28 August 2011

EDM Challenge #75

Draw the ingredients and/or process of a favorite recipe:

This one is distinguished by being both tasty and EASY. If you have the ingredients on hand, takes about 5 minutes to get into the oven, then go do something else for awhile et voilá!

I decided to mimic some of you on the EDM list who work in pen first and then watercolor afterwards. I've never done this before (don't know why), but it's fun! I sketched lightly in pencil first, then went over it in pen. The thing I notice is that it encourages you (well, it encourages ME anyway) to be minimalist about line and also to simplify my watercolor technique. I won't work this way all the time, but nice to know it's an option I enjoy!

Hope you try and enjoy the recipe...

Uncooperative Cacti

Yes, that's right, I'm blaming it on the cacti!!! Here's the story: My friends Cindy and Tim were having a party for their 25th anniversary, and though they said no gifts, well, my mother came from the South, so I never show up at a party without SOMETHING in hand. I knew they had recently changed over their yard to drought-tolerant, so I decided a clever little cactus would be just the thing. I stopped by the nursery to get one, but they were all so cunning that I couldn't decide...so I bought four! Then when I got home, I had the bright idea (four hours before the party) of painting a picture of the cacti to give her as well! I set up three of them in a tableau, then I painted, and painted, and painted, and those darn cacti turned out to be HARD to paint, especially in a group. (Should have just picked ONE.) So I ended up taking #4 to Cindy and gave her an IOU for a painting sometime in the future--but this won't be it. I just couldn't capture them sufficiently. I'll try again soon.

Regarding the creative process

Margie (http://www.margiesartstudio.blogspot.com/) asked on everydaymatters@yahoogroups.com how everyone goes about the creative process--do you paint from your imagination? Only from life? Only from references? I thought that was a good question to illustrate with a painting (and a back story).

I have to have references. I am so envious of people who can paint from imagination (like Margie--look at her characters on her blog!). But I don't seem to be able to paint from within my head--or at any rate, very badly.

Frequently, however, I decide the subject of what I want to feature and then go looking for things to assemble, and they can be in-person, photos from Google Images, whatever. Here is a painting I did as a final assignment.The semester-long assignment from the watercolor class I was taking (from Carol Bishop at Los Angeles Valley College, a great teacher and mentor!) was to choose an object (mine was a blue teapot) and paint it every single week for an entire semester, looking at other artists' work and taking something from them to express in your rendition of the object: color palette, brush technique, theme, whatever. And the final assignment was to take everything you had learned and do a painting in your own style.

I soon got really bored with painting the damn teapot, so I kept trying to think of creative ways to use it. It featured in various paintings as an animated character, the moon, a teensy prop in the background, a wallpaper design...somewhere the teapot was there, but rarely the main event after the second or third assignment.

This painting included a back view of one of my "yard" cats from a window that I sketched really quickly one day, the blue teapot (from my kitchen), a mouse I found from a rodents and marsupials book in the library, trees/forest ditto from a botany book, and I also looked on the internet for a photo of Cinderella's carriage and the glass slipper to get good references from which to paint. I assembled them all, and figured out how to put them into perspective with each other, then combined them into this one picture. It's a plodding way to work, but my imagination seems to be limited to ideas ABOUT the painting rather than the visualization of the actual contents. It's called
"Bereft of Cinderella."