May 29, 2008

Me, a commissioned artist? Wha?

Here in Nelson, someone asked me to do a sketch of friends of hers for their wedding gift. You know, something that is going to be on these strangers' walls for the next 50 years. Yeah, no biggie. *gulp*

After much hesitation, I finally decided to give it a go; but on my terms. I didn't want to do a typical pencil sketch because they're so common and ultimately boring and flat. I messed around with some pen and ink and ended up with this graphic-ish image. It's supposed to feel like the explosion of a first kiss. I hope Mr. and Mrs. Random like it.

pen, brush, and ink on watercolour paper 8 x 10

May 12, 2008

takin' a stab at watercolour

This is the same painting

taken first with a camera (right) and second with a scanner (below).

I think the actual painting falls somewhere between the two.

But here you have it, my first full watercolour painting!

(I usually hate flower paintings, and would never have tried this, but it was actually harder than I thought.)

May 1, 2008

bye Debbie...:(

I die a little inside when I think of Debbie not returning in the fall of '08. She is one of the best models in the GTA right now. Well, best of luck drawing and painting your heart out at OCAD. We already miss you.

pen & ink 8 x 10

keepin' positive

So, even though WestJet has lost my luggage with many great books inside, I managed to bring "The Watercolorist's Essential Notebook: Landscapes" by Gordon MacKenzie here to Nelson. Thanks again, San, for being the authority on good art books.

It has very clear, no-nonsense information, and MacKenzie has also written some comforting words of wisdom. Here's a passage I believe we can all relate to in all aspects of our art and lives:

"You have always known how to compose pictures.
You did it as a child and you never forgot.

What you have lost is the memory and nerve to follow your instincts when making a picture.

What you have temporarily forgotten is how to play.

What you grew instead was an ego that demanded protection from
embarrassment at all costs.
But it is time to take back command, responsibility and freedom for your compositions
-- because no one else will."

This type of advice is given in many books on art and self-discovery. Little tips like this always inspire me to let go, take risks, and remember that it's good to make mistakes.

"Lake Spirits"
by Gordon MacKenzie

Hey, if you've got the spare cash and time, he's holding a five day workshop in September in northern Ontario. It's on my to-do list now.

for further reading on inspiring yourself and getting out of an artist's block start by checking out "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron.

First ever caricatures!

My first try at caricatures! It was more fun than I anticipated, too.

I usually draw faces like this:

so this is a big departure for me:

Looking forward to pushing it more and getting away from portrait-looking faces.