Friday, July 30, 2010

IF - Artificial plus Good Advice

Avoid an artificial life. Be original. Dance to your own drum. Pursue your passion. Do what makes you happy. Ignore the disapproving looks and the comments from naysayers. You're the only one who knows what your authentic life should look like. Why be an artificial version of yourself when the real you has so much to offer? Forget about fitting in or following the crowd. Steer clear of fakes, posers, and wannabes. Be yourself. Be original. The real deal is always better than something artificial.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Good Advice - Round 9

I hope you're having a lovely summer--or winter--depending on where you live. My time for making art has been limited lately as I'm trying to focus my time and energy on some long overdue house projects. There's a whole lot of cleaning, purging, and painting going on. But, as usual, I have a little bit of good advice to throw out there until I get back in the studio. Enjoy!

Friday, July 16, 2010

IF - Breakfast and Good Advice

I always enjoy the challenge of combining the Illustration Friday prompt with a post card for the Good Advice series. With a word like breakfast the advice seemed pretty obvious. I'm sure children all over the world have heard these words at one time or another. I guess what constitutes a good breakfast is different for everyone--personally, I think chocolate cake is the best breakfast around!

Friday, July 9, 2010

IF - Diary AKA Every Moley Tells a Story

"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary"

-- Pablo Picasso

I chose to illustrate this quote by Pablo Picasso for this week's Illustration Friday theme of diary. And I did it on the very last blank page of the very first moleskine I ever bought. Aside from two small moleskines that I've completed for specific projects, it's also the first moleskine that I've completely filled. And it only took me three and a half years to do it.

This is the large watercolor moleskine and in many ways it has become my diary. It records places I've been and things I've seen and done. But it also records things that are probably obvious only to me. It records my artistic journey. When I flip through the pages I see the progression in tools and techniques. I see the growth that occurs when you try things you didn't think you could do. I see what happens when you make a focused effort to work on your art even when you're not sure it's working at all.

I started this visual diary on new years day 2007. I didn't even own a waterproof pen and I used an old set of pan watercolors most likely left over from my kids' kindergarten days.

The early pages were inspired by Danny Gregory and his book Everyday Matters. I hadn't even tried to draw for years and was pleasantly surprised that my attempts weren't as hideous as I feared they would be.

I moved on to watercolor pencils and eventually discovered Micron and Pitt pens. I love the memories captured by these simple little drawings.

Next came the challenge of joining a local sketchcrawl group on their monthly outings to local attractions. Sketching in public, standing up, outdoors, or in cramped quarters was all new to me. I didn't always love it or the sketches I created, but I continued on in an effort to grow and improve. I started using artist watercolors in tubes and combining those with watercolor pencils.

Today's post represents my 41st attempt at Illustration Friday. After a good number done on random scraps of paper, it occurred to me to draw them in my moleskine. I have to admit, I do like seeing them all together in one place. This weekly challenge motivates me to complete a project in one sitting and then put it out there before I over think it or change my mind.

My first filled moleskine may be a random collection of images and experiments, but it definitely tells a story. I'm a little sad that it's complete. It feels like getting to the last page of a really good book and not wanting the story to end. Then again, the thought of a fresh moleskine just waiting for ink and color is pretty tempting too!

Friday, July 2, 2010

IF - Giant

This quote by Ralph Ransom perfectly sums up my thoughts of late. Life is a series of steps. On a day-to-day basis, those "small, seemingly insignificant steps" don't appear to lead anywhere. I have to continuously remind myself that I'm making progress even when it feels like I'm not. I wouldn't mind taking a few giant steps to get where I want to go a little faster, but those only happen once in a while. Things are done gradually. Patience is good. Perspective is better.