Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sketching Books

On Wednesday, Brian was home with me and was able to watch Kiff while I went to the library and fulfilled a dream I've had for at least the last five years.I doubt if I'm the only one that looks at other artists and wonders how they come up with ideas that are so original, simple and beautiful that they can create several works with the same idea, yet every one different- a series. While thinking about other artists' work, I thought about what the different parts of the series had in common - color, shape, motif, etc. I wondered what series there might be within me. After a lot of thinking I decided to ask myself what things I love. Here's a short list:

  • books
  • words
  • squares
  • hearts
  • stories
  • trees
  • houses
  • red
  • glitter
One day while walking through the stacks looking for something, it occurred to me that the shelves of books were quite lovely to me - their regular patterns were serene and calming. I loved how they looked with all their different widths and heights. I drew a couple of sketches and then got distracted the hubbub of life.

I kept seeing those sketches in my sketchbook and thinking "I need to pursue this idea." I finally decided to go to this past week. I had time off work and a key to the basement where all the old volumes are stored on shelves in the dim light. I took the camera and shot more than 200 pictures of books on shelves. I took pictures of neat an orderly volumes, books leaning a little, books leaning a lot. I took pictures of books turned on their fore edges to fit on the shelves and books stacked at the ends of the rows by a patron. I took pictures of carts of books and stacks of ledgers and old newspapers.

Then I got the idea to draw the pictures in an old book. It has straight lines and words, both of which work with my list of favorite things.

Here's my first attempt. My color selection is horrible, but I like my composition. I might try putting something more concrete behind the books like stars or a horizon of some kind. Anyway, this is it for now. Tomorrow it's back to work.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Numbers and Symbols Patterns

I've been on vacation this week and have worked long hours trying to get this set of patterns available in my Etsy shop

It was a lot of going back and forth with the photos - Picasa and I were not on friendly terms as it deleted three of my pictures. I think I've figured out what I did wrong, but I still took it personally.

Anyway, my vacation is now over and I'm sorry it's not longer. I loved taking my son to kindergarten and picking him up after school just like a real mom. I did no housecleaning except the bare minimum. I was too busy making stuff.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

This Wonderful Wednesday

 When Kenneth was born, one of my favorite friends gave me a sketchbook and a feather quill. There was a note telling me that the present was for me because when babies were born, most people forgot about the mom.

I've held on to that sketchbook all this time and haven't known what to put in it... until now.

At work, I've decided to put as many of my talents and interests to use - I want to do more art. I suggested to a higher up that I have a monthly sketchbook program at each of my branches (I work at three!) and the idea was accepted. The point of the gathering is to get the creative juices flowing through structure, accountability and the sharing of like-minded people. We're going to base the gathering on The Sketchbook Challenge website and have monthly themes. And cookies. :)

The Cupadee

 One of my favorite books from childhood is The Ice-Cream Cone Coot and Other Rare Birds. I found a copy at a used bookstore several years back and have just started reading it to Kiff. It's been one of my sketchbook exercises to copy the birds in the book. I have been surprised by how well they've turned out!

The Flowerpot Plume
 This one is Kiff's favorite.

The Pencilkeet Parrot

And this one is mine. I never took drawing seriously in art school - it was such a bore. This is fun! If only I'd thought about copying the people/artists I liked. I've learned more with these three drawings than I remember learning in all my art classes. I suppose I actually have to keep it up now to see if I'm learning anything.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Counting on Something

Number patterns.

They've been designed.

Lower-case letters too.

You can never be too lucky... no sirree!

And here's something I made that's pretty:

Monday, August 13, 2012

In the Hopper

If you could only see my desk/bathroom/bedroom/house. Every surface has something on it. I see why magazines make so much of vertical storage on the walls. I've a habit of putting something anywhere I see empty space. It's almost a psychological problem... Heather Abhors Empty Space.

This weekend (and several evenings of the past week) have been spent doing that which I'm always glaring at my husband when he does it - watching TV episodes. I was hooked on Downton Abbey and just finished watching the last episode last night.

Whenever I read or watch something that I really like, I become immersed in that world. It's not even a decision I make - it just happens; hence my reason for being so careful what I watch - no war/sad movies for me!! After watching DA, I speak in a very modulated voice and use big words. :) And I don't feel so sorry about my own life when I see servants having NO life. Ugh.

I've got school starting up again this next week - both teaching my online classes and taking Kiff to kindergarten. I pray I don't cry!!!!

I'm in a blah mode for my tutorial, too. The Christmas ornaments have been something I want to do, but I've been stymied at every turn with my method of cutting the books. I used the scroll saw, which makes a lovely cut, but is really slow. Thinking that I could use my husband's table saw, I bought a new blade for it with the most teeth I could find to make a finer cut. It tripped the circuit breaker and made really ragged cuts. HORRIBLE HUGE BUMMER. I'm thinking that Kinko's might have some sort of industrial paper cutter to use, but I'm really far from the only one in my town. Ugh. I hate obstacles.

So, a whole lotta stuff is going on, but I'm so disorganized and messy in my house that I have nothing to show. Or, at least, nothing I want you to see.