Snow Day Musings

There are a few reasons why I haven't been posting. One, between school and work my free time is limited. Although if I am being truthful even with with acres of "extra" time, I am an infrequent blogger. Two, grad school has been a somewhat frustrating experience but I have difficultly pinpointing exactly why so I prefer not to write about it. 

However, the most hilarious reason why I haven't been posting?  I have been taking crappy pictures of my work.  Seriously.  The color is off, the focus is weird and so on.  To make the whole thing even worse....there was a very simple solution.  We got a new camera and I never read the directions on how to properly set the white balance.  Funny, right?  You would think that after all this time I would have learned how to correctly operate a camera (or read the directions) but you would be totally wrong. 

So here are some pictures of recent work and while they are not perfect, they are much better images than I have been shooting.  I have a fair amount of things to re-shoot from the past year so you will notice a jump from the work I have posted previously to what I am doing now.  I hope to go back through and post some other images soon.

I started out the semester with a few small pieces as an exercise to explore "painting" on board and to get back into drawing images that I like. I still think of these as drawings although I suppose technically they could be paintings. Does it matter? Probably not.

I get in a weird head space when I am in school in that I think I need to be serious and make serious things.  So for a part of last year that's what I did. The work is not terrible and I will post pictures but I also needed to clear some of that out.  I won't say these are funny or happy images but I am happier making them.

Dream Whale, 2015. 8" x 8" Acrylic ink on board

Fever Sketch, 2015 8" x 12" Acrylic ink on board

This was the first larger drawing I worked on and it is a bridge between some of the work I did the previous semester and what I wanted to work on this semester. I never really finished it but I don't think I ever will.  I got the image out of my head and on paper so that is enough.

unfinished, 2015. 22" x 30" Acrylic ink, oil pastel and pencil on paper

So we come to a large drawing.  This is the largest drawing I've worked on since 2008 or so.  Coincidentally that is the year I broke my leg. I always worked on the large drawings with the paper on the floor and since it was now physically difficult for me to work that way the size of my work changed. 

Other notable things about this drawing.  I didn't have a sketch to work from when I started which for a drawing of this size is unusual for me. The paper is gessoed (as it is in the drawing above) which gives me a different, much more durable surface to work on.  Again I am using elements from my research last semester, most prominently the fern/frond quilting patterns along with imagery that I am more attached to. Mostly I revisited my enduring love for fairy tales and illustration (the combining of text and image).

the little blue house, 2015. 42" x 34" Acrylic ink, oil pastel and pencil on paper

Perhaps not a happy image but my own jokes are there even so.  For instance, the house is deliberately yellow thatched and blue to reference Goldilocks or any other blue-eyed blond damsel in distress.  This might have been the thing I momentarily forgot.  While I can create things that are purely serious ART, the thing that keeps me coming back is the humor.  I'm not sure that is always obvious to the veiwer, nor do I think that particularly matters to me.....but I generally need to find the end product amusing. 

I plan to make two other drawings that complete this story but I am concerned that the other two will look too dissimilar from this piece.  Stay tuned!  I really will try to post more frequently. There is also a book project that is mostly printed and which you will be hearing much more about soon-ish.

OH! While many fun things happened this year, one of the high points was getting the chance to meet one of my heroes. This guy always reminds me that you can be smart and serious about being ridiculous.