12 August 2012

Sketch journaling from photos

Saturday afternoon, our big project was to find a photo we liked (either one we had brought or from Brenda's giant stash of photo references), paint the scene, then find something to "call out" from the photo, or from some idea associated with the photo, and paint that separately on the page, then join the two elements together somehow with words, borders, shadows, etc.

Everyone's ideas and results were really clever: One workshop participant painted a landscape of fields of grain receding towards distant mountains (it looked like a scene from the Central Valley), and then in the lower left corner of her paper she painted a farmer scattering corn in front of chickens. Another did a diagonal row of baskets--lower left to upper right--filled with fruits and vegetables that looked like a stand at a farmer's market, and her "call-out" was a snail down in the empty right corner, whose slime trail then formed a mustard-colored border around the picture. My new acquaintance Andrea, with whom I have lunched every day, did a pale and ethereal positive/negative image of the Taj Mahal in the upper center background, and below that had a magic lamp, whose steam went up to form the headline for her writing, which was about a child who sold her a lamp outside the Taj.

Here is mine, and of course it has to do with...BOOKS. There was this great picture of a little independent bookstore, and the call-out HAD to be a stack of books that I presumably found and took home with me from my delirious shopping spree. My text is a bit wistful--when even B&Ns and Borders are closing, where can you go to truly browse the shelves any more? Well, the library--but what if you want to KEEP the books? So sad. Amazon and e-books definitely have their place, but it's too bad they had to supplant mom and pop bookstores everywhere.

But I was happy with my picture. It isn't my usual style at all--this drawing with pen seems to be bringing out a cartoon-like illustrator side I never knew existed inside my brain--but it's fun! Drawing and then painting a brick building was certainly a new challenge. Also, looking at it here in scan form, I have to ask--are those books floating? Maybe I need a shadow underneath to nail them down. Floating books ARE my speciality.

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