Friday, June 25, 2010

Freedom Friday

Today's post is dedicated to all those suffering in the bondage of slavery. I'm working out an idea for a piece on sex trafficking. I long for the day when every person on this earth is freed from physical, mental, and spiritual affliction. Until then, I want to fight for the freedom of others through art and prayer.

I thank God for the blessings he has given me, and for being a just God. Although I feel deeply saddened, and even angry about the sex trade and other forms of slavery, I know that there will come a day when God will bring justice to the oppressed and the wicked alike. He will set the captives free and bring perfect judgement to the world. May the spirit of the Lord be on me, and may he save me from myself. Let the skills he has given me be used for the good of his people and his glory. This is my prayer.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Apartment Gallery?

This is what the corner of our living room is starting to look like. It seems I've gotten addicted to this system of drawing: sit on the floor, bust out the pastels, and draw for hours at a time. After I'm done with one drawing, I rip it out and move on to the next one. It may seem like these don't take me long, and compared to my illustrations they don't. I am able to work quickly, but I am still spending a good chunk of time on each one. I am constantly thinking about composition and making decisions about each one.

I think of Jackson Pollock when I work like this. When he worked, he wasn't just throwing paint onto the canvas at random. He, too, was constantly making decisions, directing the paint where it should go. Controlled chaos. So many people were critical of his work because they saw only the final product of his process, not the process itself. To critical viewers, it was merely paint thrown onto a canvas with no real skill of the painter. But Pollock was very serious about his work. I imagine he got into "the zone" while working, just as many artists do.

New abstracts...

This drawing (below) is a copy after Henri Matisse's The Dinner Table (Harmony in Red). I've always liked the composition of that piece, so I sketched my own version after it. I just don't have any greens or blues in my palette right now, hence the very brown window scene.

More random drawings...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On A Roll!

Two more drawings from today. Glad to be getting back in the zone. Once our apartment is back in order -which won't be for another month- I want to continue the various series I was working on. The Miniature portraits, for one. I wanted to have that done months ago.

Also, I really want to start doing serious illustrations again. I've been getting by just drawing and painting here and there. But seriously, it's time to get back to something beyond that. My senior portfolio, the bulk of what is on my website, was filled with meaningful and conceptual work. Each piece was worked out and followed through to completion. My work was driven by faith and conviction, things that mattered to me. I am restless in that aspect of my current work.

I have to get back in touch with my inner illustrator. And soon.

Sketches from the other day

After all that drawing the other day, I was totally in the mood to just keep going. One thing led to another until finally I just needed to sit down and do a still life. Feels good to draw from life.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lesson Two: Shape

I currently have the kids working on a shape project. We discussed what a shape was, and the different kinds of shapes. There are two... families, you could say. There are geometric and organic shapes. For the project, they had to start with one big shape. They could pick either geometric or organic, but they then have to fill it with the opposite shape. For example, if you start with an organic shape, you must then fill in in with geometric shapes. I did a small version of both scenarios for them to see, but I will have to post them later since I left it at their house.

In the meantime, today I worked on my own composition of shapes. This is the kind of thing I do when I want to work on something beyond doodling. I love pushing and pulling objects forward or back. And I get really into it. I just kneel on the floor, whip out the conte, and get to it. It usually takes me a little while to get to a comp I like. This was the last of four. The first three weren't going anywhere, so I left them incomplete, and kept going until I got this.

Lesson One: Line

Some weeks ago, I began giving private art lessons to a couple of kids that go to our church. They are seven and nine. They love to draw and make art, so it's been a lot of fun teaching them new things. We meet once a week. I started them off with the elements of art, and each week is dedicated to one of those elements.

There are seven, respectively:


For line, we talked about different kinds of lines, why they are important, and how to make them. We also talked about the emotion of line. I had them try different exercises, and even showed them some different artworks to have them identify the kinds of lines they saw, like straight, wavy, thick, and thin. When I returned the following week, I was very impressed that one of them had fun drawing more lines, and that the other remembered the word "elements" when I asked what they were called.

Anyway, I recently decided that if I am going to be teaching these kids art, no matter how foundational, I must also be practicing it. So, in my own way, I will be practicing the lessons along with my students.

I played catch-up today. These are my experiments with line. The first couple are my warm ups. I'm a big fan of line and gesture.

Returning to Fridays

I have a whole bunch of stuff for you today! While things have been a little hectic for me and my husband lately, I want to try to at least post on Fridays. I'll post on Tuesdays if I can. Anyway, so as not to have a long and tedious post, I am separating this into a few different ones.

Above, is a drawing I did during Maundy Thursday back in March or April. I never got around to posting it, so before a finally threw it out the other day, I made sure to take a picture. No, it is not inspired by that "Footprints" poem. I just started doodling and this is what occurred.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Back Burner

No image today. I must appologize to my loyal readers for not updating lately. I still want to maintain the Tuesday/Friday posts, but life has been a little busier and a little less organized as of late, leaving most of my Internet "duties" on the back burner. But I hope to return soon, and hopefully a little more prepared. In the meantime, here is a question for you all:

What is your opinion of art education in the public school system? Do you think it's important to teach art to kids? Is it not that important? Just something for them to do, or is there a benefit beyond the creative outlit?