Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March Challenge Complete... Sort of

Kylee, 2.5" diameter, acrylic

This was my post for the March Challenge on Open Sketch Book Society. Here's a little history on the miniature.

Miniatures derived from illuminated manuscripts, and in England they took off during the early Tudor period. The miniature was a unique art form because it was intimate. The viewer had to pick it up and hold it close to see it. It was either round or oval in shape, sometimes inscribed with text. Miniatures were displayed in cabinets, or worn around the neck or waist as an item of jewelry. This is where lockets come from. They could also be pinned near the heart. They were portable, and popular as gifts for lovers. They were also usually covered, a way to keep it a personal secret. Miniatures were especially used as a part of courtly love. They were given to show favor.

While, traditionally, miniatures were meant to be held close and worn as jewelry, I've decided to take a different approach to this art form. I will still be working small and applying colored backgrounds (like Holbein), and will try to keep to the standard poses. However, I will be displaying them as you see here, matted. This is only the first one I've done so far, my test piece, I guess. I plan on doing a series of these, and eventually will display them in grid formation next to each other. My purpose for this miniature style is not secretive, and so I will not be treating that way. Instead, I am sort of incorporating that pop cultural design element, bright colors in formation.

I am also glad to finally be using my circle cutter. I didn't have a reason to use it until now. And I finally figured out how to use it the right way! I still need to tape everything down because it's quite unruly, but my circles are cleaner now.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Photo Reference Session: one step closer

I finally took the next step of making my project goal a reality. I had fleshed out basically what I wanted to do for the March challenge on Open Sketchbook Society. But sketches and thumbnails were all I had. Until today, that is. A friend of mine from church was kind enough to volunteer a chunk of her morning to my reference needs. So we had a little photo shoot, plus some tea and good conversation. I always like being able to hang out with my models and get to know them a little better. Of course, when I spend time drawing someone, I feel like there's a whole new level of connection. It's a very intimate thing, focusing so much attention on another person's face. It's like giving them your time in a very different way. I'm really not sure how to explain it.

Anyway, I'm glad I got to take pictures early in the week. The rest of the week is looking really busy so I'm trying to stay on top of it. Hopefully, I'll have my progress posted soon. The challenge piece is due by the end of March.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring Refreshment: Moving Forward

I'm sure you've noticed by now that I haven't posted in a while. In fact, it's been over a month since my last post. That's because I haven't been drawing. Unless you count the doodling I do in church on Sundays... ^_^;

After a long, busy week (shadowing for a nanny job, preparing for and leading in youth ministry, cooking, cleaning, etc.), Adam and I were wiped out by Friday night. So, Saturday was our day. We decided to sleep in and just take it easy. We made pancakes for breakfast (at lunchtime), went for a walk on the old railroad tracks behind our apartment, went to the printmaking senior show, Under Pressure, at Hartford Art School, went out for sushi, and finally turned in for a movie and ice cream. It was a great day.

Where is the inspiration you ask?

Well, with warm weather steadily approaching, and with the sun shining more and more after so many gloomy winter days, I have had a new spark in my soul. An energy I only feel when fresh air is finally allowed in through the windows, and when a sweatshirt is sufficient enough for taking a walk. It's like the sky is a little bluer or something, or like the sun warms my soul enough to lift the cold state of depression from my ever-shivering body. It is such a relief! Just as the trees know when to start budding, so can I feel in my bones when my mental winter is over.

With the feeling of spring in me, I have a refreshed desire to draw and make art. The longer I am away from it, the more I want to do it. While we were at the printmaking show Saturday night, I ran into some old professors. They asked how I was doing and if I was still making art. After telling them I hadn't been, they gave me some very encouraging words. They encouraged me to keep working, not to be discouraged by life after school. Just keep doing what you're doing, they said. In combination with their advice, I got to see the artwork of the senior printmakers. It had been a while since I'd been to a show, so I was inspired by the beautiful pieces to continue making my own work again.

Right now, I am full of new ideas and a desire to draw again. I will be starting research on the March Challenge today, and hopefully do some sketches of today's walk with Adam.

Goals for this week:

- Research and brainstorm for the March Challenge
- Walks with Adam
- Draw
- Eat Healthy