm calling this new series "BonBons"
and I named the characters "Marie & Polka"...

Marie's a French girl, and spends a lot of time living in her immagination, where her bear, Polka, is her best friend in all the world. She tells him all her secrets and dreams, and through her eyes, Polka experiences all the celebrations and wonderments of life.

1 - Je t'aime" (I love you)

2 - Bonne Anniversaire (Happy Birthday)

3 - Je souhaite (I wish)

4 - Une historie d'amour (A love story)

5 - Un jour fleuri (A flowery day)

Right now, I think "Je t'amie", "Je souhaite", and "Bonne Anniversaire" are my favourites. I can't decide on which one I like best of all, from the bunch.

Which one is your favourite?