058:365 Learning to See

058:365 Learning to See

Today was so busy that although I could have made time for another drawing, this one makes me happy so I’ll share it with you.  Also, when I went to the art store today, these recycled toned papers from Strathmore were on sale, and I’d been drooling over them, so it seems perfect to share!

2013-02-27 21.32.04

An example drawing from today’s private lesson. We read the book and the kids had to teach me to draw the main character. They looked at shapes, body parts, and colors, and I asked them to describe it to me while they drew it. Although my drawing is simplified, but close to the original, theirs were much more expressive and less exact. So beautiful and charming. As students progress with Drawing and ESL, I ask them different kinds of questions to increase their visual ability and speaking aptitude.

This book, Clink, by Kelly DiPucchio and Matthew Myers, is about an old robot who feels like he isn’t as good as the bright shiny new robots who can do anything. It uses onomatopoeia to communicate the noises that he makes, and the drawings are great. Clear expressive forms that are easy to understand and identify with for students of a variety of ages. The reading level is a little too high for students who are only beginning to learn English, but the onomatopoeic sounds and bright pictures help them follow the story using other means. The story line is simple enough to break into smaller words as you explain, and the pictures give the right amount of subtext to allow children who don’t know every word to be drawn into the story.

Although I used to discount my example drawings, looking back over some of the ones I did while teaching in Madrid, there are a few gems that I’m proud to call my own. This one is a nice schematic, but some of those are really expressive.

056:365 Interweave

056:365 interweave

Again playing with high contrast and weaving/plaid motifs. Interested in how the colors blend, and how they look next to one another. The final inspiration, to remove some color from part of the middle reminds me of the sun peeking through clouds, though the colors are off, so I’m not sure why it does.

That last inspiration, which blurs the threads somewhat and leaves a smoother section might be created by felting those sections. It wouldn’t look exactly the same, but it would create slight blending, and then also a radically different texture. I’m just not sure how well needle-felting would work in this sort of a case. Although it’s acrylic, when I finish the scarf-thing on my loom, I might try it. It will be interesting, if nothing else.

052:365 Palladium

052:365 Palladium

Today a study in not-quite pattern.

When our Art History teacher told us about Mannerist Architecture in my High School Humanities class, I was fascinated. Why would you make a huge building with purposely poor proportional relationships?

Anyway, this non-Palladian mis-match pattern was inspired by that concept.

Most of the art that I make I try to play with pattern and how it creates beauty. From Fibonacci to Fractals, mathematics rhythm can be expressed through symmetry, and in this piece, I try to use almost symmetrical forms drawn free-hand to play with the idea of ideal proportion and mathematical beauty.

049:365 Medallion

049:365 Medallion

Today, a further exploration of passivity meeting activity.  Partially inspired by Japanese Family Crests, which are monotone or black and white forms in circles, squares, or other shapes, this medallion is a study on the fluidity between action and non-action.  The dynamic white part of the image resembles a wave, and the other part maybe a curled resting animal.  I think I’ll develop this idea a little more, maybe make a Mikey-sleeping-with-his-head-upside-down medallion.

023:365 Splashing

Splashing 023:365

Today I wanted to play with some of the waves structures I use in oil pastel in a more linear way. The transparency of the marker plays differently than the translucency and opacity of the oil pastel, and the result is interesting.

Years ago, I showed a doodle in progress to another artist friend. She asked me what my drawing was about, and I told her it was just a doodle. She said, “But what are you doing in it? You must have a rule or an order in mind when you did it.”

She was right, of course. That drawing was an interlocking blob from a single line kind of drawing. Since then I think about those rules and orders more explicitly. As I was saying yesterday, making work that is process oriented is inspired in part by my passion for textiles and fiber arts, but it is also a matter of curiosity about how the world works.

Thinking about how things go together and come apart helps me to make better decisions, and to understand relationships between more complex things, like politics and money. Doodling may seem like a simplistic task, putting colors or forms down on paper with no purpose. But it serves the purpose of solidifying mental images and aids in processing ideas.

Teachers often use idea maps, drawings that are diagrammatic versions of ideas, timelines, philosophy, and thoughts. In school, I used to draw doodles during class mixed in with my notes, but I was fortunate enough to have teachers who understood that it helped me remember things.

Even to this day, drawing helps me clear my head. It is a form of meditation.